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Compliments

 
 
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 07:40 pm
Today someone went out of their way to deliver Mo a compliment. He was beaming (and a little embarrassed).

It started me thinking about the nature of giving and receiving compliments.

When was the last time you received a compliment? How did it make you feel? Did it make you stand up a little taller? Were you a little bit embarrassed?

When was the last time you gave someone a compliment? What provoked it? Have you ever gone out of your way to deliver a compliment?
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Feb, 2011 07:33 pm
@boomerang,
I'm continuing to think about compliments so over the last two days I've been trying to be more complimentary of people.

It's really kind of amazing the information that people give you when you pay them a compliment.

For example, I paid a compliment to someone I don't know too well about their daughter's sunny disposition. I learned that their daughter sees a therapist for her violent outbursts.

I paid someone a compliment on their hat and learned that they'd recently been through chemotherapy.

Does receiving a compliment make one confessional?

Does it open some door that allows someone to talk about themselves in a way that they feel safe?

Inquiring minds want to know.....
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Feb, 2011 07:51 pm
@boomerang,
I would never compliment anyone about anything it's just not my nature.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Feb, 2011 07:54 pm
@dyslexia,
But everyone knows you're a poopity head.... a dashing and enchanting and handsome poopity head, but still a poopity head.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Feb, 2011 08:05 pm
That's a very nice dress, Mrs Cleaver.
0 Replies
 
Diane
 
  3  
Reply Sun 27 Feb, 2011 10:05 pm
@boomerang,
Recieving compliments and giving compliments is an art, at least in my opinion, but the most difficult one is recieving compliments graciously and genuinely.

Reading Kahlil Gibran decades ago, I loved his advice on recieving compliments with grace, as being as important as accepting a precious gift. If you react negatively when accepting a gift, the giver will be hurt and will not understand why he or she was rejected.

My cousin always waves away compliments with an "Oh no, not me," or, "Oh no, you are much prettier than I am," or, "Oh no, this dress makes me look fat." I've asked her why she can't just say, "Thank you?" She won't answer. She also doens't think much of herself, which is the saddest thing of all.

I'm not talking about meaningless compliments such as those from a car salesman, or those compliments that turn out to be insults. True compliments are given with respect, admiration or love . Receiving is just as important as giving.

I'm responding, perhaps, more strongly than usual, because Dys and I have argued about this so often. He doesn't like compliments because they are so often meaningless tripe. I agree, but he doesn't think I understand his position He doesn't seem to realize that that's because I don't like him...

I'm so glad Mo received a compliment and felt the pleasure that goes along with it. He had a lovely learning experience as well as a compliment.

Hugs to you both.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2011 09:00 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
Does it open some door that allows someone to talk about themselves in a way that they feel safe?


I think that's part of it. I think also people do the ballast thing, like Diane mentions.

I find I tend to do that when someone compliments sozlet on something. Not always but sometimes.

In general I've had a hard time figuring out how to best deal with compliments for sozlet that are directed at me. "She's so pretty..." Is the response "thank you!" or "I think so too!" or what? I tend to go with a simple thank you, which bothered me for a while (I can't really take credit for how she looks beyond choosing a good-lookin' father for her and, like, encouraging her to bathe regularly). But I realized I'm saying "thanks for going out of your way to say something nice to me about my daughter."

Kudos to Mo for doing the compliment-generating thing and kudos to his compliment-er for letting him know.
OmSigDAVID
 
  3  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2011 09:14 am
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:
I would never compliment anyone about anything it's just not my nature.
That 's a good looking hat u 've got there, Bob
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2011 09:26 am
Accepting compliments gracefully is a part of good character, I think. By the same token, in my opinion not being able to take a compliment is more of a sign of inflated ego than humility.

That might seem counterintuitive, but people who can't simply say "Thank you", and go on about their business seem to me to have overestimated their importance in a negative kind of way. I mean, everyone gets some things right and some wrong. Everyone has ups and downs. When someone thinks they never deserve a compliment, in a way they're saying that they are exceptional - even though its exceptionally substandard.
djjd62
 
  3  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2011 09:36 am
i give compliments, but hate receiving them

as for thank you, i will say it (people seem to expect it), but again i hate hearing it, if i'm at work and i do something for you, i'm getting paid, so thank you is not necessary, if it's on my own time, i did it because i wanted to, not to be appreciated
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2011 11:04 am
@Diane,
I agree that they're often meaningless tripe. As I've said elsewhere, I think it's the difference between flattery and compliments. A flatterer wants something..... or at least sometimes they do.

