Too often I forget to do it. But when I’m pleased or impressed by someone, I need to make a point to write them a note. Some people are embarrassed by strong face-to-face compliments. After all, if a compliment isn’t heartfelt, it may seem mocking instead. But if you think they will be uncomfortable, you can always send your compliments about them to a third party. And if you preface your compliment with “I think you’re…” or “I’ve always liked how…,” it may be easier to accept. After all, they may say, you have a right to your opinion. But secretly, everyone likes specific praise.
Here are 50 compliments, so that when you say something good about someone else, you can say it more precisely.
- accomplished – for someone who has not only accomplished many things, but has accomplished them skillfully and with flair.
- admirable – worthy of admiration, someone who should be looked up to.
- adorable – for someone, often a child, who is cute and inspires affection and fondness, who seems worthy of love. Originally, worthy of worship, but rarely used in that sense.
- affable – for someone is friendly and a good conversationalist; easy to talk to, courteous and gracious.
- agreeable – for someone whose personality is suitable and pleasing to you. If they disagree with your ideas, they will do it tactfully and pleasantly.
- alluring – so attractive they are like a lure, tempting and enticing. Not a compliment to be given after a business lunch.
- amiable – pleasant and likable, kind and kind-hearted, sweet and gracious; literally “friendable,” since it comes from the French and Latin words for “friend,” which comes from the word for “love.”
- amusing – for someone who makes you laugh, though the word can easily sound condescending or patronizing.
- beautiful – for someone who is physically attractive (usually a woman is beautiful, a man is handsome), but can also describe aspects of a person: a beautiful spirit, a beautiful mind.
- bright – clever and intelligent, a quick learner. The word has a positive connotation: someone with a bright mind makes for pleasant company, which can’t be said for a smarty-pants or a know-it-all.
- charming – for someone with an attractive personality, as if they possess a magical charm that makes them likable.
- cheerful – optimistic and happy, whose pleasant attitude is either contagious or annoying (some people don’t want to be cheered up).
- commendable – worthy of commendation, praise, admiration and recognition.
- congenial – for someone with whom others enjoy spending time, who is sociable, affable, and fits in well.
- convivial – merry and cheerful, as at a community feast, which is the meaning of the Latin combination of “together” and “live.”
- cordial – warm, sincere, and affectionate. The Latin root means “of the heart.”
- diplomatic – tactful and courteous, who knows how to make peace and soothe offenses, like a good diplomat or ambassador.
- distinguished – celebrated for their accomplishments, who stands out above the crowd.
- elegant – graceful and refined, precise and restrained in style.
- eminent – for someone who stands out as remarkable and noteworthy in their field. Not to be confused with imminent.
- enchanting – for someone with an attractive personality, who delights others with their charm.
- engaging – interesting and appealing, who makes others want to be involved with him or her.
- enthusiastic – eager, even excited; fervent and zealous. Originally a religious term among the ancient Greeks.
- estimable – worthy of admiration and respect. You would get an idea of its meaning if you misspelled and mispronounced it as “esteemable.”
- fun – entertaining, amusing, and enjoyable. A compliment for those who help others laugh, not a compliment for those who are laughed at.
- genial – cheerful and friendly, from the Latin for “festive.” The word congenial adds the Latin prefix for “with.”
- gracious – for someone who doesn’t embarrass, who is always tactful, kind, and warmly courteous.
- graceful – for someone who isn’t embarrassed, who is elegant and natural.
- handsome – good-looking: usually an attractive man, but sometimes a striking and impressive woman.
- honorable – worthy of honor and respect, or who is honest and principled.
- inspiring – encouraging and energizing. Not as sentimental as the word inspirational so it’s more useful as a compliment.
- jolly – merry and cheerful. Famously used to describe Santa Claus.
- jovial – good-humored and outgoing, traditionally influenced by the planet Jupiter.
- kindly – gentle and affectionate, considerate and warm-hearted. Typical of grandparents.
- laudable – commendable and praiseworthy, someone who should be extolled and applauded.
- likable – easy to like, personable, endearing.
- masterful – skillful and proficient, a master of their craft, or sometimes a master of other people.
- pleasant – agreeable, pleasing, personable. One of the most general and innocuous words in this list.
- praiseworthy – commendable, admirable, meritorious.
- refined – cultured, elegant, polished, not vulgar, sometimes prissy.
- refreshing – invigorating, stimulating, vitalizing, pleasantly different.
- remarkable – notable, amazing, extraordinary. Worth writing down.
- reputable – respectable, well-regarded, with a good reputation. A reputable merchant will not cheat you, and others can confirm that fact.
- skillful – proficient, adept, talented, able, practiced.
- smart – clever, intelligent, shrewd, cultivated. An elegant person may be a smart dresser.
- solid – reliable, substantial, dependable. Solid people can be counted on, like a solid floor.
- sweet – kind, pleasant, thoughtful, not sour or bitter. A word much more common used by women.
- sympathetic – compassionate, friendly, especially when you’re troubled. From the Greek for “suffering together.”
- thoughtful – considerate, caring, attentive, solicitous. Because a thoughtful person thinks about you, they help you.
- worthy – deserving, having worth, principled, deserving, reputable.
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Original post: List of 50 Compliments and Nice Things to Say!
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