Hell its a compliment, take it or leave it..
I usually use the word "cute" on situations
... Not on appearances.
* like how a 5 year old kid confess "I'm shy to scratch your back uncle." - now that's cute!
I rather use "You look Good!" or "Smart today" ..I don't really go by the puzzle I tell them straight!, I know there are guys don't like the word cute...I use Adorable or lovely. On elderly older people I love using words like Handsome or Pretty, giving them the feel, the vibe of young & new again. Trust me it does eventually help.
Like they say words can do lots of damage so as bringing that aid of good positive vibes in them.