I’m vain. I’ll admit it. I enjoy getting compliments, especially if they’re well-intentioned and personal (although I hate people who go fishing for compliments on a regular basis, if you’re having a bad day, go for it, but not all the time). However, I’m not a big fan of “those little delicate compliments which are always acceptable to ladies” a la Mr. Collins. A good compliment can make me feel better when I’m down. For example, this past New Years Eve I was walking down the street and a random guy shouted “you have great legs!” Several months later, it still makes me feel good about myself.
As much as I enjoy hearing these things, I’m terrible at giving compliments. While I’m not a huge fan of Mr. Collin’s type of compliments, I am a pro at giving them. Lost for something to say, I usually go with “great dress!” or “I love those earrings.” I could easily say something like “that dress looks great on you” or “I love your sense of style” but it never comes out that way nor do I usually compliment someone on their personality, even if it is great. I use superficial compliments to tell those I like that I like them, yet I never actually say anything meaningful.
I first noticed this when I started dating a guy last fall, and he was a little needier in the attention department. He’d say something nice about me and I’d feel the need to respond in turn, but just fumbled around. Did I think he’s cute? Of course! Did I tell him that? Nope. Did I think he was sexy? Yup, but that’s another thing I don’t think I ever said out loud.
Maybe it’s because I’m not good at talking about feelings etc, but I’ve resolved to try to give meaningful compliments. Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves.