Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Compliment Etiquette

Receiving a compliment can feel uncomfortable. Perhaps someone just told you that "you look stunning in that dress." Is your natural inclination to blush and respond with "oh, I just threw it on"? Or maybe you've offered some kind words, hoping to make the recipient smile, and they've brushed your compliment off.

Next time you're receiving a compliment or providing words of praise, consider these quick tips:

  • Be sincere and authentic when offering up a compliment.
  • Be precise and prompt. Saying "Kate, you did an excellent job on the presentation. I loved those graphics." will be most appreciated right after she has finished presenting, not after months have passed.
  • Do not compare. A compliment should focus on the merits of the recipient and not disparage someone else. For example, if you like your co-worker's haircut, tell them, but do not say "Wow, I love your hair cut. It looks so much better than Mark's."
  • A simple "thank you" goes a long way. Don't forget to smile- someone has just offered you words of admiration or approval, and that should make you feel good!
  • Provide additional details if you feel inclined, but know that they aren't necessary. If someone compliments your earrings you could say "Thank you. They were a very sweet gift from my boyfriend."
  • Do not feel obligated to offer a reciprocating compliment. If you truly mean it, it's acceptable. Otherwise, you can turn one complimentary remark into a compliment competition. 

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