Author Topic: Paying compliments is rude?  (Read 20548 times)

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WillyNilly

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #45 on: May 25, 2012, 06:04:22 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.

poundcake

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #46 on: May 25, 2012, 06:46:56 PM »
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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?"

sweetonsno

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #47 on: May 25, 2012, 06:52:13 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.

Harriet

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #48 on: May 25, 2012, 08:42:58 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.

Garden Goblin

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #49 on: May 25, 2012, 08:48:48 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?

Garden Goblin

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #50 on: May 25, 2012, 08:55:05 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.

Twik

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #51 on: May 25, 2012, 09:12:50 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".
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Garden Goblin

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #52 on: May 25, 2012, 09:38:14 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.

Twik

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #53 on: May 25, 2012, 09:46:22 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.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

TurtleDove

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #54 on: May 25, 2012, 10:09:49 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.

Venus193

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #55 on: May 25, 2012, 10:20:54 PM »
Because a compliment from a person who is less than a casual acquaintance presumes a relationship that does not exist.

Harriet

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #56 on: May 25, 2012, 10:31:10 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.

MariaE

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #57 on: May 26, 2012, 01:45:41 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.
 
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poundcake

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #58 on: May 26, 2012, 02:00:47 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.

sweetonsno

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #59 on: May 26, 2012, 03:19:56 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.