There are ways to compliment men without being creepy.

How to Compliment a Guy Without Being Creepy

by Sharon O'Neil

According to Men's Health, 66 percent of men like to hear about their intangible qualities, while only 8 percent want women to comment on their physical qualities. When you compliment the right way, you can make a guy feel good and encourage him to want to know you better. But even with the best intentions, you can deliver a compliment in a way that seems creepy. Being aware of your cues and social norms will help your compliments go over better.

Stand a reasonable distance when giving a guy a compliment. In the United States, the range of 4 to 12 feet is the normal distance for social acquaintances. A distance of 2 to 4 feet is usually comfortable for friends, and those in intimate relationships can be as close as 6 to 18 inches. Trying to get up close and personal with a casual acquaintance will definitely give a creepy vibe.

Smile in a friendly way while giving a compliment. Smiling makes others feel at ease and will make your compliment seem more sincere. Using a flat expression with a compliment sends a mixed signal, and will make your comment sound sarcastic.

Keep the compliment short and sweet. It's best to nonchalantly slip in a compliment early in a conversation. You could say something like, "Hi, how are you today? Did you get a new jacket? It looks very nice!" Do not gush and go on and on with your compliment. This could make him feel uncomfortable and self-conscious.

Compliment in a broad way, without being too specific. It's one thing to say, "Nice hair!" But going into too much detail with something like, "Your hairstyle really makes your eyes stand out," may come across as creepy to a guy you don't know well. Complimenting on areas that are not very obvious to casual acquaintances, like his mannerisms or speech patterns, could make him feel like you have been watching him.


  • Don't feel discouraged if he does not accept your compliment. In American culture, it is very common to dismiss or downplay a compliment.


  • Avoid compliments of a sexual nature with casual acquaintances. Not only can this be creepy to some guys, in certain settings it's a form of sexual harassment.

About the Author

Sharon O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. Her work has been published on various websites, including Walden University's Think+Up. She has worked in international business and is a licensed customs broker. She is currently a supervisor with a social service agency that works with families to prevent child abuse and neglect. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in business from Indiana University.

Photo Credits

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