Notice his Skills

Guys are often raised not to compliment each other. They're raised to be competitve, to put each other down and to try to be the best. So many guys go through life without having anyone praise them.

Every guy has at least one or two things they do well. Talk with him and figure out what they are. And then honestly praise him on those skills. He will probably be thrilled that you noticed, and proud that you think he's done well in that area.