When A Compliment Isn't Exactly A Compliment But Makes You Feel Worse

@pyewacket (44036)
United States
December 23, 2008 4:22am CST
Okay some of my friends have gleaned some insights about this dip stick neighbor of mine.....I'm not friendly with her as she is the classic case of a person who it seems likes putting a person down. She has very low self-esteem herself so loves, just LOVES putting people down to raise her own self esteem...it's her way of getting her jollies. Anyway one of the things she seems to be obsessed about is weight....she is and has been one of these "health fanatics" and very conscious of weight issues. Yet if you were to look at her...doesn't exactly look too healthy herself...she's a vegan, only eats orgainic foods and spends about $200 a month on vitamins and health supplements...yet looks like she's going to die any minute...not healthy looking. Now from my early years on, I have always been a "beanpole"--yes,....skinny. I inherit that from my father's side of the family as the joke in the family (consisting of only my grandmother and mother as my mother and father got divorced when I was young) was that my father's side of the family could eat a whole cow at each meal and not gain weight. I obviously inherited that trait....my mother on the other hand would gain weight just by looking at food...LOL. At one point in my young life my mother took me to the doctor as she was concerned I wasn't gaining weight (jealousy maybe???). So I was given medications to gain weight....but even then I didn't gain much...just not in my "genes" Now it wasn't until I started to go hell fire with cooking that I did start gaining weight...to put it mildly my mother was a lousy cook...if she could burn water she would have. I must have inherited my great grandmother's ability to cook as she was THE cook of the family.....I began to cook French cuisine....Italian, Polish, German, Spanish, and on and on....I'm a hot fiery damm good cook....LOL...but with my good cooking, I manage to gain weight...LOL Now this nosy neighbor noticed....she seems to be obsessed with weight problems...she once said to me since I was so thin..."Gee, the only way you could stay so thin is if your anorexic" Uh, no sorry, I love food and am not about to deny myself, nor am I bulimic. Then at one point when I did gain a good bit of weight, I bumped into her and she said, "Oh wow, you gained so much weight...you look SO FAT. Why not come over and I'll give you some of my FAT clothes/" Believe me I didn't let that slide and chewed her out big time and yelled at her and she was scared for awhile to even look at me if we bumped into each other. So zoom forward to just yesterday...I was out on some errands including grocery shopping.....loaded down with food, and she says....wow you must have lost a lot of weight...your face looks so thin are you eating okay? Okie dokie....now I guess most people would feel "honored" if someone says they look like they lost weight.....but not with this beech....she has this real obsession thing with weight...I eat fine and dandy thank you. I'm not starved...I eat well and healthy. ...but this A-hole whenever she says something...even if it sounds "positive" sounds negative. I mean the way she says things makes me feel like I'm dying or something....I'm 5' 1" and 110 lbs---and the only way I know my weight was when I went to my doc a few months ago and he weighed me.....I don't have a scale to weigh myself at home as I just plain don't have a fanatical interest in knowing my weight...I've never needed to. So have you ever experienced a so-called comment from someone that made you suddenly feel like you had to defend yourself....in other words the so called "good" remark made you feel like shat? Or belittled you?
14 people like this
38 responses
• United States
23 Dec 08
I have known a few people like that. However, it's just something that is off-kilter with their speech pattern. They mean well, but it does not always sound like that if you don't know them well. Have you ever stood out in the halls of the apartment with the neighbor talking for hours at a time? Reason I am thinking that is if you really get to know her, there is a chance that you may end up with an entirely different view of her. When I was a student, I knew a mathematics professor that every time he spoke, he sounded like he was mad at you. It was not that he was mad or anything like that. It was just his speech pattern. However, he was highly intelligent, & always willing to help anyone, not just students in his class, but anyone that needed help with homeworks. I even witnessed this guy helping another professor outside the classrooms with a math problem.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
23 Dec 08
No..unfortunately I do know this neighbor very well..for about thirty years ...she uh...has problems??? She once openly told me she's manic depressive, paranoid schizophrenic, and is a hoarder personality...in fact she was once threatened with eviction as the Health Dept once came in and declared her apt not only a health hazard, but fire..if the slightest spark of a fire occurred her whole apt would go up like a poof of smoke....nice huh? Her apt (and yes, I've been in it) is the kind that looks like terrorists invaded it and blew up bombs...
