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"A very uninspiring woman"

(176 Posts)
forinborin Tue 09-Mar-21 10:09:03

So, I was called just that, in the context that hardly would make me want to go and interrogate the person who said that further (it was a communication mistake, I was never expected to see it).

English is my second language and I am not yet perfectly fluent. I mean, I know the dictionary definition, but curious about (British) cultural nuances too. If you were to think about another woman as "uninspiring", what would you mean, in simpler terms? Mumsy? Plain looking? Domesticated? Unintelligent? Poor conversationalist? Unambitious? Anything else?

I mean, I am probably all of the above, and it is so hard to choose - but I need to decide how exactly offended should I be grin

OP’s posts: |
steff13 Tue 09-Mar-21 10:12:10

It would depend on the context I suppose, but I'd think dull, typical, nothing special.

araiwa Tue 09-Mar-21 10:12:28

I'd think uninspiring

GreenlandTheMovie Tue 09-Mar-21 10:14:50

I'd probably interpret it as meaning generally unambitious, but context is everything.

Chamomileteaplease Tue 09-Mar-21 10:14:56

Now that you have told us it was said about you I think posters will find it hard to answer sad. You poor thing - that is so horrible for you.

You have asked so I will answer you honestly - for me it means someone who hasn't achieved much, nor expresses many thoughts on many topics. Someone who hasn't done much essentially.

But it's such a horrible thing to say, I wonder if this person just has a different idea of what is inspiring to them. I am thinking of an example - someone high up in banking or Hollywood or something may think of an artist not making much money as being "uninspiring" no matter how happy or loved they were. Skewed thinking sometimes?

GiveIrelandBackToTheIrish Tue 09-Mar-21 10:15:05

I would think uninspiring as in comparison so say when you eat a microwave meal it doesn't exactly fill you with joy but say if you ate a salad it makes you feel healthy. Sorry if that sounds strangeconfused

forinborin Tue 09-Mar-21 10:16:24

araiwa

I'd think uninspiring

Thanks, that makes it much clearer! grin

OP’s posts: |
PlanDeRaccordement Tue 09-Mar-21 10:16:29

It’s an insult, that’s all you need to know. I’d be cutting ties with the person who said that.

araiwa Tue 09-Mar-21 10:16:36

No energy creativity positivity enthusiasm fun etc

Thelnebriati Tue 09-Mar-21 10:18:27

I think its a silly comment to make about someone, especially if its in the workplace. Imagine an office full of ''inspirational leaders'', it would be unbearable. I'd have to build a filing cabinet fort to hide in.

forinborin Tue 09-Mar-21 10:19:07

Chamomileteaplease

Now that you have told us it was said about you I think posters will find it hard to answer sad. You poor thing - that is so horrible for you.

You have asked so I will answer you honestly - for me it means someone who hasn't achieved much, nor expresses many thoughts on many topics. Someone who hasn't done much essentially.

But it's such a horrible thing to say, I wonder if this person just has a different idea of what is inspiring to them. I am thinking of an example - someone high up in banking or Hollywood or something may think of an artist not making much money as being "uninspiring" no matter how happy or loved they were. Skewed thinking sometimes?

Thank you! I am reasonably thick-skinned, I really want honest answers - and anonymity helps here. If I were to ask someone in real life, of course all answers would be "how dare they!".

I guess yes, "low achiever" probably fits the bill.

OP’s posts: |
Hardbackwriter Tue 09-Mar-21 10:19:31

The only way I can imagine it being used is about someone doing some sort of public speaking or training? In which case I could imagine describing someone as uninspiring if I thought they'd be dull/too shy and quiet for the task, but it wouldn't be a general comment on them (though I appreciate it's still a very unpleasant thing to hear).

Sorry that you saw that about yourself OP, that sort of thing is horrible and sticks with you. A few years ago a student on a course I was the lecturer for said I had a 'boring voice' and it's the only feedback comment I can remember even though there were loads of good ones - I bet you've had lots of good feedback in various ways, so don't be like me, focus on that!

Helleofabore Tue 09-Mar-21 10:19:46

The wonderful thing is that it is usually people who have a very narrow view who say such things and are probably projecting.

To me, an uninspiring woman is a female who has a habit of ignoring the achievements of others of their own sex and who has a habit of amplifying the opinions of those who seem to be quite hateful towards females.

