Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Stop Complimenting Me on How I Look

P.S. Here's another observation: extreme discomfort with compliments over time in people with eating disorders. Eventually, it just doesn't feel good to get those addictive compliments any more. Maybe this is a sign of improvement?

I think a recognition that this whole game is dangerous and shallow might precede this phenomenon. At the beginning of a drug addiction, people might think that it is all fun and games. Eventually, they can reach a point of developing an aversion, after all of the consequences come to fruition. I think it is the same for eating disorders.

The drug is achieving incremental goals of deprivation and social approval. In cases I've seen, it appears that the aversion to social approval piece comes first, followed by a disregard for monitoring food intake - but only in people who have truly recovered.


Liz said...

As someone who has recovered from anorexia, I strongly disagree with your assumption that eating disorders are about looking good and scoring compliments/social approval. Quite the opposite is very often true. Personally, I never believed that losing weight would make me look good, and I never expected or wanted to be complimented for it. Rather, I knew I looked horrendous, and I wanted to look horrendous on the outside to reflect the way I felt.

Tara Deliberto said...

Hi Liz,

Thanks for reading & for leaving a comment. I actually wholeheartedly agree with the idea that eating disorders are about looking good/ scoring compliments. Eating disorders will serve different function for different people. While some may restrict food in an effort to look more attractive, others may want to look less attractive. I actually wrote a post about this same concept a while back. Let me see if I can dig it up...

Tara Deliberto said...

Here we go!


Let me know what you think.