When you’re out on a date and he says something charming like, “Your eyes are so beautiful, I could just drown in them”, you just may find yourself a little dumbfounded, completely questioning your skill of how to respond to a compliment. There are a million ways you could steer the conversation, but which is the best way in this situation, when you just don’t know which route to take?
It might be a little awkward to blurt out, “Hey, you’ve got nice eyes too”, and saying, “Thanks, I know” may also appear a little vain. It’s also possible that you couldn’t disagree more, so with an utterly confused look, all you are able to do is let out a dry, “Erm…thanks”. No matter what he has said to you, it’s your turn to make the next move and that’s what we can help you with.
15 Examples On How To Respond To A Compliment
If you’ve already got those dating anxiety jitters, how to respond to a compliment can feel like tremendous pressure even though you’re at the receiving end of the compliment. Are you rude if you don’t return the compliment? Does an “I like your dress” have to be met with an “Oh and I love your shoes!”
Compliments really don’t need to be all that complicated but if you are that confused, then we’ve got you. Here are the top 15 examples on how to respond to a compliment from a guy.
1. The ‘thanks for the compliment’ reply
Simple and obvious – one of the easier ways to tackle the ‘what to say and what not to say could’ be the simple yet solid, “Thanks for the compliment!” reply. You’ve heard it, acknowledged it and thanked him for the same. People might consider this response a little cold, but it is perfect if you aren’t trying hard to flirt back.
Perhaps you want to respond to a compliment in an email or respond to a compliment from the boss. In formal scenarios where you don’t want to risk coming across as flirty, this should be the perfect thing to say.
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2. “Oh you’re too kind!”
Sweet, soft and sophisticated, this is a master stroke in the game of how to respond to a compliment. Not overbearing, pretty informal and yet super nice, this is a subtle compliment handed back in a neatly wrapped bow. A replacement of the plain Jane – Thank you, this one toes the line without being awkward.
Perhaps a guy is hitting on you at a bar but you’re not ready to dive into the conversation and lead him on yet. Yet he can’t stop harmlessly flirting his way and even though he’s nice, you’re really not interested in flirting back with him. So instead of leaving him completely high and dry, consider saying the above. It conveys your thanks in a sweet manner but also nothing more.
3. Return the compliment
And make it heartfelt. There’s nothing worse than a vapid compliment that one can see right through. If you want to return the compliment, make it sound as real and honest as you can. A disingenuous compliment is only going to rack and ruin the whole conversation.
For example, someone tells you how much they enjoy reading about your work online. Then perhaps in that case you may say ‘Oh and I’ve been keeping tabs on all your successes too and you’ve been doing such a wonderful job!’ with a broad smile on your face.
4. Respond to a compliment text with a GIF
A GIF is truly a complete savior in a situation where you need to respond to a compliment text but have no idea what to say. Emojis can be a little too bland when it comes to responding to a compliment and thus one should avoid sending a single emoji. But a GIF on the other hand can be a real charmer. It’s the way to get a guy’s attention!
GIFs are indeed exaggerated expressions but with the perk that one doesn’t take them all too seriously. So if you really want to show them that you’re happy at receiving such a compliment, consider sending across an exciting GIF to say it all for you.
5. “Oh stop it! You are no less”
A twist to returning a compliment, instead of directly telling them what you like about them, this is like handing them the UNO reverse card. Maybe he’s told you how great you look tonight and that he can’t stop admiring your dress. To deflect attention from yourself, throw this reverse card and watch him blush away instead.
To respond to a compliment about your looks can be awkward for some people because they may not always know how to take it. However, by saying ‘You are no less’, you are indeed telling him that he has dazzled you equally and also looks as handsome as ever.
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6. Don’t downplay yourself
When he says something like “I love it when you wear your hair like that, it looks amazing!”, try not to say “Thanks but I haven’t washed my hair in a week.” Even if you really have run out of shampoo and that is the actual truth, he doesn’t need to know it.
This downplaying technique seems like the right thing to do to avoid seeming smug but is actually not so nice because it’s still a way of rejecting a compliment. Maybe if you have to respond to a compliment from a boss and shoot down his attempts at flirting with you – this is the way to kill a potential office romance that could cost you your job. But in any other situation where a guy is being earnest with you, don’t shoot him down like that.
7. ‘You know what, I like you’
To show appreciation and let him know that you’ve received the compliment well, consider this witty and fun response. This response is almost like giving him the green signal to continue conversing with you, and his attempt at hitting on you, has indeed worked.
