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Old 03-07-2008, 02:25 AM   #1  
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Question Insults from strangers - how do you deal with it?

Yesterday, I had a situation happen and I was wondering how other people would have handled this.
I was walking back home after picking up my daughter from school. As I was crossing the street, two girls were crossing the street as well. I would say that they were between 10-11 years old. One of them pointed right at me and said to her friend loud enough for everyone to hear "Look! There is a pig!" Then they were laughing.
There is no way that I heard it wrong because the same girl once again said to her friend "What a pig!" after they were across the street.
I was pretty much in shock that someone would say that so, I sort of froze and did nothing except look at them.
I went home and thought about it. It made me angry and sad. I don't know why people feel the need to comment about MY weight. I know I am overweight, I don't need somebody else to rub it in. Also, I was minding my own business, trying to get somewhere. I wasn't harassing anyone so, why do they feel the need to harass me?
The more that I am around children that are not my own, the more I realize how hard it must be to be a child who doesn't fit in the "normal looking" category. Children truly can be the cruelest when it comes to insults.
I also understand that saying "The more people I meet, the more I love my cat!" All I wanted to do at that point was go home and cuddle up with my fur ball. He loves me no matter what I look like. He is completely non-judgmental.
In a way, I also felt blessed. I'm happy that my children get to see the other side of the fence. They wouldn't make fun of someone that looks different or "not normal" because they know insults hurt. And that the person being made fun of is someone's mother, father, brother, sister, etc.
And then I was sad because I know that even if I had a witty comeback to that girl's insult, it would have done nothing. She isn't going to change just because I said something to her. If anything, it probably would have made the situation worse. It would have gave them something more to laugh about. They would have been thinking "Did you see how upset that fat lady got? Ha ha ha!"
I told my husband what happened over dinner. My husband is an attractive (or so I think ) "normal" sized man so, he was totally lost for words. He said he could never imagine that someone would make a comment like that right out on the street especially a child to an adult. I said "Surprise! This child did." And then he said "Well, both you and I know that you aren't a pig. And that is what matters right?"
He is right. I shouldn't worry about what anyone else but, my family thinks of me. But, it is still hard to deal with the insults.
So, I was just wondering how other people would have handled it? Have you had something similar happen to you?
Thanks for taking the time to read my mini novel!
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:57 AM   #2  
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I have had a similar experience however it was not with a child it was with someone who i would say was probably around 20-25yrs old. The 2 people felt the need to tell ME that I didn't need to eat MY SALAD b/c i was already big enough...only they didn't have the balls to say it directly to ME they had to say it to each other but loud enough for me to hear it. People like that are ignorant in my book. A child atleast can use the excuse of being a child but a grown up? come on man. ugggh I just don't understand people sometimes. I am sorry you had to go thru that. If it was me i might have said something to the children.Nothing mean, just maybe a question of why or what. Just something to let them know you heard them and that its not 100% ok for them to do that.Big hugs to you though.
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:58 AM   #3  
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I think I would probably would have given them the most killer look and said ' Don't you girls have anything better to do than talk about your elders? Remember, things you say have a way of coming back and biting you in the behind so I would suggest you think before you speak.' Okay, I just lied. I probably would have said something WAY more graphic and scarred them for life. But I'm younger than you and more reckless.
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:14 AM   #4  
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Kids are mean sometimes. I was overweight in high school but I was lucky because I had a lot of friends and a lot of my friends were very popular, I missed out on the being picked on stage growing up. If someone would have made a comment about me then my friends immediately said something so I only got the occasional look or comment. However, there was a girl in my grade who was not so lucky. I went to school with her from 7th-12th grade and she was constantly the butt of jokes, people were down right mean to her. They called her names, played pranks on her, no one would partner with her in activities and she really had no friends. In a way I realize how lucky I was to not have to go through that even though this girl and I were the same size.

Recently it hasn't been so easy! What makes it even harder is when you know that they are talking about you but it's in a different language. There were a group of boys who would constantly shout thing at me in Italian (I was in Italy) when I was at the park with my 4 children (I'm an au pair), I ignored it. I think that is the best thing you can do. I explained to my kids that those were "bad boys" who were not nice. I think at times it can be hard when you recieve a comment like that because they don't know how hard you work, and they were obviously brought up without manners.
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:32 AM   #5  
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I was obese for over 20 years. I think this has happened to most of us.

You can't change people. They truly don't feel good about themselves that is why they point out others flaws

The only thing that matters at the end of the day is how you feel about you.

I personally did not feel good about me and that is the why I was obese.
But that is my story. My head is in the right place now. I concentrate on me and hope that I can help as many people or more than have helped me.

Try to look at the positive things of life. Smart remarks will never help those type of people. In the end they probably will be obese later in life and have to realize how they have treated others on their own.
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:16 AM   #6  
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I'm not going to go with the whole "they don't know any better" thing, because if they were old enough to be walking out on their own, they were old enough to know better.

Kids are stupid. Kids are VERY stupid. And they'll often say things to make themselves appear better or cooler to other stupid children. Now, mothers don't jump down my throat, because I was a stupid kid once, too. As were all of us.

