The art of the compliment

“The art of the Compliment, using Kind Words with Grace and Style” by Christie Matheson

Peonies at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Fun fact by Matheson:
2008 study published in the journal Neuron found that giving someone a compliment activated the same reward centre in the brain as paying him cash.

I can live on two months on a good compliment – Mark Twain

I’ve been on the receiving end of “not compliments”. When I was younger, I’ve received congratulations, “how many months are you pregnant” from quite a number of well meaning ladies. I got the hint, I needed to head for the gym.

Personally I’ve indulged in a few faux pas, when I asked someone who skipped a dish “are you on a diet”.

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it. ” Groucho Marx.

Christie Matheson advises next time you give a compliment, no back hand compliment.

When someone gives you a compliment, don’t dismiss or wave off a compliment.

There is no obligation to return a compliment. Eg. ” I love your dress.” Do not be quick to say “No. I love your dress.” It doesn’t come across as sincere and it doesn’t give you the chance to appreciate the person who gave you the compliment.

When you do it too soon, you give the impression that you couldn’t handle the compliment – and all you wanted to do was get rid of it.

Next time someone compliment you on a nice pair of earrings, there’s no need to say “they’re not real.” Just thank you will do. They aren’t looking for that information. (Okay, Christie.)

What about giving compliments ? Especially to strangers ?
Keep it simple and brief.
Don’t expect anything in return.
Don’t make it too personal eg “I love the smell of your perfume.” Or “nice legs – do you do athletics”. It makes the listener feel flattered at first but then get totally repulsed. (Some of the dating gurus need to check their notes and do some updates! )
Avoid complimenting by comparison

Not compliments
1. Your boyfriend is unbelievably hot. I’m really into him.
2. You’re much cooler than your husband.
3. It’s really cool that you just don’t care what you look like.
4. That sound like a fun little project. at least it will keep you busy.

How to give compliments?
The most seductive flattery flatters the You you wish to be. – Willis Goth Regier
Do not interrupt
Look someone in the eye (but don’t stare)
Ask questions
Remember what you’ve talked about

What areas to compliment someone?

More people are flattered into virtue than bullied out of vice – Robert Smith Surtees

Do you agree? Start complimenting your love ones, your parents and your co-workers?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: