Isn’t it nice to be recognized when you’re feeling cute? The occasional and appropriately timed “you look nice today” can be a confidence boost when we’re needing it most.

But appearance isn’t always indicative of our achievements or our abilities. Instead of assigning value to things outside of our control, we can offer compliments that focus on intelligence, intuition, presence, creativity, and emotional capacity. We can compliment the traits people spend their whole lives honing — because isn’t that where the real work lies?

“We can compliment the traits people spend their whole life honing — because isn’t that where the real work lies?”

Here, you’ll find 99 compliments that focus on the qualities of the people you love the most — and that have nothing to do with the way someone looks. Happy complimenting!

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Our favorite compliments

1. You are kind.

2. I admire your bravery to speak up about things that matter to you.

3. Your confidence inspires me to be more confident in myself.

4. I appreciate your honesty.

5. You are a thoughtful planner, and are good at being proactive.

6. Your routines are inspiring to me.

7. I admire your ability to set boundaries and take care of yourself.

8. Your jokes always brighten my day! I appreciate your sharp sense of humor.

9. You are a wonderful listener. I always feel understood by you.

10. I have such good memories of all the times we’ve been able to share together; I’m always looking forward to spending time with you.

“Your confidence inspires me to be more confident in myself.”

11. I feel secure in your leadership and appreciate you taking charge, especially when things get tough.

12. You light up every room you enter, and everyone can sense it.

13. I appreciate your resilience in the face of challenges, and I’m also happy to be a shoulder to lean on when you need help bouncing back.

14. I love how you balance play with work — you remind me not to take myself so seriously all the time.

15. Your advice is meaningful to me, and I know I can count on you to be honest.

16. I appreciate how I can be myself around you. Thank you for encouraging me to be authentic.

17. You take new learnings and lessons with ease and grace; I respect your flexibility and open mind.

18. Thank you for being a patient person. I feel supported by you.

19. You have a calming presence and make others feel safe around you.

20. You always know exactly what to say and when to say it. You have great intuition.

21. I cherish the joy you bring to my life.

22. You have an excellent eye for capturing moments through photos and videos. I love the pictures you share on social media.

23. Your enthusiasm for adventure is contagious and exciting.

24. You approach life with curiosity, and I admire how dedicated you are to learning new things.

25. Introspection is your superpower; you think things through meticulously before speaking.

26. You have an ear for good music — I love every playlist you make or new artist you recommend.

27. You are great at dedicating yourself to the task at hand.

28. I am grateful for how you show up for me physically, emotionally, and spiritually — you’ve always got my back.

29. You are a good teammate; I’m glad I get to work alongside you.

30. I love how you support others. It means the world to all of us, even if we don’t say it often enough.

“I am grateful for how you show up for me physically, emotionally, and spiritually — you’ve always got my back.”

31. Your voice is very soothing, and it comforts me whenever I hear it.

32. You aren’t afraid to wear something new and express yourself; it makes me want to leave my fashion comfort zone!

33. You ask such insightful questions.

34. I love how empathetic you are. Your ability to feel so much is a gift.

35. You are an intuitive and patient teacher.

36. Talking with you and being around you energizes me creatively.

37. Your enthusiasm for color brightens my world!

38. You always make sure everyone in the room is heard — no one feels lonely or left out when you are around.

39. I appreciate how much you allow others to feel their feelings without judgment.

40. You give such wonderful, thoughtful gifts.

“I love how empathetic you are. Your ability to feel so much is a gift.”

41. I want to recognize the way you understand your own value, and how you understand the value of those around you, too. It is felt.

42. You are bold and not deterred by the idea of failure; in fact, those experiences have made you the strong and knowledgeable person you are today.

43. I love how you treat animals with such kindness and compassion; it’s no surprise that you are loved by all creatures who encounter you.

44. Your ability to consider a problem from multiple angles and perspectives is a gift.

45. You always see the best in others — your positive spirit reminds me to search for the good in the world, too.

46. You are a great parent. I feel so hopeful and optimistic knowing that you are raising the next generation of young leaders.

