Surely one can still say that? Compliments that have arrived in the year 2023

Picture of Sarah Parzer
Sarah Parzer
Kommunikation ist ihre Leidenschaft und ihr Beruf. Hört man ihre Stimme mal nicht durch das Büro schallen, ist sie vermutlich auf Reisen mit ihrem Campervan-Oldtimer Louis. Als Sternzeichen Krebs zieht es sie dazu so oft es geht ans Meer. Als Snackspertin ist es ihre Mission, die besten Pommes der Welt zu identifizieren – eine Aufgabe, die sie sehr ernst nimmt.

Compliments. Some people use them sparingly and only on special occasions; others use them generously and widely. A sincere compliment expresses appreciation and creates a positive atmosphere. But not all well-intentioned compliments go down so well with the recipient…

There are many reasons why compliments are important. Whether it is to motivate someone to do their best, to show appreciation, or simply to make another person feel good.

Since 2003, Compliments Day has been celebrated on 1 March in many countries around the world. The initiative came from Hans Poortvliet, a Dutch communications consultant. His idea was to create a day where people could give each other compliments to improve their mood and well-being.

Compliments Day is a great opportunity to strengthen our relationships and focus on the positive things each of us has to offer. The problem is that many people believe that compliments should only be about appearance. Not only is this a very superficial idea, but it can also make the person receiving the compliments less than happy to respond. Compliments based on appearance imply a black-and-white world. Thin people are beautiful, fat people are not. Women who dress femininely are real women, those who refuse to do so are out of place.

Characteristics of the body cannot be influenced. I was born with brown eyes and nothing about them can or could be influenced by me. In addition, no one can see inside other people and these well-intentioned compliments can often be a trigger.

Appreciative communication is the be-all and end-all of respectful interaction. Here are a few tips to help you give compliments that really make a difference.

Be specific

A great way to give compliments is to be specific. Instead of just saying, “You’re great,” you could say, “I admire your ability to stay calm in difficult situations. A specific compliment shows that you have really paid attention and thought about the person.

Focus on achievements

When you want to compliment someone, focus on their achievements. You might say, “I am impressed by your ability to complete tasks quickly and efficiently. Praise the effort someone has put in to achieve something, not just the result itself. As we all know, the journey is often the reward.

Emphasise the positive impact

When someone does something good, it often has a positive effect on others. Be sure to highlight these effects in your compliments. For example, you might say, “I am so grateful that you always take the time to listen to others. You are a great listener and you make the world around you a better place.

Focus on inner qualities

Avoid focusing on external features and instead focus on internal qualities. Instead of an awkward “You look nice today”, try “You have a wonderful personality and I admire your ability to always be kind and attentive”. Focus on who a person is rather than what they look like.


The most important thing when giving compliments is sincerity. When you compliment someone, make sure you mean it. People can often tell when compliments are superficial or insincere, and this can have the opposite effect of what you intended.

There are many ways to give compliments without focusing on appearances. By focusing on a person’s efforts, achievements, and positive impact, we can give compliments that are truly meaningful and valuable. A sincere compliment that speaks positively to the core of a person is always the right thing to do and can even make the person’s day.

It’s nice that you took the time to grow and learn something new. Have a great compliment day!

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