Weight Loss Support - How should I deal with this? (sorry, sorta long)




uncontentgirl
02-11-2011, 11:52 AM
I work in a very small office with mostly women and, although it can get catty sometimes, we all care about eachother and support eachother. Most of the women here are much older than I and almost all are overweight. Although I am the only one on a "diet" (im doing WW) and the only one who works out regularly, we all encourage each other to eat healthy while we are here and the vibe is always positive.

Until....

Sometime before xmas a new woman (let's call her Patty) started working here. This woman is in her late 50s, single and, as she told me herself, still has no idea what she wants to do for a living and keeps going from job to job to job. I think i've always been able to see through a person right away and as soon as Patty began working here, I just got a bad vibe from her. Within a week of starting, she came to my desk and started whispering to me about something she overheard downstairs involving a co-worker and her husband. I was a little shocked at this and told her straight out that I didnt know anything and didnt want to know anything. She quickly apologized and said that she tends to be a "nosy-body". But she continued to gossip to other co-workers and had a habit of going to co-workers desks, crouching down to them and whispering...Now, my mother always told me that if a person is constantly whispering, that means they are shamed of what they are saying....and I believe it. Co-workers would come up to me and tell me the gossip and rude things Patty was telling them...personal things that she had 'overheard' about people here...and this lady had been working here all of 2-3 weeks...She also seemed to be a bit of a liar and would make up stories about overhearing our bosses speak badly of our work performance and then when we would confront our supervisors, they would say they never said anything of the sort. It was ridiculous. Quickly, within weeks, all us women who had been working here before Patty had a little discussion between ourselves not to indulge her in any of her gossip and to try not to say anything personal when she was around and listen to anything she has to say about another person. It's not that we are trying to be mean to Patty and we are all really nice to her and include her in everything, we just dont want gossip going around. So...from the very beginning, I was very..., for lack of a better term, WARY of Patty.

Right after the xmas holiday, I announced to the ladies that I was finally gonna get REALLY serious about my weight loss again and wanted to reach a goal of 145 by this summer. They all supported me and gave me tons of hugs and so did Patty. That was on January 3. Within two days of going on my diet, EVERYTIME I passed Patty in the hall, she would ask me, "So how many pounds have you lost?" At first I thought she was just trying to give me a little support and motivation, but it got to be that she was asking me this EVERYDAY. Like on a Tuesday, she would ask me and I'd say, "I've only been on the diet 4 days Patty...it's gonna take a couple weeks to see the weight drop..." and then she would ask me again THE VERY NEXT DAY and the day after! I finally asked her to stop asking me after a couple weeks of this and told her, "When I lose weight, I will let you know, okay?" She nodded and walked away. Since then, she calls me "Skinny" and "Anorexic Girl" instead of my name. "Hey, Skinny...", "How are you, Anorexic Girl?" When she calls me these names, she kinda stands there looking at me to see my reaction and I just dont even bother to give her one even though it REALLY irks me.

Now...i am in NO way Skinny and anyone with two eyes can see that. And I eat regularly and have lunch everyday with everyone here, so she knows im not anorexic. The fact that she will NOT let me being on a diet escape ANY conversation she has with me is starting to weird me out. I dont think its coming from a nice, supporting place. I think she is being very....I dont know...I cant put my finger on it. I think its so weird.

I'm at a loss as how I should handle this and I really dont want to tell my co-workers because I fear it will cause even more of a backlash against Patty and, honestly, I feel sorry for her. I think she is incredibly lonely and depressed and I want to be nice to her...

HELP!


sacha
02-11-2011, 11:57 AM
Have you told your supervisor about these comments?

I was in a similar situation once (my BOSS was the one who called me broccoli anorexic girl), I know that it's very humiliating.

It sounds like she lacks social skills to say the least.

MzJuicyD
02-11-2011, 12:01 PM
well u are a good person! There's NO WAY i could stay calm lol. Whenever she would call me those names, I would REFUSE to aknowledge her, until she calls me by my name. It wont take her long to figure it out! But i would discuss this with my coworkers and supervisor.


miradoblackwarrior
02-11-2011, 12:07 PM
She sounds like a bully to me, who needs unhealthy quantities of attention. The best you can do is ignore her. If she confronts you about ignoring her, just ignore her some more. She is probably confrontational and exceedingly needy. You have a good relationship with the other people in your office. If she is that disruptive, and always going from job to job, then the fault lies in her, not you. You have better things to do than to coddle to her all the time. She is not reasonable enough to give you any form of respect, so I would guard against her in every way, including locking my desk, "hiding" my car a block away, and locking away any personal items and your lunch. Watch your back! And, I agree with Sacha--go to your boss!

Good luck!

