We all like getting a genuine compliment. It is kindness. It is connecting. It is meant to give to the other some verbal perceived good. Granted we do not get our worth from positive reinforcement that comes from God. Someone who wants others to clearly know a person’s worth may already have that so engrained in them that you can tell by the words and actions that demonstrate their mind and heart.
A genuine compliment doesn’t have you questioning what the truth is. You do not give a sideward glacé to the person, your girlfriend or your husband about the interaction that just happened. A friend’s heart and mind one knows well gives a compliment and the reaction is “Wow, thanks.”
I recently was somewhere and this person had given a public compliment to another. The pattern is; it wasn’t the right time, it wasn’t the right place, it wasn’t the right words, and it surely was not the correct tone. The why he was saying it was lost.
I am not saying guys have to say everything correctly, that a person can’t just brush off the awkwardness and move on. Or it can’t just be a fun inside joke between close friends on how they misstepped but are walking the right path now. I do not think this moment was meant to come off as odd but that is what happened. So what really went wrong?
I think the tone was off. Case and point, Richard Simons in an exercise video asking, “How you doing?” and Joey from friends asking, “How you doing?” are two very different questions with the same words. Lucky for everyone involved you can’t necessarily pinpoint a misacting just based on tone and expect it to hold up in an argument. That would be valuing intuition over facts.
Many times a misunderstanding is because a person is not capable of giving the benefit of doubt any longer because of some past hurt. The trust has been broken. This seems to happen to either the people we know best or know least. Working on my tone when I am speaking to my family can be hard to work on. Tone is something that happens without a conscious thought unless you make it a thought. At least that is the truth for me. Just ask my family and they will tell you a list of things they think my tone implied. Sometimes as much as I would like to just dismiss their observation they are often right in thinking that my heart had some covert message to it. We are to guard our hearts. Having the wrong or right heart may come out in tone. So I have to constantly work on purifying my heart to be as kind as I would like.
Giving the benefit of doubt would be thinking things like; Maybe they just spoke without thinking. I do that sometimes. I would own up to it if asked. Maybe they thought it would be perceived different. Maybe it was to help someone else in the room. Maybe they really did like the dress and want to get one like that for their Mom. The maybe’s are endless…
Compliments towards another married women on her outward appearance in a questionable tone doesn’t exactly make those that hear it feel good. I think that might be many guys fears. To come off as not being appropriate. Did he mean to be that way? I surely hope not.
Here is the thing, the comment could have implied her dress belongs on the street corner or her beauty is awestruck-ing. Either it was a correction or positive comment, not sure which. That is really up to them and their relationship with God to figure out. Not the rest of the public that heard the comment.
I think all Women are sensitive to these kinds of things. It is a really difficult balance for women to look pretty and presentable with modesty. You want to look pretty but not too pretty. You want to look put together but not like you spent way to much time and money trying to hard.
So how does a guy, when necessary, comment a young lady on her appearance and point them to God at the same time? Perhaps by quoting God’s word. An example is;
She is clothed in strength and dignity.
That is quite evident to point to God. That is the point of our speech right? To point other’s to God.