PDA

View Full Version : Giving and Receiving compliments



jennylou
11-02-2007, 08:23 AM
So, I'm watching The View today and one of the hot topics was compliments. Apparently, telling a woman she's cute is fine if you're a woman, but if you're a man, it's sexual harassment. Same for telling her she has a nice blouse on.

So, what's your stand? What can you tell coworkers? I know I've been out of the full time workforce for a few years, but I remember telling people that they looked nice, had a nice outfit, etc. And, I loved hearing it myself.

LittleFredPunkinHead
11-02-2007, 08:30 AM
I don't think it's as simple as, this is okay for a woman to say, but not for a man. For example, if a gay male friend tells me that my dress is cute, it could mean something entirely different than if my male boss did. Or, if my gay female boss did. OTOH, it could also all mean the same thing. I just don't think it's so easy to tell. (Of course, if the point is just about what is safest to say, it's best not to comment on another person's looks or clothing in the work environment at all.)

greenbunny
11-02-2007, 08:58 AM
I tend to word compliments in a way that won't imply I'm noticing their physique. For example, "What an unusual blouse, where did you get it?" or "I never would have thought to put those colors together, you have such an eye for fashion".

The only time I've mentioned a person's body specifically is to compliment a woman I knew was on WW to lose her baby weight.

Rambina
11-02-2007, 09:03 AM
At work, I receive compliments from men and women often. Women's compliments are usually more descriptive: i love your bag, cute shoes, nice makeup, you look nice today...along those lines.

From men, it's never gone past: "you look nice today" or whatever. Although last week a straight male co-worker complimented my hair accessory...of all things.

As far the compliments I dish out, I am always descriptive with men and women. I tell them what I like: "Your haircut looks great," "You look really nice today," "You have a great smile," etc. I compliment men and women equally and I doubt they ever worry I am harrassing them because I'm not looking them up and down and licking my chops while I say those things. I'm always nonchalant about it. Who knows.

dionysia
11-02-2007, 09:09 AM
I rarely compliment folks at work, but when I do, it's usually women. And it's usually along the lines of "I love that shade of purple!" "Those are beautiful earrings." So it's about the piece of clothing rather than the person wearing it, kwim?

MrsBeckyLP
11-02-2007, 09:12 AM
I had a male co-worker who would tell me I looked nice on days I dressed up (we have a pretty casual office). But he didn't say it in some slimy way. I think the way in which the comment is delivered makes all the difference. He'd simply say, "Oh, you look nice today" not "OOOOHHH, you look niiiiice today!"

I don't really think it's an issue with women telling other women or telling men. I always tell a female when I like something they're wearing, and I'll tell a male most of the time too.

Ribbit
11-02-2007, 09:15 AM
Ugh...since when is giving anyone a compliment sexual harassment??? I mean really, people have gotten a little too hypersensitive (in my opinion, that is) if a man can't tell a woman she looks nice without everyone assuming he wants to go to bed with her. Even men that give smarmy compliments or give the occasional inappropriate "nice ass" type remark don't really bother me, unless it is unwanted, repeated, and doesn't stop if the person is asked (by me or a boss). And littlefred is absolutely right that it's unfair to draw the line strictly between heterosexual men and women. I mean, has common sense gone completely out the window? Can nobody take care of themselves anymore? Do we really need corporate policy to tell us all how to act appropriately? :rolleyes:

lml41981
11-02-2007, 09:20 AM
I tend to word compliments in a way that won't imply I'm noticing their physique. For example, "What an unusual blouse, where did you get it?" or "I never would have thought to put those colors together, you have such an eye for fashion".

The only time I've mentioned a person's body specifically is to compliment a woman I knew was on WW to lose her baby weight.
So, basically you tell your coworkers that their blouses are ugly and they can't match their clothes for shit. :p

***

I guess I'm entirely too laid back. I never cared if anyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, complimented my clothes or hair or anything. I never took it as an advance or anything other than a compliment. Sometimes I think folks may be a bit too sensitive...

dionysia
11-02-2007, 09:27 AM
*sigh*

People can claim sexual harassment for anything, really. But honestly, if an employee (male or female) came into my office to say they were making a complaint of sexual harassment because another employee (male or female) told them 'You look nice today,' I'd be giving them a quick rundown of our SH policy and the law.

