Kucing Gatal Speaks

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Kucing Gatal's Guide to Accepting Compliments Gracefully

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

A: "Wow that is such a beautiful dress! Is it new?"
B: "What, you mean this old thing? I've had it for years and years. It's OK lah, I don't really like the colour."

A: "Your hair is looking really nice today."
B: "No lah, so many split ends, and it's so dry!"

A: "You did a really good job on that project!"
B: "Actually I didn't really do much, C helped me a lot."

A: "I think you're very intelligent and will be able to perform well on the job."
B: "No lah, I'm not so smart, mostly get by on luck only."

I'm sure many of us are familiar with such scenarios. When a simple thank you will suffice, most of us will react with some sort of denial or negative response. Many Malaysians can't accept compliments graciously, maybe for fear of being hit by the evil eye or just want to appear modest. Just like too much arrogance is bad, so is too much modesty.

Kucing Gatal has come up with a guide to help you accept compliments gracefully without appearing to be conceited or arrogant:

A: "Wow, that is such a beautiful dress! Is it new?"
B: "Thanks, I'm glad you like it. It's not new, I've had it for some time, but never really used it. By the way, I love that shade of lipstick you're wearing, what's that colour called?"
This is the "Buy 1, Get 1 Free" concept, where you receive a compliment and give one back in return.

Of course, please note that your response should be adjusted to suit the complimentor, so if it's a man, don't blindly follow my lipstick example, ok? And make sure your compliment will not insult him (for example, if he's bald, don't say, "Wow your head is very shiny today, can see the ceiling reflected in it!").

A: "Your hair is looking really nice today."
B: "Thanks! I've been trying out a new shampoo and it seems to work!"
This is the "show some modesty" concept, where you attribute the compliment to a product/third party.

Whatever you do, do not respond with a "Why, other days not nice issit?" kind of sentence, it's abrasive and the complimentor will be taken aback. Women seem to love giving this type of responses, especially to their boyfriends/husbands. Eventually you'll find that the compliment fountain will dry up and your bf/husband will no longer give them out.

A: "You did a really good job on that project!"
B: "Thank you. C helped me out at the beginning, and once I learned the technique, it was easy for me to follow through."
This is the "give credit but save some for yourself" concept, where you are giving C some credit while highlighting your quick learning skills at the same time.

Do not give all credit to a third party, especially if you're on the lookout for a promotion/raise, unless you want the third party to rise in ranks faster than you.

A: "I think you're very intelligent and will be able to perform well on the job."
B: "Thank you, I'm glad you have faith in me. I hope to be able to live up to your expectations."
This is the "positive reinforcement" concept, where you are acknowledging the truth of the compliment in a positive but not arrogant manner.

Do not give a smart aleck or arrogant answer like, "Ya I am damn smart one" or "Of course I'm intelligent, I have an IQ of 240!", or you'll be labelled as a lan si/aksyen person in no time. Remember, no one likes a boaster.

I hope my guide will help you to be gracious in accepting compliments. Remember also to give as many as you can, for people love receiving compliments, but make sure each compliment is sincere. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!

A note to guys, please make sure your compliments are in good taste. Don't say things like, "Your boobs look so yummy today," and expect a smile in return. Most likely you'll end up nursing a black eye or two.

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a complimentary Meow.


  • *Takes note on the 'boob' comment*

    By Anonymous BawangMerah, at July 26, 2005 5:45 PM  

  • hahah!

    By Blogger MJ, at July 26, 2005 7:13 PM  

  • Ya Malaysians don't really know how to accept compliments. Tell a lady that her cooking is great and she'll say, no lah, this one is easy dish only, I made cincai.

    We are a nation of modest folk!

    By Anonymous KitKat, at July 27, 2005 12:31 PM  

  • wah..good tipsy!! thank u...

    *sings...My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and their like..It's better than your,
    Damn right it's better than yours,
    I can teach you, But I have to charge*

    oooppss....was i singing that out loud? :P

    By Blogger mistyeiz, at July 27, 2005 3:04 PM  

  • Point taken. I always make it a point to give compliments to people, frankly because we just don't get enough in this world.

    One thing that I'd like to add: Denial of the compliment is one thing, but outright misunderstanding of the compliment that I give, especially when it's to a female, is another matter altogether. And I hate the latter case.

    As far as experience serves me, guys are absolutely cool when it comes to me giving compliments to them. They almost always conform to the "Give 1, Get 1 Free" ideology, but when it comes to females, oh, just tell me about the problematic consequences. As such, I've resorted to being a bit of a reserved scrooge when it comes to giving praises to the fairer kind. However, for my sexually-common brethrens, anytime.

    Oh, and I'm not gay, BTW.

    By Blogger xaph, at July 27, 2005 3:17 PM  

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