Fishing For Compliments: Oh my!


Every so often, someone will bring a matter to my attention, touting the fact that they completed a routine task as if it constituted a major achievement. Today it was a very nice competent guy. I’m reluctant to express my displeasure and risk offending him but it makes me wanna rip his head off for wasting my time. Fortunately he doesn’t do it often but he loses respect points with me every time.

After I give him a smile and a nod with “Ok, great”, he continues, going on and on about it, giving the details, past, present and future. Later, he messages and brings it up all over again. I start telling him “Well done” at each long awkward pause :unamused: But just as I relax and settle back to work, thinking surely we’ve beaten the subject to death, he brings it up again! How many times do I have to say “well done” to satisfy a person like this? Around the tenth time he brings it up, I’m so exasperated my concentration is completely shattered. He thinks he is ISTJ but I suspect he might be ISFP. (ISTJs that I know would never do this) He mentioned earlier today that he was “bored” so maybe it has something to do with it?

I have friends who kinda fish but it’s more to share a victory when they actually have done something of merit. Especially if I really like the person, I don’t mind cheering them on. Although I think I go out of my way to express appreciation and recognize the accomplishments of others, (without being asked), I myself don’t like getting compliments. So I don’t fully understand this stuff. Sometimes I wonder if I am missing the mark when someone requires it at a specific time.

Anyway, comments? :smiley:


I understand where you are coming from and feel the same way as you do.

Its not that I don’t like giving compliments, I just don’t like being fished for compliments for small tiny achievements. I am happy to compliment people when it is justified. I am happy to provide real feedback, but I have learnt most people who are not NTs, do not take kindly to any form feedback. They just get upset, and it has some consequences that I do not wish to deal with. You know, the petty backstabbing, gossiping and revenge game. Usually very badly executed and you can smell the revenge before it even hits. I now keep my lips zipped up, and just smile and say “that’s nice”. And in your situation “Wow, I have said that’s nice 10 times already!” smile and avoid.

From just what I observe, the ones who do this a lot, strike me as having low self esteem and are somewhat insecure. I try to avoid these people, because it is a lot of effort to stroke their ego. I would rather hang out with people who do not need this from me. However, I can see how this need to be placated can be used to manipulate and take advantage of these people.

I am actually really tired of this game, and I hope someone will respond with a better way of dealing with this.


I enjoyed the part “ripping his heart out”. Sounds like a plan :laughing:

On the serious note. People like that piss me off. I would myself stand up and leave that place in a heartbeat. I’m glad to be able to leave corporate world before I turned into real psycho and really tried to rip someone heart out or pop someone eye off. (quickly remembers the scene from the Kill Bill movie…wow…poor girl)


Thanks for the replies guys. I’ve given my friend a few more compliments when the opportunity arose and I sincerely hope they helped him.

Let me run another situation by you.

I headed up a small organization with another ENTJ. Our management style was balanced between egalitarian and maintaining a respectable chain of command. The organization was in steep decline when we took over and the initial goal was damage control. We made better than expected progress. I’ll call this organization A.

We were associated with two larger organizations. B was headed by an ENTJ, a popular and well known public figure whom people eagerly followed. I didn’t know him well but he gave me a compliment that I cherish to this day and encouraged me in leadership endeavors. (me actually enjoying a compliment, imagine that!) :smiley: B staff members were well treated, enjoyed a high status, and their achievements were a smashing success. But the B ENTJ resigned, and afterward B began to decline. After a successor failed, my best friend, an ENFJ, was in charge and he began to prepare for a merge into a third, C.

C was led by two bright people, an INFP and an ENFP. Together, they commanded great respect internally and publicly, the ENFP was especially popular. Leadership style was strictly authoritarian with one way communication, from the top down. Staff held a humble status. Performance and accomplishments were better than ours, but less than that of B.

At the same time the troubled B was merging into C, we also merged into C. Newcomers suffered a culture shock upon joining C, realizing a much lowered status. lol Especially the A people were outspoken and challenging in their complaints to the C leadership. Then all hell broke loose. A group comprised of one half of the C leadership team betrayed the rest of the team, including the INFP and the ENFP, which sent them reeling. :astonished: Soon C was was on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, actually more downs than ups. INFP departed, which left the reluctant ENFP solely in charge. ENFP lamented that the success of C had been largely based on their partnership. Without the balance of a co-leader, C did not recover. :neutral_face:

My fellow ENTJ and I had loyally supported the INFP and ENFP team, yet we were relegated to a second class standing among leadership and he was even demoted. :frowning: It was around this time that we took the MBTI and discovered we were ENTJs, nodding our heads with recognition. Although I was among the most dedicated, ENFP regarded me with thinly veiled distrust. But my influence grew. Eventually, the time came for him to leave and there was no viable candidate to pass the torch to other than me. Nevertheless, I nearly had to beg him to promote me. But he finally did.

