Author Topic: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin  (Read 15402 times)

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RitaKAustinTX

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2010, 02:31:33 PM »
If I, personally, were at a social event and different people repeatedly commented on my weight in any way (snarky, complimentary, you're big, you're small, whatever)- I would have to stop myself from being rude as well.

(thankfully reading e-hell has given me lots of good phrases to use to avoid being rude when I want to be and I HOPE I'd be smart enough to remember them in this imaginary instance)

Haven't I read here repeatedly that commenting on weight (even in a positive light) is always a bad idea unless you are very very close to the person?

SIL can think whatever she wants in her head. She exhibited polite behavior by staying silent and that's all we can expect out of anyone. "What an interesting assumption" might also have worked in this situation- but as PPs have pointed out already- saying ANYTHING in response other than complete agreement could have potentially (not necessarily) been seen as snarky or fake modesty ("oh no, I'm so not thin!" for example).

The safest choices were silence or complete agreement- and if SIL can't agree that she is "lucky-" then silence it is!

hobish

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #31 on: November 17, 2010, 02:45:34 PM »
But that's the thing, it doesn't sound like a compliment.  It sounds like you're dismissing countless hours of hard work to luck, whether you mean it that way or not.  I'm actually not sure how else you could take, "You're so lucky to....".  Would "You're so lucky you're a doctor" or "you're so lucky your clothes match" be taken any differently? 

It's not that you want a specific compliment, it's that you'd rather they not say anything at all if they're going to give you a back-handed compliment like that.

People should just stop commenting about other people's bodies.

But it isnít a back-handed compliment. You are taking a simple well-intentioned statement far too literally. Do you really think that what people are really trying to say is, ďAll your hard work and perseverance was for naught. You got what you did because you have better circumstances than most.Ē Really?
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cbcb

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #32 on: November 17, 2010, 02:51:50 PM »
I think that when people say lucky then, yes, they are implying that person had some advantage to getting where they are. It is somewhat backhandedly (and probably unintentionally) insulting. They could choose a phasing such as "Congratulations on..." or "Good for you for..." or "Look at you..."

I'd never say "Lucky you for getting into medical school!" It's an insulting "compliment" and much nicer is something like "That's awesome you got into medical school!"

audrey1962

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #33 on: November 17, 2010, 02:53:45 PM »
I can't help hearing Mae West's reply when someone complimented her on something valuable by saying, "Goodness that's a ###!"  Mae's reply was, "Goodness had nothing to do with it."  (I wish I could remember the whole quote, but you get the idea. ;))

"Goodness, what beautiful diamonds." West replies, "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie."

jillybean

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #34 on: November 17, 2010, 02:54:45 PM »
I think that when people say lucky then, yes, they are implying that person had some advantage to getting where they are. It is somewhat backhandedly (and probably unintentionally) insulting. They could choose a phasing such as "Congratulations on..." or "Good for you for..." or "Look at you..."

I'd never say "Lucky you for getting into medical school!" It's an insulting "compliment" and much nicer is something like "That's awesome you got into medical school!"

POD.  If I saw someone from school I hadn't seen in years and thought they looked fabulous, I'd just say, "You look fabulous," not comment on how lucky they are to look fabulous.
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TurtleDove

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #35 on: November 17, 2010, 02:56:31 PM »
But it isnít a back-handed compliment. You are taking a simple well-intentioned statement far too literally. Do you really think that what people are really trying to say is, ďAll your hard work and perseverance was for naught. You got what you did because you have better circumstances than most.Ē Really?


I think various threads on this board (and elsewhere) have proven that some people can be extremely touchy about anything having to do with body size, and have a tendency to interpret any comment about anyone else's size or fitness/eating habits as a judgment against them personally. How often do we read letters to the editor that say, "Yeah, such and such celebrity lost 50 pounds/the baby/weight but I could too if I was paid to look good/could afford a personal trainer/had a personal chef."  Such comments are intended to negate the fact that the celebrity did, in fact, put work in, and "excuse" the fact that the writer did not lose 50 pounds/the baby weight when the article they are writing about has nothing to do with the writer at all.  

On this board, there is a consistent backlash by some posters against any statement that a person has some control over their size and fitness, usually coupled with "diet and exercise do not work for everyone."  It is this backlash that the SIL was likely trying to avoid by remaining silent.  In my opinion, she should not have to remain silent if she does not want to.  I would probably have simply smiled and said thank you (as some posters in this thread suggested), but if pressed I would absolutely explain all the work and dedication I put in.

Two Ravens

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2010, 03:01:15 PM »
I think that when people say lucky then, yes, they are implying that person had some advantage to getting where they are. It is somewhat backhandedly (and probably unintentionally) insulting. They could choose a phasing such as "Congratulations on..." or "Good for you for..." or "Look at you..."

I'd never say "Lucky you for getting into medical school!" It's an insulting "compliment" and much nicer is something like "That's awesome you got into medical school!"

POD.  If I saw someone from school I hadn't seen in years and thought they looked fabulous, I'd just say, "You look fabulous," not comment on how lucky they are to look fabulous.

I don't think anyone would disagree that this would be a better way to phrase it.  But that does not mean the people who use the word "lucky" are trying to deny that the person did any hard work.

