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Should I compliment or not 2005/6/11 14:18
When my Japanese female pen pals sends me her photo, should I offer compliments eg 'You are very pretty' etc or not. What's the ettiquette. Do I compliment her or do I stay low key and just thank her for the photo. Which is the safer bet? I don't to turn her off her if I do and I don't offend her if I don't. Thanks
by Jacky  

What's the ettiquette?? 2005/6/11 19:23
I don't think you're asking about the ettiquette. Human's feelings have been universal ever since photography was invented.

But whenever sexual harasment is discussed, they say that it is safe not to mention the face and body, but to compliment on the clothes or how good it looks on that person.

I guess that when I recieve a photo from a person I haven't met, I naturally tend to write back saying something about the photo itself. Like it's a cheerful looking photo, or that the person looks sporty on the photo or what not, and not mention about the person being handsome or beautiful or what not. And people tend to do the same to me. And mind you, I'm not at all ugly (on photos, at least).
by Uco rate this post as useful

Double Standards 2006/5/20 06:39
While it may not be appropriate for a native Japanese male to come onto Japanese women, it is nonetheless tolerated for Caucasian men to communicate how cute a girl is, and based on this, ask her out on a date. They simply feel that we are just "hakujin" and thus we are more culturally different.
by Chris Matchett rate this post as useful

_because_ you are Caucasian 2006/5/20 19:34
Pen-pal-ing is a great way to get to know people of other cultures or even people of other cultures AND different gender AND people who you don't even know well. I've gained many good friends through emails and the internet.

However, because of this tendency, many people are very causcious about their new pen-pals. Not only once I have seen Japanese ladies posting on the internet asking how she should continue (or not) her email exchange since she was rather taken aback by how this foreign male responded wildly to her photo.

I've even seen posts by a long-time overseas resident writing from a professional's pov about the dozens of criminals who try to take advantage through emailing.

You are free to express what you want, but be aware that people on the other side can be much more causcious than you think, which I think is a good thing as long as both sides don't go over the top. Anyway, the internet can be pretty scary sometimes, you know.
by Uco rate this post as useful

what about for guys? 2008/3/18 20:30
any norms about complimenting a photo from a Japanese guy?
by anonymouse rate this post as useful

No compliment 2008/3/21 16:35
When we meet someone for the first time in person we usually don't tell that person that they look good or even that their clothes are nice etc. this comes much much later. I think that the same caution should be observed with photos on the internet. I often feel embarrassed by the attitude of some men towards women and some women towards men, usually in public when they are with a group of friends. Pen pals should treat one another with respect and behave with a pen pal of the other sex as they would with a same-sex pal, i.e. not a hint of sexuality.
by Auntie Bert rate this post as useful

Compliments are welcomed 2008/3/26 20:20
From a female point of view, I think itfs a universal thing that women always welcome sincere and appropriate compliments.

If I sent my photo to a male pen-pal and was given no compliments on other than only my clothes of all, I would take it that he didnft like my looks and would feel quite disappointed, consequently turning off. It is very likely that a woman can be more or less sensitive about his reaction to her photo when sending it to her male partner for the first time. Because people can feel out somewhat whether the other persons like them not only through verbal expressions but also, or more through non-verbal ones when meeting them in person, but when it comes to communication solely thorough pen-paling, ewordsf are everything. I donft mean you need to offer your pen-pal a kind of obligatory compliment, but whatfs wrong with praising her saying like gYou are very pretty,h gYou are cute,h gYou look charmingh or what not if you really think so? I donft believe many women would take compliments on their looks (except the body) as sexual harassment as far as they are offered in personal relationships excluding those inappropriate cases involving business relationships and such embarrassing situations as being in front of other female acquaintances. I think people are too sensitive over that issue these days. Itfs sad if this makes guys too timid to compliment ladies.

Nevertheless, you still have to be cautious in complimenting because overuse of compliments or overstatement might sound insincere and flattering, or at worst, seem just creepy. In particular, it'd be better to keep that in mind much more and try to be moderate when the female partner you are praising is Japanese since many Japanese women are not accustomed to being given bold compliments, of course it depends on the person, though.
by Mee rate this post as useful

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