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When is a compliment not a compliment?

Monday, November 18, 2013

One of the things that keeps me going is when people notice that I've lost weight and tell me that I look great. As I get closer to 50 pounds lost, that happens more and more.

So why was I so annoyed when I had the following conversation with a co-worker this morning?

Him: "You look like you've lost weight ..."

Me: "Yup."

Him: "How much have you lost?"

Me: "A lot."

Him: "So that's how you're doing it, huh? Not focusing on the numbers."

Honestly, I don't know why this guy set me off. Other people have commented on my weight in almost the same way and it made my day. Was it just that he wanted to know exactly how much I lost and that seemed invasive? I don't know.

Have any of you had similar experiences? Got any wisdom to share with me?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    690 days ago
    I feel like ppl want me to tell them what my weight was before so they can calculate my weight now!!! I always get you are big boned. Wtf that mean right? I read your recent blog that brought me back to t his one.I have a gal like this that just rubs me the wrong way. The high metabolism twinkie eating ill exercise sometimes and still be a size 5. She makes remarks like oh well you obviously lost weight from marathon training. No really b its from watching what I eat! We all have grouchy days. Keep it up friend
    1645 days ago
    No one can sit here on the other side of a computer and know why that upset you. Maybe you just don't like the guy so whatever he said would bother you. I always ask how much people lost and think nothing of it. I also want to know how they did it as it can help me in my journey. Most people I know are proud of their weight loss and happy to discuss it. No one can guess why one person would be sensitive to that question and another would not. I would of thought your answer of "a lot" was evasive and his response was friendly.

    1646 days ago
    Thank you so much for noticing I've been working pretty hard on it.

    :And then walk away.

    Sounds like this guy is a bit competitive
    1646 days ago
    Presume positive intentions. :)
    1646 days ago
  • COREY04
    I probably would have responded: "Yup" if I don;t know him really well. If I know him better, I would have explained about how I set goals: My performance in the mountains, how my clothes fit, my ability to scramble with a heavy back pack and still put my foot right next to my hand when I climb. Not everyone needs an at length explanation. I do have to say he would have bugged me, too.
    1646 days ago
    I was told how poorly my clothes fit. It was time to buy a smaller size.
    I was motivated to shop, but it could have been handled better.
    1646 days ago
  • STR458
    that guy has a slightly superior note/competitive *I recognize the type, they always want to prove they know more about what you have to say than you do* so you cut them off with short answers and vagueness... sounds like you took the wind out of his sails, because you knew he was trying to lead you into a" competitive " kind of conversation... and it pissed you off that once again he wanted to fish for general information about yourself for a competition (you would of told him details, he would top you with his) .... this time it happened to be weight loss. Interesting thing is you managed to divert it- good for you! He could of said " hey you look good! You've lost weight" if all he wanted to do was compliment you-Right??!
    I also love fiction, and love creating scenes in my imagination. Sometimes I even guess right.
    1646 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/19/2013 9:04:37 AM
    I can only echo what others have already said, maybe it was the tone/body language of the commentor? Or perhaps you don't care for this person much, and would not care for his thoughts or comments anyway? Or something else entirely...

    I do like the suggestion of keeping a log of favorable comments to look back on! I used to get lots of comments, and rarely do now, (not that I need that, but it is flattering!) it would be nice to have something like that to look back on.

    1646 days ago
    I try to go with PAPAMIKIE's strategy. But, no matter what, *you* are the one making the great progress and *you* are the person who decides what to share with whom.
    emoticon emoticon
    1646 days ago
    Is this someone who generally annoys you? Because I can imagine a good co-worker/friend ask that and it not annoy me, but someone I feel less generous toward... not so much!

    Anyway -- the journey is yours and not everyone needs to know your business. Glad you kept things to yourself!

    1646 days ago
    There is a thing I call, "Giving a Benevolent hearing". It means deliberately putting on a set of filters that pretend that a person means the best by what s/he says or does. It is not always true, but it is often useful, as long as you can live in the both/and/or logic that says I will believe the best and yet be ready for the worst.

    Take care and know that it does not matter, it is about our journey, and our process not about what others say.
    1646 days ago
  • DO4FIT
    I have felt this way before... it mostly happens when the person asks me everyday how it is going and telling me that they are noticing and such. I am like okay, awesome.. can we calm it down a bit? Hopefully it was just a moment and you were able to move past it and on with your day emoticon
    1646 days ago
    For me if they ask I just tell them usually their jaws drop and they shut up. Yes I agree at times it does seem they are pushing too much. I am proud of what I have done without surgeries and gimmicks I just smiles to myself. maybe just view it a different way and it wont bother you so much. What you have done and are doing is a great accomplishment. Stand tall and be proud!!

    1646 days ago
    He may have insulted by you only answering a lot. lol Many people ask for amounts because it's so hard to judge weight when lost, and so impressive when it's done.

    Also it sounds as if he made no big deal out of it .....by saying so that's how you do it ....... it may have felt he belittled the hard work you put into it by all the exercising and eating right.

    Sometimes things rub us the wrong way.

    1647 days ago
    The incredulousness of it. That's what set you off. It seemed that he was criticizing your methods and discounting all the hard work you put into it. Tone and body language are everything, too, and I think something registered in your subconscious as a threat. He may very well not have been stirring things up, but some people just come across as confrontational no matter what they say or do (and they suffer accordingly and wonder why they can't get dates or invites to parties). The fact that you gave him minimal answers and he didn't get the hint that you didn't want to discuss it with him tells me that he might be a regular "button pusher" for you. There's always SOMEBODY to be the button pusher, isn't there. The proper response to your "Yup" would have been "Cool beans, bro" or "Sweet" and leave it at that. But that's just me, and I'm no social expert (being in line for my Grand Curmudgeon merit badge in the Cranky Scouts and all).
    1647 days ago
    I don't know why he irritated you. Might be attitude and body language more than the actual words. So I'm not much help on what you asked, but I do have a suggestion.

    I love compliments, too. They do help keep me going. Consider getting a notebook and write down the compliments you like (forget this one). Perhaps you want to not when, where, who as well. Then in a year or two when everyone has accepted you as slim and rarely mentions it, you can pull that notebook out and savor those compliments to help you keep doing what you need to do to live slim and healthy!! Best wishes.
    1647 days ago
    Depends on how he said it. Did he sound, like, stunned that you weren't going to give him an exact number?

    I'd have to lose weight first for people to offend me about my weight loss. =)
    1647 days ago
    Maybe you were just having a bit of a bad day?

    Either way, hope you have a great week...and congrats on the weight you've lost!
    1647 days ago
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