(And then when they left, I'd :rolleyes:)

Di

tenofcups
11-02-2007, 09:35 AM
What a shame that people have to even think twice about the "acceptable" way to give a compliment. I tell people I like their clothing, earrings, nailpolish, tie, suit, overall outfit, that they look especially good today, whatever. I think it's great to be able to tell people when they look good or that you like a particular item of theirs and I appreciate it when others tell me the same.

jesvet
11-02-2007, 09:48 AM
It's really impossible to make a blanket assumption without knowing the context of the interaction. If you have a generally friendly person who isn't slimy to begin with, who is always giving everyone compliments, I doubt anyone would bat an eye. It seems like there would need to be a pattern of inappropriate comments for it to really be an issue- and defining inappropriate is definitely a challenge. Tone, delivery, choice of words.

It's been a while since anyone gave me an inappropriately lascivious compliment, to be honest I would love it. :D

MrsBeckyLP
11-02-2007, 10:07 AM
I have to add that I agree with others who've said people can be oversensitive.

phoenics
11-02-2007, 10:15 AM
I love giving and receiving compliments at work. I have a few male coworkers who always compliment me on my 'good days' - lol - and even if they didn't, the poor things can't hide their eye movements, lol... but because I know that these are honorable men and nice people, it doesn't bother me. It's a nice ego boost.

If my boss repeatedly did it in a way that made me feel uncomfortable and if it seemed as though it was affecting my reviews or job status, I would probably figure out a nice way to handle it - but I don't have that issue.

Some of my bosses intentionally don't say anything about appearance - probably because they fear SH laws. But they'll compliment something like my hair or something like that.

greenbunny
11-02-2007, 10:25 AM
So, basically you tell your coworkers that their blouses are ugly and they can't match their clothes for shit. :p

You're right...I should go back to my old M.O. of "Hey, nice ass!" :cool:

Orion
11-02-2007, 10:40 AM
You're right...I should go back to my old M.O. of "Hey, nice ass!" :cool:

If someone said that to me right now (after having two babies) I think I would have to hug them! LOL

wendalah
11-02-2007, 11:18 AM
I change my haircolor frequently, and both male and female coworkers will comment on it and compliment me (if they like it).

I've had male coworkers tell me they like the way I dress, but in a "you dress nicely" rather than a "Woo, you look hot" manner.

eponymous
11-02-2007, 03:31 PM
If a straight man told me that I was cute, I'd assume there was some interest on his part. If he said that I looked cute today, or he liked my shirt, I wouldn't think that. I think the age of the compliment-giver matters, as well as age. Something can sound grandfatherly coming from an elderly man if it's not lascivious and I wouldn't necessarily assume that it was an indication that he was interested, vs. he would have been interested at 25!

carrie9142
11-02-2007, 04:18 PM
I once had a male co-worker tell me I looked "full-figured" in a particular shirt. I had to explain to him that that wasn't the compliment he thought it was. He was also the guy who non-sexually flirts with everyone, so it didn't bother me. I had another boss who made references to my boobs, panties, etc. That wasn't ok!

Kimberland30
11-02-2007, 06:33 PM
I give compliments all the time at work...like "Hey bitch, nice shoes" or "Chris, your biceps look great in that shirt, and you're HOT!". Sexual harrassment? Huh?

Honestly, we have a very close knit office, so compliments are flung around all the time. It's always on the up and up, but if I'm going to compliment a guy and I don't want him to take it wrong - I'll just say "hey, I'm not flirting with you or anything, but those are cool pants". And it's not just at the office, I just complimented some guy at 7-11 on the obviously new tattoo he had on his shoulder.