It's wise to proceed with caution when complimenting your boyfriend in the presence of friends. While he's sure to appreciate that you notice his good qualities, praise laid on too thick could embarrass him. Take group dynamics into account and concentrate on specifics to make sure your words have the intended effect.
Avoid Accidental Slights
Compliments can go awry when others notice that you are not also praising them, writes Susan Krauss Whitbourne, professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Psychology Today article, "9 Types of Compliments and Why They Work (or Not)." While your boyfriend's friends will expect your attention to be on him, you shouldn't attribute a group accomplishment exclusively to your boyfriend. Avoid this by focusing on the specific. Tell him you were stunned by his jump shot, but don't suggest he clinched the victory. Make sure to tell his teammates, "Good game!"
Steer clear of complimenting your boyfriend on his sensitivity or other qualities that could be perceived as less than masculine. Social pressure can discourage him from wanting to appear openly sensitive, according to Psychology Today contributor Deborah Ward in the article, "The Highly Sensitive Man." Reserve such words of praise for when it is just the two of you. In front of friends, focus on concrete accomplishments -- "Great job acing the math final!"
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