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Discussion Starter #1
Today was good, because my ISTP (pretty certain) supervisor gave me a compliment, and those are rare! :)

(Ok, so he said I was getting pretty good at something, which meant I had force myself not to worry about whether that meant I wasn't really good or was bad in the past, although logically I know it is something I am good at.)

Even more telling than his words were that he had no criticisms or changes I should make and he's REALLY good at telling me those. He is not good at compliments, he's admitted that himself.

Of course, later when he said I did a good job, he had to follow it up with a joke about how it's about time that he's finally able to say that after two years, though we both know that was really a joke. :)

So, I'm wondering if this is characteristic for ISTPs... Do you find it difficult to compliment people? Do you need to veil compliments behind jokes or ambiguous wording? Do you see any purpose in complimenting people? Does criticism come much more easily?

ETA: Also, how do you feel about receiving compliments and what types do you like best?
 

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Do you find it difficult to compliment people?
Yes, but for different reasons than you might think. I say compliments when I mean them, which is rare. Because they are rare, people make a big deal out of it and things become awkward for me. Because it's awkward and now a big deal, it's hard for me to say them.

Do you need to veil compliments behind jokes or ambiguous wording?
Yes to the joke. Making a joke shows people that it isn't a big deal to you which combats the awkwardness and big deal-ness.
No to the ambiguous wording.

Do you see any purpose in complimenting people?
No. Though I do compliment attractive men because the appreciation for their face or whatever is just overloading in my head - kind of like when a child is so excited for a trip and they can't stop talking about it.

Aside from men, the majority of my compliments are positive reinforcement for the person to continue the behavior that I am complimenting them on. Then there's the small percentage where I am just bubbling with appreciation for their behavior and let it out - again, like when a child is so excited for a trip and can't stop talking about it.

Does criticism come much more easily?
Yes, completely.

ETA: Also, how do you feel about receiving compliments and what types do you like best?
They generally don't affect me. I just need once in a blue moon so I know that people still see me.
What types I like best? @Decoy What types are there?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What types I like best? @Decoy What types are there?
Hmm, I'm not sure to be honest. I guess I meant, in what form do you feel most comfortable receiving compliments? For example, really pointedly, or kind of more casually, or only in private... Do you like receiving them in front of other people or does that type of attention bother you?

:)
 

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Hmm, I'm not sure to be honest. I guess I meant, in what form do you feel most comfortable receiving compliments? For example, really pointedly, or kind of more casually, or only in private... Do you like receiving them in front of other people or does that type of attention bother you?

:)
Ahh. The number one rule: always, always give me a way out. Say it and walk away, give me a note where I can read it in private, etc. Do not stare at me after you say it. And unless you are giving me a compliment on a negative quality, then don't say it in front of other people.
 

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Do you find it difficult to compliment people?
Yes and no. I've actually focused on this area because I've noticed that my environment is weighted toward the negative side. So I'll compliment someone if I notice they're doing something worth complimenting. But usually I'm so focused on what I'm doing that I don't notice.

And I don't give fake compliments. If someone starts fishing for one from me when I don't think they deserve one they get silence and a blank stare.

Do you need to veil compliments behind jokes or ambiguous wording?
Sometimes I'll hide it with a joke, other times I just say it and walk off.

Do you see any purpose in complimenting people?
I see some purpose, but I think that most people put way too much stock in compliments. Fake compliments are worthless but if someone understands that you genuinely mean it it can have a positive effect. So, really it's a tool for morale if used properly.

Does criticism come much more easily?
Yeah. It's usually constructive though. If I don't like you enough to want to help I'll just ignore you. Or wait until I can snipe you.

ETA: Also, how do you feel about receiving compliments and what types do you like best?
Compliments are strange. If I have to get one I'd prefer a short "this is good" and nothing else. Like a look compliment "you look pretty today." Than I can just thank them and move on.
 
