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Old 08-07-2008, 01:28 AM   #1
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Default Mean skinny people

Any advice on how to deal with someone who lost a lot of weight but has become mean, critical, bossy, stuck-up? Why does this happen? We used to be friends, but it's like I have no idea who she is anymore.

Also, it makes me a little scared that I'll lose weight and become mean and not even realize I'm becoming mean. Eek!
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:47 AM   #2
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Are her condescending/mean comments about weight? If not, ignore the rest of this...she might be going through something else that's causing her to act differently, or she might just be exploring different parts of her personality in her new body and she'll "grow out of it".

If her comments ARE about weight, weight loss, etc...I have thought about this a lot...I had a friend who was much the same as you described, and I SWORE up and down that I'd NEVER, EVER be like that when I got to my goal weight. I thought he was so condescending and rude about weight loss.

Since I've arrived at goal, though, I have caught myself thinking to myself things that, at my highest weight, I'd consider "mean" if thought about me or said to me. Particularly the "critical" part. And there are several reasons, from my perspective, that people who have lost weight can fall into this trap.

First, having succeeded at weight loss, you think of yourself as somewhat of an authority (fairly or not). So if you know someone you care about is trying to lose weight, you tend to offer advice (which, unless asked for, I don't think is appropriate).

Second, knowing what it is like to be healthier/smaller/etc, you tend to really, really want that for people you care about. I do this with family...I know it feels good to be at goal. I know that my body feels better. 99% of the time that I have thought the kind of thoughts that, if I said out loud, might be interpreted as mean or critical, I've been motivated genuinely by caring about another person.

HOWEVER, and this is a big however, I have the presence of mind to keep my thoughts to myself, specifically BECAUSE I come from a perspective where, if those things were said to me, I'd be offended regardless of how they were meant. If you feel close enough to her, I'd bring it up - say that you'd rather she kept her comments to herself. If she can't, it may be time to break ties with her for a time...get some distance and see if you really want to continue the relationship.
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:53 AM   #3
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Maybe they are more still affected by their weight than they like to make out and you represent their fears.
Also maybe they are jealous that you too are suceeding in your weight loss, it takes the shine away from them.
You could also be taking their words to heart more than you should, however whatever the reason for their behaviour try not to let it get under your skin.
It is their problem, not yours, so just be the bigger person, whatever your size and rise above their comments.
If all that fails maybe put the friendship at a distance until they see what they are doing themselves.
All easier said than done I know, so good luck
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:00 AM   #4
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{I had a whole long vent fest here about a similar situation with my friend, but I've opted to take it out}

I recommend changing the subject any time these kind of people bring up size or weight, if you still otherwise value the friendship. If your friend persists in being critical, gently tell her to STOP, that you don't want to hear it. I wish you, and everyone else with similar friend problems, the BEST of luck.
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalinn82 View Post
Are her condescending/mean comments about weight? If not, ignore the rest of this...she might be going through something else that's causing her to act differently, or she might just be exploring different parts of her personality in her new body and she'll "grow out of it".

If her comments ARE about weight, weight loss, etc...I have thought about this a lot...I had a friend who was much the same as you described, and I SWORE up and down that I'd NEVER, EVER be like that when I got to my goal weight. I thought he was so condescending and rude about weight loss.

Since I've arrived at goal, though, I have caught myself thinking to myself things that, at my highest weight, I'd consider "mean" if thought about me or said to me. Particularly the "critical" part. And there are several reasons, from my perspective, that people who have lost weight can fall into this trap.

First, having succeeded at weight loss, you think of yourself as somewhat of an authority (fairly or not). So if you know someone you care about is trying to lose weight, you tend to offer advice (which, unless asked for, I don't think is appropriate).

Second, knowing what it is like to be healthier/smaller/etc, you tend to really, really want that for people you care about. I do this with family...I know it feels good to be at goal. I know that my body feels better. 99% of the time that I have thought the kind of thoughts that, if I said out loud, might be interpreted as mean or critical, I've been motivated genuinely by caring about another person.

