Some male compliments are best left unheard

Male (so-called) compliments

By Anna Trevelyan cropped-anna-pic-2-e1436354275658.jpg

If there’s one thing I have learned over the last few years it’s this: if you are going to ask certain males their opinion on something then be prepared to deal with the consequences.

It’s an old cliché to ask him “how to I look?” and receive the “one sugar, please” answer, but there are times when you do need or want an opinion. However, this comes with a caution – you probably won’t be told what you want to hear. Fishing for compliments (in my experience) never works with most of the males in my life, but what I feel is most important is not to take any opinions to heart – as well-meaning but as poorly-sounding as these may be.

Here are a few rather more memorable responses from some of my favourite men-folk…


Upon re-entering the living room after my pre-wedding hair and make-up rehearsal:

Male 1 (Dad): “You look…striking. Quite different.”

Male 2: “Is there going to be a circus theme?” clown


Following my recent lunchtime eyebrow tinting disaster, resulting in me having to attend two meetings with large sunglasses on:

Nigel (work friend): “Don’t worry, it’s not that bad. Yes, they’re darker, but they match your roots coming through.”



After trying a slightly redder shade of hair colour than my usual blonde:

Husband: “It reminds me a bit of Angela Merkel. In a nice way.”



Me (peering at an old picture without glasses on, and actually meaning it as a compliment): “Wow. Look at your hair! It looks so much better now.”

Male friend: “What? That was last year and that’s you!”

sugar coat


Me: “I thought I’d pop to the shops and get a few bits to make this office feel more like a proper office. Maybe a door stop? And a door mat? What do you think?”

Boss: “You what? All I need is that jagged rock and that piece of old rug. I know people stub their feet and trip up but at least it keeps them on their toes! Plus it makes you re-think your footwear.”



During a recent lunch at home:

Husband: “Anna, there is something disgusting on the wall in that toilet. I think you need to go and sort it out.”

Me: “That’s absolutely vile! Why would you tell me that when I’m trying to eat? Anyway, why can’t YOU go and get the bleach?”

Husband: “I was talking about that awful picture you chose to put up!”



Whilst having a meeting with our builder about the new bathroom:

Me: “I was thinking you could put in a series of down-lighters, plus a light above the mirror so I can really see my face in detail.”

Builder: “Why on Earth would you want to do that?”


2000px-Mars_symbol.svgWhen having a crisis of nothing clean or decent to wear to an event, except one moth-eaten old dress:

Husband: “Don’t worry, you look perfect as you are. To me.”


Just remember ladies: If men really are from Mars this makes them Martians. They probably won’t get it. That’s fine. It’s probably better to celebrate your differences and embrace the fact that your father, friends or other half may not quite understand you – but they will probably make you chuckle whilst trying.


I’d love to hear some of your little gems, so please do share them below!