The organization was in a shambles, with doubt and anxieties running high. My ENFJ friend was in total despair, and left in an angry way, which distressed everyone. I lost contact with him for most of a year. I managed to turn things around and exhausted myself with overwork in the process. C is now enjoying the greatest success in its history. An ISTJ fellow leader offered to take over and I gratefully accepted. He’s doing a fine job. My ENFJ friend has returned, but despite my efforts to patch things up, he’s been chilly toward me at best. From several not-so-vague comments, I gathered that the ENFP had had significant influence with my friend. And it became apparent that the ENFP was undermining our friendship by maligning me. :frowning:

I still grieve over the loss of my friend and although he played a role in this by listening to malicious gossip, I’m sad for him because he’s suffering quite a bit from the fallout. We all know that Feelers are more likely to act on emotion. What I’ve learned to be aware of is that fear and self-doubt run riot can override the sense of empathy that would otherwise drive their decisions. Sheesh after reading over this, what we’ve gone through has been worse than I thought. I’m grateful for the experiences and opportunities I’ve enjoyed tho. :slight_smile:

Comments? :smiley:


When are you going to start your own company? Isn’t it enough to eat pieces of bread falling from the table? You need to get on the top of that table :wink:


I’m looking for a way wasabi, trust me :smiley:


I can help you with this. :smiley:

Got family?


lol, not the right types or not in the position to help :confused: Except maybe one INTP family member. Hmm that might be enough tho. thinking


A couple things to add:

  1. Forget about past. Don’t focus on grievances. Don’t focus on any emotions outside of the “solution”. They should do it too. After all, their ass is on the line too. You are all in this shit together. And none of you have any chance of getting it better unless you work together. If that wasn’t true, they wouldn’t be feeding on the bottom and you wouldn’t be collecting pieces coming down from the top of the table. You all would be in much different position than you are right now.

  2. Success is about sacrifices. Sometimes you sacrifice money. Sometimes you sacrifice time. And sometimes…just like right now…you sacrifice patience. After all, there is no justification for failure. Whatever is the shape and form of the “process” while you are getting to the results, at the end of the day, results are all that matters. Nothing else. You can always forget about what happened yesterday by always focusing on results. You can always choose on what to focus. And what forget. As long as you get the results you want, everything else can be, will be, and should be … irrelevant.


Great wasabi wisdom! I esp liked what you said here:



I want to share with you the history of how I figured this out.

Back in 2009, I was away from my family members for about a year now. I didn’t contact any of them…I didn’t care about what happens to them. I absolutely didn’t focus on anything outside of my own stuff. I was living in a place that you and other would probably call “dog house”. No luxirities whatsoever. I tried everything I could to make my situation any better. I quickly came to conclusion that what I actually have problems with are not actually the solutions that I have in my mind, but my fear of what people will think about it. I quickly came to conclusion that there is no third solution to this matter. I was either to continue on my path without including anyone, or I should face the trial of my patience at maximum. Since I couldn’t do anything on my own, I was pretty much left without any solution. I decided to leave the emotions behind, any guilt, grievances and anything that is not related to solution behind. Because basically speaking, there seemed no other way to go other than doing what I just said. At the end of the day I realized that when I focus on results, I pretty much could ignore anything else. After all, my life was meaningful by the results that I get rather than by regrets that I don’t get by doing what I think was necessary. And it worked.

It seems like some people are also can do this. But not everyone. Or perhaps they are looking for someone who is able to leave this “obstacles” behind and lead them to the results? Could be. Because I can see how people change their approach to things when I point them in my direction. They because less fearful. More courageous. Simply because they become able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With emotions, there is simply too much confusion. What will the person think about what I just said? What will his/her reaction to it would be? Bla bla bla… Why shouldn’t we think that people might as well just put emotions aside and focus on the solutions? Well it seems like they don’t do that unless someone points them in that direction. I take my family members as an example. They still hold very bitter grievances towards each other. It can be easily detected whenever I leave them on their own. Whenever they try to do it in my presence…I just remind them the benefits of working together…of putting grievances behind and focusing on results. And also remind them that there would be no winner in their old ways. And that they should be thankful for the environment that brought them to the welfare rather than misery. And that they should try their hardest to keep that environment grievances free if they ever want to reach their full potential…or stop being miserable.

As I have said, their ass is on the line too. If it wasn’t, then you wouldn’t be collecting pieces of bread falling down the table. You would already receive a financial boost from “capable relatives” to own your own organization and none of your problems would ever happen.

On the other hand…I think dealing with troubles that I have gave me something that others don’t have…and probably will never have. What is this? An understanding. An understanding of what is really important and what is not. Perhaps those who don’t get a chance to learn that understanding are actually having less meaningful life than I do? And if that is true, then isn’t this their loss? Perhaps what I got is blessing rather than trouble?

There was an interesting saying. “Every person are born with their character. Life is all about learning that character through challenges.” This seems like correct statement.