[Adv/Disc]Is it Insecurity If It's True?...

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Post by Guest on Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:58 pm

reboundstudent wrote:
MapWater wrote:
This is pretty standard in management courses for building efficient and effective teams. Always make sure to compliment or reinforce things that someone does indeed do well if you have to critique or assess them and their work. Some of it comes down to simple kindness, but it's also important for reminding people that, yeah, you may have done X poorly or you need to pay more attention to Y, but that's not all over your work or all that's been noticed. In fact, some courses and such I've seen actually emphasise making the compliment or acknowledgement of the great work someone does last so it's what sticks with them after the assessment.

It's something you can distill into normal interaction really well. If someone genuinely wants you to critique their work, then do so, but make sure you mention explicitly what they have done well and, even better, how they have done it well or why it's such a good job along with any constructive criticism.

I admit, I have never gotten this at all. It makes even less sense as it's become "common knowledge" of management techniques. Yeah, it's a compliment.... but it's a compliment you're giving because you were told you should, because it's "effective leadership," because it's meant to cushion a blow or soften a landing. You know it, I know it, so why are we even bothering with it? You, Boss-Person, are not calling me into your office because you just so gosh-darn want to give me a compliment. It's because I did something wrong. So just get to the wrong-doing part, and don't waste time on useless fluff. Even if it's sincere, it's a gimmick, and we both know it's a gimmick; a gimmick does not make me feel better. It isn't kindness; it's a waste of time, because it will forever be coated in "social formality."

You want to give a compliment? Give it at a time when there isn't something to criticize, or when there's no significance to timing. Wanna compliment my new hair cut? Do it a few days after the hair cut, because everyone compliments a new hair cut. It's what you're supposed to do, it's the social script; doing it a few days later means you actually, genuinely think it's nice and are not just reacting like a pre-programmed robot to social stimuli. ("She has a new hair cut. I can ignore it, but that's rude. But if I notice it out loud, then I have to compliment her, because noticing it and not complimenting is even ruder.")  

It's probably worth clarifying at this point that I don't agree with it's usage as a universal rule. Sometimes you just need to point out what's wrong and sometimes you need to point out what's good, wholly separate from each other. But in a professional context, it's important to clarify what a person does well along with what they don't as a matter of keeping things running smoothly. The problem is, most assessments only focus on the negative. Which, depending on the circumstances, can be bad. If 90% of your job is done well then you get chewed out for the other 10% with no acknowledgement most of what you do is in fact good work, it's going sting and feel like they don't give a shit (the argument of whether employers really do give a shit or feign it is another story altogether, but I don't blame anyone for looking down on these techniques as a result of that natural doubt).

When it comes to a more social context that includes this implied (or requested, really) critique component, complimenting along with criticism =/= never compliment by itself. The idea is to actually look for good in things and acknowledge it. Bothering to do it in that context is up to the critic - they can just say "that could be better, this needs work, this is a little half-baked, improve" about my writing, for example, and leave it at that. But there's an art to noticing good things as well as giving constructive criticism. One could argue they are one and the same thing, but 'criticism' - even constructive criticism - is usually defaulted to 'bad' because it can be hard to take for many, many people.

All this said and done, however, maybe I just think about complimenting and critiquing a little too coldly.

Actual /derail

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Post by Caffeinated on Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:05 pm

reboundstudent wrote:It isn't kindness; it's a waste of time, because it will forever be coated in "social formality."

You want to give a compliment? Give it at a time when there isn't something to criticize, or when there's no significance to timing. Wanna compliment my new hair cut? Do it a few days after the hair cut, because everyone compliments a new hair cut. It's what you're supposed to do, it's the social script; doing it a few days later means you actually, genuinely think it's nice and are not just reacting like a pre-programmed robot to social stimuli. ("She has a new hair cut. I can ignore it, but that's rude. But if I notice it out loud, then I have to compliment her, because noticing it and not complimenting is even ruder.")  

