“Genuine” Compliment Fishers – Don Charisma’s Opinion

Ever given a genuine compliment to someone and been asked/(forced) to justify it ?

“Oh, I do like your hat :D”

“WHY do you like my hat ?”

What goes through my mind is – why would someone need a (logical) reason to accept a compliment ?


People who fish for “genuine” compliments … weak sense of self OR clever cunning, alpha-ape ?

Perhaps someone can give me a positive spin on this situation 😀

Or does it say only bad things about the someone who does it ?

Over to you …

Warm regards

Don Charisma

Resources & Sources

Chimp – morgueFile.com

Notes for commenters:

Don Charisma Warning Improvised Writing

Comments are invited. BUT you are reminded that this is a public blog and you are also reminded to think before you press the “post comment” button. 

Good manners are a mark of a charismatic person – so please keep comments civil, non-argumentative, constructive and related, or they will be moderated. If you feel you can’t comply, press the “unfollow” button and/or refrain from commenting.

I read ALL comments but can’t always reply. I will comment if I think there’s something that I can add to what you’ve said. I do delete without notice comments that don’t follow rules above. For persistent offenders I will ignore you permanently and/or report you.

Most decent people already know how to behave respectfully. Thank you for your co-operation on the above.

Warm regards, Don Charisma


DonCharisma.org Opinion Graphic

89 thoughts on ““Genuine” Compliment Fishers – Don Charisma’s Opinion

  1. I agree with most posters that good manners dictate saying “thank you” when complimented. It shows that you appreciate the kindness shown towards you. Whether or not the person is sincere, the point is that they have taken the time to build you up.

    What I think is MORE IMPORTANT is society’s perception that associates low self-esteem with weakness. Everyone has talents and hidden strengths, yet life tribulations or social injustices can slow people’s personal growth. We aren’t born with confidence, it is a process that incorporates mentors, overcoming challenges and self-discovery. To me, the most insideous type of prejudice is the unseen neglect of the socially challenged.

    OK….thanks for listening. I’ll get off my soapbox now 🙂

    1. Thanks my friend, I’m way behind on comments … and agreed society puts stigma on low self-esteem and associates with weakness. The connection I don’t feel is correct the same as you.

      I feel for you in your situation, and can only say I do my best to help the socially challenged, if everybody did the same you probably wouldn’t have an issue. This is the way it is, so my friend, I know you do already anyway, make the best that you can 😀

      Warm regards


      1. I appreciate your kind words and feel thankful to know there are other caring people out there. Sometimes life can get you down and you wonder “Where have all the generous people gone?” Well, right here! His name is Don!

        I’m actually not weak, insecure or socially challenged- although I was for years- because many dark, lonley days gave me the opportunity to fully know and then be confident with myself. (see: http://breathethislife.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/who-are-you)

        There is no rainbow without a little rain.

  2. Some want clarification Don, no doubt you do to or you wouldn’t be asking this question, sadly some do give insincere compliments or just to fill in space if commenting, or for their own benefit not others.

    But mostly people are genuine, wanting to show appreciation and thankfulness, of course we can receive it negatively but that is our problem not theirs.

    You will never have to worry about me, you will have no doubts as to how I feel , some like this, others would rather you say what they want to hear.

    I really Love your Sunsets pics … yes I mean it!

    Christian Love – Anne

      1. Now I’m taking your inquiry very seriously Don, I don’t really like them, I hate them Lol

        To be very honest Don, I love how you capture Sunsets, they are alive which is what I look for in Photography, not everyone has this gift.

        Also why they drew my attention was because I have been asked to create a Power point for a 93 year lady in the Nursing home were I visit the Elderly, her name is Audrey and she has no legs but an amazing spirit. Audrey wants the focus of the P.P to be on Sunsets and Sunrises with a Christian theme being in bed most of the time she has little opportunity to see the outside World accept on Sundays when they take her to Church.

        I have googled some shots of both Sunsets and Sunrises but was really captivated by yours, I loved the one of the couple at Sunset.

