Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Dating => Topic started by: Reason on May 24, 2012, 02:56:05 PM

Title: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Reason on May 24, 2012, 02:56:05 PM
It came up in another thread that it's always rude to comment on a stranger's appearance. Even when saying something nice about them. I guess I don't mind opening myself to criticism, so here is the basic dating scenario that would play out many times before I was married that is. I leave it to the experience etiquette scholars to tell me if I was rude, but I have not received any complaints..

If I notice a girl that interests me, I make eye contact. If she makes eye contact as well and seems interested in talking to me I say hello. If she says hello, back I introduce myself and make small talk. If that goes well, I would pay a compliment at this point and ask if I can call sometime to set up a date. My success rate with this approach has been quite high, in so far as actually getting a real phone number so it certainly didn't seem like I was doing anything wrong.

Is the compliment in the middle of the conversation rude? Or anything else for that matter?


Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: SleepyKitty on May 24, 2012, 03:03:39 PM
I think, like so many things, it depends on the context. What you're describing is not rude, and I imagine the compliment is something like: "You're very interesting/beautiful/intelligent, I'd love to take you out to dinner sometime." Which, if I were single, would probably result in a yes. :)

But compliments can be rude - for example, I did have a guy attempt to pick me up by describing how sexy he found my body within the first five minutes of approaching me. That's not only rude, it's a huge red flag, and will result in an icy request to be left alone. Or compliments given in a surprised tone: "Wow, I'm shocked a girl like you is so smart!" (actual quote) results in the same coldness.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Harriet on May 24, 2012, 03:10:38 PM
The other thread related to comments from a stranger / customer, and I'd say in that kind of interaction that comments on personal appearance are almost always uncalled for.

If you're trying to pick someone up as you describe, at least your motives are transparent when making the remark. It's *less* out of place I guess, and does have the effect of weeding out people who aren't compatible with that style of approach.

Personally, I wouldn't give you my number. It would seem like a hard sell pick up line to me. I'd be much more likely to accept an invite to an activity we both were interested in, which maybe we were just discussing during the small talk.

This also assumes one gracefully takes no for an answer. Meaning letting it drop after the first "No" and not pushing back with a "Aw, come on, give me a chance" kind of thing.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: dawbs on May 24, 2012, 03:13:14 PM
I won't say they're rude (although they can be), but I will say that in the dark ages, this approach would have made me uncomfortable and felt superficial.

 You've made small talk and are clearly asking for more, the 'let me sweeten this with a compliment' (which, by the nature of the merely-small-talk to that point would, by definition have to be superficial) would feel patronizing.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: WillyNilly on May 24, 2012, 03:13:41 PM
The whole compliments thing is not a universally agreed upon rule.  I for one don't subscribe to it.  i think a genuine compliment is always a good thing.  Of course it can't be a slimy cover-up or a snide remark hidden under the pretense of a compliment, but a genuine, no-hidden-agenda, compliment is IMO always a good thing.

And I know I'm not alone since Dale Carnegie - one of the most successful advice providers in all of American culture - advocates compliments.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: rashea on May 24, 2012, 03:14:28 PM
I don't think the first comment (or only comment) you should make about/to a person should ever concern their appearance. That's my line in the sand. If I've been chatting with someone for a while, and especially if we've been flirting, then sure. But out of the blue it's creepy.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: WillyNilly on May 24, 2012, 03:21:56 PM
I think its curious everyone assume "compliment" means "compliment on appearance".  I never would assume that to be the case.  Sure a compliment can be about appearance, but as often as not it can be about someone being really informed/educated, or funny, or interesting, or talented, or any number of other awesome things about them.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Harriet on May 24, 2012, 03:25:08 PM
I think its curious everyone assume "compliment" means "compliment on appearance".  I never would assume that to be the case.  Sure a compliment can be about appearance, but as often as not it can be about someone being really informed/educated, or funny, or interesting, or talented, or any number of other awesome things about them.

I was taking that from Reason's post in the other thread (he used the example of "You have a nice smile"), but he does say "appearance" in this post as well, so it seems implied:

It came up in another thread that it's always rude to comment on a stranger's appearance.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: TheVapors on May 24, 2012, 03:26:00 PM
The whole compliments thing is not a universally agreed upon rule.  I for one don't subscribe to it.  i think a genuine compliment is always a good thing.  Of course it can't be a slimy cover-up or a snide remark hidden under the pretense of a compliment, but a genuine, no-hidden-agenda, compliment is IMO always a good thing.

And I know I'm not alone since Dale Carnegie - one of the most successful advice providers in all of American culture - advocates compliments.

I fall into this camp when it comes to compliments. Genuine compliments are lovely.

I've often told someone they are wearing a pretty shirt, or that I like their jewelry.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: LadyL on May 24, 2012, 03:26:41 PM
I dress like a lunatic in a way most people find endearing (40s-50s vintage, head to toe). I get a lot of unsolicited comments, 99% of which are positive. I don't find it rude. Some people are intrusive or overbearing in their delivery but mostly I accept that dressing in an attention getting style is going to get attention (whether it's desired or not).
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: TurtleDove on May 24, 2012, 03:27:22 PM
I'm with WillyNilly.  I often compliment women who are strangers on fabulous shoes, outfits, _____, and I have no motive other than it made me happy to compliment them and I hoped it made them happy to be complimented (FTR, I am a woman).  I don't generally compliment men who are strangers, but I will compliment men I know, depending on context.  I am reasonably confident that my tone and delivery make it clear I am not coming on to a colleague or church member if I say "great tie!" or "I really like the new haircut!"

I don't assume everyone who compliments me is a creep or that they want to date me - I think, again, context and delivery make all the difference.  A genuine compliment is never rude, in my opinion, even if the motive is to date the person being complimented. 
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: WillyNilly on May 24, 2012, 03:28:49 PM
I think its curious everyone assume "compliment" means "compliment on appearance".  I never would assume that to be the case.  Sure a compliment can be about appearance, but as often as not it can be about someone being really informed/educated, or funny, or interesting, or talented, or any number of other awesome things about them.

I was taking that from Reason's post in the other thread (he used the example of "You have a nice smile"), but he does say "appearance" in this post as well, so it seems implied:

It came up in another thread that it's always rude to comment on a stranger's appearance.

I actually have no idea what other thread that was since while its mentioned in passing its not named or linked to...
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: rashea on May 24, 2012, 03:32:43 PM
I dress like a lunatic in a way most people find endearing (40s-50s vintage, head to toe). I get a lot of unsolicited comments, 99% of which are positive. I don't find it rude. Some people are intrusive or overbearing in their delivery but mostly I accept that dressing in an attention getting style is going to get attention (whether it's desired or not).

In that case I would think that part of the attraction of dressing that way is the attention, and so wouldn't hesitate to comment on it.

I think its curious everyone assume "compliment" means "compliment on appearance".  I never would assume that to be the case.  Sure a compliment can be about appearance, but as often as not it can be about someone being really informed/educated, or funny, or interesting, or talented, or any number of other awesome things about them.

Good point. I think paying a compliment about appearance shouldn't be done with strangers, but other compliments are different.

I think people are/were focusing on compliments about appearance because of the other thread and because of this line:
It came up in another thread that it's always rude to comment on a stranger's appearance. Even when saying something nice about them.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Harriet on May 24, 2012, 03:36:10 PM
This is the thread:
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=116227.0
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Bibliophile on May 24, 2012, 03:44:55 PM
This is the thread:
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=116227.0

Oh.  Big difference between harassment and compliments.  There are instances when it's ok to flirt - compliments are part of flirting, which is described in the OP.  It's certainly not ok to be flirty in business transactions - often it can come across as creepy or condescending if the man is doing the inappropriate flirting, nor should you be creepy, like the guy in the other thread.  If you get any signals that the other person is at all non-receptive then stop.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: WillyNilly on May 24, 2012, 05:08:08 PM
This is the thread:
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=116227.0

Ok well in that thread Reason was advised:
Quote
Actually, traditional etiquette had a road map, and it is unfortunate that people have abandoned it. It was a simple rule - "Never make personal comments to strangers". It doesn't matter whether you meant them to be complimentary or not, you didn't let strangers get the idea that you are evaluating them on a scale of personal attractiveness at all. It's a "better safe than sorry" rule, and I think we really should be stressing it more.

Which is different then "it's always rude to comment on a stranger's appearance. Even when saying something nice about them." Especially since the context of that thread was extremely lewd personal comments from a creepy stranger who refused to stop making comments even when told he was being bothersome and asked to stop.

To say to a stranger in a different context "you have a lovely smile" is not necessarily a comment about attractiveness, or being hit on or something etc.  For example I work in medicine, as such I sometimes come across people - strangers to me - who are stressed and upset who will comment on my smile as being warm or comforting.  Yes its about my appearance but its more about emotion.

Or a situation where a shorter person *politely* asks a taller person in the grocery store "would you please grab me a box of the corn flakes?  You're so nice and tall" again its about appearance technically, and its said as a compliment but really its about practicality of being able to reach the top shelf.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 24, 2012, 05:20:36 PM
I'd love random men to tell me I'm hot. But they don't. Ahhh well. Maybe if one looks like Helen of Troy the incessant compliments from strangers can get tedious but I don't have that problem so I'd welcome any sparing compliments very readily. Even the occasional disingenous pity one from the ageing men on building sites as I walk past would be great every now and again if they can manage it.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Raintree on May 24, 2012, 08:25:36 PM
Quote
If I notice a girl that interests me, I make eye contact. If she makes eye contact as well and seems interested in talking to me I say hello. If she says hello, back I introduce myself and make small talk. If that goes well, I would pay a compliment at this point and ask if I can call sometime to set up a date. My success rate with this approach has been quite high, in so far as actually getting a real phone number so it certainly didn't seem like I was doing anything wrong.

I WISH men in this neck of the woods would be this direct. Around these parts, they either

1) Beat about the bush, hint, do the hot/cold game, and never actually get around to asking you out, or

2) Pester and harass, but do not watch for "I'm not interested" cues, such as lack of eye contact, one-syllable answers to questions, out-and-out "I'd like to get back into reading my book now" statements, etc.

I think it sounds as though you were sensitive to cues as to whether or not the woman was interested, so you did fine. As for compliments, I think it's fine as you seem to have sized the woman up for responsiveness first. I've had random men run up to me and say, "Oh wow, what nationality are you? Are you Italian? Well you look very European." (Just because I have dark hair and eyes). It's kind of annoying when I'm just going about my business and have given no indication that I want to chat. But if someone asked that same question during the course of a conversation it probably wouldn't bother me.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Allyson on May 25, 2012, 12:39:55 AM
What one person absolutely loves, and is a 'make my day' sort of moment, to another is going to make them very uncomfortable. I think it's usually best to err on the side of caution, which doesn't mean never complimenting anyone, ever, but being aware of context, cues and so on. And also, not expecting a response. 

It's safer to go with something like clothing or hairstyle rather than physical attribute, though attributes in a context like WillyNilly describes is a bit different. A middle aged guy making an appearance related comment to a teenage girl? Just don't go there. Maybe it's unfair, but it's never necessary and often comes off as awkward or creepy.

People talk a lot about how everything is so politically correct and people are so worried about offending someone. But guys still have no problem making really inappropriate comments to women in situations like, oh, being alone in an elevator.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: nyarlathotep on May 25, 2012, 04:03:29 AM
What one person absolutely loves, and is a 'make my day' sort of moment, to another is going to make them very uncomfortable. I think it's usually best to err on the side of caution, which doesn't mean never complimenting anyone, ever, but being aware of context, cues and so on. And also, not expecting a response.

POD, to this whole post. I would even go so far as to add that in certain contexts, Reason's approach would only work if he left out the compliment. YMMV, but where I live (central London), it would be just as likely to incite suspicion or annoyance.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: MariaE on May 25, 2012, 05:49:12 AM
What one person absolutely loves, and is a 'make my day' sort of moment, to another is going to make them very uncomfortable. I think it's usually best to err on the side of caution, which doesn't mean never complimenting anyone, ever, but being aware of context, cues and so on. And also, not expecting a response.

POD, to this whole post. I would even go so far as to add that in certain contexts, Reason's approach would only work if he left out the compliment. YMMV, but where I live (central London), it would be just as likely to incite suspicion or annoyance.

This makes me very sad. Why should I have to go without something that makes me incredibly happy and brightens my entire day, just because it makes somebody else uncomfortable? Why does their discomfort trump my joy?

(Of course I'm only talking about genuine compliments here - the sleazy kind is always rude).
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: nyarlathotep on May 25, 2012, 06:03:33 AM
This makes me very sad. Why should I have to go without something that makes me incredibly happy and brightens my entire day, just because it makes somebody else uncomfortable? Why does their discomfort trump my joy?

(Of course I'm only talking about genuine compliments here - the sleazy kind is always rude).

Probably a good thing you don't live here, then!
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Venus193 on May 25, 2012, 06:10:09 AM
Having had my looks insulted so many times in my life a compliment about anything related feels like an insult to my intelligence as well as a creepshow.

Compliment on intelligence and wit?  Gladly accepted.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: MariaE on May 25, 2012, 06:24:55 AM
This makes me very sad. Why should I have to go without something that makes me incredibly happy and brightens my entire day, just because it makes somebody else uncomfortable? Why does their discomfort trump my joy?

(Of course I'm only talking about genuine compliments here - the sleazy kind is always rude).

Probably a good thing you don't live here, then!

I've received genuine compliments in London too, fortunately :)
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: nyarlathotep on May 25, 2012, 06:45:51 AM
This makes me very sad. Why should I have to go without something that makes me incredibly happy and brightens my entire day, just because it makes somebody else uncomfortable? Why does their discomfort trump my joy?

(Of course I'm only talking about genuine compliments here - the sleazy kind is always rude).

Probably a good thing you don't live here, then!

I've received genuine compliments in London too, fortunately :)

I'm glad to hear it.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Allyson on May 25, 2012, 09:37:46 AM
It's not about discomfort trumping, so much as the potential results. If I don't tell someone they have pretty hair, there's not going to be a negative result--nobody ever feels uncomfortable or upset because a stranger doesn't give them a random compliment. But, they might in the opposite situation.

There's also usually a way to make a compliment less personal and still get the same idea across. "You have pretty hair" could be "That's a great hairstyle".

I also think if the intention actually is flirtation, that's a little different, because you really do 'mean it that way'. Even then, in my experience it's usually better to exchange a few words before complimenting, just to see how receptive the other person is. If "How's your day been?" is answered with a grunt, or one word and going back to their book, they're probably not going to appreciate the compliment. But if they engage in conversation, it's more likely they at least won't be offended or uncomfortable.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Teenyweeny on May 25, 2012, 09:38:31 AM
I compliment random woman all the time, but thinking about it, I always compliment them on their clothes, hair, makeup, or accessories.

I guess I like complimenting people's style choices, and it doesn't feel weird, because its a CHOICE of theirs that I'm admiring, not some natural attribute.

