I am a senior citizen man who is confused by what seems to be a new rule of etiquette that one should never, ever comment on another’s appearance. Does it include complimenting someone on a new hairstyle or a new outfit, for example? Please clarify.
From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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We are now in an era, where women can be hyper-sensitive. And because they often construe any compliment as crossing a line, it’s safer to mix every compliment with an insult, to play it safe. Here are some examples. Tell a woman that she’s wearing a really nice dress, and then ask her if she maxed out her Salvation Army credit card. Or you can acknowledge her new hairstyle and then tell her it’s not nearly as frightening as her previous follicle fiasco. If she recently got her nails done, tell her that her hands make her look like a celebrity, specifically the claws of a dragon in “The Game of Thrones”. But if you want to play it safe, suggest a nice clothing store where she can pick out a trendy maternity top she can wear, if she appears to be a few months pregnant. However this friendly gesture might backfire if she informs you that she had her tubes tied a decade ago. I hope this helps.