Author Topic: "You look tired"  (Read 6834 times)

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lynnetteleigh

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"You look tired"
« on: March 13, 2013, 03:16:45 PM »
I have a lighter complexion in addition to having my under eye area be darker than the average person. I think this causes people to think I am tired when I'm actually very well rested.

So just now I'm walking down the hallway at work and had this conversation with a coworker who I rarely see and have had very minimal socializing with.

CW: "You look tired"
Me:"Well I don't feel very tired"
at this point I had turned and started walking away
CW: "Well you look tired"
Then I kind of zoned him out but heard him say something else and another coworker laughing. I'm guessing at the way I reacted to it.

I have had many other say this to me in the past. The most memorable was at the reception for my wedding when a neighbor of mine said it to me. Maybe if it seemed to be more from a place of concern I would be more ok with it. Like "You look tired, have you been sleeping ok?". However when it's just that statement it automatically makes me feel very self conscious of my darker under eyes. Plus in my mind it always just sounds like "You look awful".

Am I wrong in my thinking that this "You look tired" statement is rude? Am I just dragging my own personal issue into this and being too sensitive?

Also what are some good responses to this statement? I'm not really satisfied with my response today.

Yvaine

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Re: "You look tired"
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2013, 03:21:46 PM »
I've read a number of different articles advising people not to say this--all it does is make the person feel like they look awful, whether they're actually tired or not! I don't know if it's technically rude but it's probably best avoided unless maybe it's a really close relationship. I think your response was fine.

daen

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Re: "You look tired"
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2013, 03:25:20 PM »
I'm reminded of a quote from a book (I believe it was The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy), where one character says to another "You look tired," and the other says something to the effect of "That's what you say when you mean 'You look old.'"
I've associated the two ever since reading that, whether or not the speaker means it that way. Sadly, it doesn't always stop me from saying it, but I'm getting better at keeping the phrase in.

MorgnsGrl

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Re: "You look tired"
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 03:33:02 PM »
I think it's one of those things best left unsaid! I get a lot of "You've been in the sun!" because I have rosacea and my cheeks appear to be permanently flushed. I HATE people commenting on it. I'm self-conscious enough about it as it is. "You look tired" doesn't really translate into anything positive, so people should keep the thought to themselves.

Bexx27

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Re: "You look tired"
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2013, 03:50:56 PM »
I get this a lot, too, for the same reason. I agree it's a rude comment unless it's based on something about the person's behavior, such as yawning, rather than appearance. I think your response was good. I've responded in a variety of ways:

"I'm fine. How are you?"
"No, I actually slept really well last night!"
"Yes, I am. I didn't sleep well because of [cats/child/nightmares/vampire attacks]."
"You look tired, too."  >:D
"No, I always have dark circles under my eyes." (I wouldn't recommend this one. I thought it would shut them up by getting them to realize they're calling me ugly, but some shameless people start asking me about allergies, etc.  ::))
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

TurtleDove

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Re: "You look tired"
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2013, 03:54:42 PM »
I think it is something that should not be said, and I can see how it would be hurtful.  While I hope this doesn't ever come up again, you could try a response along the lines of a bright, "Thanks!"  Make light of it and try to let it slip off your back.  You aren't likely to change people who say this to you or get through to them, so the best approach I have found to similar situations is to just not let it bother me (even I know I am justified in being bothered).  Make light, and revel in your well-restedness (FWIW, I am jealous of your well restedness)!

Piratelvr1121

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Re: "You look tired"
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2013, 03:57:48 PM »
I've always heard that "You look tired" means "You look old" so I just avoid saying it.   

I used to get someone who always said "You look pale, are you okay?" every single day.  I'm fair skinned so I'd just say "I'm always pale, bean dip?"
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Faerydust

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Re: "You look tired"
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2013, 04:07:26 PM »
I really hate this because I have dark shadows around and under my eyes due to my bone structure that cannot be disguised with makeup so I forever have a "tired" look. I have people tell me I look tired ALL of the time and it's usually when I'm actually feeling quite well and energetic!

