Monday, May 10, 2010

"scarletted"

have you ever received one of those back handed compliments
like this?

"lea, you're hair looks so pretty . . ."

then, before you can say, "why, thank you very much!"

"i mean, it's not nearly as frizzy as usual !"

yep.  yesterday.

the way i see it, there are a few responses to what i call having
been "scarletted."

the first is the "respond in kind" reply and has many variations
of this:

"well, fiddle dee dee!  scarlett, i thought you were about to give
a sincere compliment for a change.  silly old me." this one is very
tempting.

another tried and true reply is the "gomer pyle":

"for shame, for shame, for shame!  didn't your mama never tell
you?  'if you cain't say somethin' nice, don't say nuthin' at all!' "
this one might be fun for some, but most people don't like to be
'for shamed.'

the one i recommend though, is the one all of our mothers taught
us, taking the high road:

"oh . . ." it's important to leave a pregnant pause, because you
want scarlett to know you perceived the slight.  after all, you're
not stupid.  then follow that with:

"well, i always think your hair looks pretty."

love,
lea

ps. "in doing this you will heap burning coals on his (her) head."
proverbs 25:22

39 comments:

Vee said...

Yes, very important that pregnant pause. Then just as the hapless speaker begins to "get it" to put him/her at ease. You must have received an "A" in tact and diplomacy. I flunked as you know all too well!

Darcie said...

That is my problem! I have forgotten the pause...no wonder my retorts didn't come out sounding right. You just got to love those people that just don't get it...or do they? ;-)

Emily said...

I have got those comments too! They are kinda mean..you know!Or the ones where you ask someone if they are pregnat...no they are just heavy! Whoops!
On my blog, you posted that you commited 2 crimes...revealing your age, and answering your own ?...how old are you?! I only have 7 followers...that I know of!

Farm Girl said...

I did have to laugh at that. It happens all the time to me too. It gives me something to chuckle over and not take myself so seriously. I always wonder did not their Momma's teach them the ole Bambi adage, "If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all. " :)

Kathy said...

Let's here it for the pause!!!!
and the heaping of coals!!!!!
Some peoples lips just don't know when to close...
Sweet conversation is an art isn't it?
So much more fun to be around someone who knows the art.
xoxo~Kathy @
Sweet Up-North Mornings...

jamjar said...

I have a relative who does this to us frequently...I try to remember 70 times 7 but sometimes I can really fume...My problem is that I am not very fast so I almost always have that pause thing going...but usually it's just because I'm dumbfounded!!!!

The Strawberry Mallard said...

and OH HOW WE KNOW.......that pause requires a great deal of discipline...Miss Manners would be veryproud of you today!

Lady Farmer said...

Touche'! I am all for the heaping coals! And I like the quick response of "You are right at the top of my prayer list!" ;~P

Southern Lady said...

Love that last response the best. Isn't it so true that you can kill a person with kindness? Carla

Rosie said...

Oh yes, this is all to familiar...
it is tempting...but to give them a smile, and a kind word is often so unexpected, it actually is quite entertaining...now to have the forethought, to think, before I speak
sweet dreams...Rosie

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Love it Lea
I think you must know my brother!! I always think his compliments should end with 'for a change' haha

Well... I think your hair looks wonderful!!! hehehe

Thanks for you lovely compliments my way... never a 'for a change' to be seen xxx Julie

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Yes. You're right. None of the others will hurt as much as the last one. People hurt when you do something nice for them after they've insulted you.
Thankfully, I don't get many of those at all.

KathyB. said...

I think the key here is the pause, and any comedian worth employment will say "AMEN" to the pause. If done just right, with just the right tilt of the head and lift of the eyebrow, well, it can say volumes and even leave the offending party shamed without you having ever said a dastardly word.And then the killer, KINDNESS!!!

Joan Elizabeth said...

I loved the alternatives but I don't have the gall to do either of the first two or the grace to do the latter. I'd just stop at Oh.

Sonja said...

Smiling! and yes, I have to say that all of those responses have run through my mind... :)

I Love Pretty Little Things said...

Ha ha - Yes, I have had people in my life that consistently "Scarletted" me! I love the pregnant pause response, but Oh I want to For Shame them!
Here's is another method- I have systematically eliminated them out of my Friendship Circle. Life is too short to deal with that nonsense.

Vicki said...

Just a little something from a long lost me....
Yep, "Kill 'em with Kindness" Ok, that may be a little strong but...

