How to make and take compliments

Receiving a compliment is many introverts’ worst nightmare. “It’s nice that you want to say something kind to me, but can the earth please open up and swallow me right now?” That’s how I used to feel about compliments for a long time. And making compliments – ugh! – even worse. Will the other person not feel just as awful about receiving a compliment as I would in their place? Will they think I’m kissing up to them? That I want something? That I’ve got a crush on them, maybe?

You can tell compliments in general were pretty terrifying to me.

Over the last years, however, my outlook has changed rather a lot. I realised that, somewhere deep down, I kind of like receiving compliments. Who doesn’t like a sincere reminder of their good qualities sometimes? It’s just having to react that feels vulnerable and awkward and awful, having to let the other person see that private part of you that needed validation. But it doesn’t have to be awful! There are a few simple strategies that make taking compliments so much easier, and, in time, even pleasant.

And don’t get me started on giving compliments. Once I realised that, on average, it doesn’t cause mortification or awkwardness, but heartfelt delight, I began speaking up more often when I noticed something I liked about other people. I am now firmly conviced that making a compliment is a wonderful way to brighten someone’s day, strike up a conversation with a stranger, or deepen your friendship with someone you already know.

As I am an almost neurotically structured thinker, I have compiled a list of pretty straightforward tips and strategies for you. Take a look and start making and taking compliments like a suave social butterfly in no time.

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