Give Her A Compliment, Man!

7 Apr

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I recently did a very manly thing: I complimented a girl.

I told her she looked gorgeous, actually. There was no ulterior motive. I wasn’t dared to do it. It wasn’t feigned or forced. I thought she looked particularly pretty, and I told her so.

Granted, I told her via social media (I know this girl well, but we currently live 9000 miles apart). And sure, I may have been referring to her new Twitter profile picture. But the sincerity of the compliment was there all the same.

Shortly thereafter she tweeted: “When guys give you sincere compliments >>>> #ilikethat

Presumably, my compliment made her feel good about herself. And I felt good for offering it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that guys don’t compliment their female counterparts often enough. I don’t know why, exactly…is it a pride thing? An ego thing? A matter of confidence or lack thereof? Is it that guys have lost the art of complimenting women? Have boys not been taught how to compliment by their fathers? Has feminism played a part? Again, I don’t really know. I can only speak from experience.

In my case, yes – some of those things have played a role, particularly confidence, perhaps pride, and probably training. Concerning confidence, I think it’s something all guys deal struggle to find at some point in their lives,  some more than others. Guys are supposed to do “manly” things, and complimenting women doesn’t seem very high on that list. Instead of affirming a women, we would rather affirm ourselves, or – if we absolutely have to – perhaps another guy. Rarely a woman.

In that same thread, I think pride or ego has something to do with it, as well. In our journey to become a “manly man,” it’s more impressive within the male community to shag a woman than compliment her. And while it may give you another trophy for your Sex Shelf, it leaves her feeling lonely and used and yourself unfulfilled. Offering a compliment, however, is a small – but significant – win for both parties.

And finally – yes, I do believe that it’s a father’s responsibility to train his son to compliment women. Just as I was taught to open the door for a women (and hold it), stand when a women enters the room, and slide a chair out from the under the table for her for her to sit (though I’ve mostly relegated that one to special occasions, like dates), I do believe that the “art” of compliments should also be taught boys by their fathers or another significant male figure in their life.

I also recognize that the ability to compliment is relative to the amount of compliments one has received during his lifetime. If compliments – or any affirming words – were not spoken in the home, then a man is less likely to speak them naturally or comfortably himself. If, however, compliments and other words of affirmation – such as “I love you,” “Good job,” “You did really good,” “You look fantastic” – were spoken often, then a man may be more likely to speak them freely.

I’ve been intentional over the years to be more complimentary and affirming in my words. It didn’t exactly come naturally, but I know how such words make me feel, and I wanted other people to feel good about themselves, too. So I made an intentional effort to begin speaking such words to everyone, not just women. Now, it does come naturally to me. If a women is deserving of a compliment, I am eager to give one. And even if she’s not – I try to offer one anyways. I believe that all women have worth and value, and that they ought to hear it more often, especially from men. Men have been guilty of some horrendous crimes against women, and for that women ought to know that there are still men out there who respect them, who honor them, who value them, and who will protect them.

I know it’s no small thing to compliment a women. In one sense, it’s almost like putting your heart out on the line – making yourself vulnerable and risking rejection. But, just like love, it’s usually worth the risk, and you both feel good for it. I’ve found that – when spoken sincerely and without ulterior motives – a compliment can speak volumes to a girl. It affirms her self worth and esteem.

Scripture never actually uses the word “compliment.” But it certainly has some things to say about our tongue and the way we use it.

Proverbs 18:21 says, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” (Message)

Proverbs 12:18 – “Rash language cuts and maims, but there is healing in the words of the wise.” (Message)

Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (NIV)

A women appreciates knowing that she is valued – that her efforts to look good have been noticed, that her new haircut looks nice, that you like her new earrings, etc. Imagine you – a manly-man – have just made an incredible catch, or drained the winning shot, or rocked a solo,  or taken a breath-taking photo or whatever it is you enjoy doing well. You would want someone to notice and compliment you for it too, right? Well, so do girls, they just appreciate compliments for different things than guys do.

So the next time you’re out with friends, on a date, or just in public, observe the women around you. Did she do her hair differently today? Tell her you noticed. Is she wearing a new dress? Tell her it looks pretty on her. Do her eyes have a special sparkle? Tell her they’re attractive. Married men, I think you have more reason to compliment your wife. Not because you ought to, but because you want to. And she deserves to hear it. Single guys, begin with the women you know well – your friends or perhaps even your family. Begin with small things  like hair, clothes, etc. and work up to bigger things, like personality and quality traits. If you’re comfortable doing that, I think it’s even ok to compliment a stranger (assuming you use discretion and taste)! You never know – that compliment be the one thing that makes her entire day!

So I’ve only got one thing left to say: Give her a compliment, man!

-Adam Rozanas

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Since January of 2012 he has been serving with TWR Radio 155 in Johannesburg, South Africa as an on-air Presenter, Music Manager, and Social Media Coordinator. In his spare time Adam enjoys attending concerts, hitting the gym, reading, and writing. He’s also an aspiring photographer. Connect with Adam on Twitter, Facebook, and on his blog.

Image via Studio Amore

3 Responses to “Give Her A Compliment, Man!”

  1. For the Love of God April 7, 2013 at 19:32 #

    True and good stuff, the 5 Love Languages comes to mind too, one of which is words of afffirmation.

    Good stuff, thanks for posting!

  2. Heather April 7, 2013 at 19:58 #

    Hello,
    I appreciate your very thoughtful article. I believe that the art giving sincere compliments has been neglected by both men and women. Compliments are a helpful way to edify and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ. We all need to do it more. However, I would like to give a bit of feedback from a woman’s perspective; women desire to be complimented on more than just their appearance. She might also be proud of that breathtaking photo, sweet solo, or sinking that shot. Many women have been given nothing but compliments on their appearance and consequently it is emphasized to them that their only value to men is in their looks and not their achievements, intellect, or personality. You advised men to work up to ‘big things’ like personality and quality traits, but I say dive right in. Noticing and remarking on the passion she has for her career or the way she never gives up on a friend might just make her day more than a comment on her hair. To be clear, I don’t think it is wrong to compliment a woman on her appearance, we do like that, however, I would challenge men to change their default compliment setting away from appearance.

    -Heather

    • More Than A Beard April 7, 2013 at 21:16 #

      Thanks for the insights, Heather!

      As much as my wife appreciates it when I recognize a new outfit or compliment her on her hair, I try to also regularly mention how much I appreciate what she does for our family and how much I value her as my friend. Our wives should hear every day that we are proud of them and that we are thankful for them.

      Men: Cherish your wife! She wears a lot of hats and deserves all the recognition we can give them and more.

      If you struggle with giving compliments, check out these suggestions from All Pro Dad– http://www.allprodad.com/top10/marriage/10-specific-compliments-to-give-your-wife/

      Challenge- Compliment your wife/fiance/girlfriend on something different each day this week!

      -Dave

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