Confident, secure people know that it takes nothing away from them to give someone a real compliment without a last minute unnecessary negative tag on. As in "You look great ...for your age." (Really!? Do you know how old she is, or are you just guessing? Would she not look great if she were younger or older?)
So says Inga Watkins, author of 'Faux Pas To Fabulous' - An Insiders Manners Guide To Help You Go from Making Missteps To Being Socially Savvy. Inga, who is also the Founding Director of Modelquette, basically wants to help keep you from saying unnecessary dumb things.
"Beautiful shoes, but I know your feet are killing you." (How do you know? Do you want her to tell you whether or not her feet are hurting? Does it matter?) "Nice dress, but you should have worn it with a belt." (You've now left her with no way to just say thank you. Obviously she chose not to wear a belt.)
Inga says, these type of statements are actually insults masquerading as compliments. (I agree)
There is no need to qualify a true compliment. (I agree)
Inga says, people that give left-handed compliments fall into one of three categories.
They are the people that:
1) really mean it as a compliment and are ignorant to the fact that what they have said is actually an insult.
2) are too insecure to compliment you or insult you outright, so they give you a lukewarm version of both.
3) feel threatened and hope to take you down a peg by pointing out some perceived flaw.
A compliment is an expression of approval or admiration for something someone has, has done, or has said. One given from the heart will spread good feelings.
If you think that someone looks great, just say, "you look great." If you like someone's shoes, just say, "I like your shoes", or "nice shoes." If someone is wearing a dress that you admire, just say, "nice dress" or something similar. Confident, secure people know that it takes nothing away from them to give someone a real compliment.
Couldn't have said it better myself Inga!
Delusionally Young & Yours,