Friday, March 20, 2009

-- On when to offer "constructive criticism"


I read this next one and immediately thought of a friend who'd been told they looked "old and fat" upon seeing an acquaintance. Ugh. How awful. I wish they'd read this tidbit from Carolyn Hax's 3/22/09 column in the Washington Post:

My mother told me that if it can't be fixed in five minutes, with the materials at hand, then don't mention it. So, an unzipped zipper, doughnut crumbs on your shirt, parsley in your teeth -- all fair game to bring to someone's attention. Height, weight, stain on clothing, size of nose -- off limits.

10 comments:

Niffer said...

I recall going home to visit my mom when I was about six months pregnant and she made MULTIPLE comments on my weight. I just couldn't believe that someone, let alone my own mom, would make comments like that to a pregnant woman.

http://niffer-all-grown-up.blogspot.com/2006/12/its-not-quantity-that-counts.html

spleeness said...

You're kidding, right? Pregnant women are *supposed* to gain weight. There's another person inside them. And for the record, I think I remember seeing pix pre/during/post pregnancy and I thought you looked fantastic. I remember actually thinking, gee if I ever have kids, I hope I'm lucky enough to look as good as that!

Wow. Maybe family feels entitled to criticize unnecessarily, I dunno. It's probably more a reflection on her than you though. Did she have difficulties w/weight gain or receive a lot of criticism herself during pregnancy? Maybe she wanted to relive those times through you.

talkingtostones said...

Some good advice from the WPost writer. Hard to believe anyone would feel the need to make a comment about someone else's weight or looks, regardless, though. I used to have to explain to my child, when kids in kindergarten would tell him he wasn't allowed in k-garten because he was too short: people who say things like that are trying to make themselves feel better/seem good by putting you down. They have some sort of insecurity that makes them not feel worthy unless they can tell everyone someone else isn't good enough so they look better by comparison (in their own minds, at least). It's a sad thing. You could almost feel sorry for them. Almost.

hautepocket said...

Oooo! That's great advice. (In the quote).

AndreaLeigh said...

so true! some people just have no tact. since when does telling someone they are ugly or fat help them??

just wanted to remind you my blog has moved to www.mychihuahuabitesblog.com

Niffer said...

Yep, my mom told me that I had big ankles. Another day she told me that if I was gaining enough weight in areas other than my stomach (in this case it was my ass because I needed new maternity pants) then it was a sign I was gaining too much weight. The third time was when she told me that she didn't know what it was that made me and my sister take after my dad's side of the family. We have big thighs. I told her I am a spitting image of her when she was my age and she said "you think so? I'm surprised you never noticed your thighs before." UGH! It's a good thing I love her.

spleeness said...

That's awful! I cannot believe she could say those things. It's a good thing you recognized that they didn't really apply to you.

I knew someone who gained almost 100 lbs during pregnancy and they are gorgeous now, stick thin.

I think people carry weight differently during pregnancy. I'm not saying 100 lbs is ok -- I actually have no idea how much women are supposed to gain -- but I am thinking how its distributed is probably genetic.

spleeness said...

Got your new blog location, Andrea, yay! It looks great. My Chihuahua Bites!

Lonetealeaf said...

This is a totally random question not at all related to the blog. but what sort of dog do you have. He ? looks like a White German Shepard, if so, awesome. My mother just got two White GS and they are amazing.

geekhiker said...

Heh - I'm far, far too busy being self-critical to have time to find fault in others!

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