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Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/22 20:07
I know about humble culture and all. And honestly speaking, I love giving compliments lol. So anyway, recently I just told this Japanese girl that she's cute (I was referring to her personality btw) and she got all shy lmao. But the thing was that I'm really generous with my compliments. Like, I'd praise her for her sense of humor, having great personality, etc. from time to time so I thought that she would've gotten used to it by now. But apparently not. I thought she was joking so I teased her by asking her if I should be less direct about it, she laughed and told me yes lol. Also sometimes I'd tell her that she's adorable, she used to just take it but she gets embarrassed about it lately? Why the sudden embarrassment? I don't quite get it.
by daaaniel  

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/23 12:02
If I may ask, are you from somewhere like the UK or USA?.
by StevenR86 rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/23 16:15
Profile says Sindapore.

Recently has been getting embarassed about it you say? She is in love with you. haha
by hakata14 rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/23 17:37
Because that's cultural first and personal later. What you do is something that just isn't done. Hence the acute reaction.
by MajorSayan rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/23 21:02
Unsolicited "compliments" are never ok, in Japzn or otherwise. You sound quite self-centered, too, repeatedly doing something you know makes her uncomfortable and expecting her to just"get used to it". Just stop, you are being a jerk.
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/23 22:33
@StevenR86 I'm an aussie but I live reside in Singapore atm ^^

@hakata14 I believe our relationship is just close friends LOL.

@MajorSayan I understand that but I made sure that she was okay with what I was doing, any signs of repulsiveness from her and I would stop

@Firas I wish you would understand MY POINT before TAKING OFFENSE for somebody you don't even know and calling me a JERK. Like I've mentioned before, any signs of repulsiveness from her and I WILL STOP. I also made sure that she was okay with me complimenting her, nothing sexual at all because our friendship is platonic like that. They just came out rather naturally for me, she is aware it and assures me that she likes compliment (for your info, she's using honne with me; not your typical tatamae where it's like "it's okay so I won't hurt his feelings"). In my defense, I meant them, mind you, not just throwing it randomly.
by daaaniel rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/24 03:43
I don't mean to generalize, but merely speaking from my own experience, Australian men are the most talkative people I've known. So I now have a very specific image of you. I know I may be wrong, but I can't help it.

Anyway, Japanese men are often quite the opposite of that. So I don't know how long you've been doing this to her, but I'm pretty sure she's used to what she's been used to for the first 15 or 20 years of her life.

And if so, she wouldn't know how to respond after your fiftieth-or-so time of complimenting her. People tend to show shyness when they don't know how to respond.

I know, because I've befriended one of the rare Kanto guys that are as talkative as Australians and Kansai guys.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/24 09:23
Uco, I think the talkative nature you've experienced is because Australians are generally friendly, outgoing, and unafraid to express their opinions. Our cultural communication style is vastly different to that of Japanese people. Here we're about the individual and in Japan they're about the group. We value our freedom to express ourselves more than the feelings of others. It's not selfishness, rather cultural difference. In complimenting someone, an Australian is simply expressing their honest feelings about someone, which is regarded as a nice thing here in Australia. However it seems the OP wasn't aware that complimenting a Japanese person draws attention to them as an individual rather than as part of a group, thus the reaction.
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/24 14:02
Since she's told you to be less direct about it, and still you keep at it, she might be finding it at least mildly annoying. Or, she might be starting to suspect, since you keep at it, some romantic interest on your part. Or someone else might have suspected it and mentioned it to her.

Usually (in Japanese language) people compliment, we are supposed to answer "no, no, not at all, I don't deserve that kind of comment" kind of thing. That is what we are used to. So suddenly switching to (even in English) "oh thank you!" and reacting happily may not come easily to some people.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/24 15:02
I don't see how this has anything to do with group vs. individual. Rather I see it as a difference in communication culture with respect to compliments, directness and modesty.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/24 15:37
@Uco hahaha is that so? But yeah I can see how my action is really different from how guys around her would usually act. And don't worry I didn't tell her right off the bat when I just got to know her, but I started when I thought we're close enough. In fact, I don't even tell her that she's cute/adorable that much, just occasionally. I usually praise her sense of humor though. It's not like I expect her to be downright boring but neither did I expect her to be dorky 90% of the time. Hmm I guess it could be that she doesn't know how to react to direct compliments after all. I did ask her about it just yesterday and she told me that it wasn't uncomfortable for her and she's happy about it but I'm starting to think that she's saying it out of politeness.

@Sal1980 you've raised a good point. If that's true then I've completely overlooked the communitarianism culture. But since it's sort of a one-to-one chat, I don't see why I need to praise her group because I certainly don't know her friends.

@AK I've been trying to moderate my praises lately, though it's a little hard on my end because I praise everyone, but yeah I guess it might be annoying after all. I thought I made it obvious that there's no romantic interest involved. I praised everyone, I'd even call guys cute and she knows it. That being said, I don't compliment her for being cute/adorable all the time.

Ah yes, that's true. Thank you.

@Uji it's probably directness and modesty I guess.
by daaaniel rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/24 15:54
daaaniel, thank you for your understanding. I also agree to Uji that it has nothing to do with individual vs. group, because I find that Australians are different in that matter even compared to Americans and Europeans. In fact, if memory serves me right, I think it was Freddy Mercury or some other musician from the English-speaking world that commented the same thing about Australian people.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/24 16:01
Yea, what Uji said. Take away the girls nationality and this could be any girl's reaction.

