I don’t know what the case is for other people around me – but as far as I am concerned, I do not want even a single instance or case of bravery, brilliance and beauty pass by, without being appreciated or complimented. I feel that if they aren’t appreciated, then it will be a matter of grave injustice. I think conveying compliments to someone is an art in itself, which one needs to master.
The same is the case with me. I too am improving with every passing day – but that’s not my concern. I have observed that I convey my compliments – to friends for their career achievements, to police officers when they receive gallantry awards, and even instances where my male friends had posted their good-looking photos on various social media platforms. While I have done all this open-heartedly, I have noticed that an element of over-cautiousness was inherently present in my compliments when they were conveyed to a girl – be it for their good looks or for anything else.
I think that I am lucky because I only face this issue of over-cautiousness. Many boys are quite hesitant in conveying such compliments. Many would say that this is too minor an issue to discuss. But then, they are wrong because this shows that most youths of our society are conscious of the gender of the person with whom they are interacting. For some, this gender consciousness is high enough to cause hesitance – while for others, it is to a lesser degree and brings about over-cautiousness.
This also exposes the red line between the two genders which is the root cause of many problems. I think the reason why this problem exists is that boys are seldom ‘conditioned’ to learn the art of complimenting the opposite gender. Consequently, many of them often end up transgressing the red line between complimenting and stalking or sexual harassment, either knowingly or unknowingly.
While some keep transgressing this line, others become hesitant or overcautious. I am not one to lecture on morality, but I would like to honestly put forth my views on the red line between complimenting and stalking or harassment. “Hi Priya, this dress suits you. You look really beautiful today” – in my opinion, after a boy issues such a compliment, they should not embark on an ‘endless quest’. Having said this with a pious heart, its time to simply move on. Depending on her perception and comfort, the girl will either thank them or just let the compliments pass by, unnoticed.
All the more, if this is the way boys compliment each other, why not interact with girls in a similar manner? On the contrary, as is often the case, depending on the girl’s reaction (or not), they often end up transgressing the line and proceed to activities like stalking or harassment.
The other reason which leads to hesitancy and over-cautiousness is the popular notion advocating minimal interaction between boys and girls since their childhood. This lack of interaction enhances the problems in our society rather than solving them.
Being from a co-ed school, I think the element of over cautiousness in me is due to the fact that I am somewhat aware. While it’s a good thing to be aware we should not let this awareness bring in over-cautiousness. The element of over-cautiousness spoils the act of complimenting. An open, honest and pious heart is needed for conveying heart- winning compliments.
The bigger question here is that if conveying compliments gently is such a big problem, then how will boys and girls come together to solve the problems prevailing in our society?
Featured image used for representative purposes only.