My husband is a nerd for communications and leadership personal development books. He frequently tells me his favorite tidbits from what he read (or listened on on Audible) that day. Something he’s mentioned several times is the art of complimenting people and meaningful, unique compliments to give someone.
Based on the things I’ve personally heard people say and the number of times complements have come up in conversation with my husband, I decided to create a list of unique compliments! Make sure to stick around to the end for a free printable compliment cards and free compliments poster!
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How to give genuine compliments
Did you know that giving thoughtful compliments is good for you? They make the recipient happy and they also give you a boost!
Giving genuine compliments makes you look for the good, which develops your ability to see positive things and increases your happiness. (It’s a little bit like a gratitude practice in this way!)
Research indicates that people like being around others who make them feel happy, so honing your compliment skills can help you become closer with friends, family members, and coworkers. Because they’ll feel uplifted by being around you, they’ll also be in a better mood and more likely to pass appreciation on to someone else! A simple, genuine compliment has the power to “butterfly effect” so many people in a positive way.
Learning how to give genuine complements is key to compliment success.
As a society, we tend to feel awkward and self-conscious about compliments. If you tell someone “you have beautiful eyes,” they’ll probably feel awkward (and may even think you’re a weirdo!).
To give a unique compliment that leaves a lasting positive impression, go deep.
Look beyond the other person’s appearance and physical characteristics.
Instead, compliment a person’s actions, effort, or character traits. Telling someone the positive impact they had on your is also a great way to offer a genuine compliment.
If you’re speaking to someone you admire, telling them about the positive emotions watching or listening to them elicited from you can be impactful.
For example, instead of saying “That photo is so beautiful! You’re so talented!” you could says “That photo really spoke to me. I couldn’t stop looking at it!”
Or instead of “That song was so beautiful!” you might try “You sang/played that song with so much emotion. I couldn’t help smiling/crying/dancing in my seat.”
Most creators put a great deal of time and practice into their art and hearing over and over how “talented” they are can be frustrating because it seems to ignore their hard work. Telling them you appreciate their work can help you give a truly memorable compliment.
If you want to go even deeper, offer a unique compliment and then ask a question.
These are some examples of how to follow up a compliment with a question. Make sure to give complements that are authentic and suited to the situation!
It was so brave of you to speak up at the meeting. Were you nervous?
Training for that (run, bike ride, weightlifting competition, etc.) must have taken a lot of dedication. How did you stay focused?
You must have put in so much practice! How long have you been (painting, drawing, playing an instrument, etc.?
Vocalizing your appreciation is another good way to compliment others! Saying something as simple as “I appreciate that you washed the dishes” can help the other person feel noticed and, well, appreciated!
Another good strategy is complementing the little things. If you win a major award, get engaged, have a baby, etc., people are quick to congratulate you for your “achievement.” When’s the last time someone complimented or appreciated something smaller like how you always arrive to work on time or kept your cool when someone else was rude to you?
Unique compliments to give someone
Now let’s get to a list of meaningful, unique compliments that aren’t based on appearance!
Always make sure to use a compliment that actually makes sense for the situation and that you can say with honesty. Don’t just pick something random off the list and say it to someone! These ideas for compliments are to get your creative juices flowing – tweak them and make them your own!
You are enough.
You are a great parent.
You’re doing a great job.
Your enthusiasm is contagious!
Your smile is so genuine.
You’re an inspiration.
Our (workplace, family, club, etc.) is a better place because of you.
You are always so helpful.
You are a rainbow the cloud that was my day until now!
My life is richer because I know you.
You make the world a happier place.
Your dedication is inspiring.
That color is so perfect on you.
I appreciate how kind you are.
Your outlook on life is inspirational.
You are the medicine the world needs
You are a gift.
You’re the reason someone is smiling today.
Being around you is uplifting.
You’re so authentic.
You bring out the best in other people.
You’re a great listener – thank you.
It’s really cool how you’re always learning and trying new things.
You are making a difference.
You have more of an impact than you realize.
You deserve more appreciation than you get – thank you.
You’re not afraid to be yourself and it’s awesome!
If more people were like you, the world would be a better place.
By being yourself, you help other people be their authentic selves, too.
I love the way you think.
Your soul is beautiful.
You help others feel at peace.
You always see the good in people.
You just made my day.
You are brave.
I admire your dedication.
I appreciate how always bring a different perspective to the situation.
Your creativity is inspirational.
You are trustworthy.
I love your optimism.
You challenge me to expand my perspective.
Thank you for helping holding me accountable.
I appreciate that you take responsibility instead of placing blame. It’s very inspirational.
You’re always there for me.
I know I can depend on you.
You’re so good at helping others be their best selves.
You always know the right thing to say.
Your smile lights up the room.
You have the kindest eyes.
Free printable compliment cards and take a compliment poster
Since sharing compliments is what this post is all about, I put together a couple free printables to help you spread appreciation!
The first printable is a set of compliment cards. Just print them, cut them out, and enjoy spreading smiles! I always use this paper trimmer because the wire cutting guide makes it easy to see exactly where you’ll cut. For best results, make sure to print on a sturdy white cardstock. Color in the backgrounds or leave them as-is for someone else to color later!
How to use your printable compliment cards:
- Use them as lunchbox notes for your children or partner.
- Leave them on the break table at work.
- Ask a local business to put a stack of them on the counter.
- Leave one or two on the table whenever you eat out.
- Go to the book store and place a card in a few different books or journals. I recently came across a card in a guided journal at a bookstore and it was so neat!
The second printable is a compliment poster. Print and cut the vertical lines along the bottom to make it easy for someone to take a complement!
Ideas for where to hang a take a compliment poster:
- On your fridge (at home or work).
- In your office or classroom.
- At your local coffee shop.
- At the library or local grocery store.
- At the park – tape it to a light post or on the back of a sign!
- At a bus stop.
- In a phone booth (yes, they do still exist!)
Like all printables here on The Artisan Life, the complement cards and poster live in the members resource library. If you already have the password, head on over and log in!
If you’re not a member yet, join for immediate access to these printables and everything else in the resource library using the box below:
More resources for conscious living
If you want to create a happier, more vibrant life, you’ve come to the right place!
These free self-care ideas are another great place to get started.
Practicing gratitude is so important for living your best life. I know it can be easy to feel like you’re too busy to add anything else to your daily to-do list. These gratitude journals for busy moms can help! They’re approachable ways to start your gratitude practice.
If you’ve tried to start a gratitude practice in the past but couldn’t quite stick with it, learn how to finally feel gratitude with a 30 day gratitude challenge!
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Thank you and I hope to see you again soon!
Natasha Núńez is a former classroom teacher with a Masters of the Arts in Teaching. She also is a registered yoga teacher & holds a certificate in natural skincare formulation from the School of Natural Skincare. She shares her passion for education, positive parenting, free printables, and recipes for DIY bath & home products. Learn more about Natasha and where she’s been featured.