Complimenting their actual LOOKS would feel weird, like I was trying to get a date or something.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: TurtleDove on May 25, 2012, 09:44:49 AM
I compliment random woman all the time, but thinking about it, I always compliment them on their clothes, hair, makeup, or accessories.

I guess I like complimenting people's style choices, and it doesn't feel weird, because its a CHOICE of theirs that I'm admiring, not some natural attribute.

Complimenting their actual LOOKS would feel weird, like I was trying to get a date or something.

Yes, me too.  But I don't think there is anything wrong with complimenting someone because you would like to perhaps date them, so long as you back off if the interest is not reciprocated.  I get complimented often, by both men and women.  Oftentimes it is just a "hey, let's give this person a pick-me-up and give me a feel-good boost too by complimenting them!"  I can tell when someone is trying to pick me up, and I have become pretty good at smiling and thanking them for the compliment while making it clear I am not interested.  I don't think there is anything wrong with them having made the compliment. I do think there would be something wrong if I assumed the worst about them and made them feel crappy when they genuinely were trying to do something nice.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Reason on May 25, 2012, 10:09:49 AM
Having had my looks insulted so many times in my life a compliment about anything related feels like an insult to my intelligence as well as a creepshow.

Compliment on intelligence and wit?  Gladly accepted.

I am really sorry you've had the misfortune to run into apparently a number of jerks who felt the need to insult your appearance. But I'd like to say that everybody has different tastes and if someone tells you that you are beautiful, there is a very good chance that they mean it.

Maybe I've just been lucky and haven't offended anyone, because I do pay attention and bow out if someone is not interested in talking to me. I am glad to hear that at least some women actually don't mind or even appreciate a well placed compliment every now and then.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Winterlight on May 25, 2012, 10:10:39 AM
A compliment during a conversation is probably safe, so long as it's politely phrased. I was buying an umbrella and chatting lightly with the vendor when he complimented my hairstyle, saying his daughter loved fancy braids and he'd never seen anyone with this style before. He thought it was really pretty and suited me very well. This was fine and made my day.

I think it's all about context- I've had strange women approach me and say they love my skirt or my earrings and I was perfectly comfortable with that. However, a man walking up and beginning a conversation that way would creep me out.

Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: dawbs on May 25, 2012, 11:12:14 AM
What one person absolutely loves, and is a 'make my day' sort of moment, to another is going to make them very uncomfortable. I think it's usually best to err on the side of caution, which doesn't mean never complimenting anyone, ever, but being aware of context, cues and so on. And also, not expecting a response.

POD, to this whole post. I would even go so far as to add that in certain contexts, Reason's approach would only work if he left out the compliment. YMMV, but where I live (central London), it would be just as likely to incite suspicion or annoyance.

This makes me very sad. Why should I have to go without something that makes me incredibly happy and brightens my entire day, just because it makes somebody else uncomfortable? Why does their discomfort trump my joy?

(Of course I'm only talking about genuine compliments here - the sleazy kind is always rude).
One coudl just as well say "why do I have to put up with sleezy uncomfortable stuff because some people like it?"

What feels sweet to one person is sleezy to another.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: TurtleDove on May 25, 2012, 11:27:58 AM
What feels sweet to one person is sleezy to another.

True, but there is a reasonableness factor also.  Someone who thinks a comment of "What a great smile! You look so happy!" is sleazy is not reasonable, IMHO, for example.  I don't think anyone is advocating for "compliments" along the lines of "nice [derrierre]!"
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Twik on May 25, 2012, 12:51:55 PM
Attempting to pick up strangers (which is what you're doing) is not acceptable under traditional etiquette. You do not make ANY sort of personal conversation with people to whom you are not introduced.

Just because there are women out there who are not offended by your pickup attempts doesn't mean that what you're doing is not, in general, rude.

Reason, you say,

Quote
But I'd like to say that everybody has different tastes and if someone tells you that you are beautiful, there is a very good chance that they mean it.

Yes, that's not the problem. The problem is that you admitted in your opening post that you are not throwing out compliments because you're just offering innocent admiration. You're attempting to establish a "romantic" relationship. Don't be surprised if many women think complete strangers attempting this (even couched behind charming flattery) are being rude.

And I think you misunderstood Venus193. It is insulting to a women's intelligence to have to deal with a man who is obviously has no real interest in your smile, but thinks complimenting it will automatically result in him soon becoming familiar with other parts of her anatomy. In many ways, that is more insulting than being told you're physically unattractive.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Harriet on May 25, 2012, 01:08:43 PM
What feels sweet to one person is sleezy to another.

True, but there is a reasonableness factor also.  Someone who thinks a comment of "What a great smile! You look so happy!" is sleazy is not reasonable, IMHO, for example.  I don't think anyone is advocating for "compliments" along the lines of "nice [derrierre]!"

But people have different measures of "reasonable"! While I can certainly think of scenarios where "What a great smile, you look so happy" would not feel sleazy to me, I can think of plenty where it would. I've had the UPS guy say things like that to me and I really dislike it.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Reason on May 25, 2012, 01:26:51 PM
You do not make ANY sort of personal conversation with people to whom you are not introduced.


I am sorry, but what is your source for this? Meeting new people and making new friends has always been a valuable skill to me. I have no issues talking to a stranger what-so-ever, and there have been a number of posters even on this board who would apparently not mind my approach. I understand that walking up to stranger and telling them deep personal secrets right off the bat or commenting on how pleasing I think their [derrière] is to the eye is borderline insane, but I am talking about superficial conversation such as the state of the weather that's only initiated after some visual que that it's not unwelcome. That's rude too?

Maybe I am reading this wrong but is it your suggestion that If I'd like to get to know a woman better and possibly date her, that instead of just asking her directly (couched with charming flattery) I somehow find out someone who can introduce me to her? I am pretty sure the world has not worked like that for a very long time.

Incidentally, when I pay a sincere compliment to a woman, even if I am interested in dating her, it's not because I am trying to get familiar with other parts of her anatomy. If I say that a girl has a nice smile, it's because I think she has a nice smile. If it brightens her day a little, all the better.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: TurtleDove on May 25, 2012, 01:34:00 PM
I am pretty sure the world has not worked like that for a very long time.

POD to Reason, especially the quoted. 
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: WillyNilly on May 25, 2012, 01:48:05 PM
I think actually etiquette aside, if a person is trying to meet another person to develop a relationship of any sort (romantic, friendly, whatever) once one gets over the rules of the forum you are in (no talking during theater, don't hit on your boss/employees, etc) if its your natural impulse to compliment - do so.  Because while a good first impression is important, more important - most important IMO - when developing a new relationship is to present your honest self.  And if your honest self is the kind of person who compliments others, then its important to let that be known to the person you are speaking with.

I think the rudeness part would come from not taking a refusal to receive compliments.  So Reason, as its your nature to do so, go ahead and compliment people/women/children/the elderly as it fits within your natural personality.  But if the person you are complimenting does not take it graciously and warmly (a smile, a sincere thank you, etc) but rather coldly (a rebuff, a "humpf!", looking away, etc) don't compliment then again and realize you have different personality styles.

Likewise to anyone else - if someone compliments you and you don't care for it, make it known you don't care for it.  But somewhere inside you be happy they did compliment you if for no other reason then to know "whoo-hoo this person presented their honest self to me and I now know I don't care for their personal style and I don't need to waste my time on them now."
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 25, 2012, 03:57:13 PM
The answer to your question is 'it depends'.

I've had a guy walk up to me, compliment my hair, and had it brighten my day.  I've also had a guy walk up to me, compliment my hair, and had it give me a creepy feeling that made me want to carry my pepper spray and keep my back to a wall all day.  Delivery, time and place, body language, paying attention to the verbal and non-verbal cues being given off by the person you are addressing, and your own general appearance (note - not referring to 'looks' but, well, to put it bluntly, a comment from somebody smelling like booze and dressed like a hobo comes off differently than someone decently groomed and appropriately attired) all play factors.

As long as you are observing the boundaries set up by the person you are addressing (the fact that you don't even go over unless eye contact is made and some interest is expressed is a major point in your favor) you are probably fine.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 25, 2012, 04:06:34 PM
Do you think men can tell if they're a creep or a gentleman? Therein lies the problem I think. Creepy men just think they're being fine and dashing and clever when they are actually being sleazy. No woman likes a creep but no woman's gonna mind if Antonio Banderas tells her she has a nice smile.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 25, 2012, 04:18:35 PM
---Do you think men can tell if they're a creep or a gentleman?---

Actually, most of the time, yeah, I think they can, if they take a moment to think about it - if they are making it all about them, view the woman as a 'target' and act like she is completely unreasonable for not wanting to participate in conversation with him - creep.  Disregarding social cues and personal boundaries = creep.  Most of them acknowledge when they do this, and while many will even admit that it is creepy when someone else does (or when it is done to them!) it, they deny it's the same when they do it.

Also, when they don't accept advice from women on how to approach women, odds of them being a creep tend to rise substantially.

I once suggested a friend of mine who didn't understand this issue shadow an attractive mutual friend of ours while she went clubbing (with her agreement).  He had to be talked out of violence several times.

---no woman's gonna mind if Antonio Banderas tells her she has a nice smile.---

One of the men that creeped me out was in fact, very handsome and bore a distinct resemblance to Antonio Banderas.  He also started the conversation by stepping into my personal space and moving forward every time I stepped backwards and kept trying that thing where he touches your hand or hair when he speaks to 'focus your attention on him' or however it is the PUA folks put it.  Very creepy, and another girl ended up siccing the bouncer on him after he moved on to her.

Being good looking doesn't automatically give you a free pass on acting creepy. 
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: WillyNilly on May 25, 2012, 04:19:07 PM
Do you think men can tell if they're a creep or a gentleman? Therein lies the problem I think. Creepy men just think they're being fine and dashing and clever when they are actually being sleazy. No woman likes a creep but no woman's gonna mind if Antonio Banderas tells her she has a nice smile.

Hahahaha, actually I think Antonio Banderas comes across as quite creepy in many of his roles and I actually find it distracting "ewwww, how is he even the lead?  He's so slimy!"

But meanwhile I've had many a drunk and/or homeless person compliment me in ways that felt genuine and not creepy and not like pick-up lines but as simple one-off comments meant at face value.

Which of course all speaks to the overall point that what one person finds endearing another finds off-putting and that creepy-seeming guys probably don't even know they are being creepy.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 25, 2012, 04:24:58 PM
Do you think men can tell if they're a creep or a gentleman? Therein lies the problem I think. Creepy men just think they're being fine and dashing and clever when they are actually being sleazy. No woman likes a creep but no woman's gonna mind if Antonio Banderas tells her she has a nice smile.

Hahahaha, actually I think Antonio Banderas comes across as quite creepy in many of his roles and I actually find it distracting "ewwww, how is he even the lead?  He's so slimy!"

But meanwhile I've had many a drunk and/or homeless person compliment me in ways that felt genuine and not creepy and not like pick-up lines but as simple one-off comments meant at face value.

Which of course all speaks to the overall point that what one person finds endearing another finds off-putting and that creepy-seeming guys probably don't even know they are being creepy.

Yeah that's it really. If creepy creeps just had more self-awareness, then this thread wouldn't even exist. I blame their mothers for not stamping it out at an early age.

........ and it just goes to show that one womans antonio is another womans elephant man. You never can tell.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 25, 2012, 04:29:05 PM
maybe I should have said Mr Darcey instead. Anyone got a gripe with Mr Darcey? lol.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Venus193 on May 25, 2012, 04:43:21 PM
The problem is that most creepy men know that they are creepy and get off on the reactions of their targets.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: nyarlathotep on May 25, 2012, 05:01:33 PM
One coudl just as well say "why do I have to put up with sleezy uncomfortable stuff because some people like it?"

What feels sweet to one person is sleezy to another.

POD! Thank you, you said it better than I could.

The problem is that you admitted in your opening post that you are not throwing out compliments because you're just offering innocent admiration. You're attempting to establish a "romantic" relationship. Don't be surprised if many women think complete strangers attempting this (even couched behind charming flattery) are being rude.

And I think you misunderstood Venus193. It is insulting to a women's intelligence to have to deal with a man who is obviously has no real interest in your smile, but thinks complimenting it will automatically result in him soon becoming familiar with other parts of her anatomy. In many ways, that is more insulting than being told you're physically unattractive.

This hit the nail on the head for me. Throwing out a compliment to try and get a woman's number can be a fairly transparent and irritating tactic, which is why, I think, it wouldn't go down well here (YMMV). Why not try to get to know me before you ask me on a date? What, do you think you might have a lot in common with my smile, or my hair, or something?
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: WillyNilly on May 25, 2012, 05:04:22 PM
The problem is that most creepy men know that they are creepy and get off on the reactions of their targets.

I think some creepy guys know they are creepy, but I don't think most do.

Look above at say Antonio Banderas.  I think he's creepy.  He tends to lean in when he speaks ad he makes very long and pointed eye contact and references dancing and intimate activities which some people think is endearing especially from a man with an accent... but hot dang it just makes me want to shudder!  And considering he's a lead actor I doubt he thinks this style is creepy.  I think he thinks "women find this sexy!"

Or a guy I used to know who was a very good aggressive sales person (if you respond well to aggressive sales - which many people do) - a skill that carried over into personal interactions.    But he had a sweet smile and could play guitar.  He honestly thought he was quite the ladies man.  And yet it was about 60/40 near as I could tell of females finding him creepy vs. awesome.  But even at 60% creep, he didn't know he came across as creep at all.  He thought he was 100% charm.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: poundcake on May 25, 2012, 05:46:56 PM
Quote
This makes me very sad. Why should I have to go without something that makes me incredibly happy and brightens my entire day, just because it makes somebody else uncomfortable? Why does their discomfort trump my joy?

Two things are jumping out at me. One is Reason's low-level emotional manipulation. Honestly? I don't care if my not wanting to be picked up on (or treated in a manner that suggests potential picking up) makes you sad, or if complimenting me makes you incredibly happy and brightens your day. Second, your responses here are also indicating a low-level manipulation, what you think is (ironically) "reason" but is coming across as "but I waaaaaant to."

Listen to what the women here are saying. Don't try to keep convincing us that we need to accept someone's compliments in order to make them happy, especially if it doesn't make us happy and feels intrusive and gross.

If you want to be friendly or make someone happy? Try smiling and saying "Isn't it a gorgeous day?"
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: sweetonsno on May 25, 2012, 05:52:13 PM
This is such an interesting conversation. I do enjoy sincere, no-strings-attached compliments, but if a compliment is immediately followed up with a date request, I'm less happy about it. It seems almost like bribery, especially if the guy is too heavy-handed. Though I don't come across that situation too often, it's almost always with the guy who thinks he's begin dashing and wooing me when he really just seems silly and unnatural, especially if I've noticed him doing the same thing to other women at the bar/event.

