190

Coming from my experience in receiving compliments from men I didn't know very well, I'd suggest focusing on complimenting the shirt vs complimenting the person wearing the shirt. For instance, saying something as simple as "That shirt looks good on you, the color brings out your eyes." can be taken as 'flirting' by some (especially strangers who don't ...


110

There isn't really a fool proof way to tell a joke from a compliment, unless it's immediately apparent from the tone of voice or context. Are they pointing and laughing? Do they sound snide or sarcastic? Etc. Even if the delivery sounds completely innocent, it may just be a joke delivered in a deadpan fashion (my personal favorite). So, given that there isn'...


88

Jess K.'s answer is spot-on, but I wanted to add some additional detail. The challenge is not only what your friend says but how he says it. Body language, eye contact, tone, cadence, and other things all can create a flirtations subtext, even when your friend is trying to act calm and cool. When flirting, men tend to lean in, make direct body contact, ...


51

Rude would be arguing with the compliment. An honest gracious response is, generally, not rude. Humility is also important, which you seem to have a good deal of. That's a good thing as well. I understand your struggle with human interactions. There's never a good rule of "if this, then do that" or if there is, there are a ton of exceptions to that rule....


45

Perhaps instead of replying mindlessly, reply mindfully? Often, people just go through the motions with pleasantries without considering the content. Consider the following exchange I've witnessed more than once: Amy: Betty, hi! How are you?! Betty: Good, how are you? Amy: Good, how are you? Betty: Good. Amy: Good! Betty and Amy are so conditioned to reply ...


44

As a straight married male not interested in flirting and trying to avoid awkwardness, he should avoid complimenting members of the opposite sex on things he noticed for making them look attractive. In the workplace, try and treat members of the both sexes similarly. Would he often compliment male co-workers on their clothes that he noticed for making them ...


40

Situations involving backhanded compliments are tricky because if you escalate things, the other party can play the victim quite easily. For example, if you tell him to stop, he can just say: Well all I was doing was complimenting him and he made it into a big deal. What a jerk! And other people will believe him, as they weren't there to experience the ...


28

Yes, directly dismissing a compliment is rude, and will be frustrating to the person who gave the compliment. With that said, you aren't required to agree with them to graciously accept the compliment. It might also be helpful to keep in mind that they aren't saying you did a perfect job or that you're the most gorgeous person on the planet. When someone ...


27

I have good news for you, according to research done at the University of Minnesota, it's not the American way to accept a compliment. In fact, Americans rarely accept compliments. Deflecting or rejecting compliments negates the implication that the addressee is superior to the speaker in any way. In American English, the preference of response strategies ...


23

The difference between compliment and inappropriate behaviour is in the way you do it, more than what you do. You can easily compliment people, by Making clear through your behaviour that this is what you intend (and nothing more), and Anticipating that they may be worried anyway, and so making very clear by your manner, that is all you intend. What ...


21

I think in most situations, coming off as rude is going to depend a lot on your tone. I feel like one of the safest answers to nicely dismissing a compliment might be to preface it with 'thanks': "Thanks, but I feel like I could've made the interface more user friendly." "Thanks, I feel like I could've done better." "Thanks, even ...


21

Without hearing the actual intonation it's hard to know, but it is possible that the "I don't know why" has two interpretations: one is the offensive one that you're thinking of, but it could also mean "I don't know what awesome thing that you did for X, but they were really impressed with you". Is it possible that the boss actually means ...


16

One of the problems with talking to people on public transportation is that they may feel social pressure to continue to interact with you. This can be extremely awkward, especially in the context of public transportation, where many of us have been cornered by weirdos. You can negate this by doing it as one of you are exiting. Since you or they are leaving,...


15

Seems like people hasn't known about your belief before. If they had known before, they will respect you by leaving you alone that day (well, perhaps with extra, but subtle, kindness, although they won't mention it because your birthday). Make your (dis)belief in birthdays known before the date. You can try directly approaching one of the organizer Hey, ...


