Everyone wants some form of social acceptance, because everyone wants to feel loved!
When you genuinely compliment a person, you’re communicating;
- There is something unique or exceptional about that person.
- And, you find it admirable or appreciative enough to notice it and let that person know.
Sounds simple enough right? But let’s think about how powerful that is.
Ego and social are two needs that he went on to explain in his paper that can motivate us to take an action or give a reaction, to meet those needs. Without relying on Maslow’s theory of human motivation you can ask yourself these questions and arrive at the same conclusions.
The point is, we all need to feel (socially accepted) loved. So we look to our society for recognition and approval.
Forget people, companies, and brands are spending tons of money on marketing, to differentiate themselves from their competition. and the value that they are providing. Although, the ultimate goal over there is money!
People are doing just the same, except ‘our marketing’ is done through the clothes we buy, the cars we drive, the pictures we upload on social media, etc, for recognition and approval.
But receiving a compliment for everything we’re trying to show or everything we know we have, only satisfies our EGO! It doesn’t satisfy our need to be LOVED.
Love requires genuine human connection! Which is why people emotionally respond to a genuine compliment, while they only acknowledge a standard one.
Standard vs Genuine Compliments!
“You are a very understanding person” vs “You understand me so well!”
“You are a talented professional.” vs “I’ve never worked with someone so professional”
With respect to each statement, I’m saying the same thing. But the second versions of both statements are more personal and more unique.
I’m talking about how I feel. It’s personal to me and I am exposing that part to you, building TRUST.
I’m talking about a skill or a quality that you have, and by relating it to me, I’m sharing the unique effect you have on me, building an emotional response in you or affection.
The Rules of A Genuine Compliment
The compliments I have mentioned above, while genuine, are still not quite unique. You can go deeper, by focusing on a person’s personality, knowledge or skill!
These are characteristics a person develops over time with work and effort. Hence, acknowledge or complimenting on characteristics of an individual is always going to sound more GENUINE and will incite an emotional response!
Don’t focus too much on the physical attributes of a person. As opposed to personality, knowledge or skill, a person’s physical attributes are something he/she inherits from a parent or the result of having good genes. While the compliment will still be appreciated and acknowledged, it’s still something he/she didn’t have to work for and will not resonate as much as something he/she had to work for. Hence, it won’t incite an emotional response.
Thank you for reading. If you find this article to be of value, then go ahead and ‘share’ it within your network. If you like to personally get in touch with me then email me at [email protected]. To keep up with my posts and stay connected, follow me at