Honesty Or Only Complimentary

SnS wrote a very interesting point in yesterday’s post in which she says she never comments on anyone’s appearances unless asked.

Which I think is really a super cool thing to do.

Today, I am wearing a not very flattering to my paunch shirt. I have a girl in office come to me and say discreetly, Dont wear this shirt again.

Why I ask her

Because it makes you look pregnant!

I was taken aback for a second. Admitted this lady is a good friend, we often order in food together etc…but was her comment really needed. When I wear clothes, I wear them because I like them. Or do we wear them because others should like it?

I definitely believe one should wear as per the occasion, you know, spaghetti tops in a Tambram wedding is not a great idea and stuff like that. But as long as one is appropriately dressed, does anyone really have a right to comment on anyone’s dressing.

On a slightly different note, I wore a long Indian print skirt and a black top coupled with ethnic oxidised jewellery on Friday, where they were celebrating Dusshera at work. A lot of women came and asked me why I wasnt traditionally dressed. To be honest, my skirt looked like a ghaghara and when I wore it in the morning, I thought I was dressed traditional. But no, as per the office folks, only saree constitutes traditional Indian wear! So basically I wasnt dressed to the occasion and offended the feeling of others. But in my mind, when I left work, I thought I was definitely dressed for the occasion. So basically its a matter of perspective I guess.

Anyways, personally I do pass compliments. A lot of them infact. Wearing a nice saree, or wow, that colour looks great on you. But I have NEVER told anyone ever that dont wear this dress, it makes you look pregnant, or stop wear jeans, your bum looks horrendous.

On the other hand, one may argue, if one is close enough, why not tell the truth? You know, this is not looking good, you shouldnt wear it next time, or something in those lines…

I dont know. to be really honest, I did feel a bit sad when my ‘friend’ told me that I was looking pregnant, but when I sat down to write this post, it doesnt bother me anymore. Theek hai, pregnant toh pregnant yaar, I have a paunch cant hide it eh?

What about you? Do you pass truthful comments or just give positive compliments? and if your friend gives you a ‘truthful’ comment, will that affect you?


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49 Responses to Honesty Or Only Complimentary

  1. Shweta says:

    I have developed a paunch and I cant hide it either 😳

    But NO, personally I will never criticize anyone… I know, i am really ‘coward’ to do do….because I understand that I will not really feel great if someone does that to me!!! So i use the ‘mouth shut’ policy!!! πŸ˜›

  2. Sumana says:

    I really hate such rude comments. Hubby sometimes chides me about my dressing sense. We fight certain mornings more on the grounds of “I like it and I wear it.” Loved what you wrote in the last line:
    Theek hai, pregnant toh pregnant yaar, I have a paunch cant hide it eh?
    One can dress to be confident and comfortable and nothing more then that.

  3. Ramya says:

    K.. thats a sensitive topic. I too generally dont comment on what looks so so or bad on someone. But when that same friend feels embarassed by somebody’s other comments and comes to complaint to me in a confused way, then I point it out. Like, few days before, one of my colleagues came to me n said everybody is enquiring if she is pregnant but are not ready to believe when she says she wasnt. The point was, she had put on weight in the wrong places n ppl started suspecting her to be pregnant but hiding. So I told her to shut those ppl by saying its none of their business. On teh other side, I also pointed to her the reason why they might have thought that way. Is this wrong? I dont have a clue. But my colleague totally took it in the right way and said she will work towards it.

  4. You made a post out of one line of my comment?? **falls at your feet wonly**

    But, it makes me think. If I ask for my friend’s opinion about a particular thing (appearance of anything for that matter) and he/she gives me a ‘truthful’ comment, then, I’ll take it. Otherwise no! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    And gah to that ‘friend’ of yours!

  5. The Bride says:

    I have become intolerant of people who make negative comments about someone’s appearance, my own included, whether they are close friends or my mother or my spouse. I don’t think anyone is obliged to look a certain way so people should just focus on themselves when it comes to ‘beauty’. These comments serve no constructive purpose and are unnecessary.

    The idea of what is appropriate dressing is so subjective, and frankly boring because everyone conforms more or less like automatons, that I think it should be banished altogether in every situation. I have no problem being dressed in formal wear at work and sitting next to someone in jeans. Unless people are participating in some high-fashion activity, which they themselves want to participate in, there is no need to critique anyone’s clothing.

    Positive comments are welcome, because positive comments always are.

    • R's Mom says:

      The idea of what is appropriate dressing is so subjective, and frankly boring because everyone conforms more or less like automatons, that I think it should be banished altogether in every situation. – You said it so correctly..something I Tried saying in an entire post, and you nailed it exactly in one line πŸ™‚

  6. I don’t comment on someone’s appearance unless I am asked to, too. That said, I would tell a close friend whether a particular dress is looking good on her or not, in a way that is not too controversial or rude. I can’t be controversial or rude even if I wanted to.

