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

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  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,942 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,942 Member
    Lietchi wrote: »
    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.

    I said vanity could be a primary or a joint goal so I thought it was clear. If a person is losing only for vanity then they may want compliments but I still think that is between them and their mirror.

    Weight loss is reflected in how the person feels, their scale results, their NSVs, and yes appearance but appearance need not ever be mentioned to celebrate someone's hard work.

    I don't know why I should judge a person's previous appearance as worse than their current appearance by saying they now look better/fantastic/great etc. I think there are potential problems with it and the most obvious one is that they might regain their weight and then what happens when you run into them again?
    edited May 27
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,942 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,942 Member
    I might just be wired funny, but I've never seen complements as a source of validation. Maybe more like recognition of validness?

    I am not sure it matters how I am wired. I try to view things as how they might potentially be taken by someone other than myself.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,942 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,942 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."

    I didn't see this exchange. He is into her too. She just appears to be further along than he is currently in the relationship. Sometimes one person "knows" before the other. Their chemistry is undeniable so I am betting it goes the distance.

    There would be no trapping. There is reason to believe there would not even be sex before marriage.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,942 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,942 Member
    How many people think it's ok to pretend to be full of yourself, if you do it in a way that's so over the top it's obviously satire? That nonsense that comes out of me makes me chuckle and I hope someone else smiles at the absurdity too.

    The only time I can be sure that anything I say is anything but nonsense is if it is backed by wisdom and intelligence that far exceeds my own. My opinions can never be backed up. If they have value it is minimal and only to people who know me well enough to know my thought process. When I do encourage a total stranger I almost always say something along the lines of "Well I am a stranger to you so it may not be worth much but I think you are doing great."

    We always have to be careful about opinions and their sources. How often do we see someone come through here with a ridiculous diet given to them by their personal trainer? That doesn't mean all PTs will give bad eating advice but it does mean just because they may be an "authority" in one area doesn't mean they are in others. It also means that validating an opinion because the person giving it to you has the body/results you seek doesn't mean they got there sensibly or even with the advice/opinions they are giving you.

    For this reason I try to remember when I am with people who do not know me and did not seek opinions and help that my opinions do not actually need to be shared because they SHOULD have little to no value to the person hearing them. I also have to remember that the way I got here may be decidedly different from the way another person gets from point A to point B and I am never an expert on anyone by myself. Sometimes I am decidedly unimpressed with my expertise on myself.

    We should also keep in mind that judging the results without knowing the method could be problematic. A person could be losing weight in a very unhealthy way and encouraging them with kind words might be just the motivation they need to keep going until their hair starts to fall out - or worse. They could even have a developing or full-blown eating disorder.

    The blessing/curse of seeing things from multiple angles may mean that I overthink things but I am the way I was designed. Once I throw a stone in the pond I don't just watch the big ripples, I try to watch them all.
    edited May 28
  • jjpptt2jjpptt2 Member Posts: 5,422 Member Member Posts: 5,422 Member
    *deleted*
    edited May 28
  • jjpptt2jjpptt2 Member Posts: 5,422 Member Member Posts: 5,422 Member
    33gail33 wrote: »
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    glassyo wrote: »
    Avidkeo wrote: »
    John772016 wrote: »
    Avidkeo wrote: »
    John772016 wrote: »
    When I lost 110lbs I got lots of comments; they started around 55lbs. I took all of them as positive. All.
    We're they? No idea. They were to me.

    We're so wired sometimes to be offended that we can forget that most people are trying to be nice. Awkward, sure, we're human.

    I agree with @jjpptt2 , your intention is important and you cannot control their choices. You decided not to say anything and that's fine.

    I know when I eventually get back into the gym, I hope some regulars acknowledge my hard work while being locked out.

    Try being a woman who is just working out and getting unsolicited comments. All. The. Time.
    And no, it's not nice, the words may be nice but the intent and tone is not. So I agree with others, a man commenting on my progress would probably be unwelcome, and probably downright creepy. We don't want or need to hear the opinion of a random person at the gym. Ask why you feel the need to compliment.

    That said, the OP seems to have a previous relationship with her, so then I'd say it would be fine.

    Except the OP wasn't describing your situation, and I wasn't commenting on your situation but the one he described.
    My own comment was I hoped 'the regulars' acknowledge my efforts, not random strangers.

    Nothing I said deserved your rebuke.

    Fair call.

    The bit I took as feeling off in your comment was "We're so wired sometimes to be offended that we can forget that most people are trying to be nice. Awkward, sure, we're human." and that feels so dismissive to me. Whenever a woman says that a man's comments make us uncomfortable, we get hit with the "I'm just trying to be friendly/nice" response, so your comment about being wired to be offended hit a nerve.

    The conversation is around whether someone should say something to another person about their appearance. And saying that people are wired to be offended is so dismissive to how people feel about unsolicited comments is appropriate to that conversation

    *peeks in*

    Even tho no one asked, I'm with John772016 on this.

