some Men can’t take being complimented

free compliments

Image by The Shifted Librarian via Flickr

by Madeline Laughs

Receiving compliments…some men are just are not any good at this. I’m seriously considering not doing it anymore. Need a nice ego boost for the day? Want to know that you’re handsome or that the shirt you have on shows off your biceps? Well hey, keep walking pal! I’m fresh out of nice things to tell you.

Have you ever complimented someone and they completely shut down? They clam up, avoid acknowledging the compliment or completely avoid you. Then you’re left wondering “Was it something I said?”

The fact is, it was something you said. Some men just do not know how to take a compliment. I wonder if they think there’s always an agenda attached to it. That you can’t possibly see anything worthy in them that deserves to be admired.

This is especially true when compliments are exchanged between opposite genders. Perhaps women are a bit more receptive, but men are not. Unless the man is completely confident with who he is, he does not take adulation well at all. A man will shy away from receiving praise from a woman almost as quickly as if she had thrown hot coffee on his lap instead.

This intrigued me because recently I have experienced this odd phenomenon. So I did some research 🙂

I visited one of my favorite websites,, for when I want the true skinny on the man’s brain. is written by a man and it’s all about men and why they do the things they do. He had these juicy tidbits on what the problem with taking a compliment could be: 

“Men can be remarkably thin-skinned. Sometimes even a compliment will send us reeling. We think things through too much (which might not ring true with what you think of guys, but stay with me here). Even the nicest thing can be misconstrued as an attack on our manhood and genitalia, which are inextricably linked, and we’ll retire to hours of crying on the couch while drinking and watching football, thinking about the horrible, horrible things that you’ve said.

Well, maybe not to that extreme. I can promise you that we will drink and watch football though.”

Frisky goes on to elaborate on the 4 things that we think are compliments, but men see as insults.

“1. “You’re not like my old boyfriend.” It doesn’t matter if your last boyfriend was Jeffrey Dahmer, guys just hear this compliment as “I was interested in this other guy, but now you’re here.” The more specific you get with the compliment, the more our little self-conscious minds will read into it. Especially avoid any sexual comparisons—even if you say something nice, we’ll wonder why the hell you brought it up in the first place. Never compare our anatomy (out loud, anyways). If you haven’t figured it out by now, men are overly sensitive about their private parts.

2. “You’re so sensitive.” Guys don’t want to be thought of as sensitive, especially, ironically, the sensitive guys. We want to be tough badasses. We want to be Patrick Swayze in “Road House,” not Patrick Swayze in “Ghost.” If you call us sensitive, we’re just going to cry about it. Try tempering the compliment with this instead: “Oh, you’re really sensitive underneath that rugged exterior and those strong arms that could probably disembowel a man in about two seconds if given the chance! I’m really sexually attracted to you.”

3. “You’re very thin.” This seems backhanded to guys. We don’t want to be thin; we want to be big, rippling, bulging sacks of muscle and grit, regardless of how unappealing that might seem. We don’t want to be a stick. Even if you’re just trying to tell us that we look pretty good with our shirts off, it’s better to say that we’re “fit.” That way, we can look in the mirror after you leave the room and try to look at our scrawny biceps and think about how we could conceivably make a play for the UFC featherweight title.

4. “I enjoy sex with you, even if I don’t have a big O.” Guys are incapable of believing that sex can be good without that O moment. It’s how we approach sex, as a means to an end, and most guys can’t get it through their heads that sex is fulfilling by itself for many women. If you’ve had great sex, but you didn’t get there, just don’t bring it up. Guys won’t read into it unless you call attention to what they’ll see as a “lack of satisfaction.” And by the way, I apologize for our lack of biological knowledge. We’re really trying. Really.”

Hm. The last time I paid someone a compliment I felt I should have prefaced it with; “You realize that I’m not flirting with you, right?” But I didn’t for two reasons. I felt the guy should know me well enough by now to get it and I wanted to give him some credit for not being thick-skulled. If I’m going to pay someone a compliment, I’d like to think I’m not wasting my breath on a dumbass.

