One of our missions at Current Boutique is to empower women in their personal and professional lives. We want women to feel beautiful on the inside and out by wearing gorgeous fashion pieces and a confident smile. I recently posted an article about how positive self-talk makes you prettier since speaking to yourself with beautiful language makes you more confident and radiant. Now we’re taking it one step further and extending that positive self-talk to the people around us as well. What happens when we lift other women up through compliments, praise, and outward positivity?
Research shows that both receiving and giving a compliment is healthy. Receiving a compliment can enhance performance, build confidence, engender trust between people, spark creativity, and even increase intelligence through memory and motivation. When we receive sincere praise, the same areas of our brain are activated as when we receive money or romantic attention (ventral striatum and ventral medial prefrontal cortex).
Praise and compliments also release dopamine, the happy hormone, in both the recipient and the giver of the compliment. That means both parties feel good, and their bond strengthens through those feel-good chemicals. Not only does giving compliments make your social interactions more enjoyable, but it also makes the giver of the compliments happier, smarter, and more confident. Some of the positive effects of giving compliments include:
- You’ll feel happier because you’re having a positive impact on another person. In turn, when you’re happier, you’ll look and feel better.
- You’ll be more confident in your social interactions.
- You’ll build greater trust with those around you.
- You’ll grow by learning quick practical thinking in order to compliment someone on the spot.
- You will become a ray of sunshine to those around you.
When you compliment someone genuinely, both participants feel better. This creates a positive feedback loop for everyone. In fact, the recipient might feel so good that they’ll go on to give more compliments to others, creating a ripple effect of positivity and empowerment. Spread happiness, it’ll make you happier too. (And happiness is the sexiest thing you can wear!)
Here are some tips about how to give compliments in a way that engenders this positivity and confidence, so you can be an even more radiant ray of light to those around you.
Customize how you compliment others.
Whether you’re complimenting a friend, family member, or stranger, you want the compliment to be personal and genuine. You don’t want to just have a set of compliments you can use for anyone and everyone. Try to be as specific as possible when complimenting. “You’re great at your job” doesn’t feel as potent as “I love how you handle the boardroom with such grace.” Or “I like your shirt” isn’t as meaningful as “I love your band tee! I’m a huge fan of Queen too!”
Be genuine and authentic with your compliments. Don’t say something you don’t truly mean just because you feel like you should. Those positive impacts mentioned above won’t happen if the compliment is fake. The recipient will know you don’t mean it, and you won’t feel good about giving an unreal compliment. Only say something when you have something positive to add to the conversation.
Compliment their style.
People like compliments on their appearance, but they love compliments on their style. We don’t have any choice over what color our eyes are or how strong our jawline is—but we do have control over our fashion sense and style. So, when you compliment someone’s style, you’re complimenting their looks and personality together!
Have you ever noticed that women often respond to style compliments by sharing where they purchased that item? That’s because compliments make us feel more bonded to the other person, so we want to share our fun finds with them! So, if someone says, “You look striking in that dress!” … Feel free to respond with, “Thanks, I got it at Current Boutique!” You’ll build yet another layer of trust and rapport.
Use unique words.
People tend to use the same words in compliments, like “beautiful” or “cute” or “smart.” your compliment will mean more if you use unique words that people don’t often hear. It will stand out in their mind and feel more thoughtful and meaningful. I love this list of 86 uncommon synonyms for chronically overused compliments to help choose your praising language more purposefully.
(Just don’t use words that seem a little too over the top or words that aren’t in your regular vocabulary, since they won’t feel sincere. Be unique but keep it genuine too.)
Compliment how a person makes you feel.
If someone is a happy and positive person, chances are that they would love being complimented on that part of their personality! Compliment their positivity and it will encourage them to keep being positive. Some examples include:
- Your smile/laugh is contagious.
- You light up every room.
- You’re like a ray of sunshine.
- You bring out the best in those around you.
- You always know how to make me feel good.
But it’s not just about happiness and joy, though. If someone makes you feel calm, relaxed, silly, introspective, smart, curious, or another positive emotion, tell them! For the recipient, knowing that they have that kind of impact on you can be particularly rewarding; for the giver, it helps you recognize and acknowledge your personal connections even further. Some examples of these kinds of compliments can include:
- You are so charming that you make me feel more social too!
- How are you always so strong, even in tough times?
- I love the way your brain works.
- You’re the bravest person I know.
- You’re an incredible listener and always make me feel heard.
- Your kindness makes me want to be better.
- You're so athletic.
- I love how thoughtful you were when you did (specific action).
- You inspire me to be more (insert adjective).
Compliment their accomplishments.
Do you ever feel like your accomplishments go unnoticed or unappreciated? We all want to celebrate our accomplishments, no matter how big or small they might be. If you can be the person who wants to celebrate someone else’s accomplishments, they will love you for it! They’ll bond with you and truly appreciate your care for them. Plus, when you celebrate others’ achievements, karma will return the favor with your own accomplishments and happiness too!
We are a female-run business, so we understand how hard it can be for working moms, entrepreneurs, and others to feel confident in their day-to-day life. When you get complimented on your accomplishments, it feels like someone is recognizing all that hard work, and it makes you feel special. If you can provide that kindness to others, you will make their day, week, month, or maybe even their year!
Just say thank you.
If someone did something for you or your community, a little thank you and praise for the job can go a long way. A written thank you note, a warm hug, or just a few genuine words will show how much you appreciate that person. Get some tips on writing a thoughtful thank you note here.
Spread the happiness.
Some more compliments to try:
- I appreciate you.
- You are enough.
- You mean so much to me.
- You’re one of a kind.
- You’re not afraid to be yourself, and I love that confidence.
After you give these compliments, add a “because” statement at the end and explain why they make you feel that way! Compliments mean even more when there’s a specific purpose and meaning behind them.
When you compliment others, both you and the recipient will feel happier and more confident. It will make you see the good in others and in yourself, and you’ll be ready to take on the world. When you’re confident on the inside, wearing anything from Current Boutique will make you look just as gorgeous as you feel! Let’s go share the happiness with others!
I can live for two months on a good compliment. – Mark Twain