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Dec 08
Plooker's argument does have merit that he is correct that it is a discussion site. However, educated diplomacy does need to be applied. I have seen several with completely opposite opinions, so opposing that it could have been caused a galactic nuclear fallout, discuss their differences in a friendly manner.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Dec 08
There are ways to disagree with an opinion in a friendly manner. I tried to look for an example of just that here on ths site, but I could not find it. It is also true that there have been rare occurrences that no matter how civil & friendly you are in your disagreement, it did get a bit controntational. The American election was probably one of those the United States has ever faced. Some did disagree about who would have made a better President in a friendly manner, but there was one who had her profile pretty much cleaned out when she got suspended, canceled & banned because she could not be civil about it. It's also never too late to learn new things, & new ways of doing things.
1 person likes this
@Annmac (950)
26 Dec 08
Boy do I know just how you feel! Since the age of 12 I've been 4ft 9ins tall and always around the 94lb (6st 10)mark. Even at the end of pregnancy I was only 119lb (8st)! I've had my fair share of those types of comments! I'm not and never have been anorexic or bulimic and I've never been obsessed about my weight or height and as long as I'm healthy I don't see why others should be! Especially people who don't know me! Anyone who does will tell you I'm one of those who really can eat anything and everything. As for people belittling me! I no longer bother answering the stupid 'Aren't you small' remarks! Do they really think I don't already know? Rude people like her aren't going to change!
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
18 Jan 09
I guess people who seem to be obsessive and make comments about OUR weight do so since they are obsessive about theirs...and who knows? Maybe jealousy is involved.
1 person likes this
@Annmac (950)
18 Jan 09
I think jealousy does play a big part in it, but it's how they handle the jealousy. There's no need to be rude or to constantly make remarks about it or try to make others feel 'small' but that's human nature I suppose. Personally I think it's childish and a sign of immaturity!
2 people like this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
23 Dec 08
Sounds like the only wish on your Santa List this year, is for him to take your neighbor away...lol. I know it would sure be on my list! We all occasionally encounter people like that who annoy the heck out of us. I used to have really long hair and a neighbor was constantly harping, "When are you going to get it cut?". Eventually, when I did get it shortened (when I was ready, not because of her), she changed her harping to reminding me of how beautiful my hair used to be. Can't win for trying! Sometimes the only way to deal with these types of people is to out-annoy them. Make a challenge for yourself out of it. You may start looking forward to these little encounters. Here's a few suggestions: 1.) Watch for and print out (or cut out) any article you find for food obsessions that are triggered when a body is deprived of nutrients. And articles on how pills and supplements do NOT make up for poor eating habits. Anytime you run into her give her an article. Let her know that you are concerned over her greenish (yellowish, waxy, whatever) appearance. 2.) Any time she mentions weight (yours, hers or anyone elses) ask her if her obsession with weight is a result of a subliminal desire for MEAT. This will have to be repeated consistantly to work. 3.) Get her a bottle of Burger King's FLAME cologne. Or, better yet get one for yourself too. Spray in the air any time you guys 'chat'. Her's an informational-only article on that product: http://www.collegecandy.com/buzz/15220 4.) Talk about the benefits of cooking with LARD. Ask her if she'd like to try your newest cookies. 5.) Do you remember the song, 'They're Coming to Take Me Away' by Napoleon XIV? Hum it every time you encounter her. These ideas should get you started. I bet MyLotters have lots more. If you are consistant, she will avoid you like the plague. If all else fails, you could try the A to Z treatment, maybe some one WILL take her away.... Good luck!
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
17 Jan 09
Love these ideas you have..LOL. I heard that Flame cologne is supposed to smell like burgers and fries...heehee
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
17 Jan 09
Would be worth keeping a bottle around to use whenever you come into contact with her...lol. Thanks for the BR!
