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Old 06-19-2013, 11:30 AM   #1
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Default does being fat inhibit your ability to make/keep friends? What are your opinions?

Am I hallucinating, or does it feel like being fat actually can have an impact on your ability to have friends?
Or is it always other factors that play and not necessarily your shape?

I'm not talking about the obvious attraction to opposite gender type thing, but rather making/having girlfriends if you are very overweight (and a woman) and so on.

Do people have a natural tendency to prefer being friends with thin beautiful people? Or is that baloney and do people choose and want friends based on a thousand other criteria?
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:13 PM   #2
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I think it's bologna. Anyone worth having in life will not be put off by something as banal as fat. I met my husband and most of my dearest friends around my high weight, it had zero impact.

Of course, the real point could be that I didn't *let* it impact, too. I didn't let fat be a shield or an excuse, which could be what you're seeing impact friendships. But that has nothing to do with appearance and everything to do with the insecurity underneath.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Arctic Mama View Post
I think it's bologna. Anyone worth having in life will not be put off by something as banal as fat. I met my husband and most of my dearest friends around my high weight, it had zero impact.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:27 PM   #4
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In my experience being fat effects my ability to make and keep friends, i mean dont get me wrong I do have alot of female and male friends but they are all fat as well. however since I've gotten thinner i feel kinda excluded by them. Birds of a feather i guess.

I've noticed that people are nicer in general to me now though. they smile at me and make eye contact, instead of doing that thing where they look everywhere else except directly at you ! it annoyed me to no end. sometimes they even make small talk now ..they never did that before ! I dont know if its them or if its because i feel better about myself now and it shows. I'd like to give society the benefit of the doubt though and I keep telling myself its because of my increased self esteem.

the truely beautiful people have their share of problems as well, My sister was a model and naturally very thin. she has very few female friends. woman can get a bit intimidated by other woman who look better then themselves, heck sometimes they get downright catty and rude with her. calling her anorexic or treating her like she's a stupid, last week someone actually put a cheese danish inside her shopping cart at the grocery store !

I think in general people are most comfortable dealing with and socializing with people they see as being in Their "league" if that makes sense.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:00 PM   #5
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Not "letting" it affect your ability is important, as ArticMama stated. I think the reason I had few friends in school was due to my inhibition and lack of confidence from being overweight.

Started out at 405.5 on 7/31/12. Then lost 156 lbs to get down to 249.5 by 7/31/13. In the past year I have put back on over 40 pounds and reached a high of 291.5. But I have recommitted myself and quickly took off ten pounds by 7/31/14. I am now trying to take off the weight I put back on, and then lose the rest of the weight I was originally trying to lose. ---- Starting weight / Low weight / Current Weight / Goal Weight
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:02 PM   #6
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I think it can matter, but doesn't have to. I've never had difficulty making platonic friends of all sizes and even every "league" including socioeconomic (one male platonic friend gave us a such an expensive glass wedding gift that I'm afraid to touch it, let alone use it.

Dating was significantly more difficult than thin friends with my personality, but I like to think I made up for quantity with quality. However, even with dating, I was more successful than thin, beautiful friends who were shy (No one can accuse me of ever being shy).

If you're shy, introverted, or a homebody, making friends is difficult no matter what you look like, and it certainly doesn't help if you're overweight or otherwise outside the cultural standards of attractiveness.

I think personality plays a more important role. I never had the friend or dating trouble that my friends (of all sizes and socio-economic statuses), I suspect because I've always been outspoken, outgoing, and in most things, very confident in my abilities and worth. Before I studied psychology, it always shocked me when thin, pretty, and sometimes wealthy friends would date such losers (cute losers, sometimes rich losers, but still huge losers).
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:15 PM   #7
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For me, personally, I would say yes. But, much like Arctic Mama pointed out, I think it has everything to do with my own insecurities and very little to do with my actual size.