So, my vote is that a sincere compliment that is given to a stranger because he or she made your day or because you want to make theirs is fine (so long as it isn't about their figure). However, a compliment that comes with strings attached (you want their number, you're fishing for a compliment of your own, etc) isn't quite as nice. I don't think a compliment is actually rude unless it is sarcastic or overly personal/off-color.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Harriet on May 25, 2012, 07:42:58 PM
Quote
This makes me very sad. Why should I have to go without something that makes me incredibly happy and brightens my entire day, just because it makes somebody else uncomfortable? Why does their discomfort trump my joy?

Two things are jumping out at me. One is Reason's low-level emotional manipulation. Honestly? I don't care if my not wanting to be picked up on (or treated in a manner that suggests potential picking up) makes you sad, or if complimenting me makes you incredibly happy and brightens your day. Second, your responses here are also indicating a low-level manipulation, what you think is (ironically) "reason" but is coming across as "but I waaaaaant to."

Listen to what the women here are saying. Don't try to keep convincing us that we need to accept someone's compliments in order to make them happy, especially if it doesn't make us happy and feels intrusive and gross.

If you want to be friendly or make someone happy? Try smiling and saying "Isn't it a gorgeous day?"

Poundcake, that quote wasn't from Reason. It was from MariaE.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 25, 2012, 07:48:48 PM
This makes me very sad. Why should I have to go without something that makes me incredibly happy and brightens my entire day, just because it makes somebody else uncomfortable? Why does their discomfort trump my joy?

I like habanero peppers on my pizza.  Having habanero peppers on my pizza makes me incredibly happy and brightens my entire day.  Why shouldn't I order all the pizzas with habaneros just because I live in Minnesota where a significant portion of the population thinks Jalapenos are too spicy?  Why does their discomfort trump my joy?
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 25, 2012, 07:55:05 PM
I think some creepy guys know they are creepy, but I don't think most do.

If one person reacts to you like you are a creep, they might be overreacting or neurotic. 

If two people react to you like you are a creep, you should adjust your behavior to make sure you aren't coming across in a way you don't intend. 

If three or more people treat react to you like you are a creep, you are probably a creep. 

If someone reacts to you like you are a creep pretty much every time you go out in public, there is no doubt, you are a creep.

I think almost all know.  I think a significant portion won't admit it, even to themselves, but they know.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Twik on May 25, 2012, 08:12:50 PM
Maybe I am reading this wrong but is it your suggestion that If I'd like to get to know a woman better and possibly date her, that instead of just asking her directly (couched with charming flattery) I somehow find out someone who can introduce me to her? I am pretty sure the world has not worked like that for a very long time.

You may think it odd, but I can assure you it's true. In traditional etiquette, you did not discuss personal matters with strangers, and that includes complimenting their appearance. You actually DID have to get a mutual friend to introduce you. That's why Victorian ladies could bristle, "Sir, I do not know you!" as a sign that you were to immediately retreat.

If you look at it from the point of view of women, it still isn't that bad an idea. Hopefully, your friends will try to avoid introducing you to date rapists, drug addicts, and other problematic acquaintances (or at least give you a discrete heads up if they cannot tactfully avoid doing so). Whereas, the girls you are chatting up have no idea if you are a nice man, or someone who's going to be featured on Crime Stoppers one day. Which is why some women may find a stranger's sudden interest in their appearance is "creepy".
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 25, 2012, 08:38:14 PM
In traditional etiquette, you did not discuss personal matters with strangers, and that includes complimenting their appearance.  That's why Victorian ladies could bristle, "Sir, I do not know you!" as a sign that you were to immediately retreat.

Unfortunately, in today's world, where women have jobs and go to school, this is just no longer reasonable or practical.  I've relocated to new areas twice for jobs, and have recently gone back to school several states away from where I grew up and most of my friends live.  There is nobody to introduce me to classmates or to coworkers, nor are my coworkers expected to be my social secretaries and introduce me to other people.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Twik on May 25, 2012, 08:46:22 PM
In traditional etiquette, you did not discuss personal matters with strangers, and that includes complimenting their appearance.  That's why Victorian ladies could bristle, "Sir, I do not know you!" as a sign that you were to immediately retreat.

Unfortunately, in today's world, where women have jobs and go to school, this is just no longer reasonable or practical.  I've relocated to new areas twice for jobs, and have recently gone back to school several states away from where I grew up and most of my friends live.  There is nobody to introduce me to classmates or to coworkers, nor are my coworkers expected to be my social secretaries and introduce me to other people.

Yes, it is completely impractical today to speak to no one but those to whom you have been formally introduced. However, I would suggest that you don't go out to meet new friends by telling everyone you meet, "You have such a beautiful smile!"

Reason has admitted in his first post he`s not spontaneously inspired to compliment people just to spread joy in general. He`s trying to get women to give him their telephone number, by what he himself calls `flattery`. If some of the women he approaches considers that creepy, those are the risks he takes by approaching strangers.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: TurtleDove on May 25, 2012, 09:09:49 PM
I am having a hard time understanding why some posters find a desire to initiate conversation with a romantic interest as offensive. Can someone explain why, in today's world, it is wrong for a person to seek to get to know another person in whom they are interested, and to initiate conversation by complimenting something immediately visible? This seems obviously appropriate to me.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Venus193 on May 25, 2012, 09:20:54 PM
Because a compliment from a person who is less than a casual acquaintance presumes a relationship that does not exist.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Harriet on May 25, 2012, 09:31:10 PM
I am having a hard time understanding why some posters find a desire to initiate conversation with a romantic interest as offensive. Can someone explain why, in today's world, it is wrong for a person to seek to get to know another person in whom they are interested, and to initiate conversation by complimenting something immediately visible? This seems obviously appropriate to me.

I don't think it's wrong for a person to seek to get to know another person in whom they are interested.

As for the second point, if the first thing a person says to me is a compliment on some aspect of my physical appearance, that implies that my body is automatically available / exists for their approval or otherwise, just by dint of my going outside. It's not. My body is mine; it is not for you.

Women are culturally (in the US, at least) conditioned to believe that they are to be always available, accessible, and "nice," and that their bodies are always to be available for judgement by men, even men they don't know. These are assumptions that continue to cause a lot of problematic situations. The worst of these are certainly a far cry from a guy complimenting my smile, but it's on the same continuum.

I know these are harsh words and may seem over the top to some. Note I'm not saying this applies in every situation always. PPs have brought up plenty of good devil's advocate scenarios. But in the OP's proposed scenario, that's what my feelings are.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: MariaE on May 26, 2012, 12:45:41 AM
Thanks Harriet. I was a bit confused by poundcake's reply, but if she(?) though I was Reason then it makes sense :)

FWIW I was refering to the posters who said that one shouldn't compliment a stranger at all, no matter if a romantic interest was implied or not. So it goes for females complimenting females as well as for males complimenting females.

Garden Goblin the two situations aren't even remotely the same, so if you think they are, we shall just have to agree to disagree.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: poundcake on May 26, 2012, 01:00:47 AM
Quote
This makes me very sad. Why should I have to go without something that makes me incredibly happy and brightens my entire day, just because it makes somebody else uncomfortable? Why does their discomfort trump my joy?

Two things are jumping out at me. One is Reason's low-level emotional manipulation. Honestly? I don't care if my not wanting to be picked up on (or treated in a manner that suggests potential picking up) makes you sad, or if complimenting me makes you incredibly happy and brightens your day. Second, your responses here are also indicating a low-level manipulation, what you think is (ironically) "reason" but is coming across as "but I waaaaaant to."

Listen to what the women here are saying. Don't try to keep convincing us that we need to accept someone's compliments in order to make them happy, especially if it doesn't make us happy and feels intrusive and gross.

If you want to be friendly or make someone happy? Try smiling and saying "Isn't it a gorgeous day?"

Poundcake, that quote wasn't from Reason. It was from MariaE.

Okay, thanks. I think the quote tree got lost about three branches down!

My comments re: Reason's other response is still in effect though.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: sweetonsno on May 26, 2012, 02:19:56 AM
I am having a hard time understanding why some posters find a desire to initiate conversation with a romantic interest as offensive. Can someone explain why, in today's world, it is wrong for a person to seek to get to know another person in whom they are interested, and to initiate conversation by complimenting something immediately visible? This seems obviously appropriate to me.

I don't think it's wrong for a person to seek to get to know another person in whom they are interested.

As for the second point, if the first thing a person says to me is a compliment on some aspect of my physical appearance, that implies that my body is automatically available / exists for their approval or otherwise, just by dint of my going outside. It's not. My body is mine; it is not for you.

Women are culturally (in the US, at least) conditioned to believe that they are to be always available, accessible, and "nice," and that their bodies are always to be available for judgement by men, even men they don't know. These are assumptions that continue to cause a lot of problematic situations. The worst of these are certainly a far cry from a guy complimenting my smile, but it's on the same continuum.

I know these are harsh words and may seem over the top to some. Note I'm not saying this applies in every situation always. PPs have brought up plenty of good devil's advocate scenarios. But in the OP's proposed scenario, that's what my feelings are.

Amen to this. I enjoy meeting new people. However, if the entire point of them approaching me is to try and see me again (as opposed to trying to get to know me better and see if we're compatible), it's off-putting. It suggests that my appearance is the most important thing to them and my personality, intellect, and interests don't really matter in the least. Asking for my number without establishing whether or not we have any sort of common interests, especially if said request is accompanied by a comment (however flattering) about my physical appearance, suggests to me that the person approaching me is interested solely in the physical parts of me, which makes me quite uncomfortable.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 26, 2012, 02:37:20 AM
But then how does anyone ever end up on a date/romantic relationship? Surely one has to be complimented at some point? Otherwise we'd all be single right? At what point is it ok for a man to play a compliment?

As for this debate, I like to receive compliments but only from nice men. Not from creeps. Unfortunately to allow the former, you have to make allowances for the latter. One day I'll be 85 and no-one will look at me. Creep or Gentleman.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on May 26, 2012, 06:37:56 AM
The whole compliments thing is not a universally agreed upon rule.  I for one don't subscribe to it.  i think a genuine compliment is always a good thing.  Of course it can't be a slimy cover-up or a snide remark hidden under the pretense of a compliment, but a genuine, no-hidden-agenda, compliment is IMO always a good thing.

And I know I'm not alone since Dale Carnegie - one of the most successful advice providers in all of American culture - advocates compliments.

I fall into this camp when it comes to compliments. Genuine compliments are lovely.

I've often told someone they are wearing a pretty shirt, or that I like their jewelry.

I do this too.  If someone's wearing a nice necklace or neat rings, or a pretty shirt/dress/skirt, even if it's a stranger in passing I'll say "That's a really neat looking ring!"
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 26, 2012, 10:12:36 AM
I am having a hard time understanding why some posters find a desire to initiate conversation with a romantic interest as offensive.

I feel this is mischaracterizing a lot of the objections.

Initiating conversation with romantic interest with someone that has displayed interest in A) having the conversation, and B) taking it to a romantic level is fine.

Initiating conversation with romantic interest when someone has displayed no interest or an active disinterest in having a conversation in the first place or who is making it clear romantic overtures are not welcome or appropriate is offensive.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 26, 2012, 10:16:42 AM
Garden Goblin the two situations aren't even remotely the same, so if you think they are, we shall just have to agree to disagree.

I think they are similar enough.  Habenero peppers are too spicy for some people.  Some people have also been victims of sexual harassment/assault and are thus made very uncomfortable by strangers complimenting their appearance.

I don't think you having your day brightened trumps somebody else being in fear the rest of the day.

I hate that the world is that way, and wish it wasn't, but, quite frankly, since the majority of the time when someone has randomly walked up and complimented my appearance it has turned into some form of sexual harassment / personal boundary crossing, I'd much rather not be complimented on my appearance by strangers at all.

But then how does anyone ever end up on a date/romantic relationship?

2002
Goblin's husband - Oh, you like fantasy RPGs too?
Goblin - Yes
Goblin's husband - Hey, a new movie in that general genre has come out, would you like to see it with me?
Goblin - Sure

2012
Married, with a kid, dog, two cats, and assorted barnyard critters.

Previous relationship  - was in a bookstore, trying to pick a new book.  Guy walked up, asked if I was a fan of the author, we chatted about books for a while, made a couple back and forth recommendations, and then he said, 'I'd love to continue this conversation, can I give you my number and maybe we could have dinner sometime?'  Dated for six months, actually parted on good terms upon mutual realization that we made good friends but not good romantic partners.  Still chat books now and then.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Twik on May 26, 2012, 10:44:33 AM
But then how does anyone ever end up on a date/romantic relationship? Surely one has to be complimented at some point? Otherwise we'd all be single right? At what point is it ok for a man to play a compliment?

At the point when you are no longer strangers. I don't think personal compliments are necessary to reach that point, even if you don't mind them.

I think it's always interesting to cast things in a different gender. Ask the average guy how he would feel if the cable guy comes in to fix the TV, and in the middle of explaining what's wrong with the reception, says, "I can't help but notice you have a great smile."
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Two Ravens on May 26, 2012, 11:06:02 AM
But then how does anyone ever end up on a date/romantic relationship? Surely one has to be complimented at some point? Otherwise we'd all be single right? At what point is it ok for a man to play a compliment?

At the point when you are no longer strangers. I don't think personal compliments are necessary to reach that point, even if you don't mind them.

I think it's always interesting to cast things in a different gender. Ask the average guy how he would feel if the cable guy comes in to fix the TV, and in the middle of explaining what's wrong with the reception, says, "I can't help but notice you have a great smile."

Well, its not "You have a nice smile," but the last time the cable guy came to my apartment, he complimented my husband on his awesome DVD collection. Cue a 20 minute conversation on obscure British drama series.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 26, 2012, 11:12:05 AM
But then how does anyone ever end up on a date/romantic relationship? Surely one has to be complimented at some point? Otherwise we'd all be single right? At what point is it ok for a man to play a compliment?

At the point when you are no longer strangers. I don't think personal compliments are necessary to reach that point, even if you don't mind them.

I think it's always interesting to cast things in a different gender. Ask the average guy how he would feel if the cable guy comes in to fix the TV, and in the middle of explaining what's wrong with the reception, says, "I can't help but notice you have a great smile."


That made me laugh so much. It's given me an idea. The next time the postman comes round I might slip him £5 and ask if he wouldn't mind telling my boyfriend he had a nice smile. Just to see the look on his face.

Now that I've read all the posts I think it just comes down to:

Some people like getting hit on and receiving compliments (from strangers)
Some people don't like getting hit on but like receiving compliments (from strangers)
Some people don't like getting hit on or receiving compliments (from strangers)

However, depending into which one of those categories you fall into, nobody likes a creep. I think we can all agree on that.

I think I'm envisioning my life in terms of as if I lived in a nightclub. "Oh my god, you're so fine, your body is haaaawt! can I kiss you?" in a nightclub comes of very differently to if you're in a post office and a man says the same thing to you there. The first man might get an eye roll or a kiss depending on how I felt. The second man is probably asking for a slap.