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I'm wondering if this is characteristic for ISTPs...
Yes
Do you find it difficult to compliment people?
Stupidly so. First off, I may come over as a fawning admirer. Secondly, it reveals what I beleive to be good. Thirdly, I have a severe habit of sounding rediculously patronising.
Do you need to veil compliments behind jokes or ambiguous wording?
Of a sort, although I think using a back-handed compliment heavily covered with sarcasm (and as the sarcasm typically covers the backhand part, it is, in fact, a real compliment) is taking it a bit futher...
Do you see any purpose in complimenting people?
Absolutely. If someone complements me in a way I believe to be completely genuine I will work harder at that thing for months (literally). If someone criticises me I shall work hard to prove them wrong (and I nearly always suceed) for a day or two. If they say nothing I do my own thing.
Does criticism come much more easily?
What sort of dumb question is that? (Sorry, couldn't resist) Yes. Criticism is traditionally simple stating of fact and can be constructive. You do not have to point out excellence (something which is often subjective, and can sometimes be revealing about yourself).
Also, how do you feel about receiving compliments
They're nice... in private.
what types do you like best?
Ones given by strangers with a small dose of constructive criticism. That way I know they are genuine. If however you know me, at least get the point I was trying to get across (one person complemented on me for when I sang Mr Cellophane, saying they would always think of me as such. The song was chosen as most people had a habit of completely missing my prescence).
 

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THe problem with compliments is that 99% of them have some level of ingenuinity within them (even if the person giving it themselves thinks that they really mean it).

I only ever accept a compliment if I believe that it has been said with no ulterior motive whatsoever.

I rarely give compliments, largely because it never occurs to me to say it. If I go out of my way to say something nice, it means that I really mean it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What sort of dumb question is that? (Sorry, couldn't resist) Yes. Criticism is traditionally simple stating of fact and can be constructive. You do not have to point out excellence (something which is often subjective, and can sometimes be revealing about yourself).
Haha, ok, I can see how the question might seem pointless from an ISTP perspective... Just to throw this in there, for some people compliments come easily and criticism is difficult. :) My colleague made a couple of really big mistakes yesterday and it is was still difficult for me to criticize her, because it bothered me to see her feel bad. On the other hand, I can spout compliments forth with absolutely no effort. When I was maybe 12 some peers even told me to stop giving so many compliments, because people would think I was a lesbian...

The thing is, my compliments are genuine! I just see something I like or appreciate and state it. You wrote, "criticism is traditionally simple stating of fact and can be constructive," and, from my perspective, the same statement could be applied to praise, aside from using the word fact, but I don't think it should be used for criticism either. :)

Like immortalhaldir wrote, praise is constructive as a tool for morale. In my opinion, it's essential for dealing with certain personality types who need praise to balance out criticism.

THe problem with compliments is that 99% of them have some level of ingenuinity within them (even if the person giving it themselves thinks that they really mean it).
That's an interesting statement, I've got to reflect on that one. Thanks. :) Can you give me an example of how a person would believe that they are giving a genuine compliment, but you perceive it as not really being genuine?

I'm also uncomfortable with insincere compliments, especially ones you feel obligated to say, like when someone asks if you like their new haircut... :(
 

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Do you find it difficult to compliment people?
honest praise for a rare trait i appreciate: no.
but - due to the rare trait part - it's damn rare.

Do you need to veil compliments behind jokes or ambiguous wording?
no. sometimes i'll add in a joke though if i'm afraid the other will make a great deal out of it otherwise.

Do you see any purpose in complimenting people?
yes. i enjoy seeing people i like smile or blush. and it encourages behavior i like.

Does criticism come much more easily?
yes. though i will neither compliment or criticise someone i don't care about.

Also, how do you feel about receiving compliments and what types do you like best?
depends.. compliments on things i like at myself are great.
compliments on something i want to change, compliments from people i don't care about or compliments in a crowd will lead to silence and a stare.
 

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Do you find it difficult to compliment people?
No, but it has to be truthful; I can't give people a compliment because it is what they want hear,or because it's what I "should" say.

Do you need to veil compliments behind jokes or ambiguous wording?
Not really; I just tell it straight.

Do you see any purpose in complimenting people?
Hmm. I suppose it's good for them to receive feedback that they're doing something right.

Does criticism come much more easily?
Yes, although, once again, it always has to be truthful.

Also, how do you feel about receiving compliments and what types do you like best?
I'm pretty awful at receiving compliments, even if they're from someone I respect. I suppose it stems from a fear of appearing to be arrogant - which function would cause that? I tend to disregard compliments from people who know nothing though.
 

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Haha, ok, I can see how the question might seem pointless from an ISTP perspective...
The first statement was supposed to be a joke, whilst pointing out criticism comes easily. The part in parenthesis was apologising for how unfunny it was.
Just to throw this in there, for some people compliments come easily and criticism is difficult. :)
I know some people find it hard to criticise. The problem is I then don't trust their complements as they will not give the whole picture. In addition when they do criticise you, it must be really serious. If however you give mostly constructive criticism (I'm assuming this is all about constructive. There is really no point to deconstructive at all) then they don't hit people hard, the people continually know what to improve, and when you throw out a complement they are up on cloud nine.
My colleague made a couple of really big mistakes yesterday and it is was still difficult for me to criticize her, because it bothered me to see her feel bad. On the other hand, I can spout compliments forth with absolutely no effort. When I was maybe 12 some peers even told me to stop giving so many compliments, because people would think I was a lesbian...