I have spent a lot of years feeling shy and insecure, particularly during my more formative years, so it will be a tough habit to break. I've gone through periods where I've allowed myself to be more outgoing and have tried my best to be more confident, and - even at a higher weight - I was generally received positively by potential friends. But, I still battle that side of me that is a natural hermit, so keeping those new acquaintances as actual friends has been the difficult part for me. I tend to shy away from the things that other people love to do, so I have hindered myself from nurturing those friendships. But, it is something that I'm working on. I don't think being thin will make as much of an impact in other people's minds as a lot of us might think...but, I'm hoping that becoming a healthier weight will make me more open to them.

Hope that all makes sense!

I lost all of my progress and gained the weight back (and then some!) during my pregnancy and subsequent hiatus back in 2014 and hadn't lost a pound since...but, I am back again - as of 12.28.16 - and, I am determined to see it through this time. I owe it to my son and, most importantly, myself to become healthy again. Let's do this!

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Old 06-19-2013, 01:45 PM   #8
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More people approach me now that I am not morbidly obese, but I don't think it is because my personality has changed. I just think a lot of members of society aren't comfortable approaching someone who differs so much from the norm, whether it be a high BMI, a wheelchair or a hearing aid. Maybe now that I have lost weight, I am putting myself in more social situations though, too. I've always believed that my best assets are inside, not external, and I believe the same about other people.

I know that when I was fat, I had "eating buddies" much like an alcoholic has "drinking buddies." I think we tend to become closer to those who do similar behaviors and activities. I am now closer to several friends who have dogs, and we do dog dates and dog walks for social events, whereas in the past most of my social activities revolved around restaurants.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:52 PM   #9
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There is one useful thing about being fat. It's an a$$hole detector. Anyone who wouldn't befriend me because of my weight isn't someone I want to be around anyway.
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Garnet2727 View Post
There is one useful thing about being fat. It's an a$$hole detector. Anyone who wouldn't befriend me because of my weight isn't someone I want to be around anyway.
So true!

I have kids in elementary school and activities etc, and man, do I run into a lot of *****y, stuck-up moms in my travels. I definitely think that some of them avoid me a bit because I am obese. But then again, they are also the jerks who avoid new people, who avoid the people who don't drive fancy cars or live in big houses or wear expensive clothes. "A$$hole detector" is right! Love that phrase.

I've also noticed that I'm more likely to think about how some mom snubbed me instead of thinking about how most were friendly. I think it's all about focusing on the nice people, and ignoring the rest. And then I try to reach out and be nice to other people who might feel even more on the outside than I do at times.

Last edited by AnnMarie77; 06-19-2013 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:49 PM   #11
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I believe it definitely has for me. I do think I had more of an issue with it throughout late elementary-to late jr high school (when popularity was developing). Altho I was very shy growing up and didn't like attention brought on to me; I probably wasn't very approachable. I remember having a LOT of friends in elementary school. But when we started getting near the age where popularity was an issue - friends started dropping me like flies with NO explanation. I pretty much had a new set of friends by Grade 5-6. But then the new friends I did make also started dropping me. I remember one year; I hung out with this certain girl a lot in Grade 8 (every day at school, went to her house lots). When summer started, she blocked and deleted me off of MSN Messenger. I had to ask a mutual friend why and all she could tell me was "Donna doesn't want to be friends with you anymore". No explanation, no reasoning. Just out of the blue - was not expecting it at all. I cried on my bed that day. I do believe that was based on my weight and low popularity status. I also had a couple of girls that I was friends with in Elementary. In Grade 9 (after all my friends dropped me in Grade 7/8 - I started "hanging" out with these old friends from Elementary again), one day I went to the bathroom and came back and they were gone. A girl came over and said that they ran away from me (she at least offered for me to come sit down with her group). After that, I made new friends and stayed with those consistently until graduation. I'm still only really friends with a handful of those girls and only have made a handful more friends.

Even though I'm less shy these days - I "just" started hanging out with people from work and this is after almost 3 years of working there. I do 100% believe that when I start dropping weight - I'll be more confident and probably be easier to make more friends. Or maybe it is because I'm acceptable to hang out with now. Who knows - I guess I'll see when it actually happens.
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Garnet2727 View Post
There is one useful thing about being fat. It's an a$$hole detector. Anyone who wouldn't befriend me because of my weight isn't someone I want to be around anyway.
This ^^^. Seriously. I, however, am someone who is very particular about friendships. I have 3 or 4 great friends and everyone else I would consider no more than an acquaintance. Chances are somebody who wouldn't want to be friends with me because I'm fat is someone I've already decided I don't want to be "friends" with for some other reason (probably because they're shallow and narrow minded).

