10 Unique Ways to Give Compliments

man talking to woman in train
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If you want your compliments to stand out from the crowd, consider offering them in unique ways. Compliments delivered in unusual ways will be remembered, and showcase your ability to think creatively. This may be especially important if you live with social anxiety disorder (SAD), as your social skills may be lacking.

1. Choose Unique Words

People tend to overuse the same bland words when giving compliments. Allow your message to stand out by choosing unique words that you don't hear every day. Examples might include that your husband looks "dapper" or your girlfriend is a "phenomenal" athlete. Just be sure that your words are genuine: otherwise, your compliment may come across as over-the-top and not sincere.

2. Use Words From a Different Language

What could be more fun than learning a few words in a new language so that you can use them for a compliment? Adjectives from other languages are particularly useful. For example, "guapo" means handsome in Spanish. If the person you are speaking to has a native tongue other than English, choosing a compliment in that language will win you many points, both for originality and thoughtfulness. Finally, if a foreign language seems daunting, how about trying your hand at sign language? Find a video tutorial on Youtube, and then share what you have learned with friends and family so that they will understand what you are signing.

3. Customize Your Compliments

Tailor the compliment to the individual, using inside jokes that only the two of you will understand. For example, once you've learned those sign language maneuvers, use them to give compliments to family members that only they will understand. They will feel special knowing that the compliments are designed just for them.

4. Make a Celebrity Comparison

If you have a favorite celebrity, consider telling your significant other how much more attractive they are than that person. For example, tell your partner that they are "better looking than Tom Cruise" or "funnier than Adam Sandler." In these situations, it is okay to stretch the truth a bit—your partner will still appreciate knowing the qualities in them that you find attractive.

5. Give a Written Compliment

Not everyone feels comfortable sharing compliments in person—especially those who suffer from social anxiety. Don't feel that you can't share your compliments if you are too nervous. Instead, take the time to send a handwritten note (in a timely manner) to the person you wish to compliment.

Write a note to your aunt telling her how much you enjoyed your last visit. Send an email to a coworker praising a job well done at the office. Send a card thanking a person who gave you a gift. Compliments offered in writing have just as much impact—and often more.

6. Compliment Using Your Eyes

A long stare is a hidden form of compliment. These types of stares work best if you are out on a date. In essence, you are communicating the idea that you can't take your eyes off the other person. Be sure only to use the stare type of compliment when appropriate, such as when you are with someone who you know is also attracted to you.

7. Compliment by Text

Can you compliment by text? Yes of course. Just keep them fairly short, and avoid the use of text speak. Be aware that not everyone checks their phone regularly, so don't feel bad if you don't get a reply right away.

Remember the golden rule of compliments—they aren't given to receive anything in return, just to make the other person feel good.

8. Ready-Made Compliments

Are you experiencing a drought of compliments in your household? Make it easier on everyone by having ready-made compliments for people to grab and share. Create a printable tear-off sheet with compliments that you can share. Or, create a compliment jar, with ideas such as "You are amazing," "You are inspiring," or "You are wonderful." Customize them for your family and you will have a fun time sharing the compliments that you devised together.

9. Technology for Compliments

There are even apps for giving compliments! The "Kindr" app allows you to share compliments with other users of the app. Or, you can try sharing compliments on social media sites. If you post a compliment on the wall of a Facebook friend, all of their friends will see it, giving it that much more weight.

10. Ask Someone for Help as a Compliment

One of the easiest and most impactful ways to offer a compliment is to ask someone to help you do something. In essence, you are telling the person that you value their skills and abilities, without having to directly tell them. Ask for an opinion, help with technology or advice about a troubling situation. The other person will be flattered that you thought to ask him.

A Word From Verywell

If you live with social anxiety disorder, you may find it hard to offer compliments. Start small by giving a simple compliment to someone whom you know well. Work your way up from there toward more challenging types of compliments. Over time, you will find that the act of giving compliments grows easier and more natural.

Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

By Arlin Cuncic
Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety."