As the old famous Mark Twain quote goes, “I can live for a month on a good compliment!”
At first, you might think, how hard could it be to say something nice to a girl? If you like something about her, then just say it, right? Well, for those few men who have been gifted with a natural flair for words, this is certainly no issue.
But if you are like majority of men, that is easier said than done! When you find yourself in front of a girl you like, you might suddenly find yourself clueless about how to compliment a girl.
Chances are that you might be at a loss for words, and end up blurting out something awkward or worse, inappropriate.
Let’s face it, we all love compliments but deep down girls really love it when you compliment them. Compliments boost self-esteem and there are studies that prove it. It makes the girl feel appreciated and it shows that you are paying attention to her.
If you are really interested in someone, it shouldn’t be a challenge to think of great and authentic compliments. But there is a right and wrong way of going about it. Read on for tried and tested tips on how to compliment a girl.
Pick the right timing
As with a lot of things in life, the right timing is crucial when dishing out compliments. Make sure that the girl is not distracted with other things like talking with her friends or hurrying through the halls trying not to be late for her next class.
The best time to give a girl a compliment is when you’re certain that you have her attention, maybe when it’s just the two of you talking and it’s not particularly noisy around you.
Compliment her on her not so obvious physical traits.
If you’re talking to a really pretty girl, try to say something else to her other than, “You’re so beautiful.” Even though it is true, chances are that she has heard this countless times in her life so it may not mean as much.
Instead, think of something else, maybe something more specific about her features that you find attractive.
You can say something like, “I like how your eyes twinkle when you smile” or “you have a really cute nose.”
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Compliment her on things other than looks.
It’s nice to appreciate a girl’s appearance. They do make an effort to look good. In fact, Cosmopolitan Magazine describes just how much effort is exerted in this article.
They definitely put a lot of work into it, so it would be prudent to take notice. However, don’t only dwell on the physical attributes because this will come across as superficial.
You should also learn how to compliment a girl on other stuff like her superb dancing skills, for instance, or her positive outlook on life, or how precious it is that she is so close to her grandmother. Girls appreciate those compliments a lot, probably even more than they’d care to admit.
Giving a phony compliment is worse than giving no compliment at all. Don’t just tell her she looks great just because you think that’s what she expects to hear, or because that’s what everyone else says to her.
Girls have some kind of radar for fake compliments also known as women’s intuition and this will most likely backfire on you.
Especially if you are talking with a girl for the first time, it is better to start off on the right foot by being totally honest and telling her what you really appreciate about her. Also, never compliment a girl just because you want something in return, ahem…such as something physical.
Remember the golden rule, always do to others as you would have done unto you!
Make your compliment fitting for the situation at hand
If she has just come from a particularly long shift at work and is obviously tired and haggard, don’t tell her she looks great. Even if you think she does, she will not believe you or feel you are insincere.
Instead, you might compliment her on her dedication to her profession, and how inspiring it is that she works so hard with such passion. She will feel good knowing that you notice and appreciate her efforts.
On the other hand, if you are going out and you see that she has put a lot of extra effort into her hair and makeup, be sure to compliment her appearance before anything else.
Keep it light and appropriate
It’s one thing to appreciate a woman’s beauty in a classy and tactful way, and a completely different thing to sound sleazy about it. Even if you find a girl really hot and you can’t stop staring at her body, it’s not a good idea to bring that up.
Do not ever compliment a girl’s legs, butt, or body curves early on, unless your goal is to come across as a creep.
If you really want to strike a decent conversation with her, divert your attention to lighter and more appropriate aspects, like maybe her gorgeous hair or her bubbly, infectious laughter. You can take your compliments to a different level once you get to know her a little bit better.
Use the compliment as a start of a friendly conversation
A genuine compliment is a much better conversation starter than more generic or overused pickup lines that guys have been regurgitating for years.
If you give a sincere compliment to a girl you are interested in, and if you deliver it in just the right way, then you have just paved the way for a really good conversation. Of course, you have to make sure that you have some ready topics to talk about.
You may have noticed that the tips above are targeted for guys who are looking to meet a girl. This is because most guys who are wondering about how to compliment a girl are at that stage where they are still looking for a potential girlfriend.
Basically, they are trying to figure out how to compliment a girl so that they get her attention. If the compliment works, then you should be able to move things on to a nice ‘getting to know you’ type of conversation.
But of course, compliments are not only meant for the early stages of a relationship. The sooner you realize that, the better. Just because the girl you once liked and flirted with is now your girlfriend or your wife, that doesn’t mean that the compliments can stop.
On the contrary, you might need to start getting more creative with your accolades because what used to work before may have already worn out its novelty.
If that’s the case, the list of effective compliments in the sections below may be able to help you out.
What to Avoid When Giving Compliments
Like we said in the beginning, there are right and wrong ways to compliment a girl. We’ve already given you tips for the right technique. Now, here are the don’ts that you should also keep in mind.
Don’t use generic compliments as pickup lines
You can certainly use a compliment to start a conversation, but don’t use a generic one. Your compliments should be suitable to the girl and to the situation.
Don’t add the word today when praising her looks
You look beautiful today sounds innocent enough but it might also be interpreted such that you don’t think she looks beautiful in other days. Similar no-no’s are your hair looks fantastic today, you look really well rested today and so on.