Or maybe its because I'm a big cynic and subscribe to a Darwinian/Freudian way of thinking and just think that everyone just wants to sleep with everyone anyway. Only the person giving the compliment knows whether it is sexually-motivated or not, and only the person receiving the compliment can use her judgement about whether it's sexually motivated or not and if it is sexually motivated, whether she's cool with that or not.

Hmmmm food for thought. Interesting.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: dawbs on May 26, 2012, 11:12:52 AM
But then how does anyone ever end up on a date/romantic relationship? Surely one has to be complimented at some point? Otherwise we'd all be single right? At what point is it ok for a man to play a compliment?

At the point when you are no longer strangers. I don't think personal compliments are necessary to reach that point, even if you don't mind them.

I think it's always interesting to cast things in a different gender. Ask the average guy how he would feel if the cable guy comes in to fix the TV, and in the middle of explaining what's wrong with the reception, says, "I can't help but notice you have a great smile."

Well, its not "You have a nice smile," but the last time the cable guy came to my apartment, he complimented my husband on his awesome DVD collection. Cue a 20 minute conversation on obscure British drama series.
Actually, that's a world of difference--it's a compliment on something one chooses, on something one is interested in (so implies one is iintersted in more than 'a pretty face'), and it sets things up to be less superficial--by virtue os that, it's often less 'slimy' feeling...whereas 'great smile' is superficial and wholly about appearances.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 26, 2012, 11:20:16 AM
Also... isn't someone asking you out to dinner or asking if they can get to know you better or if you want to carry on chatting over coffee a compliment? Not in the literal way like "you're so beautiful". The man thinks you're interesting/nice/beautiful enough that he wants to see you again. The asking you out is a compliment right? Yes? No? Maybe? I think I'm so confused how anyone can ask anyone out without any sort of flattery involved. No-one asks someone to go on a date if they don't like them. It's still complimentary/flattering to be asked out even if it's not an explicit compliment. Where do you draw the line?
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Hawkwatcher on May 26, 2012, 11:35:14 AM
Also... isn't someone asking you out to dinner or asking if they can get to know you better or if you want to carry on chatting over coffee a compliment? Not in the literal way like "you're so beautiful". The man thinks you're interesting/nice/beautiful enough that he wants to see you again. The asking you out is a compliment right? Yes? No? Maybe? I think I'm so confused how anyone can ask anyone out without any sort of flattery involved. No-one asks someone to go on a date if they don't like them. It's still complimentary/flattering to be asked out even if it's not an explicit compliment. Where do you draw the line?

I suspect that many people would draw the line at verbal comments about appearance. 
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Harriet on May 26, 2012, 11:36:52 AM
Also... isn't someone asking you out to dinner or asking if they can get to know you better or if you want to carry on chatting over coffee a compliment? Not in the literal way like "you're so beautiful". The man thinks you're interesting/nice/beautiful enough that he wants to see you again. The asking you out is a compliment right? Yes? No? Maybe? I think I'm so confused how anyone can ask anyone out without any sort of flattery involved. No-one asks someone to go on a date if they don't like them. It's still complimentary/flattering to be asked out even if it's not an explicit compliment. Where do you draw the line?

I suspect that many people would draw the line at verbal comments about appearance.

Yes, and that's what the OP referred to as well.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Reason on May 26, 2012, 11:42:34 AM

At the point when you are no longer strangers. I don't think personal compliments are necessary to reach that point, even if you don't mind them.

I think it's always interesting to cast things in a different gender. Ask the average guy how he would feel if the cable guy comes in to fix the TV, and in the middle of explaining what's wrong with the reception, says, "I can't help but notice you have a great smile."

A compliment from a cable guy wouldn't bother me one bit... Nor would a compliment from a woman. The thing is, just because someone pays you a compliment it doesn't mean you owe them anything. So there is no manipulation there as the stakes are really quite low. Is it really so insulting that a man likes your smile and wants to tell you about it?

Some women would never let a relationship reach romantic status unless the man makes it crystal clear that he is interested in exactly that. He'd just wind up in the friend zone or worse 'harmless friend zone'. A good way to make it clear, is in fact, to pay compliments in the first place.

I think a couple of people are missing the fact that I wouldn't just roll up to a woman in the middle of an important business phone call and insist she thank me for telling her she has a nice smile. I would look for visual cues (flirting) that the approach is welcome and follow up. For example if a woman makes eye contact and smiles at you, not once, but twice, that's a pretty universal sign that you may want to go introduce yourself (as  a man, and I suppose only in particular settings like a bar). Moreover, the compliment doesn't have to be about appearance, but it is the most readily apparent attribute. I mean if I saw a woman that enjoys the works of Immanuel Kant ( a quality I admire), how in blazes would I know that before I can tell I like her smile?
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 26, 2012, 12:01:55 PM
I completely agree with you Reason. I think we'd be in a pretty miserable place if a man can't tell a pretty girl she has a pretty smile. The key would be backing off when it's obvious the feelings of courtship aren't reciprocated. Like another poster said to you Reason, I wish more men were as direct as you. I think it shows confidence (and good taste). If a man compliments me on my appearance, it makes me feel attractive (even if I'm not and they're just kind enough to lie).

If men didn't tell women how beautiful they were upon casting a gaze upon their face, we would't have great works of literature, great songs, plays, sonnets, poems, movies! It's all part and parcel of courtship and flirting. Like you said, no-one is holding a gun to the girls head. If you've just seen a girl across a room for the first time, of course her appearance is going to be the first thing you notice about her. You haven't got to know her yet. That's what the dinners for. A compliment is a compliment.

Romeo saying to Juliet upon meeting her "If I profane with my unworthiest hand. This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this. My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss!" would have to be changed to "I see you're a fan of Star Wars. Do you want to go to a convention with me next week?"

It will probably have the same effect but it sure aint as romantic or as likely to make her smile as much. Well, at least not me.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Twik on May 26, 2012, 12:27:48 PM
Tilt Fairy, I think you misunderstand. The rule is not that you cannot compliment people. The rule is, you cannot start telling strangers that you find them attractive, any more than you can start telling them that you find them less so.

Consider what it would feel like to be told "You have a lovely smile - but it would be even lovelier if you had your teeth whitened. Ever thought of it?" Because it appears that as the "no personal comments" rule has been forgotten, more people are giving unwanted personal critiques than sincere compliments.

And Reason, I know that you believe you can tell when you have a go-ahead. That's fine, but that doesn't mean that the rule that we keep our personal comments to ourselves when dealing with strangers is wrong. Like most rules, it can be violated by people who know what they're doing. The problem is, there are a lot of people who think they do, and actually have no idea at all. It is a "cross the line at your own risk" sort of thing.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 26, 2012, 02:48:47 PM
Where do you draw the line?

At the personal boundaries of the one being asked, which is why 'not being creepy' is more or less an equivalent statement to 'respect the boundaries of other people'

The thing is, just because someone pays you a compliment it doesn't mean you owe them anything.

Unfortunately, it is the people paying the compliments that most often need this explained to them, because one of my major peeves regarding random compliments is the person giving the compliment then feels I owe them A) my attention, B) my custom, C) my phone number, or sometimes so far as D) my body.

Quote
He'd just wind up in the friend zone or worse 'harmless friend zone'. A good way to make it clear, is in fact, to pay compliments in the first place.

In my experience, guys who talk about the 'friend zone' as a bad thing are much, much more likely to ultimately be creeps with a misogynistic sense of entitlement towards women.

Honestly, if someone has a serious problem with the idea of being friends with a particular woman, they aren't looking for a romantic relationship with that woman, they are looking for a sexual relationship with that woman, a vastly different kettle of fish.

Romeo saying to Juliet upon meeting her "If I profane with my unworthiest hand. This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this. My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss!" would have to be changed to "I see you're a fan of Star Wars. Do you want to go to a convention with me next week?"

This one is entering her teens,
Ripe for sentimental scenes,
Has picked a gangling unripe male,
Sees herself in a bridal veil,
Presses lips and tosses head,
Declares she's not too young to wed,
Informs you pertly you forget
Romeo and Juliet.
Do not argue, do not shout;
Remind her how that one turned out.
-Ogden Nash
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: MariaE on May 26, 2012, 03:02:19 PM
Garden Goblin the two situations aren't even remotely the same, so if you think they are, we shall just have to agree to disagree.

I think they are similar enough. (snip)

Obviously I disagree, so we shall just have to leave it at that.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Allyson on May 26, 2012, 07:00:17 PM
I don't think the issue is that flirting is always a bad thing, and I do think that it can be just fine if reciprocated. But because it is such a grey area, I think it's always better to be more cautious rather than less. Usually opening a conversation you mean to go further with an appearance comment isn't a good idea.

And I appreciate the honesty of 'I complimented her because I wanted to date her' as opposed to all of the 'oh, I didn't mean anything by it' whininess that can happen when a compliment isn't enthusiastically accepted. As Twik said, would the guy say it to another guy? If not, it's probably not totally innocent.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Raintree on May 27, 2012, 08:27:42 PM
I think Reason is being perfectly reasonable. It sounds like he watches and pays attention to social cues (is the woman smiling at him, does she respond positively as opposed to monosyllables, is she acting interested?) He sizes up each stage and moves on if he detects a lack of interest.

He also states that he's had a high rate of success with his approach. This tells me that most of the women do not find him creepy.

I say if you can pull it off, go for it. If women tend to respond negatively, you probably can't pull off that approach and should try something else, like internet dating, or getting to know people slowly through clubs/activities that interest you. I think that some men are naturals at friendly flirtation with strangers, and others just aren't.

Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Sterling on May 27, 2012, 08:40:22 PM
I have used this same method myself on men and find it works pretty well.  I also have given random compliments to strange women and I have yet have one act bothered.  Most seem to really enjoy the compliment.  I work at a university and I have found that a lot of even the prettiest 18 yr old girls have self esteem problems.  I almost always compliment something about my new students when I meet with them the first time.  It could be their shirt, their eyes or even an achievement I find out about during our talk such as placing during a high school track meet.

I find it helps build the type of teamwork relationship and trust I need with these students and makes them feel good about themselves and about me.  So I don't think that compliments are always rude.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Mental Magpie on May 27, 2012, 11:33:55 PM
I totally agree with Reason on this one and do think he's being quite reasonable.  He also has said nowhere that he just blurts out a compliment after only five minutes of conversation.  For all we know, he does get to know her a little bit more before he decides to compliment her.

Quote
In my experience, guys who talk about the 'friend zone' as a bad thing are much, much more likely to ultimately be creeps with a misogynistic sense of entitlement towards women.

Oh, Dark Boyfriend talked about the "friend zone"; he's not a creep nor misogynistic.  I also have plenty of male friends who also have talked about being in the "friend zone"; they aren't either.  I have been in the "friend zone".  I realize that you said that this was in your experience, but what you said was inflammatory and quite rude, IMO, and makes a lot of assumptions about people who would talk about the "friend zone".

ETA: I can't get the quote to work right.  I'm trying to quote Garden Goblin.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Allyson on May 28, 2012, 12:21:05 AM
I know the sort of person Garden Goblin is talking about, with the 'friend zone' stuff. My experience pretty much matches hers with the sort of people who talk about it--but it is just my experience, not universal of course!

It's the same guys who say 'women just don't want nice guys!' The female version of this seems to be 'I'm too independent for guys to pay attention to me!' It always seems to be saying, at least to me, 'if someone's not attracted to me, it's a fault in them' rather than just...lack of attraction. There are plenty of people out there (nice, independent, and neither!) that I'm not attracted to, but it's never because they're nice or independent.

I didn't get the vibe from Reason's posts at all that he's like this, though. And I do think that if someone's reasonably good at reading social cues, one can pretty easily be non-creepy with compliments. It's just, a lot of people...don't read social cues, then assume anyone unreceptive is being mean and unfriendly. (Again, the thing with 'they don't like me, so it's something wrong with them!') I didn't get any vibe from what Reason was saying that he thinks women who didn't want to give him a number or chat with him after a compliment were cold-hearted, which is a main sign of someone doing this sort of thing creepily.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Mental Magpie on May 28, 2012, 12:38:16 AM
I know the sort of person Garden Goblin is talking about, with the 'friend zone' stuff. My experience pretty much matches hers with the sort of people who talk about it--but it is just my experience, not universal of course!

It's the same guys who say 'women just don't want nice guys!' The female version of this seems to be 'I'm too independent for guys to pay attention to me!' It always seems to be saying, at least to me, 'if someone's not attracted to me, it's a fault in them' rather than just...lack of attraction. There are plenty of people out there (nice, independent, and neither!) that I'm not attracted to, but it's never because they're nice or independent.

I didn't get the vibe from Reason's posts at all that he's like this, though. And I do think that if someone's reasonably good at reading social cues, one can pretty easily be non-creepy with compliments. It's just, a lot of people...don't read social cues, then assume anyone unreceptive is being mean and unfriendly. (Again, the thing with 'they don't like me, so it's something wrong with them!') I didn't get any vibe from what Reason was saying that he thinks women who didn't want to give him a number or chat with him after a compliment were cold-hearted, which is a main sign of someone doing this sort of thing creepily.

Any one I've ever heard talk about the friend zone is usually in it because they're too shy or can't find the right words to say that they like the person.  I don't think I have ever met one that was in the friend zone because they blamed it on the other person.  Dark Boyfriend was in my friend zone because he never told me he liked me; I was in his friend zone because I didn't know how to flirt to let him know I liked him, too.

I don't get that vibe from Reason, either.  He seems very receptive to social cues.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Gyburc on May 29, 2012, 06:13:01 AM
I'd just like to add that I also think Reason is doing nothing wrong, and I wouldn't be in the least offended.

I see nothing particularly wrong with a polite compliment on any aspect of someone's physical appearance that isn't covered by cultural taboos - but I would say there is a sliding scale of appropriateness:

Level 1: Compliment on clothes/shoes/accessories
Level 2: Compliment on hairstyle/hair colour/make-up
Level 3: Compliment on features/smile
Level 4: Compliment on figure in general
Level 5: Compliment on taboo areas of the body

Personally, I would be comfortable giving or receiving compliments on levels 1 or 2 from complete strangers (it would make my day). Level 3 from a stranger would not be impolite, but would suggest to me that they were making an advance, level 4 would be a very obvious advance!  Level 5 from anyone except a very intimate friend is of course unacceptable.

Of course, this is all general - I'm sure there are situations that don't fit into the scale as I've given it.  :)
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Mental Magpie on May 29, 2012, 09:07:35 AM
I'd just like to add that I also think Reason is doing nothing wrong, and I wouldn't be in the least offended.

