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is this a cultural thing?

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Dark111

FORMER SF SUPPORTER
#1
I've been thinking about how different people express certain sentiments and think therein lies some of the issues/conflicts I may have with people.

Personally I think it may be a cultural thing, or at least that plays a part in it(I'm European, btw), but I'm open to feedback. On certain forums, and let's take this one as an example, I often come across this over-the-top way of complimenting someone for doing or saying something that's not actually all that extraordinary. It can be anything from a clever turn of phrase to some photo you stuck in your avatar. There are other examples, but those just spring to mind. Now to me this just comes across as a sort of insincere ass-kissing, a sort of sycophancy. It also makes the person doing it look like a bit of a bootlicker. The recipients of this type of fawning do seem to enjoy it, and why the hell not? But I wonder are those same recipients just being openly polite but secretly thinking "ok, chill, no need to suck my dick just yet" or is it more of a "just enjoy the ego boost and be gracious about it"? Maybe it's a friendship thing, i.e. both parties know each other a long time so there's an understanding there already?

It happens in real life too. I remember having to design a database and I actually thought the guy reviewing it was taking the piss at one point: "Oh wow, that is just AWESOME how you did that there....wow, AMAZING, that works SOOOO well, great idea there.. really WONDERFUL..." and that drivel went on for the whole presentation. When in point of fact it was a pretty standard database using Apache DB and it did the job it was specified to do. It worked. That's it. First year computer science stuff. There was nothing AWESOME about any of it.

I totally get it as a ploy to get into someone's pants, I mean that makes sense, but outside of that, and in the online world, is it supposed to be an encouragement type of thing? Is it the belief that compliments will make the hearer feel good about themselves and will want to reciprocate? I don't really know if it's possible but I think it would be more productive if I tried to work with this than against, and so would be helpful if I understood it a little better.
 

BarryW

SF Supporter
#2
I'm not really on any forums besides this one, so I can't comment about forums in general, but I will say that this forum lends itself to being extra-complimentary /congratulatory by its very nature, and I participate in that to some degree. And while in rare cases it can be a bit jarring, just due to how very different it is from (most of) the outside world, usually it doesn't bother me, or I just remind myself that this is a place where that is likely to do more good than harm.

As far as in-person interactions, I haven't seen too much of what you have talked about, not to the level you are describing. I'm in the US, in case that matters for the cultural angle of your investigation. But I did have a close friend in the past that was too.. complimentary or a** kissing or whatever you want to call it. I would try to downplay whatever he was complimenting, or not be on the pedestal but he wouldn't budge. I feel that it put some distance between us and honestly is one of the reasons I haven't contacted him in several years.
 

Ash600

Of dust and shadows
SF Creative
SF Supporter
#3
I'm not sure if it's a cultural thing, perhaps more of an individual trait? I've noticed people from various backgrounds itching for compliments so as to massage their egos.
Personally, I'm a cynical fucker. Majority of the time any compliments recieved and I'm straight away thinking as to what their agendas are and for how long will it be hidden.
 

Dark111

FORMER SF SUPPORTER
#4
I'm not sure if it's a cultural thing, perhaps more of an individual trait? I've noticed people from various backgrounds itching for compliments so as to massage their egos.
Personally, I'm a cynical fucker. Majority of the time any compliments recieved and I'm straight away thinking as to what their agendas are and for how long will it be hidden.
Yeah I would have a similar attitude myself towards compliments. And agreed, I do think that it can certainly be just the style of a particular individual. But it's true that different cultures regards compliments quite differently

For example, the Japanese are a notably reserved group of people, so compliments are rarely given. But they are known to be very polite, and in the occasion where they do give praise, the person receiving the praise is expected to be modest; otherwise, one appears arrogant. Or take Eastern Europe where I've done quite a bit of travelling. No one smiles at you or gives you a compliment unless there is good reason to. They find smiling/complimenting people automatically makes the person look foolish. If you are lucky enough to be complimented, it's a pretty sure thing that it's genuine. It actually means something and you're not just some part of standard gimmick they throw at everyone.
 

BarryW

SF Supporter
#5
Or take Eastern Europe where I've done quite a bit of travelling. No one smiles at you or gives you a compliment unless there is good reason to. They find smiling/complimenting people automatically makes the person look foolish.
You have just increased my likelihood of moving to Eastern Europe. I do not enjoy a culture of expected smiles, which are often forced.
 

Ash600

Of dust and shadows
SF Creative
SF Supporter
#6
Yeah I would have a similar attitude myself towards compliments. And agreed, I do think that it can certainly be just the style of a particular individual. But it's true that different cultures regards compliments quite differently

For example, the Japanese are a notably reserved group of people, so compliments are rarely given. But they are known to be very polite, and in the occasion where they do give praise, the person receiving the praise is expected to be modest; otherwise, one appears arrogant. Or take Eastern Europe where I've done quite a bit of travelling. No one smiles at you or gives you a compliment unless there is good reason to. They find smiling/complimenting people automatically makes the person look foolish. If you are lucky enough to be complimented, it's a pretty sure thing that it's genuine. It actually means something and you're not just some part of standard gimmick they throw at everyone.
Yes, that's a good point, different cultures will have different expectations on social behaviour and what is acceptable or not. What may seem the norm within one type of cultural society, could be viewed as uncouth behaviour.

As I've indicated before, I don't do compliements. At times I'd prefer someone to just call me a cnt as it's less of an effort to maintain that standard.;)
 

Walker

Admin
SF Social Media
SF Author
SF Supporter
#13
The things written here weren't "friendly banter" so they were deleted. You've been here long enough to know we don't do that here.
But I've closed the thread at your request.
 
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