Great Compliments For Everyone in Your Life

By   

View as:

group of mature friends socializing in backyard together
Photo credit: monkeybusinessimages/istockphoto

Cultivating kindness and compassion seems like an ever-growing need, and giving compliments can actually help you feel better and happier about yourself. What's more, giving a compliment costs absolutely nothing. It's not a one-size-fits-all proposition, though, and different people in your life need different kinds of compliments. From clients and colleagues at work to your teenage children and extended family, there are many simple ways to give genuine affirmations.
middle-aged woman shaking hand of senior woman at her front door
Photo credit: ebstock/istockphoto

Compliment their mobility, at whatever level. Acknowledging and encouraging their own efforts to be healthy and strong is a productive way to make them feel good about themselves.
mother and toddler playing together
Photo credit: AntonioGuillem/istockphoto

Giving a compliment to a young child on their choices -- such as their choice of food, a color, or even their choice of words -- is a way to boost confidence. Superficial compliments -- regarding clothes or appearances -- might inflate their egos, which tend to be big enough as is.
school counselor talks with student
Photo credit: Steve Debenport/istockphoto

Teens are notoriously hard to compliment, as they are stuck in the turbulence of adolescence. A positive note about their efforts and actions, such as being nice to others or taking their schoolwork seriously, is likely to boost their sense of self-worth.
mother and daughter meeting with male teacher
Photo credit: monkeybusinessimages/istockphoto

Young adults often take themselves too seriously, forgetting that they are indeed young. Pay them a compliment that focuses on their childlike spirit or encourages them to let loose and have fun, for example: "You have such a fun, spirited laugh," or "I love the way you sing karaoke."
father and son laughing on a bench
Photo credit: aldomurillo/istockphoto

Parents have a complex view of their children, at once seeing all the good and the bad. The most important way to compliment your children is genuinely praising them for something that really does make them the unique person they are.
adult daughter embracing smiling senior mother sitting on sofa
Photo credit: wundervisuals/istockphoto

Parents are special figures in most people's lives, and too often are not praised for their massive efforts. As long as it's genuine, complimenting an attribute of their parenting style is a lovely gesture of kindness. Examples might be: "The way you taught me to manage money has really helped me in life," or "I love your cooking."
two brothers hugging
Photo credit: Cecilie_Arcurs/istockphoto

Even siblings who get along well have a tinge of competition between them, which is only natural. Make your sibling feel great by paying them a compliment that acknowledges something they do really well, for example: "Your holiday gifts were really great this year," or "The vacation you planned was a dream."
multi-ethnic extended family preparing meal in kitchen
Photo credit: fstop123/istockphoto

Oftentimes extended family is visited only a few times throughout the year, or maybe just once every few years. A nice compliment to give is a mention of how much you appreciate them making the time to see you, whether as hosts or guests.
mature female friends enjoying outdoor meal in backyard
Photo credit: monkeybusinessimages/istockphoto

Old friends are very special and worth keeping close in your life. Compliments that bring up the nostalgic past keep the bond alive and healthy, reminding both of you why you became friends in the first place and why the relationship has endured.
two women complimenting each other while holding hands
Photo credit: laflor/istockphoto

New friends can be tricky to compliment, just like a new romantic partner; the goal is not to sound too enthusiastic, but instead genuinely enthusiastic. Something that lets them know you admire them is a way to strengthen a bond, perhaps along the lines of: "The way you balance work and personal life is inspiring," or "I admire how much time you spend with your family."
group of multi ethnic executives discussing during a meeting
Photo credit: jacoblund/istockphoto

In an effort to have a respectful and even fun working environment, it's good to let your colleagues know you appreciate them. Keep compliments confined to work-related topics, ranging from the work they do to how clean and neat they keep their desks.
two businesswomen using laptop computer in office meeting
Photo credit: monkeybusinessimages/istockphoto

Giving compliments to a boss is a delicate move as it's important not to sound like a suck-up. Opt for something meaningful and work-related, rather than superficial. For example: "The happy hour you put together really boosted morale," rather than "What a great suit!"
coworkers sitting in office, talking to each other
Photo credit: Tassii/istockphoto

It's equally important, if not more so, to compliment your team when you are the boss. Complimenting people individually for work they did always comes off as more sincere, and like any work-related compliments, keep it to the professional realm.
man talking to woman in wheelchair outside
Photo credit: Antonio_Diaz/istockphoto

Offering kind words to strangers is a quick way to boost your own mood and the mood of someone else, a true win-win. Since you don't have an in-depth knowledge of the person, compliment them on something you can see, like an act of kindness they just did, or an item of clothing they have on that you particularly like.
middle-aged couple hugging outside
Photo credit: Ridofranz/istockphoto

Your life partner, the one who stands by your side through good and bad, is most deserving of compliments on a regular basis. Look for little things that might regularly be taken for granted, such as, "You are so thoughtful to always put the toilet seat down," or "I love that you always take the time to make yourself look good before we go out."
two neighbors shaking hands and talking to each other
Photo credit: Koldunova_Anna/istockphoto

Compliments aren't just for people you like. In fact, it might be most beneficial to compliment those you actively dislike. Find things that you genuinely like about the person, even if it's the only thing. For example, maybe you really like the person's hair style, or their ability to always choose the best wine on the list.
man waving to his woman next-door neighbor
Photo credit: inhauscreative/istockphoto

Most people can tell when someone doesn't like them, and offering false or superficial compliments will actually make the situation more tense. Offering a genuine compliment that acknowledges something they do well will foster a respectful relationship, if nothing else. Look for things that really make the person shine, for example their tenacity at work, or their cupcake-making skills.
happy woman walking outside
Photo credit: stock-eye/istockphoto

These days, people have no problem being overly critical of themselves, while often ignoring many positive attributes. Compliment yourself on things you do well, from making a delicious breakfast to finding the time to do something special for friends and family. Self-praise is important.

Cheapism.com participates in affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product through a link on our site. This helps support our work and does not influence editorial content.