I see nothing particularly wrong with a polite compliment on any aspect of someone's physical appearance that isn't covered by cultural taboos - but I would say there is a sliding scale of appropriateness:

Level 1: Compliment on clothes/shoes/accessories
Level 2: Compliment on hairstyle/hair colour/make-up
Level 3: Compliment on features/smile
Level 4: Compliment on figure in general
Level 5: Compliment on taboo areas of the body

Personally, I would be comfortable giving or receiving compliments on levels 1 or 2 from complete strangers (it would make my day). Level 3 from a stranger would not be impolite, but would suggest to me that they were making an advance, level 4 would be a very obvious advance!  Level 5 from anyone except a very intimate friend is of course unacceptable.

Of course, this is all general - I'm sure there are situations that don't fit into the scale as I've given it.  :)

I think that's a pretty good scale, and I agree with your assessment of what you would feel comfortable receiving.  The Level 3, though, depends where I am.  I smile A LOT, so it may be something people notice more about me if they spend more time around me (say at a party).  It wouldn't bother me as much in that situation versus a stranger who probably only saw me smile from afar once.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 29, 2012, 09:10:55 AM
I realize that you said that this was in your experience, but what you said was inflammatory and quite rude, IMO, and makes a lot of assumptions about people who would talk about the "friend zone".

I am sorry you feel that way. 

I find the friend zone tends to be this - http://xkcd.com/513/

Rather than a simple matter of it just taking some time to establish attraction.  Also, as I pointed out, it is the people who talk about it like it is a bad thing that I am referring too; people who act like being just friends with someone is some sort of cruel torture when they 'obviously' deserve romantic attention from their preferred target.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Mental Magpie on May 29, 2012, 09:21:32 AM
I realize that you said that this was in your experience, but what you said was inflammatory and quite rude, IMO, and makes a lot of assumptions about people who would talk about the "friend zone".

I am sorry you feel that way. 

I find the friend zone tends to be this - http://xkcd.com/513/

Rather than a simple matter of it just taking some time to establish attraction.  Also, as I pointed out, it is the people who talk about it like it is a bad thing that I am referring too; people who act like being just friends with someone is some sort of cruel torture when they 'obviously' deserve romantic attention from their preferred target.

I get a totally different vibe from that comic than what I think you do.  That is the friend zone to me, too, but it's not that he deserves anything.  If he would just tell her her liked her, maybe he wouldn't be in the friend zone anymore or he would find she doesn't reciprocate and we wouldn't do everything a boyfriend does with none of the return (yes, good friends do that stuff, too, but when there is a longing for the other person, that changes things).  To me, the friend zone IS a bad thing when you want more than that but are too shy to say anything.  Like my examples with Dark Boyfriend and me.  We were just friends forever, wanting to move out of the friend zone, but both too shy to do so. 

I do know what you're talking about, though; I've definitely heard guys say that they deserve the romantic attention but aren't getting it because of her, not because of something he's doing wrong.  However, I don't think I've ever heard them refer to being in the friend zone.  I guess what I'm saying is to me, the friend zone is a sad place, where what I'm reading from you is that it is an angry place.  We definitely see it differently, though.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Teenyweeny on May 29, 2012, 09:22:03 AM
I realize that you said that this was in your experience, but what you said was inflammatory and quite rude, IMO, and makes a lot of assumptions about people who would talk about the "friend zone".

I am sorry you feel that way. 

I find the friend zone tends to be this - http://xkcd.com/513/

Rather than a simple matter of it just taking some time to establish attraction.  Also, as I pointed out, it is the people who talk about it like it is a bad thing that I am referring too; people who act like being just friends with someone is some sort of cruel torture when they 'obviously' deserve romantic attention from their preferred target.

Ha, my favourite quote about the 'friend zone' is, "Women aren't just machines you put kindness coins into until sex falls out." I find the concepts of 'friend zone' and 'nice guy' insidious. They seem jovial, but scratch the surface and you uncover a lot of REALLY twisted ideas about what a woman 'owes' a man.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Mental Magpie on May 29, 2012, 09:48:19 AM
I realize that you said that this was in your experience, but what you said was inflammatory and quite rude, IMO, and makes a lot of assumptions about people who would talk about the "friend zone".

I am sorry you feel that way. 

I find the friend zone tends to be this - http://xkcd.com/513/

Rather than a simple matter of it just taking some time to establish attraction.  Also, as I pointed out, it is the people who talk about it like it is a bad thing that I am referring too; people who act like being just friends with someone is some sort of cruel torture when they 'obviously' deserve romantic attention from their preferred target.

Ha, my favourite quote about the 'friend zone' is, "Women aren't just machines you put kindness coins into until sex falls out." I find the concepts of 'friend zone' and 'nice guy' insidious. They seem jovial, but scratch the surface and you uncover a lot of REALLY twisted ideas about what a woman 'owes' a man.

I like that quote is well, I actually LOL'ed at it.

Again, though, I completely disagree.  Any one I've met in the friend zone is there because he's too shy, not because he has twisted ideas about women.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: TurtleDove on May 29, 2012, 10:55:06 AM
I liked the cartoon and it described how I have always viewed the friend zone -- it's not that the men (or women) are jerks or that they are too shy, it is that the object of their affection does not have romantic interest in them.  It says nothing "bad" about the person in the "friend zone," and does not mean that a person is in the "friend zone" for every other person, just this one.  It simply means that an object of one's affection enjoys the "friend zoned" person as a friend but does not see them as a romantic interest, and no amount of overcoming shyness or being a jerk will change that, in my experience.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Mental Magpie on May 29, 2012, 11:02:58 AM
I liked the cartoon and it described how I have always viewed the friend zone -- it's not that the men (or women) are jerks or that they are too shy, it is that the object of their affection does not have romantic interest in them.  It says nothing "bad" about the person in the "friend zone," and does not mean that a person is in the "friend zone" for every other person, just this one.  It simply means that an object of one's affection enjoys the "friend zoned" person as a friend but does not see them as a romantic interest, and no amount of overcoming shyness or being a jerk will change that, in my experience.

Yes, there is that friend zone, too.  I guess that is more how I see it, too, it's just that my friends tend to be in it because they're shy and won't tell the girl that they like her.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Teenyweeny on May 29, 2012, 11:15:52 AM
I liked the cartoon and it described how I have always viewed the friend zone -- it's not that the men (or women) are jerks or that they are too shy, it is that the object of their affection does not have romantic interest in them.  It says nothing "bad" about the person in the "friend zone," and does not mean that a person is in the "friend zone" for every other person, just this one.  It simply means that an object of one's affection enjoys the "friend zoned" person as a friend but does not see them as a romantic interest, and no amount of overcoming shyness or being a jerk will change that, in my experience.

Yes, there is that friend zone, too.  I guess that is more how I see it, too, it's just that my friends tend to be in it because they're shy and won't tell the girl that they like her.

Ah, but that's a different thing. I have no problem with people who are too shy to tell the object of their affections how they feel.

However, I do have a problem with the concept of the 'friend zone' in general. It's almost always used as, "you have been friend zoned", or "you're in her friend zone" (N.B: I have only ever heard about the 'friend zone' from hetero males, although perhaps there are other gender/orientation examples out there).

There's a strong implication there that the fact that the would-be suitor isn't more than a friend is the fault of the OTHER person (it is after all THEIR friend zone), or that the would-be suitor is owed 'more' because they are so nice, and kind, and the object of their affections is being in some way mean. That just isn't cool.

If the 'friend zone' was re-dubbed the 'bashful zone', I could get behind that. The fact that it isn't called that (or something similar), is a tip-off (to me, at least) that the concept is really about blaming the crush.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 29, 2012, 11:23:47 AM
Ha, my favourite quote about the 'friend zone' is, "Women aren't just machines you put kindness coins into until sex falls out." I find the concepts of 'friend zone' and 'nice guy' insidious. They seem jovial, but scratch the surface and you uncover a lot of REALLY twisted ideas about what a woman 'owes' a man.

Exactly. 

To often, I see it get borderline (it not leaping past the border) stalker-ish.  The whole 'I like her but its on her to notice not on me to say something' thing can get disturbing, especially when it combines with other attitudes towards women.  Sometimes it's like the 'I paid for dinner so now you owe me sex' mentality.

In this cartoon, he pulls the 'but he doesn't respect you' line, and the point of that is he doesn't actually respect her either.  Her feelings and desires are secondary to his, and the only reason he is being her friend at all is that he hopes she'll decide she can't do better than him and settle.  That's not respect.  And that's not even friendship, which is my other problem with the term 'friend zone'.  If your only reason for maintaining the relationship is a desire to one day get into someone's pants, you aren't their friend.

And as a girl who has had a lot of guy friends, it hurts terribly when you discover the person you've been thinking of as a friend for years just wanted in your pants and as soon as he finally got it through his skull that wasn't going to happen, he threw the friendship back in your face.  Especially when you later learn he did some things to sabotage your other relationships to ensure you were 'available' for him.

So yeah, in my experience, guys who talk about how bad it is to be in the 'friend zone' and worse, talk about how mean women are to put them in the 'friend zone', show a remarkable tendency towards being creeps.

Any one I've met in the friend zone is there because he's too shy, not because he has twisted ideas about women.

Could be you are operating under a different definition of 'friend zone' than we are.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Mental Magpie on May 29, 2012, 11:40:47 AM
I realize that you said that this was in your experience, but what you said was inflammatory and quite rude, IMO, and makes a lot of assumptions about people who would talk about the "friend zone".

I am sorry you feel that way. 

I find the friend zone tends to be this - http://xkcd.com/513/

Rather than a simple matter of it just taking some time to establish attraction.  Also, as I pointed out, it is the people who talk about it like it is a bad thing that I am referring too; people who act like being just friends with someone is some sort of cruel torture when they 'obviously' deserve romantic attention from their preferred target.

I get a totally different vibe from that comic than what I think you do.  That is the friend zone to me, too, but it's not that he deserves anything.  If he would just tell her her liked her, maybe he wouldn't be in the friend zone anymore or he would find she doesn't reciprocate and we wouldn't do everything a boyfriend does with none of the return (yes, good friends do that stuff, too, but when there is a longing for the other person, that changes things).  To me, the friend zone IS a bad thing when you want more than that but are too shy to say anything.  Like my examples with Dark Boyfriend and me.  We were just friends forever, wanting to move out of the friend zone, but both too shy to do so. 

I do know what you're talking about, though; I've definitely heard guys say that they deserve the romantic attention but aren't getting it because of her, not because of something he's doing wrong.  However, I don't think I've ever heard them refer to being in the friend zone.  I guess what I'm saying is to me, the friend zone is a sad place, where what I'm reading from you is that it is an angry place.  We definitely see it differently, though.

Yes, as I noted in the bolded.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: TurtleDove on May 29, 2012, 11:47:12 AM
Ah, but that's a different thing. I have no problem with people who are too shy to tell the object of their affections how they feel.

However, I do have a problem with the concept of the 'friend zone' in general. It's almost always used as, "you have been friend zoned", or "you're in her friend zone" (N.B: I have only ever heard about the 'friend zone' from hetero males, although perhaps there are other gender/orientation examples out there).

There's a strong implication there that the fact that the would-be suitor isn't more than a friend is the fault of the OTHER person (it is after all THEIR friend zone), or that the would-be suitor is owed 'more' because they are so nice, and kind, and the object of their affections is being in some way mean. That just isn't cool.
If the 'friend zone' was re-dubbed the 'bashful zone', I could get behind that. The fact that it isn't called that (or something similar), is a tip-off (to me, at least) that the concept is really about blaming the crush.

I have never heard the bolded.  In my experience, "friend zoning" says nothing about either party, and certainly places blame on neither.  It is a simply fact that one person does not view the other as a romantic partner, but values the friendship.  Actually, friend zoning, to me, indicates a deep respect for another person - being honest that "I care about you, but I don't like you like that" is far better than stringing someone along or cutting off all contact if there is a friendship there.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: WillyNilly on May 29, 2012, 11:48:37 AM
Dark, what you are talking about is not as I (or apparently others) understand the "friend zone" to be. The "friend zone" is when you are absolutely off your crushes radar as even being opposite sex (or sex attracted to). You and Dark Boyfriend were never in each oher's "friend zone" by the way you describe things. You were merely shy friends. If you had a crush on him, no matter how secret, he was *not* in your "friend zone" he was in your "secret unrequited crush" zone. If you had a crush on him you probably didn't change shirts in front of him, or talk to him about your boyfriends, or try to set him up with other girls. And if you were in his "friend zone" he wouldn't really have considered you datable, in fact probably wouldn't have even seen you as 'a girl' but rather merely as sexless for all intents and purposes.

The "friend zone" implies the person in it is seen as undatable by the object of their desire. Being stuck a friendship rut out of shyness is not the common or understood definition of the "friend zone"; the friend zone is being stuck in a frienship rut becauseyour friend can't see you as being anything other then a friend.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Teenyweeny on May 29, 2012, 11:53:54 AM
Ah, but that's a different thing. I have no problem with people who are too shy to tell the object of their affections how they feel.

However, I do have a problem with the concept of the 'friend zone' in general. It's almost always used as, "you have been friend zoned", or "you're in her friend zone" (N.B: I have only ever heard about the 'friend zone' from hetero males, although perhaps there are other gender/orientation examples out there).

There's a strong implication there that the fact that the would-be suitor isn't more than a friend is the fault of the OTHER person (it is after all THEIR friend zone), or that the would-be suitor is owed 'more' because they are so nice, and kind, and the object of their affections is being in some way mean. That just isn't cool.
If the 'friend zone' was re-dubbed the 'bashful zone', I could get behind that. The fact that it isn't called that (or something similar), is a tip-off (to me, at least) that the concept is really about blaming the crush.

I have never heard the bolded.  In my experience, "friend zoning" says nothing about either party, and certainly places blame on neither.  It is a simply fact that one person does not view the other as a romantic partner, but values the friendship.  Actually, friend zoning, to me, indicates a deep respect for another person - being honest that "I care about you, but I don't like you like that" is far better than stringing someone along or cutting off all contact if there is a friendship there.

Ah, well, I think we maybe have different definitions of the 'friend zone' then. What you are describing would be (to me) a friendship, albeit one in which one of the parties might carry a torch for the other. Person A has indicated their feelings to person B, person B has said, "sorry, I don't feel the same, but I want us to still be friends". It's all good.

However, the whole essence of the friend zone (IME) is that the crush doesn't know that they are desired by the other person (and doesn't desire them, seeing them as a 'brother' or 'sister', and absolutely not a romantic prospect). Meanwhile the admirer stays waiting in the 'friend zone', trying to think of a way to become more than a friend. A kind of relationship purgatory, if you will  :D. 
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Mental Magpie on May 29, 2012, 12:08:30 PM
Dark, what you are talking about is not as I (or apparently others) understand the "friend zone" to be. The "friend zone" is when you are absolutely off your crushes radar as even being opposite sex (or sex attracted to). You and Dark Boyfriend were never in each oher's "friend zone" by the way you describe things. You were merely shy friends. If you had a crush on him, no matter how secret, he was *not* in your "friend zone" he was in your "secret unrequited crush" zone. If you had a crush on him you probably didn't change shirts in front of him, or talk to him about your boyfriends, or try to set him up with other girls. And if you were in his "friend zone" he wouldn't really have considered you datable, in fact probably wouldn't have even seen you as 'a girl' but rather merely as sexless for all intents and purposes.

