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Monday, April 4, 2016

HANDLING A COMPLIMENT

HANDLING A COMPLIMENT
This re-run is from April 2012

Why is it so hard to accept a compliment?  When is a compliment not really a compliment?  How are men’s compliments different from women’s?  When you compliment someone on their appearance or their talent why it is seldom simply graciously accepted?

Women love compliments from men…if they like the man. 

Chris Rock brilliantly points out in one of his routines that a woman will flirtatiously accept a compliment from an attractive man, but if an ugly guy compliments her it is sexual harassment!  He further points out that this is unfair because there is no such thing as a guy who thinks he is ugly.

Women seldom compliment a man they do not know well.

This is understandable, if a guy gets a compliment from a women he usually thinks he is going to get laid.

When women compliment another woman it is almost always played down:

“I love that dress.” 

Typical response, “Oh this old thing?  I’ve had it for years.”

“Oh, your hair looks so nice.”

 Typical response, “Really, do you like this hair color?  I’m still not sure.”

“This pie is delicious.” 

Typical response, “Do you really like it?  It’s an old recipe I just decided to throw together.”

“Oh, I love your shoes, are they new?”

Typical response, “They’re from ‘Target’, twelve ninety-eight.”

“Your boyfriend is hot!” 

Typical response, “Thanks, you caught him on a good day.”

This is because women’s compliments to other women are often very insincere; compliments are only accepted guardedly. 

Men will accept a compliment from other men.  Men do not often compliment others.  When they do, it is usually sincere:

“Nice shot!” 

The response would never be, “Thanks, it was just luck.”  It would more likely be, “Yeah it was!”

“Dude where’da get the cool duds?”

The response would never be, “What, these old things?”  It would more likely be, “Gottem at “The Men’s Shop’ and they set me back a ton.”

“I gotta tell ya, your girlfriend is hot!”

The response would never be, “Were just friends” or “That’s just my cousin.”  It would almost always be, “Yeah she is!” Followed by a high five or a fist bump.

Sometimes compliments are difficult to accept because they implicitly put down previous appearance or activity.  This is particularly true if the complimented person is paranoid or highly sensitive.

I.E. “Don’t you look thin!”  (Hmmm, how fat did I used to look?)

Recently my brother e-mailed me on one of my blog posts. He told me he really liked this post, “It was the best you’ve written so far.”

My instinctive first thought was, “What was wrong with the other 280 posts?”

Why is it so hard to just say, “Thank you, that means a lot?”

19 comments:

  1. I have to admit I was not good at taking compliments from my husband and said those things like "oh that old dress" etc, and he stopped complimenting me. When I realized that and realized my attitude, I started complimenting him a lot and then he started complimenting me again and I was gracious enough to say "thank you" (of course in my head I said the thing I would have said out loud, but he just heard the thank you). It is hard to accept compliments, but I tend to give them freely.

    betty

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  2. Yeah, it is hard to just say, "Thanks!" or "Thank you."

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  3. I have no trouble saying thank you. I get a compliment, I say thank you. I get an insult, I still say thank you which tends to throw them off a bit :)

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  4. Lots of food for thought here. I say thank you now but for years I played all compliments down.

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  5. Oh geez, maybe I should stop complimenting men! Lol

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  6. But that is what I say: Thank you.

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  7. I often look at compliments as flattery with a purpose, as my daughter, when she is about to ask me to watch her cat, the compliments run
    high. Hahaha

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  8. We need to teach children that a simple "Thank you " is good to hear. When I compliment my grandson who is eleven, he says, "This is an old pair of clothes ". I don't know where he picked this one from.

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  9. I've noticed that men can be just as catty as women where this is concerned. Remember I worked in a mostly male environment for many years. What an eye opener. I think both males and females have a difficult time saying thank you after being complimented.

    Have a fabulous day Cranky. My best to Mrs. C. ☺

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  10. You made some funny and sadly accurate points here. The only problem I have with compliments is that I often feel compelled to return it and say something nice about the person. Usually easy but sometimes there just isn't much to work with except their good judgement.

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  11. Years ago, when women were taking "assertiveness training" in order to learn to stand up for themselves, I learned that turning away a compliment is like dissing a gift. We practiced accepting compliments, and the lesson stuck with me. Now I do accept them, and in the back of my mind a little voice reminds me that it's the right thing to do. So in a way I'm still justifying my behavior. Sheesh.

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  12. I love this. Oh, and the other 280 weren't bad either. ;^/

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  13. Crap. I was gonna write a post on this same subject. Never mind now.
    Lisa

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  14. When I was young (a long time ago), I had trouble accepting compliments and favors. Now, I consider them sincere and am glad to say "thank you!" I also often try to compliment others - I like your sense of humor, Joeh!

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  15. The problem is that we've mistakenly taught people to think that humility is believing you are uglier or worse at something than you really are. Humility is being glad you have/can do that thing, but not more or less glad than if someone else also has/can do that thing.

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  16. I've found that when I compliment a waitress (on her earrings, etc.) before a meal, we get better service!!

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  17. Mrs. Chatterbox tells me I'm extremely ungrateful when people give me a compliment. I don't know if it's true or not.

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  18. Even in literature, the denial of compliments and congratulations. Like in The Good Earth:

    Wang Lung rushes to the town and buys eggs and sugar. He wants to celebrate the occasion. The people in town congratulate him on being the father of a son.

    Wang Lung becomes fearful that evil spirits will steal his fat, attractive son. To protect the child, he laments out loud that it is too bad that their firstborn is a girl with smallpox.

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  19. SD told me the other day that I do casual very well - we were dressed to go into town to so some shopping. The thing is, I KNOW he meant it, there's nothing he dislikes more than over-dressed or over-made up women but I still felt like I should have made more of an effort. I thought it was an English thing, we do self depreciating very well but I guess it's more widespread than I'd thought.

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