People primarily use compliments when they are talking to a friend, a family member, and occasionally a stranger at the grocery store.
It has been found that compliments are often only when talking to someone of the same sex, rather than the opposite sex for fear of flirting. This also seems to make things increasingly difficult for LGBT+ communities concerning when they are trying to flirt - sometimes the point does not get across, according to a small survey of college students. This means that when a woman compliments a man, typically, it is seen as flirtatious and endearing. The same goes for vice versa. This needs to change for two main reasons:
1. Flirting is different from complimenting someone.
Yes, they are similar. There are phrases that can be used as a compliment and as an endearing term, but that does not mean that every time someone is complimenting someone else, they are trying to make a move. After a discussion with a few friends of mine, I have found that people sometimes stray away from a friendly compliment because the situation felt too flirtatious.
My question then is: what is the right situation? Is there one? Is there ever a time? I am NOT saying to yell out to a girl or guy at 2 a.m. when they are walking alone on a street, but if you see someone who has on cute heels, let them know! People often are trying to flirt when the conversation goes into excessive complimentary or when they have other signs such as touching or laughter. There is nothing flirtatious about a "you look great today!"
2. Compliments make other people feel happy AND make you feel good.
Complimenting others gives them a little ego boost for the day if you go about it the right way. Try your best not to seem condescending! They can go a long way for someone's self-esteem, regardless of if you see that or not. Complimenting someone else can also make you feel good about yourself, especially when they get excited or they tell you that you made their day. It is important to remember that kindness makes the world go around and that kindness can start with you!