Where Do Men And Women Receive Encouragement? (And How Do You Compliment Someone Without Sounding Creepy?)

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Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#21
if someone likes what Im wearing I just say thanks I like it too.
They arent complimenting ME or trying to chat me up they just like what I am wearing as all. Or maybe they wish to know where I got the outifit or piece from.

I guess you could look at it as encouragement to wear clothes or a certain colour and to NOT walk around naked, I dunno!

Otherwise, its just nice to get a thank you card and or a gift to know that people appreciate me. The gift doesnt have to be anything expensive btw food or flowers, Im not fussed. Toothpaste or scented sachets or moisturiser ok maybe you trying to tell me I smell bad, and have dry skin but that just crosses my mind fleetingly lol

one time my sister kept giving me bags as gifts, till I had too many and had to tell her stop, I dont need that many bags, but I think she wanted me to shop more (shes in marketing so, maybe she gets the bags free) but otherwise she doesnt tell me Im great or wonderful. Mostly she just puts up with me. lol

eNcouragement is not empty praise or comlpliments or cheerleading.
to me encouragement is setting things up so people arent afraid to have a go or even make a mistake to do whatver it is they are called to do. Its like the angels say fear not! I have good news. Its when you have a mission (and I believe every believer does have one) in life to do a good work that God has called you to do.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#22
I think in marriages many spouses are distracted form what the Lord calls them to do because they want to please their spouse. which is why they dont get encouraged at all. Its just either work to pay the bills or stay home and be a good wife. They also dont get much support from THEIR parents half of them may not even like their daughters or sons in laws and never wanted them to get married. The ones that do probably did marry so they COULD leave home anyway.

I saw that when grandchildren never got the opportunity to bond with their grandparents. I worked in retirment villages and many just had broken those relationships off. Or they didnt want to be a 'burden'

telling a woman that shes a sight for sore eyes or something just communicates to her that your eyes are sore. It doesnt actually encourage her in any way.
women also get told they are ugly and fat or too skinny or their skin and hair colour is wrong all the time anyway. And the ones that say I like how you look, for a woman thats been told otherwise, just shows that men can only see what they want to see, they only look on the surface and outward apprarance.

she might be looking good to you but actually feeling like crap.
 

BrotherMike

Be Still and Know
Jan 8, 2018
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#23
My best man at my wedding recently was showing my high school pics with him and a lady said I wish I knew you in high school. I took that as a compliment as she is married.. but kinda creepy!
 

Lanolin

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Dec 15, 2018
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#24
ok I had a think about what it means to encourage someone, though I tend to think its you go to school to learn something and get encouraged to do something you havent done before. Teachers often talk about scaffolding i.e setting things up so the learner can reach the next level, step by step

You want to make progress, to go a bit further than what you did they day before. Learning is incremental. if you stuck, you can ask a teacher for help, thats what they are there for, to give you feedback, identify where you are going wrong then steer you in the right direction to improve. or they call it getting back on track.

some take the carrot and stick approach to learning. Though praise can often be seen as bribery.

Compliments is something else. Its congratulations for doing a good job, like giving a tip to a waiter or free chocolates or something. People like to be rewarded but people also like feeling lucky when they win a prize even with no work being done, they just entered their name in a draw or something.

I have a vistors book where people can leave comments if they wish. Most of the time they are compliments unless someone doesnt know how to write and scribbles all over my book. I think feedback helps thats why I do surveys or suggestion boxes, and it can be anonymous but I rarely ask people what they think on the spot and then they have to come up with something nice to say, you wont get a true or honest answer like that.

