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COMPLIMENTS UNLEASHED

You're eying that gorgeous girl in the corner of the club. You've watched her moves on the dance floor and really want to tell her how great she looks … and in the process ask for her number. Should you just go up to her and bite the bullet? "Hey, I just wanted to tell you how hot you looked out there."

The answer to this is MAYBE.

Compliments are amazing tools. They can spark a romance and nurture relationships through the hardest of times. All of us love to receive praise when we do things right, or feel that someone noticed how much care we put into our appearance. Compliments make both the giver and receiver feel good. And for some strange reason, compliments obey the law of karma: the more compliments you give away, the more compliments you are likely to get in return.

However, unless you know how to give compliments, your thoughtful comment can backfire. So many men use generic comments to try and pick up women that many women no longer respond to them; in fact, a compliment can actually make them suspicious! So here's the low-down on exactly what compliments work and what don't.

ACCEPTING COMPLIMENTS

It may be strange to begin a chapter on giving compliments with accepting compliments, but unless you truly know how to accept a compliment, you may not know how best to give one.

So many people, men and women alike, have a hard time accepting compliments. For example, how often have you found yourself saying one of the following when someone compliments you on something?

  • "It's nothing."
  • "Oh, yeah, right."
  • "Whatever."

By saying something like this, you in effect throw the compliment back into the giver's face. You basically tell them that their compliment was invalid, because really they don't have any reason for it. That's pretty insulting!

The best thing you can learn to do is smile and say two simple words: "Thank you."

Simple as that.

COMPLIMENTING A STRANGER

In the dating scene, giving and receiving compliments is not as easy as giving and receiving compliments in everyday life. That's because singles are likely to attribute ulterior motives to compliments. How many times has someone given you a compliment and you've thought

• "Is that person trying to hit on me?"
• "Yuck, I'm not interested in her, so I don't want to know she's been looking at me."
• "What does she really mean when she says she likes my watch? Is she a gold-digger?"

The fact is that many singles do use compliments as tools to get someone to notice them. Don't use compliments to try and make a woman like you. Women can see through flattery quicker than you'd expect. It is crucial that every compliment you give is sincere, expressed simply, and without strings.

Never go over the top with compliments. Use plain, unadorned language, and don't go on about it. Stick to one simple observation that's no longer than one sentence, and don't make any assumptions. Some women dislike compliments from strangers because they think, "You don't even know who I am." Make sure that your compliment doesn't assume anything; for example, don't tell her she's a nice person if you haven't even had a conversation with her yet.

Never expect her to say anything back. Give a compliment like a free gift: it makes you feel better for having given it, and she doesn't have to do anything but accept it. If a woman doesn't seem to be interested in pursuing a conversation after you've paid her a compliment, then give her a smile and walk away.

Now, how often have you seen this scenario? A man walks up to a woman and gives her a sincere compliment, but instead of reacting she just stands there staring dumbly at him.

Classy guys don't make things awkward by hanging around. They give her a smile and walk away. It could just be that she wasn't used to getting compliments. Usually, the woman will turn to her friends and turn red as they burst out laughing. She'll probably feel a little embarrassed, but also proud. Getting complimented in front of her friends is even better than getting complimented in private, because it satisfies a woman's need to show off.

And now that she knows that he finds her attractive, I can promise you that that girl will be thinking about that guy all night. She'll wonder why he picked her out, whether or not he does this all the time, and whether he's her type. Even if he doesn't approach her again, she will feel happy inside as a result of the compliment.

That's the way compliments should be used, and it's a powerful technique in social situations. Take a woman off guard, be brief with your compliment, and maintain eye contact while smiling genuinely. Then accept her thank you and exit gracefully.

When you've given a woman a compliment, she immediately feels sexy, more womanly, more like the man-catcher she dreams of being. Best of all, when you depart after giving her the compliment, you leave it up to her to decide what the encounter meant. This makes her feel more in control and will give her time to think about you and whether she'd like to get to know you better. If you catch her giving you lingering glances or smiles, you know that it's thumbs up to approach her again!

COMPLIMENTING A DATE

When it comes to a date, you have a little more freedom with the frequency and kinds of compliments you can give. The purpose of compliments on the first date is to show your date why you respect and admire her. Unfortunately, many men give their date compliments indiscriminately to get her to like them even better or to hasten the progress to the bedroom (e.g., "My, you've got great skin … can I touch?" ).

If you are going to be extremely irresistible to women, you need to realize when compliments sabotage and when they entice a woman. Giving a compliment can sabotage you when…

  • …it's generic. "You're soooo good-looking, other guys must be all over you."
  • …it sounds like flattery. "I've never met anyone like you before."
  • …it displays your own insecurity. "I can't believe that you'd go out with someone like me."
  • …it's obviously a lead-up to something else. "Nice mouth. Wanna try it out on me?"
  • …it's obviously mean to boost her ego. "You're the best looking woman in this room."
  • …it makes you sound like a gold digger. "You're a lawyer? You're kidding! So how much do you make?"
  • You may have given these kinds of compliments often in the past, and if neither of you are taking the compliments seriously, they can be fun to give.

    However, real dating masters don't overdo it on the compliments. Why? First of all, even if you don't have an extensive dating history, you want her to believe that you've dated lots of top-quality women. Just because she asked you out doesn't mean that she's the one. A first date is your opportunity to evaluate her and decide whether or not she meets your standards. If you give her compliment after compliment, she's going to think that she doesn't have to prove herself to you at all, and her estimation of you will go down as a result.

    Second, compliments that are worth something are compliments that are earned. If you don't know her very well and are handing compliments out like candy, they'll soon have no impact on her at all. Let's take an example. Remember that terribly critical teacher you had in school? Chances are that when that teacher gave you a compliment, no matter how terse, you felt incredibly satisfied and happy. Much more so, no doubt, than when one of your other positive, caring teachers gave you a compliment … just like she gave everyone else compliments.

    A good rule of thumb is to give every first date at least one compliment, but never more than three. Your compliment should be specific and touch on something that is unique and admirable about your date. You may admire her taste in music, an unusual accessory, or her knowledge of wines.

    COMPLIMENTING A GIRLFRIEND

    Once you're in an established relationship, give compliments frequently. The point of compliments in an established relationship is to show your girlfriend that you don't take her for granted and that you continue to appreciate all the wonderful things she is and does. Remember that just because she's your girlfriend doesn't mean that other men aren't eying her. The best prevention for straying is to make your girlfriend feel so appreciated and valued by you that she knows she's got center stage in your heart.

    The best way to compliment a woman is directly. Women flourish when they are frequently told how beautiful they are, or compared to a movie star. Some guys try to avoid complimenting women directly, thinking that it gives away some of their power. However, once you're in a committed relationship, that line of thinking needs to be thrown out the window. A relationship is about both of you making one another feel great, and the best way to make a woman feel great is to compliment her honestly and frequently.

    Ultimately, respect and admire a girl as a person … regardless of her level of interest in you. Women love to be admired, and, even if they're not initially interested in you, they'll feel flattered by knowing they have a fan.

     

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