8.05.2009

Funny Peculiar

Do you think women place greater importance on compliments from males than they do from other women? (And men on compliments from women?) Why do you think that is?
I had an experience recently that surprised me, because it seemed to indicate that I do that. I'm not sure why. I would rather believe that I place greater importance on compliments from those whom I respect, regardless of gender.

On the other hand, what I *really* should be reinforcing for myself is that both compliments and insults are more about the giver than the recipient. They express his or her opinion and view of the world, which is, for better or worse, skewed.

Contrast and compare...

(And yes, I'm trying to go to bed on time, but not having much success. Toodleoo...)

13 comments:

Random Michelle K said...

Well, part of it is that when a man complements us, the hind part of our brains processes that as "He thinks I'd be a good a mate! He thinks I have great genetic material! Woot!"

Janiece Murphy said...

I find that as a younger woman, I valued compliments from men largely for the reason Michelle comments on.

Now that I can't be turned down for life insurance, I value compliments from women more. Because, quite frankly, women have better taste in hair, clothes, make-up, etc.

Anne C. said...

That is the awesomest way I've ever heard that put, Michelle.

And I'm glad it will change, because it's kind of irritating to someone who considers herself egalitarian.

Mummy Grabill said...

Random Michelle said it best - its only human nature.

To your second point - On the other hand, what I *really* should be reinforcing for myself is that both compliments and insults are more about the giver than the recipient. They express his or her opinion and view of the world, which is, for better or worse, skewed. - Whoooooaaa there . . . I like to think that when someone thinks I look good in green that, damnit, I'm a diva in green! ;-)

belsum said...

Synchronicity: the base desire to pass on genetic material as explanation for behavior came up in conversation earlier this week, too.

MWT said...

Men, I think, prefer compliments on things they've done rather than on what they look like.

Me personally, I never have figured out how to respond to compliments from anyone. >.>

Wendy said...

Being a fangirl of both unique earrings & jewelery or interesting ties, if something stands out to me when I spot it I'll complement the wearer.

Almost universally the women are flattered that I noticed and the men surprised.

Especially the younger men, they either have boring monochrome/
conservative ties or a strong pattern with bold colors. The ones that can pull off the look with a fine pinstripe suit, solid shirt & bold tie - Yowzah!!

WendyB_09

Stacey said...

I agree with Mummy G. Let's try and not overanalyze. SOME people actually say what they mean.

Anne C. said...

Sorry if you misunderstood what I said, Stacey. I didn't mean that people are delusional (at best) or dishonest (at worst). Though, I suppose, some people are.
What I was commenting on is the very subjectivity of a compliment/insult. When we say someone is beautiful, for example, we are taking what is factual - the shapes, lines, and colors that compose a person's face or the energy and expression of that person's personality that comes through that person's face - and apply a subjective meaning to it. And as an opinion (for that is what all subjective comments are) it says more about the values and awareness of the speaker than it does about the object. The object is as it is and has always been. A very thin actress will have been told by many magazine photographers how elegant she is and what lovely lines she has or she may have received a letter from a fan's mother that she needs to eat a freakin' sandwich because she's a terrible rolemodel for her daughter. Neither comment is insincere and neither is untrue.

So, my point was not that compliments are valueless, just that I am who I am regardless of what people say. It's also not that I disregard compliments (my monkeybrain, as previously established, definitely does not). Intellectually, I don't see compliments as being "about me" but rather they are a reflection of the speaker. Often, I read it as "the speaker is my friend and s/he cares about me. They want me to know what about me they like."

It's interesting how a lack of compliments then translates. I haven't yet figured out what that means.

Jeri said...

Hmmm, I value compliments from people I respect more than people I either don't know or don't respect or trust. For example - I got exactly the same compliment from my slimy (male) boss's boss and from a close friend - and it didn't really sink in until the friend said it.

Thought provoking!

Mummy Grabill said...

Everything around us is subjective. Reality is a construct of our own perceptions, including how we perceive the perceptions of those around us. From that perspective, nothing is 'real' it is all only 'perceived'.

I think it's fun to think deeply on these sorts of things, like the origin of why someone might pay us a compliment. As long as it doesn't go too far to the point that we lose the value of something while we try to determine the construction of it. Then again I am the least "deep thinker" of our family - I tend to simply take things as I see them - after all, my reality is the only one the really matters to me because it's the only one I can truly control.

Anne C. said...

Well said, MG. I agree whole-heartedly.

Susan said...

Dave and I had a discussion somewhat on this subject this weekend. I had a "deep thought" moment when I started to think about how amazing the idea of physical attraction is. Isn't it great that we all have these physical attributes that others find pleasing? And that lead me to the notion that women covet their breasts, otherwise we wouldn't buy ridiculous contraptions that accentuate them and raise them to the sky. But would we do all of this if we didn't know that men covet them as well? Made for a fun discussion!!