Should You Compliment a Beautiful Person?

They already know they're beautiful, right?

Posted Jun 28, 2017

© Donna Barstow All Rights Reserved
Source: © Donna Barstow All Rights Reserved

Okay, if you're a bird, there's no time to be subtle when you need to start reproducing right this minute! Just spit it out.

But how do you  approach very attractive people? Can you refer to their looks without being rude?

I live in Hollywood, and there are tons of very pretty people everywhere. It's nice. :) But even out here, sometimes you see someone so beautiful it stops you in your tracks. If it's a man, I usually won't even look at them! I'm afraid they'll see in my face how much I admire them! With women, I'll look at them briefly, and watch more, if I can. I wonder what it's like to be them.

In the Psychology of Beauty, Dr. Dale Archer discusses some of these issues. Although we like to buy products pretty people are holding (!) they have their own ups and downs and issues.

I've written about my interest in beauty products, marketing, and the art of makeup before. When women put on makeup, they unconsciously always show their best side and facial movements to themselves, (although this might not transfer to the face they show outside!) Beauty products and marketing have taken to addressing consumers directly by writing You are beautiful! Hello, beauty! You're worth it! on all packaging.

Scientific American writes, however, that just as we show our best side to our own mirror, we tend to think of ourselves as much better/prettier/skilled than we really are! In fact, they call this article You are Less Beautiful Than You Think.

Most of us think that we are better than we actually are — not just physically, but in every way....In a series of studies, Epley and Whitchurch showed that we see ourselves as better looking than we actually are.

They go on to say:" Inflated perceptions of one’s physical appearance is a manifestation of a general phenomenon psychologists call “self-enhancement.”"

Most people believe that they are above average, a statistical impossibility...Of college professors, 94 percent say that they do above-average work.

Ha ha! But no matter how we fool ourselves about our own assets, we are pretty good at judging others, they say. So trust your judgement about beautiful people.

Happify has some excellent tips on giving compliments, and says that the giver is just as blessed as the receiver, and gets self-confidence and self-esteem by complimenting others. And they make you into a positive person!

  • Give compliments freely, not expecting anything in return (and people may be surprised or hesitant, or unsure, if you're a stranger)
  • comment on small details (Not, you're gorgeous, but that color looks great on you!)
  • people can't control their appearance as much as they'd like, so compliment some action or their character (I loved you in that movie!)

Hey, you've done a terrific job reading this column!

You might also enjoy my last cartoon: Do you mate like a cavewoman?

All Rights Reserved. Content including cartoon © Donna Barstow Cartoons 2017.  I upload new cartoons on Facebook, so please follow! Please contact me for usage rights and fees for cartoons in any of your projects or books.

And check out my books: Love Me or Go to Hell: True Love Cartoons, and What do Women Really Want? Chocolate!