These days, it’s common to hear men complain that they “can’t” compliment women anymore, because it’s now considered socially unacceptable and inappropriate to do so. However, that’s not actually true. You just need to understand how to do it without being a creep.
No, you can’t simply walk up to any woman you want and say whatever you please about her body or looks anymore. But, contrary to popular belief, you can still compliment women and use those compliments as conversation starters. You just need to master the art of doing it properly. Here are some tips to keep in mind for doing exactly that.
1. Pay attention to context.
There’s one thing you need to understand about the differences between taking up space in the world as a man and doing it as a woman. When a man has reservations about talking to a woman he doesn’t know, he’s generally afraid of being laughed at. Women, on the other hand, are afraid of being physically harmed or even killed when it comes to talking to strange men.
That’s what makes context such an important consideration when approaching women you don’t know to compliment them or otherwise talk to them.
A woman sitting or simply existing alone in public is already on the defensive by default, so she’s not likely to appreciate being approached out of nowhere by a stranger – especially if it’s also nighttime. You’ll get better results if you already know her, if she’s sitting with other people, or if you’re in a setting that’s already about socializing (like a party or a club).
2. Be genuine and sincere.
People – women included – can smell a fake a mile away, so you stand a much better chance of having your compliment appreciated if you’re sincere. Don’t bother complimenting a woman because you think doing so is going to turn her on or make her more likely to sleep with you. She will see through that, and she won’t appreciate it.
Instead, save compliments for times when you really genuinely mean what you’re about to say. A sincere compliment humbly and honesty paid can be worth its weight in gold. But a woman will mistake one that’s even slightly insincere as an attempt to pursue some ulterior motive, even if that’s not really what you’re doing.
3. Compliment something other than appearance.
Most men drastically overestimate the extent to which women like to be complimented on their appearance, especially in online dating situations. That stunningly beautiful woman you just matched with hears how hot she is literally all day long and from every other guy she meets on her favorite apps and dating platforms. Hearing it again from you isn’t going to do anything to set you apart.
Most women on dating apps actually say they far prefer being complimented on other factors – like their sense of humor, interests, intelligence, or just about any quality they have that isn’t physical in nature. So if you really want her to appreciate your compliment and take it in the right spirit, take a closer look at her profile bio, pick out a detail that speaks to you, and focus on that instead.
4. Make sure your compliment doesn’t sound backhanded.
Everyone knows what it’s like to have someone comment on something about them in a way that sounds like a compliment on the surface but really isn’t underneath. Regardless of your gender, it makes you feel awful and can even feel just like a slap in the face under the wrong circumstances. And nothing about it makes anyone want to keep talking to that person.
You can avoid having this accidentally happen to you by not adding a qualifier to your compliment. For example, you should never tell a woman she’s super pretty “for a black girl” or for her age, size, profession, or any other personal quality she may have. Just tell her she’s pretty and leave it at that.
5. Be original.
Again, you really want to keep in mind that an exceptional woman who’s caught your attention and inspired you to try to compliment her has done the same with countless men before you. And the prettier, funnier, or more charismatic she is, the more likely it is that she’s heard all the usual compliments a time or two (or two hundred) before.
So be original and unique, and pay her the kind of compliment everyone else forgets about, especially if you already somewhat know her or have already interacted with her even a little. She’s heard “you’re smart,” “you’re nice,” and certainly “you’re pretty” ad nauseum. So tell her she’s hard-working, stylish, or has a terrific attitude about something specific. Show her you’ve actually been paying attention to her and have noticed what makes her special.
6. Don’t try too hard.
Another experience nearly everyone can relate to, male or female, is talking to someone who’s trying way too hard to kiss up to a person in an attempt to be liked. At best, it makes you feel secondhand embarrassment for the person, and nothing about it actually does make them seem likeable or worth talking to on any level. So definitely avoid doing that when attempting to compliment a women.
Don’t slather the flattery on too thickly, complimenting her profusely on her beauty followed by a million more comments on how cool or smart she is. Don’t cackle freakishly when she tells a joke just to make absolutely certain she knows you think she’s funny. All you’re going to do is convince her she’s way too good for you and that you aren’t worth her time.
Most men who complain that women don’t want to be complimented anymore and “won’t” give a man even a little of her time just don’t know what they’re doing. And they’re almost certainly making one or more of the above mistakes. Set yourself apart in the best possible way by making sure you don’t do the same! You’ll love the difference it makes.