Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The "I'm Fat" Trap

Ok, so your wife says, "I'm fat." You:

a) Say "Oh no, honey, you're not fat."

b) Say "Well, you only had a baby a year ago, it's going to take longer than that to get back to your old figure."

c) Say nothing.

The correct answer? d) None of the above.

I know from experience - the hard way - none of these answers work.

If you answer a), you'll piss her off because you're contradicting her. You're not validating her opinion.

If you answer b), you'll piss her off because while it's ok for her to call herself fat, it's not ok for you. It's like the n-word that way.

If you don't answer, then you're ignoring her. "You don't listen!" may come up later in the day after some seething on her part.

Here are a couple tactics that do work:

1) The 'validation' tactic. "I hear you. You think you're fat."

2) Go meta. "You put me in an awkward position. If I say you're not fat, then I'm contradicting you and not validating your opinion. If I agree with you, then I'm a dick."

I advise mixing these two up. People like variety.

Obviously, this works for all sorts of physical-self-image problems. "I hate my teeth." "I have bad skin." Etcetera.

1 comment:

  1. I go with the non-verbal response of nibbling on her neck, regardless of location or situation.

    Because the statement is not "I'm fat," even though that's what she says. She's asking the question "Do you still think I'm hot?"

    That response does not always get me laid. (Especially at the gym in the middle of the cardio-room, but it does get my point across.)