Fishing For Compliments

fishing for complimentsSome people are starving for compliments.  This is nothing new, especially on social networks. You know how it goes… in person they’ll throw those not-so-subtle hints out there, fishing for the compliments by baiting you with something like, “Aww fooey… my hair is an absolute mess. I can never do ANYTHING with it.”, teasing it playfully while hoping you’ll respond with something like, “Now come on… your hair it isn’t bad at all, it looks amazing!”

They’re funny things really… compliments.  I mean, sometimes one person’s compliment can be another person’s insult.  For instance, you’d be putting your life in danger telling some women they’ve gained weight, while telling some men the same thing might really stroke their ego.  Gender discrepancy being what it is…

But I still wonder… what makes a compliment effective? If you tell me you like my cooking, I’d appreciate it… but telling me you like a song I wrote would mean a world more to me.  I’ve noticed that for some people, the only compliments that really seem to matter are the ones regarding their appearance.  I suppose they need ongoing affirmation about how attractive they are (or they think they are, as the case may be).

So I’m curious, do compliments matter to you? If so, which would mean more… if I told you that I think you’re beautiful, or saying I love your intelligence?  …acknowledging your prowess in a certain sport or ranting about how well you write?  …or maybe it’s hearing that you have wonderful sense of humor, as opposed to hearing that I appreciate how organized you are?  Hmm…

Compliments… are they an absolute necessity or just a luxury?  Maybe it’s a combination of both.

Categories: opinion, Query | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Fishing For Compliments

  1. I was at an event last weekend giving out free cookies. I told a young man he needed to pay Me a compliment to get a cookie because he asked the price. I told him he needed to give me a compliment and he quickly shot back with “You look really nice today.” It was fun and put him outside his comfort zone.

  2. I struggle with accepting any kind of compliment, but I am working on it. I prefer compliments on my work and writing over my looks. Those things matter to me more than the way people think I look. I suppose I might feel differently if I never got compliments on my looks.

    • I completely understand. My love language is Words of Affirmation. So while I don’t necessarily need someone to tell me I’m attractive, I do thrive on people who express positive feelings about my work and other areas.

      • It is a weird thing for me. I associate all the positive things about myself with the people who abused me because they told me that they abused me because of they way I looked etc. For a long time I believed that if I weren’t pretty, smart, interesting (insert positive thing) I would not have deserved what happened (or it would not have happened at all) instead of believing that they acted the way they did because they were assholes. I have an easier time with insults than compliments. So I am working on not being weird.

  3. Maggie

    I love compliments — it doesn’t matter whether they’re on my looks or my mind. 🙂

  4. I have a lot of trouble accepting compliments. I’ve spent 2/3 of my life being told by nearly everyone I knew that I was hideous, weird, stupid, and then most of my adult life being buttered up by people who only wanted something from me later.

  5. The biggest compliment to me is through actions, not words. Knowing you read what I write regularly, going back for seconds on a dinner I made, or laughing at a joke or a story. I dont care for hearing compliments. I much prefer to be shown if you like or appreciate something. And if you dont have a way to acknowledge something or appreciate it, I won’t be upset. I dont need other people to tell me when I do well or right. If I dont see it myself, chances are I won’t believe you just for talking about it, either.

  6. This is a great question. I think the answer really lies in how you see yourself. If you think you’re pretty and not smart then a compliment on your appearance would have more value because that’s where you feel the truth lies. If some random stranger came up and told me I was beautiful, I wouldn’t believe them but I wouldn’t be insulted. That’s because, simply put, I know that I am not. My beauty lies solely with my character. So when people comment on my character, for instance I get told a lot that I am very warm and cheerful person, those compliments carry more weight because I have already kind of assessed those compliments to be true.

  7. I think a compliment is only great if it’s genuine.

  8. I found you! Yay! :0)
    Its Karoine1982 from Xanga – or Caroline from your Facebook! LOL :0) I’m trying this wordpress…Any advice?
    Also – I’ve always loved your Blogs…and that’s a real comment!

  9. I think that they are a vital cornerstone of self esteem (especially children) and people who beg for compliments probably really need it because no one appears to be supporting them. I think some people do it out of loneliness too. I’ll just say it matters to them a hell of a lot more to them than it annoys you. Instead of complimenting when she begs you do it more often of your own volition. Everyone wants to feel special and loved and talented and beautiful. Impromptu compliments like “that sweater goes great with your hair color” that sort of stuff can make your partner’s day and build lasting self confidence. In my mind, if you care about the person show them how special they are.

  10. That said I crave genuine compliments as I rarely get them on their own. I shouldn’t have to beg though.

  11. First of all, thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving such a beautiful comment. I loved reading it. Hope you stop by again soon.

    I really like this post because you pose a lot of great questions. I haven’t really thought about it before. I usually get compliments about the same thing all the time, so when someone compliments a different area of my life, I really appreciate that.

    • I am honored that you would stop by MY blog! I only wish I had something more recent to share. But alas, life is the very definition of busy for me these days. 🙂

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