Emme
02-11-2011, 12:12 PM
Yowsa, that sucks. That's really crappy of her to be doing that to you. It does sound like she is very insecure and also socially inept. She probably thinks she is being cute or funny, when actually it is annoying and stupid. If she calls you "skinny" or "anorexic" again instead of your name, don't hesitate to say, "My name is _____" and just leave it at that. It's not rude of you to do so. If she doesn't get the hint, then just flat out tell her to please stop calling you those things. If she still doesn't get that, then I don't think there is really that much hope for her in the world. ;)

beerab
02-11-2011, 12:15 PM
Right now the first thing you have to do is tell her to stop calling you by those names and that you find it offensive.

If she continues then you need to go to your supervisor. That behavior is inappropriate and harassment.

uncontentgirl
02-11-2011, 12:26 PM
thank you ladies! next time she calls me those names, im gonna be firm with her and let her know how that bugs me and to please just call me by my name...and if this problem continues, i absolutely will let the supervisors know.

sacha
02-11-2011, 12:27 PM
thank you ladies! next time she calls me those names, im gonna be firm with her and let her know how that bugs me and to please just call me by my name...and if this problem continues, i absolutely will let the supervisors know.

Great plan :D

NiteNicole
02-11-2011, 12:55 PM
The pot stirrer in me says that every time she calls you "Anorexic Girl" you call her "Nosy." And every time she asks you if you've lost weight, you ask if she has. For most people, you would only have to do that a few times for them to get the picture and back off.

But probably the more mature approach of telling her directly is the better bet. Not as fun, though.

specialk85
02-11-2011, 01:04 PM
I agree...she doesn't seem to read social cues very well...so I would say being direct and firm with her is the only way it will stop...if that does not work then she is doing it on purpose and she is not some socially inept person...just a bully :hug:

KellyMarie90
02-11-2011, 01:12 PM
I'm actually experiencing a similar problem.
mine is quite the long story but the shortened version is enough haha
This guy I know tends to be kind of a jerk, especially when he drinks. Its nothing new to any of us and we mainly just ignore him.
About a month and half or so ago he was talking to a good friend of mine (I was standing right there so I heard every word and so did all of our friends) He was basically going on and on about how he cant believe how much I lost and blah blah acting like he just noticed. I lost the majority of my weight during the summer so I dont know how he just noticed..in january. He then goes on to say "thats not attractive to me because of what she used to look like.." This comment alone made me really sad and self concious and I even posted a thread about it on the body image after weight loss forum.
I dealt with my feelings about that one...I'm not personally attracted to this guy and I dont really respect his opinion so I brushed it off.

Now every single time I see this guy (he'll even text me saying stuff) he calls me "the skinniest girl in the world." Hes alluded that I have an eating disorder, did illegal drugs or used a bunch of diet pills to lose weight. All while telling me "you look great, should be really proud of yourself"

So I understand how your situation...I don't understand people like my friend and your co-worker.

saef
02-11-2011, 01:24 PM
Patty is an Instigator. And deeply insecure, but you know that already. She came into a situation where there is already a female group with close relationships that date back a ways. Instead of being herself, and friendly & approachable, she saw that as exclusionary & as an obstacle that she must overcome. Her strategy is obviously to divide & conquer. How she does this is by setting everyone at odds with one another. She thrives in an atmosphere that is somewhat dysfunctional, where people have grudges against one another, and she is able to form alliances with them. Thus she does not mind when she irritates someone. That makes them clearly against her, and she knows how to deal with that.

This is why she is provoking you. You know she wants a reaction from you. I wouldn't give her one; it's what she craves & what she knows how to work with.

Just remember it's not at all about your weight. If it weren't your weight, she would find something else, sniff out some other weakness or sensitive spot.

This person will not change her way of being in the world, so you've gotta find workarounds. I'm not thinking that a heart-to-heart with her would solve anything. Your tactic is defending yourself, as pleasantly & blandly & unemotionally as possible, and preserving & cherishing your other work relationships so that they remain unaffected & the atmosphere does not become dysfunctional.

Nola Celeste
02-11-2011, 01:28 PM
Some people just weren't raised right.

Folks like "Patty" sometimes talk about weight because they have nothing else to talk about with you, but they really want to talk and wind up driving you nuts on the one subject they think you want to discuss. Sometimes all it takes is just a quick, direct comment: "Blah, talking about my weight is so boring, Patty, that I'm just going to refuse to talk about it from now on so I don't bore everyone to tears. I'm sure you understand. Anyway, how is YOUR day?"

That's if you want to be nice. I'm not sure that malign, gossipy people deserve niceness, but you'll probably feel better about yourself for taking the high road.

