This article is a bro-down, so to speak, with my fellow gentlemen on the ever-changing concept of delivering a genuine compliment to a woman. Social media has done irreparable damage to how we approach this task. The same guys who thought yelling out a car window at a woman would get their attention (it never does) are now internet Casanovas leaving inappropriate comments on Facebook photos hoping for the same. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.
So, ladies, from here on out it is tips for men only, mmkay?
Alright guys, now that it’s just us – as we have all seen by now, social media has become the window into the average man’s attempt to get a woman’s attention. Whether it is overly-forward comments they leave on Facebook photos of women they’ve never met, or the new viral tumblr page that shows just how bad so many guys are at “flirting.”
Why do I say “average man”? Because an above-average gentleman who strives to be his best self (you), wouldn’t fall into newbie traps like this, would you? Here are five tips to make sure you don’t blend into the noise.
Drop the pet names (online).
Sometimes important lessons about what to do, come from what not to do. In this case, something you should definitely never do is use pet names on social media (unless this is your girlfriend we’re talking about).
I see countless men commenting things like “Wow you look beautiful baby” to women they’ve never met. Like. What? No. You stop that right now.
No matter what you say before the pet name, it will be completely void once you cross over the creepyness line. Leave that out.
There are seven billion people on the planet, each of whom is unique. If you are actually going to take the time to compliment someone, why would it be something generic like “you’re hot” or “gorgeous”? Unfortunately, some of these words are becoming watered down due to overuse.
If you are getting to know someone or are out on a date with them, hopefully you’re utilizing your time to get to know her and learning the great things that make her, her. These are the characteristics worth complimenting. Pay attention and you’ll never run out of conversation topics.
Make it specific.
Speaking of paying attention – the unique things you observe should be the very fuel of your compliments. “Uh, I like your dress” will only get you so far. To take the previous point one step further – take a moment and recognize that if you’re on a date or are speaking to someone who’s dressed nicely, she has put in effort just a few hours earlier to look the way she does.
If you are complimenting something about her appearance, make it something specific like how her eyes light up when she smiles or how you love it when she wears her hair that way.
Move past her appearance.
Everyone likes to feel attractive (men and women), but even more important than that are the things that make her tick. Her dreams, her passions, the way she treats others. In a world full of men who only pay attention to appearance, be the one who looks beyond that, into her heart. And then tell her what you see.
Does she make you excited about life? Do you love the way she is kind to everyone around you or the way she plays with her baby nephew? Her passion for animals? If you want to make a woman feel special, make sure she knows that you notice and appreciate who she is, not just what she looks like.
As the phrase goes – “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” This one is the most important because your tone and presence will transcend the actual words you say.
Compliments are not to be overused conversation fillers. They are, by nature, designed to make someone feel a certain way. To feel beautiful. To feel appreciated. To feel uniquely special. They are about emotion.
Compliments are best when said with a genuine smile. With eye contact, with a friendly touch on the arm. With a whisper in public that only the two of you will ever know about.
Think of these statements or actions as a bridge. They are a bridge connecting you and her. Your job is to build a sturdy bridge that passes your feelings across it. Make her feel how you feel about her, and not just hear the words you say.
Remember, relationships are not a science experiment or math equation. There is no “do this, and that will happen.” They are built off of emotion, appreciation, affection, and attraction. These things grip us at our core and pull us towards someone. No empty words thrown around on a Facebook photo will ever create that connection with someone.
In the immortal words of Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
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