Etiquette Questions, Answered: Tricky Conversations
What Can I Say to People Curious About My Weight Loss?
Q. I used to be fat. What should I say when someone expresses astonishment at how skinny I am now and begs to know my secret?
(This makes me uncomfortable.)
Raleigh, North Carolina
A. Keep your reply light. If you don’t feel like getting into the details of how you shed the pounds, simply take the question as a compliment and say, “Gee, thanks. I feel great!” If this Pushy Penelope (or Jealous Jane, as the case may be) continues to hound you for specifics, give a vague answer and refocus the conversation on her, saying something like “I don’t know—I just started eating healthier. So I’ve heard you moved.” It’s amazing how much people love to talk about themselves. With any luck, the new topic will take hold and you’ll be home free.
But I will also venture to say that it sounds as if you’re still adjusting to your new, slim self and therefore have trouble fielding people’s comments without feeling self-conscious or under attack. The people who are speaking up probably want to offer you praise while learning from your success. If you can view their interest in positive terms, rather than seeing it as intrusive, your natural response will be less defensive and more gracious. You lost all this weight and you look fabulous, so go ahead and own it, baby!
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