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To want to punch people who say - "cheer up love, it might never happen"

(121 Posts)
dawsonjunior Fri 30-Nov-12 03:19:29

Have an afternoon off with a friend, go to costa. I save a table whilst she ordered drinks.
Quite a queue so I was waiting, having a little think about life. When the man on the table next to me says - cheer up love, might never happen.

I must have given him quite the dirty look because he did apologise BUT it's such an insensitive comment for a stranger to make. For all he know I could have been told I had a week to live.

Wish people would keep their bloody comments to themselves.

TigerseyeMum Mon 03-Dec-12 21:36:51

I was once walking home from a long journey for an unsuccessful job interview, one of many, broke, in pain from slipped discs, very tired. A huge, red faced fat man marched up to me in the street and started yelling and screaming in my face 'fucking cheer up, fucking crack a smile, miserable fucking bitch.' he was laughing at his own witticisms at the time. He must have been inches from my face and screaming at the top of his lungs, then when he was bored just carried on walking.

I felt like I'd been assaulted.

I'd say that man personified what the phrase 'cheer up love' is all about.

DeliciousIrony Mon 03-Dec-12 16:30:54

I hate this. I've had it said to me a few times, always by older men, usually when I was alone. I wasn't even feeling particularly moody, just walking down the street with my face at its default expression. I am painfully shy and self-conscious and this made me feel so much worse....I felt angry at myself for not looking 'cheerful' enough, which I now see is ridiculous. It's a form of street harassment, and very much about power and gender inequality. It's also just plain rude and insensitive.

lottiegarbanzo Mon 03-Dec-12 14:47:12

Tone is key but in all the instances cited of positive comments the phrase has been quite different too.

I haven't heard 'smile love...' for a while (probably too old to register as decorative these days) but I think a simple 'you don't look too pretty yourself' would suffice.

minouminou Mon 03-Dec-12 13:56:13

Mind you, having had a think, there's been a couple of occasions when men of a certain age have said this to me and it's been comforting. Both instances have been when I was genuinely and visibly upset, and the men said (IIRC) "Keep yer chin up and keep smiling, sweetheart, you'll be reyt..." and "You'll be smiling soon enough, luv...."

Both times, there was no smuggery, no comment on my appearance, no orders to cheer up to please someone else. The tone of voice was caring and non-intrusive, and there was no attempt to pry further.

The "Keep smiling" of the first instance I mentioned was for me, not for anyone else, IYSWIM.

minouminou Mon 03-Dec-12 13:38:24

I'm not here as an ornament - if you don't like my face, look at something else.

I've used that quite a few times. You should see the look on their faces.....

TeamBacon Mon 03-Dec-12 13:30:00

I need a stock response to this phrase.

Mind you, I used to hear it all the time - nobody says it to me anymore.

lottiegarbanzo Mon 03-Dec-12 13:28:01

Exactly, a rebuke for not brightening their day by making some effort to look lovely. The same sort of men whose younger selves can sometimes be heard having conversations about the pointlessness of 'ugly birds'.

SantaWearsGreen Mon 03-Dec-12 11:48:48

I get it all of the time.

I have a naturally pouting semi-miserable face like Victoria Beckham. Not sure if she does it all of the time purposely or not but that is how my face naturally falls when I am not forcing an expression such as a smile. So people think I am a miserable git and look like i'm in a sulk and I get either that comment or 'give us a smile'. I used to get called Garfield or Posh spice when I was younger.

I'm not miserable at all, I just don't walk around with a constant smile painted on my face... Not my fault my 'normal' face is a miserable one sad

It does tend to be middle aged men. Never had it from a woman or younger man. Always the kind that drive transit vans and have a shaven or bald head. Just saying.

Cailleach Mon 03-Dec-12 11:15:39

A bus driver said this to my mother not long after my brother died (born with Edwards Syndrome, lived only three days, most of that spent in an absolutely terrible condition). She let rip at him in front of the whole bus, told him the whole story, sparing none of the grim details, and got a round of applause from the passengers.

One old lady was so indignant that she marched up to the front of the bus and gave the driver a piece of her mind.

Does it never occur to people that say this that there may be a reason WHY the other person looks miserable?

Clearly not...

Matsikula Mon 03-Dec-12 10:32:26

I think 'cheer up love' is a bit of a rebuke to women for not looking lovely at all times. If you really want someone to cheer up, the most effective way is simply to smile and say hello. Not intrusive, rarely fails.

