How To Compliment A Girl: A Guide On What To Do And Where To Begin

Finding the right words to express your feelings to a female can be tricky for numerous reasons. Maybe this lady is a really important part of your life, and you want to be sure that your compliment is as meaningful as possible as a representation of her position in your life.

Or maybe this is someone who you hope will learn your true feelings through your compliments. Either way, the best compliments are intentional ones. And ones that are delivered with confidence and sincerity. So, if you are wondering how to compliment a girl, keep reading to learn more.

The nature of a compliment

Genuine compliments can stem from a variety of places. Sometimes we see a stranger in the park walking her dog and feel a compulsion to say something to the effect of “your dog is so cute!” While other compliments come from a more personal and intimate space.

In general, a compliment can be an expression of any of the following:

  • Love
  • Admiration
  • Support
  • Pride
  • Hope

This list is not all-inclusive; however, it is a good representation of some of the feelings that might be at the root of why we want to pay a woman a compliment.

Consider your motivations

Before you just start firing off one-liners or become known as the person who is constantly throwing out cheesy pick-up lines, consider your motivations for articulating your sentiments. 

Do you want to let someone in your life with whom you have an existing relationship know how significant your feelings are towards them? Or are you instead hoping to kickstart a relationship that does not yet exist? 

how to compliment a girl

Even though these compliments probably come to you naturally, you should really consider your motivations before delivering them because that will help you form appropriate words and sentences for the situation.

What are your expectations?

As you think about your motivations, you need to give some thought to your expectations as well. What are you hoping will come out of this? On many occasions, the answer to that question is probably ‘nothing,’ and that is perfectly fine. But what about the times when you want more?

Complimenting women when your expectations are for the pursuit of a romantic relationship is totally different from telling your sister she looks beautiful on her wedding day. You should also have a good amount of self-esteem built up to be able to handle a scenario where your expectations are potentially not met.

Consider your relationship with the recipient

Who is this woman? Or group of women? How do you know this person? These questions are going to dictate so much about your compliment strategy overall. If you already have a rapport built with this person, then things will likely take a more casual approach. But if this is a new female in your life, you will want to be sure that what you say and how you say it are in line with your manners, any boundaries she may have, and your intentions and expectations.


Giving props to someone you work with is incredible. Not only does it show that you have an investment and support for their contribution to the team, but it means that you are acknowledging that they are of value in a very specific way.

Since this will take place within a professional and likely formal setting, you need to pay attention to the words you use and the type of compliment itself. Even when you have the purest intentions, the last thing you want is to land yourself in hot water with human resources because you choose the wrong vocabulary.


There may not be tons of times when you feel pulled or pushed to pay a stranger a compliment, but it certainly happens! This can feel awesome as the recipient, or it can feel like an invasion of personal space. This is a time when you should certainly pay attention to the content of your message. Keep things simple and quick, and do not expect a discourse after the fact. You cannot count on a stranger to return to you the same sentiment. You are a stranger to them too, after all.

A good friend or family

These are the people who you spend time with often, so you probably pay them compliments without even noticing it, but what about the times when you want a little extra weight behind your feelings? The perfect compliment does not exist, but there is such a thing as a perfect one for a specific individual. You probably do not have to fear an awkward silence within this group of women after paying a compliment, so that should take a lot of the heat off.

Love interest

Arguably the most nerve-wracking category that you will have to consider in this situation is the one that includes someone that you have a romantic interest in. Maybe they know or have a clue of how you feel, and you want to solidify that. Or perhaps they have no idea, and you want to make an impactful impression. And in some cases, you have no clue what they have happening under the surface. 

The National Institute of Mental Health suggests that early family experience can shape later romantic relationships, so just be aware of the fact that you can’t possibly know everything about your love interest. Either way, you will probably feel uncomfortable. Just know that this is common, and work to push past it.

Things to remember

It might seem like a simple act, and in many ways, it is, but there are some things to remember and essential things to pay attention to so that your mission is successful.

Be respectful

The best compliments are the ones that do not leave anyone feeling offended, violated, or like they no longer want to interact with you. And unfortunately, believe it or not, that happens more than you may realize. 

Sexualized compliments or compliments that are heavily focused on their physical appearance, for example, are probably not appropriate in any dynamic outside of one with two people that are in an existing romantic entanglement. Specifically, when you compliment girls, you need to be aware of where the line of respect is and walk it intentionally.

Be genuine

Sincere compliments are going to take you way further than stock phrases that could apply to anyone. Women love to feel that they are seen, heard, and valued for what makes them who they are. Of course, something like ‘you are a great mom!’ is always nice to hear, but doesn’t ‘you do a great job of incorporating crafts into our children’s fun time’ seem much more targeted and thoughtful? That’s because it is.

Have smart timing

Sometimes a nice thought is going to pop into your head and just fly out of your mouth, and that is okay! But a truly great compliment is one that is delivered with smart timing. Cookie-cutter compliments are not specific to a person, time, or place and can honestly be overlooked by the recipient. However, a well-timed sentiment might be just what the woman of your focus needed to hear at the moment she hears it.

Be ready for anything, including rejection

It won’t matter how much time, thought, or attention you put into creating the best compliments; you might still face rejection. This will probably not happen with a female that you have a dynamic or rapport with. However, many women simply are uncomfortable receiving compliments to the point that when they do, they reject the person who delivered it. 

Hopefully, rejection does not occur in your situation, but you should give yourself a pep talk about the possibility of this happening before you open your mouth or bear your heart.

Do not overwhelm

It does not matter how amazing the compliments are. If they overwhelm the person to whom you are paying them to, then they basically negate themselves. This is where intention comes into play. 

how to compliment a girl

You yourself might be overwhelmed with positive emotions and feel compelled to tell a woman she is beautiful, has a beautiful smile, how much you love her personality, that she has such good taste, all at the same time, but especially if this woman is not expecting this out of you, that can be a lot to take in all at once.


Identify what specifically you want to compliment

You already know that general phrases are probably not going to be impressive, so now is the time to think about what specifically about this woman you want to honor. It might be helpful to create a list so that your thoughts can be organized. 

Especially if this is someone who might be a role model to you, if they have made that kind of impression on you, you likely hope that your words will do the same for them.

Offer to help

This is less obvious and perhaps non-traditional, but offering to help a woman with the thing about her that you admire can go a long way. For example, if this is a romantic interest and you admire her devotion to her faith, ask her if she would be comfortable sharing that piece of her life with you. 

It is one thing to say, ‘I love how devoted you are to your faith,’ but it is another to say, ‘Spending time with you practicing spirituality is one of my favorite parts of the week.’

Let your compliment happen naturally

Complimenting an important woman to you should be something that happens naturally, even if you have given it a lot of thought. Or at least the creation of the compliment should feel that way. Sometimes the no plan, plan is the best way to proceed, and you should allow yourself to be able to say how you feel when you feel it. If the moment feels right to you, then odds are, it’s right, and the compliment will occur naturally.


Many women will embrace you complimenting them, no matter the who, what, when, or where of it. So long as you do not have a negative ulterior motive, there is probably no such thing as a ‘bad compliment.’ This act of emotional generosity can boost not only their self-esteem but yours as well. 

It feels just as special to give one as it does to get one. Compliments are interesting because they can be both standard and specific, timed out, and impulsive, and there is no magic formula, only suggestions. Your words might be just what this girl needed to regain a sense of self, which is truly powerful. 

Do not discount the importance of backing up your words with actions also. At the same time, it is true and special that you can compliment a woman’s appearance. If you do not follow that up by spending time with her and getting to know her, she will likely associate those compliments with only her natural beauty and not her whole being.

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