8

votes

Dealing with personal remarks politely........

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 03, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Why is it when you are thin (slender is a nicer way of putting it) people feel they have the right to make derogatory comments about your appearance.You couldn't say to an overwieght person "Cor you're fat, you wanna loose weight dontcha?" The funny thing is, it's usually always overweight, unhealthy people telling me I need to eat! Or I'm too skinny. Skinny..... such an offensive word, now my question is, what do I say back? Inside I'm saying "What?! You look like that and are insulting me and commenting on my eating habbits?!" but that is just rude and I was brought up properly not to be rude but at the same time I want to be able to make them see that what they are saying is offensive and ridiculous too considering the how unhealthy the offender pretty much always is! Arrgghh, gets me soo cross.

Afc0b8e755ac7cdde6b517fdadb50026

(778)

on June 17, 2012
at 01:15 AM

haha its like your thanking them for complimenting you...which isnt what they did.

Medium avatar

(2169)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:07 PM

@carnivorous carly- brilliant! I use that one all the time. Its also a requirement of men I date that they beat me. Can't be dating a sissy!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on March 03, 2011
at 11:32 PM

Yeah. I know what you mean. Travis hit it on the head with the skewed perspective of normal that's developed as a result of everyone getting fatter. Even the normal weight people seem to have bigger bellies.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on March 03, 2011
at 08:32 PM

i actually have had alot of people follow me into this lifestyle because many people have watched me struggle with weight, constant cardio and the like all my life. so when i seemed to effortlessly drop 50+ lbs, they all wanted to try it out for themselves. about half are sticking to it which is a good number in my book...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 03, 2011
at 07:20 PM

One time I was defensive(usually don't react much to judgement) and say "yea and you're fucking bloated, if someone were to stab you with a needle something disgusting would happen I'm sure of it"

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 03, 2011
at 07:19 PM

I've responded to a gluten eater saying "and you're bloated because you consume disgusting crap like gluten"

5680f5060a62bb3790478473a5643afe

(290)

on March 03, 2011
at 07:04 PM

I feel like 'skinny' folks are made fun of more because its threatening to our 'heavier' friends around us. Sort of a defense mechanism against there own insecurities. I was not allowed to work and had to go see an eating disorder specialist because of rumors that began about me being 'skinny'

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 07:01 PM

I know what you're saying totally, some people do not want to be helped though. But you are right, healthy looking people are definitely the exception as opposed to the norm.

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 06:58 PM

Haha, can you imagine! "you're skinny" "yeah?! Drop and give me 20" ;D

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on March 03, 2011
at 06:58 PM

"If I were stopped on the street by an overweight person who asked me what they need to do to lose weight, I would put whatever I'm doing aside and take as much time to help them as needed, exchange e-mails etc. This hasn't happened, and I kind of doubt that it will." ---> You are so right Travis. two words: Human nature. Amazing, isn't it?

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on March 03, 2011
at 06:51 PM

you have a great self image jessica, and a balanced viewpoint. i'd bet you are not very judgemental, and have learned to not take offense to most things people say because you know that if it's derogatory, it's likely just their poor perspective.

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 06:30 PM

"I accused them of eating wheat, since they had quite a tummy and flabby arms" hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Genuinely lauged at that comment xD

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on March 03, 2011
at 06:20 PM

"accused them of eating wheat." pretty funny.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 03, 2011
at 05:49 PM

"I suspect you are a nice, kind person that doesn't have witty comebacks ready any time someone displays lack of judgment." So true. The people who like to go on the attack are always the same people who keep their defenses up all the time.

61ff86be603d2508d10eedb1997b3532

(400)

on March 03, 2011
at 05:46 PM

Yeah, definitely challenge them to feats of strength!

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on March 03, 2011
at 05:34 PM

hah. yeah. momma always told me, "i can show ya better'n i can tell ya!"

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:49 PM

Ah man, seriously, all the time!!

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:48 PM

The problem is, it makes me feel insecure, I don't thin I am "skinny" I think I'm the correct weight for my height and build but when people make such personal remarks you begin to wonder if that is actually how people perceive you.

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:46 PM

Yes we are lucky.

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:45 PM

Hahaha, you do make me laugh xD

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:45 PM

Haha, yeah, or "do you want an arm wrestle?"

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:44 PM

Yeah, you're right, I just get so cross that people feel they can be so rude, it actually hurts my feelings, I don't think I'm skinny but I start to wonder is that how people see me you know?