Here's a picture: http://i48.tinypic.com/34pgunt.jpg

I almost want to get plastic surgery some day.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 04:13:01 PM by Faerydust »

Softly Spoken

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Re: "You look tired"
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2013, 05:45:36 PM »
I'm reminded of a quote from a book (I believe it was The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy), where one character says to another "You look tired," and the other says something to the effect of "That's what you say when you mean 'You look old.'"
I've associated the two ever since reading that, whether or not the speaker means it that way. Sadly, it doesn't always stop me from saying it, but I'm getting better at keeping the phrase in.

I have to admit the thread title makes me think of the first place I heard it: the movie "The Birdcage (35 seconds in)"

Armand: I didn't mean anything by it, I just meant you looked tired.
Albert: "You look tired" means "You look old" and "You look rested" means "You've had collagen."
 ;D

Anyway, I can sympathize OP because I too have pale skin and relentless dark under my eyes.

However, I've never taken "you look tired" as an insult because I interpret it as a show of concern. People who know me have said it occasionally, not as critique on my physical appearance but because they are maybe noticing that I'm not my usual energy level, or slower to respond, or quieter in conversation...etc. I also have no poker face whatsoever. So they are wondering if I had a bad night, since for my personality that is more likely that being up all night partying. ;D

If someone I wasn't as familiar with brought it up in conversation as OP described I would be irked because they were not close enough to me to be entitled to speculate on it.

No one looks good when they are tired, so it's not a good thing to say to someone as a general observation. IMHO pointing out people's seeming shortcomings, or otherwise speculating on aspects of their personal life (like how much sleep they get or what they do at night) without an invitation to do so, is impolite as a general rule. Instead people should stick to broader questions like "How are you?"
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 05:57:38 PM by Softly Spoken »
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I'mnotinsane

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Re: "You look tired"
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2013, 05:48:06 PM »
No advice, just empathy.  A former boss used to tell me that I looked tired....every time I neglected to wear eye makeup.  Gee, thanks!

oceanus

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Re: "You look tired"
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2013, 05:58:25 PM »
Okay to say to a spouse, close family member, or sometimes a very close friend........

but not a co-worker.

Best left unsaid: 1)You look tired 2) Have you gaimed weight? 3) What happened to your hair?
All rude, imo.

MommyPenguin

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Re: "You look tired"
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2013, 06:12:34 PM »
I resemble pictures of Anne Frank (especially when I was young) and would get that, too.  From my husband it's okay, because he knows what I look like.  From anybody else, I think it's impolite.

lisastitch

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Re: "You look tired"
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2013, 06:12:47 PM »
"You look tired" said by a close friend or family member, with concern in his/her voice, is one thing.  To me, it's giving you an opening to say, "I didn't sleep well last night because I was worried about . . .", rather than asking you, "Is everything all right?"  when you didn't sleep well because the cat kept jumping on you. 
I think most of my coworkers and I could say it to one another, but it's a small group, we work closely together, and relationships are good.
However, it's something I'd hesitatel to say to people in general.

Promise

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Re: "You look tired"
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2013, 06:28:49 PM »
I just respond with, "That's an interesting assumption." Because then what can they say? Will they say, you have dark circles? Will they say, "Your face is droopy?" What will it be? It puts the ball back in their court without you having to defend/reply. If they say, "You have dark circles," then you can just go, "Hmm," and go on your way.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: "You look tired"
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2013, 06:37:17 PM »
I think it's kind of rude, too.  I've never been really upset by a generic "You look tired", especially if it's said with some concern, but I do find it to be rather irritating.  I either say "No, I'm fine" or "Maybe a little...bean dip?"

I'm pale as well (I don't tan, I burn), and the dark circles under my own eyes, which never go away, have drawn a lot of comments.  I had someone whom I hadn't known for long mention a foundation that was supposed to be "really great for that".  I think she meant well, but I didn't really appreciate it.

I also got told, "Late night at the bar, huh?" a few times.  Since it was by someone I knew very well, and definitely wasn't meant maliciously, I responded with a smirk and a "Who blabbed?"  >:D