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Somewhere along the line, my backbone was removed (Warning: Rant ahead!)

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Old 05-27-2010, 04:51 PM   #1
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Default Somewhere along the line, my backbone was removed (Warning: Rant ahead!)

I realize more and more how much of a doormat being fat makes me, and it's really starting to piss me off. Maybe it's because I'm losing weight and realizing it doesn't have to be this way forever, but I'm getting really tired of being such a pushover.

Yesterday I got scammed by a magazine salesman. I kind of knew all along, but it really hit me afterward.

He approached me in the mall--a guy around my age (early 20s)--and asked if I could do a survey to help him with school. He said he was earning points for a study-abroad trip to London. So I (very reluctantly) agreed, and he started asking me to rank my favorite magazines out of a list. ("You don't have to buy any--you're still helping just by taking the survey") so I ranked them, and then he said, "So which ones do you want to buy?" And at the point it was obvious it was a scam, but I was so humiliated to have been duped in the first place that I agreed to buy one.

I managed to say no when he asked which other one I wanted to buy, but the damage was done. I planned to give him a bogus credit card number I suspected by that point that I would never see this magazine, but he only could take cash--of course.

So that's the point when any self-respecting person would have said, "You know what? Thanks anyway but I think I'm good." But what do I do? Let him take me to the ATM and hand over $40 for a crappy magazine I don't want. All because I was too embarrassed to be the fat girl wasting someone's time. Even though I know he's a scammer.

I happened to be in a good mood after just having bought an iPad ( ) so I wasn't too upset about losing a week's worth of groceries or 2 weeks of gas money, but the more I thought about it the more I realized if I had been skinny I would have been able to stand up for myself. And of course he must have targeted me because I seem like (am) the pathetic fat girl. It's so incredibly frustrating. I just want it to not be like this anymore.

And I know I'll never see that damn magazine.
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:14 PM   #2
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In reading your post, I realized I've been in that same position before. I am not proud of it, but it's true. I don't think we were targeted because of our weight, but because of our disposition and attitude. The one that says "yes, I am a door mat, please take advantage". The one that exudes no self confidence. While I can see how being thinner can give us some self confidence, I don't think weight is the whole, or even most of the issue. Self confidence and "back bone" so to speak comes from a place deep inside us, not from the numbers on the scale or the numbers sewn inside our clothing. You don't have to wait to be a certain weight to deserve to feel confident, or to stick up for yourself. Also, I think you put yourself in a pretty dangerous position letting someone walk you to the ATM. I found a great way to learn to say no is through self defense classes. Not because of the ability to physically defend myself, but because of the reminder that I'm worth defending. All of us are. So, I hope you find your voice and strength and, please, be safe. Good luck to you!

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Old 05-27-2010, 05:14 PM   #3
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Girl, don’t feel bad, the EXACT same thing happened to me in the mall about a year ago or so. A cute young guy approaches me, says he’s a student and is new to the area, trying to earn money, blah blah blah. And he sweet talked me into buying quite a few subscriptions…and I’ve yet to see a single one! I was definitely swindled…he even went to far as to flirt and ask for my phone number.

I won’t let it happen again and I doubt you will either. Lesson learned.
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:22 PM   #4
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I am going to move this to support.. I think you'll get more responses there.

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Old 05-27-2010, 05:48 PM   #5
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Scammers will target ANY and ALL. That doesn't have anything to do with your weight.

Quote:
"All because I was too embarrassed to be the fat girl wasting someone's time."
Umm... The only person's time you "wasted" was yours. Because you knew you didn't need magazines and you hung around there anyway and bought some. (Which means wasted time and wasted money. )

You didn't waste HIS time. He was doing his job (legit or not) of trying to sell his wares to potential customers.

Whether he sold you one or not guess what his next move was? Move on to the next potential customer. It's not like you rocked his boat any.

If you want to stop being a pushover, well... just stop it then. Take the helm of your own boat in the Ocean of Life and steer it somewhere on purpose. Don't just float along letting the waves toss you about willy nilly.

Look out for YOU and your interests.