The "friend zone" implies the person in it is seen as undatable by the object of their desire. Being stuck a friendship rut out of shyness is not the common or understood definition of the "friend zone"; the friend zone is being stuck in a frienship rut becauseyour friend can't see you as being anything other then a friend.

He thought he was in my friend zone, I thought I was in his friend zone; it was not that I thought he was in my friend zone nor that he thought I was in his.  I thought he didn't like me back, he thought I didn't like him back. 
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: TurtleDove on May 29, 2012, 12:10:45 PM
However, the whole essence of the friend zone (IME) is that the crush doesn't know that they are desired by the other person (and doesn't desire them, seeing them as a 'brother' or 'sister', and absolutely not a romantic prospect). Meanwhile the admirer stays waiting in the 'friend zone', trying to think of a way to become more than a friend. A kind of relationship purgatory, if you will  :D.

Ah.  Under that definition, it sounds awful!  And under that definition, I would place blame squarely on the person in the "friend zone." 
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: WillyNilly on May 29, 2012, 12:26:09 PM
Dark, what you are talking about is not as I (or apparently others) understand the "friend zone" to be. The "friend zone" is when you are absolutely off your crushes radar as even being opposite sex (or sex attracted to). You and Dark Boyfriend were never in each oher's "friend zone" by the way you describe things. You were merely shy friends. If you had a crush on him, no matter how secret, he was *not* in your "friend zone" he was in your "secret unrequited crush" zone. If you had a crush on him you probably didn't change shirts in front of him, or talk to him about your boyfriends, or try to set him up with other girls. And if you were in his "friend zone" he wouldn't really have considered you datable, in fact probably wouldn't have even seen you as 'a girl' but rather merely as sexless for all intents and purposes.

The "friend zone" implies the person in it is seen as undatable by the object of their desire. Being stuck a friendship rut out of shyness is not the common or understood definition of the "friend zone"; the friend zone is being stuck in a frienship rut becauseyour friend can't see you as being anything other then a friend.

He thought he was in my friend zone, I thought I was in his friend zone; it was not that I thought he was in my friend zone nor that he thought I was in his.  I thought he didn't like me back, he thought I didn't like him back.

Right you weren't actually in each others friend zones.  That's my point.  Describing what you and Dark Boyfriend had/went through/experienced as "the friend zone" is incorrect.  Neither of you "zoned" the other, you just each  incorrectly assumed the other had.  But just because you assumed the friend zone doesn't mean it happened.  You have repeatedly cited your experience as an example of the "friend zone", but it wasn't.  What you two were stuck in was the "shy zone".  Its close in emotion to the friend zone but it is not the same thing.  If you had been in his friend zone, you probably still would be, and vice versa.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Reason on May 29, 2012, 12:37:26 PM
The way I used friend zone, actually reflects badly on the man. It's when a man really likes a woman and wants to pursue a romantic relationship with her, but instead of telling her that directly and giving her a chance to refuse or accept his advances, he feigns romantic disinterest and instead attempts to befriend her in the hopes that she will someday fall for him in a moment of weakness. (which is how I saw that comic as well)

I just didn't know there were so many different definitions for it.

Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Mental Magpie on May 29, 2012, 12:39:15 PM
Dark, what you are talking about is not as I (or apparently others) understand the "friend zone" to be. The "friend zone" is when you are absolutely off your crushes radar as even being opposite sex (or sex attracted to). You and Dark Boyfriend were never in each oher's "friend zone" by the way you describe things. You were merely shy friends. If you had a crush on him, no matter how secret, he was *not* in your "friend zone" he was in your "secret unrequited crush" zone. If you had a crush on him you probably didn't change shirts in front of him, or talk to him about your boyfriends, or try to set him up with other girls. And if you were in his "friend zone" he wouldn't really have considered you datable, in fact probably wouldn't have even seen you as 'a girl' but rather merely as sexless for all intents and purposes.

The "friend zone" implies the person in it is seen as undatable by the object of their desire. Being stuck a friendship rut out of shyness is not the common or understood definition of the "friend zone"; the friend zone is being stuck in a frienship rut becauseyour friend can't see you as being anything other then a friend.

He thought he was in my friend zone, I thought I was in his friend zone; it was not that I thought he was in my friend zone nor that he thought I was in his.  I thought he didn't like me back, he thought I didn't like him back.

Right you weren't actually in each others friend zones.  That's my point.  Describing what you and Dark Boyfriend had/went through/experienced as "the friend zone" is incorrect.  Neither of you "zoned" the other, you just each  incorrectly assumed the other had.  But just because you assumed the friend zone doesn't mean it happened.  You have repeatedly cited your experience as an example of the "friend zone", but it wasn't.  What you two were stuck in was the "shy zone".  Its close in emotion to the friend zone but it is not the same thing.  If you had been in his friend zone, you probably still would be, and vice versa.

Under your definition.

7 years of thinking I would never date him and would only ever be his friend is the epitome of being in a friend zone under my definition.  I have asked people on my Facebook what their definitions of friend zone are, and most of them agree with me.  There are apparently differing ideas of friend zone that run in different circles.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Winterlight on May 29, 2012, 12:44:31 PM
Reason, that's how I use the term too.

Here's a classic Nice Guy description of it:

Love-shys are sensitive people. They can get very enamored with those they fall for, but tragically, the objects of their affection don't usually like them back. Love-shys are often treated with the phrases "oh, you're such a nice guy, but I don't see you that way," or "sorry, I have a boyfriend" or the classic "I wouldn't want to ruin our friendship." The unaware, naive guy will stay stuck to the girl as a satellite, or "friend" if you will, in the vain hope that she will change her mind. Meanwhile, the girl has several relationships with other guys, and relays her sob stories to the friendzoned guy while giving him no sex.

So, she's told him she's not interested and he doesn't quietly end the relationship or look elsewhere, but instead hangs around like a leech pretending to be just a friend. Also note the ending- like he's owed sex for being a "friend." 

http://www.love-shy.com/faq#friendzone

Have a strong stomach- the woman hate is strong with this lot.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: sweetonsno on May 29, 2012, 01:05:58 PM
Reason, that's how I use the term too.

Here's a classic Nice Guy description of it:

Love-shys are sensitive people. They can get very enamored with those they fall for, but tragically, the objects of their affection don't usually like them back. Love-shys are often treated with the phrases "oh, you're such a nice guy, but I don't see you that way," or "sorry, I have a boyfriend" or the classic "I wouldn't want to ruin our friendship." The unaware, naive guy will stay stuck to the girl as a satellite, or "friend" if you will, in the vain hope that she will change her mind. Meanwhile, the girl has several relationships with other guys, and relays her sob stories to the friendzoned guy while giving him no sex.

So, she's told him she's not interested and he doesn't quietly end the relationship or look elsewhere, but instead hangs around like a leech pretending to be just a friend. Also note the ending- like he's owed sex for being a "friend." 

http://www.love-shy.com/faq#friendzone

Have a strong stomach- the woman hate is strong with this lot.

Blech. That's exactly the type I was thinking of, too. It's incredibly frustrating and painful to want a relationship with someone who isn't interested (I know, I've been there). However, I don't think it is fair to blame someone for not wanting to be with you, let alone resenting them for it. If you're not getting what you want out of a relationship, then leave the relationship.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Figgie on May 29, 2012, 01:16:13 PM
I try to compliment people when I notice something that appears to be important to them.  Which means that if I am standing in line waiting and the woman next to me has a gorgeous necklace on, I will compliment her gorgeous necklace. 

But I limit the interaction to compliments like loving that color, or object.  I wouldn't feel comfortable complimenting a stranger on their smile or hairdo, let alone anything even more personal.

I do try to only compliment people on stuff that I genuinely find attractive, so it is not just a made-up compliment.  When trying on clothes and then checking them outside the changing room in front of the three-way mirror, someone will often tell me that they like the color or style of what I am trying on or will ask me what I think of what they are trying on.  I try to find something positive to say in response and find that both of us are smiling after the interaction.

However, you (general you) :) have to be able to read other people's body language.  I would never even think to speak to someone who was looking harassed, upset or sending out body language that made it clear that they didn't want to engage in a conversation.  So, the person digging in a bag, reading a magazine, checking their phone, looking off into the distance and so on is not a person I would start any sort of interaction with because they aren't sending out signals of wanting to interact.

When I asked my spouse how men tend to compliment other men, he said it was generally about stuff like their car/motorcycle/boat/gun/fishing rods/computers/phones or other technology stuff and that he can't remember ever giving another guy a compliment on anything more personal than that.  But he also said that compliments between guys about that kind of stuff were pretty common in his experience. :)
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Auntie Mame on May 29, 2012, 02:23:26 PM
But then how does anyone ever end up on a date/romantic relationship? Surely one has to be complimented at some point? Otherwise we'd all be single right? At what point is it ok for a man to play a compliment?



That's a little over dramatic don't you think?  When I met my current BF I asked him out on a date after we spent the entire night talking to each other (we met at a party).  He didn't compliment me on my body until after we were initmate and after he complimented me about other things (sense of humor, cooking what have you).  That showed me although he likes my body, that's not all he's into.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: TurtleDove on May 29, 2012, 02:31:31 PM
I still struggle to understand how a compliment on a physical attribute (like a smile, or hair, or eye color) is a bad thing, even if (especially if) intended as a way to talk to a romantic interest.  Physical attraction is a major component for many if not all people.  I don't think this means that everyone who compliments my smile, for example, thinks I will immediately play scrabble with them and I think it would be rude of me to react as though that were the case.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 29, 2012, 02:36:02 PM
But then how does anyone ever end up on a date/romantic relationship? Surely one has to be complimented at some point? Otherwise we'd all be single right? At what point is it ok for a man to play a compliment?



That's a little over dramatic don't you think?  When I met my current BF I asked him out on a date after we spent the entire night talking to each other (we met at a party).  He didn't compliment me on my body until after we were initmate and after he complimented me about other things (sense of humor, cooking what have you).  That showed me although he likes my body, that's not all he's into.

I don't mean literal compliments like "your figure is so beautiful". I just think the language of love is made up of so many non-vocal non-literal compliments. They're more subtle and based on body language and interactions. I don't think a guy needs to tell a girl she is hot for her to not pick up on subtle other non-vocal or non-litreal complimentary clues to think that he feels this way. Asking a girl out on a date is a compliment in itself. I mean, just looking in the dictionary now, compliment has two meanings - the 'polite expression of praise or admiration' or 'an act or circumstance that implies praise or respect'. I think that a guy asking a girl out on a date is paying her a compliment, albeit not an express one. It is a compliment to her personality/and or looks but is not phrased in the way "you have a really nice personality" or "I think you are really beautiful". It not an alternative to a compliment as it is of course possible that someone can compliment someone without wanting to date them, but when we're talking about romantic desires... a guy saying to me "I think you're beautiful, can I take you out to dinner?" is exactly the same thing in my mind as "can I take you out to dinner?". No guy is going to pursue you romantically if they are abhorrently unattracted to or turned off by your looks.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 29, 2012, 03:03:14 PM
I still struggle to understand how a compliment on a physical attribute (like a smile, or hair, or eye color) is a bad thing, even if (especially if) intended as a way to talk to a romantic interest.  Physical attraction is a major component for many if not all people.  I don't think this means that everyone who compliments my smile, for example, thinks I will immediately play scrabble with them and I think it would be rude of me to react as though that were the case.

This. Also, I really hate mentioning this on ehell because I usually get castrated, but to me, it's really nice to feel like you are attractive as a woman to a man. I like to feel this way (even though it's a rare occurrence!). Reading Reasons OP actually cheered me up and made me feel a bit reminiscent and dreamyof my single-life thats now long gone. Someone has brightened up your day and made you feel confident or more sexy whether it be that they have complimented you on your looks or personality. They have said something nice. So what if they're only interested in my body or 'getting something'?, doesn't mean I have to give it to them. I can just enjoy it as harmless one-way flirtation. Say thank you, I'm flattered, and move on with my day. The KEY is a guy to back off when he can SEE he is making a woman uncomfortable or if those romantic considerations are not reciprocated.

My point is, some people don't like to feel this way. They don't like the personal compliments for the very reason I do not mind them. Thus, this matter is a personal preference. I don't think the rude/non-rude debate ever comes into it. I don't understand how it is ever rude to compliment someones appearance. Sure that wolf whistle or wink or "nice bum" comment from the builder is immature, but people have different levels of what they don't mind or what they don't see as a big deal. Who made up the rule that its rude to compliment someones looks that you'd like to get to know better romantically? I've never heard it before. Of course all etiquette rules are developed through established societal norms instead of an explicit authoritative status but flirtation that involves compliments has never been one of these rules has it? In the same way like pleases and thank you's are polite. If it was a hard and fast rule, there wouldn't be this thread or millions of boys around the world right now telling a girl she has 'lovely eyes'. Why does the right of one girl not to feel discomfort trump the other girls right have the option to receive comfort and joy through interaction or the right of a boy to simply tell a girl he thinks she's pretty? It shouldn't. They should both be equal so shouldn't be based on a rule of any sort. People should go about their daily lives as they wish.

Something being rude and something causing you discomfort are not the same thing. It is perfectly logical for someone to feel discomfort from a perfectly polite gesture. I just don't think you can dismiss something as 'rude' because it makes you unhappy. You can call it a lot of other things, but not rude.

As I've said, one day I'll be 90 and everything will be saggy. I'll long for the days of complimentary comments then!
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 29, 2012, 03:09:41 PM
...and on a side point WillyNilly, Dale Carnegie is a societal genius.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: purplemuse on May 29, 2012, 03:16:53 PM
Reason, that's how I use the term too.

Here's a classic Nice Guy description of it:

Love-shys are sensitive people. They can get very enamored with those they fall for, but tragically, the objects of their affection don't usually like them back. Love-shys are often treated with the phrases "oh, you're such a nice guy, but I don't see you that way," or "sorry, I have a boyfriend" or the classic "I wouldn't want to ruin our friendship." The unaware, naive guy will stay stuck to the girl as a satellite, or "friend" if you will, in the vain hope that she will change her mind. Meanwhile, the girl has several relationships with other guys, and relays her sob stories to the friendzoned guy while giving him no sex.

So, she's told him she's not interested and he doesn't quietly end the relationship or look elsewhere, but instead hangs around like a leech pretending to be just a friend. Also note the ending- like he's owed sex for being a "friend." 

http://www.love-shy.com/faq#friendzone

Have a strong stomach- the woman hate is strong with this lot.

