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Old 12-03-2013, 03:24 PM
 
12,120 posts, read 28,462,533 times
Reputation: 3780

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someone at my job (I am a guy this is a male co worker) referred to me as an unsung hero. is this an insult or a complement?

i asked my immediate supervisor why this was said and he told me "thats because you don't call attention to yourself". i thought that was reasonable

another time he called me a "tough SOB I don't care what anyone says". he said this because i have suffered the loss of both my parents, had cancer surgery last year and this year and my cancer has not spread tho there was a fear that it had spread. also i will be receiving treatment next month and will be facing side effects

its the "I don't care what anyone says" part that gets me a little. in other words, who said I "wasnt" tough? get what I mean?

this co worker does like me personally probably would like to get to know me more but i am very avoidant and negative when it comes to forming social and work relationships. i am hung up on my image and weaknesses and cannot stop it. tho i am a very nice person and everyone likes me, i also hate groups of people and too much laughter gets on my nerves. im always comparing myself to others who make more $$

im the classic example of a moody loner
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,009,754 times
Reputation: 29445
I've never seen or heard the phrase "unsung hero" used as an insult.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:29 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 37,490,715 times
Reputation: 39034
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
I've never seen or heard the phrase "unsung hero" used as an insult.
Seriously!

Odd the OP would think so....
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
42,713 posts, read 41,426,610 times
Reputation: 82113
I doubt the entire workforce has been discussing whether you are tough.

I am betting he just added that on 1) to couch his comments and 2) because HE may not initially have thought you were very tough, but after getting to know a little bit about you he now knows otherwise.

I think it was a one-off. Let it go, and keep moving forward. His comments don't affect your treatment, and you have to keep your attitude focused on getting better, not distracted by false drama.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Vermont
10,282 posts, read 11,174,268 times
Reputation: 14119
I think these are meant as positive comments.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:34 PM
 
68 posts, read 108,483 times
Reputation: 60
It depends on the tone. If someone was saying it in a mocking tone they may mean it in a way that you are self sacrificing for ulterior motives.

Unsung hero generally just means someone who works hard and doesn't call attention to themselves.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Clayton, NC
257 posts, read 613,674 times
Reputation: 223
Those are both compliments, and frankly you'd need something of a persecution complex to think otherwise.

As far as the "I don't care what anybody says" part, it can either mean he has heard others speak in opposition to his view of you, or it could be intended to show he is very resolute in his complimentary view of you and won't be swayed by anybody else's opinion to the contrary. The only way you'll find out is by directly asking him.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:42 PM
 
12,120 posts, read 28,462,533 times
Reputation: 3780
my mom had a persecution complex and so did my dad but id like to believe that he means well cos his tone was always good with me. and most people here say its a compliment so i will try to look on the positive side
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:45 PM
 
1,176 posts, read 2,032,323 times
Reputation: 1400
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlrl View Post
someone at my job (I am a guy this is a male co worker) referred to me as an unsung hero. is this an insult or a complement?

i asked my immediate supervisor why this was said and he told me "thats because you don't call attention to yourself". i thought that was reasonable

another time he called me a "tough SOB I don't care what anyone says". he said this because i have suffered the loss of both my parents, had cancer surgery last year and this year and my cancer has not spread tho there was a fear that it had spread. also i will be receiving treatment next month and will be facing side effects

its the "I don't care what anyone says" part that gets me a little. in other words, who said I "wasnt" tough? get what I mean?

this co worker does like me personally probably would like to get to know me more but i am very avoidant and negative when it comes to forming social and work relationships. i am hung up on my image and weaknesses and cannot stop it. tho i am a very nice person and everyone likes me, i also hate groups of people and too much laughter gets on my nerves. im always comparing myself to others who make more $$

im the classic example of a moody loner
Where are you from and what state do you now work in?

It sounds like the guy is actually trying to initiate a process that is sometimes referred to as "male bonding". An attempt at male bonding between, for example, two co-workers usually starts with a vague acknowledgement of one or the other potentially bonding male's skills and/or desirable or enviable traits. It's very important that said acknowledgement be vague and ambiguous; sometimes in the form of a backhanded compliment or accompanied by a mild yet overt insult. Without the "backhandedness" or mildly insulting tone, this process could be perceived by one or both parties as too similar to homosexual male bonding, which is clearly undesirable for heterosexual males and will likely affect the opposite of male bonding. If the early stages of the process are successful, this may lead to mutual consumption of alcoholic beverages and "manly discussion" about things like football, women and hunting/fishing. Male bonding is frequently characterized as an enjoyable phenomenon among heterosexual human males in spite of the ribbing, teasing and profanity that is usually involved.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:47 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,836 posts, read 41,911,495 times
Reputation: 43209
Some of the responses read like LCDR Data from Star Trek is writing them.
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