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View Poll Results: Generally what's your first internal reaction to unsolicited praise about appearance?

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  • (swoon) Hey, don't stop there, keep going!

    3 8.11%
  • You know, I could really start to enjoy this!

    9 24.32%
  • Okay, I'm flattered... but I'm *really* trying to get something done right now... so please move.

    20 54.05%
  • How transparent! Go away, pig!

    5 13.51%
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  1. #51
    Senior Member HilbertSpace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daphne View Post
    Interesting post. Regarding the concept of communication as manipulation, there is one important distinction. I have always understood manipulation to be the process of getting a person to respond without their full consent. This is achieved through deceit, withholding information, intimidation, etc. Communication can simply inform if it respects the boundaries of individual consent. To me informing someone of the danger of standing in the middle of the road and allowing them to make their choice is different than assuming you have to find some way to force them into safety and so continue to distort information or threaten to achieve that end. Compliments can be used to inform someone. That is different than using the compliment to achieve a result unrelated to the compliment. If the compliment is the end, then it is not manipulation, if it is a means, then it is. What do you think about that?
    I can see what you're saying here. I didn't mean to imply that 'manipulation' was necessarily deceitful - my reason for talking about the freeway was mean to show that the manipulation can be honest. I probably should have said something about communication being meant to elicit a desired behavior - manipulation is a shorthand way of saying that (in behavioral evolution), and isn't intended to carry the negative connotations.

    At the same time, I think that offering a compliment as an end in itself sort of falls under what I was talking about in the first bit - it is like rendering a salute. It's an acknowledgment that the receiver holds some value. - if you see an author you really like, you might walk up to them and say something like, "I just wanted to tell you that I loved your last book." A while ago, I saw a Volkswagen Beetle with the license plate "Feature." I thought it was one of the best license plate puns I had ever seen, and if I had managed to find the owner I would have complimented him on it.

    Sticking it back into the evolutionary context, though, we always have to ask why these sort of exchanges develop, and why people respond the ways that they do. In complementing Feature-guy, I'd be offering him a salute on his wit, which is something I value. He might appreciate it (because not everyone gets the plate), or he might discount it (because the joke's so obvious), but I believe that it would all fall under that sort of dynamic.
    JBS Haldane's Four Stages of Scientific Theories:

    1. This is worthless nonsense.
    2. This is an interesting, but perverse, point of view.
    3. This is true, but quite unimportant.
    4. I always said so.

  2. #52
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    I feel like preening myself a little and telling myself silently, "Either he's crazy. Or I rock today."

    It's flattering, but it won't win me over.

    However, in threads or anything where someone says "OMG ur Os hAwT"...I tend to want to beat them about the face and neck until they learn to spell correctly. So far, this hasn't happened in threads, but it has happened in online games...those people also make me want to run very far very fast.

  3. #53
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrielle View Post
    However, in threads or anything where someone says "OMG ur Os hAwT"...I tend to want to beat them about the face and neck until they learn to spell correctly. So far, this hasn't happened in threads, but it has happened in online games...
    In MMOs, I'd love to do it for you myself. I don't know why I still even keep General chat up in WoW.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #54
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Which is why I don't play WoW.

    If I wasn't so bad at PvP, I'd smack those r-tards! But Pete seems to do a good enough job in assisting me in fending off the ranks of nooblets. He bores them to death/makes them incredibly confused with his long-winded philsophising.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrielle View Post
    However, in threads or anything where someone says "OMG ur Os hAwT"...I tend to want to beat them about the face and neck until they learn to spell correctly. So far, this hasn't happened in threads, but it has happened in online games...those people also make me want to run very far very fast.
    U R HaWt. U R l33t 1n hAwTn3sS. j00 pwn all n00bs in hAwTn3sS.


    (I don't actually talk or type like that in computer games, or anywhere else for that matter, but it is nice for jokes.)

    (I haven't seen any pictures except Cafe and outmywindow, so can't compliment on appearances of anyone.)

  6. #56
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    To the people that get freaked out when someone compliments you: how much confidence do you have in yourselves? If you know you're talented in some way and someone confirms what you know is true then just say thank you and revel in your fabulousness.

    I think the ability to receive a compliment graciously or not says a lot about a person's confidence and self-esteem levels. When I know I've written something that's very clear and explains my ideas well, I kinda know it. When I'm wearing something that's flattering to me, same thing. For those that have poor self-images a compliments may be jarring because you don't visualize yourself in that way. Sometimes I think it takes stepping out of your body and picturing how others see you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrielle
    I feel like preening myself a little and telling myself silently, "Either he's crazy. Or I rock today.
    Preen and know that you rock.

  7. #57
    Senior Member niffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    My guess is that if women are getting creeped out by your flattery you aren't doing it right. Backhanded flattery is almost always a winner. It's when you deliver it directly and sincerely and look for a response that women will rightly be unsettled and suspicious.
    if there's such a thing as backhanded and sincere..i think that would be best. or at least in my opinion.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by niffer View Post
    if there's such a thing as backhanded and sincere..i think that would be best. or at least in my opinion.
    backhanded compliments are always sincere, just sincere about the wrong thing. "what a unique hat!"

  9. #59
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    .
    Last edited by JivinJeffJones; 09-12-2007 at 02:20 PM.

  10. #60
    / booyalab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Heh, no that's the Suspicious Female Compliment. By backhanded compliment I mean a compliment which compliments you on the way to saying something else entirely. Examples:

    "Jane, see if you can get him to give us an extension - he has a soft spot for pretty girls."

    "I never trust pretty people (no offence) because TV has tried to teach me that inner beauty translates into outer beauty minus style. I don't accept that."

    When asked for a favour: "Dammit woman! Don't use your allure on me, I am immune to such things! Oh alright."

    Okay, these examples are pretty lame, but you hopefully get the general idea. The more understated the backhanded compliment, the more likely the complimentee is to think you didn't even really realize you gave it. If they think that, then they automatically think that you were sincere in the compliment and that you weren't using the compliment from any ulterior motive. They are under no obligation to respond to the compliment and, indeed (when done correctly), must awkwardly manhandle the flow of conversation somewhat in order to address the compliment.
    I think that would be a roundabout compliment, if the term existed.
    A backhanded compliment is an insult disguised as flattery.

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