Mrsjay Mon 03-Dec-12 10:12:20

I agree with exotic women can be nosey and try and get you to tell them what it wrong and want details about you at least a cheer up love is a passing if a little annoying remark,

missingmumxox Mon 03-Dec-12 00:03:23

Missing is very much female and 15 years after the death of my Mum, where my experience comes from of someone saying cheer up, I used missingmumxox as I still do miss her

So should I start an AIBU post about the way a few people have talked to me on this post? the answer is no, it is a forum.

also no because you don't know the back story, like a person in a shop, in the street, as I say your grief is yours and mine is mine, I don't expect the world to revolve round it.

I think the grown up way to be is either let a comment pass or explain nicely that you are grieving.

A couple of posters have had horrible things happen but in the main people are not trying to offend, just pass the time of day.

I am willing to bet some of the bleeding hearts here would also get on their high horse and defend my right of not BU if I started a post about my dyslexia and how I had been ridiculed for it on this thread, in the knowledge that, this is also a fact you don't know about me, so why would you be nice? you just think I am being lazy.

I am dyslexic and no I am not offended, you didn't know.

For future reference my Dad is also dead, died Dec 21st and his Birthday was Christmas Eve, so I suppose all the people who said Happy Christmas to me that year, WBFUR I mean as if I would it was fucking awful!

I just gave a smile and got on with it, they don't need to feel like shit for inadvertently putting their foot in it to a stranger.

PerryCombover Sun 02-Dec-12 23:58:12

Just an idea but.....perhaps some of the people who say, "cheer up luv etc" are saying it because they have had someone say it to them at some point and it has helped
They wish someone had said something/anything to them at a very low point
They have lost someone close to them and wish they hadn't

I know for lots it's simply passing the time of day or perhaps even a learned behaviour
Sometimes it is reaching out...for a need in themselves currently or in the past or to offer some human contact to another
If I see someone markedly removed from a crowded situation or upset I will ask if they are okay.

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 22:23:57

As far as we know- men are not going to be talking about it!

PretzelTime Sun 02-Dec-12 22:17:31

I don't see anyone saying that about women, this thread is about a special phenomenon.

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 22:06:46

I think that people must live in a different world if women are always sensitive, polite and non judgemental! In my experience they can be very intrusive and rude and come out with totally inappropriate, insensitive remarks - even if they happen to avoid 'cheer up love........'
I could find hundreds of examples on MN if I bothered, with the greatest of ease. MIL threads would be an easy starting point!

UnicornTamer Sun 02-Dec-12 21:39:00

A friend of mine had this said to him the day after his mum died by a random woman in the street - I reckon he should've turned to her, told her why he was upset and made her feel guilty.

I've had it said to me a couple of times but I think it's because I naturally look a little glum.

PretzelTime Sun 02-Dec-12 21:32:44

YANBU
It's fucking rude. Punch em in the face next time. Yes it has happened to me and other women I know during crisis and yes it's always older men.

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 21:32:10

I think it is merely an inept way of cheering up - nothing more. Unfortunately we are too upset at the time to answer back so they never know.

inde Sun 02-Dec-12 21:29:15

That is true FastidiaBlueberry. As is being discussed in the other thread about talking to strangers men are more wary of talking to other men they don't know than they would be to women. I still think it is an inept way of trying to cheer people up though. I've got poor social skills but I wouldn't say it to someone I don't know. Male or female.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 02-Dec-12 21:21:17

Workmates aren't random strangers in the street though, are they inde?

I think there's a world of difference between someone who knows you and some random.

In the same way that there's a world of difference between what that nice old man said to wherearemysocka and a random telling her to smile or cheer up.

inde Sun 02-Dec-12 21:17:57

We shall never actually know because men simply wouldn't think to mention it.

I just did. grin

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 21:13:16

We shall never actually know because men simply wouldn't think to mention it.

inde Sun 02-Dec-12 21:11:43

Men do say it to each other. I used to work in a job I was unhappy in (and it obviously showed) and it was said to me quite regularly by workmates. I don't actually think they mean any harm by it and I think it is an inept way at trying to cheer you up. Particularly inept if they don't know you and don't know what is going on in your life. As many of the posts in this thread show.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 02-Dec-12 21:10:23

The other thing is, men don't say it to women when women are with another man.

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