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Mention it or don’t? How should I phrase it?

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  • Speakeasy76Speakeasy76 Member Posts: 858 Member Member Posts: 858 Member
    glassyo wrote: »
    Can I just say one more thing? Well, since none of us actually needs permission, I'm going to anyway. :)

    People have their experiences but when someone who isn't close enough to you to be considered a bestie comes up to you they don't know that. Should they err on the side of caution and not say a damn thing just in case a person's been assaulted or harrassed or whatever? Maybe. But it would be a bleak world if everyone was too scared of the backlash to pay someone a compliment tho.

    cktbhp2hobta.jpeg

    I was just thinking this very thing: that if we all just stopped giving sincere compliments that are generally accepted as socially appropriate because we might offend someone, what kind of world are we living in?

    I may be old school, but I think it is socially appropriate to give a sincere compliment about someone's weight loss to an acquaintance you haven't seen in a long time. I don't see "you look great!" to someone who's clearly been working on themselves as offensive? Following it up with "what have you been doing?" and/or something along the lines of how you are trying to improve yourself would probably come off as even less offensive. Most of us know, though, that it's not so much about what you say, but how you say it. If you said while looking her up and down or staring at a specific body part, that would be creepy. Same thing if you were a complete stranger just happens to work out at the same gym, then it comes as being a creepy creeperton. Even if the stranger were being totally sincere, it still can come off weird. Context is everything.

    As a female, I totally get the barrage of unsolicited comments from the opposite sex and other unacceptable male-to-female behavior. Unfortunately, while still uncomfortable (to say the least) for us females, some of the catcalling and such wasn't even called out until recently. Are we to the point, though, where only people of the same sex/sexual orientation are allowed to make genuine compliments without being perceived as creepy? I don't know if that's what others are implying, but I hope not.

    I'll be honest: if an acquaintance I hadn't seen awhile DIDN'T mention anything about an obvious weight loss, I'd be kind of bummed. I also personally feel weird giving compliments to acquaintances, only because I feel awkward receiving them.
    However, those are own issues that I have to deal with, not the person who didn't say anything. There's that saying "You can't control other people's actions, only your reaction to that person." I completely understand why someone who's been the victim of unsolicited creepy comments, gazes, and other offensive acts could be uncomfortable with a compliment such as the OP was suggesting. I know I will get disagrees, but it seems to me that if such sincere, appropriate compliments trigger someone because of those past experiences, maybe there's some work to do on that person's end?

    I don't think anything in this conversation is trying to state what people should be ALLOWED to do. Obviously, men (and others) can choose for themselves what they want to say. The conversation was about the social context that sometimes leads to these comments being unwelcome. Men are allowed to compliment. Women are allowed to have a whole range of varying reactions to that, from being flattered to being indifferent to being annoyed. I don't think that preferring to go through my day without unsolicited comments on how I look has anything to do with being "triggered," it's just a preference. Men don't have to tailor their behavior to my personal preferences, but neither are women obligated to feign delight when they don't feel it.[/quot

    I also don't think I implied anywhere in my post that women are obligated to "feign delight" when given unsolicited compliments, especially by strangers. I think that's BS, but I also personally think giving a curt "thank you" and going on about your day is feigning delight, either. There is a clear difference between not liking to get unsolicited compliments vs. feeling offended or triggered by them because of past experiences. I also realize that no one in this thread flat-out said what men or women allowed to do, it was more about what has become an seems to be developing into an unspoken social rule (if it's even true).

    Of course people are entitled to their own responses to compliments. My comment was more about people being worried that they're going to offend someone by giving a sincere compliment to a friend or an acquaintance for something that is a noticeable difference (like even someone's haircut). As I said in my response, on the whole I don't like compliments about my appearance, either, by either gender. It's more about my own self-consciousness, not about any negative past experiences, though.
  • Speakeasy76Speakeasy76 Member Posts: 858 Member Member Posts: 858 Member
    33gail33 wrote: »
    glassyo wrote: »
    Can I just say one more thing? Well, since none of us actually needs permission, I'm going to anyway. :)

    People have their experiences but when someone who isn't close enough to you to be considered a bestie comes up to you they don't know that. Should they err on the side of caution and not say a damn thing just in case a person's been assaulted or harrassed or whatever? Maybe. But it would be a bleak world if everyone was too scared of the backlash to pay someone a compliment tho.

    cktbhp2hobta.jpeg

    I was just thinking this very thing: that if we all just stopped giving sincere compliments that are generally accepted as socially appropriate because we might offend someone, what kind of world are we living in?

