The Secret to Giving Meaningful Compliments

Last week, I was at a party with an old friend of mine: a photographer who’s always traveling, charming everyone he meets, and having adventurous sexual encounters with women from all over the world.

My photographer friend had just spent a weekend going on romantic adventures, all over Spain, with a model he’d been shooting. What I loved about his telling of this story was that when he described this woman, he spoke passionately about character : she was adventurous, she had an interesting past, she was easily excitable, she snorted when she laughed. I could imagine how awesome this person was by how well he described her.

Also, he never once mentioned her looks.

I asked my photographer friend if he told her how much he enjoyed these qualities.

He said, “of course, how could I not? It was a big part of the conversation. In fact, it led to us making out for the first time.”

The whole conversation reminded me of a lesson that The Sneak and I have taught for years – how to compliment someone effectively, otherwise known as:

Active Interest

It is important to be able to describe what you find beautiful or admirable about someone. It’s one of the many reasons we dropped the old number system. Since attractiveness is based on an individual’s perception of beauty, “she’s a 10″ means nothing. In addition, using the number system at all, means you’re forgoing an opportunity to practice describing that person and what you find admirable or beautiful about them.

To start learning this, you first must be able to spot admirable traits and then vocalize them, without falling into a pattern. This is a skill we call displaying active interest.

Here’s an example of a pattern we don’t want to fall into:

Complimenting someone about the beauty of their eyes is one of the most generic and meaningless compliments on Earth. In fact, if you’re interested in a romantic or sexual relationship, complimenting a person on their looks is almost always a bad idea, especially if that person is particularly beautiful.

The ability to describe what is admirable or beautiful to you about someone is a skill that can take a while to master, but practicing it is easy.

The Sneak and I used to practice by playing a game , that has become a regular seduction exercise.

Here’s a video on how to convey interest:

If you want to take it to the next level, choose one of the qualities you admire and tell them why by using an identity story. In other words, connect the quality they have, with an experience from your life.

Try practicing this exercise every few weeks until you get it down!

Note: In this exercise, we’re simply training ourselves to recognize and vocalize the aspects of people that we admire, which is the first step to mastering compliments.

After recognition and vocalization comes timing, which this exercise does not cover.

As long as there is a context for your compliment and what you say isn’t generic, it’s unlikely that you’ll ruin an interaction with a compliment. That said, there are times and places where a compliment will have more of an emotional impact.

The best timing for a compliment is after someone is interested in you. You have to be able to recognize when a person is interested in you by spotting indicators of interest. The awareness needed to detect these signs of attraction is cultivated through practice. There’s no way around it.

Telling a great story and giving fantastically meaninful compliments are just two aspects of being interesting in the social world.

Be the most interesting person you can be by checking out one of our most in-depth courses on how to take all the aspects of your life and turn them into awesome stories. Once you have your stories down, we’ll show you exactly how to read an audience, tell the stories, and then create new amazing adventures with dates, friends, and anyone else you interact with. It’s time to live your life as the adventure it is, and become the most interesting person in the room:

most interesting person in the room

The Most Interesting Person in the Room

Neil Strauss's most in-depth course on building social value teaches you how to be the Most Interesting Person in the Room no matter who you are or where you are!

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