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Guys, here’s a quick-and-dirty list to help you stay out of the doghouse.
Never criticize a woman for…
1. Her Weight
The lightning isn’t striking any closer, your lady’s thighs just have some added thunder. You, being the observant kind of guy who will step over a pair of pants on the bedroom floor for three weeks but instantly notice every blemish on her body, feel compelled to make a comment. SHUT YOUR FACE. Seriously. Say nothing.
Here’s why I recommend silence when it comes to directly discussing her weight:
1. She already knows about the weight gain – Telling her that you noticed the change in her body won’t go over well…especially since you’re probably not good about noticing positive details.
2. It’s probably not something she wants – There’s a reason “Biggest Gainer” with Roseanne Barr as the outspoken eating coach is not a hit TV show. Most people would like to lose a bit of weight and chances are that your lady is feeling a bit frustrated and powerless over her body right now.
When you criticize her body, you criticize her at what can often be a very emotionally-charged and intensely personal level of her identity.
Not sure what I mean? Example: If she suggested that you try out a new penis-enl@rgement medication, how would you feel? C’mon! She’s just making a helpful suggestion about something she knows you’d like to change! Get my drift? Good.
2. Her Makeup
The only type of makeup you need to worry about is the kind you’ll need after she blackens your eye in response to a critique of her makeup.
You’ll need a liquid yellow-based (for black/blue bruise) or light green-based (for yellow/brown bruise – after the black & blue has healed a bit) concealer as well as a concealer that matches your normal skin tone.
Use your fingers to gently smooth a layer of the color-based concealer over your bruise and blend outward over a bit of the surrounding skin.
Once the first coat is dry, apply a layer of your skin-tone concealer over the color-based one. If you want to get really snazzy, a good makeup brush (large circular one, not the fan-shaped or paint brush-like ones) with a bit of powder will help you look like more like a guy who knows when to keep his mouth shut.
(If she actually attacks you violently in response to a comment on her makeup, consider loving somebody else? In the meantime, the black-eye tip works great. Note it well, friend!)
3. Her Family
She didn’t choose the family she was born into (family of origin) and you don’t get a vote in picking the people she’s close to now. (family of choice) Vote NO on criticizing her family because, while you may find them to be all kinds of infuriating, they are a part of what makes her unique. Hate on what makes her unique and–you guessed it–you’re hating on her.
That’s just a dumb way to go about a relationship. (If you didn’t already learn it in college, do a quick search on family of origin vs. choice and get some knowledge!)
4. Her Fashion
Here’s a conversation that probably won’t get you into trouble:
You: “I can think of something that would look much better than that tramp sack you’re wearing.”
Her: “Yeah? What’s that?”
You: “The Michael Kors dress you’d wanted that’s sitting in a bag on your desk, obviously.”
But chances are you don’t know enough about her fashion sense to buy her something she’d really like. There’s also a very good chance that you don’t know much about fashion in general nor do you have a neatly-honed personal sense of style.
As such, it’s best to let her dress as she pleases and make a point to let her know that ‘You’re beautiful” doesn’t depend on what she’s wearing.
5. Her Mood
“Are you on your period?” = One of the quickest ways to push a conversation into idiot territory.
“You look tired” = An easy way to be taken off the “I’d sleep with him, given the chance” list.
“Why are you so grouchy?” = A great way to get an answer that will forever remind you not to ask that question again!
Just as it was with offering criticism to a woman because of her weight, criticising a woman directly because of her mood is a dangerous foray into stating the obvious.
She knows when she’s happy, sad, annoyed, angry, or apathetic. What she might not know is whether or not the things she tries to communicate to you are really making it into your brain. Instead telling her she’s been grouchy lately and you’re tired of it, why not ask her about her life and find out if there’s anything you can do to help reduce her stress level?
Any effort you put into clear communication will typically be rewarded by an improved relationship or the realization that it’s time to FedEx yourself to Uganda for a change in world view.
Summary: It’s unlikely that direct criticism of any particular aspect of a woman’s existence will result in anything less than an argument and hurt feelings.
Ladies, is there anything you’d like to add? A bit of criticism perhaps or a story that might illustrate a point more vividly than I was able? Thanks for your input!
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photo: anita robicheau