If you want a way to respond to a flirty compliment without having to flirt back too obviously, this is the one for you. Say it with confidence, say it quickly and before he realizes that he has wooed you, you have now caught him under your own spell. This comes in especially handy when you are dating a shy guy because this will just make him melt!
8. Keep your cool if he gives you a backhanded compliment
A backhanded compliment is typically an insult which seems like a compliment on the surface but is actually considered rude or impolite. For example, he says something like, “You look good for your age” or “You look so nice in that photo, I didn’t recognize you at first.”
Our advice would be to just keep your cool, say a normal ‘Thank you’ and sail through. In this case, no need to return the compliment at all since the one they gave you isn’t all that great either. Some people opt for a more sarcastic approach to give it back, but it is best to focus on the positive part of the compliment, stay graceful and move on.
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9. “You’re a real charmer for saying that”
Wink, wink. Want to respond to a flirty compliment and let him know that you really enjoyed it? Then be out with it and blatantly tell him how charming he is for saying that to you. He’s going to love the honesty in this one.
Who needs to find ways to compliment him back when you can, instead, just appreciate his art of complimenting and flirting in the first place?
10. Keep your body language open
Sometimes saying ‘Thanks’ the right way might not do you any good if your arms are crossed and you’re facing the other way. Your words are important but it’s also important to conduct yourself the right way to make the other person feel like their compliment was well received. Your female body language signs will go a long way.
Especially if you have to respond to a flirty compliment and are actually keen on flirting back, in which case you should maintain good eye contact, lean in and have a warm facial expression.
11. Share a quick detail or story
If you’re still looking for a way to divert attention from yourself in the least awkward way possible, then this is the right way of how to respond to a compliment, for you. Maybe he’s just told you how much he likes your hair but you’re too startled to string anything together to say back to him.
Perhaps consider saying something like, ‘Oh haha thank you! Funny story, I actually thought I had run out of shampoo today but…” Sounds a little nerdy but when you really don’t know what else to say, throwing in an anecdote could be the easiest way to steer the conversation the way you want.
12. Don’t try too hard to outdo his compliment
Returning a compliment is one thing, but sometimes people feel compelled to one-up the other person. In Asian countries it is more commonly seen as a sign of humility to completely ignore the compliment one has received and shift the focus on the other person. But in the US, that is not the case.
Don’t say something like “Oh, but your shoes are much nicer than my dress” or something along those lines. It may seem nice on the surface, but could actually be considered ungrateful. Just revel in your praise and don’t let those first date nerves get the better of you!
13. “That means a lot coming from you”
Want to accept a compliment with open arms, don’t want to seem bashful but also not come off as smug? Then this is one of the most appropriate ways of how to respond to a compliment from a guy. Saying this means that you respect him a lot which makes it all the more flattering to get such a compliment from him. And you’re also complimenting him in the process too, because you’re telling him that his opinions matter and that you hold him in high regard.
Perhaps you’re in a situation where you have to respond to a compliment about your looks and can’t exactly figure out what your response should be. In that case, use this line since it works perfectly. A kind smile along with it and you are good to go!
14. To respond to a compliment on Instagram
One of the ways guys like to flirt is by sliding into your DMs by sending a heart-react emoji to your Instagram stories. Or if he’s really into you – he might straight up shoot a comment on one of your posts and indirectly shoot his shot.
If he’s sending you only a reaction emoji, don’t be compelled to actually say anything. In that case, sending an emoji back should be fine. But if he’s writing you a flirty comment, feel free to flirt back a little! Unlike real life, you have more time to come up with a good response now.
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15. Compliment the compliment itself
A genius technique, he won’t even see this one coming. Perhaps you’re at a restaurant on a date and he’s told you how much he admires your dedication to your job. In that case, it can sound silly to say, “Oh and you too!”
Instead, compliment his very nice compliment by saying “Thank you so much. That’s about the nicest thing you can say to somebody whose work means the world to them.” Ta-da! And you’re done. How easy was that? Make this one of your rules of dating and it’ll work great in your favor.
The whole point of how to respond to a compliment from a guy comes down to making the other person feel like they did the right thing by saying what he said, to you. All he does is want to make you feel special so it becomes your responsibility to let him know that he succeeded. Whether you do that with kind eyes, praise him back or even rope him into a hug – is up to you.