Here's a trick to make people like you...
Interestingly, one study found that this effect took place even when people knew certain traits didn't describe the people who had talked about them.
It seems that whatever you say about other people influences how people see you.
If you describe someone else as trustworthy and kind, people will also associate you with those qualities. The reverse is also true: If you are constantly bashing people behind their backs, people will begin to link such qualities to you.
I suppose what's also at play here is that people might think -- whether consciously or subconcsciously -- that the person is projecting his or her own qualities onto others, especially if they describe the individual this way repeatedly.
So there you have it. Complimenting others may lead others to similarly compliment you. Whether you want to be seen as sweet, smart, or funny in others' eyes, it might pay off to attribute such qualities to other people. Indeed, this gives new meaning to the phrase "what goes around comes around."