This is the way to compliment a person, to let them know they are wonderful . Dont say it to a persons face because the words are often gone after that.

you write a letter
you make a thank you card
if there is a feedback form you write on that
you leave them a box of chocolates or gift them something on their birthday
you write a letter of recommendation

this applies to both men and women. there shouldnt be any creepy comments on a persons looks. If you really like what you see, be polite and ask if you can take a selfie with that person otherwise, I dont think you need to do the whole wolf whistle thing. Come on.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#25
I can see for some people, facebook acted a bit like 'see my face, hit the like button' or for narcissists it was a source of supply, but in all honesty, writing something on facebook is no longer the thing it used to be when you wrote something in a highschool yearbook upon graduation because you might never see them again and want to wish them all the best for the future.

before facebook schools used to have a thing called slam books. It became a source of bullying and they were banned in most schools.
 

Gojira

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2021
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Mesa, AZ
#27
Hey Everyone,

I have been thinking a lot lately about the fact that most people in this world don't receive very much encouragement. We may have been praised as children (though we all know many didn't even receive that,) but anything positive pretty much disappears as soon as you become an adult -- and then all you hear are things like, "Why did you do that?" and "You need to do better."

After watching an elderly relative survive his wife's death, I am especially concerned about men, because he told me that it's very hard for men to make friends, and for many, their only social interaction and feedback is from the woman they marry.

We are also all aware that even in some marriages, people never hear a kind or encouraging word from their spouses. Life is hard enough as it is, let alone surviving on a steady diet of either being ignored or constantly criticized.

I can only speak from my own perspective, but it seems that many women at least get encouragement from their female friends -- women often compliment each other for their abilities, outfits, the way they look, etc. Still, most women are still in dire need of feedback that uplifts their spirits.

And what about men? Even guy friends don't exactly shower each other with praise. I guess some men might say they don't need it, but I tend to believe that everyone, whether man or woman, needs to hear positive things on a regular basis.

So how can we as Christians do something to remedy this?

I once had a young male team leader who was always getting chewed out by the higher boss: "Why didn't you meet production targets today? You need to get faster. I don't want to hear any excuses."

And yet, this young guy never let that negativity trickle down. At the end of every day, he always told us thank you and that he really appreciated all our hard work (because we were in a situation most are in today, where companies are demanding workloads that just aren't humanly possible.) It really disheartened me to see how he was being treated, and so I tried to regularly tried to compliment him regarding his own hard work, organization, etc., but without sounding overdone or insincere.

It also made me sad that his boss was probably treating him that way because he was being mistreated by the higher ups, and all the toxicity was snowballing down the hill.

Despite all my quirks, at heart, I know one of my callings from God is to try to encourage others. But political correctness and the #MeToo movement seems to have made it almost impossible to give a well-meaning compliment without being taken to court, especially in the work place.

I am certainly not trying to judge or criticize anyone who has been victimized -- I believe all victims deserve God's righteous justice -- but what I mean is, you just don't know how much trouble you might get into these days for giving compliment, even when all you're trying to do is to give someone a positive word.

I don't think it's a secret that most women like being complimented, and I don't think twice about complimenting a woman, even when it comes to looks ("Your hair looks fantastic today!")

But I know that most men are probably petrified at the thought of trying to compliment a woman, fearing they're going to get slapped with some kind of criminal accusation.

Likewise, I am very cautious in the way I compliment men. While I'm just guessing that men secretly don't mind being complimented on their looks as well, I'm always careful to avoid any comments about looks and compliment their character, work ethic, profession of faith, etc. (unless we know each other well) because I don't want it be mistaken for romantic interest or even worse, sexual harassment.

How about all of you?

* Did you receive much praise as a child, and do you receive much now? Do you wish you had more of it in your life?

* What do you feel is a safe way to approach someone in order to give a compliment?

* What things do you do to uplift other people, and what advice can you give for doing so?

* Should opposite genders avoid complimenting each other? What do you feel is the best way for men and women to sincerely praise one another?

Our sinful world is shrouded in criticism and negativity.

I am happy to be part of a community that is trying to change that, one kind word at a time. :)
Just thought of an answer to this...

I got three Christian buddies I have a culture war prayer call with on Monday nights. Almost always when I am done talking with them, I feel uplifted, and feel less like Jesus is waiting around a corner with a bat in His hand.

