Listen up, gentlemen. As useful as you are when it comes to buying us presents, being our formal dates (provided you don’t black out and embarrass us), and telling us we’re pretty, you’re completely worthless most of the time. I don’t understand how hard it is to learn the Kardashian sisters’ names, and I can’t fathom why it is beyond your comprehension to learn how to pronounce the word “Louboutin.” Idiots. I can forgive all of these traits, because I’m a kind, caring soul, but there is one skill you’re all lacking in I can no longer ignore: your ability to console girls.
I’m sure at some point in your life, someone told you “honesty is the best policy.” That person was clearly an asshole who wanted to ruin your chances of having a career in politics, because there are so many times when bending the truth just a little bit will work in your favor. When a girl is upset, she wants validation, not honesty for fuck’s sake. There are enough sources in her life to provide her with the cold, hard truth, like her frenemies, her scale, her mother, and her pap smear. It’s not your job to be brutally honest when she needs validation, it’s your job to GIVE her the validation she’s seeking, especially if you’re interested in her GIVING you anything. I understand some of you misguided souls think that you’re paying us a compliment by trying to put a nice spin on your cruel words, but trust me, you’re not. At all.
There are a few scenarios of classic, “I’m just being honest,” and why it’s backfired:
Question: “Do I look fat?”
Wrong Answer: “No, you look great. I like girls who aren’t too skinny, trust me.”
You. Fucking. Dick. You should have quit while you were ahead. By saying you like girls who aren’t too skinny, I know you think you’re paying her a compliment and telling her she’s just your type, but you’re actually just reinforcing the idea that she is not, in fact, skinny.
Correct Answer: “No. Of course not. You look great.”
This may or may not be true. If she’s worried about her weight, it’s probably because she’s aware of the five extra pounds she gained over the semester, and she’s self-conscious about them. She’s not asking you if she’s gained weight, she’s asking if you noticed. Obviously, you didn’t. There’s a good chance she’s going to freak out and cry and throw a temper tantrum about hating her wardrobe and being fat anyway, but let her do it on her own time, not in front of you after you’ve made some dick comment.
Question: “Is she prettier than me?”
Wrong Answer: “I think she’s actually pretty hot, but you both have good qualities.”
No. WRONG. When a girl phrases a question by baiting you into an answer, you go where you’re being guided. I don’t care if she’s asking you if you find Gisele attractive, you say no if she already seems to have formed her opinion. There is nothing worse than providing any reason to further an insecurity. By not just shutting up and lying a little bit, you’re going to cause a huge fight and inferiority complex.
Correct Answer: “No. No way. And you can definitely tell her nose is fake. She should ask for a refund.”
Reinforce your belief with another lie, or she’ll know you’re lying. It’s fine. You need to provide a reason this other girl isn’t pretty. It’s evidence to support your thesis statement, really.
Question: “Do you like my haircut?”
Wrong Answer: “I like your hair both ways.”
I know you think you’re being nice by telling us we look pretty regardless of what color or length our hair is, but you’re not answering the fucking question. By giving us this bullshit non-committal response, you’re only going to plant the seed that you did, in fact like our hair before we made this drastic change in question. This will only lead to longer, more annoying and interrogative questions trying to pry the correct answer out of you.
Correct Answer: “Yes! You look absolutely gorgeous.”
Short, sweet, and successful.
The same scenarios work if a girl doesn’t ask a question as well. If a girl is insecure about something, you literally just need to reinforce that she is NOT fat, ugly, stupid, or whatever she’s worrying about. If she’s freaking out about an exam and saying ridiculous things like, “I’m going to fail and not get into the journalism school and have to become a stripper,” the right thing to say is, “no. You’re going to do great, and the journalism school is obviously going to accept you.” Do NOT try to console her by saying, “You’ll be fine. If you’re not, I know you always talked about going into education. I’ll help you apply for the ed school.” By suggesting an alternative, you’re basically saying you have zero faith in her and you’re positive she’s going to fail either way.
When it comes down to it, the majority of guys are impossibly bad at consoling a girl when she’s feeling a little self-conscious or insecure, and they’re experts at giving backhanded compliments without even trying to. I’ll never understand how it’s so easy for girls to dish out sideways remark after passive aggressive insult, but it comes second nature for guys to do so when they aren’t even attempting to be passive aggressive. The bottom line, boys, is that you rarely know the right thing to say, and if you think you do, you’re probably wrong. Your best bet is to just shut up and go along with whatever you think we want to hear, and then say the nicer version of that.
It’s so simple, really.