        So you see Don my interest in your Sunsets was not just to pass the time of day, I love all your Photography of God’s creation but what about a few more shots of fruit, like a banana!

        Blessings – Anne

      2. LOL 😀 alls well …

        You’re welcome to include what I’ve published on the blog, often there’s a larger image behind. I know it’s not really that important for a local powerpoint, but would be grateful if you give credit if you want to use 😀

        Warm regards


      3. Thanks Don that is very kind of you but I think your face may get in the way NO! not your real one, which is no doubt cute, well I’m sure The Reading Girl thinks so.

        Seriously though, you are kind …I MEAN IT!…… would I lie!

        Blessings – Anne

  3. I think that people ask “why” because they are insecure and do not believe that compliment about themselves. Like me, I can’t accept compliments. But I was thought to say thank you, so that’s what I say.

  4. I’m a bit like Belinda in that when I pay a compliment I usually say something like “Wow! I really like that colour on you. It suits you” or something along those lines.
    I was taught by someone a long time ago (and I can’t for the life of me remember who it was) how to receive a compliment as well (something I don’t do very well). I was taught that the correct response ALWAYS is “Thank you. What a nice thing to say”. Or even just a simple (and sincere) thankyou will suffice.

  5. I used struggle when people compliment me and I used to down play compliments with some kind of self deprecating remark thankfully, through some spiritual growth, Ive learned to accept the compliment and be gracious. I am not sure why someone would ask FOR a “why” maybe they were struggling with same thing I desperately struggled with in my 20s, self esteem.

    1. Agreed Laurie, could be a possible explanation … generally if it seems genuine, I just say thanks … and these days I’ve started saying “thanks” to insults too, nothing more frustrating for the insulter than for it not to have registered at the other end … button pushed, but no instant reward !

  6. I’ve mainly experienced that amongst other artists or musicians…they may ask for constructive feedback beyond “that’s cool”…like what were the strong points, were there any things that could be better…I just see it as talking shop. I also see it as sort of a compliment too because it shows a genuine interest in your opinion as a colleague.But I don’t know if it’s the same if someone does that for a compliment of their hat.

    1. It’s very similar, but I think the difference is one is questioning the authenticity of the compliment, prior to giving one’s self an ego boost, presumably because the person thought the compliment was insincere … and the other is asking for feedback/help/constructive criticism … so if I did a piece of writing and you said “I like it”, and I said “Jenny it’d be really helpful if you could give me some feedback, as I respect you as a writer and it would help my future writing” … would be very different from if you said “I like it”, and I said “prove to me you like it” …

    1. Ah, thanks, but no wasn’t a request for personal advice 😀 … and yes I know the difference between fishing for a compliment and drawing out a conversation to keep me around …

  7. I was always told, if you receive a compliment, you accept it graciously, whether you agree with it or not. You do not question it!!! An unsolicited spontaneous compliment is one of life’s gifts as far as I’m concerned..never look a gift horse in the mouth 🙂

  8. I work with someone who was always second guessing anything nice I said to her…it took her 5 years to realize that NO, I really don’t want your job and yes, I actually meant the compliment I gave you:-) odd bird.

  9. I had a friend that did what Conhippy was speaking about but in his case it was due to his big ego and he wanted compliments. So after doing something great he would go into self deprecating mode.

    “Man, I am kooking it today!”

    My buddies: “No “Fred”! That one turn you did was sick!”

    “It was weak!”

    “No! It was insane!”

    “Yeah…it did feel pretty good”.

    We caught on and soon we just said nothing after his intro comment and just nodded in agreement to make him mad. Touche!

  10. It’s the people who notice the little things, a smile, a new pair of glasses, a new hair style – that generally give compliments. A photographer for instance 🙂 It’s the people taken by surprise that someone noticed – that will sometimes ask “why.” When maybe what they are thinking is “thanks for noticing.” Fishing? One of my favorite past times – oh yeah….don’t wanna forget my new hat!

  11. In my case, in the past I was not comfortable with compliments because I met many people who had a dark heart and its sole purpose was to feel bad with myself. Then I met different people and at first when they gave me a compliment I didn’t know how to react because I didn’t know their purpose but finally I learn to smile and say “thankyou”. It wasn’t easy.