My current supervisors. I feel like I can't do any wrong on this job. God has really blessed me at my current company.
 

Lanolin

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#28
we had a 'principal appreciation' morning tea where they got flowers and cards
and also a teacher aide was leaving and we all chipped in for a card and gift for her. (we write our wishes and compliments or encouragements on the card) I said she could come pick out a prize from my library prize box but unfortunately, there is no slime left, the kids took all the slime.

I wrote to the principal that was leaving, she had left big shoes to fill, and thanked her for showing us the way
the deputy I wrote we loved having her and appreciated all the things she did as its a tough job

and the teacher aide I wrote I miss her smiles and laughter and I emailed her to let her know about the prize because shed helped so many children with just reading with them and that made such a difference

I dont think it would have mattered if they were male it would have been along the same lines. Maybe they wouldnt have got flowers, or jewellery gift (it was a greenstone pendant) ) they might have got something else though lol. Like a restaurant gift voucher or tools or something. Or chocolates. Guys wont snub their noses at chocolate do they?
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#29
Box of biscuits for the guys maybe.
Or pie.
The thing I noticed though, is people who are lower paid or behind the scenes always get overlooked and the ones at the top generally do take all the credit and accolades, since they always visible anyway. Not everyone is comfortable with a big prizegiving in front of everyone. I just do things discreetly like many kids dont like always winning stuff in front of their friends who dont always win.

if you ever watch the academy awards its like everyone says thankyou to my mum and dad... YOU are the winners.
When they get home they just give the oscar to their parents.
 

JohnDB

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2021
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#30
Complimenting complete strangers is risky stuff....for all the reasons mentioned above.

But when you know somebody exclaiming admiration about some sort of trait is OK.
Like when they bring cupcakes.. "Wow! Those look great! Where did you get those? Oh? You made them? Can we be best buddies?"
It's a goofball and corny way of giving them compliments.
There's not a lot of that sort of thing in society today so it can come off as creepy. But then you can't necessarily compliment the obvious either.

You have to actually understand and know the person that you want to compliment....and possibly do it in a backhanded fashion. Like saying something positive to someone else while they are in earshot. Even if they don't hear it because their attention is elsewhere it will still get back to them.

So often we focus on things about others that irritate us and easily vocalize them...but finding the good things about others...that's what most people find to be difficult.
Finding something they do better than we do it...even if we tried it before...that's OK to compliment instead of silence.

"I like how you said that" is an acceptable compliment when working with others in meetings....it's not creepy or suggestive.

We all are hard on competition...by appearances. When actually we are analyzing and breaking down benefits and detractors. A lot of us think a lot faster than we speak. But a new filter will allow the positives to come out instead of the negatives.
 

JohnDB

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2021
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#31
And check out your smile from a different angle other than the mirror....it might give off the stereotypical creepy or psycho look.
The "Karen " smile is really frightening. Tight lipped closed mouth that doesn't reach the eyes.....every Robot I got begins yelling "Danger Will Robinson DANGER DANGER"
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#32
encouragement is more like 'you can do it' or 'I believe you can' rather than paying a compliment to something someone already has done or is doing.

Just to be clear.
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
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#33
encouragement is more like 'you can do it' or 'I believe you can' rather than paying a compliment to something someone already has done or is doing.

Just to be clear.
I think there is some leeway for personal definitions of what people find encouraging and/or complimentary. I tend to blend the lines between compliments and encouragement.

For example, I have this thing where I will gather up a ton of connected information and then will try to make it into an organized, written manual that will hopefully help other people. I've done this twice, writing a guide book for a gargantuan class I was taking that had a plethora of requirements, but no one had ever actually written them down, so we never quite knew what was expected. I took all the bits and bobs and started out with the goal of writing a syllabus, but in the end, it became something like a 32-page mini-book, complete with table of contents for easy reference.