That being said, I'm 40-years old and have a semi-healthy self esteem. I didn't become over weight until after my pregnancies in my mid-20s. If I had been an overweight child or teenager when I was full of insecurities and lacked any self-esteem whatsoever, it would probably be a different story...
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:40 PM   #13
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I was a pretty normal, happy kid through the first part of grade school, even if I was a bit on the shy, anxious side. Then the first weekend of sixth grade I became gravely ill out of nowhere; my mom took me to the hospital and I was having my first asthma attack, on top of a bad case of pneumonia and strep throat. I spent several days in the hospital and missed the following week of school, and was immediately reprimanded by my teacher in front of everyone for it upon my return (really, what kind of teacher does that . . . ). I lost all my friends practically overnight, not from getting reprimanded of course, but because I was gaining weight and I was gaining it fast. I had doctor's notes to excuse me out of everything from gym class to taking the school stairs since it could flare an attack, and was constantly teased about being fat and lazy and for the asthma attacks themselves. In turn, I started sneaking food and it became one vicious cycle. Looking back from an adult point of view, several of my teachers looked the other way and even supported the cruel exclusionary attitude from the other kids since apparently the shaming would cure me of my bad habits. The school psychiatrist often told me he "knew" I was faking my asthma attacks (?!) and demanded to know why I was constantly "cutting" school (i.e. in the hospital). I can remember begging and begging my mom to let me transfer to another school because even my best friend since before kindergarten preferred standing alone in the corner of recess over the embarrassment of being seen with me.

The rest of junior high was much of the same and it absolutely destroyed my self-esteem. Luckily things got a little better with high school since our school merged with another and introduced a lot of new students, but I was so unsteady and unsure of myself that it was still hard to make friends. Even now with GAD I still have a hard time and I find myself being extremely intimidated by those thinner than me even though I know it doesn't matter. I don't really blame my weight alone, but it was an obvious trigger that's still taking a lifetime of effort to heal from, even as I find myself in my 30's. I also used to think that losing weight would solve all my problems, but I've gradually learned that my insides have had to heal for the process to begin. I think I'm doing much better, but I still have relapses of wanting to drop dead from feeling like the fattest girl in the room. Making the built-up shame go away is an enormous process.

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Old 06-19-2013, 04:28 PM   #14
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I disagree. I have friends I've had since high school, and lots of friends I've made & kept along the way. I have a naturally outgoing personality and I find it very easy to speak to people, and I'm funny

That being said, a lot of people let their weight affect them, become shy and introverted - which makes it hard to make/maintain relationships.

It's always funny to me when people, after losing weight, say all of a sudden people become so much friendlier ha ha and never think the black cloud they had over them making them Eiyor is finally gone and now THEY are nice first

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Old 06-19-2013, 05:03 PM   #15
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Well, I don't mean to sound like Negative Nellie. But, quite frankly, the general public is prejudice against overweight people, so it is more difficult for an overweight person to make friends and to keep them. This is even more prevalent for a person who has been overweight for most of his or her life (childhood traumas, being ostracized, shamed, and/or ridiculed by children and adults can take a heavy toll on an individual's perception of life and of himself/herself) There are some folk by the grace of God or by the shear strength of their outgoing personality who have avoided the negative social effects of being overweight. However, not everyone has been that fortunate and blessed. Personally, I have also discovered that even when you make a friend your friend can either consciously or subconsciously treat you with less concern or with less esteem because you are overweight. The friend begins to view you as a tool or as a "fall-back" plan when their initial plans fall through. The friend may conclude based on your weight that your time and activities are not as important as his or hers. This is when the issue of keeping a friend comes into question. My only answer to this dilemma is: Bolster your self-esteem, and find your own interests and purpose in life. Work towards your goals while continuing to have faith in God. Also, loving yourself while being good to others will help you to remain stable and joyful as people enter and exit your life.

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