Complimenting someone can be the easiest way to strike a conversation, to get in someone’s good book, or to leave a positive memory to be remembered by. It is not always about flattering or flirting. People who compliment others are considered polite, warm, and friendly. Compliments are a general part of social interactions, pleasant conversations, general chit chat, and healthy relationships. Even in the workspace, the right compliment can boost self confidence and energy of your colleague, positively impacting their productivity level. However, sometimes complimenting the opposite gender can come out as flirting, creating an unwanted weird situation.
Complimenting is an art and it is an even more sophisticated art when you are trying to exchange pleasantries with a woman and you don’t want to come across as a flirt. Even the most well-intended compliments can sometimes come across as inappropriate.
Pretty much every decent man is afraid of being considered a creep, flirt, pervert, or a womanizer. The fear is so real that many men would altogether refuse to compliment a woman just about anything. This will in turn make them look unfriendly, cold or even rude. It can feel like you can not win either way. But you can. We are here to help.
Firstly understand that it’s not women’s fault that you have to walk on eggshells around them and have to preplan any conversation to avoid any harassment lawsuits. After being sexually objectified for years women have learned to be extra sensitive towards any praise they receive. Now the slightest things can set off their raiders. They have developed this defense mechanism to protect themselves from any unwanted sexual advances. This is why you have to carefully craft any praise you want to give them in order to win the conversation and develop a positive professional relation.
Here we are sharing things you should do or not do when complimenting a woman followed by a list of compliments that are “safe”.
Take the “I” out of it
Feel the difference between “I think red is really your color” and “Red suits you.” Or “I like your haircut” and “Great hair cut”. The less it is about you or your feelings, the more it sounds about another person and hence a genuine compliment. Also “I love your shirt” implies you are having emotional reactions towards the shirt and probably having some naughty thoughts about what the shirt is covering. Instead “nice shirt” sounds like innocent and genuine praise towards the shirt.
The more details your compliment will have, the more involved you will appear, making it weird. It’s better to keep it generic and short. Notice the difference between “The blue is really complimenting your skin tone” vs “Nice shirt”.
Keep it professional
In workspaces or professional settings it is best to resort to complimenting just their professionalism, their skills, and hard work. “Nice presentation”, “smart work”, “You are such a dedicated and harking person”, “great job” and “you did awesomely” are the safest compliments in the work environment.
Never compliment her body or body parts
Outfits and accessories can be ok in a professional setting but never be bold enough to compliment her physical attributes. Avoid compliments like “your skin looks amazing”, “you have such great hair”, “you have beautiful eyes”, “your hands are beautiful”. Instead “nice perfume” “your scarf is looking great”, “cute nail color” and “what a beautiful ring” are more appropriate.
Don’t talk about her weight
Never compliment or make a remark about a change in a woman’s body weight. It is more likely to go wrong than anything else. Not only are most women unhappy with their body weight it will indicate that you have observed their body for long enough to notice a change.
Keep it low and subtle
Try to replace strong and intense words with less emotional or expressive words. For example “beautiful nail color” or “nice shoes” sound much appropriate than “lovely nail colors” or “gorgeous earrings”.
Stay away from explicit words
It goes without saying words like hot, sexy, and feisty are out of line even if you are trying to compliment her blazer or nail color.
When in doubt, don’t do it
If you think it might not be appropriate or might come out wrong, you are probably right. Don’t say it unless you absolutely have to. If you must, remember the above-given tips or use one of the following compliments.
- You are smart.
- You are funny.
- You work so hard.
- You are such an inspiration.
- You have a very positive aura.
- You can do it.
- Great job.
- You are so helpful.
- You are really insightful and objective.
- You are so kind.
- You are really creative and have an innovative mind.
- You are such a pleasant company.
- You are a really positive influence.
- You are really good with numbers/people.