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Nobody takes a compliment anymore

GemStoner

I am the milk man. My milk is delicious.
For the record I know that everything going on right now is undoubtedly affecting people's moods.

But for years now I've been noticing this downward trend that's getting me down and I just want to vent and see if anyone else has the same problem.

It seems like whenever I give people compliments on their art, or try to be encouraging of someone who is just starting out with a new account, they always respond like I'm being disingenuous or they have this vibe about their response that's like "ok...weirdo" and makes me wish I never said anything.

Over the years in art communities I really wanted to make a concerted effort to say more nice things, especially on art that is good but not yet well known, or novice art that I can tell took a lot of effort and a lot of potential..

But everyone just reacts like I'm being fake or something. I can literally say "You deserve a lot more watchers and I hope you keep doing what you love" and I'll get "thanks I guess"

Was I insulting somehow? I guess I should just never say anything.

I feel like 10 years ago I never had this problem but now I really feel like giving up on even trying to be nice to people. Is anybody else experiencing this?
 

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
Any compliment that I have given others has either been well received, or ignored, but nothing ugly. I don't know how old you are, @GemStoner , but I'm old enough to have seen friendliness and general courtesy becoming less common. This is especially true of impersonal communication; any communication that is not face-to-face.

I believe that war and strife is less of a cause of this than the influences of the internet, itself. More and more, people seem to treat other people on the net as just an extension of this grand machine. Also, because virtually everything can be found on the net, many young people seem to have become especially jaded at an early age. Suspicion and distrust have become the go-to states of being for many. Some may argue that 'it's a necessary survival strategy', but one could easily carry that too far.

Regarding 'giving up on even trying to be nice to people', I would suggest you not go there. We already have enough people like that in the world. Nothing positive can come from adding to their numbers. Be nice, be friendly, and remember that you have no control over the other person's behavior.
 

GemStoner

I am the milk man. My milk is delicious.
Reptile Logic I think you are right. I'm just about 30 and I remember when getting a new follower was a compliment in itself, but now there is the chance people will follow just to rip off your work or worse, so that is pretty big..

I've been trying to push past it but I feel like it just gets worse the more I try, even tho I'm careful not to come off too strong or be smothering people. I just try to occasionally say the things I know would have helped me a lot along the way. I know how much it sucks to be trying hard and not getting any feedback, so I wanted to try and help others with that, but it seems like more and more I wind up feeling like I stepped in crap and shouldn't have said anything.

I guess it's not socially acceptable to compliment people unless you are in their circle now, idk.
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
I definitely get the same vibe. Age doesn't necessarily matter in the sense that, most people aren't honest about it in the first place.

Irl some people get embarrassed and don't know how to handle it. I myself used to be like that. I still freeze up and want to argue that I'm not what you think I am, but I just fake a smile and pretend to accept it because it's the polite thing to do. Only I can give compliments you can't compliment me myeh!! ):<

Maybe they're ungrateful, maybe they come from a dysfunctional background. Maybe both.

That being said, I don't think you should apologize for trying to lift someone up with something brief and positive like that. It could take years but I'm sure some people will look back on these and feel grateful.
 

GemStoner

I am the milk man. My milk is delicious.
More l
What are you expecting to get as a response?
Hey, it doesn't bother me when people just don't say anything, or a simple thanks and move on.

It's telling someone I like how much detail they packed into a picture and getting a response that basically reads like "yeah, that's what layers are for...dumbass"

It's.. things like that. Maybe I just struggle too much with online communication and reading things the wrong way.

@TyraWadman those are more really good points.
 

Ziggy Schlacht

Hasn't figured out this "straight" business
So, you might be reading things wrong, but there's a difference between:

"I like you art"

and:

"You should have more watchers"

The latter is specifically citing a failure of the artist and trying to treat it like a compliment. Unless you have an ability to grant more watchers, it rings hollow. Hence the responses that seem suspicious. They're looking for what you're going to do about it, expecting a sales pitch or something similar. How many times have you heard "You need a vacation! Buy a timeshare?"

