"I'm blessed with great genes..."

I’ve been hearing this more often lately from people in responce to a complement they’ve been given. It used to be just egotistical celebrities saying it, but now the general public seems to have jumped on the band wagon. The first time I heard it a couple of years ago I didn’t even get it. A friend and I were at the mall and saw an aquantance who had recently had a baby. I commented on how trim she looked. Instead of saying “why thank you,” she say’s 'Its just good genes." She meant the genetic kind of course, but I took it to mean the blue jean type and said something stupid about spanx type jeans.

I’ve heard countless actors, models…say the same thing about themsleves. This just sounds so assy to me. Its like they are trying to not take credit for the attribute, while at the same time bragging about their superior genes. Does this irk anyone else?

Doesn’t bother me.

You could always respond “So far, at least. No telling what fatal syndromes are brewing in there.”

Doesn’t bother me either. It seems less egotistical to me, somehow. It seems a lot more humble than if the trim new mom instead said, “Yes, I’ve done a great job getting back into shape, haven’t I?”

I don’t see any brag in it. To me, it sounds like they’re modestly acknowledging that they don’t deserve credit for the attribute because it came from luck rather than anything they did. I agree that “thank you” is a more appropriate response, but frankly I think that the perception of bragging is your problem, not theirs.

I think in their minds they are expressing modesty; it just comes out wrong because few people can see the logic except them. By attributing things to factors out of their control (genes), they’re not really taking credit for the compliment, you see. Therefore they are being modest.This is just theory, mind you.

As in the case of the recently pregnant woman, maybe she felt the impulse to say “good genes” because a lot of people keep asking her what’s her secret for looking nice post-partum and by attributing her success to genetics, she’s sees it as way of assuring other, less successful women that it’s only due to luck at the genetic lottery–not hard exercise and starvation diets. Problem is, she fails to account for the fact that good genes are reason enough to make someone else feel inadequate, and perhaps moreso.

Or maybe she’s just a shameless braggart.

This is how I see it, as well…how can it be bragging if the person is attributing it to luck?

It’s only the latest fashionable way to “modestly” respond to a compliment. There’s a lesson it, though. For the majority of us, who weren’t born to be hotties, the pills and exercise devices peddled on late night TV will not quickly transform us into those hotties. Their looks are accidents of birth, freaks of nature, just as ours are. No matter how much exercise and better nutrition we do, they will look like them, and we will look us. We can be a firmer, fitter us, but we’ll never have (fill in the blank)'s abs or ass because of the crapshoot of genetics.

I’m glad to be able to get other peoples take on this. I guess its about the same thing as when someone says I have pretty eyes or hair or whatever and I say I got it from my mom, dad, gramma…which doesn’t sound smug at all.

Don’t see a problem with it – I use it myself. And it’s true. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’d be a big fat dynamo if it weren’t for the ol’ DNA. And really, it’s nice to be complimented on an outfit or my hair or

I’ve given that exact same response to people who marveled at my post-partum figure. As far as I’m concerned I’m just being honest. I attribute the fact that my figure sprung back quickly to my mother, who twice had 6.5lb children with a proper amount of weight gain during pregnancy and left the hospital three days later weighing three lbs less than her prepregnancy weight. I didn’t drop pounds *that * quickly, but I was back in my normal jeans in a matter of days. This is not typical for most people.

It’s luck of the genetic draw, just like the tendency to get stretchmarks or not can be attributed to the skin nature gave you and not to any amount of cocobutter rubbed into it.

When complimented on something that is a gift of genetics, I think it’s a fair response.

my hair or whatever. If someone says I have nice eyes (and I don’t, really) I never know what to say. ‘Thanks, I chose them myself’?

Exactly. I *do *have nice eyes, but…so what? “Gee, thanks, I’ve worked really hard at not stabbing them out with a fork?” I mean, what possible kind of credit can I take for the fact that my eyes are incredibly bright blue?

Now, in the not-to-distant future, when someone compliments me on my trim waist, or my gorgeous collarbones, THOSE are things I’m going to take pride in, because I’m working really hard at getting that back. I’m eating better and working out and really doing something, so when I get to the point of hearing those compliments, I’m going to be all glowy and happy and take every bit of credit, thank you! :smiley:

With tinted contact lenses, you can!

I use this response often, because I’m 44 and look like early 30’s (I’ve been told). I’m not particularly good looking, but I have all my hair and a young looking face, and I’m glad I don’t look like (or feel) a grandpa already.

I like to think it’s payback for looking like I was 15 when I was 20 and watching my more mature-looking brethren score all the women. I’m still bitter about that part of my life, even though I ended up just fine.

I don’t. I mean, not really. The OP has a point in that the “good genes” response has self flattering connotations. By refering to your genetics as good, you are complimenting yourself. That’s where the appearance of immodesty comes into play.

A compliment is not begging for an explanation on the part of the complimentee. If someone tells me that I have nice body, I say “thanks, that was nice of you to say”. I don’t feel it necessary to detail my workout regimine or spell out the nucleotide sequence on my chromosomes. That is, unless someone asks me how I keep my figure. Even in that case, though, I think it’s more appropriate to say something like “I have a naturally fast metabolism” rather than “it’s good genes” because the former statement is more value neutral and doesn’t come across as me kissing my own ass.

I’m trying to imagine a circumstance where “I have good genes” would not sound like a slightly asshatish thing to say, and I’m actually drawing a blank.


Re-reading the thread, I realize part of the problem is that the compliment receiver is committing the unforgivable sin – agreeing with the complimenter rather than the usual ‘No, no, my ass is sooo big! You’re the one who looks in shape!’ Ah well. Changing times…

Excluded middle much?

Perhaps in some cases people want to convey that they didn’t get lipo or a tuck or whatever.