Friday, January 07, 2005

The "BUT" issue
OK - some clarifications before I make this post. (a) I am not an MCP (I wouldn't have accepted even if I was one - so the disclaimer is actually useless) (b) I have discussed the content of this post with a few women (Pummy, Chitra, Sristhi, Hemo etc.) and they somewhat agree to the claims. Enuff said (I have no idea why I try to give a background to my posts):

I believe that women and men give compliments abt other women or men of the same age group in very different ways. Men are extremely parsimonious when it comes to praising other men. Ask a guy abt another guy and he'll probably say "I don't know" or "Maybe". However, when we do praise other men, we are terse and complete e.g. "He's a very bright chap", "He's one cool dude", "He is fun when he is drunk". That's it - our praise is either invisible or transparent, we seldom tread the middle route.

Women on the other hand always have something nice to say abt another girl. Girls (from the little I've seen) rarely openly criticize another girl in front of a guy. However, they make amazing use of the term BUT. "She is very beautiful BUT she lacks sweetness" "She is very bright BUT she studies a lot.", "She is very sweet to me BUT sometimes she's over sweet." In my defense, all three examples used were actually told to me and I'm not making them up. This skillful use of BUT is brilliantly impressive. One can't blame you for being bitchy because there's praise in the statement too - But the BUT does the trick. The other thing that I've seen (though not as effective as the BUT) is adding an after statement that can mean anything (good/bad/ugly) - "She has a great figure. You should see the way she eats" - what? She might eat a lot or maybe she eats very little. You never know. As long as the girl smiles generously when she makes the statement you'll never pester for details. Another example of the above mentioned that I've been privy to, "She is very sweet to talk to. (Pause, smile) Have you ever spoken to her for more than 15 minutes."

P.S. A friend who read this post pointed out that the "best friend" is an exception to this rule and I agree.

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