A great perk to being in a relationship is the validation that comes from receiving genuine compliments from you partner. But not all compliments are created equal. The way they are delivered and received have a weight on the relationship. In fact, there are many types of compliments and it is important to recognize the good, the bad, and how they may be affecting you and your partner. In a recent article published by Bustle, our founder of Eugene Therapy, Marc Zola, LMFT, LPC talked about the power of compliments. You can see the entirety of the article here. In the mean time, here are a few types of compliments to look out for.
1. Vague Compliments
"You are smart" has less impact than saying "Your immense trivia knowledge amazes me." What is it that you appreciate about your partner? Be specific. "When we think of compliments, we think of giving them in a nonspecific way, but specific compliments are more effective because they tell a story and give very specific feedback of what is working in the relationship," says Marc Zola, LMFT, LPC. "Non-specific compliments can, over time, actually become sources of resentment and misdirection."
2. Superficial Compliments
What matters more to you – your partner’s appearance or your partner’s uniquely lovely characteristics? Let your compliments reflect that. If your partner is looking especially good today, say it! Just remember to verbalize your admiration for their other qualities too.
3. Excessive Compliments
Yes, really. Do not give yourself a compliment quota to reach every day, it simply won’t work. When someone feels like the praise they received was forced, it will only raise questions and reduce trust. The best compliments are specific, timely, genuine words of appreciation.