47. The way you love and stand up for others is courageous.

48. You are magnetic, and people are drawn to your beautiful energy.

49. I love how you treat people with respect, even if/when you disagree with them.

50. You radiate warmth.

51. The way you retain knowledge and enthusiastically talk about [subject] is so cool, and I love how much you love it.

52. You are quick on your feet and are a great improviser in stressful situations.

53. You are effervescent.

54. I admire your ambition and your drive.

55. You embrace your silliness unapologetically, and it delights and inspires me to be silly, too.

56. I respect your opinions on current events, and I always look forward to hearing what you have to say.

57. I love how creative your mind is.

58. The way you curate your home is so authentic, welcoming, and thoughtful.

59. Your resourcefulness is brilliant.

60. You are trustworthy. I’m always grateful I can trust you with important things.

“You embrace your silliness unapologetically, and it delights and inspires me to be silly, too.”

61. I love the way you analyze [books, music, movies, art]; you draw insightful connections and discover deep metaphors.

62. Your art moves me.

63. I admire the high standards you set for yourself and those around you; they invite everyone to strive for better.

64. You have a fantastic memory!

65. You are good at finding a way to be more efficient and mindful about how you (or we) spend time.

66. I always look forward to seeing the result of your creative projects, even if (and especially if) they’re just for fun.

67. You are an affirming friend and make others feel validated in a meaningful way.

68. Your dedication to your spiritual wellness makes me want to explore my own more deeply.

69. You consistently continue to get better at [X], and it makes me so happy to see you growing a skill you’ve already been great at.

70. You aren’t afraid to take chances, which emboldens those around you to live fearlessly.

“You are an affirming friend and make others feel validated in a meaningful way.”

71. I admire how you trust your intuition.

72. Your laugh is contagious, and it never fails to make me smile.

73. Everything you cook/bake is creative and delicious.

74. Your optimism is unwavering and uplifting to those around you.

75. Your independence is empowering.

76. I’ve learned so much from your clear communication style.

77. Everyone around you is touched by your compassion; we are all grateful to be held by you.

78. You are generous with your time, talent and/or possessions. It lights the way for others to be so, too.

79. Creating community comes naturally to you, and you are good at being the “glue” of any new group you are in.

80. You’ve mastered the art of relaxing — I want to learn to embrace my free time like you do.

81. I admire your decisiveness.

82. You have worked really hard to arrive at this moment; I hope you get a chance to celebrate yourself as you deserve.

83. You are such a welcoming host, and I always have a memorable time at your gatherings.

84. The way you admit your vulnerability is brave. I am here for you.

85. You persist in even the direst of circumstances, and it is one of the things that makes you powerful.

86. I admire how graciously and willingly you apologize when you’ve made a mistake.

87. No detail escapes your attention — and that sets you apart at work and/or as a friend.

88. You give the best hugs.

89. Every plant you touch grows so vibrantly and beautifully.

90. You helped me change my mindset about [X], and that has been a blessing in my life.

“You have worked really hard to arrive at this moment; I hope you get a chance to celebrate yourself as you deserve.”

91. I admire your punctuality; your promptness makes people feel respected.

92. You have a beautiful way with words; there’s poetry in your writing and musicality to your stories.

93. I love that I always learn something new when I talk to you.

94. You are so organized, and it benefits everyone around you.

95. Your wholehearted love for nature makes me want to spend more time outside.

96. You are excellent at networking and making connections with interesting people.

97. I appreciate your advocacy and your work to amplify the voices of people who are not being heard.

98. I admire how you aren’t afraid to ask for what you want or need. You are candid and honest.

99. My life is better for having you in it.

“My life is better for having you in it.”

Emily McGowan is the Editorial Director at The Good Trade. Born and raised in Indiana, she studied Creative Writing and Business at Indiana University. You can usually find her in her colorful Los Angeles apartment journaling, caring for her rabbits and cat, or gaming. Say hi on Instagram!