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Still Waters

A man's guide to delivering a compliment

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Only half of women actually enjoy being praised and many others misinterpret well-meant words as offensive, according to new research.

And "you look well" is one of the worst things a man can say to a woman - because she just thinks it means she looks fat.

Other compliments likely to backfire include telling a woman that you like her make-up, or that her dress is figure hugging.

Calling a woman "curvy" or saying she looks like her mother or father are also absolute no-nos, according to a survey that will ring true to husbands who decided long ago that paying their wives compliments it more trouble than it's worth.

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I would rather face a complete SS Panzergrenadier Division whilst armed with only a toothbrush than a woman posing in front of me saying "Well, what do you think?"

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Whatever happened to just saying, "You look nice today"? I don't see how that could get anyone into trouble. :)

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Whatever happened to just saying, "You look nice today"? I don't see how that could get anyone into trouble. :)

I told that to my future ex-wife once and she had a crappy day at the office... wow my ears are still buzzing just from memory...... I guess there is some truth in Pavlov theory.

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it depends whos doing the complimenting

"you smell nice" from a complete stranger sitting next to you on the bus = AARRRGGGGGGHHH GET AWAY YOU CREEPER

although i think telling someone that you think theyve lost weight since you saw them might not always be good, because some women want to put on a bit of weight because they think theyre too thin, maybe it would be better leaving weight comments to people who are actually trying to change their weight.

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Whatever happened to just saying, "You look nice today"? I don't see how that could get anyone into trouble. :)

She'll interpret that as meaning "You looked like **** yesterday"

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Posted (edited)

Has anyone taken a look at the list of bad compliments? How can they even be considered as compliments?

Edited by FLOMBIE

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She'll interpret that as meaning "You looked like **** yesterday"

Really? :blink:

I guess some people are even more defensive/insecure than I can imagine.

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Has anyone taken a look at the list of bad compliments? How can they even be considered as compliments?

I was thinking the same thing. "You look tired" or "You look under the weather" are not compliments at all! There really is NO WAY that anyone can even twist them into being compliments.

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I've always struggled with giving compliments. I never have been able to receive them well either. I'm sure it's just me but they usually seem insincere. As a result, when I do give compliments friends and family take notice :P

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I just read the article and couldn't help but notice that one of the examples of a bad compliment to give to a woman is:

"You look just like your dad"

I'm not convinced this is that bad. I'll try it on the wife to check it out.

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Posted (edited)

This is one of the most strangest articles I have ever read compared to my own experiences. As stated some of the offensive compliments were not compliments at all. The rest seemed to be written from the point of view that men and women, couples or not, have quite estranged relationships where compliments come out of left field and hope to strike a good chord. This isn't pin the tail on the donkey people where you blindly aim and hope to land. If you do not know your subject of course you will always have a bad reaction. Find out what someone appreciates, if you appreciate the same thing then compliment them on that, be authentic.

If it is a stranger or someone you only casually come into contact with then focus on items they have or their style choices, "those are a nice pair of shoes", "really like the way your hair looks today", "oh that print is perfect", "that is a nice purse," and do stay away from anything that describes their physical appearance since you do not know them well and it is inappropriate to comment on such things. If they have striking features then they also have heard it a thousand times before, especially from strangers or casual acquaintances, it won't impress them, compliment on something they actually made a choice about so that they know they made the right choice that day.

Finally there is a category of people for whatever reason do not handle compliments well, they have low self esteem, are not used to compliments, and even if genuine (which all compliments should always be) they find them inauthentic. Best to just not give them any compliments at all because while they won't become angry they will find you insincere or you will have to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince them...boring.

Whatever the case those giving compliments to others only to have them backfire in a more negative manner, they are doing something wrong, I rarely if ever had compliments taken the wrong way. It is obvious whoever wrote the article has a totally different outlook. They did not even mention macro-compliments, very small compliments that reinforce positive attributes regarding the person and not necessarily the garden variety compliment based on looks or anything of that sort, the kind of compliment briefly mentioned in passing but not where all conversation stops so that one has to give a response to the compliment they received but instead can keep talking along all the while they are thinking, "Wow, this person just complimented me on that," as the conversation continues.

Edited by Unseelie

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I find saying "Wow your gorgeous" usually works every time.

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I find staring with a dumbfound look and drool coming out of a half open mouth seems to convey the message. Ha

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That was not an entertaining read. All that said was that women are vain and fickle. I also would like to call bs on women not liking to hear that they are strong. All the women I am close to love to hear about how strong they are. Then again, my female friends aren't very girly.

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