  12. I used to have a hard time taking a compliment. I used to have to add some type of self-deprecating joke to every compliment someone gave me. It was really a lack of self-esteem that caused that. I’ve since learned to just say thank you. And when I encounter somebody having a hard time excepting a compliment, I don’t let them invalidate my opinion I simply say you’re welcome.

    Now, sometimes it may spark a genuine conversation of interest. But I don’t think that’s what you’re talking about.

    1. Thanks for sharing, and yes agreed sometimes it can spark a compliment, although not sure when someone asked me to qualify my compliment, whether I’d want to continue that conversation 😀

  13. Rather than “fishing for a genuine compliment” the person may be interested in self-improvement. Simple things like running a sprint have simple measurements – the finish time. But complicated things – like a musical performance or speech – have many parts that could be well or poorly executed. A compliment like “You did a great job” is encouraging but not very helpful. Sure, for many people, the compliment is just an acknowledgement that they liked the presentation overall. Yet if another musician or accomplished speaker says “You did a good job” it would be worth a follow up question. “What did you like about it?” might be appropriate.

    1. Agreed Dan, that’s useful and a positive reason, that’s not really fishing for a compliment or asking the person to qualify their compliment, it’s more about asking for feedback or perhaps constructive criticism …

  14. I think you have a great blog! What do you think of my blog? J/K. I agree with Belinda though the act of blogging is very narcissistic. If nobody read, liked or commented for an extended time we would likely give it up. The act of blotting is asking for compliments.

  15. Speaking from personal experience: It might be that the hat wearer isn’t used to receiving compliments, or even been on the end of some sarcastic remarks previously, so naturally might wonder if there is sarcasm attached to the comment of ‘I do like your hat.”, – and so will gently pose a question regarding the comment in the hope of re-assuring themselves that the comment was made with a genuine heart, so that they can inwardly feel the warmth (and joy) from a really lovely, perhaps unexpected, compliment.

    1. Those things ought to be be in the delivery of the compliment, a smile and non-sarcastic ought to say that it’s genuine … but yes I can see that point of view, that they might have received sarcasm and humiliation in the past …

  16. I have been on both sides.
    My biggest problem is I don’t wait to be asked WHY! lol! I will immediately tell the person I like their ‘hat’ because it is my favourite colour and it has a nice sturdy brim, with a serviceable fabric AND it looks like the wind would not blow it off very easily. ALSO that the colour really suits their skin tone. WHERE did they get it – such a good buy man! I CAN’T BELIEVE that JUST the other day I was thinking that you would look SO cool in a hat like that. ***- would they mind if I tried it on to see if it would suit me? (chances are it wouldn’t because I REALLY look like an arse in hats 😉
    Yeah that last bit not so much right!(the part after the stars) because FRANKLY, WHO wants someone to go buy the exact same hat as them? Thing is: JUST doing the previous things of giving all the reasons is enough to convey the message that you are likely to rush off and go buy one too. WHO wants to know someone has gone and bought the exact same hat as you. BORING>

    On the other side. Because I do THAT – I kinda like to draw people in to a conversation to be engaging and understand – well why? Is it the colour or the shape or the cost you are interested in? WHY? Because I might have an idea up my sleeve and I need to know the colour they dig. Understanding their tastes and reasons for ‘liking’ something – often gives insight into a broad array of shit.

    But yeah – sometimes it just IS ‘I just DIG THAT’ – and I can’t tell you why? I am sure some folk find that hard to accept I reckon, I do sometimes 😛 I think it depends on the ‘HAT’. For instance – you dig this hat yeah?? Well if its the colour and I go buy the same style in a different colour – than you wont dig it no more. If it’s the combination of all of it together, then no other hat will do!