    I may be old school, but I think it is socially appropriate to give a sincere compliment about someone's weight loss to an acquaintance you haven't seen in a long time. I don't see "you look great!" to someone who's clearly been working on themselves as offensive? Following it up with "what have you been doing?" and/or something along the lines of how you are trying to improve yourself would probably come off as even less offensive. Most of us know, though, that it's not so much about what you say, but how you say it. If you said while looking her up and down or staring at a specific body part, that would be creepy. Same thing if you were a complete stranger just happens to work out at the same gym, then it comes as being a creepy creeperton. Even if the stranger were being totally sincere, it still can come off weird. Context is everything.

    As a female, I totally get the barrage of unsolicited comments from the opposite sex and other unacceptable male-to-female behavior. Unfortunately, while still uncomfortable (to say the least) for us females, some of the catcalling and such wasn't even called out until recently. Are we to the point, though, where only people of the same sex/sexual orientation are allowed to make genuine compliments without being perceived as creepy? I don't know if that's what others are implying, but I hope not.

    I'll be honest: if an acquaintance I hadn't seen awhile DIDN'T mention anything about an obvious weight loss, I'd be kind of bummed. I also personally feel weird giving compliments to acquaintances, only because I feel awkward receiving them.
    However, those are own issues that I have to deal with, not the person who didn't say anything. There's that saying "You can't control other people's actions, only your reaction to that person." I completely understand why someone who's been the victim of unsolicited creepy comments, gazes, and other offensive acts could be uncomfortable with a compliment such as the OP was suggesting. I know I will get disagrees, but it seems to me that if such sincere, appropriate compliments trigger someone because of those past experiences, maybe there's some work to do on that person's end?

    I guess it depends on your definition of appropriate - unless it is a good friend or work out partner, or I have asked for feedback, I don't think it IS appropriate for someone to comment on my body.

    I got the impression from the OP that this person was a gym acquaintance, who I inferred (perhaps incorrectly) that they only see at the gym. And since they came to a public forum to ask if it was appropriate to comment it doesn't seem that they know them that well, or have discussed this type of thing in the past. So that is the context of my response.

    And the implication that one's preference to not receive those types of comments means that that they are "triggered" and have some work to do on their end - I don't even know what to say about that. I mean I have a lot of thoughts about that but this probably isn't the place for it.

    I don't think I implied that a woman preferring not to receive compliments and being triggered as the same thing. I meant triggered as in past traumatic experiences causing her to become very upset and/or offended. That's typically what I mean when I say "triggered." In reading the posts, I also wasn't the first person to make this kind of assumption. I also said that I generally feel awkward with compliments and sometimes don't like them, even when I know they were well-intended. I don't think this means I'm "triggered," just not good at dealing with them for a number of reasons. I will be the first to admit that there is some work I need to do on myself to become better at accepting some of them.

    I do think it's appropriate for an acquaintance I hadn't seen in a long time to comment on my weight loss if I'd clearly put in the work AND it was at the gym, where it was also clear my results were paying off...as long as the intentions were pure, which it seems pretty evident from this man's post that they were. You wouldn't think that it's appropriate, and that's okay. In reading these posts, there are people on both sides of this debate, so I think it's one of those things that maybe there isn't a right or wrong (as social expectations are typically ever-evolving).
  • hiparihipari Member, Premium Posts: 1,270 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,270 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    As I have gotten older though I also realize that appearance is one of the least interesting things about a person. It is subjective, temporary, and largely out of the control of the person. You may be one of the people that has genetics that allow you to align for a significant portion of your life with cultural values of beauty but people will still usually say "he/she looks good FOR THEIR AGE." The rest of us can lose weight, tone up, and we will look good compared to other people but I have no interest in winning the comparison game. I want to feel good for me and be able to do the things I want to do for as long as I can do them. I was once always the largest person in the room now I am not and some other person has to deal with it AND I HATE THAT FOR THEM.

