I have, for so long encountered the “you speak so well” micro aggression. Years ago, I used to be polite about it and say something like “Uh, thanks. I guess,” with that contorted and confused face. On a basic, primal, human level, I just could not, and still don’t get that statement. Is it a compliment? Is it a sarcastic insult? How do I even respond to that? Well, years of practise have led me to these 5 perfect responses…
The-Anthropological-One, also known as Duuuuh: “I speak well? As opposed to? What did you expect? Being homo sapiens in our time means I enunciate. In whatever language, and English is one of many. Neanderthals are the ones who could not speak well. At least not in the way we do. So, do I look like a neanderthal so much that you are surprised that I enunciate?”
The-Arrogant-One: “I’ll ignore that micro-aggression and move right along because maybe, just maybe, you don’t know better. And when you do not know better, not much is expected of you. And when not much is expected of you, you say things like what you just said. So bye.”
The Don’t-Pay-Them-No-Heed One: Just keep quiet, look at them, shake your head or roll your eyes and walk away.
The-I’m-Going-To-Play-Dumb One: “Oh my ancestors, I had no idea! Really!?” Then go on to sarcastically ask them what they mean and really get into it. Ask an endless strings of whys and hows. Keep your eyes open wide. Freakishly. Find a way to end up discussing evolution and creationism, then move to the global financial crisis of 2008, and then enter into a monologue on Mean Girls and the Magic Mike sequel. Then walk away.
My most preferred response…
The-Right-Back-At-You One: “So do you. What school did you go to?”