Funny about your comment on my blog post about visions of me living in an army barracks....I am....

Lisa said...

You know some people have absolutely NO home training.:)

Cheri Bunch said...

Big smile! My momma taught me to respond that way too Leah. She always said, "kill them with kindness". Not sure how good the motive is in that phrase, but I believe that the Lord smiles when our response is such. About your hair, I am sure that I wouldn't even notice cause I love your heart!

A Refocused Life said...

Lea,
So funny - so true. What we want to say and what we should/do say are sometimes very different. The pause and counting to ten before speaking are so difficult when the tempting thoughts come so easily. Rita

Zuzu said...

Sometimes people mean well, but just stumble all over themselves. Then sometimes it's the backhand.

You are one amazing woman, Lea.

Single and Sane said...

I can't believe someone would criticize the same hair I've always envied. They're clearly as jealous as I am. ;-)

My name is PJ. said...

You completely left out my favorite:

See, I can change my hair; what are you going to do about your face?

Signed PJ @ age 8

myletterstoemily said...

pj, that reminds me of the churchill story.
an outraged woman scolded him for being
drunk.

"well, madam, tomorrow, i will be sober,
but you . . . will still look just like that."

jamjar said...

Thanks for the question regarding remembering everyone's blog name...sometimes when we can't we just make up a new one!!! We have always been big on nicknames and pet names so that part of blogging isn't a problem....Finding the time to read all my favorites...now that is a problem!!!

Emily said...

Did/Does Isaac go to Harvard??

Andrea - Faded Plains said...

I like how your mother taught you to...just be kind...with a slight pause.

Steph said...

I love reading your blog. I just read this post :) and Isaac and about your mother and your daughter (she is so pretty). Hearing about your family, especially, is like knowing you; but there is so much more too it. It is like knowing and loving our Father better too as I see over and over His goodness in your life. (Not fake, sickly sweet goodness; but genuine, in happy times and hard, faithfulness). I loved your remembrance of Isaac's birth. What mother could not ache and also pray and rejoice with you. And your mother sounds so very special, like you. I think it' way cool that you and Hans have know each other forever. I'd like to hear more of that story or to be directed to it if you've already posted on your relationship. Life stories... what a gift. And what a gift you have in sharing them. Blessings. Stepheny

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

it's good to be back to your blog! : ) my hubby checked it first to make sure if would be "safe" for me to visit. how sweet of him! he said it was so thoughtful of you to be so considerate of me. thank you!

i know i've had these back-handed compliments before... i'm sure i've given some too (gasp!).

i must bridle my tongue!!!

Vickie said...

I can never think fast enough to decide which of the 3 to use! I just stand there with my mouth hanging open.

Must confess to using Gomer from time to time. But I REALLY like your #3. I also have to confess that after sticking my own foot in my mouth, I've had the pregnant pause applied to ME. EEEEKKK!!

Vickie said...

added...

But in my own defense, when I stick my foot in my mouth IT'S AN ACCIDENT! Double EEEKKK!!!

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

-giggles-

But being me, I still prefer the "Fiddle dee dee" one.

>,-)

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

And I just HAD to leave a *grin* on this post. Too funny.

I believe I just used that "heaping hot coals on their heads" Scripture only days ago with my husband. We all need reminders sometimes, don't we?

I love the pregnant pause. Perfect!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

A few years ago, my friend walked in my bedroom and viewed our wedding portrait. As I live and breathe she said, "You looked really good back then."

Pregnant pause indeed.

I almost asked her when her baby was due but realized that would just be mean... real mean, but I thought it any way and laughed outloud!

peace~elaine

christy rose said...

Oh my goodness! I was completely not aware of the effectiveness of the pause. But I can see how it would be so effective. I definitely have not learned the art of conversation. Words do not come out of my mouth effectively very often. I wish that when I talked I had the keyboard in front of me with a backspace and a delete button. LOL

Andrea said...

Love it, kill her with kindness!!

Karen said...

Oh, yes...silence can speak volumes...

Enjoyed this post!

Jemm said...

My mother-in-law said this exact thing to me one time, minus the frizzy part. She said "Gee, your hair looks nice today". My reply was..."So it usually doesn't?". She was so embarrassed. But she's stopped commenting on my stupid hair :)

Mildred said...

Thanks so much for dropping by my blog. I have an Aunt who is famous for giving out these kinds of compliments!!!