Trigger Warning – This post discusses eating disorders!
Hi everyone! Have you ever received a compliment that made you a little upset? As a recovering bulimic, I admit that I still worry about my weight a lot even though I haven’t purged in several years. So, when I was asked twice in one work day if I lost weight it definitely had me feeling some type of way – even though I don’t really do anything to work out except for a couple of short walks once or twice a week.
I genuinely hate being asked if I lost weight because the thoughts that instantly form in my mind go along the lines of “was I overweight before?” and “challenge accepted, I’ll lose more”. It is extremely triggering for me and, although I have much better coping skills now, I still have to deal with those thoughts and I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t still thinking about it.
A lot of people think that asking someone if they have lost weight could be a compliment but I know firsthand that it is anything but. I encourage all of you to really think before you ask someone that and would advise to only ask it if you know for a fact that the person is actively trying to lose weight for a healthier lifestyle. You have no idea if the person you’re asking has or had an eating disorder, an illness, or tons of stress that has attributed to their recent weight loss. What you think is a compliment could actually be harmful and has the power to hurt feelings and exasperate issues that people are currently struggling or used to struggle with.
If you genuinely want to compliment someone in regards to their weight, I would recommend just telling them that they look good. “Hey, you look nice today” has a lot less of a negative connotation than straight up asking if they lost weight. Some people might roll their eyes when they read this post as they are sick of having to “monitor” what they say. But, as writers, we all know that words have power and effect everyone differently.
I know all of the statements in this post to be true for me personally and I just wanted to open everyone’s eyes to a comment that they might not even think about before they make it. Choose your words carefully and don’t use them to cause anyone any additional stress – with the state of the world right now, I promise that we all have a lot more important things to deal with than racing thoughts about if you lost a couple of pounds. Just something to think about!
What is a “compliment” that you hate receiving? What is a compliment that you like to give to people? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
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