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Why Do We Feign Compliments?

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Why is it easy to give a compliment-but hard to receive one? Is it more a 'woman' thing?

You’re excited to get all ‘glammed up’ in your new dress, new cut, and color, and you twirl before your significant other hoping he will notice! Yet, his eyes remain fixed on the television, an old western he’s seen fifty times!

You block the TV , and he says in one sentence, “Going somewhere?---Could you move--your hips are blocking the TV. Can you pick me up a bag of chips and my some more nutty fudge candy bars? But before you go, I could use another cold beer!”

“Sure--anything you want. First, do you notice anything different about me?”

“Ok honey. I’ll see you when you get back! Don’t forget my cold beer. Have a good time and be sure to say hello to Aunt Edna.” ……“I’m not sure she will hear me. Don’t you remember Aunt Edna passed away five years ago?”

You step out of your car wearing your new dress, proud of all the weight you have recently lost, and people ‘Ooh and ah.’ “Wow! Look at you! You look fabulous! Love your hair and is that a new dress?”

“Oh No!—I was in a hurry and just grabbed!... I’ve had this old thing forever! ”

“Oh wait a minute! You have something dangling. Oh my—It’s a price tag!” (gulp)
Ever had that happen?

Thank you for reading and if no one seems to notice--compliment yourself!
(But when they do--don't try to talk them out of it)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SHARON10002
    Yes, I agree, we as women find it difficult to accept complements gracefully, and without feeling guilty in some way. I found ITICITIC's comment to be what I remember to be true in my extended family. If you think about it children are so free and relish all that they are - unconquered and confident in their little selves. I think for the majority of us, we have had our spirits tampered down through teaching the value of modesty and humbleness.
    6 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    12 days ago
    Yeas, I think it’s a female thing—most of us were socialized to shrink into the background... somehow that makes us more appealing???
    15 days ago
    Oh my: this is so funny and so beautifully written as always (and that's not YOUR husband, no no no!!)

    How hard it is to learn to accept a compliment with a simple "Thank you!!" and a smile . . . . oh yeah. But makes the complimenter feel better, and makes us feel better too!!
    18 days ago
    emoticon 2B you always look great in the photos you share! emoticon
    18 days ago
    Compliments make me uncomfortable
    18 days ago
    as displaying frivolity! I am always entranced in your writings and prose. You are truly unique .. (Accept those compliments 😁)
    19 days ago
    You always have a wonderful way with words. You express yourself with flair and exuberance and your words seem to form the very picture your are illustrating. Your tone is always compassionate and kind even when you are seemingly being silly as well
    19 days ago
    Another fun blog 2B. I've always found it hard to accept a compliment but really easy to give them.
    19 days ago
  • LGRIF22
    That is so true! Sometimes I try to think of something to compliment my admirer on. but that sometimes negates the compliment too!. I've decided the best answer is a sincere "Thank you". Then there are the times, like last week at the grocery store, when someone looking for products in the aisle turned to me and said "You look so nice! Your outfit is lovely! And so is your hair! I was so surprised. I just said "Thank you" . Then turned and looked at her after I passed. She actually looked pretty bad, (lol), so I didn't say anything, but felt like I need to notice other people more and compliment them sincerely when I can. I'm too often in a hurry to get the things done I went out to do! I need to remove my blinders.
    And husbands....well, I should probably notice when he looks impressive too. Most of the time he wants to wear his Duluth work pants everywhere... emoticon
    19 days ago
    Yeah, I find it hard to accept compliments. I usually just down play it or dismiss it. I must try to accept the compliment and enjoy it. Thanks for reminding me of this
    19 days ago
    19 days ago
    When my daughter was little (about 6 or so), she would respond to compliments like "Don't you look pretty today!" or "Wow, you're smart", with a huge grin and "I know!". When my husband noticed he was horrified and worried that she was getting conceited, so he drilled her to respond to compliments with "Thank you, it's very kind of you to say so". Twenty years later I still find that a useful phrase. It acknowledges a justifiable pleasure in having one's efforts or accomplishments recognized, while pushing some of the attention (I too was raised with the notion that "a lady's behaviour and dress should never draw attention to her in public--I'm still not sure why having people notice you was always considred a bad thing, but it is ingrained) back onto the compliment-giver.
    19 days ago
  • FRAN0426
    Another excellent Jan. This subject is a touch one for many people. Accepting compliments can be tough for many people, I for one grew up very shy. So when someone complimented me on what i was wearing, I was uncomfortable in my own skin and would blush, and be flushed.
    As a senior in high school I took a speech class, best thing I ever did, as having to get up before the class and talked. It wasn't easy at first, gradually i come out of that fear of having attention on me. The best part, I actually volunteered to be first doing my speech every time. I then learned to relax and enjoy listening to the other classmates do their speech: instead of sweating it out waiting to be called on.
    19 days ago
    Yes! So true.
    19 days ago
    Haha, loved the Big Bird story from PATRICIANN46! I, too, am a downplayer of compliments. Sometimes, I try just 'Thank you' but it feels like I left the oven on when leaving home or something.
    20 days ago
  • no profile photo GREYTDOLPHIN
    Presently in the business world I think men are afraid to give compliments for fear of harassment charges. Maybe that makes them forget to compliment their wife or significant other.
    20 days ago
  • THINCPL2004
    Another awesome blog, this is something I am working on!
    20 days ago
    emoticon When I was little and got a compliment on my hair, my mother would, "that's because I fixed!" She even managed to twist compliments on the color so it was her doing.

    It has taken a long time to be able to say, 'Thank you' without adding an additional comment. When someone says, 'wow, you got your hair cut' I flash back to 9th grade when a boy announced I'd gotten a hair cut.
    20 days ago
  • SES823
    Why do we do that? I always say thank you, but then get all anxious about being put in the spotlight and end up saying something stupid because I try to downplay the compliment-- UGH!!