If your compliments are often like this, it's not a surprise people don't take it well. I mean, it's even worse if you don't watch them and say that, but no idea if you've done that.

The former, I mean, people feel as if they need to respond but there's no much to say. However, in text there's no tone, and barely a universal code for tone. So:

thanks
Thanks
Thanks.
Thanks!

Could be anywhere from annoyed to happy. Even:

Thanks...

Might be "go away creep" or it could be "I dunno what to say." Some people also overuse ellipses, so it could be a third thing.
 

GemStoner

I am the milk man. My milk is delicious.
I've had people tell me I should have more watchers and it just made me feel validated, I never saw it as them faulting me..

That could explain that one but I don't feel like it applies to most of my comments, like "I love how much detail you put into every part of this"

Am I supposed to anticipate it really sounds like I'm telling them it's too cluttered or something like that? What makes it worse btw is yes I am watching these artists when this stuff happens.

You make good points but I feel like it's also just proving to me I need to go back to just silently faving and never saying anything like most people do, too much to go wrong or be taken the wrong way.
 

Judge Spear

Well-Known Member
So, you might be reading things wrong, but there's a difference between:

"I like you art"

and:

"You should have more watchers"

The latter is specifically citing a failure of the artist and trying to treat it like a compliment. Unless you have an ability to grant more watchers, it rings hollow. Hence the responses that seem suspicious. They're looking for what you're going to do about it, expecting a sales pitch or something similar. How many times have you heard "You need a vacation! Buy a timeshare?"
I...what?

How many brain worms are needed for artists to become this cynical? People think like this? wtf
I get called underrated by my followers semi regularly. Not once in my life did I think "wow this guy is saying it's my fault that I'm some artistic leper and I should respond like a catty, persnickety little diva."
No, I just assume they're saying my skill is going unappreciated and deserving of more clout.
If this is how Internet artists are taking very innocuous comments like "you deserve more attention" then artists are socially inept punk asses.
 

Xitheon

The cat's mother.
Sometimes when I compliment an artist I really admire, I am semi-consciously trying to get acknowledged by them, like a swooning kid trying to get an autograph from a celebrity. Most people don't like that kind of hero worship.
 

GemStoner

I am the milk man. My milk is delicious.
Sometimes when I compliment an artist I really admire, I am semi-consciously trying to get acknowledged by them, like a swooning kid trying to get an autograph from a celebrity. Most people don't like that kind of hero worship.
I get that... I was mainly venting my frustration that I was particularly trying to say more nice things on pictures that had no comments, by artists who had talent but very little following.

One thing I haven't liked about art communities is it seems like nobody wants to support someone unless they already have a massive following, so I have been trying to be a little more outgoing with underrated artists, moreso on DeviantArt right now but anyway,

it's nice to see a couple of you wanting to assume the worst about me, assume that I am being condescending when I'm trying to be nice, which is..HAHAA the point I was making in the first place. Everybody thinks I'm being fake and coming from the worst possible angle anyway, so I will stop trying to compliment people.
 

Ziggy Schlacht

Hasn't figured out this "straight" business
@GemStoner
I don't think you need to stop, but rather re-evaluate what you're saying - and how you read their response. To expand, some compliments can read weird by virtue of them being somehow generically specific. That is, complimenting a specific feature of the drawing - "the details" - without actually saying anything about them. If you've gone through... any annoying art class you probably dealt with "sandwich criticism" where something negative is sandwiched through two positives. Those positives, in the case of bad art, are often something that feels like searching. A compliment that falls under "generically specific" might remind folks of this, so they don't think you mean it.

To avoid this, either be more generic "Looks good" or more specific "The anatomy of the orange cat is good." Make a call to the drawing to show you looked at it, instead of compliment that could be copy/pasta'd on 5000 drawings without changing.
 

