How to Compliment a Best Friend

Giving a compliment can build self-esteem in you and your friend.
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Compliments are simple, influential tools that can be used to build relationships. Offering a word of praise to a best friend shows that you have positively noticed a quality or characteristic that is specific to her. This honest and kind connection with your pal can alter the way you see both yourself and your friend.

1 Focusing on Your Friend

Complimenting your friend starts with focusing on her. The best way to become others-focused is to get into the habit of finding something good in the people around you, suggests Raj Raghunathan, Ph.D., a college professor and associate editor with the "Journal of Consumer Psychology." Gaining the ability to center our attention on the needs and desires of others is a skill that must be learned, as most people are naturally self-interested. Find something every day that you notice or appreciate about your friend, like her hair or the way she cares for others, and tell her.

2 Choosing the Right Verbage

Planning what you want to say makes it easier to give a word of encouragement to a friend. Thinking of the exact language you want to use before you give a compliment will help you to feel more confident and less likely to fumble with your words. You might say, "I love the way you always share your clothes with me" or "You are incredibly smart." Be specific about the affirmation you give to your best friend. "Your hair looks really nice" is a stronger encouragement than "You look great today."

3 Speaking With Sincerity

The way you present yourself when talking to your best friend affects how your compliment will be received. Because of the time you have spent together, she probably knows when you are being authentic. When you smile and are enthusiastic in giving a compliment, it lets the other person know you mean it, note clinical psychologists Fiona Michel and Anthea Fursland. When you offer genuine praise, your friend will notice your authenticity, which enhances her trust in you and can lead to deeper and far more interesting conversations.

4 Getting Ready to Share

Compliments can be used to describe someone's internal or external qualities. To prepare yourself to speak positive words to your best friend, make a list of things you like about her on the outside, like her distinctive laugh or expressive eyes. Then, generate another list of qualities that describe her character, such as her ability to help people in need or her love for rehabilitating stray dogs. Continue to add to this list often, and use it to share kind words with your friend.

Based in Florida, Courtney Newbery has worked in the mental health field for several years and holds a Master of Arts in counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in her home state.