Like, I'd praise her for her sense of humor, having great personality, etc. from time to time so I thought that she would've gotten used to it by now. But apparently not. I thought she was joking so I teased her by asking her if I should be less direct about it, she laughed and told me yes lol. Also sometimes I'd tell her that she's adorable, she used to just take it but she gets embarrassed about it lately? Why the sudden embarrassment? I don't quite get it.

Sounds to me like you're coming off as flirting with her, and maybe she's started feeling that way too. If she's now embarrassed by it that could mean she's grown to like you, or the exact opposite and you're making her more and more uncomfortable.

Unsolicited "compliments" are never ok, in Japzn or otherwise. You sound quite self-centered, too, repeatedly doing something you know makes her uncomfortable and expecting her to just"get used to it". Just stop, you are being a jerk.

It's ok to compliment people, but not if the person has expressed to you that they want you to stop. Hard to tell the exact situation from what you've posted, so you'll have to judge for yourself whether you've gone too far.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/24 19:18
I didn't say you had to compliment her group. I said it draws attention to her individually instead of blending in.

Yes Stefan. I know you disagree with me.

Uco, us Aussies are more than happy to be recognised as being different to Americans and other westerners. We're laidback, have a "she'll be right" attitude and love a good old chinwag over a schooner or 6 at the local or at Bazza's house with a case from the bottleo. (We speak differently too).

by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/25 00:25
@Uco not at all, I should thank you for explaining.

@yllwsmrf Oh god. I wasn't trying to flirt in any way. Hmm initially I told her that I compliment people a lot (that was also to seek approval before I actually start complimenting her) and she was like : bring it on. And I did, sometimes I'll compliment her when she asked and understood my explanation for some of the slangs and/or jargon I've used. However, I think I did it in a way like how people would encourage kids? Since she told me I treat her like a kid so I toned that down. Usually she's okay with them but lately she told me that she's embarrassed so I just casually asked her why would she be and she was like : I'm not telling you~ :P (which I thought it was safe to imply that I wasn't making her uncomfortable; at least not from the response I got because it seem playful to me)

@Sal1980 Hmm I guess, but that was also the point. She is an individual, at no point I'd want to generalize her with others.
by daaaniel rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/25 06:49
And I did, sometimes I'll compliment her when she asked and understood my explanation for some of the slangs and/or jargon I've used. However, I think I did it in a way like how people would encourage kids? Since she told me I treat her like a kid so I toned that down.

In that case it sounds like she may be experiencing compliment fatigue, where a constant stream of well-meaning but otherwise insignificant compliments starts to wear on the receiver. This is something that expats in Japan often experience (and complain about), myself included. I would consider toning it down some more, especially since she has already made you aware that you are pushing the limits of making her uncomfortable.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/25 15:20
How old is she? and what did you say exactly, in Japanese or in English?
Do you or can you say the same thing to Oz girls, too?
Before I comment I am curious.
by ay (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/25 15:51
So she already made it clear that she's not comfortable with it yet you persist? She probably thinks you're creepy but is too polite to say so.
by jh (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/25 19:15
@yllowsmrf ah I see, I'll do that. Thank you!

@ay she's 18. I'll include what I say and her reaction at the bottom. And our chat is mostly in English, it got pretty long at some point so I asked if long texts scares her because it does for me when it isn't in English (thinking that if it's scary then I'll find ways to cut things short). The next moment, she asked if she could reply in Japanese because she wanted to watch me panic. Oz girls? I don't have many Japanese friends to begin with, let alone for me to feel comfortable and/or close enough to compliment them. But I do compliment my other Japanese friends (guys included) the same way. They're a cute bunch LOL

Texts -
the first few was me just assuring that her English is good, I did that to encourage her and at the same time hope that she's more comfortable at using English. I feel that Japanese aren't too confident when it comes to using English (like I am with my Japanese) so yeah that was the first few compliments (or encouragements)

So here are the actual ones -
"you're pretty careless aren't you. but your handwriting is nice" "yes careless. LOL thank you. I have test the week after next"
"oh so you refer to yourself as a third person? that's kinda cute (that was regarding the usage of )" "yep. cute? you think so?"
(starting from her this time) "text me = send a message?" "yes, what we're doing right now or when you send your friend messages on LINE, that's texting. you're smart~" "YEAH~~ please call me smart girl LOL"
"unlike you, I wouldn't be comfortable at using a language I'm not familiar with. You're really admirable" "you are really good at praising" "do I praise too much?" "Not at all! and I'm glad when you praise me" (at this point I thought it was fine, though I may have overlooked with her just being polite)
[so that was like the first month or something, anyway skipping onto the recent ones]
"I think you're like a puppy" "hahahaha puppy? I'm glad~" "hmm yeah, you're cute too (I mean, puppies are cute right?)" "thank you, so are you"
"yeah I think so too. So you'll be careful. LOL (actually I can't)" "hahahaha you're adorable (I honestly thought that reaction was pretty adorable though)" "LOL thank you. I'm embarrassed"

those are roughly it. I picked out the earliest and latest ones though, I hope it's enough

@jh I do agree with her being polite but creepy? I believe that when somebody find me remotely creepy, they would've blocked or cease all contact with me right away. And I feel that (personal opinion) Japanese are really good at that (ignoring).
by daaaniel rate this post as useful

Re: Japanese can't take compliments well? 2016/9/26 12:27
I've never been to Australia but I think even in America a lot of that would be taken as flirting (especially that puppy one).
by Harimogura (guest) rate this post as useful

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