Have You Ever Been Caught Off Guard?
Recently, I was sitting in a cafe, drinking my coffee and attempting some study for my BYCA course, while simultaneously getting distracted by Facebook (damn you Facebook!).
Anyway, a lovely man came up to my table and gently said, ‘HI’, with a huge grin on his face.
I thought he’d mistaken me for someone else and so I said ‘HI’, back, waiting for him to say ‘sorry, I thought you were someone else’.
But he didn’t.
What came from his lips next was, ‘I’m Michael. I just wanted to say hi because I thought you’re really pretty’.
I smiled back, probably turning as red as a beetroot at the same time.
In truth, I was shocked and had no idea what to do. The words that fell from my mouth in response were something along the lines of ‘thanks, but uh, I have a boyfriend’.
This didn’t phase him at all. He continued to smile at me and said ‘that’s ok, I just wanted to let you know you’re really pretty.’
Then he left.
My Awkward After-Thoughts
I sat in disbelief for what seemed like at least 5 minutes.
I’ve had people say similar things before, but never in such a gentle, non-confrontational way that it seemed absolutely genuine. It’s usually shouted from a building site or by a guy surrounded by his friends for support.
As I watched Michael drive off, all I could do was think of my awkward feeling and response to the whole situation.
I realized that what I would have loved to have said back to him was. ‘Hi Michael, I’m Davina. Nice to meet you. Thank you so much for the compliment.’
Is It Possible to Give a Stranger of the Opposite Sex an Innocent Compliment?
This unexpected interaction taught me a lot about myself and what makes me uncomfortable. Being caught off guard and giving responses like this is definitely something that has that effect on me.
Something else I realized is that it’s because the compliment came from a guy that I became so awkward.
I mean, I have random girls give me compliments about my hair, clothes or jewelry on a regular basis and I never blurt out an awkward response to them. Which makes me wonder…
Is this my culture and inner beliefs being exposed?
And is it possible to give a stranger of the opposite sex a compliment, without it seeming as though you’re interested in dating them? If so, how would it need to be phrased?
These are the questions whizzing round my head right now. I don’t have the answers yet, but am definitely planning on giving them a lot of thought over the coming weeks.
To finish, I just want to say:
‘Hi Michael, nice to meet you. Thank you for the beautiful compliment and for giving me the chance to realize an area of potential growth in my life. I’m truly grateful’.