    It is quite understandable that you felt a tad upset when your colleague made that comment about your dress. I would have felt the same too, in that situation. Maybe she thought she is a close friend and can tell you if you are looking less than flattering in a particular dress?

    • R's Mom says:

      Honestly, I dont think I was too upset..most people in this office anyways think my dressing sense is really weird :):) So I am used to the commenting part of it πŸ™‚ Its just the way she said it made me wonder if we should really be commenting on other people’s clothes πŸ™‚

      If she had put it differently, may be the post wouldnt have come out eh?

  7. I think that telling people what doesn’t suit them, should only be done when you are asked to. But, when not asked, people tend to talk behind your back mostly making snide comments. But, it is totally a matter of choice. You should wear what makes you feel comfortable. Who cares what the world thinks anyways. πŸ™‚

  8. Smitha says:

    I would much rather compliment, rather than pass a ‘truthful’ comment. If I don’t like something, I would rather keep quiet. It might be something the other person really likes, or a gift from someone dear. Who are we to judge. If I like something, I do compliment, and why not?

  9. Vinitha says:

    I agree with not commenting about dressing. I do the usual social circle “you look great” to everyone I meet at a party. But I usually keep opinions of how co-workers and friends dress to myself unless asked

  10. momofrs says:

    Lol πŸ˜€ I’ve been called pregnant so many times that I now take it as a compliment πŸ˜€ . I think that if your friend didn’t like your appearance she could have said so in a better way. Being blunt is being rude. And rudeness, however truthful, is difficult to accept.
    And btw, even I consider printed, billow-y skirts as ghaghra so I think you were appropriately dressed for the occasion.
    Typing this from my phone, please ignore spellings πŸ˜€

  11. sjscribbles says:

    However close the friend, I would prefer to shut my mouth instead of giving a negative comment – R’s mom, unless and otherwise she herself asks for my opinion about her dressing style.
    Compliments keep flowing out from my mouth most often !

    Sometimes it is difficult to wear something just because we like it – in our society, for ex – after hearing this from your friend do you think you will have the heart to wear that top again to office…? Sometime people’s opinions just get impressed on our minds subconsciously – wether we like it or no 😦

    • R's Mom says:

      Compliments keep flowing out from my mouth most often ! – How lovely is that πŸ™‚

      Errr…of course I will wear it again, its too comfortable not to wear it rey πŸ™‚

  12. Smita says:

    Hmmmm If you ask me, If I am close to a person I would give an honest opinion because if I am in her position I would expect the same. But over time I have realised few things

    – Before giving Honest opinion see whom u r giving it. I mean if the person has the capacity to accept honest opinion. I have lost a dear friend to my honesty.
    – Be truthful but there are ways of being truthful….bole toh tact!

    As far as I am concerned mujhe bindaas sach bolo, I won’t feel bad but I don’t gurantee that I will listen to what u say because mujhe karni mann ki hai πŸ˜€ but if you come and tell me “Smita this kurti is too short it makes u look fat” I might listen to you πŸ˜€

  13. Sri says:

    Hi R’s Mom,

    I guess i am like you-i always compliment people if their clothes look good but have never criticized anyone for their appearance..

    I know some women at office who are very close and will practically insult the other in public!

    I will definitely be affected if someone passes a negative comment even if truthful!

    I actually unfriended a colleague on FB recently as she had commented negatively on one of my photos..i quickly deleted that comment and unfriended her..i felt she should have spoken to me directly instead of commenting on a public forum!

    • R's Mom says:

      Jeez! no one has insulted me as well..phew!

      This FB na *shakes head in despair* I think we really need to do something about it..how can someone write publicly about someone’s appearance!

  14. DI says:

    RM, I can NEVER understand how people can say anything derogtaory unless asked. However close. Even my mom, or my sister. It is nobody’s business. But they do. And I hate it.

    But to an extent, I have started giving it back. Like a really close friend commented about a pair of trousers which are THE most comfortable ones I have, saying they were ‘disgustingly loose!’. I retorted saying that atleast they did niot enhance the bulges, because she was known to wear fitted clothes which honestly I did not think were flattering but I keep my mouth shut.

    That being said, I ONLY say something when I have something good to say. Personally, I even think ‘Oh you look so tired’ or ‘dull’ to be derogtaory. I doubt someone who is already not slept well wants to hear that it shows on their face. Pah.

    Bottom line – looks, clothing, nobody’s business. In your case, I would have said, “Really? But today only some 3 people told me I look nice! I guess your idea of good looks is weird.”


    • R's Mom says:

      I wish I was as cool as you in answering back like that DI…I end up sounding really rude ot be honest!

