Author Topic: Brushing off a "compliment..." ?  (Read 3997 times)

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GSNW

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Brushing off a "compliment..." ?
« on: March 30, 2013, 01:18:15 AM »
My dear Great-Aunt Fern (who I have posted about before) has been taking a new course in the past year. 

The women in my family struggle with weight, we all tend to gain around the midsection.  My mom, aunt, grandma, and cousins all love to sit and talk about their food.  They discuss it absolutely to death - during preparation, while eating, afterwards.  It's part of the family culture, I guess you could say.  I don't care for it, it gets tiresome to me and in my own experience, focusing on every last calorie actually does ME more harm than good.  So I mostly stay out of these discussions.

I see Great-Aunt Fern a lot, because she lives near my parents.  EVERY TIME I see her, and I do mean absolutely every time for the last 10-12 visits, she tells me I'm losing weight.  "You look so good!  I can tell you're losing!" and comments in that vein.  The thing is, I'm not, or if I am, it's negligible - maybe a 5-8 pound fluctuation.  I'm about 25 pounds over my ideal weight but sitting pretty comfortably and I frankly don't spend a lot of time thinking about it (except in the pursuit of a new tattoo, which would look better with the weight off).  In February, she exclaimed about how thin I was, and I was actually up around 10lbs (my winter padding, I suppose). 

I saw her last week and she emailed me (!) to ask about something unrelated and then added at the end that she can still tell I'm losing weight and good job!

I have no idea how to respond to this.  Is it polite to just say "thanks" and ignore/move on when the compliment isn't even true?  I really hate comments on my weight or what I eat from anyone in my family, they feel like it's a "family topic" and thus open for discussion without invitation.  I guess I'm pointing this out because it's a bigger issue than just Fern's inaccurate compliments, which I'm also suspicious of being a PA dig at my refusal to engage in the master sessions on calorie counting.

Would "kind of you to take an interest" factor in here?  Am I being overly sensitive?

peaches

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Re: Brushing off a "compliment..." ?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2013, 02:47:37 AM »
I would feel comfortable saying "I don't like to discuss my weight" or "I don't enjoy comments about my weight". She'll likely say that she only meant it as a compliment. "As I said, Aunt Fern, I don't appreciate comments on my weight. To me, that's a personal matter". Then bean dip.

If this happened once, I would say "Thank you" is enough. But she really has a bee in her bonnet on this issue. A stronger, clearer response is called for IMO.

I don't comment on people's weight (up or down), or what they are eating or not eating. It's a minefield. Aunt Fern needs to back off.

Zilla

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Re: Brushing off a "compliment..." ?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2013, 05:55:25 AM »
I have a chubby face   I'm a bit over my ideal body weight but I don't match my round cheeks. So I get that oh you lost weight comment alot and just say thanks.  But the same person over and over would create on my nerves so I would explain why. (chubby face)  Maybe you can tell her that you aren't dieting but just carry your weight well..

LadyDyani

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Re: Brushing off a "compliment..." ?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2013, 01:15:13 PM »
Because it's something that's obsessed about in your family, Fern thinks it would matter to you as well. She says it because she thinks it matters to you, and she wants to say something nice.  Just say thanks, and tell her that her hair looks lovely. It her saying "It's so good to see you!"
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baconsmom

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Re: Brushing off a "compliment..." ?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2013, 03:09:01 PM »
I always tell people, "I know you mean this as a compliment, but please don't ever comment on my body again. I find it very upsetting."

I actually find it incredibly rude, and a pernicious sentiment to express to a woman, especially, but I figure "upsetting" covers all that without my calling them out on being rude.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Brushing off a "compliment..." ?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2013, 06:50:37 PM »
"Wow, Aunt Fern, I'm actually up a few pounds right now. I must have looked HUGEthe last time you saw me. I'll make sure to go home and throw out that dress when I get home."

My sister did this with one of her DH's aunts. That aunt no longer comments on her fictional weight loss. 

Just think of it as a generational/cultural thing. I've discussed with my DD since she was a little girl about why different relatives will compliment her on different things. Compliments are usually made on things others find important.
- Uncle Jack...you are so funny
-Aunt Sue...you are so smart
-Aunt Nita...you have such a good figure
-Uncle Adam...you are so pretty
Jack thinks he's a comedian, Sue believes education is the key to happiness, Nita has always been insecure about her weight, and Adam loves the ladies. He had 3 wives, all ex-models.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Brushing off a "compliment..." ?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2013, 04:19:50 AM »
Because it's something that's obsessed about in your family, Fern thinks it would matter to you as well. She says it because she thinks it matters to you, and she wants to say something nice.  Just say thanks, and tell her that her hair looks lovely. It her saying "It's so good to see you!"

I disagree with this. OP is obviously annoyed with these comments, why would she encourage them to continue?
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TootsNYC

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Re: Brushing off a "compliment..." ?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2013, 09:12:50 PM »
Because it's something that's obsessed about in your family, Fern thinks it would matter to you as well. She says it because she thinks it matters to you, and she wants to say something nice.  Just say thanks, and tell her that her hair looks lovely. It her saying "It's so good to see you!"

I disagree with this. OP is obviously annoyed with these comments, why would she encourage them to continue?

That's not encouraging the comments; it's brushing them off.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Brushing off a "compliment..." ?
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2013, 10:32:39 PM »
Because it's something that's obsessed about in your family, Fern thinks it would matter to you as well. She says it because she thinks it matters to you, and she wants to say something nice.  Just say thanks, and tell her that her hair looks lovely. It her saying "It's so good to see you!"

I disagree with this. OP is obviously annoyed with these comments, why would she encourage them to continue?

That's not encouraging the comments; it's brushing them off.

I disagree.  Saying thanks encourages the person to see this as a good thing to say; example is the bolded above.  "I think this is nice, and she thanks me so she does, too.  I'll keep saying it because I want to make her happy and I think it's nice."

Why do you think it is brushing them off?
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Promise

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Re: Brushing off a "compliment..." ?
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2013, 12:22:56 AM »
"I'm not comfortable talking about my body weight and prefer others didn't comment on it either. Instead let me tell you about this important thing that I've been doing that is the most awesomesauce thing that I could be doing!"