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compliments? Options
Vickster
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 8:36:18 AM
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Joined: 2/19/2010
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Location: Massachusetts, United States
I was curious how people feel when given a compliment...

If your a woman and I (being a woman) give you a compliment on your hair/clothing/eyes... do you take offense? or would you appreciate the compliment and feel better about yourself??
If your a man.. what would be your reaction to the compliment... would you think it offensive? or flirtatious? or take it as it is and feel better about yourself??
If it's to your child? Would you think this rude? or feel good because you have a beautiful child?

I ask because some people give me dirty looks when I say... "Oh... I just love that shirt, the color really brings out your eyes!!" Or... "Your little girl has the most beautiful hair, look at those curls!!" Am I going to far with my compliments? Am I too blunt??
What are your feelings on this?? Think
boneyfriend
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 9:15:42 AM

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Vicky, I love receiving a compliment and take no offense. A compliment can make me feel good all day. I can't imagine giving someone a dirty look after receiving a compliment.
And I love a compliment about my child. That is the best compliment of all.
sisikou
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 10:08:24 AM
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Joined: 5/2/2011
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Hi~Vickster,
Don't take it too serious...maybe the "dirty look" response is only due to his/her bad day. One might therefore took every input as offenses. Being jumpy and touchy makes one unfriendly. So, it's not only the compliment's fault. It's not yours, either!
As for myself, sometimes I don't know how to respond properly and just keep the silly smile on my face. But I must admit that I love compliment. Expression is something I still need to learn. You know...whenever I told my mother-in-law:"Wow! How delicious the dinner is!" She always replies :"Really?"(deadpan) That's her style, but I know she's happy inside. :)
silver
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 10:57:50 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 35
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Location: United States
Vickster wrote:
I was curious how people feel when given a compliment...

If your a woman and I (being a woman) give you a compliment on your hair/clothing/eyes... do you take offense? or would you appreciate the compliment and feel better about yourself??
If your a man.. what would be your reaction to the compliment... would you think it offensive? or flirtatious? or take it as it is and feel better about yourself??
If it's to your child? Would you think this rude? or feel good because you have a beautiful child?

I ask because some people give me dirty looks when I say... "Oh... I just love that shirt, the color really brings out your eyes!!" Or... "Your little girl has the most beautiful hair, look at those curls!!" Am I going to far with my compliments? Am I too blunt??
What are your feelings on this?? Think


I live in the South, and we tend to be friendly by nature. However, there is an art to giving compliments, especially to strangers. The secret is to be honestly interested in people. For example, if I see the most charming child, I am smiling on the inside and out as I walk up; and I may say something to engage the child. Then when I compliment the child to the parent, the parent has already surmised that I love children and think their child is wonderful, which I do. It also helps if you explain why you are interested in their child or why you are interested in their earrings. For example, I often explain that I am a former teacher. You might explain that their child reminds them of your niece or your own child. You might say that you've been looking for a pair of earrings that particular color and design to go with your outfit and you love it. I am truly interested in them as a person first. Once, an individual realizes that I care about them and that I don't have an ulterior motive, they will usually listen to most anything I have to say to them.
jcbarros
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 1:41:04 PM

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You´d better say nothing.
kazi
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 2:21:41 PM
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Joined: 4/16/2010
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Better to say nothing than insincere and or unnecessary compliments.
Vickster
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 3:20:11 PM
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Who said they were insincere? Maybe unnessasary...they are to a perfect stranger... but I like to compliment someone and make them smile or feel good... I just hate when they take it the wrong way... My question is.. why would they take it the wrong way?? Is there a cultural issue? or maybe people feel uncomfortable with a compliment from another woman... or from the opposite sex? It is not done in a disrespectful way...

