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27 Good Things to Say to Someone When They Get a Tattoo

27 Good Things to Say to Someone When They Get a Tattoo

Tattoos have always been a form of self-expression, and in some cases, identification. If you find a tattoo interesting, don’t be weird and stare, figure out what to say when someone gets a tattoo you like.

When someone gets a tattoo, there’s often a great story behind it to enjoy. Knowing what to say at the right time can give you a unique opportunity to get a first-hand account of a tattoo’s backstory.

Some tattoos don’t have a deep meaning, and that’s fine too. When someone gets a tattoo, it could be because they simply enjoy the design.

Either way, when you’re deciding what to say, have positive thoughts in mind. This is something permanent, and the person doesn’t need to walk around thinking people hate the tattoo.

Here are some of the best examples of what you can say:


5 ways to talk about/compliment the design and the location of the tattoo on their body

People love positive feedback on how a tattoo looks to feel reassured it was a good decision. This can be about the way the tattoo is positioned or the design.
These are some examples, and you think it’s cool:

01“Whoa, sick tat! I’ve never seen anyone get their [insert rare placement] tatted before!”
Use this when you’ve never seen someone with a tattoo on that part of their body before. It also says you like it.


young woman portrait tattoo on shoulder
Photo by Stasia04 on shutterstock


02“Cool design dude. Your tattoo artist did a really great job on that design.”
A lot of people walk around with horrible tattoos. When you see one that stands out to you because of its design, this is what you can say.


tattoo artist demonstrates process getting tattoo on leg

Photo by IvanRiver on shutterstock


03“I love your sleeve. It’s crazy how they’re individual tattoos, but they look like one cohesive design.”
Tattoo sleeves can be made of a single tattoo or multiple tattoos. It takes a lot of creativity to make a multi-tattoo sleeve look seamless. This says the artist did a great job.


04“I can respect a guy/gal who’s dedicated enough to get a full-back tattoo. It came out great!”
This is good to say when the person has a large tattoo. Tattoos are painful, so this says you’re impressed.


ganesha tattoo full back white black

Photo by arkom kumnurdprom on shutterstock


05“Can I please take a picture of that? I’d love to make it my wallpaper/screensaver.”
This is the best compliment you can give someone with a tattoo. It says you find it impressive and aesthetically pleasing.


lower hip tattoo woman black ink rose

Photo by on shutterstock


5 ways to ask what the design means to them or why they decided to get a tattoo

Many tattoos have deep meaning. It can be to acknowledge great loss, life-changing milestones, loved ones or unexpected events.
They also say a lot about the person wearing it.

06“This is a unique design. What was the inspiration behind it?”
This is a good example when you don’t understand the design of the tattoo because you’ve never seen it before. It says you’re interested in it.


07“I see you’ve got a date in Roman numerals. What’s so special about that day?”
Many people get Roman numerals to symbolize important milestones or events in their life. This says you want to learn more about the person.


tattoo artist make roman numerals

Photo by OZGIOUN SAMPRI on shutterstock


08“A tattoo like this must have a deep meaning. Do you mind sharing?”
This says you’ve noticed right away this is a statement piece and not a flash tattoo. It says you’d love to learn the meaning if the person is comfortable telling you, but there’s no pressure.


09“Did you get that because you’re a [insert fandom] or do you just like the art?”
Use this when you recognize something from the tattoo that you’re interested in, for example, a logo or something that represents a certain community. It says you want to know if you have that in common.


couple on bench tattoo on legs

Photo by Mikhail_Kayl on shutterstock


10“I love a good backstory about a tattoo. What’s the story here?”
This is another way to approach a person with an impressive tattoo. It says you want to know the unique meaning of it.



12 things to say when you don’t have a tattoo

If you don’t have a tattoo, your questions will come from a lack of experience. Some may refer to the reservations you have or the pain, while others will be about the tattooing process.
Others can be about your own desires to get a tattoo and you might even ask for recommendations for your own tattoo.

3 compliments about their bravery in going through with the tattooing process


11“It takes real balls to get such an intricate design. I salute you.”
This compliments the person for being brave enough to sit through hours for the artwork.


