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To think it is rude to keep pointing out how lucky someone is?

(49 Posts)
ShakingSultana Tue 30-Jul-13 21:31:46

I've got a lovely friend (A) who had a really awful childhood but has worked very hard over the last few years and is now in a very comfortable position with her career. Another friend (B) is in the same industry as A but has not been so successful. B is always banging on about how 'lucky' and 'fortunate' A has been.

A is very modest and never stands up for herself over how hard she has worked and usually just goes along with what B says. A maintains that luck has played a big part in helping her escape her background. However, B has been very privileged (albeit not very motivated) and I hate seeing her chipping away at A's confidence by constantly attributing all of her success to luck.

AIBU to think it is rude to tell someone that all of their achievements are due to luck? Clearly luck plays a part in everybody's lives but the continual references seem to belittle personal successes.

SirBoobAlot Tue 30-Jul-13 21:35:36

YANBU. And if A isn't going to stand up for herself in these situations with B, you should do so, gently.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 30-Jul-13 21:41:21

We get this. Dh has a really good job which pays very well. We've had comments about things but what we don't feel the need to tell all and sundry is how bloody hard he's worked to get there. He even went to night school to redo a course. The job didn't fall in his lap and he's still got it because he's really good at it. hmm

pianodoodle Tue 30-Jul-13 21:46:08

Yes to keep going on about it is rude. I have people saying I'm so lucky I can play piano as I now have that to "fall back on" as a p/t job that I can work around childcare. Yes I admit it's certainly handy but I wasn't born being able to play it smile

Earthworms Tue 30-Jul-13 21:53:01

I like and use the phrase,

'the more I practice/ the harder I work the luckier I seem to get, strange isn't it?'

The brighter ones get it

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 30-Jul-13 21:54:02

Counter it by sticking up for her and saying actually, she's worked really hard to get where she is and I am very proud of her.

petuniapickletits Tue 30-Jul-13 21:57:08

do not even get me started!

ShakingSultana Tue 30-Jul-13 22:21:28

Thank you for the responses. I'm generally fairly quiet in social situations but I'll make sure that I stand up for her if/when it happens again.

Arisbottle Tue 30-Jul-13 22:24:40

DH and I often get told we are lucky, I agree we are very lucky to have a great marriage, children we adore and financial security.

Why is lucky an insult?

Jan49 Tue 30-Jul-13 22:47:41

Could you turn it round and tell B how lucky she is? You say she has come from a privileged background so whenever she comments about A's "luck" you could mention something about B's "luck".

Sophita Tue 30-Jul-13 22:53:32

I think it's fine and healthy for someone to acknowledge their own good fortune / count their blessings etc, but it does become really galling when other people try to 'impose' luck upon you.

When I was at university, I successfully applied for a very competitive bursary. I know that luck played a part, but so did hours and hours of bloody hard graft - so it would have been really nice if people had said 'well done' instead of 'aren't you a lucky sod'!

Earthworms's line is perfect - wish I'd had that to hand all those years ago!

Arisbottle Tue 30-Jul-13 23:00:01

When people tell me I am lucky I take it as a compliment, only on MN is it an insult

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 30-Jul-13 23:31:16

Obviously it's insulting to be told you're lucky to have something if you've worked very hard to get it.

You're lucky to win the lottery. You're not lucky to have forged a great career after years of hard work.

dandydorset Tue 30-Jul-13 23:37:05


on some threads you here this rolled out

some people do put in a lot of time ,effort,sacraffice with achievements in their lives

granted some have an ellement of luck

but if somebody has worked hard in whatever way they should not be made to feel they have not earned it

babiesinslingseathair Tue 30-Jul-13 23:46:00

arisbottle to be told you are lucky negates hard work. It is insulting. We bought a house aged 23 (10 whole years ago) as a result we are now well established on the housing ladder. We hav some friends who refer endlessly to our luck. But they don't see that we both worked hard & saved hard. I had two jobs, Dh launched straight in to his career specific MSc one year after his BA, we had no holidays, car, meals out except birthdays etc while we saved for a deposit. They on the other hand did pretty much the exact opposite.

We weren't lucky, we were conscientious & made sacrifices. I get the rage when they trot out the luck line.

Same with how I'm lucky I can speak fluent French & lucky to be able to afford a career break to be at home with the dc. Nothing to do with planning & sacrifice. We ARE lucky that things haven't gone wrong, if Dh lost his job this would all change. But that isn't what these people mean.

babiesinslingseathair Tue 30-Jul-13 23:46:21

So op yanbu

Redbindy Tue 30-Jul-13 23:55:09


You were lucky to be born with a work ethic.

MCos Tue 30-Jul-13 23:55:46

'the more I practice/ the harder I work the luckier I seem to get, strange isn't it?'
The brighter ones get it


mirry2 Wed 31-Jul-13 00:02:50

People make their luck

deleted203 Wed 31-Jul-13 00:04:43

babies I would agree wholeheartedly with your fabulous post!

I get a bit stabby when people tell me I am 'lucky' about things I worked damn hard for. And it makes me feel a bit like when I was a kid listening to my gran telling me 'there are starving children in the world who would be grateful for pigs fry and cabbage for their tea'...

I'm lucky to have a close-knit and loving family. But DH and I both came from fairly poor backgrounds - we were certainly expected to stand on our own two feet from a pretty early age.

We basically worked hard for all of our 'material' possessions, skills and successes.

lackingimagination Wed 31-Jul-13 00:15:12

I think sometimes 'you're so lucky' can be meant as a compliment - as in 'oh my gosh your new house is so lovely you're so lucky'. However it is regularly used as a not so sly insult which more times than not implies jealousy on the user's part. I think it's often used in situations where people are feeling jealous and don't want to show it but are struggling to come up with something nice to say - they just don't realise how transparent it is.
I think in this situation is is very rude and spiteful. YANBU.

AmberLeaf Wed 31-Jul-13 00:15:22

Lots of people work very hard and never see the same level of 'success', so of course luck/right place- right time/whatever you put it down to, does play a part.

People get all insulted at the suggestion of luck playing a part because often they want to put their success down to sheer brilliance, which it often is not!

AmberLeaf Wed 31-Jul-13 00:19:03

I think some people should acknowledge that they are very fortunate to have had the opportunities they have had.

karinmaria Wed 31-Jul-13 00:26:34

YANBU. I find being called 'lucky' quite frustrating. Not so much from strangers, as I can understand their viewpoint: I have a great DH, lovely baby, have good stable jobs and we own flat we live in.

It pisses me off being called 'lucky' by people who know me and my family well. My mum died when I was 7 months pregnant and never got to meet her first grandchild. My FIL is extremely ill and needs a lot of care. My MIL is very stressed and worried because of FIL.

Friend B should know better. She knows about friend A's hard work and effort to escape her background.

lackingimagination Wed 31-Jul-13 00:29:56

Agree Amberleaf, however I don't think it is ever someone else's place to suggest this as it carries a certain implication, especially when someone really has worked bloody hard to gain their success.

It is equally irritating though when someone refuses to acknowledge the part of fortune/luck when discussing their own success and seems to forget about all the people who work their arses off and don't get the breaks they deserve.

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