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Irked by compliments on weight loss

I've had several people compliment me recently and tell me that they had noticed I lost weight, but didn't want to say anything thinking I might be offended. My thoughts are, "Why would I be offended?? I did lose weight and I DO look better!" Then my co-worker said she does get irked when people compliment her - she thinks, "What, I didn't look good before?"

What's your take on 'Did you lose weight?' compliments? Do you take it as code for 'You didn't look good before, but now you do' ?


Fri. Jun 22, 7:27am

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Just a thought...maybe if these people are co-workers, they didn't want to offend you by commenting at all on your body. You know...inappropriate in a professional setting.
But to answer your question, everytime someone would tell me how great I looked due to my weightloss, the compliment would be followed with "not that you didn't look great before...but now..." Kinda funny. I would not be offended at all by the idea that I look better now anyway...I do, probably because I feel so much better!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007, 9:32 AM

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I think people get 'compliment-shy' because so many folks DO NOT know how to graciously accept a compliment.

You smile (either warmly or with excruciating politeness depending on the compliment and manner in which it is offered) and say "Why thank you, how good of you to notice!" or something to that effect. I have really cut down on the number of times I compliment someone because I don't want to get into an exchange about why I'm wrong :-(

Friday, June 22, 2007, 9:59 AM

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People just have different attitudes - I don't know what else to say - and yes, I mostly hold back from saying anything to others because I don't know how they will take it.
For whatever reason, I do not take praise well. Not that I prefer criticism or contempt... they are all a little hard to deal with in their own ways. I do not want to be employee of the month, or anything like that, either. I like to be respected, just not confronted about it, I guess. Maybe it's a feeling that even if I'm doing well, or seeming to, right now, tomorrow or next year I might be screwing up again and I don't especially want to think about who all is going to notice.
In those relationships where the trust factor is high enough, I don't feel as concerned. I have some of those, and it really is more about "trust" than "closeness". Trust in what? That's hard to put a finger on. Maybe trust that my best interests matter to the person, and that they have enough self-control and judgment so their actions will at least mostly be guided by that.

Friday, June 22, 2007, 10:57 AM

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I don't usually go around commenting on peoples appearance for no reason, why would you? I only comment if something had changed, like they lost weight. Would you rather they comment while you were gaining?

Friday, June 22, 2007, 11:53 AM

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i want the compliments! i've worked damn hard for what i've accomplished. it's no secret i was fat, and it's no secret i've lost weight and am continuing to do so. a little recognition for my hard work goes a long way to keep me motivated to keep going!

and when someone says something i genuinely say- thank you so much because it was so hard to do! it means a lot that you noticed. thanks.

Friday, June 22, 2007, 12:16 PM

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I wouldn't say I'm "offended" by it but I would prefer that people not comment on my body. Friends and family are different, of course, but I don't want coworkers commenting on me.

Friday, June 22, 2007, 3:54 PM

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OP here. It wasn't co-workers - it was just my coworker I was talking to who says she gets offended when people say something along the line of , "Hey you look great!" She feels they are implying she didn't look great before.

If someone says I look great I think "Thanks!" Why get offended if someone tells you you look great and it's the result of taking care of yourself??

Friday, June 22, 2007, 7:18 PM

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There are two sides to this. One, is the giving and taking of compliments in general. The other is the giving and taking of comments about a person's body specifically. For the one who dislikes receiving compliments of the second kind, perhaps the response could be "Thank you, but I look and feel great at different weights. Wouldn't you agree?" ;-)

No reason that we can't champion each other's successes, but some of these "complimenters" are sizing up other women regularly and finding them worthy or not worthy according to their size. They feel like they just HAVE to say something or they'll just BURST!

LOL, maybe like those who write long replies online? hehehehehe

In short, one can be fat AND happy. One can be fat AND happy AND losing weight AND happy at each stage. One can also be savvy about when such comments are welcome and reflective of what is driving US to make them.

Saturday, June 23, 2007, 9:53 AM

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I have only lost about 6 pounds in the past month, definitely slow going, and I don't think you can really tell a difference. My clothes fit better, is all. But for some reason my dad always says that I look "tinier and tinier" every time he sees me (about five times in the past month)! I didn't tell him I was trying to lose weight but when he mentioned the first time I did say, "Thanks, I'm trying to eat healthier." Now he always makes comments! I know I should take them as compliments but I feel like there really is no difference in how I look. It bothers me because I think its actually his way of trying to encourage me to keep losing weight, which is annoying because I'm doing this for me. And even though I know I'm overweight, I would like my dad to refrain from making it an issue.

Saturday, June 23, 2007, 12:13 PM

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3:54 here

I guess I'm thinking specifically of this pervy guy in my office who is always like, "Oh, you're losing weight, I can really tell. Your face is a lot thinner and your arms, etc." It really skeeves me out because why is this person spending so much time looking at/thinking about my body.

I also agree with the above poster in that it sort of irritates me when I know for a FACT that I haven't lost weight/inches and people continue to comment about me losing weight.

I don't know. Maybe I do have trouble taking compliments but I would just prefer that people not comment on my body. When I see someone that I haven't seen in a long time and they've lost weight I say, "It's so good to see you! You look great!" Then I can compliment without pointing out specifics.

Saturday, June 23, 2007, 2:20 PM

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