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Pragmatics of Complimenting

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  • (Complimenting Strangers) (Compliment Guys)
  • Complimenting

    1. 1. Complimenting Appropriately GBUS 495, Fall 2012 Ms. Quinones
    2. 2. Overview What are compliments? Why give compliments? How are compliments constructed? When are compliments used? Do’s and Don’ts of complimenting. Responding to compliments.
    3. 3. What are Compliments?Compliment (Source: Wiktionary) n. An expression of praise, congratulation or encouragement. n. Good wishes. v. To pay a compliment; to express a favorable opinion.
    4. 4. Why Give Compliments? You can make someone’s day (make them smile) It increases your positive outlook and that of others around you It comes back to you in different forms – builds positive relationships It makes you more attractive to others (in a variety of ways) It is enjoyable to do
    5. 5. How are Compliments Constructed?Compliment FormulasTop three compliment formulas (Manes and Wolfson 1981, pp.120-121) and examples: 1. Noun Phrase + is/look + (really) + Adjective  Your blouse is really beautiful. Your hair looks great! 2. I + (really) + like/love + Noun Phrase  I really like your dress. I love your new apartment. 3. Pronoun + is + (really) + Adjective + Noun Phrase  Thats a really nice rug. Thats a great looking car.
    6. 6. How are Compliments Constructed?Additional six formula examples: 4. You have such beautiful hair. 5. What a lovely baby you have! 6. Isnt your ring beautiful! 7. You (really) did a good job! 8. You (really) handled that situation well! 9. Nice game!
    7. 7. How are Compliments Constructed?Ingredients for a Good Compliment: Sincerity Specificity Acknowledgement of character Acknowledgement of Affect/Effect Follow-up Question Appropriate Timing
    8. 8. Ingredient 1: SincerityTo be believable, compliments must be sincere. Your tone, facial expression, and body language go a long way in conveying how sincere you are. If you don’t truly mean it, don’t say it.  No compliment at all is better than false or insincere compliments.
    9. 9. Ingredient 2: SpecificityThe best compliments are specific. Instead of just a vague “you look nice today”, say something that shows you’re actually noticing the person. Rather than you look ‘nice‘ try a sincere “that’s a lovely scarf” Instead of “you’re a good cook” try “that was a great lasagna.”
    10. 10. Ingredient 3:Acknowledgement of CharacterWhen complimenting an accomplishment, don’t just focus onwhat the person did. Acknowledge who they had to be in order to accomplish it. Point to character traits, such as perseverance, kindness, thoughtfulness, loyalty, humor, creativity or courage. For example:  “It took a lot of courage for you to speak up like that”  “You are so creative. I love the way you put together your outfit.”
    11. 11. Ingredient 4:Acknowledgement of Affect/Effect “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” – Mark Twain Go beyond the action/change/result and talk about how it makes you feel or the effect produced:  It meant a lot to me that you took the time to…  That necklace really highlights the color of your eyes.  Your getting that work done means we have time to go out and…
    12. 12. Ingredient 5: Follow-Up QuestionDon’t just give the compliment and leave it there, showinterest by asking a follow-up question. When you show actual interest by following the compliment with a question, you show interest in a person and it drives the conversation – is it new?  “The color of that scarf is perfect for you. Where did you find it?“
    13. 13. Ingredient 6: Appropriate Timing Consider the setting. Compliments should be appropriate.  It’s wonderful to tell a bride that she’s beautiful, but congratulate her on losing 100 pounds some other time. It is sometimes best to compliment a person when you notice something, provided it is convenient. Sometimes if you wait too long the moment can be lost. Always think first, then compliment.
    14. 14. When are Compliments Used?Essentially compliments can be used anytime but here area few suggestions. Compliments make great openers for any type of conversation. They also are helpful in the workplace or when breaking the ice with someone. You can use them in passing just to make someone smile. You can use them to make a graceful exit. They are helpful when making indirect requests.
    15. 15. Do’s and Don’ts Safe Things to Compliment People on:  Style  Smile and Laugh  Sense of Humor  Intelligence  Pets  Objects/Possessions  Homes/Decorations  Character traits  Skills
    16. 16. Do’s and Don’ts Unsafe Things to Compliment People on:  weight  hygiene  body shape/fitness (unless it is good)  money related things  Something that would normally be unspoken  *Beware of backhanded compliments  
    17. 17. Practice Evaluate these videos to see how appropriate each compliment is. (Complimenting Strangers)  (Compliment Guys)  (Big Bang Theory) 
    18. 18. Responding to Compliments 4 Possible Responses  Downgrading  Questioning  Shifting Credit  Returning
    19. 19. Responding Downgrading: minimizing the validity of what was said  A: “That’s a nice shirt”  B: “Well, I just got it. It was pretty cheap.” Questioning: shows doubt or a need for more praise (depends on tone)  A: You did an excellent job on your presntation yesterday!  B: Do you really think so?  A: Oh yes! It was fabulous!
    20. 20. Responding Shifting Credit: gives someone else credit  A: I love your clock! It looks great in your living room!  B: Thanks. A friend of mine brought it to me from Oregon. Returning: reply with a compliment  A: You’re looking well!  B: Thanks. So are you!
    21. 21. Questions?