What's wrong with social formalities or social scripts? Those are the kind of things that let people get along in social settings.
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:17 pm

reboundstudent wrote:
I admit, I have never gotten this at all. It makes even less sense as it's become "common knowledge" of management techniques. Yeah, it's a compliment.... but it's a compliment you're giving because you were told you should, because it's "effective leadership," because it's meant to cushion a blow or soften a landing. You know it, I know it, so why are we even bothering with it? You, Boss-Person, are not calling me into your office because you just so gosh-darn want to give me a compliment. It's because I did something wrong. So just get to the wrong-doing part, and don't waste time on useless fluff. Even if it's sincere, it's a gimmick, and we both know it's a gimmick; a gimmick does not make me feel better. It isn't kindness; it's a waste of time, because it will forever be coated in "social formality."

OK, here's the view from the other side. If I'm complimenting someone in a "good leadership" way, its always genuine. Its always something I like and feel is deserving of a compliment. I just go out of my way to remember to say it.  I'm always as specific as I can be (you've really got fan kicks down. Where did you learn those new tricks? That's amazing!). Its not a gimmick. Its a way of saying "I appreciate what you're doing even if its not perfect yet." Because when you're doing something for fun, its nice to know that someone cares enough to notice what you got right. Because when someone brings something to my table, I appreciate them bringing it whether its ready for prime time or not. Whether you personally know that already or not is not entirely important. Its important to me to demonstrate that I don't take the contributions of the people working with me for granted. Its important to the people working with me that I don't seem to be taking advantage of their hard work. As a leader, how things look is as important, sometimes even more important, than what is. If I seem to be getting close to someone and she gets the prime spot in the line-up, there's a danger that it will seem like favoritism. Whether or not it really is has nothing to do with the effect that has on crew morale. So while your personal preference certainly factors into it, the good of the operation and my own definitions of what I need to do in order to be a good person and a good leader have weight, too.

You want to give a compliment? Give it at a time when there isn't something to criticize, or when there's no significance to timing. Wanna compliment my new hair cut? Do it a few days after the hair cut, because everyone compliments a new hair cut. It's what you're supposed to do, it's the social script; doing it a few days later means you actually, genuinely think it's nice and are not just reacting like a pre-programmed robot to social stimuli. ("She has a new hair cut. I can ignore it, but that's rude. But if I notice it out loud, then I have to compliment her, because noticing it and not complimenting is even ruder.")  

This one just seems weird to me. I mean, I get that it might mean more when its not one of a hundred people saying it but if I notice something, I'm going to say something. I don't put enough deep thought into most of my friends to remember to schedule a compliment for later.  I'm lucky if I can remember my big social commitments, let alone putting a clock on what I can and can't say. Is this something that you do from the other side?

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Post by reboundstudent on Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:21 pm

Mel wrote:Marty, I'm curious: How do you interact with other people at these sorts of events? When you run into someone else who's more of a beginner, do you point out the flaws you notice in their work to them, or make a point of noting that you can tell they're a beginner? Do you find things about their costume that you do like to compliment or ask about in a positive way? Do you say nothing at all about their clothing despite it being an obvious topic of conversation?

Usually I compliment what I like about their costume, but if they say something like "This is my first dress, I'm such a beginner," I try to acknowledge that, and either ask what their thoughts are, or discuss my own experiences as a beginner. Example: "Oh yeah? What sort of things were tricky for you?" OR "Oh man, don't I know. Hemming is the worst, right?"

So no, I don't point out flaws in other people's work, but nor would I argue with them if they made a comment about themselves (or judge them for it.) I don't necessarily want people suddenly, inevitably critiquing me... but if they compliment me, and then I make some comment about my inexperience/what I could have done better, I don't want them arguing with me either. Then is the perfect time for critique. Like a conversation would ideally go:

"What a beautiful dress!"
"Oh, thanks! I kinda messed up on the hem though."
"Hmm, yeah, it does seem a bit long. Have you tried (hemming technique)?"
"Why no I haven't, thank you!"
"No problem. I had a tough time getting the bodice to fit on my first dress."
"Yeah, me too! What do you think, is this bodice too loose?"
etc. etc.

