The 2 Cardinal Rules
1. When giving a compliment the first rule is that the compliment MUST be believable. If not, the giver just looks like a tool with some unknown motive. Maybe they pity the recipient? Maybe they want to get something in return like cash, sexual favors, or Harvest Moon with a cinnamon and sugar rim? Regardless. No one is better off after an unbelievable compliment. There’s also the possibility of the compliment maker-upper will NEVER be believed again.
Let’s have an example,
ONE of the following compliments will result in flattery. Can you guess which one?
A) “You remind me of this hot girl I had a crush on in high school”
B) “You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen”
If you answered A then you are correct! Even though it is the less flattering of the two, the fact that it isn’t over-the-top makes it believable and has potential for blushing!
Yes, this particular compliment would make me roll my eyes, but I’m also HEAVILY cynical. Yes, I’d have an easier time believing A than B, but either way – I think you’re a fool. But the goal here isn’t to make me NOT think you’re an absolute boob, but to make me believe your compliment!
Let’s go back to a compliment I received in the past from my friend Zahra - “You look like a young Marlon Brando”. Young Marlon Brando? Really? One of the largest sex symbols of the 20th century and I look like him? If there were even a remote resemblance don’t you think I would’ve heard that before? At least once? If I’m comparable to someone of this stature than why am I single, eating my way through a box of Wal-Mart cupcakes on weekend nights? Not only do I not believe this trash, Zahra has succeeded in reminding me of how much I don’t, in any way, resemble a sex symbol . . .
*** A supplement to Cardinal Rule 1: Trying to make a wild compliment more believable by adding an unfavorable twist? Never a good idea. The recipient will focus only on the negative. “You look like Jean Harlow if she wore no make-up and sweat pants.” Notice how the “Jean Harlow” aspect is utterly forgotten, while the “No Make-up and Sweat Pants” seem to be screaming out at you? This has gone from “Potential Compliment” to an insult that says “Are you trying to give the impression that you’ve given up or are you just THAT trashy?” It’s still there, isn’t it! NO MAKE-UP! SWEAT PANTS!!!
2. When giving a compliment, it must be considered a compliment to both parties. You may think something is extremely flattering while the other person will think “what an ass face”.
Let’s have a short scenario. Lets say there’s a girl who has a fetish for astrophysicists in wheelchairs. (Hey! Who am I to judge?!) She would think that Stephen Hawking is H-O-T. A Brief History of the Universe is like porn thanks to the photo of the author!
Yet, if this girl were to approach a guy and say – “you are giving me a bigger panty puddle than Stephen Hawking” - her mark would simply think: “bitch”
Let’s take a look back at the latest gem I’ve received: “You look like Yul Brynner”
Yul Brynner? Wait! YUL BRYNNER?!?!?! Fuck you!
Christ! Now not only am I pissed, I have to make a conscious effort to never be seen with a lollipop in my mouth or I could be compared to Telly Savalas next! I don’t care if he did nude modeling in his early career. Ron Jeremy has done porn! This does NOT make him hot.
A Brief Summary
In short, I think the motto to live by when attempting a compliment is: “Don’t shoot for the moon – because if I miss (which is certainly going to be the case) I won’t land among
the stars – I’ll look like a tool and no one will want to be my friend.
Also – unless you are ABSOLUTELY positive that your compliment can, in no way, be an insult to the intended person – keep it the hell to yourself!