Author Topic: Paying compliments is rude?  (Read 22478 times)

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Onyx_TKD

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #120 on: May 31, 2012, 02:29:49 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.

Yvaine

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #121 on: May 31, 2012, 02:40:54 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.

Lovie

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #122 on: May 31, 2012, 02:47:06 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.

TurtleDove

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #123 on: May 31, 2012, 02:51:26 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.

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #124 on: May 31, 2012, 03:03:17 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.

Yvaine

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #125 on: May 31, 2012, 03:17:28 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.

Ms_Cellany

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #126 on: May 31, 2012, 03:17:55 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
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Onyx_TKD

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #127 on: May 31, 2012, 03:20:50 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?

Lovie

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #128 on: May 31, 2012, 03:25:26 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

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

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #129 on: May 31, 2012, 03:30:56 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

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.

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #130 on: May 31, 2012, 03:33:15 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

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.

Reason

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #131 on: May 31, 2012, 03:34:22 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

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.)

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #132 on: May 31, 2012, 03:42:13 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

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.

WillyNilly

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #133 on: May 31, 2012, 04:04:29 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

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.

P-p-p-penguin

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #134 on: May 31, 2012, 04:45:45 PM »
Just chiming in here because I've got a different understanding of the "friend zone" than everyone else here seems to (unless I missed a post, I did skim some, this is a long thread!):

In a new friendship there is a timeframe in which to develop a romantic relationship.  The friendship will eventually reach a point where it becomes purely platonic.  In situations where one person has feelings for the other, they need to make a move during this timeframe before the other person sees them as just a friend.  If they don't then the relationship will never be more than a friendship.  This, to me, is the "friend zone".
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 04:58:02 PM by P-p-p-penguin »