I did the same thing for a job I had in which I was leaving and wanted to put it all down in handbook form so it would be easier for the next person. These were all volunteer projects I did with my spare time between regular tasks.

The professor for my class made a comment about the finished product that was both a compliment and a huge encouragement to me. And at my job, my boss thanked me, but what meant more to me is that when the corporate officials came for a visit, he took the time to show the manual off to them, as it was something other stores could use as well.

I found that to be a huge compliment as well as an encouragement, because it let me know that I was on the right track if I tried to develop similar projects in the future.
 

Gojira

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2021
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Mesa, AZ
#34
Tell me @seoulsearch ... what do bobs look like?

Seriously, you sound a little like me. I do things similar to that and am quite organized.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#35
hmm interesting
I tend to do things first and ask forgiveness later lol

I suppose I already have a lot of courage in that respect.

Regarding the manual, I was thinking last week how, if I decide to leave my job I better update the manual so the next person has something to work with but I think I will be staying for a while! So it hasnt been done.

The thing is things change so much that by the time Ive written the manual it will be out of date. I thought I made everything completely obvious to my library monitors by putting stickers on the computers showing the passwords and they still didnt know how to get in...!
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#36
my next project is to involve the library monitors (when I can actually see them) and we are going to make a book about the library, a photographer is going to come in and they will write a story about it.

But I still have yet to float this idea to the principals because Lord knows they get so many emails and things from everyone else that another would just annoy them. Then I have to get permission from. parents etc.

I have learned if you want to do something, sometimes you just need to start and get the ball rolling rather than wait for everyone else to say you can do it.

Whether I get complimented or not I guess is just icing on the cake, I dont always expect to be thanked everytime for anything I do. But it is nice when that happens (or the teacher TELLS the children to thank me lol)
I just try make it my habit to ALWAYS say thank you to people for things they do for me, or if they have made me food, to say how good it tastes or maybe theyve gone out of their way to host me or spend time with me. Then they'll want to do it again lol

with children its stamps, they get a happy stamp on their hand for borrowing a book. Sometimes older kids say they dont want stamps. I just tell them its so I know theyve borrowed one. I even give the teachers stamps.
 

JohnDB

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2021
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#37
Bits and bobs?

Cajoles and nods?

Just wondering....
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#38
I was thinking that my dad never said anything to me on how I looked or my appearance
its usually mums or sisters that say that sort of thing.

I cant think if my dad ever encouraged me or complimented me...I am sure in many things I just copied my older sister, if she did stuff I'd want to do it as well. But she was more like trying to put me off things she had a claim on.

she always got first dibs on everything so, I sort of had to fight my way lol
it was always you cant do that cos you are too young or whatever and I would just get annoyed but try to do it anyway. But I never believed that things were impossible or that I should just never try (and fail)

however suffering depression where you feel that everything you do is pointless is somethign the devil is very good at sapping your energy and motivation to do things by oppressing you.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#39
usually the devil does that by fear eg bad things are going to happen if you do x

though its more of a mindset that you have to break out of. God has already approved and adopted you so, He will enable you to do the good works Hes already planned for you to do.
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
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#40
Tell me @seoulsearch ... what do bobs look like?

Seriously, you sound a little like me. I do things similar to that and am quite organized.

Bobs look a little like bills... It does take a bit of experience to know the difference. :geek:

Usually, the bills will demand money. :cool:

Seriously... I guess this is why some people around me think I have ADHD. I can be hyper focused on something, like organizing information, but the process is a tornado in a hailstorm on top of a volcano all around me.

When working on a project like that, I will literally have every flat surface -- the floors, tables and all furniture, a box in the corner -- covered in hundreds of pieces of pieces of paper with little bits of information on each one. I have to do it that way so that I don't forget anything (if it's on a separate note, I'm less likely to overlook it, as I might if it's just part of a long list.)

I can't say that there is a method to my madness, but the madness is definitely out of this world! :alien: