Giving out compliments is a tricky business. I like doing it a lot, because I like my friends a lot and I want them to like themselves. On the one hand, you want to compliment people a lot, but on the other you don’t want your words to feel cheapened by the fact that you say nice things a lot. On the one hand, you won’t to reflect how important a person is to you, on the other hand you don’t want to overdo it and make them uncomfortable.
Personally, I think people should be less afraid to be affectionate with their words and I certainly try my hardest to say nice things to friends whenever I can. The tricky part comes in making sure that your words carry real meaning – one thing I like to do is write people letters were I talk at length about the importance of their friendship to me. It’s quite difficult though, because I don’t want to say the same things to different people. I could just write a letter to one friend, then do a search and replace and add another friend’s name – but then all of the letters would be quite meaningless, wouldn’t they?
I remember once, I said something to someone and then I realised I’d said something similar to somebody else before and all of a sudden I felt very guilty – each person fills a different role in my life and is important to me in a different way. I instantly caught myself and then said something else instead. I know nobody would have ever known either way, but it was for my peace of mind, because I know words that have been said to me have retroactively felt empty when I’ve heard the same person saying the same thing to somebody else. I don’t feel that it’s right to compare people against one another and I think this might be an example of that.
Overall, I don’t think I do too badly at compliments, and neither do the people I know. I think affectionate people are the kinds of people I am drawn to the most.