Let's Talk: Is it OK to tell someone they've lost weight?

happy woman arms in the air like she just don't care

It sounds like such a nice, friendly, encouraging thing to say. “Have you lost weight? You look really good”.

But it’s really a social minefield. Here’s a few reasons why.

Slightly awkward

First, in essence it’s just a big, red-flag way of saying that you used to be fat. That’s not necessarily a completely positive thing to remind you of. What follows could well be a feeling of awkwardness by you, and then the “complimenter” when they notice yours.

While the awkwardness is spinning around it could well have you questioning yourself; “Did I look that bad before? Have I lost enough weight yet?”

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Of course the awkwardness might not happen, and it might simply be taken as a compliment. But there’s a decent chance that it won’t.

Over the past 2 years or so I’ve dropped about 8 holes on my belt. No idea how much I lost, but all those belt holes that I don’t use any more certainly means something good. When it’s noted by others, I do feel a little awkward. But it’s OK, it’s only a slight case of the awkwards for me.

Very awkward

Then there’s the negative side to weight loss… illness and calamity. If you haven’t seen the person for a while, or you don’t know them terribly well, you might not know that the change was due to ill-health.

Has the person recently gone through a divorce? Or suffered a death in the family. You don’t want to be bringing up loss of weight when it has been caused by despair, or depression.

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A better idea

Here’s a idea, In future, instead of asking “Have you lost weight? You look really good”, just cut it in half:

You look really good.

It works well in the lost weight situation, and has the added benefit of making someone be happy and fell good about themselves at any time!

How about you? Have you had to field this question… how did it make you feel? Or have you been the questioner in this situation? Let us know your stories in our Comments section.