48 Compliments That Have Nothing To Do With Looks

We asked our O.school network for ideas. Here’s what they had to say.

48 Compliments That Have Nothing To Do With Looks

48 Compliments That Have Nothing To Do With Looks

48 Compliments That Have Nothing To Do With Looks

Published
March 4, 2022
— Updated
Medically Reviewed by
5 minute

Complimenting someone on how good they look in those pants, how soft their hair appears, or how cute their makeup is today may be appreciated by some. But strictly complimenting a person based on their appearance can mean missing major opportunities to highlight their other, more important attributes. It can also mean sending a message that a person’s worth is directly tied to how they look. 

Unfortunately, we live in a culture that often signals to people — especially women, girls, trans, and non-binary folks – that their value and how loveable they are is determined by their appearance, particularly as it relates to thin, white, cis beauty standards. This can have a negative, long-term impact, leading to body image issues and a fear of aging. For some people struggling with eating disorders and body image issues, receiving a compliment about their physical appearance can even bring up intense self-criticism. 

Thankfully, there are so many other ways to show love and appreciation for people in your life. We culled responses from our O.school network for compliment ideas that have nothing to do with appearance. Here are 48 of their compliment ideas to give you some inspiration.

  1. I love how special you make other people feel.
  2. You are one of my favorite people to hang out with.
  3. Your honesty and vulnerability help me show up more authentically in my life. 
  4. You bring out my favorite parts of myself when I’m around you.
  5. You are such a gift to this world. Thank you for being you. 
  6. You’re so creative.
  7. I always learn so much from you.
  8. You ask the best questions.
  9. I love the way your brain works.
  10. The sound of your voice makes me smile.
  11. You have such a calming presence.
  12. The way you move about life and the world is inspiring.
  13. You feel like sunshine.
  14. Your openness and vulnerability is inspiring.
  15. You’re hilarious and always make me laugh.
  16. I’m so grateful to have you in my life.
  17. You are really talented at ___.
  18. You’re a great listener. I feel so heard and seen by you.
  19. Your empathy always makes me feel understood.
  20. You’re my favorite adventure buddy.
  21. You're such a good friend.
  22. You brighten every space you enter.
  23. You inspire me everyday.
  24. You bring so much joy to my life when we’re together.
  25. I love how passionate you are about ___.
  26. You make this world / town / place a better place to be.
  27.  You’re so easy to love.
  28. I feel so comfortable around you.
  29. I love how safe I feel with you.
  30. I love your taste in music.
  31. You make my heart happy.
  32. You’re my favorite notification.
  33. I love your mind. 
  34. Being around you feels so good.
  35. Your authenticity helps me be more authentic.
  36. Your laugh is contagious.
  37. You bring so much joy to the people around you.
  38. I always feel so good spending time with you.
  39. Your friendship is one of the most meaningful things in my life. 
  40. My life has so much more joy with you in it.
  41. You inspire so many people with your creativity. 
  42. The work you do and presence you bring is so needed in this world. 
  43. I feel so at ease when I spend time with you.
  44. I love and appreciate your honesty.
  45. Thank you for being you.
  46. I love how passionate you are about the things you care about.
  47. I like the way you see the world.
  48. I feel safe and appreciated in your presence.

The bottom line 

It’s important to appreciate what your loved ones have to offer beyond their physical appearance. Focusing on their qualities — and not their appearance — can be a great way to make a friend feel seen and appreciated. If you’re ever feeling at a loss when trying to give a compliment not based on looks, simply pull from O.school’s list of compliment ideas here.

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Ella Dorval Hall (she/they) is a white, eating disorder recover-er, sex and pleasure educator. She's worked at a national sexual health organization, Healthy Teen Network, training educators how to teach evidence-based sex education curriculums. Ella now hosts workshops, writes, and does 1:1 education that brings people the information and skills they need to actually enjoy sex. You can find more of Ella’s work on Instagram @unlearnings3x.

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