I have done many nice things for a relative (e.g. reorganize the outdoor deck space) and upon seeing whatever I try & do nice for her she replies "Good for Me!"

I find this offensive—am I wrong? What is she actually saying when she says "Good for me", so I can explain it to her?

  • Are you asking how 'good for me' is different from 'good for you'? Can you clarify why you think it is offensive? – Mitch Apr 9 '15 at 17:22
  • It sounds like she thinks "Good for me" means "that thing (that you did) was good for me", or perhaps "you are so good TO me". In either case, she's got the idiom wrong. "Good for me" is congratulating oneself! – Brian Hitchcock Apr 10 '15 at 11:55
  • @FumbleFingers. Voting to reopen. This is NOT a duplicate. That other question addresses only "good for YOU", not "good for ME". – Brian Hitchcock Apr 10 '15 at 11:59
  • @Brian: I take it for granted OP's relative is (mis)using that established idiomatic usage. I know I've heard it occasionally - either genuinely facetious, or from not-quite-fluent speakers. Specifically, those of Indian extraction come to mind, but that may just be because most of the non-native speakers around me tend to have come from there. – FumbleFingers Apr 10 '15 at 14:26
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    Without hearing the tone of voice it's hard to say- tone of voice is very important when it comes to deciding whether to take offense at something. I might imagine that she's saying something similar in meaning to, "works for me! -- [that thing you've done is] good for me." – Jim Apr 15 '15 at 4:46

The phrase probably originated as nothing more than a self-referential version of an expression normally directed at someone else, which puts it in the same category as "Shame on me!" (after doing something wrong), "Bless me!" (after sneezing), or "Happy birthday to me!" (at a birthday party). There is an element of childlikeness (or childishness) in the formulation because children sometimes take an expression that is normally outwardly directed, and instead direct it toward themselves. So it's entirely possible that the speaker imagines that saying "Good for me!" is a disarmingly cute way to respond to receiving a favor.

Nevertheless, I think that "Good for me!" does have an element of crowing to it—especially if it occurs in place of, rather than as an adjunct to, an appropriate acknowledgment of your effort, such as "Thank you, Tom." But at least it produces a somewhat lower reading on the gloat-meter than, say, "Yay! Free labor!" or "Hooray for chumps!" Ultimately, the tenor of the expression depends largely on your relationship with the person who uses it.

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