Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, I feel awkward giving people compliments"

Dear Carol,

When talking to new people, everyone says to “give a compliment.” But how? I always feel like I’m trying too hard or like I’ll say something dumb.

- Compliment Confused

Dear Compliment Confused, 

Giving a compliment is a great icebreaker. If a person tells me she likes my work or my dress, it gives me a boost—maybe right when I need one. If you’re feeling nervous, start with someone who doesn’t make you anxious, like your sister or your bus driver or neighbor. She’s wearing cute earrings? Say so. She took the time to pick them out, after all, and will be glad you noticed. You can always follow a compliment with a conversation-starting question (“Where’d you get them?”). Don’t get hung up on how giving a compliment is making you feel—think about how it’s making someone else feel. Don’t lie or fake it, but if you are thinking something nice, say it out loud.

Carol Weston is the author of 16 books. The latest is Speed of Life, about a teen girl who writes to an advice columnist. Check out for more.

Need more life advice? Read more Dear Carol here:
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💕 "Dear Carol, Why does it feel like a huge deal that boobs stay super private?"

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by GL | 4/3/2024