Yes I do sometimes. It's usually when my friends talk about something physical such as "I just got my hair cut" or "I've been working out a lot over the last month". I know it would make my friends feel good, so I compliment them even if I don't like/notice whatever it is they're talking about. I just don't have the heart to not say something nice about a friend's appearance unless it's really bad.
I know that my friends do this too, and I appreciate it. I know that some things I buy they will think is ugly, but they'll still be nice and say "oh cute dress", and no one will mention it again. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, unless it's like that scene from Mean Girls where Regina tells that girl she loves her skirt then once she leaves she says it's the ugliest skirt she's ever seen.
I tend to do that more with people I'm more acquainted with but not quite friends and it's just a matter of conversation if they mention they got this shirt or something. I mean sometimes you just wanna say, "and you spent money on that?! But I try to be polite and just say something like, "yeah, that's interesting."
I tend to be more forward with people that I am actually friends with and try to only compliment if I really mean it.
I will say nothing if I don't like it. I have two friends who I am VERY honest with, as they are with me, and will always say if I don't like something because I don't want them to look silly. It's ok for us to be like this as it's the way we've always been and can take the comments, but I have some friends and even my mother who I could never be that candid with.
If I notice something new on an acquaintance, like a new dress or haircut, I usually comment by saying: "Cute dress" etc even if I'm not particularly fond of the style. People can still look nice in something I wouldn't wear or like myself.
Well it depends. If the compliments act as a social friendship/network-builder they may be neccessary. Of course these shouldn't be outright lies, I believe everyone has something to them that can or amy be complimented, sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper. General compliments like "you look good today" or similar in some social circles act more like a greeting than anything else. =P
That being said, I'm only giving honest compliments when asked directly, to close friends or when it really matters. I'm not afraid of speaking my true (and founded) opinion if asked.
I am loose with my complements (i know how much they mean to me lol so i spread the love!) I know people who respond well to complements, so i will complement them. It will usually be something that i like about them i.e. necklace but my complements are always genuine, i sometimes over exaggerate how much i love something.
I never compliment someone that I do not know well or just do not know unless I am really, really impressed. My compliments are a bit more free when it comes to family and friends.
My mom hates this about me. She and my sister have very trendy taste in clothing, and I don't, so my Mom will always ask if I like whatever she is wearing. 8/10 times I won't like it, and I'll tell her, but with an added -you should no better, that's not my thing- at the end.
Hahahaha the big instance I can think of is with babies. If you're presented with someone's kid, you can't say nothing because every parent thinks their kid is beautiful, and even if it looks like "a dingo ate your baby" you still have to say something nice about the little fugling.
If asked for my direct opinion on things like clothes, I usually tend to be honest but polite because those are things people can change.
I only compliment when I really mean it, and people who know me well know this and thats why they are over joyed when I do compliment (lol) - because they know i really do mean it. They appreciate it a lot more, personally I dont appreciate people who compliment everything all the time. It gets a bit too much, and has no real worth because you know they are saying it to everyone about everything!