Sunday, December 31, 2006

Step Four: The Implied Compliment

"You're Much Too Young to Remember This, But . . ." Here is yet another way to puff up your Quarry when your relationship is still too fragile to hold a full-blown big compliment. Imply that your Quarry is wonderful in the "incidental" part of your sentence. Implied compliments are phrases like, "You're too young to remember this, but . . ." or "Anybody as good-looking as you wouldn't . . ." You are praising your Quarry, but not directly. You have a choice. You can couch the implied compliment in the dependent clause of your statement, such as, "Being as smart as you are, you wouldn't fall for a scheme like that, but I did," or "Anyone as well spoken as you could easily get right through onthe phone to him." Another way to craft the implied compliment is to insinuate your Quarry is part of some exceptional group. Say something like "Really bright people like you often feel that way" or "Anybody as fit as you are could do it with no problem." You can make liberal use of the implied compliment, because it does not appear as though you had the intention to flatter. Your exalted opinion of your Quarry, well, just slipped out. TECHNIQUE #38: THE IMPLIED COMPLIMENT Pave the path to your Quarry's heart by tucking implied compliments into the secondary parts of your sentences. You can also hint at your exalted opinion of him or her by referring to your Quarry as part of some superior group. The Bull's-Eye Booster: ''I Just Love What You Like About Yourself" Most people praise their Quarry for something they like about him or her. But it's much more potent when you compliment your Quarry for something he or she is really proud of. Early in your conversation, start consciously gathering booster material. Carefully craft your praise so it darts directly, dead center, into your Quarry's heart. This takes some careful listening with a psychiatrist's ear. While your Quarry is talking, watch his or her face. Be on the lookout for cheeks blushing, eyes brightening, smiles flickering. These expressions are gifts to you—gifts of revelation of what turns her on about herself. When his face becomes lively, it means he's enjoying what he is telling you. If it becomes bland while she discusses a particular accomplishment, don't bother to compliment that one. Recently, I was having lunch with a charming, but rather chauvinistic, business associate named Ralph. Just that morning, Ralph had given a speech to a group of female business executives. Before the speech he feared the feminists in the group would eat him alive. As he told me the story, his eyes began to sparkle. With great animation he related the "man-bashing" joke he opened his speech with to win the crowd over. Later, at the same lunch, Ralph told me another story. This second one was truly impressive. He told me how, from humble stockroom-boy beginnings, he quickly rose to become president of his company. During this tale, Ralph's face was bland, unmoved. Which accomplishment do you think Ralph would most like to be praised for? Yes, even though in real-world terms the latter is far more praiseworthy, winning over his potentially unfriendly female audience was Ralph's conceit. If, by chance, you wanted to win over his chauvinistic heart, you would say, "Oh, Ralph, that was clever of you to open with that joke." Before delivering your first overt compliment, reflect on your Quarry's self-image. Where does her vanity lie? What would he most like you to recognize him for? Does she fancy herself extremely bright? Absolutely gorgeous? A spiritual person? Does he fancyhimself a lady-killer, a shrewd judge of character? A wild, funny, rakish kinda guy? Maybe she's proud of her hilarious sense of humor, her deep sense of honesty, her creativity. Or, like Ralph, he's proud of his ability to win feminists over through clever wit. Analyze what your Quarry is most happy about in himself and then praise that. Often an attractive woman would prefer you to praise her intelligence and insights rather than her appearance. An accomplished man, weary of hearing how bright he is, might respond more warmly to your telling him how good-looking he is. The more your praise conforms with your Quarry's ideal self-image, the more he or she will appreciate it. Hunters and Huntresses, when praising your Quarry, also consider timing. Praise for a recent small victory carries more punch than applauding a greater, more distant, feat. Complimenting someone's new outfit is best on the day he or she bought it. In this case, Ralph liked being complimented on his man-bashing joke victory because it happened that morning, whereas his meteoric rise had taken place decades ago.
TECHNIQUE #39: THE BULL'S-EYE COMPLIMENT Before you fire your first overt compliment, ask yourself, "What is this person most proud of?" Then take precise aim. Also consider timing. You warm your Quarry's heart more by praising a new achievement over an old.

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