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Old 03-15-2010, 10:44 AM   #16
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I'm afraid comparing yourself to others, whether it's looks, money, car, hubby, job, smarts, etc., is a fool's game - there's ALWAYS someone younger prettier thinner richer etc. LOL it's never ending!!!
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:59 AM   #17
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I have to admit I do compare myself to others as well. Only for me its more like I am taking comfort in the fact that I am not alone in being overweight. It's always been a nice self esteem boost for me when I see someone that is heavier then me, just because it makes me feel more comfortable. Its definitely nice to know I'm not the only one who feels and thinks this way. Although it is sometimes a double edged sword because it always makes me say to myself "I wonder what people think about me"
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:29 AM   #18
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I think most people size themselves up that way. I don't know why... it may be unrealistic, or maybe it bothers me too much to think that others may be judging me by some social yardstick...that's why I don't allow those thoughts to linger.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:34 AM   #19
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Um, yeah and I would have said "we all do" but I guess I'm wrong about that.

I just assumed it was part of being human--I'll work on it.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:36 AM   #20
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Also - for me, I usually AM the biggest, because where I live, people are EXTREMELY active/health concious, but as I said earlier and as someone else said here .....everyone has issues, just not all visible like mine is!
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:40 AM   #21
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Yes, I do this, and yes, I know, it's a character flaw & a sign of low self-esteem & bordering on the dysfunctional.

What I dread the most can be expressed in an old "Sesame Street Song": "One of these things is not like the others/One of these things just doesn't belong ..."

I compare myself constantly to see if I "fit in." I do not want to be the fattest or sweatiest or worst-dressed or weirdest space cadet. This probably goes back to the schoolyard & a fear of being singled out & picked on.

Paradoxically, I also feel that to fit in, I need to be my very best self, to excel, and in fact to be "better" somehow than at least 95% of those around me.

Yeah, I do see this is contradictory.

But in my mind, I'm starting from a much lower place than any of them, with many more disadvantages, so I have to be a super-achiever to compensate for it. In my mind, I have a weirder body than any of them so I have to pare it down & exercise it more & dress it more carefully to make it look acceptable.

ETA: Also let's not under-estimate Schadenfreude.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shmead View Post
The biggest reason is that if you are thinking bad things about people who are heavier than you, you'll tend to assume that people who are thinner than you are thinking bad things about you--and that you deserve it. Think nice things about everyone, you assume they are thinking nice things about you.

Wow! You hit the nail on the head.

I pride myself in my professional life (I manage about 25 people) in being able to "assume innocence" in personnel matters. I start off doing an HR investigation assuming everyone is telling the truth/not intentionally being dishonest...and work from there. It was a skill I had to learn. I tend to be a pessimistic person by nature but at work, really found myself struggling to find the truth when I approached a situation with pre-conceived notions. I had to very hard to overcome that natural tendency.

I will double my efforts to think good things about everyone and in turn, think everyone is thinking good thoughts about me!

Thanks!
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:50 PM   #23
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I've always been extremely extroverted, much more so than anyone else in my family. I wonder if it's largely hereditary (as I was adopted and am not biologically related to any of my family members).

I just naturally assume that everyone wants to be my friend, until proven otherwise (and even then I'm likely to believe that it's their loss, and that they'd love me if they really knew me - and some times I do find myself trying to "convert" people to Colleen-likers).

I've tried to "teach" my mom and one of my younger sisters (because they're often complaining about how hard it is to make friends, and I find it so easy), but it doesn't work - they just look at me like I'm completely insane (and they may be right).

As an example, my husband and I are both extremely outgoing. One of my sisters (who is on the shy side) says we can be overbearing - that we don't give people a chance to get a word in edgewise. I try to be sensitive to that, but I think we assume that other people are as willing as we are to "jump into" a conversation. We both talk loud and FAST.

We became really good friends with a couple who own a very small restaurant (just because we're very outgoing, and it turns out they are too). They're Hmong, and it's a small thai restaurant, where the wife is the only cook in the restaurant. We became unofficial embassadors for the restaurant, and when anyone new came in (especially if they seemed intimidated by the menu) we'd strike up a conversation and tell them what we'd tried (which is now, practically everything on the menu).

The restaurant owners have invited us to go to Thailand with them in a couple years (and if we can scrape together the air fare and a bit of spending money, we're going to do it).

I don't know why we're so outgoing, except that it comes naturally. It's just hard for me to believe that people wouldn't like me. Not because I'm such a fantastic person, but because I find it hard to dislike people, myself. I really do like everybody. You've got to do something pretty horrible for me to NOT assume you're a great and interesting person.


My mom tends to believe that most people suck, and it shows. She finds it very difficult to make friends, and tends to be suspicious of friendly gestures. She's become friends (almost against her will) with the next door neighbor, but initially was suspicious that the woman "wanted something from her." She finally concluded that the neighbor's intentions were sincere (but she still is rather stumped by it).

I think my mom thinks "why would anyone want to be my friend?"

Whereas I tend to think "why wouldn't anyone want to be my friend?"
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:09 PM   #24
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Interesting thread. My answer is that I hadn't compared myself to anybody else since I was single (37 years ago!) but recently at the Y I started taking Zumba classes in addition to my regular workouts. It was the first time I could see myself in that wall mirror in comparison to the other ladies, and I was literally shocked that I was twice their size. I honestly think I have the body dysmorphia thing, where I don't realize I'm so much bigger than normal now. I tried not to watch the mirror when I was dancing. I do intend to keep dancing though!
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:43 PM   #25
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Quote:
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I started taking Zumba classes in addition to my regular workouts. It was the first time I could see myself in that wall mirror in comparison to the other ladies, and I was literally shocked that I was twice their size. I honestly think I have the body dysmorphia thing, where I don't realize I'm so much bigger than normal now. I tried not to watch the mirror when I was dancing.
This is me. I can be the first one in the room, all happy with myself and stuff and then the lithe little college students and their hot moms come in and there goes my self-esteem. I'm always somewhat relieved when a heavier person comes in, but it's more of a safety in numbers thing than a, "...at least I'm not as fat as she is" dealie. I just don't look at myself in the mirror, I focus on the instructor's feet and enjoy the class!
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