Non Physical Compliments Cover Image

80 Non-Physical Compliments That Have Nothing to Do with Appearance

Looking to expand your repertoire of non-physical compliments? I get it! They’re tough to think of!

We live in an appearance-driven society, so we are conditioned to notice and compliment appearance above all else – they’re the norm.

When you think of compliments, the first thing that probably comes to mind is appearance-related compliments: 

  •  I haven’t seen you in so long. You look so great!
  • Wow, have you lost weight? You look fantastic!
  • Is that a new haircut? It really brings out your features!

When you greet someone, how often is the first thing you say something about their appearance? Our brains are wired to come up with physical compliments on autopilot. 

Non-physical compliments can be a little harder to come up with a feel a bit unnatural, but only because it’s not what we’re accustomed to. 

In this post, I’ll explain non-physical compliments and why they are important. I’ll also provide 80 examples of non-physical compliments for various people and situations. 

Let’s dive in!

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What are Non-Physical Compliments?

Non-physical compliments are compliments that focus on someone’s internal qualities and characteristics rather than their physical appearance. They celebrate things like:

  • Character 
  • Abilities 
  • Impact on the world
  • Skills and knowledge 
  • Achievements 
  • Personality 
  • Values and interests

Non-physical compliments are a way to show genuine appreciation for a person’s internal qualities instead of their external appearance.

The Importance of Using More Non-Physical/Appearance Compliments

While compliments on appearance are almost always well-intentioned and feel good in the moment, there are several reasons why it’s important to focus on non-physical compliments:

  1. Appearance-based compliments tie appearance to self-worth and identity. When compliments solely focus on appearance, self-worth and identity become tied to how we look. This is problematic because our appearances inevitably change throughout life. It can be so difficult to grapple with the loss of a quality so highly valued by society and others.
  2. Appearance compliments shift focus away from things that are truly important. Do you like someone because of their nice hair or good physique? Probably not. You’re likely friends with them because of their kind spirit, empathy, warmth, intelligence, humor, wit, compassion, creativeness, dreams and goals, shared values and interests, the way they support and encourage you, or lend a nonjudgmental ear on your tough days… things that have NOTHING to do with how they look!
  3. Non-physical compliments help to Improve your body image. Giving non-physical compliments can be especially helpful if you’re working on healing your relationship with your body. When you start seeking out non-physical compliments to give, you’re training the brain to break the tie between physical appearance and worth. 
  4. Appearance compliments lead to self-objectification. Self-objectification is when you believe that your body is an object to be valued for how it looks. It becomes less about what your body can do or how it feels and more about how it looks. Self-objectification is associated with increased body shame, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. 

Why You Shouldn’t Comment on Weight

Weight, size, and body shape are the most common targets for compliments. Again, while they are always well-meaning and usually wanted, here are reasons why you should never comment on someone’s weight:

  1. Implies Conditional Worth: Complimenting weight loss implies that their current weight is “better” than their previous weight. They tie their worth to that weight, so if and when they gain the weight back, they feel shame, failure, and less worthy. 
  2. May Reinforce Unhealthy Behaviors: You never know how someone lost weight. They may be turning to extreme, unhealthy, and/or inflexible behaviors to maintain that lower weight. Complimenting the weight loss reinforces those risky behaviors. 
  3. Disordered Eating: For those who are struggling with or trying to overcome disordered eating or an eating disorder, commenting on their smaller body reinforces eating disorder behavior and makes recovery more difficult.
  4. Perpetuates Diet Culture: Complimenting weight loss perpetuates the idea that smaller bodies are healthier, more attractive, and more worthy of attention. Bodies are naturally diverse. One body type should never be celebrated over another. Additionally, you can’t tell someone’s health just by looking at them
  5. Overlooks Underlying Causes: Weight changes can happen unintentionally related to mental or physical illness, grief, stress, financial struggles, etc. Complimenting weight loss without understanding the cause can inadvertently overlook or minimize these reasons.

80 Non-Physical Compliments For Various People and Situations 

This list serves as a starting point for offering meaningful non-physical compliments across various people and situations. The most impactful compliments, though, are tailored to the individual and highlight unique attributes and qualities you genuinely admire in them.

For Your Partner

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  1. Your sense of humor always brightens my day.
  2. I appreciate how supportive you are of my goals.
  3. Thank you for always being there to listen.
  4. I feel so safe when I’m with you.
  5. I love the way you always challenge me to think differently.
  6. I feel incredibly lucky to have you in my life.
  7. You’re such a creative problem solver.
  8. You handle stress with such grace.
  9. Your ambition and drive motivate me.
  10. I admire how patient you are.

