How Do Men Like to be Complimented?

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seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
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#1
Hey Everyone,

Since we have a thread going on about when it may or may not be appropriate to call a woman "hot" or "beautiful", I wanted to start a thread asking the gentlemen how THEY like to be complimented.

I have this theory that most people hear only bad things about themselves (whether through their own self-talk or from others), and very rarely ever hear anything good, especially as they get older.

I also wonder if it's tougher for the guys, because women generally hear positive feedback from their close friends, but how often do men hear anything positive about themselves (I'm guessing not often), and how can we change that?

For example, I have often been around male co-workers whom I've wanted to compliment for various qualities, but, it seems like there are so many complication, especially between opposite genders.

For example:

+ I don't want to sound like a creeper (you know, like the kind who drives a windowless van and has it parked outside.)

+ I don't want to sound like I'm hitting on him (most especially because he may have a girlfriend or even a wife, and may not be wearing a ring.) I don't want to disrespect another woman by complimenting her man in a way that would be seen as inappropriate (and I know in many cases, even if you try to give an "innocent" compliment, like about his character, it could be see as you trying to steal someone's man away.)

+ If he IS a single available guy, I don't want him to think I am somehow obsessing over him or throwing myself at him.

My usual approach is to try to compliment something about their values such as, "Thank you for beinghonest," or, "Thank you for taking the time to put that away instead of just throwing it anywhere." But I often wonder if it's best that I not say anything at all.

How about the rest of you?

* Have you ever found yourself wanting to compliment a guy (even if you're a guy and want to say something encouraging to another brother in Christ), but didn't know what to say, or how to word it?

* If you want to compliment something about a guy, how do you go about it without sending the wrong signals?

* Guys, what tips would you give the rest of us for trying to say something supportive to you?

And, as a bonus-- How does one go about complimenting a man over his looks? I am a child of the 80's, and back then, all the girls described an attractive male (good golly, that sounds so sterile, like a lab description or something) as "cute". And I'm guessing men aren't very fond of that.

* Guys, would it ever be appropriate for someone to compliment your looks? What descriptions do you prefer -- would you want to be called "handsome", "good-looking", "cute", etc.?

* If you work out a lot at the gym, what could someone who notices that say without sounding like a stalker?

* Or, is it best not to say anything at all, to avoid any misunderstandings?

We are eagerly awaiting your replies. :)
 

Hamarr

Well-known member
Oct 28, 2018
612
684
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#2
Hmmm I’ll have to think about this some more. Guys usually don’t give each other compliments so it is a bit surprising to hear one at all. Definitely the way women build each other up. I have had a couple of guys compliment my looks and I sometimes wonder if I should believe them if I don’t hear similar from women.
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
2,981
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#3
I have had a couple of guys compliment my looks and I sometimes wonder if I should believe them if I don’t hear similar from women.
I feel exactly the same way about women telling me I'm beautiful.

Anyway to answer the OP, what I do know is my little brother loves to be complimented. Probably one of those words of affirmation love language types. The compliments I hear most about (maybe because we work together) are usually some variation of he did a good job. So if my brother is anything to go by guys like to have their skills, competence, and hard work appreciated. My general sense of things is also that some guys can sometimes tend to feel like society blames them for everything that's wrong so it's important to also acknowledge the good effect they have on the world around them when they do something that brings good.

I guess I don't think about this too much though, I'm much more of a I'll tell you the truth about yourself, and if it's unpleasant then you only have yourself to blame (I balance that with trying to be just and fair about a person both their strengths and weaknesses).

I want to add something about make your compliments such that they communicate that the value is in the actions / character of the other person rather than in your liking of it, but I'm not sure how to explain that clearly. But if you can achieve what I have poorly described, it should prevent you from coming off as stalkerish.
 

JustEli

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2018
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#4
I like to be called beautiful.
 

Hamarr

Well-known member
Oct 28, 2018
612
684
93
#5
I feel exactly the same way about women telling me I'm beautiful.

Anyway to answer the OP, what I do know is my little brother loves to be complimented. Probably one of those words of affirmation love language types. The compliments I hear most about (maybe because we work together) are usually some variation of he did a good job. So if my brother is anything to go by guys like to have their skills, competence, and hard work appreciated. My general sense of things is also that some guys can sometimes tend to feel like society blames them for everything that's wrong so it's important to also acknowledge the good effect they have on the world around them when they do something that brings good.

I guess I don't think about this too much though, I'm much more of a I'll tell you the truth about yourself, and if it's unpleasant then you only have yourself to blame (I balance that with trying to be just and fair about a person both their strengths and weaknesses).

I want to add something about make your compliments such that they communicate that the value is in the actions / character of the other person rather than in your liking of it, but I'm not sure how to explain that clearly. But if you can achieve what I have poorly described, it should prevent you from coming off as stalkerish.

I think this is right about compliments being directed towards doing rather then being Feeling useful or helpful. I think I would rather hear that I helped someone out than I am smart. I guess it is the same sort of compliment, but I don’t know how to take something like “you’re a genius”. I’ll tend to assume they were sarcastic, where “thanks, I was stuck and you figured it out” conveys it in a way that I am more likely to accept?

Coming from women, those compliments directed at things you are doing might also be less likely to misinterpreted?

Things like being called hot are less likely to offend, but I am going to assume they are said in jest.
 