This does not happen often... but when it does I feel I've offended in some way and want to know why? Just curious?
raggie
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 3:47:03 PM
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Location: Türkiye, the City
A friend in need is a friend indeed but you shouldn't give insincere compliments when you feel that your friend or whatsoever needs to be cheered up. But you have to praise womankind, they are interesting creatures. This is not breaking the sincerity rule. Angel However, if you are with somebody, it means that you find sth good of him/her so you can compliment without exaggerating. In fact making a compliment is about intelligence. You can make perfect compliments taking the advantage of anything as well as not becoming insincere. It is about the words you use but not the matter. But do not waste them for who cares money, handsomeness or anything else material first. They deserve nothing. Shame on you
jmacann
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 6:40:59 PM
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You should not pay any attention to them, as long as you really feel what you are saying -and I am sure you do. In other words -boneyfriend is plain right.

Whether they deserve it is quite another matter. You are not supposed to know that; moreover, you are not passing judgement -but merely wording your impression. You are a free woman.
uuaschbaer
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 7:18:53 PM

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Joined: 10/18/2009
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Whenever anyone gives me a compliment I either question that person's judgment or be happy about it. To construe a general kind remark as offensive seems pretty foreign to me. Plus it would be a desperately barren society that withholds compliments for fear of causing offence; you should take every opportunity to make someone perfectly blushful and giddy! Vickster, it becomes you to so carefully consider the way you come across to others.
kitten
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 7:28:16 PM
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Joined: 12/28/2009
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Vickster wrote:
Who said they were insincere? Maybe unnessasary...they are to a perfect stranger... but I like to compliment someone and make them smile or feel good... I just hate when they take it the wrong way... My question is.. why would they take it the wrong way?? Is there a cultural issue? or maybe people feel uncomfortable with a compliment from another woman... or from the opposite sex? It is not done in a disrespectful way...

This does not happen often... but when it does I feel I've offended in some way and want to know why? Just curious?



Vickster, perhaps you may be more hurt than offended as all you wished to do was make someone smile or feel good.

Sometimes it can be cultural and in that case there is nothing you can do there. It is with them and has nothing to do with you personally.

Years ago, you will find that most people complimented one another and it was politely accepted and reciprocated.

Maybe they are watching too much reality TV.....where someone compliments and then talks about them, who knows. Or more sadly maybe in this PC world of ours they think it may be out of line and a form of sexual harassment. There are those who have carried this too far in our society, always wanting to sue someone or get them in trouble because they haven't taken the time to understand what is going on.

Just be yourself, honestly compliment as you have been doing, and when it isn't received well just move on. As it may be cultural, perhaps there are those who don't understand and see an ulterior motive behind the simplest of expressions or maybe they just can't or won't accept a kindness.

It isn't you is the bottom line.


peace out, >^,,^<


*I will tell you with respects to myself I compliment the ladies and men whom I wait on in the mornings when they have changed their hair style or a wearing a pretty scarf or tie. I have always done this. With respects to myself when I am complimented, I politely say "thank you, very much" and nothing more unless they ask something about it. For me it is cultural. Nothing more.*

Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Saturday, May 14, 2011 1:03:10 AM
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Joined: 9/10/2009
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On the other side of the coin is when someone tells you something that makes you feel just terrible inside, like my mother for example.

One of her comments which make me feel so insulted I just feel like standing up and leaving the room, is when I confide something to her about something that bothers me-- or about something I think or believe in etc.-- and she says: "Oh Marissa! That is all- in- your- head!"

Another one is when she says something like: "Why don't you do something with your hair? Can't you comb it or something?" Or: “Aren't you going to put some lipstick on or something before we go out?”

Or her seemingly total INDIFFERENCE to me as a person-- at least to what Ithink is essential to me as a person, which causes me to feel invalidated.

None of these examples are intentional I realize. But it would be nice to receive a sincere compliment--or a heart felt "thank-you" for bringing her a bowl of cold watermelon already cut up with the seeds picked out ready for her to eat--or for sweeping the leaves off the back porch for her etc. ...Or NOT watching television when I come to visit while I'm trying to talk to her, etc.

I use my mother as an example, but people do these things all the time without thinking. It almost seems like an aberration to me that someone would feel suspicious or distrustful of a compliment.

I agree with kitten: If it is a honest and sincere compliment, and a person receives it or interprets it in a bad way,just let it go and forget about it. There are all kinds of strange and crazy people out there in the world. But there are also a lot of people who genuinely appreciate a kind word and are grateful for your compliments.
HWNN1961
Posted: Saturday, May 14, 2011 11:25:24 AM
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V. As for the dynamics between men and women:

The nature of the compliment, the setting, and the nuances, how a woman looks at you, her tone of voice, her gestures all key in as to whether a compliment is taken on face value, or taken to be more.


If my boss tells me she likes my haircut, or the new shirt I'm wearing and does so as we pass in the hallway at work, then I take that at face value:

I note that we are in a professional setting, she has maintained her crisp friendly-but-focused demeanor, and the compliment itself all steer toward the obvious: she is observant (she got where she is that way), and friendly. No more.




If a co-worker from another department stops over to talk to me at the office lunch room and she says I must be working out, that I look great. That can be a face-value compliment too, but, if she sits and faces me squarely, if she's playing with her hair, smiling warmly, and the pupils of her eyes are huge, then in those circumstances, if she and I are both unattached, this might be the start of something if I'm smart enough to see the signs.

Keep in mind that somewhere around 90% of communication, whatever the nature of that communication, is non-verbal.

Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Saturday, May 14, 2011 12:03:08 PM

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We ALL need some compliments, now and then.
The more old we grow, the better the feeling to hear something nice,
and more easy to say something nice for somebody.

To be nice is all free.
Cat
Posted: Saturday, May 14, 2011 3:32:23 PM

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Vickster what a great question! I learned from a friend who learned it in therapy to become more comfortable with compliments. In the states we have a culture of independence where we are expected to be in control of ourselves and not be dependent on what others think. However, my friend relayed to me that not accepting a compliment is akin to a criticism of the person doing the complimenting. It says to them, your opinion does not signify. Before, if someone complimented a piece of clothing of mine I would muffle the compliment by saying, "oh, this is old" or some such nonsense. In fact, I needed to just say thank you instead of criticizing the person's taste in my clothing. Does that make sense?

I have probably over used compliments during the past year as I have gone through divorce proceedings with a critical bully. My life at home has been miserable with someone who used white gloves to find dust on my person. I couldn't do anything completely right. An example: "I like the music you've been listening to, I just wish you wouldn't listen to it all the time." My response to this toxic environment has been to find goodness wherever I could. Giving out compliments helped ME stay positive. I chose not to pay attention if my compliment made someone uncomfortable but to just walk on and not trouble them further. I'd say that happened twice in the past year. Everyone else responded with a brightened, happy smile and a gracious thank you. Several people said I made their day. Like kitten, I interact with the public. I work in a large bookstore where I provide customer service since books sell themselves. My day would be tedious and long were I not busy looking for nice things to say.
kitten
Posted: Sunday, May 15, 2011 3:28:54 AM
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I do agree with HWNN---an efficient and polite compliment is wonderful but someone giving you the doe-eye treatment is best left alone.....


peace out,
intelfam
Posted: Sunday, May 15, 2011 4:20:41 AM
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Cat wrote:
Vickster what a great question! I learned from a friend who learned ...................... that not accepting a compliment is akin to a criticism of the person doing the complimenting. It says to them, your opinion does not signify.


There is a real golden nugget!
MTC
Posted: Sunday, May 15, 2011 5:24:07 AM
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Vickster, your honesty is touching. Take that as a compliment. Life is short. Why not give a compliment when one is due and appropriate under the circumstances? Save it for the next lifetime? While it costs you nothing , its effects can range from sweetening someone's day to profoundly influencing their life. I remember well the compliments of people I respected. In retrospect their positive remarks opened up entire vistas. Mark Twain said, " I can live for two months on a good compliment."
Feeble Dragonfly
Posted: Monday, May 16, 2011 9:20:33 AM
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Joined: 2/10/2011
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I personally don't take offence when I receive a compliment, however I think I understand why some people may.

