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How do we accept compliments?

(18 Posts)
alexpolismum Thu 29-Sep-11 13:51:55

I came across this earlier, and have been thinking about it.

Do men react differently to compliments? Are we women too busy putting ourselves down and not wanting to seem uppity, so much so that we can't receive compliments gracefully?

What do you think?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

blackcurrants Thu 29-Sep-11 17:41:48

I was taught, and I mean taught how to gracefully accept a compliment when I was 18.
The person teaching me looked me straight in the eye and said "I praise you because your actions are worthy of praise. Why disagree with me? Say a sincere 'thank you' and we can talk about something else if it embarrases you. But disagreeing with me about whether or not you're good at something is a bit rude, really. And will make me less likely to compliment you in the future."
It was someone I really respected, and was really fond of... the message stuck!

It is harder to accept a compliment about my appearance, but I tend to go with a "thank you, how kind of you to say so" and a smile. And sometimes it is someone opening up a conversation "I love your top!" which I quite like. I compliment other women on their clothes sometimes (possibly a bit of an american thing, it's quite acceptable here) but not on their appearance, if that makes sense. I would say to someone in a queue "what a gorgeous coat! Where did you get it, if I may ask?" but I doubt I'd say "you look lovely" because that's personal remarks, and that's rude. It's a fine line, but I think complimenting a THING is less objectifying that complimenting appearance. If someone I don't know well says "Currants, you look lovely today!" or "Currants, god, you scrub up well" I do sometimes think "and why do my looks matter?" ... but if someone says "Currants, those are fab shoes - I love them!" I tend to enthusiastically thank them and then we can mutually admire my gorgeous trainers. or whatever.

fluffles Thu 29-Sep-11 19:16:51

i am not an arrogant person or in fact the most confident in my appearance but i have never understood people who argue with a compliment.

i would always say something gracious.. if somebody compliments a bag/coat/pair of shoes.. i will tend to say something like 'oh thanks, they're my favourite'..

if somebody compliments me e.g. 'you look well'.. i will say 'thank you, i've just been on holiday'... or sometimes if i feel crap i'll say 'do i? thank you, i don't feel great'...

i think arguing with somebody who compliments you is very rude actually, as if you doubt their judgement or thier sincerity.

WoTmania Thu 29-Sep-11 19:47:05

I think women tend to play down compliments for fear of seeming smug and arrogant. I always used to play down compliments but now I just thank the complimenter and smile nicely.

DontCallMeFrothyDragon Thu 29-Sep-11 20:08:55

I'm shit with attention, positive or negative. Compliments usually result in a very quiet "thanks" and plenty of blushing.

PonceyMcPonce Thu 29-Sep-11 20:15:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WishIwereAtTheWiesnProst Thu 29-Sep-11 20:29:57

It's rude not to accept a compliment graciously and implies that the giver of the compliment is wrong.

WishIwereAtTheWiesnProst Thu 29-Sep-11 20:34:47

blackcurrants I like your post I agree with most of it including complimenting appearance although I would if someone is a close friend and I know it will make them feel good. Or I have commented on someone who has perticulary spectacular hair/tattoos etc something very out there that they want to be noticed IYSWIM.

My mother rarely sees me but if I have lost weight feels the need to comment on it. She has really fucked up eating issues and I've tried to explain I don't want compliments from her on my weight loss as its none of her business. I don't need her approval on my appearance angry and my appearance shouldn't be what she is interested in.

garlicslutty Thu 29-Sep-11 20:49:21

I agree, too, blackcurrants. I didn't really think about it until I did an assertiveness course, where the topic was covered. I promptly stopped being all "me me me" and started politely accepting compliments. Paradoxically, I've always been quick to compliment others on something specific - including strangers.

Some blokes do go all bullish and bombastic when complimented. But that makes them look like oiks, just as when women do it.

Complimenting someone's general appearance is a bit iffy, imo, unless it's an occasion where you know they'll have made a head-to-toe effort. Better to admire an achievement, or a well-chosen accessory, plus that gives you an opening for a friendly little chat about it smile

Wish I'd learned at 18!

LesserOfTwoWeevils Thu 29-Sep-11 20:57:44

One of the things that make me hope and think I'm a good enough mother to my DD is that if you give her a compliment she simply says, "Thank you" and moves on.
Sounds easy and obvious but so many of us struggle with it.

blackcurrants Fri 30-Sep-11 02:01:06

Aw, that's awesome lesser

I wish my mother was told today that for it would be better for our relationship if she never, ever mentioned my weight again. I sincerely hope she gets the message. it's hard, isn't it? Mine has a habit of projecting her own body issues onto me. She honestly can't believe I can 'be happy at that size' (a 16!)... ugh. I've got a toddler and a very demanding job and a long commute. dropping a dress size is not my 1st priority, but she can't get a handle on that, so I've told her to stuff a sock in it. Let's hope it works!

chill1243 Fri 30-Sep-11 15:58:06

Smiling is a good idea. Unless a bloke is extracting the waters

Patienceobtainsallthings Fri 30-Sep-11 18:07:18

I think of a compliment as a gift ,I say thankyou .It's also a measure of your self esteem ,if you think your not worthy of a compliment.....why not ?

MartyrStewart Fri 30-Sep-11 18:12:03

Lesser, that's lovely. If I compliment my DD e.g 'clever girl' she says 'Yes, I know' blush

She's only two, so at least I can admire her confidence grin

If I receive a compliment, I generally smile and say thank you.

MoChan Fri 30-Sep-11 20:19:36

When I was younger, I couldn't do it, I would reject compliments. Then I realised it was rude, and made people feel awkward, and it also betrays low self esteem, and that, for me, is a big problem. These days I smile and say "thank you very much" or similar (even if I'm thinking "what planet are they on? That was rubbish). I am encouraging my daughter to accept compliments in the same way. She generally does. She's only 4 though.

WilsonFrickett Sun 02-Oct-11 01:04:02

wishiwere exactly! Not accepting a compliment is like throwing a gift back in to someone's face. Eye contact, big smile and a 'thank you' is all that's needed and you can immediately move onto other things if that's what you need to do.

nooka Sun 02-Oct-11 19:40:58

i don't generally have an issue with compliments, either say thanks or give one in return. But occasionally you do get the criticism wrapped up in a compliment, or the compliment that's just way too personal or blatantly untrue/verging on sarcasm, and I respond to these as I feel like at the time. If someone is being very rude to you then I don't think that one should have to feel obliged to be polite (although it can be the best policy).

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