I would feel a lot sexier if I could reduce the intense social anxiety that often seizes me, especially in group conversations. It’s not just women who I’m especially attracted to who intimidate me (ah, what a bitter-sweet type of intimidation; the outstandingness of the feeling so timeless and enlivening, those intense surges of excitement!) and stifle my social life, it’s often people in general!
Before I explain the nature of this, a word on how it occurred to me that social anxiety eats away my sex appeal and hotness.
I continued studying the Insider article that inspired me to smile more and embrace it (the article is: 11 scientific ways to make yourself look and feel more attractive).
Another “scientific way to make yourself look and feel more attractive,” according to the article, witten by Kristin Salaky, is to “give some compliments.” Ms. Salaky cites matchmaker Denise Levy who said “Making other people feel good about themselves increases your attractiveness.”
This can also “make you realize the good things about yourself, too,” Kristin Salaky adds. This makes sense—more positive thinking would increase the odds of gaining awareness oif your own likeable qualities, but also, it just feels good to give a compliment.
But I lack confidence in HOW to compliment someone. Especially women who attract me intimidatingly and anyone in general who I deeply admire.
Fundamentally, two things most concern me with respect to complimenting women whose beauty shakes me up.
First of all, I actually feel conflicted when it comes to complimenting a woman for her beauty and sexiness. When is the compliment flattering and enjoyable and when is it objectifying, degrading, minimizing/overlooking so many of her other attractive qualities…her intelligence, her interests and values, et cetera?
As the writer Scott Russell Sanders writes in his essay “Looking at Women”:
“caught in the vortex of desire, we have to struggle to recall the wholeness of persons…
“We cannot help being centers of attraction and repulsion for one another. That is not all we are by a long shot, nor all we are capable of feeling, and yet, even after our much-needed revolution in sexual consciousness, the power of Eros will still turn our heads and hearts. In a world without beauty pageants, there will still be beauty, however its definition may have changed. As long as men have eyes, they will gaze with yearning and confusion at women.
…[with] the residues from a thousand generations of patriarchs silting my brain, I encounter women whose presence strikes me like a slap of wind in the face, I must prepare a gaze that is worthy of their splendor.”pages 79-80; from Earth Works: Selected Essays
Indeed. And amen!
And yet…on the other hand…how many among us, regardless of gender, despise receiving compliments on our looks?
I love it! But maybe that’s because it’s taken me 34 years to discover my sex appeal and I don’t get harassed by a crowd of women telling me whatever they think I want to hear so that I’ll fuck them. Perhaps for certain people who “get it all the time” and receive only that sort of compliment, and only sex-related attention it can be rather jarring and depressing?
A couple of months back, I asked a woman I follow on Instagram, a model, what she thinks about this. I think the way I framed my question was something like: “how do you think a gentleman/ a virtuous man, should express to a woman that he finds her attractive?”
Her advice was that simply saying “you look very lovely” is nice.
I encountered a very interesting article, which was just recently published by Byrdie — a website that describes itself as “swatching the latest Fenty Beauty drop.” The article, by Erin Jahns, “49 Compliments We’d Rather Hear Than ‘You’re Pretty'” shares a collection of personal opinions offered by social media users, on the matter, and overwhelmingly, most of the responses expressed 1) hating being called “pretty,” in particular; 2) preferring compliments based on some aspect of their personality. I like how Amanda Montell, Byrdie features editor put it:
“If we’re talking compliments about my physical appearance, I’d way rather hear someone call my look unique or interesting, rather than pretty. After all, I don’t have short hair and tattoos and smudge bright orange lipstick all over my whole face to be ‘pretty.’ I do it to reflect my personality and my quirks. When someone calls me ‘pretty,’ it doesn’t make me feel understood or seen for who I really am. But when someone tells me something more like ‘Whoa, that eyeliner is so weird, it’s so you, I love it,’ that’s when I really feel the most complimented.”
I also note that the women who offered their thoughts for this article often mentioned appreciating compliments on impact they have on the person giving the compliment, or people in general. You “light up the room” or “brighten” it, “glowing,” “radiant” and funny. Reminds me of that timeless line from the classic movie As Good As It Gets, delivered by the great Jack Nicholson: “you make me want to be a better man.”
“That’s maybe the best compliment of my life,” Helen Hunt responds. That scene gives me CHILLS. Goosebumps.
That short clip “gives me pause,” and makes me feel even a little sentimental as I reflect on the complexity of erotically charged or inspired communication.
[to be continued…]
Seeking your feedback as I’m still experimenting!
How long should a blog post be and how often should one post? These two questions have been bothering me for years. I’d genuinely love your opinion and insights! There’s more I wrote on this topic, however, I didn’t want to write too much, as I try to find a balance between my inherent verbosity and your extremely valuable time. Thank you in advice for your advice.