    Someone on a tumblr page I frequent was literally offended because a guy said she had good taste in music. She couldn't take the compliment and THEN see if the guy turned creepy? No, she had to be offended because she didn't need her taste in music validated.

    It's too much. Have some faith not everyone wants in your pants.

    The thing to get is that when a guy tells a woman she's looking great or deems her taste in music good, it's the first time he's saying it to her but it may be something she's dealt with dozens of times. Sometimes a guy will have the greatest intentions, but the overall dynamic of guys deciding they will declare who looks great, has good taste, is great at whatever. . . it can be tiring over the course of a lifetime.

    Every guy who wants to validate strangers should understand this overall situation so they can at least understand when it goes sideways.

    I'll stipulate to that, but shouldn't the woman also be aware that she's imposing her past experience on the current situation, potentially unfairly/inappropriately?

    My only point in asking this is that, IMO, communication is a 2-way street. Just like the person speaking needs to be thoughtful and considerate about how they can be interpreted, the person listening needs to be thoughtful and considerate about what might be meant. BOTH parties have to be aware of their own tendencies/biases, no?

    No because she is not imposing anything on anyone - she is at the gym minding her own business and reacting to someone imposing something (potentially unwanted) on her.

    I haven't been to the gym in years but I am firmly in the "don't comment" camp. When I used to go (as an average looking woman in my 40's) I was sick to death of "regulars" commenting on my workout, my results, how much I sweat etc etc etc. I don't know where any guy gets the idea that women at they gym give a *kitten* about their opinion. I hated it.

    She absolutely is. She's hearing a comment and reacting to it based on her PAST experiences, rather than reacting based on THIS experience.

    That's not what imposing something on someone means.

    nvmlfbc6hvgu.png

    But..
    Would "projecting" have been a better word?

    FWIW posting a screen shot of a words definition could be construed as condescending. I was originally taken aback, but then just found it amusing, given that you actually did use the word incorrectly. Projecting is the correct word.

    I could have just let this go, but given the nuance of the discussion, I think that the words that are used do matter.

    (I am closing in 500 disagrees on 700-ish posts so knock yourselves out :wink: )

    So you decided to revisit a post from 4 pages ago? Gotcha.
  • Speakeasy76Speakeasy76 Member Posts: 820 Member Member Posts: 820 Member
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    robertw486 wrote: »
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    Wow, came back to this topic after 4 pages of replies were added. Needless to say I only skimmed those 4 pages. BUT, not that anyone cares.....:) IMO people jump to conclusions with people's intent, they tend to analyze why something was said, what was meant by that, was it meant to be racial/sexual/gender, etc., etc. motivated. What happened to the days when someone could offer a simple kind compliment without this kind of fear involved? I certainly don't mean any type of sexual harassment type thing because clearly those are not acceptable by any means. There is a major difference between comments like 'I'd love to jump your bones' or when your eyes won't leave a woman's anatomy or if you're just saying 'you look great'.
    I feel we spend so much time worrying about being politically correct, that we ignore trying to make people feel good, appreciated, noticed, etc.. Intention says it all and a lot of that is perceived by body language.
    Mind you, these are simply my opinions. Disagree all you want because I'm trying to make it to 1K. :)

    I remember growing up to my parents' mantra of 'if you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all.'
    Do we need to change that whole mindset? Life is too dang confusing as it is. :)

    Sorry if you want to break 1 K on the disagree's. I gave you a hug instead. It wasn't creepy anything, but I'm not about to fall into the trap of you telling me how to live my life by instructing me how to react!

    But context is everything in this case. I couldn't agree more with your viewpoint. And for those that will be quick to give me a disagree, go right ahead. In this day and age with so many people looking to cause conflict, I think we need people that are trying to be positive and give other people a hand up, a compliment, a break, whatever they can offer.

    And guess what people? Guys comment on other guys at the gym, biking, running.... you name it. Unless I'm supposed to assume they all have hidden motives, I just take it as what it is.... even if it seemed out of place. And I do the same if a woman gives me a compliment as well. Life it too short to second guess anything a person does and assume the worst.



    When we reach a day and age where a person can't give or accept a simple comment obviously intended as a compliment, then we've reached the point where we are failing as humans IMHO.

    Hugged back :)

    People are all over the weight loss thing, or worrying about cancer or trying not to sound like a 'come on' etc., but to me a simple comment such as 'you look great' holds no sinister thinking.
    Especially enjoyed your last statement.

    I bet OP never had a clue where his question would take us. :)

    I agree with everything, especially your last statement.

    It actually got me thinking: how WOULD I react if a male acquaintance gave me a compliment such as "You look great! I can tell you've been working hard" at the gym. There are actually 2 male acquaintances I know from my current and former gym: a coworker's husband (also a PT there) and my daughter's friend's dad. If either one of them said that to me, I have to admit it would catch me a bit off guard and probably a bit uncomfortable initially (although admittedly I'm usually somewhat uncomfortable when anybody gives me compliments). Despite any evidence to the contrary there would be a part of me that probably thought: "Are they checking me out? Are they secretly into me?" Now, I am not conceited and don't think I'm that great, and pretty average in the looks department. So, what is it? It's my own implicit bias making me believe that--both from past experiences and what seems to be a large part of society that somehow believes a man must be into a woman or is exerting his power as a man if he says something like that. I know my own husband would never say anything like that (he is socially awkward, though), and would probably think the guy is into me. If a woman said that to me, of course I wouldn't think anything like that. Still uncomfortable a bit, but not with these thoughts afterwards.