If the compliment is accepted, I don't offer any critique at all (publicly OR privately.)

Mel wrote:
I mean, I totally get not liking the idea that other people are going to talk about you behind your back. But the thing is, even if that behavior is common in a particular scene, you don't know that any specific person who compliments you is also definitely going to talk about you behind your back, and it's actually kind of insulting to any specific person to treat them as if they're a malicious gossiper and it's unfair that they won't come clean, when there are plenty of other reasons (many noted previously in this thread) why this specific person might not be critiquing you. Can you not understand why that, treating individuals as if you assume they're backstabbers, would come across as off-putting rather than simply wanting honesty, and also perhaps somewhat insecure?

This disconnect seems to come up kind of frequently; this idea that if I think people lie/gossip, then I see them as malicious or mean or something negative. I have never assumed that "social lying" is at all negative. In fact, the banality of it is what drives me crazy. My assumption is that there is a significant chance in many situations that a person's compliment is disingenuous not because they are a bad person, but because we're in situations where compliments almost can't be genuine.

I'll try to give an example. I am much, much, much more likely to believe a compliment is genuine on a Facebook picture of my dress than a compliment from a person standing right in front of me about my dress. Even when it's the exact same person. The reason for this is, you have a choice about interaction on FB. You don't have to compliment me. You could look at the picture of my dress and I'd never know. There is no social pressure to issue a compliment.

But if I'm standing right in front of you, there is almost an unspoken demand for a compliment. If you acknowledge the dress at all, it's almost got to be a compliment. Even worse is if I just complimented you. It's so awkward (and feels rude) for one party to compliment, and the other party to not echo a compliment back. It's that damn Social Politeness script. It makes lying the polite and expected thing to do. But then it makes believing a compliment given in that situation extremely hard.
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Post by reboundstudent on Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:29 pm

Gentleman Johnny wrote:
So while your personal preference certainly factors into it, the good of the operation and my own definitions of what I need to do in order to be a good person and a good leader have weight, too.

My point was not that you shouldn't do it, but that you should do it without setting it side-by-side with a criticism. The compliment should be spontaneous. If you are complimenting someone's fan kicks right off they come off a good set, that makes complete sense. But if you're doing it days after the show when you're trying to tell them they were getting too loud backstage, it's just going to come across as phony.

Gentleman Johnny wrote:
This one just seems weird to me. I mean, I get that it might mean more when its not one of a hundred people saying it but if I notice something, I'm going to say something. I don't put enough deep thought into most of my friends to remember to schedule a compliment for later.  I'm lucky if I can remember my big social commitments, let alone putting a clock on what I can and can't say. Is this something that you do from the other side?

Yes, I do. I wouldn't say I put a clock by it, but I do try to remember to compliment people more apropos of nothing. So if I really loved someone's cosplay, I might not compliment them then, but I might at the next event when they're wearing something completely different. I'm trying to show that by the compliment is genuine by 1) remembering the thing I liked about it and 2) separating it away from any kind of perceived social pressure/script.
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Post by LadyLuck on Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:51 pm

Now that I'm seeing a specific script/sequence of conversation, a more tangible thought. You might get better results if, instead of simply contradicting the compliment with a critique of yourself without any further context... instead, explicitly provide a constructive reason for said compliment. In this case, instead of just dropping "My hem job was bad", how about "Thanks, though I wasn't satisfied with how the hem turned out, do you have any suggestions on hemming techniques so my next one comes out better?" It still firmly establishes the point that you think of yourself as a beginner, and by asking a specific question, it clearly indicates what you expect of the other person's reply. That way people won't make assumptions about you "fishing" and think they're "supposed" to argue with you.

