Is "You look tired" offensive?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by yaxomoxay, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #1
    Yesterday I was talking with a co-worker from another department. I see her everyday, and we talk everyday. At a certain point I said: "You look tired today."
    As soon as I said it, another woman nearby jumped in and told me that "it's offensive, and quite rude to tell a woman that she look tired. Tell it to other men, but not to women."

    So, is it rude to tell a woman that she looks tired? (When, indeed, she does).
     
  2. DrewDaHilp1 macrumors 6502a

    DrewDaHilp1

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    #2
    At the workplace I've learned that everything can be taken offensively. So unless you're giving praise(even then it's risky) it's not worth talking about anything other than work related things.
     
  3. Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a

    Snoopy4

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    #3
    No, but the buttinski was offensive. She should keep out of other people's conversations. Especially when it's someone you talk to and know. For all the buttinski knows, you could be dating. She'd probably be offended by that too.
     
  4. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I wouldn't call it offensive, but I've learned over the years that it's a risky statement and best not said. It can be interpreted as, "you look like ****," and if the person isn't tired, then ... well ... you just told them they look like **** in their normal state. I think it's similar to asking a woman if she is pregnant. You run the risk of finding out she's just fat.

    So I wouldn't say it.
     
  5. yaxomoxay thread starter macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #5
    Interesting, very interesting.
    But then I ask, why people always think that there is some hidden, offensive meaning? She looked tired, I see her everyday, and she did indeed look tired. She might've felt amazing, but mine was a true statement, nothing else implied other than she probably had to work very hard yesterday (it was the end of the workday). Are we really focusing only on the bad side of the coin only?
     
  6. WarHeadz macrumors 6502a

    WarHeadz

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    #6
    Yesterday I told my coworker he gained weight. I probably wouldn't say that to a woman. I work with a bunch of millennial males because I'm in tech, not used to being sensitive with them in the workplace. We're a raunchy bunch.
     
  7. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #7
    I can't blankety say yes or no, unless you are trying to fabricate a case why you would be a better President. Then it's definitely yes. :)
    For personal relationships, my impression is it might depend on how close you are to someone, or the tone of voice used, as in showing concern, or being callus. As evidenced by the woman who called you rude, it obviously bothered her. I would not call it's a sexist comment, unless you are a sexist who likes making women feel bad about their appearance, but bottom line, take care in it's use. I imagine from now on, you'll think about it before saying it. :D
     
  8. DrewDaHilp1 macrumors 6502a

    DrewDaHilp1

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    #8
    Some people are constantly on the look out to be offended. She could have had a bad evening the day before, could have been going through something personal or something as simple as waking up late. Third person complaints are fascinating in the fact that person A said something that to person B and person B was totally cool with it, but person C somehow took offense on person B's behalf.
     
  9. yaxomoxay thread starter macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #9
    Ahahhahaha. I loved this ;)

    We usually joke around, and we make light fun of each other. It's that work relationship where you poke some fun at the other person for two minutes, and that's it. So it's not that we have always been formal, actually quite the opposite.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 19, 2016 ---
    But then can I get offended by the accusation by the third person that I implied something that was absolutely not implied?

    (not that I get offended easily)
     
  10. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #10
    So were you joking around, making fun of her in this case or showing concern? From your description, I assume the latter. And did she take offense? If not, feel free (at your own risk, lol) to tell the third party, she looks like a wreck and to shove off. :D ;)
     
  11. VulchR macrumors 68020

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    #11
    I don't see how anybody could feel that saying somebody likes tired is offensive or sexist, particularly if it is an expression of concern rather than judgement.
     
  12. DrewDaHilp1 macrumors 6502a

    DrewDaHilp1

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    #12
    No.
     
  13. twietee macrumors 603

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    #13
    I think your OP needs a bit more detail, do you know the other woman, the one who actually made the comment, as well? Because if you do (and you're on friendly terms ;)) I might as well ask: why does everybody take statements so utterly serious (meaning you, might have been meant tongue in cheek) and gets lightly offended by them?

    Not always obviously, but because that's what sometimes is happening (backhanded compliments, snakrks and the likes) and some people are just more insecure, more sensitive, have a different humour or just take it the wrong way - which isn't your fault but neither it's theirs (unless of course we're speaking super nitpicky here). So to avoid misunderstandings like that one should take into consideration that others might not want to speak about their health, realtionships, appearance and what not. You know, stuff that is considered private and has nothing to do with your professional work-relation.
    At work I mostly avoid such things altogether when not talking to people I know extremely well (=friends). It does make work relations (e.g. professional relations) less personal at times but for me that's not inherently a bad thing. If they feel like it they can always start talking about such issues (being tired etc pp) themselves and then there is no stopping me.. ;)

    No, she didn't take it the wrong way - the other woman did. So such a general statement is equally false. It's communication we're talking about - one big grey area full of misunderstandings and false interpretations.
     
