Author Topic: Paying compliments is rude?  (Read 21436 times)

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Tilt Fairy

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #60 on: May 26, 2012, 03:37:20 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.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #61 on: May 26, 2012, 07:37:56 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!"
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Garden Goblin

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #62 on: May 26, 2012, 11:12:36 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.

Garden Goblin

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #63 on: May 26, 2012, 11:16:42 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.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 11:24:55 AM by Garden Goblin »

Twik

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #64 on: May 26, 2012, 11:44:33 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."
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."

Two Ravens

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #65 on: May 26, 2012, 12:06:02 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?

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.

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #66 on: May 26, 2012, 12:12:05 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?

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.

dawbs

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #67 on: May 26, 2012, 12:12:52 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?

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.

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #68 on: May 26, 2012, 12:20:16 PM »
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?

Hawkwatcher

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #69 on: May 26, 2012, 12:35:14 PM »
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. 

Harriet

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #70 on: May 26, 2012, 12:36:52 PM »
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.

Reason

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #71 on: May 26, 2012, 12:42:34 PM »

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?

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #72 on: May 26, 2012, 01:01:55 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.

Twik

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #73 on: May 26, 2012, 01:27:48 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.
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."

Garden Goblin

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Re: Paying compliments is rude?
« Reply #74 on: May 26, 2012, 03:48:47 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
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 03:55:55 PM by Garden Goblin »