For Greeting Someone 

  1. You have such a positive presence!
  2. I appreciate your punctuality. It makes my time feel respected!
  3. You have such a welcoming presence.
  4. It’s refreshing to meet someone so genuine.
  5. You’re glowing with happiness! 
  6. I’m so glad you could make it! I’ve been looking forward to hanging out with you all week.
  7. I admire your confidence.
  8. Your reliability makes you a trusted friend.
  9. I’m so excited to catch up with you. This is the best part of my day!
  10. You brighten the room when you walk in!

For Family

  1. Your support means the world to me.
  2. You’ve done so much for us. I’m so grateful for that!
  3. Your wisdom and guidance have always been invaluable to me.
  4. Your dedication to our family is truly inspiring.
  5. Your ability to bring our family together is something I truly admire.
  6. The patience you show with all of us is a true virtue.
  7. Your dedication to our family’s well-being is something I will never take for granted. We’re so lucky!
  8. The way you listen and give advice shows your deep love and concern.
  9. Your encouragement has been my rock.
  10.  I wouldn’t be who I am without you!

For Your Friends

  1. You’re always up for an adventure. I love it!
  2. Our conversations are always so interesting. You have a unique perspective.
  3. I value our friendship.
  4. I can always count on you for honest feedback and advice.
  5. ​​You have the best sense of humor! You always know how to make me laugh.
  6. You’re such a positive influence in my life. Thank you for that.
  7. You’re one of the most genuine people I know. Your authenticity is refreshing
  8. Your honesty, even when it’s hard, has helped me grow.
  9. Thank you for always being there to celebrate my successes with me!
  10. I’m grateful for your dependability. I’m glad I have you in my life!

For People You Just Met 

  1. You have great energy. It’s a pleasure to meet you!
  2. Your punctuality is refreshing. It shows respect for everyone’s time!
  3. Your welcoming presence puts everyone at ease!
  4. I enjoyed our conversation
  5. Thank you for being so attentive.
  6. Your passion for [topic] is impressive. Have you been involved in any projects related to it?
  7. I appreciate how open-minded you are.
  8. Your insights during the [event] were fascinating. Can you tell me more?
  9. Your kindness is apparent from the get-go. I appreciate that!
  10. You have such insightful thoughts on this topic. I appreciate your perspective.

For Coworkers 

  1. Your presentation was clear and concise; everyone was engaged.
  2. Your teamwork mentality makes projects enjoyable.
  3. I really appreciate your willingness to help out with [task].
  4. You consistently produce high-quality work.
  5. You manage your time so efficiently.
  6. You’re a dependable colleague.
  7. Your innovative ideas contribute significantly to our success.
  8. I always learn so much from your insights and expertise.
  9. Your insights during meetings are incredibly valuable.
  10. Your positivity makes the workplace better.

For Children 

  1. You worked so hard on that drawing! It looks amazing.
  2. You have such a creative imagination.
  3. I’m so proud of you!
  4. Your questions show how smart you are.
  5. You handle your challenges very bravely.
  6. You’re so thoughtful towards your friends.
  7. You’re such a curious learner. I love seeing you explore.
  8. Wow, you’ve read so many books! You’re a fast learner.
  9. You’re so helpful with your little sibling. You’re so kind. 
  10. You played a great game today! You’ve really increased your running speed this season. 

Unique Non-Physical Compliments

  1. Your ideas always make me see the world in a new light.
  2. You’re so great at making complex things understandable and interesting.
  3. Your ability to stay calm and thoughtful in chaotic situations is remarkable.
  4. You have a way of asking questions that makes me see things from a whole new perspective.
  5. our laugh is so contagious. It instantly brightens the room.
  6. You manage to find beauty in the most unexpected places.
  7. I love your storytelling ability! You’re so charismatic.
  8. Your empathy is incredible. You always make me feel understood.
  9. You’re such a fantastic listener.
  10. You have a rare combination of wisdom and humility that draws people to you.

Final Thoughts

I hope these non-physical compliments inspired you to start thinking beyond appearances and offer more meaningful and impactful praises!

If you’re interested in learning more about body image or Intuitive Eating, be sure to check out some of these other blog posts: 

If you’re looking for personalized support,  I offer one one-on-one body image and Intuitive Eating counseling services to help you find food freedom and body confidence. My one-on-one services are tailored to your specific needs and concerns. We work to develop a plan together that will help you achieve your goals and fit into your life. Whether you’re looking to break free from the diet cycle, overcome emotional or binge eating, or start treating your body with respect and kindness, I’m here to help!

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