Bubba and I have a handy two-word conversational pearl that lubricates our conversations; it affably suggests agreement while is simultaneously totally non-committal. Even though we both know the truth behind our use of it, like flattery, it works.
Me: “I think the air quality is going to be good today.”
Bubba: “Could be.”
No argument. So agreeable. Yet so much wiggle room for the possibility that Bubba doesn’t agree.
Bubba: “I think the couch would look better on the other side of the room.”
Me: “Could be.”
How lovely that you have that opinion. It’s possible the couch would look better there. But for now, while I mull it over, let’s just leave it be.
It’s an excellent response to an opinion or to anything that can’t be immediately proven.
It obviously doesn’t fit all situations, but when it does, it’s perfect. Used at the right moment, it has proven its brilliance at preserving our loving relationship, preventing conversations from hitting sandpaper, and usually making us laugh.