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  • September 27, 2016, 07:34:53 PM

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Author Topic: Does it fit here if it's "That's Right!" followed by silence?  (Read 1124 times)

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snappylt

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Does it fit here if it's "That's Right!" followed by silence?
« on: September 03, 2016, 09:22:12 AM »
Does saying anything at all before the silence mean that it doesn't fit this category?

Recently, at a reception immediately after a memorial service, Jake, the husband of one of my wife's distant relatives greeted me. As we were shaking hands he smiled, looked me in the eye, and said, "Haven't seen you at a _____ family reunion in years."

I replied by looking him back in the eye, grinning, and saying "That's right" followed by an unusually long silence on my part.

It is unusual for me to use silence. Ordinarily I'd have continued the conversation about that topic, or at least asked a follow-up question to encourage the other person to talk.

At that very moment, though, I was almost literally reeling from an extremely unpleasant encounter with two of my wife's particularly boorish relatives who had ambushed me as I had walked into the reception room at the funeral home, immediately before I saw Jake.

I wasn't sure if Jake was getting ready to criticize me for missing the reunions, or if he was going to tell me he wishes he could miss the reunions, too. At that point, immediately after my extremely upsetting encounter with the boors, I didn't want to discuss my wife's family with anyone.

So I just said, "That's right" with a grin and said nothing more.

Jake looked at me for several moments, silent himself, and then he changed the subject and started telling me about a trip he and his wife have planned.

The technique worked; Jake changed the subject to something I was comfortable discussing. Does the way I used it fit under this category?

VorFemme

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Re: Does it fit here if it's "That's Right!" followed by silence?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2016, 11:30:12 AM »
The way it worked out, I'd have to say "yes, it worked".
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

pattycake

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Re: Does it fit here if it's "That's Right!" followed by silence?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2016, 11:45:48 AM »
Yes. I think if you hadn't responded at all, that would have been kind of rude as it doesn't sound like he was trying to goad you about it. You responded, but didn't leave him an opening on that topic, so he was left holding the bag and fortunately he got that you weren't going to talk about that subject and moved on. Good on both of you.

TootsNYC

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Re: Does it fit here if it's "That's Right!" followed by silence?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2016, 03:53:47 PM »
yep, I think this qualifies. And:  nicely done!

cross_patch

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Re: Does it fit here if it's "That's Right!" followed by silence?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2016, 07:25:05 PM »
I guess it does, but it seems a bit rude I think, in this instance. It sounds like he was just making small talk, and he didn't know you'd had an encounter with your wife's relatives. I would have just said 'that's right' and changed the subject myself if you didn't want to talk about it rather than left a pointed silence. It doesn't seem like there was a need to make him feel awkward, it's a pretty harmless question.

Two Ravens

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Re: Does it fit here if it's "That's Right!" followed by silence?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2016, 08:13:22 PM »
I guess it does, but it seems a bit rude I think, in this instance. It sounds like he was just making small talk, and he didn't know you'd had an encounter with your wife's relatives. I would have just said 'that's right' and changed the subject myself if you didn't want to talk about it rather than left a pointed silence. It doesn't seem like there was a need to make him feel awkward, it's a pretty harmless question.

I agree. In this case, it seems like you were punishing Jake for your previous encounter that he wasn't even involved in. Would you have spoken to him like this if you hadn't had that unpleasant conversation beforehand?

NFPwife

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Re: Does it fit here if it's "That's Right!" followed by silence?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2016, 08:46:35 PM »
Yes it fits and I disagree that it might have been rude or taking something out on Jake. The OP smiled and said, "That's right," then the silence. I think the smile and silence said everything without the OP saying something unkind about his wife's family. My estimation is that it's a bit of meta-level communication. And it was brilliant.

TootsNYC

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Re: Does it fit here if it's "That's Right!" followed by silence?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2016, 09:05:53 PM »
That statement: "we haven't seen you for a long time" comes across like an accusatory statement to me.

I think tone can shape it, but it's the wording that's very often used as an opening to chide someone, as if they are at fault, or lacking, because they haven't shown up at a family reunion.

I also trust snappyIt to have heard Jake's actual tone. He says he wasn't sure whether Jake was about to scold him or commiserate. But it's just not pleasant wording, either way.

And snappyIt's tone wasn't snotty, so...


cross_patch

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Re: Does it fit here if it's "That's Right!" followed by silence?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2016, 09:59:14 PM »
That statement: "we haven't seen you for a long time" comes across like an accusatory statement to me.

I think tone can shape it, but it's the wording that's very often used as an opening to chide someone, as if they are at fault, or lacking, because they haven't shown up at a family reunion.

I also trust snappyIt to have heard Jake's actual tone. He says he wasn't sure whether Jake was about to scold him or commiserate. But it's just not pleasant wording, either way.

And snappyIt's tone wasn't snotty, so...

How else do you express that you haven't seen someone for a long time?

AngelicGamer

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Re: Does it fit here if it's "That's Right!" followed by silence?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2016, 10:07:48 PM »
That statement: "we haven't seen you for a long time" comes across like an accusatory statement to me.

I think tone can shape it, but it's the wording that's very often used as an opening to chide someone, as if they are at fault, or lacking, because they haven't shown up at a family reunion.

I also trust snappyIt to have heard Jake's actual tone. He says he wasn't sure whether Jake was about to scold him or commiserate. But it's just not pleasant wording, either way.

And snappyIt's tone wasn't snotty, so...

How else do you express that you haven't seen someone for a long time?

For me? "Hi, longtime no see! How are you?".