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Excessively complimenting people

Nervous Rex

High-functioning autistic
V.I.P Member
A lesson I learned as a child. Thanks to a fictional television character named Eddie Haskell.

Asking my mother why this creepy kid always tells Mrs. Cleaver how lovely she looks.

And how Mrs. Cleaver wasn't so flattered. o_O

Interesting. Eddie Haskell was such an archetype that he has a psychological phenomenon named after him: The Eddie Haskell effect. It's people who are overly polite to authority figures, but change into ruthless bullies when the authority figures are gone.

Psychology Today article on the Eddie Haskell effect
 

Nervous Rex

High-functioning autistic
V.I.P Member
I try to be a little careful with the compliments, because these days you never know how people will react. Lets say I compliment a woman in some way, next thing you know I get arrested for sexual harassment or using the wrong words or something. It's not worth it. You can't say anthing anymore, someone always finds something negative about it. You can say something innocent like "I like your jacket, it looks nice' and then you get arrested.

That's a hazard and why, in some environments, compliments must be more generic and neutral. My employer has regular anti-harassment training. Years ago, after one training session, my manager went around jokingly telling everyone, "You look adequate."
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Oddly enough this made me think of a very brief scene in a film called "Clear And Present Danger". Where Harrison Ford as a CIA analyst compliments his much older subordinate about her appearance.

Not sure what the filmmakers had in mind, but the scene always made a cringe a bit. Seemed awkward and contrived. Or were they attempting to project how his character didn't really fit in to the office end of the business ? I'm not sure... :oops:

Funny to recall the same character played by other actors citing that he was just an analyst rather than a field operative. But did Jack Ryan really have a penchant for working in the field rather than an office? Or was Harrison Ford simply channeling Dr. Indiana Jones? :p
 
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Nervous Rex

High-functioning autistic
V.I.P Member
Oddly enough this made me think of a very brief scene in a film called "Clear And Present Danger". Where Harrison Ford as a CIA analyst compliments his much older subordinate about her appearance.

Not sure what the filmmakers had in mind, but the scene always made a cringe a bit. Seemed awkward and contrived. Or were they attempting to project how his character didn't really fit in to the office end of the business ? I'm not sure... :oops:

Compliments can really be a social minefield. People can think you're being disingenuous, manipulative, sarcastic, or creepy. It's like you have to think 3 moves ahead before you say anything ... so just like all social situations.

I think a key to a successful compliment is that it's sincere, true, and not selfishly motivated. I don't make up compliments, but when I see something worth complimenting, I try to speak up.
 

paloftoon

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
There is no "rule" about this. Context is what determines whether you're being excessive about your compliments or not. Maybe with the one person who got angry at OP, it is likely the OP was being excessive about the compliments and they didn't feel genuine. Sometimes, actions speak louder than words.
 
Wow.. well yes I am the one to usually point out mistakes and errors (I know I’ve made a ton of spelling and grammatical errors in every post so far, I’m trying to leave it alone.)
which usually makes things awkward or tense.. I don’t usually use compliments to diffuse such situations but rather accept it for what it is.. I don’t have a problem with criticism, in fact I look forward to it.. it’s usually the only way I adapt to things I don’t openly see and so find it very helpful most times, even if actually intended to stir the pot it still usually helps show where comforts lie and where things need work.

