Complimenting a woman on her attactiveness is usually not the most powerful affirmation, but in a very short interaction you might not access anything more personal to affirm. And for the right woman at the right time, being told that she’s pretty can have a lot of power.
Complimenting women on their good looks is a dicey proposition. I think I get away with it better than a younger guy would because at 69 years old women assume that I’m harmless. I also honestly believe that I have good intuition for when it would be useful information for a woman that she is seen as attractive. I pass on the impulse to speak it as often as I act. I don’t know exactly why I choose not to – something in me just says, verbatim, “Leave it out”.
I have a lot of ways that I tell women they are attractive. I think they probably work best when they are invented on the spot, but some of these repeat. To really work, I’ve got to absolutely mean them.
- “You have such amazing eyes!”
- “Wow, where did you get that hair? Did your mother have beautiful hair like that?”
- “You have the skin of a 20 year old.” to someone clearly well past that age.
- “You are so pretty.”
- “You have a perfect nose.”
- “You are the most beautiful woman to come through my line all day.”
- “You are our most beautiful customer.”
- “You are the most beautiful woman on our staff.”
So, when I tell women they are attractive I have a pretty good hit average for responses that sure look like they liked it.
- “You’re making me blush.”
- “Wow, thank you.”
- “You have no idea how good that is to hear.”
- “I really needed to hear that today.”
- “I could cry.” (And her eyes did tear up.)
- “I’ve been telling myself that my skin looks all wrinkled.”
- “I bet you say that to all the women.” “Nope, I’m pretty scrupulous about only saying things I mean.”
I got an education from one of our customers yesterday, when I told her maybe four year old daughter that she was pretty. She said to her daughter, “You know what you say when people tell you you’re pretty.” Then they in unison said, “I’m pretty and smart and strong.” With that last word, she held up both arms in a powerful gesture and growled. I think she enjoyed the whole self-affirmation, but that last part seemed to especially tickle her. I think that the next time I’m inclined to tell a little girl (including my little granddaughter) that she’s pretty I will give her the whole list.
When Linda came through my line yesterday, she was clearly as pretty as any woman I had seen all day, so I could have affirmed her on her looks. But after just a couple of verbal exchanges, something else grabbed me more powerfully. “You are so totally alive. You’re amazing.” “I’m blushing.” Usually I take that as a cue to back off, but for some reason my inner guidance was to keep moving towards her. “No, really, you’re radiant. It’s a real treat to be standing in front of you.” It’s kind of woo-woo to tell someone that they are very alive, but Linda had a very real quality – maybe a really core quality – that I could not find another word for. I knew that I had my finger on something real and I strongly believed that it would be useful for her to have this aspect of her mirrored back, so I moved past my own shyness to give her that which I had to give.
I told Linda that I was going to write that exchange up in a blog post that would go up today. I’m going to be a day late, but I hope you do read this, Linda. If you do,let me know what you think of this – in an email if you want, but most powerful would be to put it in a comment attached to this post.
Long live beauty! Long live aliveness!! Long live the courage to move past our shyness and to give affirmation!!!