Hi Tamar,

Is it okay to tell women that you think they are pretty or attractive? It seems women don’t care about compliments any longer. If a guy is honest and would like to compliment a woman, she doesn’t even say thank you, instead it’s ignored. Am I too old school?

-Compliment Quandary


Hi Compliment Quandary,

Yes, you should give a compliment if you feel like it. Sharing something positive about someone is never a bad thing… and if that makes you old school then that’s a good thing! Make a mental note if the woman didn’t show gratitude, but don’t necessarily count her out.

It’s tough to have continuity in an email conversation when you are stopping to say thank you for a specific compliment, answering the question you should be including, and then trying to add to the conversation. Sometimes people show gratitude for compliments by returning one of their own, so look out for that because it’s more than acceptable.

Some people don’t know how to accept compliments and that doesn’t make them a bad person, but eventually you may need to say, “You’re beautiful; please believe me, accept the compliment and say thank you or I’m going to have to keep telling you you’re beautiful.”

  1. Giving complements can be tricky. As a musician people have told me that I played beautifully when in fact I fell on my face. My reaction was they are trying to manipulate me for some unknown reason. At times like these, I’m tempted to say, “Oh – are you a critic?” or “Who made you an expert on violin playing?”
    I would much prefer the complement to be, “I enjoyed your performance.”
    My boss at the library complements me by saying “thank you” or, “I like the way you
    My point is that in giving a complement, the giver should indicate how he or she feels, not what the receiver can consider an attempt at manipulation.

  2. as a musician myself, you just need to accept the comments of the laypeople. folks who aren’t experts don’t know what else to say, would you prefer they said I’m no expert but that sounded awful? sometimes those who know better, whether fellow musicians or critics, are likewise stuck in a trap of social etiquette.
    in any event, Tamar correctly used the word “compliment.” you hit the same wrong note 4 times. “complement” applies to colors, or even chord tonalities.

  3. If a woman does not appreciate a compliment she is not worth communicating with. Stay away from her and move on to someone who is kind and loving. Too many women are merely looking for someone that they can use for their own purposes. They are mean and shallow. Look at the divorce rate and you will see for yourself. Relationships are like a bank account. If you have to make too many deposits and not enough withdrawals then something is wrong. Find a lady who is kosher and understands your needs.

  4. I will agree with Jay, if your compliments are ignored & not appreciated then move on. that person may not know how to accept a compliment or she may think it is some sought of manipulation to get something from her. I know I am a man of worth and if they can’t see that, then its their loss, keep searching for the real ones who are kind & caring.

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