The But Compliment

Compliments are so important in building and maintaining relationships.

Giving a compliment shows the other person you care. It also means you understand and appreciate their efforts. We’re all trying to be our best, in whatever way that is. Receiving feedback that our efforts are working – well, that’s one of the most gratifying feelings we can have.

However – lots of people make a huge mistake with their method of complimenting.

That mistake is adding the word “but“.

The floor looks great after you mopped it, but you missed a spot.

…is hardly better than…

The floor is still dirty.

That’s a pretty basic principle, and easy to fix.  Just stop talking after you pay the compliment, and you’ll be great!


I’m going to take this a step farther, and show how the but compliment can be used successfully.

Try using the but compliment to discount the potentially negative extreme of your original compliment.

It looks like this:

Jason is a really smart guy, but he doesn’t throw it in your face


Jackie is very responsible, but she still knows how to cut loose and have fun

That’s it!  Talk to people this way, and you will give them a warm feeling that they won’t be able to shake.

Feel free to comment below.  Maybe something like…

Wow, Bob, your Bobservation is incredibly insightful… but simple enough to understand and use!

This Post is BobjectionableThis is a Great Bobservation! (No Ratings Yet)

2 Responses to “The But Compliment”

  1. MikeC.

    Wow Bob, those are insights that can make a big difference in a relationship…but easy enough to implement.


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