We have all been the victim of an awkward compliment at some point in our time here on planet earth. I personally was one this weekend (a victim that is). This awkward compliment took place in Bare Minerals, the makeup store I've never set foot in before at International Plaza. My best friend had a gift card there and wears all their makeup so we'd pop'd in to take a look around. We were browsing and after declining help from two women were making our way through the bronzers when I noticed Candy look up at someone approaching.
I was still facing the makeup when the male, heavily makeup laden, employee approached Candy and started to ask her (the third time since we'd entered) if we needed help. I turned around (so as not to be rude) and realized he was all of 5 inches from my face. Now, I should mention here that while I'm not a 'personal bubble' kind of person, I do appreciate some breathing room when talking with strangers. He proceeds to say in a voice that implied he was totally shocked to find, 'Oh my! You are REALLY PRETTY?!?'. Note the question marks as implied by the inflection at the end of his sentence.
So not only was it awkward because he was in incredibly close proximity to my face and said it in a tone that implied shock! Gees. I awkwardly mumbles a thank you and proceeded farther down the aisle of makeup in an attempt to escape his watchful eyes and Candy and I snorted with laughter after making our way out of the store (without purchasing anything). We continued to laugh every time one of us thought about it for the rest of the weekend. Or to get really close to each others faces and do impressions of t he space invading compliment!
When complimenting someone please avoid the errors of A. leaving the second person standing there out of the compliment. Even if you don't intentionally mean that to exclude them, it does. And it's not favorable. B. Don't invade peoples personal space (or check their face for pore size). No one wants to smell your lunch while you're trying to compliment them. No one. C. When making a comment about someones personal appearance meant to be taken in a favorable manner, please refrain from sounding surprised.
To end this on a positive note, it was great for a laugh.