Some men feel like they need to immediately reciprocate with a compliment for you. This drives me nuts! I am not keeping a scorecard over here! You don’t have to have a comeback unless it’s genuine. I like the genuine ones much better.

Then there are the imaginary lines they draw. “Well, you have a boyfriend! You shouldn’t be telling me I have nice hair!” Um, okay. I told you that you have nice hair, like, on top of your head. If I alluded it was about your pubic hair, then yeah, we’d have a problem, you nutjob. I am the first to admit that I am very flirtatious, however I am usually a good judge of who I think can handle it and who might get the wrong idea. Okay, I’m not always right…

Here’s the deal; do you want to hear something nice about yourself? Then practice hearing it. It’s like getting a present when you don’t have one to give back. The worst thing you can say to someone that gives you a gift is this “Oh no! I don’t have anything to give you!” By saying that, you steal all of the Giver’s thunder. You have successfully stolen their moment of the joy they felt in giving you a gift. The best reaction is gratitude. For instance: “Thank you so much!” or “That’s so nice of you to say!”

And then revel in it! If you want to walk away thinking that someone thinks you’re hot, well it’s your lucky day dude! But make sure the Compliment Giver knows how much you appreciate that they appreciate you.

One last observation, then I’ll stop picking on you 🙂 Compliments do NOT have ulterior motives. If you’re that paranoid about it and you think every compliment has strings attached…then reconsider your playmates.

Have a super night out there and Hey You! You look hot tonight honey!! This is Madeline Laughs, with my compliments.

About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to some Men can’t take being complimented

  1. Regyna Longlank says:

    So true! I do this too…overthinking it and assuming it’s backhanded or sarcastic. You look great today kinda does sound like yesterday you looked like crap, specially if ya did. Just sayin!

    When I was a young woman in my teens someone told me to say thank you and smile at a compliment regardless, it’s the polite thing to do. I did that and found that over the years I have come to believe it although it started out as a lie. For me saying thank you is admitting they are right. Not always easy, but you do it anyway and be insecure on your own time.

    Awesome amazing post, and hey you look great in those pants!


    • Why thank you Miss Regyna! As you know, I never wear my pants tight 🙂

      With some guys, I watch them cycle. I compliment and they get weird, so I stop complimenting and they kind of ask for a compliment, so I compliment and they get weird, so I stop complimenting.

      It’s been an interesting experiment! LOL!!

      The problem is that I’ve never been able pay an insincere compliment. If I’m not feeling it, I can’t say it. So at least the compliments they’ve been hearing were true ones. 🙂


  2. I’ve just found you via Woman Weilding Word. going to enjoy it I know!


  3. surewhynot says:

    Well, this is a weird one to me. I’ve known guys to read too much into it any compliments paid to them by females. They think “yeahh this lady wants mah hawt bawdy” . Never known them not to be able to handle nice things being said about them though.


    • Men do seem to struggle with compliments much more than women do. After the age of 8 they begin to suspect that compliments are something less than manly and should be taken with a shot of humility rather than reveled in and enjoyed. Yes, they do walk away thinking “yeahh this lady wants mah hawt bawdy” (that sounds like a Southern accent by the way), but they also know that accepting that compliment comes with a price. If they aren’t prepared to pay the price…they’ll shy away from it. Good rule of thumb to have when dating; if you have to keep trying to get the attention by paying numerous compliments, then he’s just not that into you 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by…come back often.


  4. Lisa says:

    When it comes women complimenting to men’s appearance, men can never take them at all. They feel like women are looking at them as sex objects to emasculate and men hate being seen as sex objects by women because they’re naturally pursuers and don’t like being pursued, especially if they are brought up in a conservative upbringing where there are a lot of strict gender roles. If they are progressive and open-minded, they would accept compliments for good.


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