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How to Give & Receive a Compliment

Learn how to give and receive a compliment from manners expert Faye de Muyshondt in this Howcast video.


Hi. I'm Faye de Muyshondt with Socialskilz here to teach you the basics of how to give and receive compliments. Compliments are one of the most wonderful things you can do for people. They're fairly easy to do. They don't cost anything, and they can really, really make people feel good. However, they can also go awry really easily if they're not genuine. So be sure that as you give compliments they are in fact genuine compliments. You don't want to be complimenting people on things that you truly aren't complimenting them for.

As you give your compliment, a big part of a compliment is your intonation. And your intonation is the rise and fall of your voice. As you give your compliment, make sure that you say it without using too much intonation. So for example, "I love your purse." But instead toning it down a little bit and just saying, "I love your purse. It's beautiful," is a little bit more meaningful.

As you give compliments, you might want to add a little bit more detail as well. So rather than just saying, "I like your t-shirt," you might want to say, "I like your t-shirt. I have one that's very similar." Or, "I like your t-shirt. It made me laugh when I saw it." Or, "I like your purse. It's so pretty, and it looks beautiful with your outfit." So you're adding a little bit more into the compliment than kind of the generic, "I like your t-shirt. I like your purse."

As you receive compliments, you want to be able to say "Thank you," without anything else. Oftentimes, people feel like they have to say something when they receive a compliment. They feel like they have to compliment someone back. Or they feel that they have to tell the person where they got the item or give more details about what it is they're being complimented on. And it's not necessary. Just saying "Thank you," for the compliment is one of the most meaningful things you can do.

If you quickly respond to someone who just gave you a compliment with another compliment, it doesn't sound very genuine. Giving compliments is one of the most meaningful things you can do for people. Just make sure that as you say your compliment, you really mean it, and as you receive a compliment, you offer a genuine thanks with no explanation. Those are some basic ways to give and receive compliments effectively.

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