Author Topic: How do you respond to so awkward a statement?  (Read 7307 times)

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NyaChan

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How do you respond to so awkward a statement?
« on: January 26, 2014, 11:23:02 AM »
A friend of fine came up to me last night at a party looking uncomfortable.  I asked her what was up and she told me she had run into one of her old college acquaintances, Barb, and said, "How are you?" Barb responds in an irritated voice, "I'm waiting for someone to notice that I lost 20 pounds."  Cue crickets which were luckily interrupted by someone else coming up to the conversation, but my friends was at loss for what to say and to be honest, I was just relieved I didn't run into Barb first myself because I would have been clueless too.

What is an appropriate response to that?  I'm sorry? Oh really? Do tell? 

Zizi-K

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Re: How do you respond to so awkward a statement?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 11:26:38 AM »
I am a person who doesn't notice these sorts of things very well, so I would answer honestly "You know, I've never been a great observer of bodies and usually don't notice when people gain or lose weight. I've always thought you looked good! But 20 pounds is an accomplishment, what prompted you to do it?"

If this person was very heavy, though, 20 pounds may or may not have been very noticeable. Was that the case?

Two Ravens

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Re: How do you respond to so awkward a statement?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 11:27:26 AM »
"You look wonderful!"

m2kbug

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Re: How do you respond to so awkward a statement?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 11:30:31 AM »
Best I can think is to say, "Wow, 20 pounds!  That's great!"  She really shouldn't expect acquaintances would notice and even people who do notice aren't necessarily going to say something about someone's weight. 

jaxsue

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Re: How do you respond to so awkward a statement?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2014, 11:41:59 AM »
That is awkward.

I've lost 26 pounds in 3 months (diabetic diet). Honestly, 1 person has commented on it. That doesn't bother me or offend me. I have sometimes looked at someone and thought, "They look great," but I don't say "Hey, you've lost weight!" I didn't know that was a faux pas for some people.

Hmmmmm

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Re: How do you respond to so awkward a statement?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2014, 11:58:20 AM »
Wow, that's great. You've always looked great to me though.

Zizi-K

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Re: How do you respond to so awkward a statement?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 12:00:09 PM »
Some successful dieters hate when their weightloss is commented upon, myself (at one time) included. Just as I would never bring up a weight gain, I would never bring a loss either.

Mikayla

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Re: How do you respond to so awkward a statement?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 12:03:30 PM »
The polite me might have pointed out that many ladies are cautious about commenting on weight, regardless of what that comment is.  If you praise someone for losing 20 lbs and how good they look, what if the person responds they've been seriously ill?  What happens if the next time you see that person they're now 30 lbs heavier?  It's a minefield out there.

The only time I comment on someone's weight is when they're a good friend and I know they've been trying to lose. 


twilight

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Re: How do you respond to so awkward a statement?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2014, 12:17:52 PM »
What ungraceful compliment fishing!

I would have turned this around and said, "I make it a policy not to comment on other people's weight loss after I learned that the last person I complimented had lost their weight because of cancer." 

ChinaShepherdess

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Re: How do you respond to so awkward a statement?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2014, 01:49:56 PM »
What ungraceful compliment fishing!

I would have turned this around and said, "I make it a policy not to comment on other people's weight loss after I learned that the last person I complimented had lost their weight because of cancer."

That's the reason I've been given never to compliment people on weight loss. What an awkward situation for Barb to put people in! Depending on the person's frame and weight, twenty pounds might look staggering or might just look like good posture and a well-cut outfit! I've always been of the opinion that "You look wonderful!" or something to that effect, complimenting the person's entire appearance, is much more appropriate (and except with very close friends, better received) than commenting specifically on someone's figure.

[Edited for clarity in phrasing.]

White Lotus

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Re: How do you respond to so awkward a statement?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2014, 02:11:13 PM »
I am stupid about this.  One I know someone, they just look like themselves to me, and I actually don't notice most changes in appearance, unless their hair suddenly becomes, oh, hot pink, or they suddenly grow a beard.  And I probably would say just that, and add something like, "I thought it was the dress.  Have I seen that before?  I like how it looks on you."
If the response is, "Yes, a thousand times, and you were with me when I bought it!"
I would probably answer, "I bet I say that every single time I see it!  It is a keeper."

Tea Drinker

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Re: How do you respond to so awkward a statement?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2014, 02:22:35 PM »
There's also the possibility of looking at someone and saying "Hey, you lost weight!" and then she has to decide whether to tell you truthfully that she hasn't, or just say something like "thanks, you're looking good too." Which gets old when you have the same comment from someone every month or two for several years. I'm still not sure whether that person was just trying to be friendly, or if she couldn't imagine that I was looking good/cheerful/healthy without having lost weight.

In my case, it was a minor irritation. If I had either lost weight for a bad reason (like cancer, or the friend of mine who lost a lot of weight while they were figuring out her medication for something else) or had been trying to lose weight and not done so, I suspect it would have hurt more.
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One Fish, Two Fish

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Re: How do you respond to so awkward a statement?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2014, 02:32:31 PM »
I'm trying to remember the exact wording, but there is a weight loss saying "You notice at 5lbs, close friends/family notice at 10lbs, acquaintances notice at 20lbs."  Maybe that's what she was waiting for??  She's finally hit that "notice me" mark and is mad that no one did?  Don't get me wrong, I think it was a horribly awkward thing to say to someone.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 02:35:35 PM by One Fish, Two Fish »
I'll get there.  Eventually.

Raintree

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Re: How do you respond to so awkward a statement?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2014, 02:43:39 PM »
I would never say to an aquaintance, "Oh, you lost weight!" because I'd be afraid it would come across as, "You were fat before."

To the compliment-fishing person in the OP, I'd probably be a bit taken aback but I might say, "Oh, have you? Congratulations, how did you do it?" Because I'm genuinely interested in knowing how people do it. People come up with all kinds of interesting things: "All I did was stop drinking wine" or, "I started walking an hour every day after dinner" or "I'm on some strict crazy diet where I am not allowed to eat anything invented or cultivated in the last 2000 years" or "I'm on Weight Watchers" or whatever. It's just interesting to me to find out from people what works for them.

I might have lied and said of course I noticed, but would never comment on someone's personal appearance unless they brought it up first.

Library Dragon

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Re: How do you respond to so awkward a statement?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2014, 03:46:54 PM »

I would never say to an aquaintance, "Oh, you lost weight!" because I'd be afraid it would come across as, "You were fat before."


To the compliment-fishing person in the OP, I'd probably be a bit taken aback but I might say, "Oh, have you? Congratulations, how did you do it?" Because I'm genuinely interested in knowing how people do it. People come up with all kinds of interesting things: "All I did was stop drinking wine" or, "I started walking an hour every day after dinner" or "I'm on some strict crazy diet where I am not allowed to eat anything invented or cultivated in the last 2000 years" or "I'm on Weight Watchers" or whatever. It's just interesting to me to find out from people what works for them.

I might have lied and said of course I noticed, but would never comment on someone's personal appearance unless they brought it up first.

The bolded!

The same as when people say, "You look nice today." The feeling I get is, 'So I don't look nice on other days?'

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