You post made me recall when I was living in Chicago and I would wander through different neighborhoods. I'd stop people and ask if I could take their photos and they almost always agreed -- they seemed flattered to be picked out from the crowd. This almost never worked back in Texas or Oklahoma -- they were more suspicious, they'd get defensive. Thirty years later I'm still trying to figure this out.

You also made me recall reading a book years ago called "The Gift Of Fear" where the author warns about "charming" people by saying it's best if you think of "charm" in the magical sense -- as a spell being cast on you.

I agree that it is an art.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2011 11:14 am
@sozobe,
Yeah.... the "pretty" compliment is a weird one. It's much easier to deal with that one when your kid is adopted, I think, but it can provoke the "confessional" that I mentioned earlier.

Really, compliments on something that a person really doesn't have much control over -- like pretty --are strange and not really necessary in usual day to day life.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2011 11:18 am
@snood,
That's an interesting thought, snood, and certainly one I hadn't considered. I'm going to think on that a bit.

Right now I'm wondering if that isn't what provokes the "confession" that people seem to want to give, like when you compliment their hat and they tell you about chemo instead of saying where they bought it.....
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2011 11:19 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Today someone went out of their way to deliver Mo a compliment. He was beaming (and a little embarrassed).

It started me thinking about the nature of giving and receiving compliments.

When was the last time you received a compliment? How did it make you feel? Did it make you stand up a little taller? Were you a little bit embarrassed?

When was the last time you gave someone a compliment? What provoked it? Have you ever gone out of your way to deliver a compliment?


I give compliments all the time. I think it's the best thing you can do as a person, to let someone else know that they are doing a good job or that they are easy to work with.

I try and tell managers when their employees are doing a great job. Especially waiters and service people. I like to write letters - I feel that they have more long-term impact than a spoken comment. Plus, writing a letter to the manager of a restaurant is a fun thing to do and a great way to get to know those who run your favorite placecs.

I think it's sad that nobody compliments each other anymore in society.

Cycloptichorn
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2011 11:28 am
@djjd62,
I guess I really don't see "thank you" as a compliment but more as a nicety and I think they're really important, especially at work. I've worked for people who never said "thank you" for anything and the resentment can build up pretty easily.

I agree that it is mostly said on instinct but that doesn't convince me that they aren't needed.

People who gush out profuse thank yous for very small favors are beyond annoying though.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2011 11:52 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Good for you. I'm trying to do better. I've long been a believer in the thank you card. I try to instill their value to Mo too because really the big picture for kids is that people don't owe them things just because it's their birthday or a holiday.

I agree with you that it's a shame people don't offer compliments for a job well done but I think it most cases there is a level of expectation that something will be done right so it takes some extra effort to earn a compliment.

One thing the new principal at Mo's school started is each month they have an assembly where they give "good citizenship" type awards -- essentially they're awards for going out of your way to do the right thing. They only hand out a few so it does have some meaning. But what it really seems to be doing is giving the kids a sense of community and letting them know that they have some control over their environment.

That's a lesson we could all use reminders of.
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2011 12:15 pm
@boomerang,
My mom always used to say, 'compliments cost nothing and mean everything.'

Cycloptichorn
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2011 01:33 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
My mother has always been one to compliment people, including those who often don't get much notice, like cashiers on the supermarket check-out line, or receptionists in a busy doctor's office. She will admire the person's hair, or complexion, or jewelry, etc. Sometimes the person will seem a little embarrassed, but most often they seem to appreciate the attention and the compliment.

I always try to compliment someone for doing a particularly good job, putting out extra effort, thoughtfulness, kindness, etc. because I really do appreciate and admire these things and I'd like the other person to know that.

I think giving compliments is a form of generosity that we can all afford.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2011 02:01 pm
I coached my son's final basketball game for the season over the weekend. After the game, I sought out the players individually to tell them I was especially proud of the progress they made over the season. I caught up to one boy surrounded by his parents and grandparents and told him I thought he was one of the most improved players on the team. He almost exploded with happiness.
0 Replies
 
 

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