Wednesday, June 03, 2009

If You Hear “You Look Fine”: Watch Out!

Posted by Michele Olson

In chuckling over a current Cheerios commercial where a husband unintentionally gets into trouble over a comment that he did not mean, I remembered an article I read called “You Look Fine” by Dave Meurer for Marriage Partnership.* His wife asks him how an outfit looks and he has the great misfortune of simply saying “It looks fine.” Dave is a humorist and author of a book titled Mistake it Like a Man.

He states what was said, and then what she heard. He also explores how many different interpretations there can be to a word such as “fine.”

Brings me back to the Cheerios commercial.

It’s a great illustration of how we should think before we speak and how our words will encourage or deflate another person. Or, how something we had no intention of ever implying is “out there” because we chose the wrong words. We don’t want to all be walking on egg shells, but considering how many times a day someone’s words can affect your mood, it’s a good reminder to think before we speak, because our words are important.

Or…maybe you will just enjoy a good laugh when you read this article. That would be fine too.

Any good examples in your own marriage of this type of thing?

*Marriage Partnership is a non-for-profit Communications Ministry of


M. Denise Wilmer Barreto said...

Thanks for your blog Michelle.

I find that in our relationship - and we are working our way back to a great marriage after a very unfortunate 2008 - we have a cultural barrier that we must sometimes overcome when it comes to communication. On top of the Mars Venus thing - he is from another country.

My best advice for all couples is to always run a filter in your head on what you are about to say. I do that simply from a language standpoint sometimes and now from a "how would I feel if I were actually him and I heard that". That has been a huge help for us.

I urge my beloved to remember the context of what we are discussing - if I am running around doing 8 things for the family and ask him to do one favor for us while he's doing his own thing - I want him to pause before answering me with any sarcasm or cynicism.

It is working for us. I am especially proud of where we are when you consider where we've been. People you can work on your marriages and make a difference. said...

Thanks for blogging and for your insight! Yes...marriage communication is a challenge but throw in a different culture and language and really have to be on your toes! It seems like you have come to some creative ways to work through this and thanks for sharing as it will be a great tip for others in your same type of relationship. Keep blogging!