So today as I was leaving work someone said “you look beautiful” to which I humbly replied “thank you,” and continued on my journey. Normally, I would think this is an appropriate response. However, today I learned there’s an expectation that my proper reply would be to say “you’re beautiful too.”
And honestly, I find this extremely awkward, annoying, and makes me want to not ever receive any compliments. I’m not sure if it’s because of my personality or culture, but either way, I don’t like it. I hate doing or saying things because I HAVE to. I want to do and say things because I MEAN them.
If I had already called you beautiful in my salutation, why must I repeat it again? Why do I need to do it right after you complement me? Why can’t it just be when I randomly feel like it? I’ve never complemented someone and expected to be told that I’m beautiful as well. I’ve never said “oh your jewelry is gorgeous” and expected them to look at my earrings and rings to do the same.
I simply say it because I mean it. And I like their style. And I see nothing wrong with appreciating other’s beauty or sense of style.
I guess at the end we go back to that cycle of appreciation vs. expectations. What does society think we should do VS. How do we actually feel about it? Do we appreciate or simply check if they fulfill our expectations? Do we want a genuine thank you or a fake complement to boost our self-worth?
Personally, I’d rather have a simple thank you and have you randomly complement me. It’ll make my day a little more happy. It will not make my day if it’s out of NEEDS and rules set by society.
If the attention is on them, why must I bring it back to myself? It just feels sort of selfish. It’s probably just me though.
It’s probably me not understanding the individualistic aspects of American society.