You don't have to be rude about it and tell the guy something like

"You *$&%(*@#)! Go get the )$*%$%)* out of my way! How DARE you speak to me!"

A simple "No, thanks. I'm good for magazines right now. Have a nice day!" type answer

will do just fine.

Then just walk away and go spend YOUR time how YOU want to be spending it.

Again... it's your boat. You can sail it! You are allowed to! It is YOURS!

GL!
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParadiseFalls View Post
And of course he must have targeted me because I seem like (am) the pathetic fat girl. It's so incredibly frustrating. I just want it to not be like this anymore.
You were not targeted because you seemed like the pathetic fat girl. These scam artists target everyone, and no one is entirely immune to the scam, but people who have the need or desire to be nice or "polite" do make better victims.

My husband's close friend is 30 years old, intelligent, highly educated (computer geek), very attractive (tv star good looks. He also spends a lot of time working out and it shows) - and he's a sucker for a good scam artist. He bought a $1500 dollar vaccuum cleaner from a door-to-door salesman (when he didn't really have the money to spend). Apparently (from the way his friends tease him) this isn't the first time, or the last time he's fallen prey to scam artists.




Quote:
Originally Posted by ParadiseFalls View Post
the more I thought about it the more I realized if I had been skinny I would have been able to stand up for myself.
You are creating this prison for yourself, the fat isn't. You can be a strong, confident, intelligent fat woman. And you might want to start practicing now, because a lot of self-doubting, timid, socially anxious overweight people lose weight only to find themselves self-doubting, timid, socially anxious thin people.

Social anxiety and susceptibility to social pressure doesn't magically appear with weight gain, nor does it magically disappear with weight loss.

If you think that you have to be skinny to stand up for yourself, then you will not stand up for yourself until you meet your own criteria (and maybe not even then - maybe you'll just create a different set of criteria) - but make no mistake, they're YOUR criteria. You're the one making most of these rules. Even the rules that other people make for you - you don't have to follow.

In my family, I'm the strong, independent, assertive, confident one (and I'm the only ginormously obese one. I have been "the fattest one" for as long as I can remember, even in early childhood). My small and gorgeous sisters are the quiet, shy ones. One has had such severe social anxiety issues that she needed medication for a while (it really helped her come out of her shell).
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:55 PM   #7
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You're all completely right, of course.

astrophe, I know intellectually that you're right--he wouldn't have jumped off a cliff over the sale. But it was all about that potential of him thinking, "Oh, this fat girl wasted my time" rather than it being true. He's the scammer--I don't owe him anything. But I feel like I owe everyone something.

And winning the war, I completely agree that the weight isn't the problem really. I know girls who are as big as me or close to it who act confidently and are treated that way. But I just am not one of those people right now, and for me, my weight makes the problem inside a tangible issue.

(About the ATM, it was in the middle of the crowded mall, but you're right--it was stupid.)
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:04 PM   #8
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You need to stop seeing yourself as the "pathetic fat girl." NOW. You are a fabulous person who just happens to be overweight. So what? Your weight has no affect on the quality of your personality, and will only define you if you let it. The reason you are a doormat has nothing to do with your weight, and everything to do with your self-esteem. You are approaching life like you deserve less because you are overweight. You approach people like you're not as worthy of respect because you're overweight. You spend life feeling like you need to apologize for your existence because you are overwieight. None of these things are true. So knock it off! Don't allow yourself to be a doormat because you feel like that's just what comes from being overweight. You need to start taking charge of yourself now. You have every right to tell someone "no". You need to learn to tell someone no, no thank you, I'm not interested, leave me alone, etc. From experience, losing weight will not make you capable of saying any of these things. Only a change in how you view yourself and what you're worthy of.

And for the record,I've been approached by the exact same scam at 135 and 235 and everywhere in between. It has nothing to do with weight.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:17 PM   #9
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You weren't targeted because you were fat, they get everyone. They got my partner at our apartment and she's skinny. They just get anyone. Thankfully I was able to convince her to cancel the check she gave them to make sure it didn't go through.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:22 PM   #10
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And this is why I never go to the Mall....
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:25 PM   #11
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Whether or not you're trying to lose weight, there are several "size acceptance" self-help books that I think you'd find helpful in learning to see yourself as a valuable person NOW, not just 132 lbs from now.


