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Monday, April 27, 2015

HANDLING A COMPLIMENT - a cranky re-run

This cranky 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, “Got'm 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 baby!”  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?”


  1. Well, this is pretty spot on. Yes it is. Men and women do approach compliments far differently. I will say some guy are just as phoney with the compliments. I can name a few.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  2. i wish women could get a dose of men's self-assurance. we need to be more proud of ourselves. i'm one of those that automatically shirks off a compliment with some stupid remark like 'this old thing?' i wish we could unlearn this behavior.

  3. My Mrs. C.has a tendency to put down compliments I give her. If she cooks something I really like she'll say, "Oh, I just threw it together, even though I saw her pouring through cookbooks. She tells me I'm not very gracious about receiving compliments. Not true; I just don't receive them often enough for the novelty to wear off.

  4. I asked a woman if she lost weight a couple of years ago and she got offended. "No, I'm good. I'm good with the way I look." She didn't speak to me for about three months after that...

  5. I accept compliments and gifts graciously. I once had a boy friend say that he loved to give me gifts and compliments as I was so appreciative. Hey, I do what I must to keep both coming.

  6. When i compliment, i mean it, and when i am complimented, i try to accept nicely. Try. It's difficult sometimes.

  7. I have learned to take a compliment with a simple "Thank you." I do not want to put unnecessary strain on my brain. I has only so much space in it.

  8. In my field one gets a certain amount (or did, before I joined the inactive elements...)of those things....'I've followed your work' (means you're old), 'I read your paper...' (it finally got out of critical peers), etc. None meant a lot, really. I more remember the times I tried to build a dollhouse (!) and my oldest praised it with her eyebrows up..., things like that.

  9. You can't ever go wrong with saying "Thank you!" So that's what I do.

  10. I receive many compliments each day. Some are sincere, others are from modern-day Eddie Haskells. After 27 years, I'm pretty good at telling the difference.

  11. I was really bad taking compliments from hubby that he stopped giving them until I started just thanking him for them and no more added to it.


  12. I'm with Pixel Peeper, when I'm complimented, I say thank you.


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