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Post by Mel on Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:52 pm

reboundstudent wrote:So no, I don't point out flaws in other people's work, but nor would I argue with them if they made a comment about themselves (or judge them for it.) I don't necessarily want people suddenly, inevitably critiquing me... but if they compliment me, and then I make some comment about my inexperience/what I could have done better, I don't want them arguing with me either. Then is the perfect time for critique.

It may be a good time for critique, but that doesn't mean that other people are going to be comfortable giving critique.  If you put them in a position where they can either agree with your self-critique or argue with you, and they don't feel comfortable critiquing someone they don't know well (who may even be fishing for a complimentary argument, as nonA pointed out), then of course they're going to choose arguing.

I think you need to try to do a little perspective taking here. You know that the social norm is to downplay people's self-criticism and reassure them, and yet you break from that convention solely because it feels uncomfortable to you. Yet you're criticizing other people for also avoiding doing something that feels uncomfortable to them, when they have even more reason to feel uncomfortable (because there are usually more negative consequences for breaking from social norms than for following them). Why is it okay for you to prioritize your own comfort, but not for them to do the same? I mean, seriously, someone could post the exact same story as this from the other side, complaining about some person they knows who keeps pushing them to criticize her even though they've shown they're clearly uncomfortable doing so. Just because you feel more comfortable with frankness than social niceties doesn't make other people wrong for having different feelings.

If what you really want is not for everyone to magically transform to having the same preferences as you (which seems like an unreasonable goal), but to get constructive feedback like the example conversation you gave, what would make the most sense is for you to recognize the social norms of the scene, and work with them to get what you want. Rather than focusing on what you think is wrong about your outfit and expecting them to volunteer suggestions or related experience, focus on showing respect for their skill/experience by asking them for tips on hemming or whatever. "I struggled with the waistline--have you found any tricks that help with that?" is almost always going to go over better than "I wish the waistline had turned out better--look at those threads." It lets people discuss the difficulties of the process in a way that makes them feel helpful (generally, a positive feeling) without having to directly tell you one specific thing about your costume is bad (generally, a negative feeling). And to tie this into the main topic, it's also a lot less likely to come across as insecurity, because you sound like you believe you can get better and are working on getting there, rather than like you're just down on your abilities.

reboundstudent wrote:
This disconnect seems to come up kind of frequently; this idea that if I think people lie/gossip, then I see them as malicious or mean or something negative. I have never assumed that "social lying" is at all negative. In fact, the banality of it is what drives me crazy. My assumption is that there is a significant chance in many situations that a person's compliment is disingenuous not because they are a bad person, but because we're in situations where compliments almost can't be genuine.

It's not a disconnect; it's based on your actual words in this discussion. Most directly: "that seems blatantly manipulative and cruel from the other side, the side of the Compliment-er/Comment-er. I feel very manipulated and put-out when someone compliments me, only to then turn around and whisper what a bad job I did to someone else."

"manipulative" "cruel" and "put-out" all sound like negatives to me. Are you trying to tell me you wouldn't feel bad if someone implied that you were being manipulative and cruel? You clearly do feel it's bad for people to refuse to criticize you to your face if they're going to do so behind your back. And again, even in a situation where the majority of compliments are not genuine, that doesn't mean any given person is not being honest and/or going to criticize you behind your back, and implying any specific person will--that they are, as you yourself describe it, manipulative and cruel--is going to get people's backs up.