I do try to compliment everything that registers to me, sometimes yes in the middle of a sentence, sometimes hours out from or randomly out of the blue as a thought comes to mind.. I find myself constantly in a beautiful world of ominous darkness, lit solely by tiny emanations of light, distant stars or glimmers of hope, their beauty unrecognized without the envelopment of darkness to highlight their faint existence.. it’s these lights that always guide my way back from the depths, the unknown constellations, the things that we don’t always notice on autopilot.. the things the business of the day drowns out, the kindnesses, the generosity, the appreciation and affordance of time. I compliment because I know an idea of how much goes unseen and unrecognized, attempts made on the daily to be better than we were yesterday, every day in the smallest ways. I compliment because I know how much it can mean. I myself have a lot of trouble accepting compliments but I know the power they can have. The trouble I have is that there may be others like me out there, that compliments can be devastating to.. I cannot get upset at someone for doing a normally good thing or expect them to do differently for me as they would my other of society.. but many compliments have pushed me to self-harm. I still have trouble talking to people about it simply because it is so logically wrong.. and I understand that it is.. I make no claim that my reasoning makes any sense as it doesn’t to me.. but to give perspective I was called to a house on the bluffs in Toronto to work for a builder that I respect above all others. I got the call because apparently nobody else could say that they could do the job on good quality inside the expected timeline (usually one of the reasons had of me.) so I took the call. It was a larger job that several co-workers worked on as well but aside from a few oak beams with trundles and corbels on a cathedral ceiling, some faux beams in the master with flush endcaps and corbels, as well as 12”x12” hemlock beams for several fireplace mantels; they needed multiple vintage hemlock beams across the dining room and kitchen of the main floor. 2 - 16’ spans wall to wall continued on the opposite wall side into 2 - 25’ spans wall to beam, a 38’ span wall to wall, capping the ends of the secondary beams and a few interconnections and corbels. All beams were previously bought prior to my arrival and integrity was compromised, not something I could install overhead and walk away from when 400lbs+ beams could kill someone.
So after a lot of discussion and one of the first jobs I was entertaining saying no to in decades (business is literally built on finding creative solutions and reputation), I signed on. Bought a few new tools and supplies and was there every single day from 10am until 10pm hollowing and carving out the outer casings of beams and engineering structural beams for both the ceiling as well as the beams interiors, made to interlock together when installed. That job was the hardest I’d worked in years, and when six guys weren’t enough to get the last beam fitted in place, created a structural support that modified how we could leverage it into place, made progress conforming it to the ceiling and unknowingly broke my wrist while supporting it until another could shift over to set the anchoring in place. I didn’t realize the break until days later long after leaving the job but we finished we less than a half day to spare in a 2 week timeline for something that would usually be quoted at a month or more. The homeowners were literally in tears at the work done.. sorry, -happy- tears, they couldn’t express how thankful they were and how good a job it was to them.. I had trouble hearing it but dismissed as usual ‘all in a days work.’ The builder thanked me personally in the same, having been one of the supportive people with me my entire career. But driving home (1 1/2hr drive) I had to pull to the side and wait as overwhelm took me at about halfway.. my mind and thoughts went to how horrible a person I was, how I should have walked away, how I should scar my face so that others are off put by appearance alone, probably based on how many times I had to explain at various points that I’m socially awkward, or experience migraines as reasoning for appearing ‘off’ as when I have to focus on work under tight schedule, I’m not always the best at hiding my quirks and it makes people inquisitive. That was a long belief in my very awkward years, that if my appearance was more haggard or caused discomfort that a lot of the people who weren’t as open-minded would already be discouraged from interaction, thereby allotting the possibility of less amounts of negative social occurrences. I know that it’s an issue and I’m working on it, but I haven’t run into someone that has communicated the same, rather I hear often that most people feel they are invisible or go in-noticed.. I love that feeling.. but knowing majority of others don’t, I do what I can to suit needs I can recognize.. and compliments or even just smiles are an easy, minimal effort way that can always do to try to make each day a bit better. I thought it was just the morals, manners and politeness that was driven into me to be appropriately social and not bluntly honest. I am extremely formal with those I don’t know or am not comfortable with, I get along exceptionally well with odd persons like befriending a local schizophrenic homeless beggar before and throughout my teenage years, many ADHD friends that were always professed to be too much for others or were befitting of the stereotype to a near T, others yet with other disorders, illnesses or mental issues. I learned between all of them that a tiny act like that can be the difference between a good day and a bad one.. so even if I’m having a bad day, I’ll still try to pay attention for a real compliment as I don’t like sugarcoating or exaggerating; because if I can make at least one person happy, it will make my day better.. hell, I could be drowning in excrement but as long as those around me are happy, I’m still happy to be there drowning.. it sounds entirely outlandish to say but it’s truth, I could never give up on myself as long as I could still support those around me somehow, making their days better was sometimes the epitome of my existence and the highlight of my days.
Very good topic, as with many here.. I’m getting absorbed into the many intriguing reads here and detest that I didn’t find the forum sooner. . Cheers!
 

AprilR

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I do compliment people a lot but its because i am scared they will dislike and bully me.
 

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