(Closed) Giving someone a compliment when it’s expected of you but you don’t mean it…

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
3770 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo

I give compliments if the situation calls for it, even if it’s not true :/  I mean, I pick something out that is good enough.  Same as you, I’d rather just say than be rude or hurt someone’s feelings.

Post # 4
2651 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I find a truth that I mean. Like if everyone is gushing over how beautifle and wonderful the girl is, and truthfully she’s an ugly shrew, my go to is : I like your dress, top,/ other article of clothing. Or I like you hair, eyes makeup jewlwery etc.

Post # 5
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

My grandma taught me a very valuable lesson when I was a little girl.  A great aunt used to send me a very nice, but very hideous, sweater for Christmas every year.  Grandma taught me how to write a thank you note that was honest and sincere.  I never once told my great aunt Nidia that I liked the sweaters she sent, but every year, without fail, I would write her a thank you letter- thanking her for thinking of me and that I appreciated the gift.

Is there any way you can pay someone a compliment that you DO mean?  Instead of telling someone they haven’t aged a bit, tell them that you appreciate being invited to their party, or compliment the food or something more genuine.

Post # 6
6512 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Yikes.  I try to be honest with my compliments, because I think you can almost always find something nice to say.  If I hate someone’s b-day dress, for example, I can still tell them their hair/shoes/nails/makeup/etc. looks fantastic.  If allll of that is looking a mess, “you look radiantly happy” or something along those lines could work.

The only time I can’t find anything genuinely nice to say is when I hate the person (because they are cruel/bitchy/etc.)

Post # 7
6597 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

I never compliment anyone if I don’t mean it!

If it’s a birthday girl I say “Happy Birthday and ask her if she is having a good time?” or something to that effect. I don’t even think of complimenting someone if I don’t mean it as I don’t ever think compliments are obligatory.

Now on the other hand I have never seen an ugly bride!!! So I have always complimented their appearance and meant it! If I didn’t I would probably say something to the effect of “Congratuations I am so happy for you!”. But once again only if I meant it!!!!!

I am one of those brutally honest people that often say things that get them in trouble when asked a direct question, but I do know when to keep my mouth shut, and because of this, i guess, I also never compliment someone out of obligation!

Post # 9
2559 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I try to compliment an area that I can honestly say I like instead – much like a PP said, I’ll tell someone I love their baby’s sweet little toes (even if it looks like a little alien), or a birthday girl her shoes are fantastic (especially if she’s wearing a dress that’s not flattering), etc.

Post # 10
494 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I say it just to be polite.  It’s not like I’m morally conflicted by paying a compliment I don’t mean, it’s pretty insignificant.

Post # 11
4275 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I am a very quite person that does not feel the need to say something unless I really mean it.  I am also a bad liar. So, you can trust my compliment to be sincere. When I say nothing is when you need to be worried.

Post # 12
5273 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

I want to be polite – the situation this mostly arises is when I see an ugly baby, I def feel forced to say he/she is “so cute” but I do it because I don’t want to be rude.

Post # 13
581 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

You’ve got som great advice here, find something you genuinely appreciate and compliment that. There is always something. 🙂 

Post # 14
1676 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I agree with PP about trying to find something to compliment them on that I do mean. If I can’t, I try to avoid the situation. I actually avoid most social events that would require this if at all possible. 

Post # 15
1243 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

@AnnieAAA:  LOL  I agree that this is probably one of the most awkward situations ever (as immortalized by Seinfeld- “The baby is breathtaking”).  To be honest, this has only happened to me once in real life.  I believe I said some variation of “Awww….look at the little man!”.  lol

I generally try to find something else to say and compliment that genuinely, but I’m definitely guilty of saying “You look wonderful” when someone doesn’t.  It’s a white lie, I guess.

Post # 16
1498 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I try to find something, anything, that I can honestly compliment. If that fails, I move to a statement that is true and yet vauge. Ie: I can’t find a single thing I like about the birthday girl’s outfit, hair, makeup, jewelry, etc. So, instead I’ll just say “Well look at you all dressed up!”

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