He had just entered the office when the serene environment was doused with a bewildering smell. “Mehnnnnn, what’s that smell?” I thought to myself. I wanted to be straightforward and tell him outrightly but I didn’t have the “mind”. Not because I was afraid of him but he looked so cheerful and I didn’t want to be the one to burst the happiness bubble, especially with my other colleagues present. Joy killer? Definitely not me. So if I couldn’t tell him, how do I help remedy the situation? Then I remembered the saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” and decided to play it safe, shut up and mind my business.
I remember when I failed to heed this school of thought and got expelled from a relationship. I have always touted myself as a honest, tell-it-as-it-is kinda guy. My girlfriend back then had just worn a dress I didn’t like one bit to a dinner. Instead of minding my business and respecting her feelings, I erroneously and repeatedly pointed out my reservations. We were on a date but the dress didnt let me think straight. Statements like “I believe you are showing too much flesh” to “I dont like the slit on this dress one bit” littered the atmosphere. I was an asshole and couldnt help myself. I didn’t know it hurt her but her silence on the way back home was all the evidence I needed of my misbehaviour. I tried to make amends but the damage had already been done. One thing led to another and we parted ways.
I am sure there are times you said something rude to your partner and realized later that you should have kept your mouth shut. The times you told her how fat she was getting or how badly she sucked in bed or how his joblessness is affecting your lifestyle or how his lack of a car is making you uncomfortable as you enter public transport.
The truth is sometimes it’s difficult to simply ignore everything you deem negative but in cases where you can’t keep quiet for too long, it is advisable to use euphemisms. A euphemism is a kinder word or phrase that you substitute for one that is unpleasant or offensive. You know how it’s rude to call someone “fat” but nicer to call them “plump or curvy”. In the same vein, instead of using “thin or skinny”, a nicer substitute is “slim”. The message is passed but in a less explosive manner.
She has a body odor, get her a nice perfume. He has mouth odor, get him a potent mouth wash and use it with him. She has a big tummy, respectfully admire ladies with flat tummy and if she’s smart she’ll get the message. You don’t like her hair style, tell her how beautiful she looks and stop there. When she makes a hair style you like, tell her how beautiful the hair looks every time. She’s smart, she’ll get the message. He’s not performing in bed, teach him how you want it instead of killing his ego by nagging.
Time and time again, we bring negativity and hurt feelings without realizing that the negative things we say about people are like boomerangs. I have learned to send out positive energy, to love more and channel any negative energy into something healthy. Its not always easy to keep your cool, but if you think about something before you say it and realize what the words will do to the situation, you’ll be able to make more thoughtful decisions.
Remember, if you can’t go about telling everybody about their body odor, be mindful about your spouse and don’t point out their misdoings so potently. Use euphemisms. Be smart.
A comedian once said, if your wife gets dressed, spends hours making up and finally asks you “babe, how do I look?”. It’s a trap. If she looks beautiful, tell her so. If you don’t like her look, just tell her ” babe you are beautiful”, kiss her and disappear. Remember it’s you are beautiful not you look beautiful. Big difference.