When you say things like: “Can you believe I’m sixty years old?” or “You look great for your age ” you are saying that your expectation of sixty is that sixty normally looks decrepit and that all others who are sixty look worse than you. In terms of “You look great for your age,” again, as compared to who? Think about it. What you’re really saying is: “You don’t look as good as you used to, but everybody else your age looks worse.” If you want to give someone a compliment, just say: “You look great.” Or “Your skin is glowing.” Or, even: “Sixty is such a beautiful age.”
Carol Orsborn, Ph.D. is Founder of FierceWithAge, the Digest of Boomer Wisdom, Inspiration and Spirituality. Dr. Orsborn, who earned her doctorate in religion from Vanderbilt University, is the best-selling author of 21 books including her newest book: Fierce with Age: Chasing God and Squirrels in Brooklyn. (Spring 2013) Dr. Orsborn is a sought after speaker/retreat leader and spiritual director.
Beware of ageism disguised as humility»