JosephsDreams

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2015
4,290
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#7
I would keep it simple, vague. Trust me, if he is interested in you and available, he will take it from there. If not, you dont want him anyway; he doesn't deserve his man card.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
9,857
4,615
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#8
Good question. I don't care for gushy or excessive, but I do appreciate sincere compliments. My opinion is that if you're going to offer a compliment, do so sparingly, specifically, and concisely, lest it be interpreted as romantic interest. Choose your words, tone, and timing carefully... these days, it's probably safer to offer a non-romantic compliment with witnesses present.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
9,857
4,615
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#9
I would keep it simple, vague. Trust me, if he is interested in you and available, he will take it from there. If not, you dont want him anyway; he doesn't deserve his man card.
I just want to clarify something: What you seem to be saying is that if a man is not interested in a woman who happens to be interested in him, he doesn't deserve his "man card".

I hope I misinterpreted that, because it's just wacky.
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
14,426
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#10
Avoid effusiveness. Keep it short, to-the-point and on topic.

Even then, a single guy will probably think you're flirting with him. Because single guys are often more desperate than single girls, but they think they are supposed to be "real men" and hide it.

If the guy has a girlfriend or wife, I'd recommend making the compliment while she is there. It might be a good idea to start the compliment by talking to her ABOUT him, rather than addressing him directly. Gets her involved in the conversation straight off, which I think is probably important.
 

Subhumanoidal

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2018
1,211
1,012
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#11
Much of it depends on how well you know the guy. If it's someone you aren't personally close to, but know well (such as a work friend) a more generalized compliment is probably best, to help avoid sending the wrong signal. After all, often times, the only compliments we may get (outside of family, if even that) come from romantic interests or perhaps very close friends. So when a woman we aren't particularly close to compliments likely the first thought will be 'is she interested?'.
I'd avoid compliments about their appearance unless it's somewhat generic like 'you look nice today'. I remember one of my closest friends, who was married, stating she thought i was attractive. It was said 100% as a friend giving a compliment, somewhat as an encouragement of sorts, even, yet my mind couldn't help but think 'is she interested?'. I wouldn't have acted if she were, but still, even knowing it wasn't her intent it was my first thought.
It seems, from what i can tell, compliments on mens appearance generally falls under 2 quite opposite categories, shallow lust or romantic interest. Thus the majority of guys likely don't get compliments on their looks outside of mothers and girlfriends hahaha.

Closer friends likely grant more freedom and you can feel out what you can or can't get away with based on the individual.

Personally i don't receive compliments well. Mostly commonly i voice my disagreement haha. This has been true even in relationships. I finally realized, in relationships, how frustrating it is to try to say something nice and, basically, be shut down (as is what usually happened if i gave one) so it had to be an agreement we both made to accept compliments and not dispute them.

But, if you think about it, men can face the same issues. Personally i struggle with giving compliments outside of romance (and that even takes a little warming up to), but from time to time i think about it and i usually feel if i try i'll A) come off like i'm hitting on her or B) say it so awkwardly she'll carry pepper spray to her car or call the police :ROFL::ROFL:
 

JosephsDreams

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2015
4,290
439
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#12
Just being humorous.
We dont want to be like the crazy liberals who propose to cannibalize everyone, even their own children, if it is out of their code view.
They suck the life joy out of everything. The party that takes pride in individualality wants cookie cutter production line responses from everyone.
Light hearted fun.
But legit question, I suppose.
 

Hamarr

Well-known member
Oct 28, 2018
612
684
93
#13
But, if you think about it, men can face the same issues. Personally i struggle with giving compliments outside of romance (and that even takes a little warming up to), but from time to time i think about it and i usually feel if i try i'll A) come off like i'm hitting on her or B) say it so awkwardly she'll carry pepper spray to her car or call the police :ROFL::ROFL:
I'm the same with difficulty giving compliments. Someone once told me you have to be able to accept them first. I have sometimes tried without mentioning physical qualities. Like "that's a nice color", but I still feel awkward doing it. I've kind of stopped the last year or so at work to avoid any potential weirdness there.
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
11,602
1,876
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#15
I would keep it simple, vague. Trust me, if he is interested in you and available, he will take it from there. If not, you dont want him anyway; he doesn't deserve his man card.
Hi Joseph,

Actually, I was thinking in this case of strictly platonic and/or work-type situations and actually trying to avoid giving the impression that there was a romantic interest.

But if there was, I can see how this advice might have its applications. :)
 

Hungry

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2012
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#18
Personally I find complimenting women’s looks as a married man a slippery slope. Having intentions misinterpreted can haunt you, especially if it’s my wife’s friend, or a friend’s wife. If a woman said something complimentary in context it wouldn’t seem awkward. For example, if I moved or lifted something heavy and a woman said, “Wow, you’re strong!”, or if I had a nice outfit on and she said, “Going somewhere special? You look all dressed up.” Not to be confused with the alternative backhanded compliments, in the same situations; “Wow, you’re stronger than you look. I’m surprised you didn’t hurt yourself.” Or, “That’s a nice outfit. May I ask where you got it? It’s always hard to find nice clothes for my dad.”

My older daughter tried complimenting me before. She said, “Dad, you’re not ugly...you know what I mean... you’re not exactly eye candy, more like eye...fruit.”
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
11,602
1,876
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#20
Her thoughts be like:

“I wish my hair was as long as his”.
Man, you ain't kidding.

Last week I saw a guy in a store who had a man bun and I could tell from one glance that he better hair than I do.

Nothing incites jealousy in a woman more than a man with longer, thicker, and yes, prettier, hair. :LOL: