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|02-23-2011, 06:29 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2009
Do compliments help you or harm you.
I am recently beginning to question if much good if any comes from peoples compliments. The reason I ask is because over the years when people compliment me it never really helps me, and sometimes they can come off insulting in certain context. For instance a friend complimented me on how polite I am, but she might have been wrong about me because sometimes I am just polite out of shyness. Also if she liked me because she thinks I am polite, than would she dislike me if I became more outgoing? That would be a lot of pressure.
Then there are also situations where sometimes people who are envious of me will compliment me. I have had lots of friends tell me all kinds of nice things to my face and turn around and stab me in the back. At other times when people compliment me I can't be sure if I am being lied to or not. If I buy into them does that mean I have to keep working for them? Do they want me to compliment them back?
Finally compliments take my focus away from what I am working towards. They give me a false sense of worth, at other times they can cause me to overestimate my abilities. I don't know if compliments are any better than criticism.
What are your thoughts?
Last edited by Perry M; 02-23-2011 at 06:31 PM.
|02-23-2011, 06:51 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Compliments are only harmful if you feel you need them routinely to feel good about yourself. It can start to be an addiction. Your ego is hungry and needs to be fed. Many of the examples you gave were in fact not really compliments but veiled attempts to hurt you via jealousy and resentment. A real compliment is never done in such a fashion. But yes, many people give fake compliments all the time that can easily be seen for what they are.
Also, there's really no need to analyze every compliment given to you. In this context, even authentic compliments become harmful because they cause your mind to spiral into "what if's" and build up a false sense of self that is built around how other people describe you. This sense of self is destined to fall like a house of cards as soon as someone insults you and you can't handle it.
Shifting to a perspective where you are quite confident in who you are, compliments become nothing more than icing on the cake. They become a way for you to connect with people who are being authentic and simply smile and walk away from those who are not. You release the need to know what she or he really meant when they paid you a compliment. You rise above it.
|02-23-2011, 10:44 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2011
Don't over analyse compliments. Most of the time it will be sincere. Try to learn to accept them for what they are, someone saying something nice about you.
I never used to be able to accept compliments, I always played them down 'they're only saying it because they feel sorry for me, they feel obliged to or whatever.
On the other side of the coin for every criticisum I recieved I took really personally. Now where I am right now I'm confident enough in myself to accept and believe any compliments thrown my way and brush off any criticisum.
|02-23-2011, 11:04 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2008
There's a time we need compliments and praise and a time we need criticism for our own improvement..
I think in the case of being told you're a polite person, you should just say "thank you" if you think it's a good thing to be polite, up to you. I think you're overanalysing in this instance, personally.
But I think it is a matter of sincerity with the compliments and it's up to you to know who you can and can't trust, really, which isn't an easy thing..
|02-24-2011, 12:20 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: earth, everywhere and nowhere
Compliments don't really help or harm me. I hear it and say thank you and then move on. If a compliment pulled me away from my growth focus I'd probably start a growth goal to be less attached to what people around me say. There was a time I would latch onto criticism and dismiss compliments as well. Now I take both at face value. Of course if someone is only complimenting me for a major chunk of our interactions... and it feels more like flattery... well, that sets off red flags for me. It makes me a little suspicious, but it's all in the way it is expressed and the vibe of it and I don't think I could be more concrete or specific on that.
Sometimes I use positive reinforcement as a tool but I view this as different from a compliment. A compliment is just saying something nice about me or my image. Positive reinforcement is more like genuine, deep appreciation expressed for a larger portion of the me I present to the world (often expressed about the results of my actions or the actions themselves). I can apply that to motivate me to continue making progress on a goal. I still do it for me, not them. I don't find it easy to do something I didn't really want to do for myself anyway.
|02-24-2011, 01:36 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Cambridge UK
Hi Perry M
I would echo Paul1057 here.
Believe me - if someone pays you a compliment, please accept it.
There was a time (recently) when I was always quick to pick up on people's criticisms, but always more reluctant to accept anyone's praise or compliments.
I think it can be a mistake to look for or invite either - praise or criticism, but whenever they are offered, it is possible to over analyse both! Believe me, I do (but am trying not to do) the same.
If someone offers a criticism - you can mull it around, and accept or reject it. The same goes for compliments. But if I had the choice of two, I know which I would prefer!
We shouldn't look for other people's validation or approval (but we all tend to, to varying degrees) - but if someone says something about you that is generally positive, just accept it gracefully.
That would be my advice anyway
Ne Cede Malis
|02-24-2011, 01:24 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2009
|02-24-2011, 01:46 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2010
Location: England, UK
I will leave you with a poem to explain a good mindset for considering this type of feedback. Ultimately it is about developing your own judgment and seeing the world through your own eyes. Doing your own thing and living life for yourself and your own experience, not through the experiences of others.
Poems - If--
|02-24-2011, 01:56 PM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2009
|02-27-2011, 01:56 PM||#12 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2007
I think with a compliment, like a criticism it's judging someone or something. They are two different sides to the same coin.
For example, when someone says nice dress. It CAN be implied (although kind of pushing it...) that
a) That dress looks nicer compared to what you usually wear
b) The dress looks nice, but not you....
c) I know what good is.
Sort of like if a young child says "good job". It's a judgement by the child asserting himself as the authority on what a good job is. Despite being 20 years old with a lot more of experience, they presume to know more than you do.
As for helping... hmm I don't think compliments are constructive as criticisms. Although compliments are merely a good way to deliver criticisms. I would never tell someone their paper was horrible (I'm a teacher and often do tutoring) without supporting it with a compliment of some sort, even it's undeserved. It's only for the purpose of encouraging.
|02-27-2011, 02:57 PM||#13 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
I experience compliments as someone expressing appreciation, and appreciation is one of my favorite things for people to generate, so I enjoy when people do compliments; I enjoy the generation of appreciation. I appreciate it, even.
The appreciation isn't for me, if someone gives me a compliment; it's for the appreciator, and it's for the world.
(What a great word, "for." I just noticed how much I love that little word.)
So, someone expresses appreciation about something related to me, and then they later express complaint or denigration about something about me? Neither expression means anything about me, so there's no problem. There may be something to address with the person, or with myself; who am I being that the person doesn't feel they can take up their complaint with the one person who can do something about it (e.g., ME)? Like that.
But compliment or complaint, it's all just feedback; it doesn't mean anything about you except what you make it mean.
(This attitude, I recognize, is easier to operate with if you do internal validation, so if you primarily do external validation, it may sound like a lot of huh-wha?!)
|02-27-2011, 03:53 PM||#14 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Compliments can do harm when it comes from untrustworthy person or people who wants to harm you. It is obvious that you will get their negative meaning.
Good compliments should come from truth, love ground and should be used to encourage person. Such compliments can be beneficial for you.
|02-27-2011, 04:54 PM||#15 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Gauteng, South Africa
I'm a bit of an over-complimenter. Not something I enjoy but it's become a habit. I always find something nice i can say to someone when I see them. I think they all think I'm being a bit fake... but compliments are so nice when said for the right reason.
But I do believe they can be harmful when people get addicted to them.
|02-28-2011, 07:32 AM||#16 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2008
When I make compliments, I express gratitude for the people around me. People in my life tend to be so beautiful and I take the time to tell them about this. Whether I make a compliment or receive one, I perceive it as another way of saying "Thank you".
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