    THEN ofcourse: One does get folk who JUST are looking for compliments to polish their own ego and GET something out of it – mostly NOT mutually beneficial…and just putting the other party at dis- ease. Which I think is hard not to convey at times, even if genuinely interested in the why’s for whatever reason. 😀

      1. Oh human beings can make anything complicated dear. 😉
        Doesn’t mean we always do though.
        Sometimes it JUST ‘is what it is’.
        So much stuff around about narcs (I like how you specified BAD there) that it is difficult to know the diff between genuine and JUST using people as part of the stage of the roles ‘you’ think they best suit. I think it works both ways in that instance too: the paying of compliments – AND the fishing for them?
        But then what do I know about all that shit right 😛
        (been stunning weather the weekend here 😀 )

      2. LOL, been stunning weather here too … I think liking ones self is a good thing, hence the bad-narc … and yes complicated it often appears I agree 😀

      3. Pfft…walk in the park dude 😛 SPECIALLY when the sun is shining yeah!
        Oh – APPARENTLY we all fall somewhere on the narc scale – THAT is a THESIS – I am sure.
        Suffice to say, if we can sit and think ‘WHOA – I am a bit narcy…then we 99% are NOT a narc. Narcissism is deep rooted I believe. On that note. I do not believe I am qualified in any way or manner to delve TOO deeply into the psychology of the human mind – It can be dangerous turf…so so many variables and lives can be seriously affected with the wrong or uninformed hypothesis. What is OK in one circumstance is not always OK in another – terribly individual. When we start down the narc path – dangerous turf BIG TIME.

      4. Yes it is indeed lovely weather. It has been fairly hot this end of England too. All of about 21/ 22 degrees. Of course we are having an afternoon light rain now. Which is fairly pleasant in its special kind of way. 😛

      5. – Or chilly!! lol! Depends on the definition of hot…
        I guess…
        got squiff looks today as people around me were wearing vests and I had a light warm layer on. (the breeze was nippy OK!) 😉

      6. I dunno hey – apparently it was 21 here – but it DID feel warmer. OUT the wind it WAS pretty hot (like in the car standing still after it had been baking in the sun)
        Yeah – I like the warmth – that’s for sure. Sounds like you are a fan too at 28!! LOL.
        It don’t like ME much…but that’s ITS problem.
        Though I THINK we are acclimatizing probably.

      7. I’m fairly used to the heat, or as much as I can be, 28 is about as high as I can set 29 and I can’t sleep … mrs puts the fan on at night when we’re sleeping … only way to survive the heat is to relax really, stress and you’d have a heart attack in a couple of days … I like the YOU 😀

      8. Ah yes – relax is always a heat buster! Kids and I used to sit in a bath of cold water when we got home in afternoon temps of around 36 with humidity at 80 % – and STILL hot…but then – we were ‘used to it’ …
        Ever Mr Charisma 😉
        What else can we say about the weather?
        …. It happens – is what it is whether we like it or not?
        A global event everyday? Love hate – indifferent.
        WHO knew – weather could be so damn interesting man! 😛

  17. In my experience, many people become embarrassed when you give a heartfelt compliment. I find it really sad! They just cant accept the lovely thing you are waxing lyrical about is inherent in them. I often say to people, “I wish you could see yourself the way those who think you are fabulous do!”

  18. It may be the person fishing for a compliment is so unused to being complimented that they want to make the most of the moment, stretch it out for a little while. Perhaps they are so unsure of themselves they cannot understand how you could possibly like their hat in the first place and want to be told that actually, they look okay, they got it right this time. Or, the person fishing for a compliment know exactly what they want to catch and just enjoys baiting that hook!
    Bright Blessings

  19. Oh, I have done this on one or two occassions only to get weird looks too and I really meant it!! ..but then it’s just me, I suppose. Not everyone has the same tastes…:D

      1. Hahaha…the giving…;) but I’ve got to say they don’t usually ask why…they give me a smile and move on..:)

      2. OK … so your compliments usually received as genuine compliment, occasionally you’ve come across people fishing for “genuine” compliment ?

      3. Not really, I have not encountered such a person like that before. 🙂 Maybe it’s just that people don’t see things the way you do, so they may not think what you have complimented them on is really worth a compliment.

Leave a Reply for Don Charisma

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.