Women how do you respond when a man compliments you when you exert little effort on yourself

If I tell my wife she looks good without makeup, her opinion is generally along the lines of “I care more about how I think I look than about how you think I look”. I.e., she thinks it’s saying more about my undiscriminating taste than her attractiveness.

Anytime I see that someone has gone out of their way to look a little nicer for whatever reason I make a special point of paying them a compliment male or female. I have never gotten a bad reaction from that and I have noticed that simply paying someone a compliment can be instrumental in them making a little more effort each day to look nice.

As far as I’m concerned the only way to respond to a sincere compliment, no matter what it is or who it’s from it “thank you” If I’m feeling like a slob or that I don’t look my best I’ll internally feel a little embarrassed at being noticed but I’ll still just thank the person for their kind words. Telling me one thing looks better than another is a bit jerkish, unless were on close personal terms.

Yes you do: you can’t control how tall you are or most of the shape of your body, but you can choose to wash your hair or not, to spend two hours doing it or not, to wear one type of makeup or another or none at all… None of us has much control over what we look like naked, but we all can dress better or worse.
I’ve never been one for spending much time or effort on my hair or makeup (my hair and I have an agreement: I don’t fight it, it doesn’t fight back), and I take compliments in the spirit in which they have been delivered. Sometimes that means they get a thank you, sometimes a “fuck off”, sometimes like just yesterday a question of “did you get a haircut?” gets an answer of “actually no, I need to wash it”. My sister in law has wavy hair which she insists on ironing; she gets compliments every single time she hasn’t had time to iron it and finds them irritating. Me, I don’t get it… but then, sometimes I think the two of us might actually belong to different species. My other sister in law does again take compliments in the spirit in which they have been delivered.

And after this one time when a compliment from an unknown woman managed to fix what had previously been a lousy day, I make a point of complimenting people - not necessarily on their appearance, I really think we should point out the nice things more often.

Since it seems like your compliments are received favorable from this lady, a thought for future compliments…instead of “it looks better”, you could say, “it’s my favorite way you wear your hair” or “I always like it when you put it up”.

Like your friend, I got back and forth between more and less effort. I’m always a little more pleased when I receive a genuine compliment (from man or woman) on how I look when I’m going for a more casual (read: too busy to take the time) look. My standard reply to most genuine compliments (as opposed to someone simply hitting on me) is simply to smile and say “Thank you.”

“Your hair looks better that way” is not a complement. It’s a judgement. It’s not anyone’s place to judge her hair or the so-called effort she puts into it.

“I like your hair like that” is a statement of the speaker’s personal preference. It’s not wrong, but again, it’s not a complement. It’s not a statement about her hair, it’s about the speaker’s personal preferences.

“Your hair look nice” is a complement. It’s a statement entirely about the hair, without judging the hair or the person under the hair.

Yeah, all of this. It’s utterly presumptuous to tell another person that you prefer one look over another. Not a compliment at all. Hell, my husband won’t answer even if I ask, wise man that he is.

I agree with you that the way I worded it could’ve been misconstrued, but I think the intent is what matters. She knows my intent was good and she responded positively to my compliment.

When I complemented the ex’s perfume because I liked the scent, she’d get insulted because I didn’t complement her make up job that took her 45 minutes to do.

One of many reasons why she’s my ex.

I too hate when people respond to my genuine compliments with their snark or false modesty. Or worse yet “This old thing?” That just serves to make it seem like my taste is terrible.

I try to go out of my way to compliment people. Enough negativity in this world already. And it’s nice to get compliments that aren’t just a means to get someone in the sack.

Learn to accept the compliments graciously, people. If you continue snarking the time will come all too soon when you get none!

I don’t think people who are complimenting me are wrong, unless it’s ridiculous flattery, which is both obvious and irritating; it’s just that I don’t like being complimented on certain things, so I deflect with jokes and sometimes snark. Sorry!

Sure. I could stop bathing or brushing my hair, or I could go toward the other extreme, drop 20 lbs and be in full glam mode at all times. Those would be very different looks indeed. But like most people, I don’t really put a great deal of effort into looking good or bad. I wake up, put on a clean shirt, brush my hair and head out into the world. I suppose I could put in a concentrated effort to look much better or much worse, but I put in the baseline amount of energy into my appearance that I think most people do. I showered this morning, pulled my hair back into a ponytail, put on a grey tee shirt and some jeans. If people find this attractive, uh, good for them? Thank you?

So you do and you don’t have control of your appearance. An unattractive person can bump themselves up a few notches by staying in shape and not dressing like a slob. An attractive person can bring themselves down a few pegs by clearly not giving a shit. But assuming you’re in shape and don’t present yourself like a clown, that’s pretty much you. You can move the score a little, but let’s not exaggerate how much say you have in the matter.

I think this is a good sign the complimenter is so into you that they’ve moved beyond the general assessment and are sort of checking out the idiosyncratic things that are attractive about you. How I would respond to something like that would depend greatly on how well I knew the person and how I felt about them.