But the whole notion of compliments has been abused by some ungrateful species. Take for instance Naomi, tell her “you look smart today” and you will live to tell the story. “What? I am smart today? What about other days? You mean last weekend when I had the orange dress on for the girl’s night out you did not like it? You call yourself a friend…” By the time Naomi is done, you will have even forgotten what sparked off this outburst.
Others like Sheila will want to milk the compliment until it’s dry. All I told her was, “That dress looks nice on you”. I wish I had kept it to myself! Sheila said, “Really? Actually you are not the only one who ahs noticed. Even Jane said the same thing. When I bought it at Woolworths, I was told there are only three other dresses like this in Uganda…” If you don’t politely excuse yourself, Sheila is likely to give you an account of how the dress came into being, from the moment cotton was planted by some peasant Thai farmer until the day it graced the windows of Woolworths.
How about those who force compliments out of you? Cathy is back from the salon and she begins with, “Don’t you like my new hairstyle?” Eager to continue reading your copy of Elle magazine, you look up and say, “Yeah, it looks fabulous” but Cathy isn’t done yet. “is that all?” she asks plaintively. Haven’t you noticed how the maroon highlights match with the maroon earrings, maroon bangles…?” for your transgressions to be forgiven, you must listen to her.
It seems like such a small issue but as you and see, compliments may end up taking a completely different turn from the one you intended. I strongly suggest you listen and watch out intently for your friend’s reactions to compliments. That way, you know who deserves them.