I actually think you did the adult thing by ignoring them. Because I would have pointed back and said "Hey it's an ugly horse! Look at the ugly horse! How funny! What an ugly little girl you are! Hilarious!" But... then... again, I'm not very mature.
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:36 AM   #7  
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Oh, I don't think any parent would jump down your throat on that one, Faerie!

Kids do act stupid. But really, this was a 10 or 11 year old? I would have said something like, "Honey, you'll be sorry you said that--it's rude." She was showing off and getting a thrill from it--and she got away with it because you didn't say anything.

I doubt this same child would be tossing around the "N" word... not for long...

And you have to let it roll off because you are the adult.

I was once at a family gathering, and my father said to me, "Jay, how did you get so fat?" It was of course a quiet lull in conversation. My father was elderly and didn't have all his marbles at the time. What could I do? I just said, "The same way you did, Dad, I ate too much." And then the conversation moved on.

I was appalled, but there was no point in attacking him back.

With people who are just being rude, however...


Last edited by JayEll; 03-07-2008 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:22 AM   #8  
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I'm a Mom of 12 year old daughter, so I have quite a bit of exposure to kids of this age. You did the right thing by just walking away. You never know what environment these children have been raised in. Some of these children are being raised with zero respect for anyone. You can't shame them as they have no shame. And, you never know what situation you would be creating by getting involved in a verbal confrontation with children. The area I moved from in Florida was being overun by gangs....of middle schoolers as well as high schoolers! Once you get on their bad side, you never know what will happen to your car or your home....or, your family. Also, some of their parents thrive on drama and causing a scene. And, once the situation begins, it is very difficult to diffuse it.

These children don't know you and they really don't matter in your life. Be proud of who you are and move on.

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Old 03-07-2008, 08:25 AM   #9  
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i agree with everything said to this point and have one thing to add... why does this child think it is okay to speak to an adult that way?? when i was 11 or 12 i wouldn't have dreamed of saying something rude to an adult for fear that my parents would find out! children today are another breed because of the way parenting styles have changed. i work with families and their children everyday and i am amazed at the way the parents let their children act and the things they let them say. my daughter is in for it because my husband and i will not put up with the behavior that others do. i was spanked as a child, i was disciplined, i was taught to be respectful and kind to others, my parents made me learn from my mistakes and that is what my daughter has in her future. *sorry, one of my "peeves" is the way some parents allow their children to think that they are the center of the universe and everybody else is here to make their life easier*
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:31 AM   #10  
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I probably would have said something. If this kid's parents aren't teaching them how to properly treat others, then they are getting away with their actions in public and private.

I was bowling one time and this young girl, maybe 8-9 came up and was watching me. She said to me "You're a pig". I was shocked - then I just said "Get lost" and stared at her until she left. I was totally flabbergasted. I don't care if someone thinks that is mean, there is no excuse for that kind of behavior.

I tried my hardest not to be mortified, it's very difficult not to let direct comments affect you.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:03 AM   #11  
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Well. these are children who have not been raised with any kind of manners,if they are that crude and rude but think what a horrible example their parents must be. I imagine they sit around the dinner table making insulting remarks about neighbors,etc.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:32 AM   #12  
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I would be too shocked to say anything. I always think of something good to say after the fact though. I'm sorry this happened to you. It's kind of sad that some children's self esteems are so low that they have to resort to insulting total strangers. But don't let it get you down or angry. They're not worth it.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:41 AM   #13  
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While I never actually had a kid say anything about my weight... I did have a kid make fun of me once because of my nose. "You're ugly and you have such a big nose." To be honest, I never thought I had a big nose until he said that... and then a friend mentioned it... and now I am paranoid about my nose. It's sad how people's comments, even the comments of young children, can get under your skin and hurt really bad. To this day I have a certain dislike of my nose, and I truly think if someone hadn't pointed it out, I may have honestly never noticed my nose is big. Oh well... you did the right thing by ignoring the kid though. Someday, it will come back to her... and she'll see how much it hurts.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:05 AM   #14  
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I'm sorry you had to deal with that. I've had a kid tell my stepson his mom his fat to his face and loud enough for me to hear it. I just let it roll off my back. I know some people in life feel the need to bring people down to make them feel better about themselves. I try not to stoop to their level and I instead pity them.

I always think of the comeback "I may be fat but you're ugly and I can lose weight." Not that I would say it but I would think it and you know what, you're not always going to be obese. Once you get all this weight off you're going to be a wonderful person and that little girl is still going to be insecure about herself.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:09 AM   #15  
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Oh lordy.

At my university, there are always little teenyboppers here running all over the place with their fireld trips. Why they have field trips here, I'm not sure because it's not a particularly interesting place. But I digress.

Whenever I find this children running amok and being extremely rude (commenting on how people in the same freakin vicinity look/what they are doing that is so 'weird') in the library, or anywhere else where people are studying, I always go up to them and quietly say, "Hey, sweetie," (for some reason they give me the death stare when I call them sweetie-- maybe they find it demeaning? I don't know), "there are people around here that are trying to get their sh*t done. You should have more respect, and maybe one day you'll understand when you're studying for college." Usually I just get a completely shocked look and they say "...ok.... sorry." But it fixes the problem.

Before you all think I'm some sort of heinous psycho, I only say that after they've been warned multiple times by others. But man do they shut up. Or leave. Whatever. Hahaha.
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