Judge Spear

Well-Known Member
I get that... I was mainly venting my frustration that I was particularly trying to say more nice things on pictures that had no comments, by artists who had talent but very little following.

One thing I haven't liked about art communities is it seems like nobody wants to support someone unless they already have a massive following, so I have been trying to be a little more outgoing with underrated artists, moreso on DeviantArt right now but anyway,

it's nice to see a couple of you wanting to assume the worst about me, assume that I am being condescending when I'm trying to be nice, which is..HAHAA the point I was making in the first place. Everybody thinks I'm being fake and coming from the worst possible angle anyway, so I will stop trying to compliment people.
Honestly I don't blame you. Art communities are consistently coming up with new, ultra fine little rules to interact with creators. It's insane and not natural. You'd think you were playing Yugioh with the amount of granular rulings you have to recall before engaging some of these people. It makes us all look incredibly snooty and touchy.

One thing I haven't liked about art communities is it seems like nobody wants to support someone unless they already have a massive following.

This is another thing that annoys the shit out of me. But it's not exclusive to artists, I guess. Selfish behavior I've noticed since literally 1st grade. And I see it in any industry, clique, or "community". Anything to get a leg up quicker.
 

Chomby

I'm back.
This reminds me of the time that I said a fellow artist was talented, only to be lectured by them and their friends. They assumed that I was saying that they didn't work hard to get as good as they are, which I didn't mean (they knew I was an artist too so it should've been fucking obvious). It was honestly pretty frustrating.

Nowadays I just say "skilled" instead, but I still feel a bit resentful about the whole thing. It's really not hard to see the intent of what I said. I was just trying to be nice and all I got was criticism.

Don't apologize for other people's hang-ups. If someone can't take what is clearly a compliment, that's their problem, not yours. You'll just know that they are not worth your time and support. You don't have to cater to everyone's fragilities and I say this as someone with them myself. Give people basic respect, and if that's not enough, tough beans.
 

Judge Spear

Well-Known Member
This reminds me of the time that I said a fellow artist was talented, only to be lectured by them and their friends. They assumed that I was saying that they didn't work hard to get as good as they are, which I didn't mean (they knew I was an artist too so it should've been fucking obvious). It was honestly pretty frustrating.

Nowadays I just say "skilled" instead, but I still feel a bit resentful about the whole thing. It's really not hard to see the intent of what I said. I was just trying to be nice and all I got was criticism.

Don't apologize for other people's hang-ups. If someone can't take what is clearly a compliment, that's their problem, not yours. You'll just know that they are not worth your time and support. You don't have to cater to everyone's fragilities and I say this as someone with them myself. Give people basic respect, and if that's not enough, tough beans.

Preach.
Tired of people acting fresh to basic language and social interactions. It's how you can tell someone never logs the fuck off. People constantly fine tooth combing normal interactions looking for some slip up. Shit is annoying.

This stems from some weird notion that artists are special and deserve sensitive treatment through it that I've seen since 2007 Deviantart. The people who fed into it never grew out of it.
 

Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
Huh, that's strange. I've never encountered such behaviors. Maybe because my art social circle, small as it is, has mostly people of more advanced age?

I for one love getting comments and try not only to respond but to make it into a conversation whenever applicable (because sometimes it's not). One-liners tend to baffle me a lot since there's no meaningful way to respond other than "thanks".
 

Connor J. Coyote

¥otie ¥otezer
For the record I know that everything going on right now is undoubtedly affecting people's moods.

But everyone just reacts like I'm being fake or something. I can literally say "You deserve a lot more watchers and I hope you keep doing what you love" and I'll get "thanks I guess"

Was I insulting somehow? I guess I should just never say anything.

I feel like 10 years ago I never had this problem but now I really feel like giving up on even trying to be nice to people. Is anybody else experiencing this?
Well, I'd say it's not about mood.... per say given the current situations in the World.