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60894)
• United States
23 Dec 08
I knew a lady that couldn't take a comment in the way it was to be taken. "You look nice today" would be met with "oh this old thing?" Or "are you feeling all right you don't look so good" would be responded with "I'm fine" and then she'd go home an hour later....
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
17 Jan 09
Mmmm..did she race home to take her temperature or something...LOL
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60894)
• United States
17 Jan 09
Beats me, it was hard working with her, I had to have someone else point this out to me. Got to the point where I was afraid to say anything to her.
1 person likes this
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
28 Dec 08
My father is like that. Even when he is complimenting you he is digging a little bit too. Nothing is good enough for him either. Like he could tell you that dinner was really good. BUT, it could use a little more salt or something like that.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
19 Jan 09
Too bad that when your father gives you a compliment that dinner was good, he just would leave it at that and not add the "extra" comment
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27240)
• United States
26 Dec 08
I worked with a woman at the post office who did this to me all the time about everything! There have been so many examples my mind is completely blank at the moment, I guess from too much Christmas dinner and excitement...lol! This woman would give these backhanded compliments on a daily basis plus she'd tell the wildest stories you could ever imagine. She was one of those who no matter what crazy thing might happen to you, she could top it many times over. I don't know how anyone can be like the woman you wrote about. I would never say anything about anyone's weight no matter what UNLESS I knew they were trying to gain or lose. I'm always afraid that if I were to say someone had lost weight, no matter how innocently I may mean it, they'd take it to mean I was implying they had been fat before. Or if I were to genuinely compliment someone for gaining weight when they'd really needed to they'd take it as an insult like I was saying they'd gotten fat. I try to be sensitive to others' feelings as I'd hope they'd be to mine but the woman you describe wouldn't ever think that way. I'd give it back to her every time! NEVER allow yourself to feel bad over what someone like that says or to feel you have to defend yourself, Pye. Karma's a bi+ch and this one will get hers one day. Annie
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
19 Jan 09
In the case with this woman, she always has come across as a smug know-it-all and I think lots of her rather sarcastic remarks is to make her feel superior somehow and raise her self-esteem. And it's a wonder she has any friends at all. My bathroom window is adjacent to her living room windows...she doesn't realize how LOUD she talks on the phone...I can hear every word without even trying...LOL. And yikes she's so rude to her friends and always yelling and screaming at them when she talks to them on the phone...if I had someone constantly talking to me that way, I'd hang up
2 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
23 Dec 08
Just the other day. A retired guy that I used to work with told me the other day how good I was looking since I gave up work and then asked me how I lived as I have no visible form of income except The Boss. I started to splutter and stutter and then thought "he's on about half The Boss's money with his pension", I'm better off than him. Then he had the gall to say "So you live off your wife?" Yes I do, plus savings and of course the squillions that myLot pays me. But for a moment I felt like a real parasite and a heel. What's it to him how I fund myself anyway?
2 people like this
@katemeow (848)
• Singapore
23 Dec 08
wow, what an annoying neighbor! your weight is really none of her business! I actually don't have a scale myself because like you I am not too concerned about how much i weigh. the so called "good" remark that i get often is: "you know, you're actually pretty but a bit fat. maybe you could lose weight" or " you could be pretty if you weren't so chubby/fat". I am 5'5" and weigh about 135 pounds. I am not really fat compared to others but since I am asian I do look a bit bigger than the other girls.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Dec 08
Ouch! Sounds like you get nice complimentary remarks too..NOT!
• United States
17 Jan 09
I think it sort of sounds like a put down. She pharased it poorly, or perhaps, it was intentional, but regardless I can understand not feeling too flattered. It sounds like you have already had verbal conflicts already, this shouldn't get to the point of violence. She obviously didn't understand when you have talked to her before. Maybe if in passing, while others were around, you mentioned how you were not obsessed with weight, and that even, perhaps you were disguisted by people that where, maybe around you she might make the attempt to change her attitude out of paranoia. There are times people have said things that were not such a compliment when I think they might of even been proud they mustered up one. Those types of people I generally tend to avoid. If I must engage, I will make little innuendo's of ground we will not agree on and should not bother with. Being a decent debater, I have found people desire peace more then they let on. Of course, playing in my favor is that there is atleast one thing that is much more bothersome then not looking a certain way; appearing as completely stupid.
