Compliments may seem like a superficial, silly, or even manipulative mode of communication. But appreciating a woman out loud is a powerful way of showing that you’re really present with her, and all she has to offer.

Heterosexual men of the world: Take Note!

Take Heed!

Listen Up, Etc.

Has life dealt you only losing hands in your… for lack of a better word, dealings with women? Striking out in this game called love? One word, gentlemen:

Compliments.

Just compliment her and she will copulate with you wantonly! Instantly, and right on the spot! You’d better wear those snap-off track pants just to be ready!

For the sex!


It’s a dog eat dog world. We all work our butts off to try and look good, do good, and most of all, be good. And for the most part, it’s thankless work. This is partly because we are working hardest to please the invisible demons of inadequacy that have taken our egos hostage thanks to a relentless advertising program bent on convincing us that we suck but that they have a product which can fix us and otherwise we will never find love!!!

No... Noo... Noooo!!!

No… Noo… Noooo!!!

…Seriously, though.

The women you know, love, desire, care for, and share your days with have not escaped unscathed from this onslaught (of mind-killing demons, as mentioned in the last paragraph). If there is a woman in particular that you care for, then you’re probably already aware of the many incredible ways that she is lovely and wonderful. You may not know that it took her hours on pinterest to choose that hairstyle (and a half hour more, daily, to maintain it), or that she made that sweater herself so that it would fit right. You may not realize that her sense of humor, effervescent and light as it seems, is actually a desperate defense mechanism, or that she chose this career to make up for some inadequacy which she sees in herself, or that her listening skills took years of soul-searching to develop.

We’re all trying our best, working really hard to be good people, everyday. We do this to be worthy of each other. Acknowledging and appreciating what someone is doing well is a way of saying “you’re worth it.”

I am of course just joking regarding the compliments inevitably leading copulation thing. Beyond the fact that sex is not something that women possess and men must get from them (which implies that male sexuality isn’t the beautiful gift that it is, btw), this idea is flawed for one simple reason: There is no key, secret code, nor special button that will magically cause people, women or not, to have sex with you right here on the spot, wantonly or otherwise. There are only individual humans, each the center of their own infinite universe and each a complex universe unto themselves. Some of these women may be utterly incredibly overwhelmingly attractive to you, and believe it or not, you may be the same to some of them. Whether you have just met a woman or have been with one for years, appreciating her out loud can be a powerful way of building intimacy with the woman you care about.

There was a time when men were told “give women compliments” and the widely understood implication went “because they are shallow and easily manipulated, so complimenting them will bend them to your massive manly will”. Thankfully, that time is in the past, with the exception of certain seedy corners of the internet. But compliments can be extremely powerful tools for good, because they acknowledge the positive about someone! They can be a celebration of the people you care about, and a way to show your appreciation for the woman you care about in particular. They show that you are noticing details of this woman, her life, and her struggles. Even a small compliment about her hair or something else that seems superficial—when heartfelt—shows that you are paying attention. What greater gift is there to give the person you care for than your honest attention, your presence?

As a man, your presence is one of your greatest and most powerful gifts.

Yes. ‘Just’ paying attention to her is extremely potent, attractive, and one of the greatest gifts that you can give to the person you care about, regardless of gender. I can’t stress this enough. If you want to know more, check out my upcoming book, which has a whole chapter about how powerful it is to be truly present with the women you care about.

So much of what we do goes unnoticed. If you’re in a relationship with, or dating a woman, she is likely making an effort to look good. I won’t say ‘look good for you‘, because she’s also doing it for herself, and maybe for that evil aforementioned you-are-not-good-enough monster. She is making an effort. Acknowledging that is really powerful!

For me, getting a compliment is hearing “What you are and what you do matters. Thank you”. It’s a special present that can totally make my day. My heart softens, I smile, I feel better about myself and the world. When my boyfriend compliments me, I feel more confident, because this incredible man sees something great in me. It’s like… having something important to me noticed, appreciated and celebrated, all at once. When he compliments how I look, I feel sexy and beautiful right down to my core. It inspires me to be in my body, to be more present, to feel my body more fully. It’s basically all around great! I feel connected with him in a profound way, building trust and intimacy, because he’s shown that he’s right here, with me, in this moment… loving me just as I am.

How do you provide this beautiful gift for the woman you like, love, or admire from a distance?

Step 1: Pay Attention

Notice this woman, the details of her appearance, how she has chosen to present herself, what she is doing, how she’s doing it, anything and everything. When you notice something that you admire, simply tell her about it. It doesn’t have to be anything groundbreaking to be special and important. Some examples might be the way her hair looks, the colour of her shirt (especially if it looks great with her shoes, complexion, brings out her eyes, or something like that), how confident she seems. The important thing is that it’s heartfelt, that you mean it.

Note: if this is someone that you aren’t dating, and especially if it’s a stranger, I would recommend asking for permission to compliment. This may seem weird or even absurd, but it is a great way to show that you respect her and her boundaries. That, in itself, is an incredible and meaningful compliment. This will also preclude starting to compliment someone only to be shot down as a ‘creep’ or told to fuck off.

Another Note: There is something beautiful, lovely and worthwhile about every single person. If you’re looking for a woman to love and can’t find one that’s a good fit, a great place to start is to simply try to find things to compliment in the women around you. You’ll be surprised at the beauties, sweethearts and comediennes hiding all around you!

Step 2: Keep Paying Attention

Love is a verb, like eat, or sleep. You don’t just do it once. It’s a process, not an event. It’s a journey, not a destination. And many other vague but lovely sentimental cliches that basically mean, you have to do it a lot for it to be most effective.

The greatest labor of love is to do it, actively, every day. So keep noticing new wonderful things about your lover, your spouse, your friends, your family. Be present with whatever gift they are bringing to your life in this moment, and continue to do that as often as you can.

The change will be profound. You’ll be providing so much more than compliments when you show the people you care about that you see them, see their worth, and appreciate their contributions.

Remember that your attention and appreciation is a beautiful gift. Some people won’t be ready to receive it, because doing so can feel scary or unsafe (I talk about that here). Finding the people who are ready to receive all that you are, right now, is fundamental to healthy, life-giving relationships.

The kind of relationships that you deserve 🙂

From the heart,

Kathryn

Originally appeared on Kathryn Hogan.ca