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The Ramblings of a Damaged Mind
Oh, just one more thing if I may...
mindways From: mindways Date: August 13th, 2003 07:15 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Actually what I REALLY find myself wishing I had the nerve to do is tell attractive women that they are so. Not as a pickup, just as an honest compliment. You know "By the way, you have stunning eyes", "I really love the way you smile", "That's really cool ink" - just because I do. But I know that if I say something like that they'll probably think I'm coming on to them, or that I'm just generally some kind of creep.

Granted, I don't have the shaved-head and I'm lanky, but I'm still a tall guy dressed all in black - and I've found this can work out OK.

A few things I've found that can help avoid intimidation:
1. Avoid romantically charged words like "love", "sexy", "hot", etc - instead of "I love your smile", saying "You have a great smile", for instance.
2. Give the compliment just before parting ways. That avoids the impression that the compliment is a lead-in attempt at a pick-up or something, and avoids the awkward silence you can get directly after the exchange of "I really love the way you smile." "Thanks!" "..." "..."
3. Compliment something that they've obviously spent time/care on - hair is a prime example, esp. if styled or dyed in an interesting way; likewise tattoos or clothes.

Not that you necessarily need to do all of these every time or anything, but they can help if applied appropriately. Presentation/body language can also make a big difference.

In general, it's been my experience that the vast majority of people enjoy being complimented, so long as they don't think the compliment is an attempt to get something out of them.