If you'd rather take the low road, call her "Nosy Rosie" or "Miss Buttinski" or whatever each time she refers to you as "Skinny" or "Anorexic." Two can play the "I'll make up an annoying nickname based on one offhand comment that she made one day" game. :D

KellyMarie, as for the truly obnoxious problem co-worker you have...oy, the eating disorder and illegal drug jokes are SO far over the line, as was the comment about how attractive he found you (that's so incredibly arrogant--like you exist for his viewing pleasure! Grrrr!). Have you reported his *** to a supervisor? If you don't want to take that route, have you considered referring to his drinking problem every time he alludes to your weight? "Oh, the skinniest girl in the world's doing great, and how's the oldest moronic frat-boy in the world today?"

I don't even know that guy and I want to feed him a cat food and ex-lax sandwich.

uncontentgirl
02-11-2011, 01:32 PM
I'm actually experiencing a similar problem.
mine is quite the long story but the shortened version is enough haha
This guy I know tends to be kind of a jerk, especially when he drinks. Its nothing new to any of us and we mainly just ignore him.
About a month and half or so ago he was talking to a good friend of mine (I was standing right there so I heard every word and so did all of our friends) He was basically going on and on about how he cant believe how much I lost and blah blah acting like he just noticed. I lost the majority of my weight during the summer so I dont know how he just noticed..in january. He then goes on to say "thats not attractive to me because of what she used to look like.." This comment alone made me really sad and self concious and I even posted a thread about it on the body image after weight loss forum.
I dealt with my feelings about that one...I'm not personally attracted to this guy and I dont really respect his opinion so I brushed it off.

Now every single time I see this guy (he'll even text me saying stuff) he calls me "the skinniest girl in the world." Hes alluded that I have an eating disorder, did illegal drugs or used a bunch of diet pills to lose weight. All while telling me "you look great, should be really proud of yourself"

So I understand how your situation...I don't understand people like my friend and your co-worker.

WOW! what a total jerk! your weight loss is obviously intimidating to him. Some people just dont know how to be happy for other people.

bargoo
02-11-2011, 01:33 PM
Not only is she a bully she is a troublemaker gossiping about people she doesn't even know. Don't respond when she calls you those stupid names and has been suggested tell her my name is ...... Other than that I would not talk to her at all unless it is something required by the job.

uncontentgirl
02-11-2011, 01:33 PM
Patty is an Instigator. And deeply insecure, but you know that already. She came into a situation where there is already a female group with close relationships that date back a ways. Instead of being herself, and friendly & approachable, she saw that as exclusionary & as an obstacle that she must overcome. Her strategy is obviously to divide & conquer. How she does this is by setting everyone at odds with one another. She thrives in an atmosphere that is somewhat dysfunctional, where people have grudges against one another, and she is able to form alliances with them. Thus she does not mind when she irritates someone. That makes them clearly against her, and she knows how to deal with that.

This is why she is provoking you. You know she wants a reaction from you. I wouldn't give her one; it's what she craves & what she knows how to work with.

Just remember it's not at all about your weight. If it weren't your weight, she would find something else, sniff out some other weakness or sensitive spot.

This person will not change her way of being in the world, so you've gotta find workarounds. I'm not thinking that a heart-to-heart with her would solve anything. Your tactic is defending yourself, as pleasantly & blandly & unemotionally as possible, and preserving & cherishing your other work relationships so that they remain unaffected & the atmosphere does not become dysfunctional.

absolutely 100% agree with this!

bargoo
02-11-2011, 02:26 PM
And don't forget her history of going from job to job. Her excuse is she is not sure of what she wants to do for a living. I don't buy that, she has probably made enemies in her other jobs and may even have been fired. With her past history don't expect her to be around for long.

beerab
02-11-2011, 02:41 PM
I agree with bargoo 100%- she moves cuz she keeps making enemies.

Being upfront is the only thing that works with these bullies- so I would say telling her to stop then talking to your boss is the best course of action because she has to learn her actions are not going to be allowed here- if you don't say anything I guarantee she'll get worse.

I dealt with a bully at work- finally I confronted her one day and told her enough was enough and spoke to my supervisor- while it's only been over a month since then I have had ZERO issues with her since.

KellyMarie90
02-11-2011, 02:45 PM
@nola celeste
Oops sorry, I wasnt very clear the obnoxious person in my life is not a co-worker, but someone who is supposed to be my "friend"
I agree, his comments are very inappropriate but I've taken the approach of just ignoring him. I'm not sure what else I can do...

marianne78
02-11-2011, 03:36 PM
I'm sorry you're going through this, uncontentgirl. But I wouldn't resort to name-calling with that "Patty." It's stooping down to her level and I bet she'd love that. Just ignore her and try to have nothing to do with her unless you really, really have to. :)

Nola Celeste
02-11-2011, 05:06 PM
Agreed, name-calling probably isn't the best idea--the thought of stooping to her level looks a lot more amusing in a post than it does in real life. (Although it'd be hilarious to see her face if you did start calling her "Nosy.")

