November 15, 2015

Particularly Tall

I got a rather odd comment this morning (or was it a compliment?).  I was walking down the hall at church this morning wearing the above outfit.  This friend turned to me and said, "Joanna, today you look particularly. . .tall."

Um. . .

Guys, this is NOT smooth.  Don't say this.  Especially with the pause. When in doubt, neutral comments are better not said.  They are equal to negative comments.  I felt bad for the guy though, so I took it like a statement of fact and went into the optical illusions of proportions and how different clothing choices make different body types look certain ways.  It was actually only a 30 second schpeel, but just long enough to smooth the awkward comment into a mini conversation.

If you don't know what a neutral comment is, here is a crash course.

Negative: Those are weird shoes.
Neutral: You have new shoes.
Positive: Liking the shoes!

I'm not sure how this affects guys, but when you give a girl a neutral comment she will either seek clarification or put it in the negative pile.  If you notice a girl's shoes and say "You have new shoes" she will do one of three things.  (1) Try to find out what you actually think: "I do! What do you think?", (2) Become self-aware and think that you disapprove (actual reaction depends on the girl at this point), (3) be momentarily conflicted before distancing themselves from the issue and treating it like a fact.  This includes an educational seminar like mine from earlier or straight contradiction of the statement.

So there you go, guys -- a little "intelligence for your life" as John Tesh would say.  Go forth and be winsome.


  1. "...and find out what you actually think."

    So here's some intelligence for *your life: guys don't always "actually think." Most often, the mere observation of the existence of the new shoes is literally the extent of our opinion of the whole matter. If this guy were to really say all that was on his mind, he would say something like, "You have new shoes. Hi."

    1. I'm aware of this. :) But Matt, it's still probably better that they not say anything unless they want a run down on where the girl got the shoes and how much she paid for them.

    2. Yep. That's called 'conversation'. Recent weather makes another nice topic, and so do one's events of the week.

      Ok I'll stop arguing.

    3. I am new to this blog, but I thought I might share a little of my perspective. Is it okay if I kind of agree with both of you? : ) I definitely agree with you, Joanna, about the pause. For sure. As far as neutral comments in general, though, I think I personally take those as just observations. I think that the statement "You got new shoes" shows that they actually noticed. I think it's supposed to be positive, and, like Matthew said, it's opens the conversation. (I think I also may be guilty of having said something like that.)
      Becca Lee Shove

  2. I like it. You have a way with words. (A good way, that is :) )

  3. This made me smile. Having two brothers I definitely get a lot of ambiguous "statements" that I'm not sure whether to take positively or negatively. When I press them on the issue they usually look baffled and say, "That was a compliment of course! How could you not tell?!". -_- I have learned to either take it at face value--a statement, or as their unusual way of trying to compliment me. :)

  4. Lovin' the conversation that followed as much as the post! LOL!