General chatter - Was that a compliment?

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08-07-2010, 01:49 PM
I saw one of my DH's coworker's today and I waved and he paused and looked at me confused and then said "OH I didn't even recognize you! You're fading away!"

Ugh...fading away? Really? People are so weird with their compliments. I know I don't look THAT thin, give me a break. And last week I saw an old friend I hadn't seen in a while and she said I was wasting away...yuck! It's weird how the compliments change as you go along. Typically I get you look great or whatever, it's only been recently that I've been getting these...I wonder if I need to reevaluate those last 5 lbs...

08-07-2010, 02:01 PM
I'd say that yes, it's a compliment. He was maybe afraid of saying something that would sound like "Hey! You used to be fat!"

08-07-2010, 02:05 PM
Anyone telling me I am getting smaller, fading away, anything I take as a compliment! hehe

08-07-2010, 02:10 PM
A lot of people don't know how to word it they say the first thing that comes to mind. Don't worry about it...just smile and nod your head and think to yourself "yes, I am...and I look fabulous!!!"

08-07-2010, 02:28 PM
I agree, he probably just worded it oddly. You have lost a LOT of weight. Someone once told me I was "wasting away" when I was a still plenty pudgy 178lbs; but I had lost over 60lbs so to him, I guess that made sense, lol. Enjoy those comments, weird as they might sound!

08-07-2010, 02:42 PM
My old running buddy, who moved away a couple years ago, is back in town and we went for a run this morning. She said, "You're so skinny. Almost too-skinny skinny!" And I said, "Thank you! I think..."

Then she asked lots of questions about how I've done it... so I must not look that bad! ;)

08-07-2010, 05:48 PM
I think people may be surprised and not know what to say without being insulting... so they try. lol

08-07-2010, 05:50 PM
It's a compliment. :)

08-07-2010, 06:02 PM
I agree, he probably just worded it oddly. Enjoy those comments, weird as they might sound!

I don't think he worded it oddly at all. It's a common expression, though perhaps a regional one. "Wasting away" and/or "fading away", are very common expressions, at least here in the midwest where I've lived (in central IL and WI). It's meant as an exageration, but a compliment, nonetheless.

My husband and I use it all the time ("fading away" is the regionally preferred in the places and generations in which hubby and I grew up. However, we do encounter "wasting away" occasionally). "Wasting away," is slightly less complimentary, mostly coming from the older generation. We're in our 40's, and usually have encountered "wasting away" from people much older than ourselves (probably because they grew up in a time where "wasting away" was a legitimate concern).

08-07-2010, 07:24 PM
I think some people have a hard time finding the right words to compliment someone. I find this is especially true for men. My husband told me I was looking really skinny. I said "no dear, I don't want to be skinny, I want to be healthy" Now when he compliments me he says "my you are looking really healthy today". The way he says it cracks me up every time LOL. I would say that "fading away" is a compliment, but in an awkward way ;)

08-07-2010, 11:31 PM
Not to beat the proverbial dead horse, since I already made the point, but I don't think it's an awkward expression at all - it's jut a regionally distinct one.

It will seem strange or awkward only in regions in which the expression isn't common - but that occurs whenever dialects clash.

In college, I once asked a room mate (because she was looking angry or upset) "what's with the sour puss?" Again a common phrase used where I grew up, which meant "You look angry/upset, what's wrong?"

My roommate looked shocked and horrified, and thought I was swearing at her or making an obscene comment, because she only time she had ever heard the word puss was within the word pussy (the censor replaced the word I wrote with kitty. The word I obvioussly meant, was the word puss with a y at the end), meaning female genitalia. She thought I was calling her a very bad name.

We don't all speak the same English. Not only is American english distinct from the english of Canada, Australia and the UK - even within each of those countries there are regional differences. Yes the situation can be awkward, but I don't consider the word choice awkward (inappropriate in any way). It's just a possible consequence when speaking with someone from a different region or a different generation with different idioms.

08-08-2010, 12:18 AM
He may have been worried about how you could have perceived a compliment such as "You look great!" Especially if he doesn't know you well. It's likely that he wanted to give you a compliment without making you feel uncomfortable or crossing any boundaries.

08-08-2010, 02:08 AM

As kaplods said, it's probably just the
normal thing for them to say. :)
My fiancÚ came from NYC and they
never use the word "pop" to mean "soda".
But for me, coming from Ohio, "pop" is
the completely normal thing to say. :lol:

08-09-2010, 02:25 AM

As kaplods said, it's probably just the
normal thing for them to say. :)
My fiancÚ came from NYC and they
never use the word "pop" to mean "soda".
But for me, coming from Ohio, "pop" is
the completely normal thing to say. :lol:
LOL...and here in Georgia a pop is when a firecracker explodes or when you hit someone on the rear end. The sugary carbonated stuff you drink on ice is called coke here, regardless of brand!!! LOL

08-15-2010, 05:26 PM

08-15-2010, 10:48 PM
Fading away was almost certainly a compliment - esp from a guy who isn't "your" guy.

Kaplods - your post made me laugh! My grandma used to say "Why do you have such a puss on?" when she wanted to know why someone had a sour or pouty expression. Lots of people had given me a funny look when I've uttered those words! Plus, my grandma and my aunts all used the "p" word when referring to family feline pets. Seriously, can you imagine seeing the words "get pu**y food" on the fridge door grocery list?:lol:

08-15-2010, 11:13 PM
I am beginning to wonder if anyone can say anything to someone that has lost weight that won't offend them in some way.