It seems to me it is a matter of confidence and how you perceive people around you. If I were very insecure or uncomfortable in a certain situtaion, I may not want any attention to be drawn to me, and may be upset that someone has done so. Possibly, if a person is a victim of bullying or violence or abuse, they may find it very difficult to accept any comment from another person without perceiving malicious intent. In that case, they may have a protective attitude about them so as not to let you know that they are upset, and this comes across as trying to make you feel bad about yourself instead - attack is the best form of defence.

Alternatively, people may feel that it is an infringement of their personal space that you have looked at them and noticed things about them.

I would put all of this down to the other person's situation though, and not allow yourself to become upset by them taking offence. It is not wrong to compliment somebody and you cannot be held repsonsible for the way in which they accept (or don't) that compliment.

I would not allow this to stop me complimenting others, as I would think that they may at least take a little bit more confidence away from what I have said even if they don't show it or even know it at the time. And if not, well I tried ....
Vickster
Posted: Monday, May 16, 2011 11:02:07 AM
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Thank you for all your comments... and I will continue to compliment, hopefully to brighten peoples days...
DarkMoon
Posted: Monday, May 16, 2011 11:12:43 AM

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MTC wrote:
Mark Twain said, " I can live for two months on a good compliment."


He also said this: There is nothing you can say in answer to a compliment. I have been complimented myself a great many times, and they always embarrass me - I always feel that they have not said enough.

And that: If you can't get a compliment any other way, pay yourself one.

Actually, Mark Twain was eloquent, if talking about compliments. ;-)


There is nothing wrong with telling compliments. I think it's a skill not only to pay somebody a compliment, but to kindly answer thank you, when we are praised as well.
yongxin
Posted: Monday, May 16, 2011 11:54:52 AM
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Unless you really mean it there's no reason to be offended by your compliments. But I think culture plays a role as well, especially if you're talking to (foreign) strangers. In the Netherlands, for example, people won't take you serious if you give compliments all the time when you don't even know them. Another thing is that we do not overly use words like 'awesome', 'most (beautiful)', 'sooo cute/cutest', 'really sweet/sweetest', ... .
26letters
Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 1:39:52 AM
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On a scale of 1-10, my self-esteem was so low in my youth, that the scale eluded me. There were plenty of compliments, but somehow I could not convince myself that they were genuine. There were many reasons to doubt what was being said, such as:

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

"She feels sorry for me and is only saying that to make me feel better - even though it isn't true."

"He wants something and he's using a line to string me along. Once he gets what he wants, his actions will prove that he didn't mean a word he said."

"This person needs to get out more."

"Really, what makes this person a good judge of this?"

"Being nice makes them feel better about themselves, so I'll play along and help them be happy - and maybe I'll be happy too."

(The list goes on...)

Either way, it has taken decades for me to believe anything that was said to me as a compliment.

The hardest lesson to learn was that men will say anything to a girl to snag her. (And in this age, I'm seeing more and more women who will flirt.) At first, I wanted to believe the nonsense. But there was always a little voice in my head saying, "You know that isn't true. He's a shallow grifter, who will dump you faster than those empty hamburger wrappers that he just licked all the ketchup off of." I wanted to stick that little voice into the ketchup that was left and wad it up to go in the trash; but the fact is, my little voice was right and it did me good to listen to it.

However, I readily believed any negative comment that came my way. I figured I would rather people be honest and tell me how it is, than to pussy-foot around. Self-improvement doesn't happen on compliments, it happens with criticism.

Now, (how many years has it been?) I know how to sort them out. A genuine compliment I will accept and let the person know that they made my day (or week, month or year). I still weigh the criticism in a productive way. We never really stop growing. At least I don't.
srirr
Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 2:23:27 AM

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I feel Vicki is talking about compliments to strangers. In such case, I will not feel offended but I may get surprised. If I am wearing a shirt not very much liked by me, and I receive a compliment on that by a stranger, I may get shocked and feel it ironical.

In any case Vicki, keep on complimenting even if someone does not unnderstand you. Spread the smile.
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