Again, do a little perspective taking. You're complaining that other people aren't recognizing that you are different from other people in the scene and actually want criticism to your face and not to be reassured or continually complimented... yet at the same time you're doing the exact same thing to them: you're not recognizing them as individuals or giving the benefit of the doubt to any particular person that they may mean what they say/not plan to criticize you at all, but rather assuming they must be following the general pattern of the scene. Why is it reasonable for you to assume every individual you encounter in the scene is going to follow that pattern, but unreasonable for them to assume that you (an individual encountered in the scene) will too? Clearly you do this because it makes you uncomfortable taking the chance that you may be wrong to extend that benefit of the doubt... just as it probably makes them uncomfortable to take the chance that they may be wrong to assume you really do want to be criticized.

reboundstudent wrote:But if I'm standing right in front of you, there is almost an unspoken demand for a compliment. If you acknowledge the dress at all, it's almost got to be a compliment. Even worse is if I just complimented you. It's so awkward (and feels rude) for one party to compliment, and the other party to not echo a compliment back. It's that damn Social Politeness script. It makes lying the polite and expected thing to do. But then it makes believing a compliment given in that situation extremely hard.    

To me this is two different things. There are the chances of a compliment being genuine, and then there is your ability to tell whether a compliment is genuine. Just because in a particular situation it is difficult to tell which compliments are genuine, does not mean those compliments "almost can't" be genuine. E.g., Sometimes someone is wearing a dress that really does look great on them. People complimenting that dress are not being dishonest just because it's a situation where it would be impolite not to. It may be frustrating not to be able to tell whether the compliments are genuine, but it's unfair to assume people must be lying because of that. And as per above, it's particularly unfair to imply any specific person is lying, regardless of the general atmosphere.

I'd also point out that I've seen you right here in these forums complaining, for example, that people didn't compliment a cosplay costume you wore at the convention when you were wearing it. So obviously there are circumstances when you do appreciate compliments at the socially expected time. It sounds to me as if the problem is not so much the timing but your own evaluation of your work: when it's something you feel you did well with, you feel bad if you don't get compliments because that suggests your self evaluation was wrong; when it's something you feel you didn't do well, you feel bad when you get compliments because you assume they're lying. So what you're actually asking is that people psychically determine whether or not you're happy with your work (something no one other than close friends is likely to be able to do with any accuracy, since there are plenty of people who are pleased with work that's subpar and plenty who are hard on themselves for work that's quite good out there in the world), to only state their opinions if they align with yours (which even if they can tell what your opinion is, is not always going to be the case, since everyone appreciates different things), and to decide how, when, and whether to compliment you based on those two very difficult guidelines. Can you see how that would make it nearly impossible for people to say anything that you'll be able to take as genuine, and how your tight restrictions on what you'll accept as genuine may come across as insecurity (i.e., excuses not to believe people think well of you/to believe that they don't)?
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Post by reboot on Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:02 am

RBS, these situations seem like they really frustrate you, so maybe a couple "rule of thumb" scripts might help? I am going to use a costuming situation to illustrate

A person you do not know who is not in costume compliments the outfit you sewed: You can not know if they sew or if they have any sewing expertise. Just say "Thank you" and nothing else

A person in costume compliments you after you compliment them: This is the equivalent of someone asking how you are doing after you ask them the same question. Just say thank you. If you want to avoid this social nicety exchange, do not compliment first.

A beginner compliments your work: Say thank you and add something like "The hem was the biggest pain! Don't you hate it when $hemming mishap happens? You hear of any tricks to avoid it?"

A more experienced person compliments your work: Say thank you and add "This is my first time trying $sewing thing and I am not 100% satisfied with how $thing came out. What do you think is the best way to do $thing?"
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Post by Hirundo Bos on Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:20 pm

Reboot, yes! Those scripts are a good answer to the question I asked further up, about how things we say can often imply social requests that we didn't intend or even want... In your last two instances in particular, one steers away from implied requests by asking questions, overriding any implicit requests with explicit ones... Is that a correct interpretation?
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Post by reboot on Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Hirundo Bos wrote:Reboot, yes! Those scripts are a good answer to the  question I asked further up, about how things we say can often imply social requests that we didn't intend or even want... In your last two instances in particular, one steers away from implied requests by asking questions, overriding any implicit requests with explicit ones... Is that a correct interpretation?