    This is exactly why nearly all of my appearance-related compliments (which I usually reserve for friends) are about something they chose and thus is within their control, like a piece of clothing, make-up choice or hairdo. Thanks for verbalizing the aspect of control over one’s appearance in a way I wasn’t able to.
  • LietchiLietchi Member Posts: 2,873 Member Member Posts: 2,873 Member
    hipari wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    As I have gotten older though I also realize that appearance is one of the least interesting things about a person. It is subjective, temporary, and largely out of the control of the person. You may be one of the people that has genetics that allow you to align for a significant portion of your life with cultural values of beauty but people will still usually say "he/she looks good FOR THEIR AGE." The rest of us can lose weight, tone up, and we will look good compared to other people but I have no interest in winning the comparison game. I want to feel good for me and be able to do the things I want to do for as long as I can do them. I was once always the largest person in the room now I am not and some other person has to deal with it AND I HATE THAT FOR THEM.

    This is exactly why nearly all of my appearance-related compliments (which I usually reserve for friends) are about something they chose and thus is within their control, like a piece of clothing, make-up choice or hairdo. Thanks for verbalizing the aspect of control over one’s appearance in a way I wasn’t able to.

    Weight loss can be 'borderline' between those two, no? In the sense that weight loss can be the consequence of hard work/discipline... so commenting on it is acknowledging the work someone has put in? (Depending on the context of course, on the precise wording, etc. it might or might not be appropriate)
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,942 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,942 Member
    Lietchi wrote: »
    hipari wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    As I have gotten older though I also realize that appearance is one of the least interesting things about a person. It is subjective, temporary, and largely out of the control of the person. You may be one of the people that has genetics that allow you to align for a significant portion of your life with cultural values of beauty but people will still usually say "he/she looks good FOR THEIR AGE." The rest of us can lose weight, tone up, and we will look good compared to other people but I have no interest in winning the comparison game. I want to feel good for me and be able to do the things I want to do for as long as I can do them. I was once always the largest person in the room now I am not and some other person has to deal with it AND I HATE THAT FOR THEM.

    This is exactly why nearly all of my appearance-related compliments (which I usually reserve for friends) are about something they chose and thus is within their control, like a piece of clothing, make-up choice or hairdo. Thanks for verbalizing the aspect of control over one’s appearance in a way I wasn’t able to.

    Weight loss can be 'borderline' between those two, no? In the sense that weight loss can be the consequence of hard work/discipline... so commenting on it is acknowledging the work someone has put in? (Depending on the context of course, on the precise wording, etc. it might or might not be appropriate)

    If someone is actively trying to lose weight I would still steer clear of appearance and celebrate their weight loss either in pounds if they mention it, or NSVs. If they just appear to have lost weight I don't think I would mention it.

    There is nothing wrong with losing weight for vanity or with vanity in combination with health and fitness initiatives but I think the vanity portion should mostly be between you and your mirror (assuming you have a healthy perspective).

    External validation of appearance can be a roller coaster while a person is still losing. When I was still in the chainsaw phase of my weight loss there were plenty of times I would get compliments one day and the next I might either catch an insult or that look on someone face where they aren't thinking "holy cow" they are thinking "he's a holy cow." Since I have been resting near vanity pound range for a few months I have actually heard people talking behind my back again. The previous weight loss is "old news" and just because I am no longer obese I am still overweight and worthy of some gossip. I don't care but it does make me avoid adding to the deal where we score a person higher on appearance because their scale numbers are heading south.

    I know a young lady now that is a truly beautiful person through and through and she does carry extra weight. If it was not for comfort and the increase risks of health problems down the road I wouldn't think she should ever need to lose. However, comfort is an issue and there is the little fact that she is in a "secret" relationship with a young man. When you see how she looks at him you know she is halfway down the aisle. When he figures out what she already knows, or I tell him I know about them and smack him upside the head, then that may put pregnancy on the table and it is better for her to lose weight for that as well. Otherwise I don't think health is a concern for her at her age for another 15 or 20 years but there is no reason to put it off.
  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 31,873 Member Member Posts: 31,873 Member
    <snip> When you see how she looks at him you know she is halfway down the aisle. When he figures out what she already knows, or I tell him I know about them and smack him upside the head, then that may put pregnancy on the table and it is better for her to lose weight for that as well.

    Wait.

    Did you just bring in pregnancy as a (slightly overweight, and more-into-him-than-he's-into-her) woman's way to trap a man into marriage? Please tell me that's not what you're saying, Novus.