Blech. That's exactly the type I was thinking of, too. It's incredibly frustrating and painful to want a relationship with someone who isn't interested (I know, I've been there). However, I don't think it is fair to blame someone for not wanting to be with you, let alone resenting them for it. If you're not getting what you want out of a relationship, then leave the relationship.

Agreed. To me, the whole "friend zone" thing has an inherent deceitfulness to it (I think Dark Magdelena's experience is the exception rather than the rule). The guy (or girl, but for simplicity's sake...) doesn't actually want to be friends with the girl, otherwise he'd say "we're friends" or "she's my friend" instead of "I've been friend zoned." If the guy doesn't want a non-romantic relationship with the girl, that's fine; he can walk away with no obligation to be friends with her. But I think it's really scummy to pretend to be a friend to someone.

On the flip side of that, if the guy does want to be friends, the girl shouldn't take advantage of the friendship by asking the guy to do things "above his pay grade" (an unfortunate metaphor, but there are some things you can ask an SO to do that you shouldn't ask a friend to do, IMO), but I don't know how often this actually happens, and how often it's an exaggeration made by so-called "nice guys."
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Mental Magpie on May 29, 2012, 03:22:43 PM
I still struggle to understand how a compliment on a physical attribute (like a smile, or hair, or eye color) is a bad thing, even if (especially if) intended as a way to talk to a romantic interest.  Physical attraction is a major component for many if not all people.  I don't think this means that everyone who compliments my smile, for example, thinks I will immediately play scrabble with them and I think it would be rude of me to react as though that were the case.

This. Also, I really hate mentioning this on ehell because I usually get castrated, but to me, it's really nice to feel like you are attractive as a woman to a man. I like to feel this way (even though it's a rare occurrence!). Reading Reasons OP actually cheered me up and made me feel a bit reminiscent and dreamyof my single-life thats now long gone. Someone has brightened up your day and made you feel confident or more sexy whether it be that they have complimented you on your looks or personality. They have said something nice. So what if they're only interested in my body or 'getting something'?, doesn't mean I have to give it to them. I can just enjoy it as harmless one-way flirtation. Say thank you, I'm flattered, and move on with my day. The KEY is a guy to back off when he can SEE he is making a woman uncomfortable or if those romantic considerations are not reciprocated.

My point is, some people don't like to feel this way. They don't like the personal compliments for the very reason I do not mind them. Thus, this matter is a personal preference. I don't think the rude/non-rude debate ever comes into it. I don't understand how it is ever rude to compliment someones appearance. Sure that wolf whistle or wink or "nice bum" comment from the builder is immature, but people have different levels of what they don't mind or what they don't see as a big deal. Who made up the rule that its rude to compliment someones looks that you'd like to get to know better romantically? I've never heard it before. Of course all etiquette rules are developed through established societal norms instead of an explicit authoritative status but flirtation that involves compliments has never been one of these rules has it? In the same way like pleases and thank you's are polite. If it was a hard and fast rule, there wouldn't be this thread or millions of boys around the world right now telling a girl she has 'lovely eyes'. Why does the right of one girl not to feel discomfort trump the other girls right have the option to receive comfort and joy through interaction or the right of a boy to simply tell a girl he thinks she's pretty? It shouldn't. They should both be equal so shouldn't be based on a rule of any sort. People should go about their daily lives as they wish.

Something being rude and something causing you discomfort are not the same thing. It is perfectly logical for someone to feel discomfort from a perfectly polite gesture. I just don't think you can dismiss something as 'rude' because it makes you unhappy. You can call it a lot of other things, but not rude.

As I've said, one day I'll be 90 and everything will be saggy. I'll long for the days of complimentary comments then!

I'm with you Tilt Fairy.  My self esteem in my looks is usually lacking.  You could tell me I could lose some weight, and I may believe you; you could tell me I'm not that pretty, and I may believe you; but if you told me I was stupid I would laugh in your face (all "you"s general).  My self esteem lies in my smarts, not my looks, so when someone compliments me, especially on a day when I feel great about my appearance, I am elated!  It really can make my day.  I realize that isn't the same for everyone, but like you said, just because it makes you (general) uncomfortable doesn't make it rude.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Harriet on May 29, 2012, 07:10:46 PM
The KEY is a guy to back off when he can SEE he is making a woman uncomfortable or if those romantic considerations are not reciprocated.

But how am I supposed to know what kind of guy I'm dealing with? A stranger has just made a personal remark to me and I have no context or relationship with this person to know if he's going to react "Reason"ably (as Reason described, backing off if I demonstrate that I'm uncomfortable) or NOT reasonably ("Learn to take a compliment, [b-word]," or even actual violence.) -- I've run into both kinds, unfortunately the latter much more often and sadly, much more memorably. If you are actually trying to transmit a nice feeling to me, why would you put me in that position in the first place?

Who made up the rule that its rude to compliment someones looks that you'd like to get to know better romantically? I've never heard it before.

Twik is right in that the "no personal remarks whether good OR bad" goes way back in etiquette. I'm pretty sure you can find it in Emily Post. Not that I'm advocating we revert back that far but it definitely does exist as a rule of traditional politeness. Nobody's making it up. It's even in Alice in Wonderland!:

"`Your hair wants cutting,' said the Hatter. He had been looking at Alice for some time with great curiosity, and this was his first speech.
`You should learn not to make personal remarks,' Alice said with some severity; `it's very rude.'"
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~rgs/alice-VII.html

My guess as to the reason why is along the lines of what Venus193 said:

Because a compliment from a person who is less than a casual acquaintance presumes a relationship that does not exist.

I don't mean literal compliments like "your figure is so beautiful". I just think the language of love is made up of so many non-vocal non-literal compliments. They're more subtle and based on body language and interactions. I don't think a guy needs to tell a girl she is hot for her to not pick up on subtle other non-vocal or non-litreal complimentary clues to think that he feels this way. Asking a girl out on a date is a compliment in itself. I mean, just looking in the dictionary now, compliment has two meanings - the 'polite expression of praise or admiration' or 'an act or circumstance that implies praise or respect'. I think that a guy asking a girl out on a date is paying her a compliment, albeit not an express one. It is a compliment to her personality/and or looks but is not phrased in the way "you have a really nice personality" or "I think you are really beautiful". It not an alternative to a compliment as it is of course possible that someone can compliment someone without wanting to date them, but when we're talking about romantic desires... a guy saying to me "I think you're beautiful, can I take you out to dinner?" is exactly the same thing in my mind as "can I take you out to dinner?". No guy is going to pursue you romantically if they are abhorrently unattracted to or turned off by your looks.

I'm totally with you there. I'm talking about comments about my body or looks, e.g. my smile as in the OP. You've just described an alternative approach that sounds great to me!
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: TheVapors on May 30, 2012, 05:24:51 AM
"Friend-zoned" and "Nice GuyTM" make me seething mad. So, I'm going to have to be careful with my language.

I honestly get the feeling that the above two are really full of misogyny at their very core. The whole idea that one can "get around" being in the friend zone is a real detriment to actual male-female friendships. It's sad, because it implies that any man who just wants to be a friend (truly!) is automatically trying to get in a woman's pants. AND it implies that a woman is not really worth being a true friend to, she's only there as a challenge to conquer.

Friend-zoned implies that the purpose was never to actually be a friend, but rather to be a potential suitor in the guise of a friend (wolf in sheep's clothing), and the only reason you hang around is to be the Nice GuyTM that the woman eventually turns to when she's burnt out all other angles.

A friend may have a crush on their friend. It happens. Often. However, any true friend would not let their unrequited interest stop them from just being a cool friend.

There's the difference.
Friend-zone: "I am only 'friends' with this person in the hopes that I can get with them one day. If I'm nice enough one day they will see me as their only option, and I'll get some."
Vs.
Friend-with-a-crush: "I like this person as a person. While I sometimes wish we could be more, I will stay friends with this person, because I actually like them."

"I am a Nice GuyTM, therefore it's unfathomable that any woman would not want to throw themselves at me, because I'm so nice that I practically deserve attention and affection just for being so nice!" That's not nice.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Allyson on May 30, 2012, 09:55:08 AM
Both 'friend zone' and 'nice guy' are terms that have no *inherent* misogyny, so people can absolutely use them innocently. The problem is the connotations. It's been pretty well stated by other people here so I won't repeat it--the 'love shy' quote is a good example of what we're talking about. The view that's basically 'why would a guy be friends with a girl without wanting more?' as if women can't be awesome friends too. And, this truly odd idea that if a guy and a girl are extremely good friends and do 'friend' but not romantic activities, she is somehow using him, and he is pathetic.

But, as I've seen on this thread, there are people who can use 'friend zone' *not* in that way, so I wouldn't automatically assume that someone who used the term had that attitude. They might just have heard the term 'friend zone' and apply it to 'friend with a crush'. Because it *sounds* like that's all it is.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Lovie on May 30, 2012, 01:44:00 PM
Since attraction is the first step towards a relationship, I'd have no problem with a potential mate complimenting my appearance. In fact, if they didn't, I would wonder if they were attracted to me at all.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 31, 2012, 08:52:12 AM
Since attraction is the first step towards a relationship, I'd have no problem with a potential mate complimenting my appearance. In fact, if they didn't, I would wonder if they were attracted to me at all.

Ah, but the attraction can be non-physical.  While I think my husband is the best looking man in the world, it was his big sexy brain that attracted me first.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Lovie on May 31, 2012, 09:25:04 AM
Since attraction is the first step towards a relationship, I'd have no problem with a potential mate complimenting my appearance. In fact, if they didn't, I would wonder if they were attracted to me at all.
Ah, but the attraction can be non-physical.  While I think my husband is the best looking man in the world, it was his big sexy brain that attracted me first.

His brain is not what you are going to be making love to :-P
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: TurtleDove on May 31, 2012, 09:51:00 AM
Ah, but the attraction can be non-physical. 

Sure, but physical attraction is a major component of a romantic relationship for many if not most people.  Physical attraction does not mean nothing else matters in a romantic relationship.  Sometimes I get the vibe from some comments (not this one specifically) that some posters view physical attraction as shallow somehow.  In a romantic relationship, for many people it is vital to a healthy relationship - not shallow at all.  To choose friends based on physical appearance might be shallow, but not for a romantic partner.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 31, 2012, 01:12:32 PM
Sometimes I get the vibe from some comments (not this one specifically) that some posters view physical attraction as shallow somehow. 

If you cannot come up with something to compliment about someone other than their looks, then yea, I feel that it is a bit shallow.  If all that attracts you is looks, then yes, I also find that to be shallow.

But I also think you are missing the point.

Physical compliments are fine, however, it is inappropriate for them the be the opening remarks.  It is better to show someone you respect them for who they are rather than just reducing them to their looks, which is what physical compliments often do (and are often intended to do by certain sections of the population).

I have actually had some relationships where I was not initially attracted to a person's physical appearance.  However, after getting to know the person, my opinion of who they were influenced my feelings about their looks and to me, at least, they became lovely.  It's worked the other way around too.  Someone I thought was initially quite physically attractive and later learned had a repulsive personality became very unattractive to me in the looks department.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Lovie on May 31, 2012, 01:24:46 PM
I think when you are looking for a partner, attraction is important. Physical attraction, but also other things - it has to be a complete compatibility and physical compatibility is often one of the first things we establish. I don't think that saying, "Wow, you have a great smile" is any different than "Wow, you have great energy" except that it is immediately establishable. And knowing that attraction is there can definitely move things forward. When it is NOTHING but physical compliments, that's when it becomes a problem. But I don't think order is all that important.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Onyx_TKD on May 31, 2012, 01:29:49 PM
Ah, but the attraction can be non-physical. 

Sure, but physical attraction is a major component of a romantic relationship for many if not most people.  Physical attraction does not mean nothing else matters in a romantic relationship.  Sometimes I get the vibe from some comments (not this one specifically) that some posters view physical attraction as shallow somehow.  In a romantic relationship, for many people it is vital to a healthy relationship - not shallow at all.  To choose friends based on physical appearance might be shallow, but not for a romantic partner.

I don't think saying it's inappropriate to compliment a stranger's physical appearance implies that physical attraction is shallow. Yes, physical attraction is important to romantic relationships, but that doesn't mean that commenting on a perfect stranger's compatibility with your standards of physical attraction is necessarily appropriate. Some people find large breasts attractive, and there's nothing wrong with that preference, but that doesn't make it appropriate to compliment a stranger on her ample bosom. Obviously, opinions differ about whether complimenting other features is appropriate, but the opinion that is inappropriate isn't a judgement on valuing physical appearance--it's a judgment on whether commenting on a stranger's features is polite.

Now, honestly, I'm not completely against compliments from strangers. I've received some very pleasant compliments from strangers that brightened my day. However, one common factor to most of the pleasant compliments was that there was no apparent romantic/sexual interest involved and most of them were on things that were personal choices (e.g. a cool T-shirt, a cute haircut, a piece of jewelry, etc.). Those I generally don't mind. I wore that T-shirt/jewelry/haircut because I thought it was cool/pretty/etc.; it's nice that someone else thinks it's cool/pretty/etc., too. But I am not here to be a potential romantic partner for random strangers. I couldn't care less if my physical characteristics meet (general) your standards for a mate unless I am romantically interested in (general) you. And if we've just met, so that physical appearance is all you have to go on, then by my standards neither of us has enough information to know whether we're romantically (rather than sexually) attracted to one another, so (general) your opinion of my physical appearance is irrelevant and unwanted. If you get to know me enough to know you're attracted to the whole package (looks and personality), then we're no longer complete strangers, and it's no longer a question of complimenting a stranger's appearance.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Yvaine on May 31, 2012, 01:40:54 PM
Ah, but the attraction can be non-physical. 

Sure, but physical attraction is a major component of a romantic relationship for many if not most people.  Physical attraction does not mean nothing else matters in a romantic relationship.  Sometimes I get the vibe from some comments (not this one specifically) that some posters view physical attraction as shallow somehow.  In a romantic relationship, for many people it is vital to a healthy relationship - not shallow at all.  To choose friends based on physical appearance might be shallow, but not for a romantic partner.

I don't think saying it's inappropriate to compliment a stranger's physical appearance implies that physical attraction is shallow. Yes, physical attraction is important to romantic relationships, but that doesn't mean that commenting on a perfect stranger's compatibility with your standards of physical attraction is necessarily appropriate. Some people find large breasts attractive, and there's nothing wrong with that preference, but that doesn't make it appropriate to compliment a stranger on her ample bosom. Obviously, opinions differ about whether complimenting other features is appropriate, but the opinion that is inappropriate isn't a judgement on valuing physical appearance--it's a judgment on whether commenting on a stranger's features is polite.

