The compliment that doesn’t sell anything


Sales people are obnoxious.


They pretend to be your friend, but all they’re trying to do is make you sign a 12 months payment plan for a barbecue set.

barbecue set

You know it, a sales person’s friendship is no friendship, it smells weird the moment they enter the room.

Everything down to their body language is a disposable sales pitch.

They would do and say whatever you want to hear: the only thing at stake is the goddamn barbecue set they’re trying to make you sign for.

barbecue set-on-sale


I guess I’m only saying this because as I grow older, I value more the art of saying and doing nice things for free, with less expectations.


Take complimenting someone, for instance: an honest, FREE compliment.


Few bother complimenting and encouraging others, yet if you start making it a daily practice, all kinds of people start becoming your friends (some are even willing to help you, sometimes).


I didn’t say it was easy to do, making compliment is touchy, but I think every single human is hungry for acknowledgment and praise, even if they pretend not to care.

Few people bother giving that kind of attention, though, I’m not sure why.

Maybe they’re just held off by anxiety (I know I am, very often)?


Maybe, like me, one of their main fear is BEING REJECTED?

After all, what if the person you compliment is a girl full of herself that gets invited everyday by guys 30 times richer and more handsome than you?







pied-piper-of-HamelinWhat if complimenting makes you suspicious of taking advantage of people?

What if people believe that you’re just about to ask them for money?

Or that you’re just a maniac that has a shrine where he hangs pictures of girls next to bottles of old people’s saliva?


It’s legitimate to fear the worst rejection scenarios when you decide to open up and say something nice, but in reality, there’s nothing much to lose: most people love it when someone cares enough to notice their qualities and mention them.

And those who might reject you are so self-centered that they’ll forget whatever you told them 5 mn after you said it.


I have nothing to sell through this article, just let me share what I’ve been trying to do for a few years:

I’ve been trying to compliment people more often, whether young or old, good-looking or not, smart or dumb, whoever they are, I always find something real to say.

Nobody’s crappy enough to only have shortcomings, right?


Now I’m sure that this strategy works: as long as you’re not trying to sell anything, people are happy when you identify their qualities, like the way they sing or the shape of their signature.


Or even the raincoat they chose for their ugly dog.

Everybody needs to be reassured I guess.

Everybody needs to be reassured I guess.


The world is a tough place. If you open the fire first by mentioning people’s bright side, you’ll get a rewarding feedback, simply because a sincere compliment can go a long way in someone’s mind, it can even change a destiny, sometimes.

And it costs nothing. Just a tiny bit of care and attention.



If you’d like more of that kind of posts, you should like this blog :)


  • Sam Edge

    Random acts of Authentic Love … must be a nut lol. Great post Gael.

    • Gaël Blanchemain

      That’s right, Sam > must be nut, must be radical enough to try something with no expected ROI.
      Thanks for comment!

  • Glynis Jolly

    I like giving compliments. I do have to admit that I have my own reasons for doing it. I love the way people react to the compliments I give. Some are embarressed, some are surprised, some just don’t believe it. It true entertainment. Besides, it makes me feel good.

    • Gaël Blanchemain

      You like to watch people stumble upon an unexpected compliment? :)
      Sounds like a lovely sin, nothing they will hold against your for sure!
      Thanks for sharing :)

  • sharkwave93

    I do indeed want more of these posts, Gaël! :)

    I can relate to everything you write in this post. It’s hard to give compliments, but it’s worth it.

  • Nicolas

    Awesome and so true!!!
    A few months ago I received via my company some kind of Personal Leadership course, and after two days of the course we were supposed to write down one quality of every other member of the course based on what we had seen so far. That’s so hard actually, but it helps you realize that there’s always something good about anybody, even the people you don’t particularly like.
    Best part of the course was when each of us sat down in the center of the tables, while every other member would tell which quality they wrote down.
    When I sat down and received in the face all this compliments, I almost cried, really.
    You should never underestimate the power of a positive comment to someone else. Never ever.
    And it’s true, most people will pretend they don’t care, but deep down we all crave for some kind of reward/compliment/interest from other people.

    Thanks for your post!!


    • Gaël Blanchemain

      That course must’ve felt like hell, at times (only guessing). These type of management exercises can be challenging because, sometimes, you really don’t want to change perspective on people, you’d rather keep on thinking they’re A-holes than suddenly discovering that they actually like you more than you thought. Go figure…
      Thanks for comment, Nicolas :)

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  • Zangpal

    That makes me feel good! Thanks
    Take care Gael

    • Gaël Blanchemain

      @Zangpal, At your service, Doc :)

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