I saw someone earlier today who I had not seen in awhile, an acquaintance if you will. In speaking with them, they commented on the fact that I had three kids now. I confirmed the information and small chit chat ensued about their ages and whatnot. I am used to the wide saucer eyes when people realize how close my kids are in age, but some people say the strangest things. Today the reply was, "You look exhausted."
Not, "You must be exhausted."
Not, "Wow, that is a lot, I would be exhausted."
But, "You look exhausted."
A better person would have laughed it off.
A better person may have said, "Oh no, this life is not tiring at all." Which wouldn't have been entirely true.
A better person may have acknowledged the slightly inappropriate statement to someone you don't know all that well by raising the ante in random comments by saying, "Well you should see me on a really tiring day."
A better person may have said all those things.
I chose a different route. I was completely disturbed by their choice in things to comment. Even if I did look exhausted which I didn't- confirmed by others- that is NOT something you say to people because it isn't helpful. So wanting to add to the awkwardness in the situation I slowly turned to look at them and said, "Oh. Hmm."
The tension was awesome. A better person may have helped ease the discomfort by laughing a bit or changing the subject.
Instead I let it hang there for a bit until someone else came to relieve the conversation.
Next time I hope the say something along the lines of, "You look great! You are doing a wonderful job!" or nothing at all.