    ...and how is your smacking him upside the head or people otherwise finding out about them related to pregnancy? But hey, at least you're looking out for her weight-loss needs/healthy non-existent baby.

    I don't know what to make of that entire post...TBH
    edited May 27
  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 31,873 Member Member Posts: 31,873 Member
    <snip> When you see how she looks at him you know she is halfway down the aisle. When he figures out what she already knows, or I tell him I know about them and smack him upside the head, then that may put pregnancy on the table and it is better for her to lose weight for that as well.

    Wait.

    Did you just bring in pregnancy as a (slightly overweight, and more-into-him-than-he's-into-her) woman's way to trap a man into marriage? Please tell me that's not what you're saying, Novus.

    ...and how is your smacking him upside the head or people otherwise finding out about them related to pregnancy? But hey, at least you're looking out for her weight-loss needs/healthy non-existent baby.

    I don't know what to make of that entire post...TBH

    I think the statement was more like "Once he finally figures out that she's into him, they'll become intimate, and that makes pregnancy a possibility" and less like "She's going to try to trap him into marriage using pregnancy."

    Okay.

    I'm certainly glad Novus is in charge of their future/maybe relationship, I would never have ever thought of any of that. :neutral:
  • LietchiLietchi Member Posts: 2,873 Member Member Posts: 2,873 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    Lietchi wrote: »
    hipari wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    As I have gotten older though I also realize that appearance is one of the least interesting things about a person. It is subjective, temporary, and largely out of the control of the person. You may be one of the people that has genetics that allow you to align for a significant portion of your life with cultural values of beauty but people will still usually say "he/she looks good FOR THEIR AGE." The rest of us can lose weight, tone up, and we will look good compared to other people but I have no interest in winning the comparison game. I want to feel good for me and be able to do the things I want to do for as long as I can do them. I was once always the largest person in the room now I am not and some other person has to deal with it AND I HATE THAT FOR THEM.

    This is exactly why nearly all of my appearance-related compliments (which I usually reserve for friends) are about something they chose and thus is within their control, like a piece of clothing, make-up choice or hairdo. Thanks for verbalizing the aspect of control over one’s appearance in a way I wasn’t able to.

    Weight loss can be 'borderline' between those two, no? In the sense that weight loss can be the consequence of hard work/discipline... so commenting on it is acknowledging the work someone has put in? (Depending on the context of course, on the precise wording, etc. it might or might not be appropriate)

    If someone is actively trying to lose weight I would still steer clear of appearance and celebrate their weight loss either in pounds if they mention it, or NSVs. If they just appear to have lost weight I don't think I would mention it.

    There is nothing wrong with losing weight for vanity or with vanity in combination with health and fitness initiatives but I think the vanity portion should mostly be between you and your mirror (assuming you have a healthy perspective).

    External validation of appearance can be a roller coaster while a person is still losing. When I was still in the chainsaw phase of my weight loss there were plenty of times I would get compliments one day and the next I might either catch an insult or that look on someone face where they aren't thinking "holy cow" they are thinking "he's a holy cow." Since I have been resting near vanity pound range for a few months I have actually heard people talking behind my back again. The previous weight loss is "old news" and just because I am no longer obese I am still overweight and worthy of some gossip. I don't care but it does make me avoid adding to the deal where we score a person higher on appearance because their scale numbers are heading south.

    I know a young lady now that is a truly beautiful person through and through and she does carry extra weight. If it was not for comfort and the increase risks of health problems down the road I wouldn't think she should ever need to lose. However, comfort is an issue and there is the little fact that she is in a "secret" relationship with a young man. When you see how she looks at him you know she is halfway down the aisle. When he figures out what she already knows, or I tell him I know about them and smack him upside the head, then that may put pregnancy on the table and it is better for her to lose weight for that as well. Otherwise I don't think health is a concern for her at her age for another 15 or 20 years but there is no reason to put it off.

    Not sure how that relates to my post (the vanity aspect). I was talking about validation for hard work (which is of course reflected in our physical appearance in the case of weight loss), especially where large losses are concerned.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,684 Member Member Posts: 10,684 Member
    I might just be wired funny, but I've never seen complements as a source of validation. Maybe more like recognition of validness?
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