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Author Topic: "You're very observant."  (Read 13488 times)

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Bathing One

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"You're very observant."
« on: January 21, 2008, 06:12:29 PM »
How does one politely respond to personal observations, like:

"You've colored your hair!"
or
"Are you using a new concealer?"

I usually say, "You're very observant."

There used to be a rule in etiquette that said such things as hair coloring and makeup were "invisible," and that the only proper observation is "you look rested."  Has that gone by the wayside?

(For the record, yes, it's Loreal Feria in Copper Penny haircolor, and Bo-ing concealer.)

mechtilde

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Re: "You're very observant."
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2008, 06:41:21 PM »
Perhaps a comment on concealer is not very tactful, but the hair colour comment sounded rather like a compliment- as would noticing a new haircut, dress,lipstick or whatever.
NE England

Phoebe

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Re: "You're very observant."
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2008, 06:42:59 PM »
Politely?  "Yes, I did."

How I'm tempted to respond?  "No, I didn't."  Or if it's a multiple-repeat offender, a VERY detailed explanation of exactly how I did it. 

sbtier

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Re: "You're very observant."
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2008, 08:42:05 AM »
Yes, it's still considered rude to make personal comments on people's appearance in polite society.  Your response, though, is slightly snarky.

LyanneB1

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Re: "You're very observant."
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2008, 11:04:34 AM »
....There used to be a rule in etiquette that said such things as hair coloring and makeup were "invisible," and that the only proper observation is "you look rested."  Has that gone by the wayside?....

I think that the reason people have forgotten this rule, is that it dates back to when people coloured their hair to colour grey or otherwise 'improve' their natural looks, & the same for the make up.  So many people colour their hair colours which are quite evidently not their natural hair colour or wear make up of very bright colours, that it might seem rude not to comment on them.

If I coloured my hair bright pink & no-one commented, I'd think no-one liked it.  Saying that, if I see someone with freshly coloured bright pink hair (I mean that hadn't been that colour last time I saw them), I would say 'Oh, your hair looks nice', rather than 'Oh, you've coloured your hair'. 

macysnail

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Re: "You're very observant."
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2008, 11:14:10 PM »

If I coloured my hair bright pink & no-one commented, I'd think no-one liked it.  Saying that, if I see someone with freshly coloured bright pink hair (I mean that hadn't been that colour last time I saw them), I would say 'Oh, your hair looks nice', rather than 'Oh, you've coloured your hair'. 

I think you're right on.  i'm one of those people who is constantly changing the color of my hair and i expect people to comment on it.  it's like buying a new outfit to me.  so i'll only comment on people who make drastic changes from now on.

beingkj

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Re: "You're very observant."
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2008, 12:14:01 AM »
You're all so polite. I usually grab a handful of my hair to inspect and ask (in either an intensly interested or somewhat panicked voice) "Where? Whice one?"

But that's with close friends and just because I'm a sarcastic joker. My usual response is "Yes, I got it done XX days ago. Do you like it?" with coworkers.
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Sabbyfrog2

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Re: "You're very observant."
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2008, 08:56:58 AM »

My usual response is "Yes, I got it done XX days ago. Do you like it?" with coworkers.

Be careful about asking "Do you like it?" You may get an answer you don't want.

Mazdoy

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Re: "You're very observant."
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2008, 09:02:20 AM »
"Really, I hadn't noticed!"

Bathing One

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Re: "You're very observant."
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2008, 12:22:10 PM »
Oh, fooey!  I'm the OP, and realized that my post broke one of the EtiquetteHell rules: I didn't include enough info in the OP.

My hair color doesn't change -- I color it every three weeks, the same color.  So, when someone is commenting on my hair, they're not commenting on a change, just on maintenance.

The person who comments on my hair color (and made the comment about the concealer) doesn't quite grasp what is and is not appropriate to say.  At a party one time, at the buffet, she told someone she'd just met that evening, "You should tell your husband that he has hair growing out of his ears."

She's otherwise a very nice person, bless her heart.

Brentwood

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Re: "You're very observant."
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2008, 07:55:38 PM »
I wouldn't find a comment on my hair color to be odd, but a comment on concealer would be very weird.

"You're using a new concealer!"

"Well, no, my skin has just improved considerably."

:D

beingkj

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Re: "You're very observant."
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2008, 09:41:58 PM »
Oh, fooey!  I'm the OP, and realized that my post broke one of the EtiquetteHell rules: I didn't include enough info in the OP.

My hair color doesn't change -- I color it every three weeks, the same color.  So, when someone is commenting on my hair, they're not commenting on a change, just on maintenance.

The person who comments on my hair color (and made the comment about the concealer) doesn't quite grasp what is and is not appropriate to say.  At a party one time, at the buffet, she told someone she'd just met that evening, "You should tell your husband that he has hair growing out of his ears."

She's otherwise a very nice person, bless her heart.

Well, if she's commenting every time you dye your hair the same colour, then yes, I think that's odd. I thought the concealer comments were odd to start with. I feel very uncomfortable when people comment on my makeup.

Is she a close enough friend to pull aside and tell her that her comments are inappropriate?
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Marikay4

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Re: "You're very observant."
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2008, 08:56:42 AM »
I used to dye my hair crazy colors when I was younger. recently for my own personal injoyment dyed it green. I ended up changing it back to black because people wouldnt shut up with the rude comments. Not just "you colored your hair!" but comments like "take a bath! your molding!" or "fall in a vat of chemicals lately?" so on so forth. one was even someone who worked in a store. They tried to back track their foot in their mouth moment when I said nothing to them but politely asked another worker standing next to them for the manager.

It makes me angry. I didnt do it for commpliments, let alone all the rude comments I got. I wish we did have the rule still that its rude to make a comment. then again, isnt it still rude to make comments about my hair molding even beyond the question of if its polite to mention hair color?

makes me angry. I put alot of work into dying the hair that way for personal enjoyment and I gave up and took it out because of other peoples crap.


Cady

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Re: "You're very observant."
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2008, 11:21:44 AM »
Sometimes I wish rude inquirers could keep their opinions to their selves. The worst thing is one you can tell they're hair is colored or they're wearing concealer, too so you want to make a snarky comment back, but you don't want to sink to their level.

Edit: I dye my hair auburn, and I recall one situation when I was in my mid-twenties buying my hair dye, and a rude clerk made a comment like, "Aww! It looks like someone's hair is graying!". I wrote a letter to the store and I haven't seen her working at the register since.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 11:24:41 AM by Cady »

EJM3387

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Re: "You're very observant."
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2008, 01:37:08 PM »
I think if you see someone you know who has obviously colored their hair it sounds more complimentary to say, 'I love the new color!" or something to that effect rather than, "You colored your hair." It's not a compliment since the person isn't saying it's nice or pretty or that they like it. They're simply stating an obvious fact which makes them sound rude (to me at least). I think I'd use the "You're very observant" line for that. I think the only make-up comment i would make is to compliment something like a pretty shade of eye shadow. Saying the comment about using new concealer seems to imply that now your face looks even or spot free which means you must be using new concealer since before they could see imperfections. Not sure what I'd say to that, since to me that is very rude.