Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Saying the Right Thing

We all have trouble finding the right words sometimes. Some of us even seem to NEVER be able to choose the right words at all or stay silent, as to not cement the fact that we are fools. Regardless of our particular issues, the ability to open your mouth and insert your foot seems to be the great human unifier, while the ability to be cool about someone else's traumas, foibles or faux pas is divine.

I remember reading a good story about Cary Grant. He was filming a movie with Audrey Hepburn (maybe Charade?!? That was a good one!) and they decided to take a break at a local cafe to enjoy some wine. Audrey, gesturing wildly, knocked the bottle all over him, ruining his jacket. Not missing a beat, he continued the conversation while removing his jacket and putting it on the back of his chair. He didn't say a word, but his message was perfect. 

Check out this post on the Happiness Project about some other simple ways to say the right thing. 


a girl said...

I loved this! As the most frequent foot eater/awkward moment causer on Earth, I would love to be able to handle things like Cary Grant. Also, to marry his 1950s self but that's another story.

Amanda said...

I COMPLETELY agree - "the ability to be cool about someone else's traumas, foibles or faux pas is divine." Because of the work I do (grief everywhere) and the experiences I've had, the making of flippant or cliched statements drives me up the wall (I'll try not to rant!). I know it often comes from a well intentioned place but I've found sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all and just be there instead. Like the article says, I think it's so important to acknowledge the other person's feelings, it doesn't matter what it is to you, if it is significant to them then it is significant.

That said, I do regularly manage to wedge my over-sized mutant feet in my mouth more regularly than I care to acknowledge ;) Thanks for sharing the article and your thoughts xx

Sarah said...

OMG Amanda I can only imagine how many crazy things you hear in a day at your job - people can say the weirdest things when confronted with illness or disability. I think you make the best point of all - just acknowledging a person's feelings can go such a long way!

Sarah said...

PS a girl, I will fight you for 1950s Cary Grant!

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