How To Give A Compliment Someone Will Really Take To Heart

Photographed by Renell Medrano.
Is it just me, victim of snark culture and avoider of sustained eye contact that I am, or is being plain old nice surprisingly difficult — especially around the people who matter most? It's one thing to tell an acquaintance that you like their jacket, but it's another to tell your lover, partner, or parent, that you truly and deeply appreciate something about them.
For some, giving a compliment and meaning it requires little to no effort. But for others, getting it right can prove rather stressful.
The struggle is twofold: You want to say something from the heart, so constructing the compliment can feel like an effort in itself. But then comes the delivery — and the risk that the recipient of your compliment doesn't quite buy your praise, or feels awkward receiving it.
We spoke with Matt Lundquist, LCSW, a psychotherapist and couples therapist based in New York City, about the art of giving a meaningful compliment. Read on for five helpful tips to make your kind words really resonate.