    20 days ago
    Awesome blog!
    20 days ago
  • AURA18
    Hi 2B Love this blog, you are a clever writer emoticon emoticon emoticon , MB
    20 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/23/2021 7:58:46 PM
    Gracious giving and receiving compliments is a rare (but appreciated), wonderful art.
    20 days ago
    I so used to not be able to take compliments until someone said to me once....."just say thankyou and enjoy it"....
    this changed things for me and I now often will say thankyou....it looks amazing doesn't it!!!!!
    20 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    20 days ago
  • TZAPP22
    I'm fine with a compliment, but get uncomfortable if it escalates to what I call the "gush"...
    20 days ago
    Sounds like the tv comedy shows, rather than real life, UTI’s amusing, especially if it does not happen to oneself. Compliments seem to be a thing of the past when we get old, and stay home.
    20 days ago
    It really is more blessed to give than to receive, and it's no different with compliments.
    21 days ago
    I have heard similar stories from gals I know. I am so glad my hubby takes time to notice and quick to tell me the truth about how I look, sometimes it isn't what I hoped to hear, but he is honest with me.
    I too have learned ,FINALLY) to smile and say "Thank you" or "You are so kind".

    Thanks Jan for making me laugh this morning! Love Ya
    21 days ago
  • THOMS1
    Isn't that the way? Yes, I have found myself wearing clothes with the tags still on. Just like Mini Pearl with her hats. What's really embarrassing is to pack clothes I haven't ever worn up and give them away. What a waste of money on my end but how nice it is for someone else to get those clothes. I have learned to receive compliments with grace but I have been in the past guilty of brushing compliments off. I think as you get older compliments are far and few between so we have to appreciate them. emoticon
    21 days ago
  • no profile photo RACHNACH
    21 days ago
    Another fabulous blog!
    Please have an awesome weekend.
    21 days ago
  • UPTOIT59
    Luckily my husband is not like the one in your story. I have worked very hard to accept compliments graciously and to give them genuinely in return. But, of course, it has taken nearly a lifetime.
    21 days ago
  • DEE797
    Good advice. I’m still not good at accepting compliments but working on it.
    21 days ago
  • JUNETTA2002
    Thanks for sharing.
    21 days ago
    this one I have to think about because I can give a good compliment but I rarely accept one and I never thought about it

    have a great day
    21 days ago
    Thanks for sharing.
    21 days ago
  • RHOOK20047
    It goes both ways. I get a haircut maybe ever 2-3 months, as i doesn't grow like it did, but it will be two-three days before my wife will notice it. But she gets her's trimmed every 4 weeks, and always cut the same way but if I don't notice it I am in hot water. I so agree that we have to compliment ourselves for our successes as many times we are the only one who knows about them.
    21 days ago
    True all around
    21 days ago
    emoticon emoticon as the saying goes "we are our own worst critics" Learning to accept the compliment is a task of itself but as it's been said to me so many times for a person to give a compliment then they took the time to think of it so just if nothing else say "Thank You"
    21 days ago
  • LIS193
    Funny blog 😀
    I have learned to say “thank you” and smile.
    21 days ago
  • DSJB9999
    Great blog, I do try to accept compliments as they are given and thank the giver. Yes maybe I should compliment myself more, though my shape after the weights work does make me smile whenever I notice it! I do also try to give compliments when I can with a smile. emoticon
    21 days ago
    I rarely get compliments on my clothing, but I did find one incident amusing. I was wearing a dress given me by a friend, that was just a bit tight. It had buttons all down the front, and was really quite pretty. I got *three* compliments on it that day. Three! Unheard of for me. So about an hour later, still at work, I had to bend over to pick something up - and off popped the button right at my too large waist. I was sooooooooo embarrassed. I told myself it served me right for wearing a dress that was tight.

    (Luckily I had a cardigan sweater, which I pulled together till it hid the big gap where the button came off.)
    21 days ago
    My husband has a problem with hearing me, just plain not listening. Plus, it's his smartphone he's fixated on the most. But, he usually gives me compliments, even when I don't ask! emoticon
    I have heard that, if given a compliment, just say thank you. That's showing respect and that you appreciate them for doing so.
    I am especially making more of an effort, since the pandemic to compliment all the front line workers when we meet them.
    Oh, and yes, I'm one whose left price tag left on! Embarrassed! emoticon
    Hey, another soap star on your blog! Allison Sweeney, (2nd pic) who also hosted The Biggest Loser show.
    Fun blog! emoticon emoticon
    21 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    21 days ago
    So true. I had an older gentleman friend tell me "Just shut up and say thank you". It was not in regards to accepting a compliment but it holds for that.
    21 days ago
    Must admit, compliments embarrass me....Like them but yes, hard to take.....easier to give....
    21 days ago
  • JAMER123
    I do enjoy compliments on changes but find it hard to express gratitude to that individual. Being very humble was taught to me. And I think nurses show compassion but not gratitude as one in the service industry.
    Thanks for a great blog causing lots of thinking. I do have a hubby that does compliment on occasion which I love.
    21 days ago
    Great blog...I've been working on teaching my kids to do this. It's so easy to let that inner voice speak up in an effort to be overly humble and negate genuine compliments, but it's not the polite thing to do to the compliment giver, nor is it good for the recipient. Just smile and say, "Thank you." Or even better, volley back by giving them a compliment! emoticon
    21 days ago
    Thanks for another great blog, Jan. You make an excellent point, with humor and insight. I agree, we need to both be generous in noticing others and giving them compliments, and accepting compliments to ourselves gracefully.
    21 days ago
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