Thursday, June 21, 2012

June challenge 20: compliment

More Big Bang Theory (I was so chuffed to get comments on my last post from other June challenge bloggers who also love BBT!):

Penny: Your hair looks very nice.
Amy: Are you a homosexual?
Penny: No. No. I was just giving you a compliment.
Amy: Oh. I would have been more flattered if you were a homosexual.

Compliments are tricky because the sentiment of giving one does not guarantee the sentiment in which it will be received. The most frequent misinterpreted compliment in EDs - and most particularly in recovery - is when someone says 'You look well.' This seems to translate directly into 'You look fat' in the head of someone with an ED, especially if we know that we've been working hard on recovery and have put on weight. It was something discussed often in my ED unit, especially in Monday morning support group when everyone was talking through their weekend leave. Nurses would point out that, to friends and family, looking 'well' could mean anything: being less pale, having better hair condition and brighter skin, not about to die, etc., etc. .... and, yes, looking as though one has put on weight. But, if you've become ill enough with anorexia to be hospitalised, you probably need to put on weight and even though it feels impossibly difficult, as recovery happens, this is something that people will say. Even if every single time it happens we have to go through all the reasons why it's ok to hear this, we must do it. Otherwise 'you're looking well' can be fuel to the fire of the illness.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I love that episode! Amy cracks me up, especially considering how opposite the character is from the last show I watched her in - Blossom - way back when :)