Girls and Compliments

compliment gorilla

Compliments truly are a wonderful thing. They can make a crappy day seem a little less crappy, give you the confidence you need for that upcoming job interview, and make you feel like a supermodel even when you aren’t.

The best compliments are the ones that come from strangers. These people have never met you before and know nothing about you prior to the exchange of nice words. To me, this makes the compliment a little more valid than your great aunt who refers to you as “the prettiest girl in the world” every time she sees you. She loves you, she’s known you your whole life, she’s your family- she has to say things like that. However, the stranger on the bus telling you they love your haircut or the reader who tells you they love your blog post seems truly genuine.

Another funny thing to think about is the types of compliments that girls like. To any male who is reading this, you probably know by now that women are hard to figure out. That’s because we are all so very different. Calling your last girlfriend “a hot piece of ass” might offend your new girlfriend- go figure. I know that for me, personally, the greatest compliments I can receive are on my sense of humor, my writing ability and my hair. You can tell me I’m so sweet and have a great sense of style and that would be wonderful (seriously, please tell me that), but those 3 things I just mentioned carry more weight with me for some reason. My advice? Find something unique about someone and compliment them on that. I guarantee that while it may shock them, they will appreciate it more than a general compliment about attractiveness or intelligence.

Although most of these are positive aspects of compliments, there are also many negative ones. We’ve all told people we love their dress when in reality, we wouldn’t wear it if our life depended on it, or told someone we think their new boyfriend is truly adorable, when we actually think he seems creepy. These are what I call “white lie compliments”. Although I am usually very honest, sometimes these white lie compliments are just necessary. When our friend is upset or maybe looking for approval, a few simple words can really make their day better. In the end, that’s all we want- to make our loved ones happy, right?

The problem I have with fake compliments is when girls give them to each other excessively. One example comes to mind when I think of this topic- the excessive compliment giver. We all know her, and if you can’t think of who that would be in your life, well then maybe it’s you. She’s the girl who fills your newsfeed up with comments and wall posts calling all her friends “beautiful” and “sexy” or my favorite-“You are such great friend. Here are 10 inside jokes and reasons why you are”. These girls are writing these things for attention- they want others to be flattered by their compliments and in return compliment them back with the same veracity. This is a huge pet peeve of mine, and I consider blocking these people. Every. Single. Day.

This brings me to one of the funniest thing about females hating compliments-we have the bad habit of taking them the wrong way. You say you like girls who stand up for themselves?, well that’s calling us a controlling bitch. You tell us we look good when we wear our hair straight?, well then we must look terrible when it’s curly. I could go on and on with countless examples of how women misconstrue compliments, but you get my point.

The last negative aspect of women and compliments is that we tend to downplay them to seem humble. I find myself doing it all the time. Someone will compliment my on my new dress and I’ll say “Oh, this is old and I don’t even like the color and it kind of makes my boobs look small….”, when instead I should just say “Thanks!”. I don’t think we do this on purpose, I know that for me it’s just an instinct.

What do you think about women and compliments? Do you have a hard time accepting them? Do you think we come off as self-absorbed if we do?

24 Comments

  1. I know a girl that has an amazing job and an adorable fiancée, she’s a sweet girl but has the worst self esteem as her friend I take it upon myself to compliment her whenever I can because she seems to be missing all the great things happening in her life so all I do is remind her. These compliment are not fake she is truly a great person but I think that maybe growing up she never really had people encouraging and supporting her. When someone pays me a compliment I always say thank you even if I know it’s a fake one. My motto in life is if you don’t have anything nice to say then be quiet and in all honesty my attention span is way too short to worry about what people really think about me. I don’t think I like a particular type of compliments, I just can tell when one is genuine.

  2. There are times when compliments take me by surprise and I find myself wanting to down-play them, but I’m trying to be better about just giving a sincere thank you!

  3. Even though I’m with you on feeling a strangers compliment to be more real than one coming from your family. My favorite compliments are the ones that come from my son and husband. Whether its a compliment on my looks, intelligence, sense of humor or my cooking, knowing that they love something enough to compliment me on it, makes my day every time.

  4. Great post Rachel! And I get annoyed by fake compliments all the time … I would just rather not have those people in my life or see them doing it on social media. A girl that runs around with my group of friends is this way and she totally does it for attention. And when she doesn’t get the attention back, she pouts and makes a big scene. SOOOOOO annoying. I can barely handle it. I’m waiting for the day I accidentally explode on her and tell her why she is so annoying. WHEW. Anyway, it is also funny that girls don’t always take compliments well. I am horrible sometimes at taking them from my boyfriend. He will tell me I look really nice and my response is, “really? my hair is frizzy, my outfit sucks and I can’t get my makeup right for the life of me today” and its like, just take the compliment haha.

    This was a fun post to read!

    1. I hate when people do it for attention! sometimes I think they have no friends so they try to “suck up” to get people to like them. it’s funny 😛

  5. I think sometimes people downplay compliments because they’re not sure if the person giving them is being sincere or sarcastic. I love compliments really… from strangers or anyone. It always puts a smile to my face! 🙂

  6. I think the worst are the backhanded compliments since the person is pretending to come off as nice but it’s actually really mean.

  7. I know the exact friend that you’re describing- the excessive complimenter. It starts sounding so ingenuous and you never really know what to believe. Compliments from strangers are the best in my opinion too!

  8. I really hate excessively complimenting because it never comes across as genuine from the beginning! My friends don’t have to worship the ground I walk on and we are friends sometimes because they keep me grounded!

  9. Loved this post Rachel! I totally get you on how certain compliments hold more weight. I would rather you tell me I’m a good dancer/make you laugh/you like my blog than say I’m pretty/etc (though I like that too!) Haha. I also can’t stand the excessive compliment giver, after a while, everything she says sounds fake!

  10. I had a hard time accepting compliments when I was younger. With age comes a lot of good stuff though and being secure enough to accept a sincere compliment is one of them. It becomes really easy to spot the fake complimenters, especially in the blogging world.

  11. i only give compliments when i truly mean them, and everyone who is close to me knows that 🙂 so they’re always happy to get one from me because they know i’m being completely truthful and not just buttering them up!!

  12. Compliments can be tricky, because I agree you want them to be genuine. I feel like people can always tell if you give a not genuine compliment and then it doesn’t mean as much.

  13. My favorite is the part about the fake compliments. I definitely know someone like this now. The compliments she gives mostly just come off as disingenuous. Not everyone can be the “prettiest bride” or “prettiest friend” Very annoying. I know she is just trying to be sweet, but like you said, it’s also about redirecting the attention back to her.

  14. The part about the fake compliments struck a chord with me. I don’t think it’s done maliciously but it just comes off as disingenuous. I mean, how are people supposed to take your compliments to heart when you abuse them so much. Compliments are meant to make others feel good and brighten their day. I give compliments carefully and I won’t just give one because I received one. That’s not real.

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