This Week on Social Media: Thoughts on Compliments?
My Friday series is a roundup of recent conversations taking place on various social media platforms.
On Fridays I share some of the interesting conversations and/or engagement happening on some of my other social media platforms.
The other day I shared this photo on Instagram/Facebook…
…and wrote this caption:
A WORD ABOUT COMPLIMENTS
(Okay, so this is going to start off a bit self serving. Sorta sorry about that. But indulge me a minute because I’m curious about something.)
When I’m out and about in public I’m accustomed to receiving compliments from people: “Oh I like your hair!” “Your eyes are so pretty.” “What a great smile!” “That shirt is awesome!” “Cool shoes” And so on.
(See, told you, a bit self serving )
I’ve grown used to it. Not in a way where it doesn’t mean much anymore (it feels lovely every time!), but in a way where I’ve lost touch with the fact that this isn’t true for a lot of people.
Merely because I was born with certain genetic features that happen to correspond with this particular moment in time’s conception of what is beautiful, I am the lucky recipient of random compliments from strangers and friend alike.
And I love it. I do. I’m super insecure, and so such compliments help me feel less bad about myself.
Which got me thinking (and here’s the point of this post) about how I don’t GIVE compliments near as often as it GET them.
Why is that? Why, when I know how powerful they can be, do I not dish out such gifts to others more?
Partly I think it’s because of the aforementioned insecurity. When you’re insecure, you’re more concerned about receiving than giving. Which isn’t great. I’m working on that.
But more so, on a more conscious level, I tend to not compliment people (esp strangers) because I feel like, coming from me, it would be creepy.
In our hyper sexualized culture I feel as though complimenting someone (especially a woman) would just end up coming out as an attempt at flirting or whatever. And I don’t want to creep people out or make them feel uncomfortable. Talk about backfiring!
So I guess what I’m wondering is, how do y’all feel about giving and receiving compliments? Do you get them and feel weird about it? Do you give them and feel strange about it? Do you wish you got them more often? If a guy like me told you that I liked your smile, or your hair looks really good today, would that be cringe or uplifting?
Tell me all your thoughts about this!!
And boy oh boy did people have thoughts about it!
I suggest checking out the comment section as there are lots of really good stuff folks shared.
Some of my main takeaways are:
In general, people like being complimented. I think it’s something we might consider doing more for one another (there was one exception to this, as someone pushed back on compliments as being part of a too-judgmental culture. I think it’s an interesting take!)
Mostly women were suggesting that people give compliments based on what someone chooses (style, clothing, book they’re reading, etc) as opposed to something that just is (such as body type, eyes, etc).
Other people feel me on the whole tension between wanting to compliment people but not wanting to be creepy. Sometimes it’s just a vibe you can’t shake!
Lots of folks appreciated the chance to engage this topic. Guess we don’t talk about this very much.
Wanna read more? Check out the post on Facebook and/or Instagram.
Good looks are a gift with a “sell-by” date. (Betty Davis once remarked that it was harder for Hollywood beauties to age than it was for her, if it were only their looks which had sustained them.) Kate and Colby are attractive people who have used their appeal in the service of a greater cause, (several causes, in fact.) Example: When Colby published his first book, aimed at beaten-down gay Christians, his handsome-straight-man photo was a big plus. He used his looks and charm as well as intellect for a greater good. Carry on, Kate and Colby! ❤️. Use it until you lose it! 😎
Beyond a certain age (I’m 75) it really isn’t a thing. I’m happy to hear a compliment like “wow, 75? You don’t look 75” but I am at that age where I can compliment to my hearts content--and I do!