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:35 PM

Yes, it is fun...8)

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:33 PM

I like this statement. Well put! 8)

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:31 PM

It's true; they are.

B289fd8670257e77badb0c77709f8572

(10)

on March 03, 2011
at 02:41 PM

I'd say, "Thank you. I'll take that as the compliment I'm sure you intended."

Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

(13635)

on March 03, 2011
at 12:54 PM

I had no idea slender people were mad fun of.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 03, 2011
at 11:50 AM

great answer!!!

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15 Answers

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23
03d5a967b935e1e8ef202f313467878f

(485)

on March 03, 2011
at 11:20 AM

Sometimes we want to be the one that shows people the error of their ways. But you must remember this one truth: what other people say to you or do to you has NOTHING to do with YOU and EVERYTHING to do with THEM. How you respond also has nothing to do with what the person said to you and everything to do with what kind of person you are. I suspect you are a nice, kind person that doesn't have witty comebacks ready any time someone displays lack of judgment. Good for you! Try saying "Thanks for your concern" and letting the universe take care of the judging and the teaching and all that. :)

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on March 03, 2011
at 06:51 PM

you have a great self image jessica, and a balanced viewpoint. i'd bet you are not very judgemental, and have learned to not take offense to most things people say because you know that if it's derogatory, it's likely just their poor perspective.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 03, 2011
at 11:50 AM

great answer!!!

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:44 PM

Yeah, you're right, I just get so cross that people feel they can be so rude, it actually hurts my feelings, I don't think I'm skinny but I start to wonder is that how people see me you know?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 03, 2011
at 05:49 PM

"I suspect you are a nice, kind person that doesn't have witty comebacks ready any time someone displays lack of judgment." So true. The people who like to go on the attack are always the same people who keep their defenses up all the time.

7
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on March 03, 2011
at 11:02 AM

Race ya to the flagpole?

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:45 PM

Haha, yeah, or "do you want an arm wrestle?"

Medium avatar

(2169)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:07 PM

@carnivorous carly- brilliant! I use that one all the time. Its also a requirement of men I date that they beat me. Can't be dating a sissy!

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on March 03, 2011
at 05:34 PM

hah. yeah. momma always told me, "i can show ya better'n i can tell ya!"

61ff86be603d2508d10eedb1997b3532

(400)

on March 03, 2011
at 05:46 PM

Yeah, definitely challenge them to feats of strength!

6
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on March 03, 2011
at 02:44 PM

My husband recently went to a PTO luncheon and had something with bacon on it, the (overweight, unhealthy) PTO moms commented that we probably don't even have bacon at our house. My husband responded that I make a lot of bacon. Then the woman said "Well it's probably turkey bacon." Again, my husband was like "Um, I think it's regular bacon."

I've also heard one of the teachers said to another that I probably don't even know what chocolate tastes like. The other teacher let her know that I used to be obese and definitely know what chocolate tastes like.

It is always a shock to me, because I forget that some of these people in my life don't know I was ever obese. So to them, I am some kind of crazy health nut. It also surprises me that they will talk crap to my husband about what we eat at home. If they say stuff like that to him, what are they saying to each other??

I hate that they pretend in their heads that I must be sitting at home eating salad and cardio'ing my day away when I actually eat really awesome food, full of fat and only work out 3 days a week.

I can't really confront the PTO ladies, so after boot camp last week I went to breakfast with my fit friends and one of them took my picture holding up a piece of bacon. LOL. I made it my Facebook profile picture so they can all see it. :)

I generally prefer the sarcastic, passive-aggressive response. It's probably not "right" but it is fun.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:35 PM

Yes, it is fun...8)

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:45 PM

Hahaha, you do make me laugh xD

5
Medium avatar

on March 03, 2011
at 06:47 PM

Overweight and obesity are becoming normalized to an ever-increasing extent as the % of the population who is afflicted by one or the other shoots skyward. Rather than investigating why it is that they find themselves massive and in poor health (in contrast to our history and design) they invent tenuous excuses about genetics and manufacture a victim complex where the media etc. are out to get them and are pushing an idealized image of skinny people that is impossible to attain. We all know these to be patently false. We as non-fat individuals are glaring counter-arguments to their theories about why they are chronically overweight. It's very difficult to maintain that suspension of disbelief when you have to interact with the lean.

