I don't give out compliments. I don't. Anyone that's known me for a while can attest that getting a compliment out of me takes something pretty impressive. This isn't because I'm a jerk. Okay, so I may be a jerk, but that's not the motivation behind not complimenting anyone on anything.
I always feel so uncomfortable with compliments. People try to compliment me, and I know they're trying to be nice or whatever, but instead I feel very awkward. I'm like those elves that cobbled shoes at night. I'm don't do anything in my life aiming for recognition. These days it's not so worrisome for me, and I can even take a compliment with a modicum of grace, but it's not like I seek out compliments.
This is entirely different from thanks. It's not difficult to accept thanks. Thanks is praise for work that has been done. There was effort, there was expense, and there is thanks. It's only natural.
The thing about compliments are that for the most part, it's opinion and conjecture, and so very different from thanks. Whether you look pretty or not today is opinion. Whether you're a hard worker is a fact.
So, these days I give out a series of non-compliments, things that people interpret as compliments, but really are more like observations.
"You changed your hair."
"Is that a new tie?"
"You look very dressed up today."
"Is that a new perfume?"
"You must've gotten a lot of sun on vacation."
And people can take them for what they will. Most people take it as a compliment, and thankfully leave it at that. Some people (women) will fish for the compliment. "Oh yes, I went to a new hair salon! Do you like how it looks? Hmm? Do you? Huh? What's that?"
And sometimes, I let a compliment slip. Like I was walking past my favoritest hot nurse, and she was very dressed up that day, and as I passed, I said, "My, you look beautiful today." And about a minute later, I thought, "Did I just say that out loud?" I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I have to attend sensitivity training.