Don’t ever mention her weight
You might think it’s a good thing when you tell her that she has lost so much weight but that is certainly a double-edged sword. A lot of girls are sensitive about their weight so even when you honestly think you are saying something nice, they can take it the wrong way.
If you don’t understand what we mean, this podcast article may give you a better understanding.
Don’t compliment her too much
With everything, there can be too much. Even too much of a good thing. Giving way too many compliments will make you sound insincere, phony and disingenuous.
The girl might also think that you want something from her because you’re laying it on too thick. The last thing you want to do is make things awkward and uncomfortable!
Best Compliments for Girls
Now that you understand the basics of how to compliment a girl, you can start making a mental list of appropriate compliments you can give the next time you meet a girl you like.
We have to admit, it’s not always easy being spontaneous especially when you are in front of a girl that you’re smitten with. So it’s a good idea to have, shall we say, a mental inventory of compliments you can choose from. Here are some really good ones that you can add to your list.
1. You are so funny!
It’s not all the time that a girl gets complimented on her sense of humor. This is usually something that’s reserved for guys.
Olga Khazan writes a report about this in the Atlantic. So if the girl says or does something really funny, be sure to appreciate her for it.
2. I never knew that before!
This is perfect to say when she shares something you had never heard of! For example, maybe she mentions a piece of trivia that you were unaware of. Or maybe she shows you how to do something, perhaps a new life hack that can be really helpful.
If you say it with the right amount of amazement, this compliment would basically be an acknowledgment of her wisdom. At the same time, it shows that you appreciate the new things you can learn from her.
3. How did you get to be so smart?
Similar to the previous one, this compliment is a bit more direct. It specifically tells her that she is smart, and girls really like being complimented on their intelligence.
Similar to a sense of humor, it is not common for guys to pay homage to a girl’s intelligence. But a lot of smart girls are also quite hesitant to show their brains because it is intimidating to most guys. By giving such compliments, you show that you recognize and respect her intellect.
4. You are one of a kind
Or you’re not like anyone else. Or there’s no one like you in the world. Something stressing the fact that she is unique and special. While saying this, you must show the sincerity in your eyes and convey to her that she is truly irreplaceable.
5. Your new hair color looks really great on you!
One, this shows that you really pay attention to her if you were able to notice that she colored her hair. Oftentimes, men don’t notice these little details and it means the world to girls!
Or perhaps she just got a pedicure. Go ahead and take notice and compliment her on it. This clearly shows that you appreciate her efforts to look good for you!
6. You have a beautiful smile
This one is so simple and so direct but so effective. When you say this to a girl, it is almost 100% guaranteed to bring out one of those beautiful smiles right there and then.
And you better believe that you will see her smiling more often after giving her this compliment.
7. Did you paint/write/draw that? You’re really good!
If she shows you something that she does or makes that she is really proud of, you should compliment her on it. If you don’t really like it all that much, you should still compliment her if for nothing other than the effort and the passion that she has for her craft.
Of course, if you truly like it that would be better because the praise will come with much more sincerity.
8. I love spending time with you
This one is somewhat general and all-encompassing but it also says a lot. It implies that you are happy just being with her that it doesn’t really matter what you do, or if you don’t do anything at all.
It’s a very simple compliment but really very touching as well. Telling someone that you love spending time with them is like a tribute to their personality.
9. It’s impressive how far you’ve come in your career
Appreciating something that a woman has worked hard for will make her feel valued and recognized. It doesn’t always have to be her career. It could be school, or a hobby, a sport and so on. Let her know that you see her effort and that you find it inspiring.
What to Do if She Rejects Your Compliments
Let’s be honest, girls will not always be receptive to compliments, regardless of how sincere you are. There will be times that they will reject the compliment, or profusely deny what you are saying. Maybe it is because they are embarrassed, or even insecure.
Jen Kim stated in Psychology Today that maybe it is because this is what society has programmed them to do. In any case, there are many gracious ways to deal with such rejection.
Don’t take it personally
First of all, don’t take it personally. Chances are that it has nothing to do with you, especially if you delivered the compliment in a nice way, and if you just met.
Some girls will modestly refuse to take the compliment. If you praise her intelligence, she might say something like, no I’m really not that smart. Or if you tell her she looks beautiful, she might say, my nose is actually rather crooked.
Again, don’t take it personally. Some girls just are not comfortable hearing nice things about themselves.Some girls will just shrug off a compliment, or ignore it altogether.
If this happens, you can try striking a conversation with her about something else and quickly divert a possibly awkward situation. Don’t mull over the fact that she ignored your praises and instead focus on building a good conversation with her.
If for whatever reason she feels insulted or offended by your compliment, apologize right away. It doesn’t matter if you can’t see why she took offense. At the moment, the important thing is to say sorry that what you said made her feel bad.
If possible, you can ask her later on what made your statement offensive, for the sake of clarity and so that you won’t repeat the same mistake in the future.
It’s alright to try giving her another compliment after the first attempt was not met with approval. However, if she still rejects the second offering, take a hint and move on along. Don’t keep showering her with compliments if she is not receptive to them.
Now you have a better understanding of how to compliment a girl. So, the next time you meet a girl you hope to impress, you don’t have to be tongue-tied and let the opportunity pass you by! Instead put your new knowledge to use and go pursue that potential partner.