Give her one shot to mend her ways by telling her honestly that you consider the subject of weight closed for discussion. If she keeps bringing it up after that, you've every reason and right to ignore the comments and deal with her strictly on a need-to-work-with basis.

KellyMarie--

Good grief! A friend does this to you? That guy would be SOOOO off my Christmas card list (and my birthday card list, and my friends list on Ventrilo, and my saved numbers in my cell phone, and...yeah, you get the picture). I find myself growing less and less tolerant of the habit of casually judging another person's "doability index"; I won't say that all guys do it, but it's incredibly annoying that there are as many as there are who think anyone gives a crap who they find attractive.

Many years ago, my husband had a bad habit of commenting on female reporters' physical appearance, but never said a thing about the males. Nothing rude, just "She should go with longer hair" or "there's something off about her nose" or what have you. I didn't say a word at first, but it got under my skin a little; if he's judging these women like prize heifers at a state fair, what's he see when he looks at me? So I just started passing judgement on all the men. He got the hint (mostly).

I don't want to be sexist and assume it's "just a guy thing" that they innately pass judgements on our physical appearance as though we exist for that reason alone, but...I swear, there are too many men--even good ones--who make too much fuss over our decorative properties.

Your "friend" needs to be told that your attractiveness to him matters about as much as the cost of eggs in Argentina does to a midwestern vegan.

beerab
02-11-2011, 05:16 PM
Your "friend" needs to be told that your attractiveness to him matters about as much as the cost of eggs in Argentina does to a midwestern vegan.

LOVE THIS lol!

I agree I'd flat out be like yeah even if you DID want me I wouldn't go out with you if you and I were the last two people on earth and we needed to have sex to repopulate the earth! :p

I wouldn't be surprised if he's single.

Sea
02-11-2011, 05:48 PM
You really need to speak to a supervisor or your human resources mgr. This may be the real reason she goes from job to job.

KellyMarie90
02-11-2011, 06:04 PM
Haha beerab..he is indeed single.
And nola, I totally agree! I also don't want to write it off as "a guy thing" but it is so annoying.
I have a fair amount of close guy friends (discluding the rude one haha) and theyre all really comfortable speaking their minds around us girls in the group and its disgusting some of the things they say about girls. I'm HOPING its just guys my age (early 20s) and that they get better about this with age but something tells me that's a lost cause.
haha and yeah this rude boy needs to be told a thing or two. He talks and talks but he clearly doesnt know that people talk just as bad about him.
*sigh* lol

DixC Chix
02-11-2011, 06:55 PM
[QUOTE]I dont think its coming from a nice, supporting place. I think she is being very....I dont know...I cant put my finger on it. I think its so weird./QUOTE]

Uncontent - this is classic passive aggressive behavior. She knows on some level what she is doing.

There's been lots of good advise about what to say but please, please, please, document her comments and your requests for it to stop. Send yourself an email or text so you have date and time of the incidents. Try to do this as quickly after the incident and note as much of the conversation as possible. Then you have information that you can give to the supervisor. Even after that, continue to collect the documentation until you are sure it has stopped. This also will let your supervisor know that you have the documentation in case they try to sweep it under the rug. Better to be safe than sorry.

KellyMarie - ask your 'friend' if he has been tested for Aspergers Syndrome because he demonstrates significant difficulties in appropriate social interaction with you.

shannonmb
02-11-2011, 09:28 PM
This is why she is provoking you. You know she wants a reaction from you. I wouldn't give her one; it's what she craves & what she knows how to work with.

These were my thoughts. She is waiting till you totally go off on her, so then she can say, like Miss Innocent, "Oh, my, did you ladies hear what she said to me, boy she's a mean one! Oh my goodness".

You are really showing her if you just politely say, call me by my name, please. Don't let her get a big rise out of you, she's waiting for it, I think.

beerab
02-14-2011, 10:36 AM
Haha beerab..he is indeed single.
And nola, I totally agree! I also don't want to write it off as "a guy thing" but it is so annoying.
I have a fair amount of close guy friends (discluding the rude one haha) and theyre all really comfortable speaking their minds around us girls in the group and its disgusting some of the things they say about girls. I'm HOPING its just guys my age (early 20s) and that they get better about this with age but something tells me that's a lost cause.
haha and yeah this rude boy needs to be told a thing or two. He talks and talks but he clearly doesnt know that people talk just as bad about him.
*sigh* lol

I KNEW IT lol. I'd probably have told him the reason he's single is cuz he's a JERK and to STFU about your weight loss and to have a nice day :D

My husband has a friend JUST.LIKE.THIS. when I started losing weight he made all sorts of dumb comments- thankfully hubby doesn't hang out with him anymore. :D