Compliments for Women - Top 10 Good and Bad Things to Say
Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,
When my wife looks tired, I tell her, not to insult her, but to let her know that I notice that she is not her usual self. Is that wrong?
Dear Can't win,
Although you are well meaning and just want you wife to know that you notice her tiredness, many folks feel that pointing out that they look tired actually suggests that they look unattractive.
According to a survey of 2,000 men and women in the United Kingdom, the number one worst "compliment" to say to a woman is that she looks tired. The best compliments were about weight loss and nice smiles (Richard Alleyne, "A man's guide to delivering a compliment. Want to insult a woman? Then offer her a compliment," telegraph.co.uk, April 14, 2012).
Compliments are supposed to be an expression of respect, praise, or admiration. The compliment about looking tired can be considered a backhanded compliment, which is an insult or put down.
Alleyne reports that 87 percent of men say that they give up to three compliments every day to their partners. However, apparently only half the women surveyed take compliments well. Perhaps, it is the type of compliment given that is not well received. The good and bad compliments as reported by Alleyne are below.