Some people who do artwork, just have confidence issues and in turn, can't take compliments too well..... it's got nothing to do with you, a lot of times. And..... let's be frank, some people are just plain conceited also.... and don't want to bother giving you back some courtesies..... and also - some people don't like to talk to random strangers reviewing their work..... so, it could be any number of those factors.
 

GemStoner

I am the milk man. My milk is delicious.
@Ziggy Schlacht I appreciate what you're trying to do, but more and more you are just illustrating why I need to give up trying to be supportive of strangers in this particular way.

I don't have hours to sit and agonize to come up with a truly unique compliment for every picture I like, but I've also seen people who are really annoyed with simple generic compliments.

It's obviously a damned if I do, damned if I don't scenario, as illustrated further by @Chomby
Holy crap.

A couple years ago a younger artist I was watching literally posted a journal asking her followers for advice on what they needed to improve on. So I told them their art was great, but their finished pieces often had spotty little uncolored pixels that could be touched up at the end.

1 other person said "yeah I see what they're talking about" but the artist and all of her friends? Totally dog piled me.

It's honestly embarrassing how much I'm realizing DeviantArt is probably my whole problem here. It's just hard to let go of the first art site I was ever part of, and the only one I've been able to get even a small semblance of a following on.
 

ConorHyena

From out of the rain.
I haven't had any similar problems on FA or discord or so. People have been civil most of the time when compliments are given.

People have been a bit more tense in general in recent times, but I guess that can't be avoided.
 

Ziggy Schlacht

Hasn't figured out this "straight" business
@GemStoner That's why I was stressing "are you sure the problem isn't how you interpret things?" One of my points above was people are primed to see some comments like "you need more followers" as fake because that could very well be a sales pitch. Or it's hitting something their frustrated with. It's hardly a lack of social skills that would cause you to misread a comment in text. In your case, I suspect you're primed to see almost any response as annoyed or sarcastic. And considering DA is basically teenagers and professional artists using teenagers as free marketing, it's not a surprise the issue came from there.

I would add to everyone else that people have been saying "this is the worst it's ever been" since forever. However, there's a brain trick at work here. People tend to forget negative experiences and remember positive ones. So you could've had *just as many problems* with interactions a decade ago, but you'll only remember the good ones. This is why it seems things were better in the past - you don't remember the bad parts.
 
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Baron Tredegar

Ukraine Strong!
I always try to compliment and be nice to most people I encounter. If they take offense at a compliment I feel that it is usually a problem with them and not you.
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
Regarding 'giving up on even trying to be nice to people', I would suggest you not go there. We already have enough people like that in the world. Nothing positive can come from adding to their numbers. Be nice, be friendly, and remember that you have no control over the other person's behavior.

Reptile Logic gave a really thorough response that reflected my experience as well, but in particular, the above applies heavily.
Do what you can and don't worry about the rest. When it comes down to it, those that will appreciate the effort are worth it.

I...what?

How many brain worms are needed for artists to become this cynical? People think like this? wtf
I get called underrated by my followers semi regularly. Not once in my life did I think "wow this guy is saying it's my fault that I'm some artistic leper and I should respond like a catty, persnickety little diva."
No, I just assume they're saying my skill is going unappreciated and deserving of more clout.
If this is how Internet artists are taking very innocuous comments like "you deserve more attention" then artists are socially inept punk asses.

Just because it sounds odd doesn't mean it's wrong, lol. At the end of the day, "You should have _" cites they in fact DO NOT have _ and can make some people feel...well, bad.
Just because you or another artist takes it better doesn't mean that those artists who don't aren't valid in their feelings. It's not for anyone to judge, really.
 

Judge Spear

Well-Known Member
It's not for anyone to judge, really.
You can judge anyone's vitamin D deficient behavior.

If you're so squishy that "you deserve more attention" is enough to make you respond in a passive aggressive manner, you need friends. Actively choosing to ignore the tone of someone's comment and decide it was purely done to be malicious is a you problem. It's something that can be handled better than responding like a passive aggressive spoiled brat.
 
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