  • jjpptt2jjpptt2 Member Posts: 5,422 Member Member Posts: 5,422 Member
    33gail33 wrote: »
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    glassyo wrote: »
    Avidkeo wrote: »
    John772016 wrote: »
    Avidkeo wrote: »
    John772016 wrote: »
    When I lost 110lbs I got lots of comments; they started around 55lbs. I took all of them as positive. All.
    We're they? No idea. They were to me.

    We're so wired sometimes to be offended that we can forget that most people are trying to be nice. Awkward, sure, we're human.

    I agree with @jjpptt2 , your intention is important and you cannot control their choices. You decided not to say anything and that's fine.

    I know when I eventually get back into the gym, I hope some regulars acknowledge my hard work while being locked out.

    Try being a woman who is just working out and getting unsolicited comments. All. The. Time.
    And no, it's not nice, the words may be nice but the intent and tone is not. So I agree with others, a man commenting on my progress would probably be unwelcome, and probably downright creepy. We don't want or need to hear the opinion of a random person at the gym. Ask why you feel the need to compliment.

    That said, the OP seems to have a previous relationship with her, so then I'd say it would be fine.

    Except the OP wasn't describing your situation, and I wasn't commenting on your situation but the one he described.
    My own comment was I hoped 'the regulars' acknowledge my efforts, not random strangers.

    Nothing I said deserved your rebuke.

    Fair call.

    The bit I took as feeling off in your comment was "We're so wired sometimes to be offended that we can forget that most people are trying to be nice. Awkward, sure, we're human." and that feels so dismissive to me. Whenever a woman says that a man's comments make us uncomfortable, we get hit with the "I'm just trying to be friendly/nice" response, so your comment about being wired to be offended hit a nerve.

    The conversation is around whether someone should say something to another person about their appearance. And saying that people are wired to be offended is so dismissive to how people feel about unsolicited comments is appropriate to that conversation

    *peeks in*

    Even tho no one asked, I'm with John772016 on this.

    Someone on a tumblr page I frequent was literally offended because a guy said she had good taste in music. She couldn't take the compliment and THEN see if the guy turned creepy? No, she had to be offended because she didn't need her taste in music validated.

    It's too much. Have some faith not everyone wants in your pants.

    The thing to get is that when a guy tells a woman she's looking great or deems her taste in music good, it's the first time he's saying it to her but it may be something she's dealt with dozens of times. Sometimes a guy will have the greatest intentions, but the overall dynamic of guys deciding they will declare who looks great, has good taste, is great at whatever. . . it can be tiring over the course of a lifetime.

    Every guy who wants to validate strangers should understand this overall situation so they can at least understand when it goes sideways.

    I'll stipulate to that, but shouldn't the woman also be aware that she's imposing her past experience on the current situation, potentially unfairly/inappropriately?

    My only point in asking this is that, IMO, communication is a 2-way street. Just like the person speaking needs to be thoughtful and considerate about how they can be interpreted, the person listening needs to be thoughtful and considerate about what might be meant. BOTH parties have to be aware of their own tendencies/biases, no?

    No because she is not imposing anything on anyone - she is at the gym minding her own business and reacting to someone imposing something (potentially unwanted) on her.

    I haven't been to the gym in years but I am firmly in the "don't comment" camp. When I used to go (as an average looking woman in my 40's) I was sick to death of "regulars" commenting on my workout, my results, how much I sweat etc etc etc. I don't know where any guy gets the idea that women at they gym give a *kitten* about their opinion. I hated it.

    She absolutely is. She's hearing a comment and reacting to it based on her PAST experiences, rather than reacting based on THIS experience.

    That's not what imposing something on someone means.

    nvmlfbc6hvgu.png

    But..
    Would "projecting" have been a better word?

    FWIW posting a screen shot of a words definition could be construed as condescending. I was originally taken aback, but then just found it amusing, given that you actually did use the word incorrectly. Projecting is the correct word.

    I could have just let this go, but given the nuance of the discussion, I think that the words that are used do matter.

    (I am closing in 500 disagrees on 700-ish posts so knock yourselves out :wink: )

    So you decided to revisit a post from 4 pages ago? Gotcha.

    Yeah I am petty like that when someone tries to "school me" with incorrect information.

    Guess it turns out I was more irritated than amused by it.

    Oh well.

    FWIW, it wasn't meant to be condescending. It was meant to support my use of the word, which I still believe to be correct/appropriate given the scenario being discussed.

    But I realize intent doesn't mean much here and I apologize for coming off as condescending.
    edited May 28
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