The thing is, my compliments are genuine! I just see something I like or appreciate and state it.
I don't get how you can give lots of genuine praise. From my (admitedly limited) point of view that either means that the slightest things are getting complemented (in which case, whoop-de-doo, I got mildly better at something, who cares?) or that you repeateded do it for the same thing (likewise, whoop-de-doo, I can do stuff that I have done). I am relatively sure you beleive neither of those are the case, so would love to hear how it works for you. Also don't take the parenthesised (I know its not a word. Leave me alone...) personally. I get they are well intentioned, but my brain doesn't care.
You wrote, "criticism is traditionally simple stating of fact and can be constructive," and, from my perspective, the same statement could be applied to praise, aside from using the word fact, but I don't think it should be used for criticism either. :)
I see it as criticism should be "You could improve x by doing y". You are not saying anything about how good they are except that they could be better, and then you are telling them his this can be achieved. Complements however are either given when someone suprises you (in which case you are basically admiting you weren't expecting them to be at that skill level), or simply saying they are above average. Now that does give a nice morale boost. Indeed as I mentioned some praise will make me work harder at things for months... but telling them how to improve? That can make them better permenently. And for a morale boost? Even destructive criticism can do that for me, assuming I can prove them wrong (and I usually can).

Like immortalhaldir wrote, praise is constructive as a tool for morale. In my opinion, it's essential for dealing with certain personality types who need praise to balance out criticism.
The problem is, it only useful as a tool for morale. It doesn't help people improve, it doesn't really tell them anything useful. It is essential, but I feel it can be thrown around way too much. As for the people who need large amounts of praise to balance... if you can't take the heat, move away from the ISTP.
 

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That's an interesting statement, I've got to reflect on that one. Thanks. :) Can you give me an example of how a person would believe that they are giving a genuine compliment, but you perceive it as not really being genuine?

I'm also uncomfortable with insincere compliments, especially ones you feel obligated to say, like when someone asks if you like their new haircut... :(
E.g.

Paying someone a compliment, but only because you want to say something nice so that that person will like you (a surprising number of people do this as a means of breaking the ice with someone - I hate it because, like you, I have no effing idea how to respond :/).
 

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Honest compliments are easy and sincere, though they're few and far between for me. I don't like it when I'm complimented. I'd rather someone tell me what's wrong so I can work on it.

Most of the time, anything remotely nice that comes out of my mouth is veiled with sarcasm, a joke, innuendo, etc.
 

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I feel indifferent to most compliments. Also, like a previous poster said, I feel uncomfortable with extravagant displays of any kind. I don't like to make a big deal out of things.
 

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it only useful as a tool for morale. It doesn't help people improve, it doesn't really tell them anything useful. It is essential, but I feel it can be thrown around way too much. As for the people who need large amounts of praise to balance... if you can't take the heat, move away from the ISTP.
^This.

For me, I think it's less about compliments and criticism as a matter of just stating facts. If I have to work with someone who has a hard time throwing a frisbee, I might give one or two pointers, and then say "good throw" when they get it right. But I won't unnecessarily compliment them or criticize them ("that was a sucky throw man!"). If I like the pattern on someone's skirt, I might say "That's a pretty skirt." but I don't mean it as a direct compliment; it's a statement of my opinion on an object, not on the person.

If I were to compliment the person, I would say it more directly, "Thanks for ___" For me, giving a compliment to a person means complimenting their character or the way they relate to me.

I think the difference between sounding fawning is the tone of voice; if I just say everything as a fact and don't unnecessarily repeat it, then it's less of a "fawning compliment."

I agree that it's harder to accept compliments; usually I just say "Thanks" or nothing at all.
 

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I agree that it's harder to accept compliments; usually I just say "Thanks" or nothing at all.
especially the "not-compliments" you mentioned... the "nice skirt"-thing.
why would i thank someone for that (except if i made the skirt myself)? "thank you for stating that you like what i wear"?
i don't care how my clothes look to others. i feel comfortable in them so i wear them. i don't get the meaning of compliments on clothes and i never know how to answer.
 
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