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Getting Compliments About Your Body

Is it okay for people you don’t know to compliment you about your body? And how should you react?

Another blogger, Morgan, shared her experience. She was walking home from the gym, wearing shorts, and a stranger complimented her legs. She wrote:

I kept walking quickly by and looked towards the ground. I was sort of embarrassed and I remember nervously laughing to myself, “Yeah right buddy!”

Most of us have probably had some experiences like that. It can be a little uncomfortable to realize that someone you don’t know is evaluating your body.

It feels weird even if he doesn’t plan to do anything. It might be a nice, innocent compliment, or it might be some nutty stalker looking for his next victim.

As far as I can tell, there’s no rule for handling those situations. You just try to get a sense of the person and what he means.

Depending on the situation, I might do the same thing as Morgan: just look down, keep walking, and hope that the guy doesn’t follow me.

If the guy really seems okay, and the situation feels safe, I might just smile and say “thank you.” But you have to be careful about that, because the guy might think it means you’re interested, and he might not be as okay as you thought he was.

Anyway, whether they say anything or not, you know when guys are looking and what they’re looking at. As long as the situation doesn’t seem dangerous, I just try to take it as a compliment. I suppose that the day I should really start to worry is if they stop looking.

With me, unlike Morgan, it’s usually not my legs that get their attention. Think higher up. That’s okay. I don’t expect guys to give me eye contact for the first couple of seconds. 🙂

Copyright 2010 by Rinth de Shadley.

  1. David
    April 29, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I think, at most, an appreciative smile is enough. That lets the other person know that you noticed, without being too creepy. If I met the person again, maybe I’d say something, but I also try to know someone inside. Outward appearance, as you ‘ve noted, is not always indicative of the quality of the person.

    As for you, miss, I’d look you in the eyes first…but them thar young’uns probably never…you know what I’m thinking. I once heard a football coach tell his players “When you get to the end zone, act like you’ve been there before…” That’s me! 🙂

  2. May 1, 2010 at 9:44 am

    I’m not great at accepting compliments generally – I feel embarassed, even when it’s someone I know, and even when it’s about (say) my clothes or my hair rather than anything more, umm, physical. But on the other hand, while I’ll generally blush and mumble when someone I know pays me a compliment, if it’s a stranger in the street cat-calling I will yell something back. I’m just strange like that.

    • Rinth de Shadley
      May 1, 2010 at 11:58 am

      Hi Rachel —

      You’re right, it depends on what the compliment is. But I love the idea of you yelling back at people! I’m pretty good at blushing and mumbling but I’m not brave enough to yell at someone on the street. Unless it’s a boyfriend. 🙂

  3. May 1, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I wish I could say I have this problem, but I don’t. I don’t get compliments on my body at all, though I’m sure it gets evaluated by many people. I am overweight, and as such, I am either invisible to most of the world, or the subject of (mostly) internal jokes about how I look. But, back in the day when I wasn’t so heavy, I did get the occasional compliment about how I looked. Not often, but it did happen. And it usually resulted in embarrassment and disbelief on my part. I never did take compliments well. Seems to me it’s always easier to believe negative stuff about one’s self, rather than positive.

    Oh, and “Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!”

    • Rinth de Shadley
      May 1, 2010 at 12:39 pm

      Hi Tina —

      You’re not alone. I hate my scale. And it’s obvious that you are a thoughtful, kind person, which matters more than what size we wear. People who can’t see that are not worth knowing.

      Thanks for stopping by. And Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

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