How to Give a Compliment

I wrote yesterday about how to take a compliment. Today I want to write about the flip side: how to give a compliment. Both of these are skills that you need for pole dance, and for the rest of life. Here are the steps of what to do and what not to do.

How to Give a Compliment

  1. Be sincere. Don’t say compliments you don’t mean because doing so undermines your integrity and causes your compliments to lose all of their value.
  2. Pay attention to the people around you, and not just to your best group of friends. Encourage people who are are new to pole, or just new to that particular class or studio. Pole has an awesome community, and everyone is responsible for creating that community. This is how you do it.
  3. Compliments are particularly great for something the person does exceptionally well, but also for things that they have improved on greatly, have been working on for a while, or that require them to be courageous (like a first performance).
  4. Be specific.  “You did great!” is OK, but not as good as “wow, you really had clean lines on that second transition. Your legs were so straight! Way to keep your muscles engaged.” or “that was so smooth! I loved how you put that combination together!” or “I could feel so much emotion when you did that pass- I felt completely drawn into your story.
  5. Ask for advice. I had a few newer people asking for advice about things they were trying out during open pole the other night, and it was extremely flattering. I also like to think my advice was helpful
  6. Along the same lines- ask someone how they did something. I think the best compliment I ever got was from a girl who asked me how I got my ass. I laughed and said something about working out a lot, but then she pressed me for details. “Like, how many squats?” she asked. “What’s your diet like?” This was so much more meaningful and flattering than a “you have a nice ass” variety of compliment.
  7. Take your time and repeat yourself a lot. This is especially helpful if you are trying number 5 or 6.

How Not to Give a Compliment

  1. Don’t comment on someone’s weight. It somehow never ends up being flattering, and you never know how a person feels about their weight. Whenever people tell me I look great because I’ve lost weight, what I hear is “there’s less of you. I prefer it that way.” When they tell me I look good because I’ve gained weight, I immediately start worrying that something is wrong with my diet.
  2. Don’t compliment their stuff. “Nice booty shorts” is not as good as “Those shorts really showcase your butt.”
  3. Don’t lie to make someone feel better. It doesn’t help either of you in the long run, and it undermines your integrity and credibility.
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