Now, any guy who has ever talked to a woman knows that complimenting her is a risky undertaking. Women are beyond pessimistic when it comes to compliments. Generally, she'll either:
1) Refuse to believe your sincerity,
2) Give you a long list of reasons why you're wrong, or
3) All of the above.
After pondering this for the last, I don't know, entire lifetime of mine, I've come to some speculations on why this might be so.
We all know women face a tough road when it comes to looks. Not so much from men, although we are a shallow bunch that loves to judge a book by its cover. No, where it really sucks to be a woman is in the view of other women. Women are ferocious, spiteful, and vicious to each other when it comes to looks. This is from her weight to her makeup to her hair to her outfit...
It is always amusing to me to hear women complain about how fake the female models in men's magazine's look. I have had enough female friends in my life that I've thumbed through a women's magazine or two. They have about ten million more ads than men's magazines, and in all of them, the models look like severely anorexic robots with clown makeup and sci-fi hair. It is everything that women judge, but taken to an impressive excess. What's fake about the women in men's magazines? They airbrush out the stretchmarks, and they usually have overly-large-yet-curiously-perky boobies. That's about it. But I digress.
Women are judged on their appearance from the day they're born, and after awhile, they grow very insecure about it. Who wouldn't? I guarantee, if men had to display their genitalia 24/7 for constant judgment, we'd be a lot more insecure, too. And probably a lot more anorexic; I think that sight would make me lose my appetite.
I don't know who has a tougher time in the long run, beautiful women, or plain/cute/average women.* In their youth, beautiful women don't have to develop a personality. Or brains. Or social skills of any variety. They're given a free pass on every facet of social interaction. I can't tell you how many times a night a 20-something hottie comes up to me onstage and asks to get her song played for free, and in front of all the songs people are tipping me $10 and $20 for. When I laugh and refuse, you can see the fuses blowing in what passes for a mind; she cannot compute being turned down. It's never happened to her before.
Unfortunately, 20-something hotties are usually not so hott a few years down the road. And then what do they do? The only currency they possess is their fast-fading looks, and it's an ever-falling exchange rate.
Average, cute, or plain women on the other hand often develop a sense of humor, an intellect, an ability to listen, and interact, and generally be a good person. And I can't tell you how many times I've seen an average looking girl get hotter and hotter in my eyes based solely on her personality. But she'll be insecure about her looks, I promise you. All her life, she's been judged and found wanting, through no fault of her own.
Yeah, it's a tough, tough world for women. Then throw in men, tossing out the compliments. Men usually do this for one of three reasons:
1) An attempt at manipulation (usually to try to get laid)
2) A feeling of obligation (usually an attempt to avoid drama while in a long-term relationship)
Let's look at number one first. Cause that's how I roll. (not with the manipulation, but with taking sequences sequentially)
Women are smarter than men think they are. They don't think the same way, and don't care about the same things, and often come across to men as intellectually inferior. Heh. Don't believe it for a second! Different does not always mean lesser, a lesson both sexes have yet to learn. I could go off on the different ways men and women think, but that's a topic for a whole blog of its own. Or perhaps a series. So what does this mean when it comes to complimenting women to try to get somewhere with them?
While you're thinking about how smooth you are, they're seeing right through you. When it comes to relationships, women are far more devious than any straight man could ever be. Their major weakness is often that they're so Byzantine in their plotting that they have trouble relating to the straight-forward nature of men. So why does complimenting women work to manipulate them so often?
Because they want it to. Trust me guys, you're not going to talk a girl into wanting you. She either does or doesn't, and has likely made up her mind long before you even start trying. You're not manipulating them, they're manipulating themselves. Let your ego deflate and go with it.
So number one? Useless.
Number two - also known as "Of course you look great in that dress, honey" - I've never reached that stage in a relationship, so I can't speak much about it. It seems the height of absurdity to me, but maybe I'll understand when I've been down that road a few miles.
Number three - ah, that's the crux. Complimenting a woman because you mean it.
See, here is the tragedy; I think men innately hold women in a higher regard than they're allowed to express. Women today have been raised to be bitchy, and men know it. Men are no longer raised to be assertive, aggressive, and self-confident. So telling a woman something that she's going to immediately either dismiss or get contrary over - that's not something most modern men can handle.
I intend to write a post later on the negative effects of modern male/female relations. But for now, I'm just going to say it's such a shame that men are in the position they're in on this topic, because I think a lot of men see women as beautiful overall, not just the rare girl who's been starved and made-up and cinched up to meet some artificial standard of beauty.
So men, take my cousin Ben's advice; reach down inside your pants. Feel that ballsack; hold it in your hand, and say to yourself "I am a MAN. I can DO this thing!"
Now that you have come to perhaps the most important realization you can have in this modern world, the next time you see a girl with pretty hair, walk up to her and say "Excuse me, ma'am. I just wanted to tell you you have pretty hair." Then walk off. Don't wait for a response; you don't need one. When you see a girl with a beautiful smile, say "Pardon me, but your smile just brightened my day a little bit." Then walk on. Don't do it for any gain on your part, and do it without fear. Women today need some encouragement; they're in a lonely place. Two thing will come of this; you are going to make some girl's day just a little bit better. And you're going to reclaim a little bit of the manhood that society has stolen from you.
And women; smile. I guarantee, you're far more lovely than you let yourself believe. No, this doesn't entitle you to jack shit. But neither should you worry about it so much. And I know you do.
Peace and shit,
*As with all generalities, there are abundant exceptions. I know several intoxicatingly gorgeous women who are possessed of the keenest of intellect and richest of humor. I also know average women who are just bitchy. And I've known some downright ugly women of both varieties. It happens.