While training juggling in a park, from behind me I heard a female's voice say, "You are really good with your balls."
The vocal inflection was that of a compliment, but she didn't reference juggling so my initial reaction was that she had made a lame ball joke. I turned slightly to avoid eye contact and continued juggling, completely ignoring her.
I try to gracefully receive compliments, and I am worried that I may have hurt her feelings by giving her the cold shoulder. How should I respond to statements that could be compliments or could be someone teasing or trolling?
I am a 34 y.o. male from the Pacific Northwest, USA. The female's voice was between 15 and 30.
I train technical juggling (patterns), and 7 ball endurance juggling. I train for personal reasons, and do not preform.
My preference is to juggle outdoors, and this has been a great way to share my knowledge about juggling. If other park visitors are interested in learning how to juggle, the conversation often starts with a compliment.
In my juggling experiences, non-jugglers largely fall into three categories; (1) people that are interested in juggling, (2) people that are indifferent to juggling, and (3) people that want to distract the juggler.
My goal is to determine the intentions of the other person.
If it was a genuine compliment, I would say, "Thanks, do you want to learn how to juggle?"
If the statement was teasing or trolling, I'd prefer to avoid this distracting interaction, and continue training. A reply like, "Thanks, wink wink..." may engage the troll and further derail my training.
As pointed out in the answers and comments, she may have been attempting to simultaneous give a genuine compliment and make a joke about by balls. Or, she may be been showing romantic interest. I consider both of these to be edge cases, and had not considered them when writing the original post. A simple, "thanks" and a wave would probably be the best in either of these circumstances.