Exactly, you open the door to dialogue rather than directly requesting a critique of your work or stating your summary of your work in an effort to force your conversation partner to give you feedback (or, as usually happens, getting them to call you insecure or just say "whatever, looks fine to me and walk off).

In the first scenario, you set up more of a peer to peer interaction by acknowledging that you are both still learning.

In the second scenario, you recognize someone's expertise and seek advice.

Note the subtle difference between "I screwed up the hem and shoulders and the waist is a mess" and "I am not 100% happy with the shoulders, I tried X, do you know another way to do them." In the first case, you are forcing the person to defend their compliment or forcing them to give you tips. In the second case, you are stating something specific you want to learn to do better and asking for advice, which allows the person to space to say yes or no to giving advice on a specific topic.
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Post by OneTrueGuest on Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:05 pm

I think also it makes it less about you and more about them.  Instead of you showing off your lack of talent, they get to show off how knowledgable and talented they are.  Now I'm not saying Marty is saying what she is saying to be all "me me me" centred, I'm just saying that that is how many could see it (because people like to assume the worst of people, "She can't be asking a sincere question, she just wants to talk about herself and be the centre of attention" - I hate those assumptions and have been burned by them myself before Sad ).  Switching the conversation to make it be about the other person can really help with the whole upholding the social contract thing.

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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:38 pm

reboundstudent wrote:
Yes, I do. I wouldn't say I put a clock by it, but I do try to remember to compliment people more apropos of nothing. So if I really loved someone's cosplay, I might not compliment them then, but I might at the next event when they're wearing something completely different. I'm trying to show that by the compliment is genuine by 1) remembering the thing I liked about it and 2) separating it away from any kind of perceived social pressure/script.

OK, that I get. I try to be pretty free with my compliments, as long as I mean them. Again, it matters to me because I know its not all that common a thing to do and it makes everyone involved happy. Real win-win situation.

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Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:55 pm

Waiting a set number of days sounds more fake to me than saying something right when I think it. And maybe you're just really good at phrasing it, but if I put a lot of work into what I wore today and somebody complimented the outfit I wore yesterday, I think I would just take that as an indirect insult regardless of how it was meant...

Also, I don't really agree that complimenting someone on e.g. a different hairstyle as a way of observing it's different is actually part of a social contract. Or at least, I've certainly seen a lot of people say things like "oh, you have a new haircut. ...Okay."
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Post by LadyLuck on Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:39 pm

Another possible route might be to use the self-deprecation as a lead-in to a compliment to the other person (assuming they are similarly costumed/have compliment worthy attire). As in "Oh I appreciate the thought, but wow your dress seems so much better, I mean, you even got your hemline perfect!" It does subtly convey what RBS originally wanted to communicate "I'm just a beginner, I still have a lot that I'm not doing right". However as OTG noted, everything tends to be a bit more socially acceptable when you aren't making it about you - which this does. It's no longer "woe is me, my dress isn't perfect" it's "wow your dress is so good" (in comparison). Also, because you took the focus off yourself, it is less likely the other person will argue with you about it, since you/your dress is no longer the main topic of the conversation in the first place. In the event that they do decide to argue with your assessment anyway, you still have an out - if they want to declare "Your work really isn't so bad", instead talk about what's better about their work. In all honesty, if I recall a past thread correctly, this is more accurate to how RBS looks at things anyway; I seem to recall that she places a pretty big stock in one's skills relative to other people. If the fact that everyone else is clearly more skilled is the root of what makes you sure that your work is amateur, then say so, and kill 2 birds with one stone Smile

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Post by reboundstudent on Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:54 pm

