As women, we love to receive compliments on just about anything (emphasis on just about) but it turns out there’s one we love to receive more than others: you look like you’ve lost weight.
According to a survey of 2,000 men and women, conducted by Dental Care Plus Implant Centres in the UK, women love to hear that they appear thinner than usual–which could be a good or a bad thing. The dental care center was probably hoping the second most-favorited compliment would rank highest, which is you have a nice smile, and from there the order is:
3. You smell nice
4. Nice hair
5. That dress really suits you
6. That color really suits you
7. Love what you’re wearing
8. Your eyes are pretty
9. You look slim
10. You look gorgeous
A spokesman for the company explained the results, saying:
“Women are complex creatures, and men would be mistaken to think they couldn’t go wrong with a compliment. Women appear to love any compliments which suggest they are beautiful and have good features – such as fantastic natural teeth, lips, hair or legs.“In particular they want to appear thin to everyone around them, so commenting on weight loss is a sure fire way to score brownie points. But you could get into hot water for saying that someone looks like they have eaten well, or that they look quite broad around the shoulder.”
There was no breakdown on the demographic of the respondents but by the emphasis on thinness, I’m assuming the majority were not black—although when I’m going hard in the gym, somebody telling me I look like I’m slimming down is about the best thing anyone can say to me. Despite craving compliments, women sometimes have a hard time time knowing how to take them, so it’s not totally surprising that only half of the women actually take compliments well. About 36 percent admit they have ended up catching an attitude because they misunderstood something that was supposed to be a compliment. Sound familiar? This was particularly true when the compliment was related to their makeup (because they assumed they were wearing too much) or a fitted dress (which they thought meant it was too tight).
Overall, most women say they only receive about one compliment per day from their partners. The Dental Care spokesman said that’s not hard to believe considering the way they’re often misinterpreted. But he urged men to think more carefully about what they’re trying to communicate before they open their mouths. For example, something like, “that teeth whitening makes your mouth look a whole lot better” would not go over as well as “you have a beautiful smile.”
Do you take compliments well? What’s your favorite one to receive?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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