One of my favorite women on Twitter, Rianne Meijer (@globalistaa), tweeted this month ‘Giving a beginner’s course compliments’: „’What a fantastic dress’ – great; ‘What a fantastic dress, nxxken?’ -> not fine.” Indeed. It’s that easy to make a proper compliment.
Until I saw that her tweet was in response to a man who had written to her that since #metoo he “unfortunately” no longer dares to give compliments, including “what a fantastic dress”, because he is afraid of being misunderstood.
Shortly after that, I heard another man say the exact same thing, on the editors of the Good Work podcast that we started again this month, and I started to have my doubts. Has it become more difficult in recent years to make a compliment?
When I asked about it on Twitter, it turned out not to be too bad. It’s not that people have become more sensitive, but rather that compliments or remarks that are experienced as inappropriate today used to be – yes, mine included – but people kept their mouths shut about it and now they do. say.
In any case, I received a lot of inappropriate compliments. And so I thought: let me expand Rianne Meijer’s course a bit. If you often doubt a compliment, or worse, never dare to give them at all again, use these tips and you’ll never have to worry again!
1 The most important thing about a compliment is your intention. If you sincerely want to make a compliment, almost anything is allowed; if your intention is sexual I wouldn’t do it.
2 In any case, an appropriate compliment should not include any body parts. So not: “You have beautiful breasts in that dress”, “I am always distracted by your beautiful legs”, “Do you want to join this working group? We still need tits”, “I can already see two reasons why students like to be taught by you”, or other constructions with ‘curves’, ‘tets’, or ‘sticky lips’.
3 Also avoid words like ‘sexy’, ‘tampon’, ‘cleavage’, ‘kissing’, ‘lazy’, ‘horny’, ‘cup size’, ‘thong’, ‘sex bomb’, and expressions such as: ‘is it true what they say about tall men’ when you ‘just’ wants to make a compliment.
4 Do not look at the complimented person from head to toe during your compliment. For example, don’t say: “that pregnancy looks good on you” or: “what a beautiful necklace” if you focus your attention fully on the breast.
5 I wouldn’t compliment the body anyway. So not: “in this dress you look a lot less fat”, “you look well nourished” or: “everything is done”. Haha, really not.
Also read: The coworker who can’t wait to kiss his coworkers again, the antivaxer and seven more office types
6 Rather not elaborate too much. That rarely makes a compliment stronger. So not: “nice dress – performance appraisal?” but simply: “nice dress”. Finished.
7 Just like all those other “well-intentioned” additions like “for a woman”, “for a Moroccan”, or “for your age” – please omit. And no subordinate clause that starts with ‘but’ after your compliment.
8 Take age and hierarchy into account. A compliment about a dress will feel more uncomfortable if a 60-year-old man gives it to a 23-year-old woman than if a 26-year-old man does. It also becomes more uncomfortable if a supervisor compliments a subordinate.
9 Don’t just compliment women or men, but women and men – why not? “If men also complimented the appearance of men, compliments to women about their appearance would no longer be the same.” awkward be,” wrote one reader. And it is. Men are allowed to say “darling” to female co-workers as long as they say so to all men.
10 Why should compliments always be about appearance anyway, wrote another. Try something different! “About a good presentation, your promotion, that you ran a marathon, that you are sober for one year, that your cupcakes are delicious. What poverty!” to always get that look again. Really huh?
11 In any case, never say as an introduction to your compliment: “May I compliment you”? That sounds like a dirty uncle who can’t keep his hands to himself.
12 Oh yeah keep your hands to yourself. That seems to me article 1 of the appropriate compliment: keep your hands to yourself, unless by mutual consent.
One reader wrote: “I miss making a genuine compliment, just to make someone happy.” I thought that was a bit of a whiner. Because it’s not all that complicated, just like Rianne Meijer said.
In fact, we all need compliments. So giving it should be encouraged. “If it is really sincere and a token of respect for the other person, then a compliment is healing for the sender, receiver and whoever happens to be there,” wrote one reader. And so it is.
How was your week? Tips for Japke-d. Bouma through @Japked on Twitter.
These were the Itching tweets of the week
@Japked heard today. From an office man mouth. Giraffe Consultation. For the transcending perspective of senior management. #so that
— Ben Vloon (@VloonBen) September 22, 2021
People who close their email with ‘Please action’. I don’t know….., it’s not that I’m overflowing with energy now to take that action. @Japked, is this inspiration for you to write about cringe-inducing email shutdowns? If so, take action.
— ⬅️Deborah (@DeborahBothe) September 24, 2021
“Your ow moment and your wow moment” @Japked #teamday #work jargon #tice language
— AllisonB (@allisonBthere) September 24, 2021
A ‘hybrid scanario’ ‘below-the-threshold threat’
Fortunately, we have the ‘whole of government approach’
My goodness… what do you want to communicate?? @Japked #dtv #easy language
— Pʟᴀᴀᴛᴊᴇsʙᴏᴇғ (@picturescrook) September 27, 2021
I read in a bio of a new colleague that he:
Passionate about management reporting
I think he needs to go to the doctor with his pee (case @Japked HELP)
— SabinA (@SabG) September 27, 2021
A version of this article also appeared in NRC in the morning of September 29, 2021
Avoid words like ‘sexy’ and keep your hands to yourself: this is how you make compliments at work
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