  14. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Just to expand on this a bit -- Those individual third person complaints (whether immediately verbalized or not) can potentially be considered cumulatively with other individual (or group) complaints for future disciplinary purposes. This is also true regarding potential legal action against the business owner.

    Sticking to only essential work conversation is the wisest course of action.
     
  15. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #15
    It may be wise, but it's not human, which is to be social especially with the opposite sex. The work environment is where many of us develop personal relationships, despite the risks. :)
     
  16. Scepticalscribe Contributor

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    #16
    Interesting thread, @yaxomoxay, and thanks for starting it.

    Personally, I wouldn't tell anyone that they looked tired unless they were (close) family, or a close personal friend.

    There are a few separate and distinct issues, here, and some overlap. One is that she is female, another is that you are not, and the third is the setting, which is professional.

    Women are so often judged - almost invariably negatively - on their appearance, that they can become sensitive to personal remarks, - to the extent of loathing any personal remarks - and this includes even remarks which are well intentioned ones.

    For that reason, I, as a woman, will almost never make a personal remark to another woman - especially in a work setting - unless it is of the completely innocuous variety of 'I like that jacket' (and only then, if I like the jacket in question).

    I might make a remark to a man that his suit/tie/outfit looks good.

    But never would I tell anyone - unless I was exceptionally close to them, and liked them a lot as colleagues - that they "looked tired".

    Men making a remark about personal appearance to a woman will almost always come across (to the woman) as judgmental - even when they don't intend to be, because so much male commentary on women is so judgmental, even if and when it is subconscious. This is because many women have internalised that they are being judged on their appearance and assume that when they are told they look tired that it is a criticism, not an observation.

    There is a difference between telling someone that "you look tired" and a concerned question about someone on the lines of 'are you okay, because you look a bit tired'.


    Yes, you can do that with guys - especially guys who are your own age and at a level that you are at. However, it is not something you can do quite as easily with subordinates, or - for that matter - with superiors.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 19, 2016 ---
    You can be social without being personal, and I think this distinction may be an important one.
     
  17. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I hear what you're saying. But when the potential cost to that sociability is the loss of career advancement, job loss, or business loss etc.., the boring, wise choice seems best.
     
  18. appleisking macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    It's ridiculous I say that all the time to my female friends and they're just like yup I haven't slept.
     
  19. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #19
    It's not offensive, but there's a huge risk when you say it. I find people say that to me if I don't have an enormous smile on my face and if they caught me standing still instead of in the middle of 47 things. So I'll answer "yea, 9 days with no sleep. What's your excuse?" :)
     
  20. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #20
    I agree, but was observing that social is definitely a trait of humans, which frequently leads to personal relationships, whether those are friendships or romances, in my effort to address the noble, but completely unrealistic standard of only participating in essential work related conversation. :) I spent 30 years having what would be described as sharing personal details with strangers (men and women) in the intimate setting of a flight deck with many hours on our hands to pass the time. :D
     
  21. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #21
    As a rule I don't say anything to anyone unless its positive. (except in the prsi)
     
  22. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #22
    Who chooses to be bored? But also I'm not suggesting you have your nose in everyone's business. :D I also take your point, there are risks involved, and I'm not speaking of chasing romance, but just normal human interaction. Observation and judgemnt is essential, so the rake handle does not rap you in the face.
     
  23. yaxomoxay, Oct 19, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016

    yaxomoxay thread starter macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #23
    I was somewhat serious. She looked tired, it was about 4:30P after a long day of work. She didn't take any offense.

    You're assertiveness is offensive ;)

    The one that made the comment makes fun of my foreign accent. Not a problem for me/



    Your comments are always appreciated, and this is a good feedback. I agree that certainly communication is a potential problem.
    However, I feel that if we go towards this road we're going to soon find ourselves in a situation which is worse than before. Men will stop talking to women on the job, and women will stop talking to men on the job. People will not be invited at meetings and, worse, office politics will make the Le Duc Tho-Kissinger Paris summit like childish stuff.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 19, 2016 ---
    Just to clarify, there is no risk involved in this case. I can raise enough issues that she will have to find a new job. Not that I am that kind of guy.
     
  24. twietee macrumors 603

    twietee

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    #24
    As long as we're living in a generally such competative social context I don't think this will change much. Also, it's hard to say if this really is just nowadays the case or whether people are just confident enough to tell you nowadays while would have said nothing before and only kept it to themselves - which I think we can agree on isn't better as well.

    I do think though that you're general statements are over the top to serve your thread and point more than depicting reality - because I would also say that with the current intertwining of personal and work life one never could talk/joke (be careful though ;)) so openly with ones superior/boss as nowadays - also with your co-workers in general.
     
  25. yaxomoxay thread starter macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #25
    To be honest with you, I really don't have a point to make; I have no idea where we're actually headed. Your point makes sense, but is it correct? I have no idea, hence my original question.
     

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