LadyLuck wrote:Another possible route might be to use the self-deprecation as a lead-in to a compliment to the other person (assuming they are similarly costumed/have compliment worthy attire). As in "Oh I appreciate the thought, but wow your dress seems so much better, I mean, you even got your hemline perfect!" It does subtly convey what RBS originally wanted to communicate "I'm just a beginner, I still have a lot that I'm not doing right". However as OTG noted, everything tends to be a bit more socially acceptable when you aren't making it about you - which this does. It's no longer "woe is me, my dress isn't perfect" it's "wow your dress is so good" (in comparison). Also, because you took the focus off yourself, it is less likely the other person will argue with you about it, since you/your dress is no longer the main topic of the conversation in the first place. In the event that they do decide to argue with your assessment anyway, you still have an out - if they want to declare "Your work really isn't so bad", instead talk about what's better about their work. In all honesty, if I recall a past thread correctly, this is more accurate to how RBS looks at things anyway; I seem to recall that she places a pretty big stock in one's skills relative to other people. If the fact that everyone else is clearly more skilled is the root of what makes you sure that your work is amateur, then say so, and kill 2 birds with one stone Smile

Yeah, I think that kind of option would work great. Quickly turning the focus on them means I get to still feel honest about my own skills, but then get to compliment and gain more knowledge from someone more skilled (because they always are :-) ) without getting caught up in the middle stage. Thanks for the suggestions, guys!
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Post by nolorn on Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:39 pm

No it is not insecurity it is reality that must be managed or assuaged. I know most women find baldness, excess weight, certain facial features like mine un-attractive and will not date such men as attraction for most women is based on appearence.

I was sad but now I accept this truth and have changed my behavior by hardly ever flirting with women as a result to better fit in with society.

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Post by Guest on Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:25 pm

Crap, here we go again (everybody grab your shields and pitchforks!)...

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Post by reboot on Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:38 pm

reboundstudent wrote:I've noticed that "insecurity" frequently seems to be used to mean "anything negative we say about ourselves." For example, I finally finished my Victorian ball gown and wore it to a ball on Saturday. Don't get me wrong, I was extremely pleased with how it turned out, but it was very clearly my first gown. I hadn't hemmed the skirts correctly, my bustle wasn't well-done, I hadn't fully edge-stitched the bodice so I had stray threads sticking out, the shoulders were improperly fitted... etc, etc. Standing among professional costumers who have been making costumes for decades, I was a hot mess. What troubled me is that I never really got to acknowledge this. Whenever people said they liked my gown, I sincerely said thank you. But if the conversation went much further ("So where did you get that skirt?"), I tried to talk about how this was my first gown, I'm still new to sewing, etc. Whenever I tried though, people got very uncomfortable, and I got the "insecure" label. But-but the gown is clearly amateur! I don't understand why it's "insecurity" to acknowledge this.

Similarly, I visit forums where guys frequently make negative comments about certain body types. However, whenever I've spoken up about considering surgery, or the difficulty of dating while <Body Type>, these same guys slap me down as being "insecure." To quote," Your insecurity is way more unattractive." But-but, you just spent an entire thread waxing philosophic about how my body shape is unattractive! So I'm supposed to fully absorb your thoughts about how unattractive I am, but not be sad, upset, or lose confidence over the fact that I'm unattractive? I just-what? WHAT?!

I just really do not get it. I do not get it at all, and I do not understand how to reconcile this idea that we can't acknowledge negative things about ourselves that are clearly staring us in the face. What am I missing here?  

nolorn wrote:No it is not insecurity it is reality that must be managed or assuaged. I know most women find baldness, excess weight, certain facial features like mine un-attractive and will not date such men as attraction for most women is based on appearence.

I was sad but now I accept this truth and have changed my behavior by hardly ever flirting with women as a result to better fit in with society.  

