Some comments are better left unsaid
"Madame, that is by far the ugliest nose I have ever seen, and I
compliment you on it-it suits you! - Peter Sellers, "The Pink Panther"
It's true: Some comments are better left unsaid.
But surely you know you're not supposed to comment on your
girlfriend's weight, or tell her that her friends are hot. And you know
she probably feels the same way you do about the phrase, "Can we still
Additionally, you've found that honesty, while valued in most
situations, can sometimes offend. What you say to defuse tension in an
argument often stokes the fire. We understand that the female psyche can
be complicated, and we're here to demystify what may seem like
strategically placed trapdoors.
Here are 10 things most women don't want to hear:
1) "What did you do to your hair?" Unless we've cut our own hair-this
is not common-someone else did something to our hair. It wasn't us. And
most likely we've gone to a lot of trouble and expense for it. "I like
your new haircut" is infinitely better, and shows you're paying
attention. It's also far superior to the generic "You look different,"
which tells us you're as clueless as ever.
2) "They both look the same to me." We understand you care a lot less
than we do about the outfits or the registry dishware we're asking you
to compare. But they can't possibly look exactly the same, can they?
Give us something. Anything. Mentally roll the dice and pick one, so we
don't worry about your vision-or worse, that you don't care.
3) "Relax." A kissing cousin to "Don't get so worked up," this
generally creates the exact opposite effect you're shooting for. When
you say "Relax," what we hear is that you think that we're being
irrational over nothing, and this makes us do anything but relax.
4) "I've got it all under control." Ha! Famous last words. Refrain
from using them if you don't want us to take fiendish delight in your
getting lost because you won't stop for directions (if we're late, there
will be fiendish fuming), or because you're missing a piece to your
flat-screen television because you said you didn't need to read the
5) "You're not one of those feminists, are you?" Yikes. Chivalry may
be nearly dead, but saying this will drive the last spear through its
heart. Feminist or not, a woman is likely to be offended by the
question. Just be yourself. Be kind, open the door, offer to pay, and go
from there. We can choose to accept or share in your generosity.
6) "When are you due?" Take one second to imagine a woman turning to
you and responding, "I'm not pregnant," or "I had the baby six months
ago," and you'll understand why you should eradicate this question from
your vocabulary. In one nanosecond, innocent-even considerate-curiosity
can turn to deadly, if unintentional, offense. And there's just no way
to recover from this one.
7) "You're being emotional." In the heat of the moment this may be
true. But unless you want your partner to become more emotional or get
angry, you're better off keeping this observation and its off-limits
follow-up question-"Is it that time of month?"-to yourself.
8) "You're acting just like your mother/my mother/my ex-girlfriend."
All three are problematic. An ex should be mentioned sparingly, and
never in comparison. Why would we want to remind you of a person you
broke up with?
And come to mention it, why are you thinking about her? You see the
slippery slope. Conjuring an image of our mother or your mother can be
equally grating. We want you to treat us as individuals and not as mere
products of your (or our) upbringing.
9) "You complete me." We've seen "Jerry Maguire" and most other
romantic comedies far more often than you, and while we may (or may not)
like cheesy movie lines, they usually fail in real life.
We understand that the possibility of romance makes inexplicable
things come out of a man's-and sometimes a woman's-mouth, but keep the
compliments real and honest and sincere and say you love someone when
you mean it.
10) "Do you really think you should be eating that?" Yes. She should
be eating it. Even if she told you she's given it up.