see also encouragement

If people did not compliment
one another there
would be little society.

Marquis De Vauvenargues

Nothing makes people so worthy of compliments as receiving them.  One is more delightful for being told one is delightful--just as one is more angry for being told one is angry.

Katherine F. Gerould


The other day I was in the grocery store and witnessed an incredible display of patience.  The checkout clerk had just been chewed out by an angry customer, clearly without good cause.  Rather than being reactive, the clerk defused the anger by remaining calm.  When it was my turn to pay for my groceries I said to her, “I’m so impressed at the way you handled that customer.”  She looked me right in the eye and said, “Thank you, sir.  Do you know you are the first person ever to give me a compliment in this store?”  It took less than two seconds to let her know, yet it was a highlight of her day, and of mine.

Richard Carlson


There is no effect more disproportionate to its cause than the happiness bestowed by a small compliment.

Robert Brault


Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

Leo Buscaglia


The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when
one asked what I thought, and attended to my answer.

Henry David Thoreau


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Some folks pay a compliment like they expect a receipt for it.

Kin Hubbard

A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil.

Victor Hugo

If you can't get a compliment any other way,
pay yourself one.

Mark Twain

A compliment is verbal sunshine.

Robert Orben


If you want to win friends, make it a point to remember them.
If you remember my name, you pay me a subtle compliment;
you indicate that I have made an impression on you. 
Remember my name and you add to my feeling of importance.

Dale Carnegie


I will be generous with my love today.  I will sprinkle compliments
and uplifting words everywhere I go.  I will do this knowing that
my words are like seeds and when they fall on fertile soil, a
reflection of those seeds will grow into something greater.

Steve Maraboli
Life, the Truth, and Being Free


There is a sad tendency in our world today
for persons to cut one another down.  Did you
ever realize that it does not take very much
in the way of brainpower to make remarks that
may wound another?  Try the opposite of that.
Try handing out compliments.

Gordon B. Hinckley

The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions--
the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or smile,
a kind look, a heart-felt compliment, and the countless
infinitesimals of pleasurable and genial feeling.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Those who fish for compliments can expect to be handed a line.

Ivern Ball


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Praise is warming and desirable . . . what the human race lives on
like bread.  But praise is an earned thing.  It has to be deserved
like an honorary degree or a hug from a child.
A compliment is manna, a free gift.

Phyllis McGinley

If compliments were food, I'd have starved to death 28 years ago.

Erma Bombeck


Fish for no compliments; they are generally caught in shallow water.

D. Smith


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Insults should be written in sand, compliments should be carved in stone.

Arab proverb

The best compliment to a child or a friend is the feeling you give them
that they have been set free to make their own inquiries, to come
to conclusions that are right for them, whether or not
they coincide with your own.

Alistair Cooke


Compliments cost nothing, yet many pay dear for them.

Thomas Fuller

Always take a compliment, Caroline.  Always take it for the way it was
intended.  You girls are always so quick to twist what others say.
Simply say thank you and move on.

Alice Clayton

I don't like compliments and I don't see why a man should think
he is pleasing a woman enormously when he says to her
a whole heap of things that he doesn't mean.

Oscar Wilde
Lady Windermere's Fan


Sincere compliments cost nothing and can accomplish so much.
In ANY relationship, they are the applause that refreshes.

Steve Goodier
Prescription for Peace

Compliments are little gifts of love.  They are not asked for or demanded.
They tell a person they are worthy of notice.  They are powerful gifts.  But
compliments work only if they are sincere reflections of what we think and
if they are given freely and not coerced.  Compliments backfire if they are
not genuine.  And faux flattery is usually highly transparent.  A false
compliment makes the speaker untrustworthy; it raises suspicions
about motives.  And that can undermine a whole relationship.

Hara Estroff Marano

When someone pays me a compliment, it's always so unexpected that it
puts a bounce in my step.  And although I am no Dr. Drew, I know that
when we're nice to others, they're usually nice back.  When we pay a
compliment to someone, we feel better about ourselves by making
another person feel better about him- or herself.  And when
we accept a compliment gracefully, it works the same way.

Lisa Grotts