2 people like this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
24 Dec 08
She sounds like she is in a lose-lose situation no matter how hard she tries to sugar coat things! Maybe she should take a class on learning how to shush herself. LOL! I've been around people like that. I remember one that made the same type of comments your neighbor does. It was back when I was 19...she had been very jealous of my weight loss, so she decided to try to lose weight herself...she was WAY bigger than I was at that time. I don't think she used legal ways of losing weight if you catch my drift. But she managed to get down to a very tight size 14. She came to my house one day to show me, my dad, and my brother how much she had lost, and then she had the nerve to turn to me and say "if you want, I still have my fat clothes in my closet...I'll give them to you if you want them." Boy was I ever ticked off! I told her that she needed to leave the property immediately and to never contact me again. She high tailed it out of there real quick like. And we haven't been in touch since.
1 person likes this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
24 Dec 08
I was wondering that myself! Hahaha! I wonder if they're related somehow? Teeheehee!
• United States
23 Dec 08
Yes, I have experienced such "compliments" my beloved Granny would get her digs in. You see Granny would never get hungry and she always ate like a bird. She was never very heavy and in fact she was had problems keeping weight on especially when she got older. There there where times she would say things like this to my daughter "If you ate nothing but salads you would not be so fat like you mother." Or she would say " tea you are to skinny when I would lose weight." Now if you did not eat enough at her home she would get mad. Now there was not happy medium where it came to weight with her. I just stopped trying.
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
17 Jan 09
Gee, what "nice" compliments....NOT. I think some people make it their life's mission to give digging remarks don't you?
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Jan 09
My granny loved us unconditional she did have her phobia about weight.
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
23 Dec 08
I guess if anyone did that I just over loked them for the person they are.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
17 Jan 09
She really is a very pathetic type person--which is why I avoid her as much as possible
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
17 Jan 09
IC what ever works for you!
• United States
23 Dec 08
yea,i had a former friend (his choice) make a snarky remark when he started fighting at me about me being "too old to act anorexic" whatever that nasty remark was supposed to mean. this was before my surgery when i was already starting to get quite ill-and he knew i had medical problems. it was never intended as a good remark in his case,but it made me angry. i knew i looked bad,but hardly anorexic.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Dec 08
Yes I wonder what he meant by being "too old to act anorexic"?? While he's not your friend now, do you ever bump into him anymore?
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Dec 08
not yet,but it's inevitable at some point. same circles and all that.
1 person likes this
@applefreak (3131)
• Singapore
24 Dec 08
well i guess your neighbour is having some real big issues. it seems she is obsessed with the way people look. the most likely reason is she is really jealous with the way you look. from the way you describe, she is always commenting about the way you look, not in a positive way too. i guess i'm so used to people commenting on how i look that i'm 'immune'. i've got friends who said that i looked like bread in water i.e. totally bloated. i've also got friends who always comment that i've lost weight again every time we met. if i were to really lose weight like they said, i'd have to be under 100lbs by now.
