Implement compliments in everyday conversation

By Brady Small | LTVN Reporter/Anchor

When was the last time you received a compliment?

It’s easy to recall for some people, but for others, it may be difficult. I believe that everyone should compliment people more, because … why not?

Compliments are rooted in courage. Therefore, when we give compliments, we know they could be received in a positive light or even reciprocated by the other person. Compliments are a nice gesture. However, we understand that those kind words could be received negatively as well, and a rude look or lack of acknowledgement could leave us feeling unappreciated or awkward.

There are only a couple of reasons why you shouldn’t compliment someone.

1. Fear of being awkward or finding ourselves in an uncomfortable and unwanted situation for both parties.

Coming across as awkward is a valid fear. But I can guarantee you that if you go up to someone and tell them something nice, more likely than not, they will appreciate it.

Any rational person would say thanks, be quick to excuse awkwardness and be welcoming to the compliment. It doesn’t matter if they give you a weird look and try to make fun of you. A compliment not being received well shouldn’t diminish your intentions, and a single response shouldn’t dictate your kind actions.

2. Fear of a compliment being interpreted in a romantic or flirtatious way.

Today, the repercussions of COVID-19 and the rise of social media in everyday life have resulted in less interpersonal interaction. Therefore, there is a stronger need for intentionality in everyday conversations and connections. There is also a greater reason to assume these gestures hold an underlying purpose like flirting.

If you are afraid of those implications, here is my suggestion: Go for the shoes.

Say something such as “I like your shoes. Those are sick!” This is by far my favorite way to platonically compliment someone because it doesn’t leave any room for unintentional interpretation.

If we manage to work giving compliments into our daily conversations with others, then the benefits of compliments will outweigh the detriments of the fear of awkwardness and the potential for an uncomfortable situation.

So in the end, I ask again: Why not?