Now, honestly, I'm not completely against compliments from strangers. I've received some very pleasant compliments from strangers that brightened my day. However, one common factor to most of the pleasant compliments was that there was no apparent romantic/sexual interest involved and most of them were on things that were personal choices (e.g. a cool T-shirt, a cute haircut, a piece of jewelry, etc.). Those I generally don't mind. I wore that T-shirt/jewelry/haircut because I thought it was cool/pretty/etc.; it's nice that someone else thinks it's cool/pretty/etc., too. But I am not here to be a potential romantic partner for random strangers. I couldn't care less if my physical characteristics meet (general) your standards for a mate unless I am romantically interested in (general) you. And if we've just met, so that physical appearance is all you have to go on, then by my standards neither of us has enough information to know whether we're romantically (rather than sexually) attracted to one another, so (general) your opinion of my physical appearance is irrelevant and unwanted. If you get to know me enough to know you're attracted to the whole package (looks and personality), then we're no longer complete strangers, and it's no longer a question of complimenting a stranger's appearance.

Good post and I agree.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Lovie on May 31, 2012, 01:47:06 PM
I was thinking more along the lines of when you are on a date, not really when you just run into them.

I do think compliments on physical appearance can be done tastefully and sensitively. I don't agree with an across the board ban, but it can definitely be done badly.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: TurtleDove on May 31, 2012, 01:51:26 PM
Sometimes I get the vibe from some comments (not this one specifically) that some posters view physical attraction as shallow somehow. 

If you cannot come up with something to compliment about someone other than their looks, then yea, I feel that it is a bit shallow.  If all that attracts you is looks, then yes, I also find that to be shallow.

I don't see how the leap is made from a compliment based on something physical to "all that attracts you is looks."  Physical attraction is very important to me and many people I know in a romanatic partner; I am certain we all value many many many other qualities in a romantic partner.  Physical attraction is one of them.  And I don't think that is at all shallow.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 31, 2012, 02:03:17 PM
I love a good brain and a good personality and a good sense of humour as much as the next girl. But it's not any of those things that are keeping me awake at night when I'm thinking about that person I've just met. I don't think I'm shallow. I think I'm just a normal girl with normal hormones. Wanting to get to know someone better based on their looks is not the same thing as NOT wanting to get to know someone based on their lack of conventional good looks. Not at all. I doubt any of us at all are in relationships with our partners for just their looks but I doubt many of us don't find our partners physically unattractive either. Looks are important to me but they're not the most important thing to me. Not even close. But if I'm not attracted to someone even slightly on the off, then its always going to be a lost cause.

Besides, when I see a guy across a room that I would like to get to know better, I don't know what his brain is like or what he's into yet. I won't know that until I start talking to him. It's his looks that have attracted me to him first. Also, it's all about setting. Never once have I been in a bar at 2am when I've had some guy come up to me and say "I'd really like to get to know your brain". I don't think these guys are shallow. I think they're normal. People can't completely go against their hormones in life all the time. Sometimes things just get blurted out.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Yvaine on May 31, 2012, 02:17:28 PM
I was thinking more along the lines of when you are on a date, not really when you just run into them.

I do think compliments on physical appearance can be done tastefully and sensitively. I don't agree with an across the board ban, but it can definitely be done badly.

Yes, I definitely agree that on a date is far different from just going up and telling a stranger what you think of their appearance.  :) And I also agree that there are tasteful ways to make a compliment, and settings where it's more appropriate, and there are also awkward ways and creepy ways to do it and settings where it's less appropriate. There's a whole spectrum from a sweet compliment to "Nice (derriere)" shouted from a car window, and delivery and wording are both huge parts of it.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Ms_Cellany on May 31, 2012, 02:17:55 PM
If you want a pleasant, get-to-know-you conversation with someone, start with "Cool earrings!" (assuming they're wearing earrings).

For a take on why women are leery of initial interactions with men, I recommend the eye-opening Schrodinger's Rapist, or A Guy's Guide to Approaching Strange Women Without Being maced (http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger’s-rapist-or-a-guy’s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/)
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Onyx_TKD on May 31, 2012, 02:20:50 PM
I love a good brain and a good personality and a good sense of humour as much as the next girl. But it's not any of those things that are keeping me awake at night when I'm thinking about that person I've just met. I don't think I'm shallow. I think I'm just a normal girl with normal hormones. Wanting to get to know someone better based on their looks is not the same thing as NOT wanting to get to know someone based on their lack of conventional good looks. Not at all. I doubt any of us at all are in relationships with our partners for just their looks but I doubt many of us don't find our partners physically unattractive either. Looks are important to me but they're not the most important thing to me. Not even close. But if I'm not attracted to someone even slightly on the off, then its always going to be a lost cause.

Besides, when I see a guy across a room that I would like to get to know better, I don't know what his brain is like or what he's into yet. I won't know that until I start talking to him. It's his looks that have attracted me to him first. Also, it's all about setting. Never once have I been in a bar at 2am when I've had some guy come up to me and say "I'd really like to get to know your brain". I don't think these guys are shallow. I think they're normal. People can't completely go against their hormones in life all the time. Sometimes things just get blurted out.

But do they instead say "I'd really like to get to know your [visible body part]"? If so, it's a good thing I don't hang out in bars--my body parts don't have individual social lives and none of them (not even my brain) can carry on a conversation without help from the rest of me.  :P

Like I said before, there's nothing wrong with being physically attracted to someone. There's nothing wrong with approaching someone because you're physically attracted and want to find out if you're attracted to the whole package (including personality) and whether that attraction is reciprocated, as long as you don't push yourself on someone who's not interested. However, that doesn't require leading off with a comment on physical appearance any more than trying to make a platonic friend requires leading off with "I want to get to know your brain." What's wrong with "Hi"? As a PP pointed out, the mere act of trying to start a conversation suggests that something the person has captured your interest. That "something" may or may not be physical appearance--why is it necessary to specify?
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Lovie on May 31, 2012, 02:25:26 PM
If you want a pleasant, get-to-know-you conversation with someone, start with "Cool earrings!" (assuming they're wearing earrings).

For a take on why women are leery of initial interactions with men, I recommend the eye-opening Schrodinger's Rapist, or A Guy's Guide to Approaching Strange Women Without Being maced (http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger’s-rapist-or-a-guy’s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/)

I think painting all men and all compliments with a "schrodinger's rapist" brush is silly. Take precautions, be safe, but don;t assume everyone is out to get you!

And if a man complimented my earrings, I would think that very odd and it would probably give me the wrong impression. A "Hey, my name is _____." makes sense though
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 31, 2012, 02:30:56 PM
If you want a pleasant, get-to-know-you conversation with someone, start with "Cool earrings!" (assuming they're wearing earrings).

For a take on why women are leery of initial interactions with men, I recommend the eye-opening Schrodinger's Rapist, or A Guy's Guide to Approaching Strange Women Without Being maced (http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger’s-rapist-or-a-guy’s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/)

That's pretty funny!

And yes Onyx its sadly true. I'm 24 years old and a student so I'm lucky (or unlucky) enough to find myself in bars and clubs often and trust me, there is no shortage of men who will approach a girl and ask to get to know one specific body part (like its a living being autonomous entity) or pair of body parts then just STARE for like 3 minutes at it. I'm still not sure it's rude, but I do think it's pathetic. I think they really need to read Ms Cellany's article.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 31, 2012, 02:33:15 PM
If you want a pleasant, get-to-know-you conversation with someone, start with "Cool earrings!" (assuming they're wearing earrings).

For a take on why women are leery of initial interactions with men, I recommend the eye-opening Schrodinger's Rapist, or A Guy's Guide to Approaching Strange Women Without Being maced (http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger’s-rapist-or-a-guy’s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/)

I think painting all men and all compliments with a "schrodinger's rapist" brush is silly. Take precautions, be safe, but don;t assume everyone is out to get you!

And if a man complimented my earrings, I would think that very odd and it would probably give me the wrong impression. A "Hey, my name is _____." makes sense though

And yes.. I too would think it extremely odd that a man would compliment my earrings or shoes or clothes. I would think it a clear sign that they were most likely not into me physically.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Reason on May 31, 2012, 02:34:22 PM
If you want a pleasant, get-to-know-you conversation with someone, start with "Cool earrings!" (assuming they're wearing earrings).

For a take on why women are leery of initial interactions with men, I recommend the eye-opening Schrodinger's Rapist, or A Guy's Guide to Approaching Strange Women Without Being maced (http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger’s-rapist-or-a-guy’s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/)

Men tend not to think earrings are cool. In fact most men, at least from my neck of the woods, could care less about fashion in general. So I think if a man approaches you and tells you that you have cool earrings, chances are he is being disingenuous  about his approach and wants to seem safe and harmless. Most women I know would also see right through that, so it doesn't hurt to be honest. (So long as one is willing to back off if his interest is not returned.)
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 31, 2012, 02:42:13 PM
If you want a pleasant, get-to-know-you conversation with someone, start with "Cool earrings!" (assuming they're wearing earrings).

For a take on why women are leery of initial interactions with men, I recommend the eye-opening Schrodinger's Rapist, or A Guy's Guide to Approaching Strange Women Without Being maced (http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger’s-rapist-or-a-guy’s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/)

Men tend not to think earrings are cool. In fact most men, at least from my neck of the woods, could care less about fashion in general. So I think if a man approaches you and tells you that you have cool earrings, chances are he is being disingenuous  about his approach and wants to seem safe and harmless. Most women I know would also see right through that, so it doesn't hurt to be honest. (So long as one is willing to back off if his interest is not returned.)

This made me laugh a lot. It's true. When a man is so taken by how a girl looks, it's hard for him to pay any attention to what she's wearing. I doubt he either notices or cares. You could probably ask him to close his eyes and ask him what her dress looked like and he wouldn't have a clue. Maybe its to be disingenuous and they're trying some sort of odd flirting tactic but why on earth would a guy even think to look at a girls earings or item of clothing. Normally the best you might get is a compliment how you look IN IT. "you look great in that dress" or "that dress looks good on you" not "that's a nice dress". I'm the same for guys whether I fancy them or not. I never look at their shoes or their watch or anything like that. Normally just at their face or if I can't help it, their arm muscles. You know the ones I mean.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: WillyNilly on May 31, 2012, 03:04:29 PM
If you want a pleasant, get-to-know-you conversation with someone, start with "Cool earrings!" (assuming they're wearing earrings).

For a take on why women are leery of initial interactions with men, I recommend the eye-opening Schrodinger's Rapist, or A Guy's Guide to Approaching Strange Women Without Being maced (http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger’s-rapist-or-a-guy’s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/)

Men tend not to think earrings are cool. In fact most men, at least from my neck of the woods, could care less about fashion in general. So I think if a man approaches you and tells you that you have cool earrings, chances are he is being disingenuous  about his approach and wants to seem safe and harmless. Most women I know would also see right through that, so it doesn't hurt to be honest. (So long as one is willing to back off if his interest is not returned.)

LOL, if a guy approached me in a bar, or I guess anywhere, and started complimenting my fashion accessories I wouldn't think he was trying to pick me up, but rather he wanted to join forces in picking up other guys.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 31, 2012, 06:57:13 PM
Physical attraction is one of them.  And I don't think that is at all shallow.

Physical attraction isn't shallow.  Having ONLY physical attraction is shallow.  You should be able to compliment something other than looks, which, IMHO, you need to talk to someone a bit before throwing out the compliments so that you have something to compliment (and base attraction on) other than just looks.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Lovie on May 31, 2012, 07:10:25 PM
But I don't think anyone is talking about only compliment looks, but people are talking about never complimenting looks.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: TurtleDove on May 31, 2012, 07:59:24 PM
What Lovie said - I don't think anyone has said that physical attraction is the only factor, and I really don't grasp the leap from "he complimented me on my smile - he expects me to immediately okay scrabble and is only interested in my looks." It's far more realistic that he simply complimented you on your smile as a way to start a conversation. I think it would be rude to respond negatively to a genuine compliment.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Garden Goblin on May 31, 2012, 08:29:33 PM
What Lovie said - I don't think anyone has said that physical attraction is the only factor, and I really don't grasp the leap from "he complimented me on my smile - he expects me to immediately okay scrabble and is only interested in my looks." It's far more realistic that he simply complimented you on your smile as a way to start a conversation. I think it would be rude to respond negatively to a genuine compliment.

My statement was in response to this comment -

"I'd have no problem with a potential mate complimenting my appearance. In fact, if they didn't, I would wonder if they were attracted to me at all."

and to repeated statements throughout the thread that some are interpreting statements of 'don't jump right in with the physical compliments' and 'don't hit on people who aren't interested in being hit on' as 'don't initiate flirting at all, ever' and 'don't compliment, ever'.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Lovie on May 31, 2012, 08:34:47 PM
So, what are we disagreeing on?
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Tilt Fairy on May 31, 2012, 08:39:03 PM
I think this thread is going round in circles and circles. We're at an impasse. My brain hurts :(

Lets just agree that some people don't think personal compliments to strangers are rude and shouldn't be stopped, and some people think personal compliments to strangers are rude and shouldn't be encouraged.

Reason's been given great advice for both for and against. I'm sure it's given him something to think about. The important thing is he seems very socially astute so as long as he's happy, and the girl he's chatting up is happy, the world is fine. Rude or not.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Gyburc on June 01, 2012, 05:57:11 AM
POD to Tilt Fairy!
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: chicajojobe on June 02, 2012, 09:07:35 AM
I think this thread is going round in circles and circles. We're at an impasse. My brain hurts :(

Lets just agree that some people don't think personal compliments to strangers are rude and shouldn't be stopped, and some people think personal compliments to strangers are rude and shouldn't be encouraged.

Reason's been given great advice for both for and against. I'm sure it's given him something to think about. The important thing is he seems very socially astute so as long as he's happy, and the girl he's chatting up is happy, the world is fine. Rude or not.

Agreed and I think you've actually reached the heart of the matter: Perception.

Basically if the person you're complimenting seems happy it's fine. If he/she seems uncomfortable back off, and be aware of situations where they can't express their displeasure such as in an employee/customer situation.
And if you don't feel you're socially astute enough to tell when someone is uncomfortable, you probably should just not compliment strangers.
Title: Re: Paying compliments is rude?
Post by: Yvaine on June 02, 2012, 11:18:16 AM
I think this thread is going round in circles and circles. We're at an impasse. My brain hurts :(

Lets just agree that some people don't think personal compliments to strangers are rude and shouldn't be stopped, and some people think personal compliments to strangers are rude and shouldn't be encouraged.

Reason's been given great advice for both for and against. I'm sure it's given him something to think about. The important thing is he seems very socially astute so as long as he's happy, and the girl he's chatting up is happy, the world is fine. Rude or not.

Agreed and I think you've actually reached the heart of the matter: Perception.

Basically if the person you're complimenting seems happy it's fine. If he/she seems uncomfortable back off, and be aware of situations where they can't express their displeasure such as in an employee/customer situation.
And if you don't feel you're socially astute enough to tell when someone is uncomfortable, you probably should just not compliment strangers.

Yup, this. Compliments to strangers are, I think, similar to the customer service styles we go round and round about on other threads--different people have different preferences, and the best etiquette in these situations IMO is to be responsive to the cues you get from the other person.