Tell pretty women they are smart, and smart women they are pretty. saying We prefer to be liked, vs. disliked, but we also care about which features others most like about us. For example, we might prefer to be liked for our sense of humor, rather than our looks. But it seems to me that we most prefer that people who like us
Pinker once said the best compliment you can give a lover is that you love them because you can't help it.
(or something like that)
Doesn't having ignorant fans create stress because we are uncertain that they will continue liking us? It's unsustainable for someone to like me for something I am not. I may prefer in the short term an acquaintance to be more ignorant and like me, but it seems to me people like close friends are a different case.
It seems like the quote about smart/pretty women has more to do with how people like to be complimented on things they are insecure about rather than on things they already know they are good at.
In my experience people love very specific compliments about things that they are insecure about. Those details make the compliment seem more believable.
To some extent this is an independent effect from what you are proposing Robin.
This post reminds me of Ayn Rand's comments on why "unconditional love" is unflattering, even though people seem to want it.
IMO, the precedent in Grant's arguments is true. We largely like because we are liked, and vice versa. Liking or being liked triggers the pleroma of cognitive biases that make life so interesting and exciting. There's something to be said for the evolutionary stability of those biases etc.
If the trait valued is loyalty and reciprocation, especially by both parties, then IMO the fear that someone else may temporarily outrank you becomes much less important.
Of course, allowing certain traits to change can be a display of disloyalty (e.g. a spouse not working, gaining too much weight, etc.).
The post is about ignorance of what you like about people, not ignorance of the details of their features.
When someone likes you for reasons they don't understand, you feel higher status. Conversely, understanding why you like someone makes you feel like you have more control over yourself with that person and thus higher status. Knowing why you're attracted to someone can hurt you if you want to feel lower status to the person you're attracted to i.e. women attracted to men.
Detailed compliments require and demonstrate non-ignorance. Detailed wrong compliments will probably come off as ridiculous.
michael and Karl, I didn't talk about vague vs. specific compliments.
Yeah, this seems exactly wrong to me. Vague compliments can come off as an attempt at ingratiation, especially to very attractive girls.
The more detailed and specific you can get the more effective. Indeed, if you want to elicit a lot of affection its best to think really long and hard about even a simple and common feature like eyes.
Moreover, you can get away with telling a women you like her "willingness to have sex with you" if you can get really specific. Saying "I like because you're easy" is not likely to get you far, but a detailed explanation of the particulars of her sensuality can work.
Now what will get you into crap is if you are detailed about you DEVOTION to someone. I want to do something nice for you because you . . .
That is not good. It sounds best if you want to do something nice because you cannot help it. Because a desire wells up from in you that you cannot understand or control.
>If someone says they like my tendency to have sex with them should I think they really mean my personality?
I do not know what Robin's answer will be. However may I suggest....You bet ya! Sex arises from intimacy (the sharing of vulnerabilities). Intimacy is where it is. Anything else is gratuitous.
In my experience it's the exact opposite. The more detailed and exact a compliment the more effective. In fact, if you are detailed enough in your criticism those can also create positive mutual feelings. What people don't like is vague praise that they have heard before many times.
Robin, why makes you think if someone says they like your height they mean your looks? Height is one of the most important parts of male attractiveness. If someone says they like my tendency to have sex with them should I think they really mean my personality?
Are there any stable traits that people do sometimes genuinely say they like? If not why not? If so, do people like to be liked for them?
Katja something that you can precisely evaluate after just one experience is less an "experience good" than something that requires many experiences to slowly gain an accurate estimate. It seems to me we do prefer folks like us for stable features. Height is stable, but when someone says they like it they mostly mean they like your looks, which is less stable.
agnostic, yes we are thirsty for feedback about how we measure on features.
Hector, good quote.
"When love depends on another factor, then when the factor ceases to exist, so does the love. But when love does not depend on anything else, it never ceases to exist"-- Talmud