12“I can’t even begin to imagine the pain. I guess you’re just built differently.”
It is good to say this when you know you’re not good with pain, so you can’t imagine what the person had to endure.


client tattoo salon feeling pain during session
Photo by Pressmaster on shutterstock


13“I gotta give it to you. I know that that was painful and took a few sessions. You’re very brave for that.”
This praises the person for following through with the completed designs. A lot of people start large complex designs and end up with just an outline because the process to complete it was too stressful.



2 ways to express your interest in getting a tattoo yourself one day


14“I wish I could get tatted too, but my job doesn’t allow it”
This says you’re a fan of tattoos and would love to have one.


15“I’m about to get my first tattoo soon. Any advice for fresh meat?”
It says you love tattoos so much that you intend to get one. It also asks questions about what to expect.


friendly talk barber male client cheerful white shirt
Photo by Dmytro Zinkevych on shutterstock


2 ways to ask where they got it done and why they chose that location/artist


16“I want a tattoo, but I don’t know any artists. How did you find yours?”
Use this when you’re unfamiliar with the area or new to the tattoo scene. It says you want to learn how to choose a good tattoo artist or locate one in the area.


someone gets a tattoo young woman being tattooed on arm

Photo by Ihor Bulyhin on shutterstock


17“Did you have a good experience with your tattoo artist? Would you go back again or recommend him/her?”
This says you’re interested in a tattoo artist and want feedback from a previous client before you work with him/her.


3 ways to ask how the experience was


18“Man, that must’ve taken hours. How many sessions did you go to?”
Use this when you want to get a large tattoo, but you don’t know how long it will take. Ask this when you see someone with a similar size or design to what you are thinking of.


tattoo artist gloves working client back

Photo by Alones on shutterstock


19“Do you think it’s better to get it done in one go or split it into multiple sessions?”
Say this to someone with multiple tattoos. It is good to say when you want to know how to make your tattooing experience better.


20“How long did that take to heal? It’s massive.”
This is good to use when you don’t know how tattoo healing time works. It helps you to plan for limitations, for example canceling your swimming lessons or staying out of direct sunlight.


cheerful woman talking friends tattoo right shoulder

Photo by Jacob Lund on shutterstock


2 ways to ask how it felt if you’re curious about the pain factor


21“I’m kinda hesitant because I don’t have a high pain tolerance. Do you think I could manage it?”
Use this when someone you know well has a tattoo, and you want to know if you’d be up for the challenge.


man shouting from pain of back tattoo

Photo by Mikhail_Kayl on shutterstock


22“Ouch! That looks like it hurts! How bad was it?”
This asks the person to describe the pain so you can prepare for the sensation through comparison. It can also lead to a description on a scale of 1 to 10.


7 things to say when you also have a tattoo

When you have a tattoo, you may become a subject of great influence for someone who is planning to get one. Use this opportunity to share useful advice that first-timers will need.

3 ways to share with them about your own tattoo(s)


23“I got this tattoo last month and it’s healing nicely. I can’t wait for you to join the club.”
This is good to say to someone you know who is planning on getting a tattoo. It says there’s nothing to fear.



24“I know people say tattoos should have meaning, but I got mine just because I like the design. Don’t take yourself too seriously and have fun with it!”
Say this to someone who is overthinking a tattoo. It says you have no regrets.


bearded tattoo artist showing design to girl client
Photo by Ihor Bulyhin on shutterstock


25“Most of my tattoos are hidden because of work, but I like it this way. Think of all the cool and interesting places you can put yours!”
Use this when someone says they can’t get a tattoo because of a job or some other reason. It says the person can still enjoy having a tattoo once the placement is right.


2 ways to share with them how to take care of the tattoo properly so it doesn’t get infected when it’s their first tattoo and they need advice


26“Make sure you follow the aftercare instructions [give one or two examples] because I messed up my tattoo by being lazy!”
Proper aftercare is very important. This stresses the importance.


woman applying cream on arm new tattoo

Photo by New Africa on shutterstock


27“Antibacterial soap is your best friend. Keep it clean and moisturized and you’ll be fine.”
This says taking care of a tattoo is simple. All the person has to do is follow the aftercare instructions properly.