Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

A question for otherwise normal people about compliments (women related)

Hey girls,

This is something I've been wondering about. How do you react if a male stranger compliments what you are wearing. Do you feel like its creepy, annoying, nice, a dumb pickup line or something else?

I've a few times over my life complimented a stranger on what she's wearing. I only do this when I kind of feel compelled to, because she's wearing something really cool (like a unique winter jacket) or has an outfit that goes together exceptionally well. Honestly I've only felt like complementing a girl I didn't know maybe six times in my entire life, of course they don't know that, for all they know I complement women constantly and it's a stupid pickup line.

I've complemented a few guys too, they seem to appreciate it, in other words they react the way I'd expect them too. Guys don't wear much interesting clothing though, so that's pretty rare. 

Is it just that its so rare for a man to give a woman he doesn't know an honest complement that women are kind of trained to not see it as honest? Today I saw a girl with a really really cool (antique?) jacket at Starbucks...  so I complemented her on it, and added on that I really do think it's cool and this isn't just a pickup line. LOL, Oh man adding that last part in seemed to only make it worse!! :D 

This girl

I, personally, never liked compliments. Even if it were about what I'm wearing, I'm not comfortable with compliments. But I'm pretty sure every other girl I know would love to have them.

From a guy

1) I know the fear that I'd be perceived as "hitting on" someone has often held me back from interacting with women I don't know in that fashion.

2) I find it mildly amusing that the Google ads generated an ad for "How to flirt with girls" on this post...



The Hero's Code:

Show up. Pay Attention. Speak the Truth. Let Go of the Outcome.

Yeah, the Google adds are

Yeah, the Google adds are funny! 

 Perhaps my problem is that I too readily interact with people I don't know, even at the risk of it coming off wrong (often I talk before I think). Biggest thing there is political discussions in a coffee shop, street fair or something like that. I often feel strongly compelled to throw in my $.02, even when I know they'll totally disagree with me (that second part is rare, most people who live around here are like minded).   

"othewise normal" lol

Yeah, you probably didn't need to add the part about the pickup line hehe.  But I think it's nice to get a compliment, as long as it's not something creepy like "nice rack" haha.
"I tell you, we are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different." - Kurt Vonnegut
Monica's picture


I love compliments on my clothing/taste. My first inclination is not to be suspicious when I receive one. But if the compliment is followed by more personal communication, "what's your name? Do you come here often?" "can I get your phone number?", I'm out of there. LOL!



 I don't know if I qualify as an otherwise-normal person, but your question has me reflecting on how I have felt about that.  I have a male friend who compliments me on what I wear - and usually I particularly like the piece he compliments, so it feels genuine. I don't think I have ever felt uncomfortable about such compliments, because they are a compliment on my taste, not my person. 

The creepiness factor only comes in when I feel like it is unwarrented, or if there are undertones of leering This factor does not come up so often now that I am in my 40's but when it does it feels wrong, partly because I don't feel I put myself out there for that.

So I guess I would look at your motivation: if you are complimenting someone's taste it will come across that way. If you are using the oportunity to hit on someone she will know.   

So I guess I would look at

So I guess I would look at your motivation: if you are complimenting someone's taste it will come across that way. If you are using the oportunity to hit on someone she will know.  

Ok, so what's probably happening is that they think I'm hitting on them. I never ask for a number or something from a random girl (personally I think that'd be weird). It must simply be coming off as a pickup line, since the consensus seems to be that it would  otherwise be a nice thing to do. 

 It is interesting that you say "she will know." There was an article in science about that kind of instinctive reaction, it's not very reliable (not in reference to you personally!). Women tend to think men are coming on to them more than they are but often don't pick up on it when men actually are. Men more readily think women are romantically interested, but are worst of all at noticing when they actually are. 

 Ah well, I must be falling into that first group. Not a big deal though, just something that had puzzled me.

 I'll see what kind of reaction I get in the future (being careful to do it in a friendly, non-aggressive tone). Probably won't be awhile though before the specific situation comes up again, since I'm pretty busy and haven't been spending much time in public places. Thanks for the answer!