When Somone Says “You Look Good” Intonation Is KEY!!!
Tonight I spent most of it at a very happy occasion, my friends’ engagement party! It was a great night with lots of fun had by all. One of the better parts of the evening, though (aside from the obvious amazingness of the engagement), was that I got to see a bunch of people who I haven’t seen in a long time.
However, one thing I noticed when one friend saw another who hadn’t seen each other in a while is that something we often say to people, “You look good”, can so easily be misunderstood if the intonation of the statement is off. Of course, this assumes that the person is paying attention to the intonation. Often nowadays, we will hear things that we hear often and not even think about them or listen properly to them and just accept them at face value.
When my friend said it tonight, I was listening, and the way he said, “You look good”, it seemed like he was sort of surprised that the guy he was talking to actually looked good. Did he expect that our friend was going to look like a drunken hobo, missing half his teeth? Did the fact that our friend actually looked happy and healthy come as a surprise to him? I doubt it but when he said it it sure did sound like it!
We all found it amusing and so I decided to blog about it tonight. I have heard before how intonation (or tonality as I have heard it called) is SO important but never fully realized it because I had never heard it from an outside perspective before.
(I myself have, however, been told in my youth that I sounded condescending when I totally didn’t mean to so I have had to train myself to control my tone and make it sound more friendly and nice. Now I truly understand it much better and I hope you do too.)