I mean, if a friend got concert tickets, and I reply "You lucky duck!,"  I am in no way trying to negate the fact that my friend went and spent time and money getting the tickets.  That's reading alot into the word.

jillybean

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #37 on: November 17, 2010, 03:06:36 PM »
I think why it sticks in my craw is because I've been in situations in my life where I've worked very hard to achieve something and people have put it down to luck and I think it was to make themselves feel better because they could have done the same thing if they had been motivated to but they weren't and it made them feel better to think it was just luck on my part.  Yes, people do do that.
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Deetee

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #38 on: November 17, 2010, 03:08:41 PM »
I posted earlier defending the SIL ( a stance I still firmly support).

I just wanted go on a slight tangent to add my comments on the term lucky. It can be a bit loaded, but most of the time, I don't think people mean "lucky". Unless they are referring to winning the lottery, everything has an element of luck and an element of work associated with it.

Often times people who are doing well will refer to themselves as lucky and it's a nice way to recognize that someone who was equally talanted and worked as hard may not end up with the same rewards.

TurtleDove

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #39 on: November 17, 2010, 03:08:50 PM »
I think why it sticks in my craw is because I've been in situations in my life where I've worked very hard to achieve something and people have put it down to luck and I think it was to make themselves feel better because they could have done the same thing if they had been motivated to but they weren't and it made them feel better to think it was just luck on my part.  Yes, people do do that.

POD.  Again, I would probably have handled the situation as the SIL in the OP did by remaining silent, but it would truly bother me to have other people assume that various things I have worked for are attributable to "luck."  It seems like sour grapes to me.

Jan74

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #40 on: November 17, 2010, 04:01:52 PM »
Add me to the people who think this is a mean-spirited compliment. "You look great!" would be much better than "You are so lucky to have stayed so thin". This is the looks equivalent of "Must be nice to have money for that!"

Midnight Kitty

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #41 on: November 17, 2010, 04:07:10 PM »
I can't help hearing Mae West's reply when someone complimented her on something valuable by saying, "Goodness that's a ###!"  Mae's reply was, "Goodness had nothing to do with it."  (I wish I could remember the whole quote, but you get the idea. ;))

"Goodness, what beautiful diamonds." West replies, "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie."
That's it, audrey!  Thank you.  It was driving me nuts and dozens of famous quote websites didn't help.
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MrsJWine

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #42 on: November 17, 2010, 04:08:39 PM »
There are some people who can work their tails off and/or eat strictly controlled (yet healthy) diets, and the weight hardly budges.  That doesn't mean it isn't annoying when someone attributes your hard-earned fitness to luck.

The same good be said of so many things.  It just seems like weight is such a hot topic that it's hard to discuss it in the same way.  I mean, fill in the blank:  Some people are born into money, and some people win the lottery.  That doesn't mean it isn't annoying when someone attributes your hard-earned wealth to luck.

It would annoy me, too, if I were the OP's SIL.  It wouldn't have anything to do with me judging the other person.


I have a blog.  I hate that word.


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BuffaloFang

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #43 on: November 17, 2010, 04:17:36 PM »
Often times people who are doing well will refer to themselves as lucky and it's a nice way to recognize that someone who was equally talanted and worked as hard may not end up with the same rewards.

Well, I think that's exactly the issue.  When people attribute their own successes to luck, it's to minimize theit own achievement so they don't seem like they're bragging.  But to minimize someone else's achievements for them seems a bit rude and dismissive.

Edited to add that I don't disagree that some level of luck goes into everything, but you don't go around saying, "Well, you're lucky you weren't hit by falling airplane shrapnel." either.

gollymolly2

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Re: You are so lucky to have stayed so thin
« Reply #44 on: November 17, 2010, 04:25:53 PM »
Often times people who are doing well will refer to themselves as lucky and it's a nice way to recognize that someone who was equally talanted and worked as hard may not end up with the same rewards.

Well, I think that's exactly the issue.  When people attribute their own successes to luck, it's to minimize theit own achievement so they don't seem like they're bragging.  But to minimize someone else's achievements for them seems a bit rude and dismissive.


I totally agree.

Some people are thin because of hard work.  Some people are thin despite eating twelve deep fried big macs a day.  Some people are not thin despite hard work.  Some people are not thin because of eating twelve deep fried big macs a day.  I don't think it's polite to comment (1) on anybody's size or (2) on what someone has done or not done to be at that size (with the caveat that sometimes there are appropriate situations, like if a good friend takes up running and losing 100 pounds - but as a general rule with acquaintances, just don't comment).

And describing someone else's "success" as lucky is really annoying, whether it's about looks, size, health, happiness, family situation, job, marriage, wealth, whatever.  When you say a person is lucky to have X, you're implying that they haven't done anything to deserve or earn X.

Finally, it's not rude to have ANY kind of thought in her head.   She can literally be thinking "I'm lucky I'm not a fat ugly loser like you, jerk!!!!" and while I wouldn't describe that as a pleasant or kind reaction, I don't think the act of thinking can ever be rude, no matter what the thoughts are.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 04:27:48 PM by gollymolly2 »