by: Thee Urban Sophisticate
“Swear you take the best pictures, you should win an InstaGrammy” – Fabolous
It jumped right off the screen and took a seat right on my pupil “It” was her smile — subtle but captivating. She rocks a TWA, i.e. a teenie weenie afro. She’s a natural goddess, exactly what triggers my dopamine. Her stud earrings decorate her lobes, and she’s wearing a blazer-styled jacket with her pocketbook sitting within the crease between her biceps and forearm. This one connected with me more than the others, I can suppose it’s because it was shot in black and white so there weren’t any colors present to serve as a distraction for my attraction. Each pixel exquisites culminating perfection. Instantly I felt the impulse to leave her a message and tell her how stunning she looked in this picture, but… I didn’t.
It wasn’t because she was a stranger. I’ve known her for years. It wasn’t because I was scared. We have candid talks daily. So what was it? Etiquette. I began to think of the etiquette of complimenting a woman. “Do women get tired of compliments?; How can you avoid being just another “Like” on Facebook and Instagram?; How can you flatter her without coming off ‘thirsty’?” These are all of the questions that ran through my head. Finally, it occurred to me that there truly is an art to giving a woman a compliment. As I contemplated on whether I’ll say anything to her, I began to think of the essentials:
Essential 1: Words are spells, cast them appropriately. It’s important that we choose our words wisely. Under no circumstance should we say things like “Dαmn ma, you looking good” or “Hey sεxy, what’s up?” As gentlemen, its obligatory to address women with respect and tact. It’s in poor taste to use vulgarities when speaking with women, especially if you don’t even have a connection with. If a woman catches your attention, find out her name (I can guarantee you it isn’t Ma) and tell her she’s beautiful, gorgeous, stunning, appealing, pleasing to the eye.
Essential 2: Be cognizant of your body language. According to world-renowed psychologist Albert Mehrabian, 55 percent of communication is non verbal, 38 percent is vocal — which includes volume, pitch, speed and the tone of your voice, and the remaining 7 percent are the words you speak. So more than half of what you communicate to her has nothing to do with your mouth. Speaking of mouth, there’s no need for LL Cool J lip-licking impersonations. Also, try not to undress her with your eyes. Keeping eye contact is a rule of thumb for you to practice and if you start to feel uncomfortable, you can focus on her eyebrows or the bridge of her nose. This shows respect and interest.
Essential 3: Make your compliment substantive and detailed. Women typically are complimented on their looks and that’s fine, but they are much more than their looks. It’s rare that men take time to appreciate the details. So when you take time to acknowledge the intricate specifics, it will show the depths of your observation as well as character. You’ll surely gain some extra points for complimenting women on things that typically go unnoticed but that you happen to find appealing. Women love being told how gorgeous and beautiful they are, but they wouldn’t mind being told that they are appreciated and that they do a great job with their kids, their careers, their goals, etc. You can even compliment them on how they exhibit great poise in the midst of life’s curveballs. In essence, compliment their intellect, their talents, hard work, and ambition. It will show her that you pay attention and that you value more than just her physique.
Essential 4: Keep it Authentic. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Women are smart enough to know when you’re just trying to be a slick charmer to advance your ulterior motives. Don’t even play yourself like that. Remember, honesty is the policy of the gentleman.
The goal here is to be effective, not suggestive. Too often we come across comments left on Instagram photos and FB pictures that are flat out derogatory. These guys may think they’re complimenting these women but in all actuality, she’s just a target of his objectification. Fellas, make her feel comfortable. Compliments have great power and you don’t want to lose the efficacy of them. To overdo it would be murder. It’ll also behoove you to not use them as Band-Aids either.
I’d love to hear more of your experience dealing with compliments and how you dish them out. Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions so that we can create a society of gentlemen who compliment women with proper etiquette and tact. As far as the woman in the picture, I’m sure this article serves a compliment, wouldn’t you say? 🙂
Thee Urban Sophisticate is the connoisseur of chivalry. He’s on a mission to build a nation of gentlemen. Fellas, are you with him? Read more from Thee Urban Sophisticate by clicking here.
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