14

TL;DR Focus on her skills or the tastes she has, not on how she looks. Background I'm a woman, I don't wear makeup (and never did for various reasons). However, some people still complement the clothes I'm wearing from time to time and I think complementing clothes or makeup is mostly the same thing. A little story first When my family tells me: You look ...


13

Part of the problem is the amount of sexual harassment girls and women receive from strangers. To give you an idea, on my way to school and back I started to avoid the shortest path because there where some building workers yelling gross stuff at me, like I have a nice arse. I was about 11/12, and looking 2 years younger. I didn't even start puberty. Some ...


12

As per your question: Is there a way for me to think about this kind of stuff that would help me feel as others seem to here? Feel encouraging. Feel appreciation. Rather than what I typically feel which is a kind of disgust [...] It depends, and I'll explain. In my opinion, it all boils down to the current skill level of the "producer" of that piece of ...


12

Here are the steps to dealing with pretty much every interaction you're going to have while juggling: Don't take yourself too seriously Most people are familiar with juggling as a performance. Penn Jillette, world-famous juggler and magician, affectionately refers to himself and others like him as "carny trash". Jugglers are the kind of folks who go to ...


11

(It seems I'm very late to the party, but the party was over before this began, so I'll take a shot anyway.) To my seasoned eyes, this feels unlikely to be malicious. I think the hurt you feel is genuine, mind you, because in the absence of solid information, you can really only make your best guess, and your best guess suggested possible malice, so it's ...


11

I have had great success with I'll take that as a compliment Followed by a grin that suggests perhaps I'm being a little cheeky in taking a compliment where it might not have been intended. People pretty much always smile and say something positive when I do that. I've also used it when people say things that could be taken as positive or negative, ...


11

I don't typically comment on aspects of people's appearances because I try to avoid finding myself in a situation such as you've found yourself in, but I have witnessed it on many occasions, and I have never seen someone react poorly to receiving a compliment. There are lines that can be crossed though. One common one is asking to touch the hair (which you ...


9

In some cultures (eg some Asian cultures) it is more socially acceptable to "deny" it than to accept it unchallenged, such as by saying "It's not as good as I wanted" or "I could have done better". But this doesn't really exist in western culture. In general I would say there is nothing rude about doing this, as long as you put ...


9

Luckily since Cromwell ('warts and all') and photography you will be able to draw exactly as you like. One caveat. If the asker never has seen your work. At least announce that you do caricatures. When really in doubt, ask 'do you want pretty-you or real-you?'. Second caveat. If the subject is dismayed when looking at the result, either give it in a ...


9

Just say: Hey, can we talk? I might have overheard you were throwing a surprise party. Can you do me a favor and not organize one. I don't believe in birthdays for this and this reason. Thanks. (Polite and to the point) Or at lunch start a conversation like this: Did you know, I think this and this about birthdays, because this and this. What do you ...


9

If you want the complements to stop, saying "Thanks" probably isn't going to achieve that - body language and tone can only do so much - not everyone is good at picking up on that and you are still, after all, thanking him for the complement. You could try: Responding with a "sorry, what was that?" (or "huh?" if you want to be less polite), because no-one ...


9

Firstly, a rule of thumb that I find works for many (heterosexual) males: Think of a compliment. Pretend she's a man. If the compliment suddenly seems homoerotic, 'weird' or doesn't seem like a compliment, don't say it, think of something else. I.e. things like "you look hot in that shirt", "that shirt compliments your figure" or even "you're looking well ...


9

If the compliment seems positive and sincere and you want to acknowledge it politely, a smile and a wave or thumbs up is appropriate. You can say "Thanks" or give a compliment in return if the situation allows for it, but if shouted at for a distance you aren't required to shout back. If you're talking about an inappropriate "compliment" or remark being ...


8

The 'autism' tag is extremely relevant here and your self-description as autistic gives us a major clue why you would feel like denying a compliment. I am no expert on autism but have read in multiple places that some persons with autism give much importance to the literal truth of a statement. Example: it's a nasty rainy day and for some reason a random ...


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