I'd highly recommend the book

FAT!SO? : Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size by Marilyn Wann


Reading "size acceptance" books doesn't mean that you accept your size or that you don't want to change it - it only means that you choose not to determine your self-worth by the number on the scale.

You are not a number. You do not have to let your weight define you - ever. You teach others how to treat you, by what you allow.

My sister (the thin, pretty one) tells me that I'm "lucky" to be so outgoing and confident. Maybe she's right. Maybe luck (or genetics) has a lot to do with it, as I've always been more confident than she has (we don't share the genetics, as I was adoptede. Both my sisters (parents' biokids) have personality an self-esteem issues more like our parents (who are also shy, but in different ways).

But I also know that genetics is only part of the picture. I'm more confident than I ever was before I read size-acceptance stuff. My thin, pretty sister is also more outgoing since she went through counseling and medication for social anxiety.

You can change your behavior, even your thoughts. You don't have to let others hurt you, because you've decided it's ok for them to do so. Like any change, though it requires practice and experimenting with different techniques. Self help books, counseling, even medications might be a part of the process - but ultimately they all start with you deciding that you deserve something better.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:28 PM   #12
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Why do you feel you owe everyone something beyond the common courtesy people give strangers? Are you a people pleaser personality? I googled this and it seems sensible tips for overcoming the people pleaser mode since you say you are trying not to be like that any more. It is possible to be kind, but firm about your needs/wants/boundaries.

http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Being-a-People-Pleaser

Like I said... you don't have to be rude about it. But it is TOTALLY OK to say "no, thanks" and turn things down because you don't want or need them.

GL!
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:52 PM   #13
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You know what? Nothing could ever induce me to go to an ATM and withdraw $40 to give some random guy in the mall. Not at any size, not for any reason.

You're right, you'll never see a magazine.

Frankly, it had nothing to do with your size but everything to do with being a people pleaser. I've watched these folks work--they will keep you on the hook until you say "I'm done" and WALK AWAY. That is the ONLY way to get out of it. Trying to be polite is pointless because they use that against you.

I would have gotten his ID, taken a good look, and gone straight to mall Security. Or I would have started yelling for Security right then and there.

So sorry this happened to you. Thanks for warning us!

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Old 05-27-2010, 08:06 PM   #14
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I've been teaching an undergraduate seminar on persuasion this term, and I hope that I helped all my students learn what these techniques are and how to NOT feel guilty for just walking away. But the fact that this kind of thing needs to be taught to so many people just goes to show you how easy it can be to fall prey to them. You aren't alone in falling for it, but you also can learn from the experience!!!
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:39 PM   #15
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ParadiseFalls, I am actually afraid for you.

Do you know how many women feel they have to be **nice** to the guy who eventually ends up raping them? Or perhaps murdering them?

Because they don't want to hurt the guy's feelings? Because they feel they have to be polite in getting away, and not cause a scene, or raise their voices?

This man was a stranger to you. He accosted you. You owe him nothing. Not even an answer, if he attempts to engage you in a conversation. If a stranger you don't want to talk to persists, you are well within your rights to raise your voice & say: "STOP BOTHERING ME!" so that anyone in earshot can hear. Yes, I'm giving you permission to make noise, to get REALLY LOUD, if someone tries this with you.

Believe your instincts. You have acquired them over years of interactions with people. You know when someone is a little off or when he or she wants something from you. Don't talk yourself out of what your perceptions have already signaled to you. Your reluctance at the start of this interaction is telling. You **knew** already that what you were about to be dragged into wasn't worth your time. And your instricts even told you it was a scam. You knew.

Listen to yourself. You're no idiot. And refuse to engage with these people. And get loud if you need to.

Don't be a nice, polite, kindly, possibly DEAD woman.

I mean, your life wasn't on the line this time. But what if it was? Those reactions will not help you at such a time.
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