My response to any such comments is, "this is what humans used to look like." I then try to make an earnest effort to inform them of the simple things they need to do to improve their health and body composition. If I were stopped on the street by an overweight person who asked me what they need to do to lose weight, I would put whatever I'm doing aside and take as much time to help them as needed, exchange e-mails etc. This hasn't happened, and I kind of doubt that it will. I've toyed with the idea of giving overweight people unsolicited advice. Obviously many will bristle at the idea, but I'd rather hurt someone's feelings and save their life than watch idly as they march to their doom.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on March 03, 2011
at 06:58 PM

"If I were stopped on the street by an overweight person who asked me what they need to do to lose weight, I would put whatever I'm doing aside and take as much time to help them as needed, exchange e-mails etc. This hasn't happened, and I kind of doubt that it will." ---> You are so right Travis. two words: Human nature. Amazing, isn't it?

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on March 03, 2011
at 08:32 PM

i actually have had alot of people follow me into this lifestyle because many people have watched me struggle with weight, constant cardio and the like all my life. so when i seemed to effortlessly drop 50+ lbs, they all wanted to try it out for themselves. about half are sticking to it which is a good number in my book...

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 07:01 PM

I know what you're saying totally, some people do not want to be helped though. But you are right, healthy looking people are definitely the exception as opposed to the norm.

5
4a585ea8059f71614597a56805cc60c7

(390)

on March 03, 2011
at 01:13 PM

I simply say "I work pretty hard to stay healthy." It can either inspire them or stun them, and I never mean it with malice so whatever they take from it is what they walk away with :)

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:33 PM

I like this statement. Well put! 8)

5
Bad3a78e228c67a7513c28f17c36b3cf

(1387)

on March 03, 2011
at 11:53 AM

I've heard this all my life. I finally realized a decade or so ago that the people who make these remarks are insecure or unhappy about there own appearance. Be calling you "skinny" and advising you to eat more, they are trying to justify their own habits and the results they bring. My advice is don't worry about it. Be compassionate. If there is an opening, try to point them in the right direction.

B289fd8670257e77badb0c77709f8572

(10)

on March 03, 2011
at 02:41 PM

I'd say, "Thank you. I'll take that as the compliment I'm sure you intended."

4
21084e275703e9a3909dafa28e5d29b5

(1103)

on March 03, 2011
at 12:46 PM

Having dropped 40lbs and 4 dress sizes people at work are always coming up to me and making these remarks...mind you this has been a journey I started in April (almost a year) and I was overweight, unhealthy, unhappy and needed to loose it! And I'm 150lbs and 5'7 I'm not scary skinny, I am healthy!

Plus they've seen me bring my lunch and snacks, and my gym bag to work but all of a sudden they've started these nasty, mean comments - you're toooooooo skinny! Eat something! You NEED this cake! Etc.

I just turn it around on them and say "Thank you! I have lost a lot of weight. But as you know I've been working really hard. Eating right and going to the gym."

Most of the time they are so shocked that I thanked them and then dropped some knowledge on them they'll say - oh yeah, well you look great. Or good for you, keep it up!

Afc0b8e755ac7cdde6b517fdadb50026

(778)

on June 17, 2012
at 01:15 AM

haha its like your thanking them for complimenting you...which isnt what they did.

3
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on March 03, 2011
at 06:16 PM

Perhaps all my newfound Testosterone gets the better of me.

I respond very poorly to these kinds of comments.

Someone accused me of taking Steroids since I lost all the weight and gained alot of muscle.

I accused them of eating wheat, since they had quite a tummy and flabby arms.

Luckily it was a friend and we were able to laugh about it... but Honestly most of the time, its : How did you do it?

just remember: Strong is the new Skinny.
http://strongisnewskinny.blogspot.com/

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 03, 2011
at 07:20 PM

One time I was defensive(usually don't react much to judgement) and say "yea and you're fucking bloated, if someone were to stab you with a needle something disgusting would happen I'm sure of it"

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 06:30 PM

"I accused them of eating wheat, since they had quite a tummy and flabby arms" hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Genuinely lauged at that comment xD

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on March 03, 2011
at 06:20 PM

"accused them of eating wheat." pretty funny.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 03, 2011
at 07:19 PM

I've responded to a gluten eater saying "and you're bloated because you consume disgusting crap like gluten"

3
6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224

(1008)

on March 03, 2011
at 01:13 PM

People fear change: When they see it happen around them they feel pressure to implement it in their own lives, lest they be left behind. I think it's probably some jealousy over your svelte figure. But more than fat-versus-thin, it's that seeing you look and feel great makes those around you question their own self-care (or lack thereof) - because we are a hierarchical society, so it's only natural to measure ourselves against others, if subconsciously. You have surpassed those people on the food chain. So to speak. ;) Much as they may love you, you can understand why they might try to knock you back down.