Nolorn, maybe I am too hungover or too tired to see it, but how does your comment relate to RBS's post? Not a snarky question, I just am not seeing how A led to B
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Post by Werel on Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:39 pm

<mod>nolorn, let's not get into broad generalizations of how attraction works for women, kay? If you have thoughts to contribute about expressing/managing insecurities in a general sense, or reboundstudent's situation in particular, please do. Thanks!</mod>
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Post by Guest on Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:59 pm

reboot wrote:Nolorn, maybe I am too hungover or too tired to see it, but how does your comment relate to RBS's post? Not a snarky question, I just am not seeing how A led to B

I'm assuming that nolorn was mostly referring to this paragraph from RBS:

reboundstudent wrote:
Similarly, I visit forums where guys frequently make negative comments about certain body types. However, whenever I've spoken up about considering surgery, or the difficulty of dating while <Body Type>, these same guys slap me down as being "insecure." To quote," Your insecurity is way more unattractive." But-but, you just spent an entire thread waxing philosophic about how my body shape is unattractive! So I'm supposed to fully absorb your thoughts about how unattractive I am, but not be sad, upset, or lose confidence over the fact that I'm unattractive? I just-what? WHAT?!

I just really do not get it. I do not get it at all, and I do not understand how to reconcile this idea that we can't acknowledge negative things about ourselves that are clearly staring us in the face. What am I missing here?  

So to a certain extent, I don't think he's being completely off-topic.

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Post by nolorn on Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:33 am

To add to my other comment, what I am saying is that if you know a body type that is unattractive to most, or whatever, either accept you will be less liked(or not), like I have, or do something about it, like I plan to and currently am working toward.

It is your life- I really doubt you care what some people on the internet think- it is your life and you should do what you want

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Post by nolorn on Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:40 am

Werel wrote:<mod>nolorn, let's not get into broad generalizations of how attraction works for women, kay? If you have thoughts to contribute about expressing/managing insecurities in a general sense, or reboundstudent's situation in particular, please do. Thanks!</mod>


Look I'm not saying women are worse at this- just that they are just as bad as the dude-frat-bros/entitled male nerds that they like to decry, though women are more tactful at concealing and placating their actual desires.

It is just reboundstudent's implication that somehow guys are to blame for her insecurity and confusion that I take umbrage with

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Post by Guest on Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:05 am

nolorn wrote:
Look I'm not saying women are worse at this- just that they are just as bad as the dude-frat-bros/entitled male nerds that they like to decry, though women are more tactful at concealing and placating their actual desires.

It is just reboundstudent's implication that somehow guys are to blame for her insecurity and confusion that I take umbrage with  

You're taking umbrage at RBS, because she's talking about a very real attitude amongst certain guys who have no qualms about making cutting and mean-spirited comments towards bodies that don't confirm to a certain ideal?

..Right Side-eye

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Post by Werel on Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:08 am

<mod>nolorn, RBS' post mentioned specific things that specific groups of men had said to her, rather than assigning blame to or generalizing about all men. Had she made statements about what all guys are like, she would also be asked to knock it off, because generalizations about entire categories of people are not cool around here.

Also, in general, when a mod asks you to cut something out, please just cut it out. Thanks!</mod>

I don't disagree that men and women share some very fundamental similarities in the challenges they face in dating, but the most important similarity in my book is massive variability. Some women prioritize appearances above all else in dating, as do some men. Some women prioritize other characteristics and looks take a backseat, which is also true of some men. Some women are great at concealing their desires, as are some men, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum.
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Post by nolorn on Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:50 am

[quote="HermitTheToad"]
nolorn wrote:


..Right Side-eye

Oh come on women aren't exactly better at this- there are plenty of mean spirited women with the same attitude, but as women are better socialized as a group they are better at concealing their actual attitudes- at least the men are being honest and upfront.

as to werel:

I don't think that variability actually exists- most prioritize looks, in other countries because of familial pressures and economic disparity, women prioritize economic gains and personality, in countries with equal economic spread women increasing want and demand good looking men and will not settle or even entertain other qualities like personality

sure some people who are different exist, but they are a small insignificant minority

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