Uninspiring does not mean "Mumsy? Plain looking? Domesticated? Unintelligent? Poor conversationalist? Unambitious?" at all to me.

forinborin Tue 09-Mar-21 10:19:54

GiveIrelandBackToTheIrish

I would think uninspiring as in comparison so say when you eat a microwave meal it doesn't exactly fill you with joy but say if you ate a salad it makes you feel healthy. Sorry if that sounds strangeconfused

No, that makes sense to me. Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
Willgetbetter Tue 09-Mar-21 10:20:10

@forinborin - it’s kind of nasty. I always think that people who are giving insults feel threatened in some way... do they know you know?

forinborin Tue 09-Mar-21 10:21:19

Thelnebriati

I think its a silly comment to make about someone, especially if its in the workplace. Imagine an office full of ''inspirational leaders'', it would be unbearable. I'd have to build a filing cabinet fort to hide in.

Yes, it was said in a semi-professional context. Not directly working together, but ex-colleagues who I know well.

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyHoonMain Tue 09-Mar-21 10:21:47

What is the context? If said by a colleague or manager it might mean you aren’t presenting yourself well. Presentation is about more than the way you look, you need to be able to speak up and communicate new ideas too. Are you afraid to speak up because of your English skills?

If within the personal sphere it probably does mean plain looking. I wouldn’t worry so much if it was someone in my personal life who made that comment.

Silurian Tue 09-Mar-21 10:23:15

More context would help, OP. I mean, it would be less out of place if you were doing a job which required you to be ‘inspirational’, like giving Ted talks or one of those after-dinner speakers where essentially the brief is that you’re there to inspire people, or someone giving a Speech Day/prize giving speech at a school, or a graduation.

Assuming it wasn’t in one of those contexts, I would assume it meant the person being described was habitually dull or moany in meetings, or the type — there’s always one — who is always the one to raise problems but never suggest solutions. But it might simply be a function of your not-yet-fluent English? I suspect we’re all duller in languages we’re not at ease in.

RefuseTheLies Tue 09-Mar-21 10:25:12

It's a subjective insult, and therefore not a fair comment. Not everyone finds the same qualities 'inspirational'.

To me, uninspiring means low energy, lacking enthusiasm, no spark. I do think you can be a high achiever tho and be uninspiring, too.

forinborin Tue 09-Mar-21 10:25:46

Willgetbetter

*@forinborin* - it’s kind of nasty. I always think that people who are giving insults feel threatened in some way... do they know you know?

They know I know, it was a mis-sent email - my actual name is foreign and notoriously hard to spell, and the person probably typed my name in the "cc" box to copy the correct spelling and then fired off it too fast (I mean, it had happened lots of times before in more benign contexts, I know people do it). They sent then a follow up email with "oh sorry, an error, it wasn't about you at all!"... but I am probably one of very few people, if not the only one, in the UK with that name.

OP’s posts: |
Silurian Tue 09-Mar-21 10:25:50

GrumpyHoonMain

What is the context? If said by a colleague or manager it might mean you aren’t presenting yourself well. Presentation is about more than the way you look, you need to be able to speak up and communicate new ideas too. Are you afraid to speak up because of your English skills?

If within the personal sphere it probably does mean plain looking. I wouldn’t worry so much if it was someone in my personal life who made that comment.

That’s in pteresting, @GrumpyHoonMain. I would have never seen it as a comment on appearance at all.

forinborin Tue 09-Mar-21 10:26:47

Helleofabore

The wonderful thing is that it is usually people who have a very narrow view who say such things and are probably projecting.

To me, an uninspiring woman is a female who has a habit of ignoring the achievements of others of their own sex and who has a habit of amplifying the opinions of those who seem to be quite hateful towards females.

Uninspiring does not mean "Mumsy? Plain looking? Domesticated? Unintelligent? Poor conversationalist? Unambitious?" at all to me.

Thank you! I am probably projecting my own insecurities and it shows.

OP’s posts: |
Chewingle Tue 09-Mar-21 10:27:34

One of the worst criticisms I can imagine to be levelled against me.

It encompasses SO much.

Basically the person saying it looks at you and actively doesn’t want to be anything like you

RunnerDown Tue 09-Mar-21 10:27:55

I think it depends on who said it and what their personality is like. I worked in health care. I was terrible at presentations, didn’t do research, didn’t take on projects or management roles ( though I could have) . I was quiet and not very confident. I’m sure there were many colleagues who thought me uninspiring.
BUT - I really cared about my patients, gave them a lot of time , and got lots of comments about how approachable I was. Personally that was how I measured my success. Those around me who were more ambitious did not rate those characteristics.

JemimaTiggywinkle Tue 09-Mar-21 10:29:00

I would ask them to explain a bit more so you can work on becoming “inspirational”

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