2
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:40 PM

I avoid telling overweight people they need to lose weight, but it sure is tempting when they mention my "rapid" weight loss (it's taken 6 months to lose 30 pounds!), especially when they are telling me this while eating hot pockets or SmartChoice desserts!

I'm usually, as Helen says, shocked when anyone brings up my weight or my weird eating habits. My usual response is to smile and not say anything at all, unless there is a direct question.

2
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on March 03, 2011
at 02:15 PM

Maybe the difference that makes polite people comment on skinny folks but not fat folks comes from what they think your intentions are. Few people assume a fat person wants to be fat (though they may think the person doesn't care, or can't help themselves). But I think when someone sees a person (woman, usually) they perceive to be too skinny, they assume the person must be trying to be that way, and that they just don't realize they have gone too far. There is certainly more than enough skewed body image and eating disorder going around that they might think the person needs to know that they don't have to be that thin.

This doesn't discount other factors, like insecurity, but it may make someone who would otherwise keep their comments to themselves feel justified in speaking them.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on March 03, 2011
at 11:32 PM

Yeah. I know what you mean. Travis hit it on the head with the skewed perspective of normal that's developed as a result of everyone getting fatter. Even the normal weight people seem to have bigger bellies.

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:48 PM

The problem is, it makes me feel insecure, I don't thin I am "skinny" I think I'm the correct weight for my height and build but when people make such personal remarks you begin to wonder if that is actually how people perceive you.

2
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on March 03, 2011
at 12:28 PM

Yeah I've had a couple times where my, uh, best friend (she really is generally wonderful) has made comments to me like "You're wasting away to nothing! You need to eat a cheeseburger!" She says it in a jokey way, but I think it comes from an insecure place- at 5'5", 142lbs, I'm definitely not wasting away (not even "skinny" by most standards); I'm 25 lbs lighter than I was a couple years ago, and living an infinitely healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately some just can't help but feel a little bad about themselves when they see others succeed. I do like Jessica's suggestion; maybe next time I'll thank her for her concern. Or maybe propose a push-up contest!

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 06:58 PM

Haha, can you imagine! "you're skinny" "yeah?! Drop and give me 20" ;D

1
1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on March 03, 2011
at 03:05 PM

You have to be prepared for it. I don't mean you have to pre-think of something to say, but since you know that people say crap like that, you have to be mentally prepared for them to say it. Then it won't shock you and numb your wits. In fact, if you're mentally/emotionally prepared, you can start to have fun with it because that's when you have access to your wits and can think of some wonderful snappy comebacks to level at them.

1
A5ead9de259ae72f2165ecb12f4ae764

(440)

on March 03, 2011
at 12:15 PM

Try and remember that we are lucky enough to be living and eating paleo and people making those comments to you are not. Their conventional wisdom is getting them no where in terms of diet and health and they just want to bring you along for the ride.

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on March 03, 2011
at 04:46 PM

Yes we are lucky.

0
7f4c64d6caca80c74a6c2d91efa3259b

(831)

on April 09, 2011
at 02:50 PM

Having always been 'big boned' (I weighed more than 11 stone entering secondary school - roughly 155lb in Year 7 if that is easier) I have heard most of the usual teasing/taunts (or bullying if you prefer) associated with being overweight. It never occurred to me to reciprocate these remarks to the slimmer 'normal' sized people making the comments (children or adults) about them being toothpicks/beanpoles/stick-insects etc. Perhaps it was just the way I was raised, or maybe I just couldn't be bothered with the hassle that it would cause - I'm generally fairly laid back (some would say almost horizontal) and it takes quite a bit to rile me.

Generally, politely acknowledging the remark and then ignoring it is often the best thing to do. It is just not worth putting stress on yourself worrying what others think of you. You know how you feel, how fit you are, and whether you have any underlying medical conditions that are causing the way you look - others do not!

Having recently discovered Paleo, I am now on the path to righteousness and feeling much better for it :)

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