      I agree on oh you look tried and dull being derogatory…I feel its a negative thing!

      LOL on the last line πŸ™‚

  15. once a friend posted the photo of a friend of hers getting engaged.The bride to be was on a healthier side and indeed looked pretty and glowing and one of my friend’s friend(ah..confusing right..i just wanted to convey that this friend was not in my friend list nor in the bride to be’s friend list…clear…?:)) commented -‘Your friend looks pregnant on her engagement day too…” followed by an array of annoying smileys.The girl in question and her fiancee were tagged in the photo and the comment must have been read by all their friends….how rude right?

  16. Ramya says:

    RM..I can go on and on about this ” judging/passing unsolicited comments by random people” ..The most recent comment I encountered was “You look like a vegetarian only”, this from a senior person in the organization..Then prior to this, one newbeie to the team says ” Your apperances give you the look of a “pazham” “. During these situations, I just dont know how to react , instead keep mum and may be pass on a fake smile. For good compliments, I feel one has to pass on , even if you know them by a hi-bye. But, in case of “this -is-not-nice-on-you” type of compliments, I think it depends., Depends on how close you are to the other person and how the other person will take the suggestion..I somehow feel, even if I feel that the-salwar-she-wears-doesnt-suit-her, probably, its just my perspective. M.I.N.E alone. What if she is comfortable in it, likes it,..Its just my eyes and the perspective in my mind…
    I’m with you on the ethnic dress code part..A friend wore a skirt on the ethnic day and all of her team members bombarded with questions on why she is not dressed appropriate and that skirt doesnt fall under the category…She went about telling everyone that she thought skirt is a also an ethnic wear..

    • R's Mom says:

      you look vegetarian..what sort of a weird comment is that!! I mean thats absurd no?

      I somehow feel, even if I feel that the-salwar-she-wears-doesnt-suit-her, probably, its just my perspective. M.I.N.E alone. What if she is comfortable in it, likes it,..Its just my eyes and the perspective in my mind… – THATS SO RIGHT!

  17. freakyveggie says:

    I definitely don’t pass such rude comments and expect the same attitude towards me. I try to ignore if they lack the basics of being polite…

  18. Comfy says:

    Personally I am very bad at giving out compliments on anyone’s looks and am equally bad when I receive them. ‘Hey that is a nice dress’, ‘Love that colour’ are the ones I do well with. But ‘You look good’, I am really bad with, giving and receiving.
    About what your friend said, I don’t know. For me it would probably depend on the situation and the mood I am in. Mostly, I think, I would shrug and walk away and then do as I please. πŸ˜€

    • R's Mom says:

      Thats giving a compliment only na…love the colour and nice dress eh?

      I guess thats what I did when she told me that, but its just that it triggered this post as well

  19. Nidaa says:

    Well… Mostly I believe that if one doesnt have anything nice to say he/she should keep quiet. But sometimes when we help friends get ready for a date/party or even wedding, they may need our honest opinion because its better that we say it rather than some random person which would spoil the entire occasion for the girl whos already feeling conscious. After all, a little bit of tact from our side wont hurt us, right? πŸ˜€
    But even then there is no need to pass hurtful remarks like you friend did. Unfortunately I nkow plenty of people like that including some of my aunts. And honestly, its not pleasant experience to hear comments like ‘your hair looks worse than that of a street kid’; ‘Eww who told you to wear that. Its disgusting’ etc etc.
    May be your friend didnt meant to but it came across like that- she could have still said it positively.

  20. preethi says:

    Here is a quote from Mrs.Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility :
    “If you cannot think of anything appropriate to say, you will please restrict your remarks to the weather” Work it in into your conversation somehow πŸ™‚ But I believe thats a good policy to have.

  21. Amit says:

    I keep my mouth shut unless the person is a very close friend. πŸ™‚

  22. pixie says:

    I usually compliment beautiful clothes.. and your skirt sounds perfect!
    I always wore an embroidered Kurta with my pants/jeans on Ethnic day!! After a while, people stopped asking me why I am not wearing a saree!! πŸ˜‰

    I don’t make suggest anything or say anything negative. Esp about weight, colour..
    Its the said person’s wish.. not mine! If I’m asked for suggestions or if someone asks me to shop with them – then I try to remain honest (again, that depends on the person I’m with)

  23. ashreyamom says:

    sometimes ppl dont mind their business na.. once a guy in office came to me and told, dont wear that kurta again, ur cleavage is seen.. again its my wish, what if i like showing of little skin.. if it troubles him, let him close his eyes.. and certainly it was not that too much revealing..i just walked away from that place..
    sometimes i feel like really giving back, but dont know why i stop myself.. few come n tell me, dont wear saree, u look too thin in it, or why did u cut ur hear so short etc etc..

  24. Thanks for sharing valuable post.

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