HOWEVER, and this is a big however, I have the presence of mind to keep my thoughts to myself, specifically BECAUSE I come from a perspective where, if those things were said to me, I'd be offended regardless of how they were meant. If you feel close enough to her, I'd bring it up - say that you'd rather she kept her comments to herself. If she can't, it may be time to break ties with her for a time...get some distance and see if you really want to continue the relationship.

Amanda, that was a brilliant post. I have these exact feelings sometimes myself. It's HARD to hold back when you see people you love struggling, but nevertheless, you must. Unsolicited weight loss 'advice" is something that is just not wanted. It would be pointless anyway.

So therefore Unfi, I agree with what Mandalinn says 100%.
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:01 PM   #6
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Re : What Amanda said

I think a lot of how they got there/where they come from also plays into it. For example, a very close girlfriend of mine had a baby a little under a year ago. She gained about 20 pounds, and lost it within 6 months. She was all "OMG Becky, if I can do it you can too!" She got sometimes snarky, sometimes mean, usually condescending about it.

The points in time and situations are different. I think friends just want to be helpful and motivational, and sometimes turn to what they see as self-deprecating comments ("C'mon! Even I could do it!"). We just see those comments are horribly mean because we emphasize the differences.
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:09 PM   #7
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I also agree with Amanda and Robin (what else is new).

I have fallen into this many many times and I have to give myself a proverbial smack upside the head so I realize that it isn't necessarily fair to think like that. Hindsight is 20/20, especially to a maintainer, IMHO.
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:44 PM   #8
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You don't have to act that way just because she does. And she may have other things going on in her life that makes her disagreeable.
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:46 PM   #9
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Her comments to me are mostly not about weight loss. I work with her. I've already stopped doing things with her as a friend after confronting her about how she was treating me. Her response was that it was all my perception and she wasn't sorry at all. Having grown up around the sort of verbal abuse she was dishing out, I've done a LOT of work on recognizing and responding to it. It still bugs me, though. She used to be so nice, and we did quite a lot together. I think the relationship is too damaged to ever want to be close to her again. But I'm just trying to get things settled in my mind and more comfortable at work.

Her daughter is a pudgy teen, and I've heard her say things to her daughter that make me cringe. You know, the sort of things you read in books about weight loss when people share the messages that play over and over in their heads. Not advice. Sarcasm and bullying. I'm not a parent, so I've never felt comfortable saying anything to her about her parenting. I do try to make it a point to say good things to her children when I can, although I'm obviously less exposed to them now.

I'm verbal enough that I think she'd be afraid to insult me directly in a way that she couldn't pass it off as me being too "sensitive." Her comments to me are more dismissive and critical than directly confrontational. I ran the situation by a co-worker who is a close friend to verify that I was being reasonable, and that's when I discovered that many people have noticed her change in behavior. That co-worker now sometimes sends me little messages when he notices her say something, to make me smile and take the sting out of it. I've heard her say things to other people, even one time to our boss, sarcastically pointing out a stupid mistake in front of everybody. There was just this awful, dead silence after that, and she walked away like she was clueless.

I just don't understand what could have happened. It is possible that she could be dealing with things completely unrelated to the weight loss, but it seems odd that they would happen at the same time. If I were to describe the message her attitude gives off, it would be something like, "I'm better than you and I have a right to look down on you and treat you poorly." The you being a collective you, not just me.

One of the reasons I've felt that the time is right for me to succeed at weight loss is that I've found success in repairing my self image from childhood and setting appropriate boundaries. It's time for my outside to reflect that. But I don't want that to turn into thinking of myself as "better than others" because I succeed at losing all of this weight. I loathe the behavior I see of mean, skinny people who act as if appearance is a measure of one's worth as a human.

I think it's good to have some pride in who you are, that it helps when you're trying to lose weight. But I don't want to be taken over by pride. Does that make sense?
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:39 AM   #10
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Hey! Since your coworker/former friend is dishing out her abuse to everyone, and not just about weight, I would say that what's happened to her isn't about weight loss. Something else is going on--her weight loss may be related, but I doubt it's the entire reason for the change in her behavior.

I don't think you have to worry about turning into her if you lose weight. Please don't let that fear stop you!

Jay

Last edited by JayEll : 08-08-2008 at 06:40 AM.
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