Some people have a knack for giving lovely compliments. “Love your new hairdo!” is always welcome.
“Delicious dinner! Thanks!” goes over well.
“Terrific dress!” Well done.
But then there’s the other kind of compliment–the kind that makes me wish the person had quit talking just one phrase sooner. The disclaimers are always disastrous, such as “You look great for your age.” “You look more and more like your mother–as you get older.”
Sometimes the disclaimer comes first: “Maybe it’s because I was so hungry, but this dinner is delicious!”
Years ago, another teacher stopped by my classroom one winter day. “I love your outfit! You are wearing such nice clothes this year.” Really? Were my clothes that awful in previous years?
From another teacher: “You always look so good in pictures. I just can’t get over it.”
Or, “Oh, good! You finally got your hair cut.”
Or the priceless gem from my beloved: “You don’t look as bedraggled as you do some mornings.” (Well, I had been feeling bad all week.) And I should add that he loves to bring me a cup of coffee as soon as I arise–no doubt to help me rise above the bedraggled look.
Steve makes me laugh when he gives a nice compliment and just can’t let it lie. He’ll add, “Hey! That was pretty good, wasn’t it? Did you like the way I said that?” I tell him such remarks take away from the compliment, but he just can’t help himself.
So what compliments have you been given that have that little twist that lessens the joy of the compliment?
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