23 Dec 08
Hi pye, I know how its feel , my weight goes up more than it goes down, my hubby have bought me a exercise bike and my sister has bought a walker and I have done my exercise for the past few months and lost weight, then I had a set back, my back started to play up and I felt sick, now its christmas and I have been off myu exercise for so long and now I have put on weight again, I feel like a balloon as it is and I don't need my husband to keep telling my how much weight I put on and also my sister, I feel so mad, I know how I am, don't need any one to tell me and I will be back on my exercise after new year day. Put a sock in it guys. Bright Blessings. Tamara
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
17 Jan 09
Yikes how nice that your husband makes remarks about your weight....NOT
@vivasuzi (4125)
• United States
23 Dec 08
Interesting story! Sounds like someone you don't want to be around. I agree that some people are jealous - after all they struggle with weight and then you were magically staying thin all those years. I honestly can't even remember a "good" comment someone made because, even though I know it's happened, I've basically learned to ignore them and erase them from my brain :)
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
17 Jan 09
Thank goodness I don't bump into this woman too often..too weird for me anyway
• United States
23 Dec 08
HaHa,...I like to play with people like that. What you should have done is reversed the question and said "I feel really good lately and I'm eating fine", but I actually was going to ask YOU the same question but thought it would be too rude of me. Come on Pye, you're full of psychology tricks and you could have had a field day with this one. Thank you for the card by the way, Kash loved it too. Merry Christmas and lets hope for a really GREAT NEW YEAR! xxxooo
1 person likes this
@kenzie45230 (3560)
• United States
23 Dec 08
I guess I've never concerned myself with what other people say about me or to me. If it sounds hurtful, I figure the person doesn't know any better...that he/she never had anyone explain what you should and shouldn't say to others. So, I just smile and offer up a prayer - one to help me keep smiling and one to touch the heart of the person who is being a bit unkind.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
17 Jan 09
Well she's always kind of had a sarcastic mouth on her..she claims it's her sense of humor...some humor--she makes that comedian Don Rickles look like a sweetie pie
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
23 Dec 08
I'm trying to think back and I'm sure I've received my fair share of comments like that. There's always SOMEONE around like your neighbor! They're the kind of people who were born with BOTH feet in their mouth! They certainly do not know how to interact with others very well and should never aim to be a motivational speaker! And you know what? I've realized, through watching people in general, that those so-called 'health nuts' die just like the rest of us do. They're just healthier corpses. People like your neighbor do have to belittle others because they are jealous people. They have very little in their own lives to be proud of or happy about. Misery loves company, so they say, and I believe this type of person is always trying to bring down the people they feel have better lives than themselves because they're bitter. I want my life to be filled with quality, not necessarily quantity. Worrying about my health and spending a fortune on vitamins and supplements is not my idea of living. If I had a neighbor like yours, I'd have to give her a verbal attack, too. She obviously doesn't know much. Because you're skinny you MUST be anorexic? That's just plain stupid! It seems that, the less someone knows, the more they're willing to vocalize it. Sad, isn't it? I was like you most of my life... skinny. I could eat a mound of food at each meal and never gain an ounce. I took pills to gain weight, too! I'm 5'2" and weighed under 100 pounds until I was 41. Then, I started taking meds for my panic disorder syndrome and began to put weight on. I put on 50 pounds! You just never know WHY a person is under or overweight. There are many, many factors to consider and anyone who feels the need to judge someone because of the way they look is just plain ignorant of the facts. Apparently, your neighbor has many issues with her own health; otherwise, she would not feel the need to take so many supplements!
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
23 Dec 08
"So have you ever experienced a so-called comment from someone that made you suddenly feel like you had to defend yourself....in other words the so called "good" remark made you feel like shat? Or belittled you?" If you only get that from one rude neighbor, consider yourself lucky... seriously. I'm surrounded by people like that. Primarily, my father (who I most responsible for his care now), my oldest sister and my mother in law. Yep, your neighbor is rude and lots of other things. It's good that you stand up to her. I've had a hard time confronting those in my life who are like that. I have been the most successful in confronting my sister. I guess with my dad and MIL, it's mostly a "respect your elders" type of thing. Although I don't know why I feel the need to respect those who clearly don't respect me. Anyway, sorry for your troubles. Take care.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
24 Dec 08
Well thank goodness I don't bump into this neighbor that often....she kind of holes herself in her apartment all the time. But no, I got quite a bit of shat and abusive remarks from both my grandmother and mother as well. As for respecting your elders....I often argued with my mother when she was being verbally abusive to me....I would reply back in a none to nice way...she'd yell at me, "You shouldn't talk to me like that, I'm your mother." My reply would be, I'm not talking to you as daughter to mother but one on one as grown people (though I sometimes wonder how "grown-up" she was) Yes, she was my mother, but I don't even think that gives a person a right to be obnoxiously verbally abusive, do you?