By Melissa Locker
College Students Laying in Grass Reading
Credit: Susan Schiff Faludi/Getty Images

If you grew up in the South, your mother most likely taught you that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Sometimes, though, finding the right nice thing to say can feel incredibly difficult. To help, we've put together a list of a few compliments that almost everyone likes to hear. While these don't work for everyone on every occasion, the next time you're speaking to a family member, long-time friend, or even the cashier at the grocery store, test it out.

You always make people smile

Sometimes people just have sunny dispositions and warm personalities that make everyone around them feel warm and welcome. some people just seem to be born with this incredible skill, and others work hard to make everyone around them feel happy. Either way, it's worth mentioning.

I can tell you really worked hard on this

People appreciate it when others notice their efforts and that is true for folks of all ages from grandparents to kindergartners to co-workers. Making sure someone's hard work and accomplishments gets the attention they deserve will almost always bring a smile.

I always learn so much from you

Everyone likes to feel that they have valuable information to share. Complimenting someone on their book smarts or street smarts can make them feel appreciated for their intellect.

I love your sense of humor

As Reba McEntire once said, "To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone." Finding friends to make you laugh even when you feel like crying is so important. Let your friend know that you appreciate their ability to crack a joke and share a smile.

You are such a great example for others

Most of us try to do our best in this world, but if someone you know is really nailing it with their ability to gracefully juggle work and life or handling a difficult situation with panache, or even just putting together an incredible bake sale, let them know. Not everyone realizes their life skills are valuable. As Jackie Robinson said, "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."

You have the best laugh

If someone lets loose with a chuckle, a chortle, a guffaw, a snicker, or a giggle and it makes you laugh along with them, let them know! Knowing you have a beautiful laugh may just lead to even more laughter and that is never a bad thing.

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I am so lucky to have a friend like you

One thing that people seem to forget is that being a good friend can be a lot of work. It's not hard work, of course, but maintaining a years-long friendship does take effort. Remind your friend that you recognize the effort and that you are so happy to have them in your life.

You look nice today

Telling someone that they are wearing a flattering outfit or the perfect color can give a much-needed confidence boost. After all, most of us want to look good when we leave the house and it's nice to know you've pulled it off.

You are an incredible parent

Parenthood is so fraught with doubt. Most people have no idea if they are raising their kids right or simply raising a hefty therapy bill later in life. When you compliment someone on their parenting, you soothe those fears, even if just for a moment.

Can I ask your advice on something?

One of the greatest compliments to give a friend is to ask them for their opinion. It makes them feel like their thoughts are valued and that you trust their judgment. In short, it makes them feel like a better friend.