So what to say when someone says something that hurts? I used to swallow these things but no more.
I know in my last long conversation with my father when we were discussing whether I should have got over my childhood or not, merely saying “I disagree” with him was enough for him to pause and me to at least think my dissatisfaction was being noted, if not understood.
One common answer I use when people are talking about their need to lose weight is simply to ask “Why?”. This is such a basic question that people find it difficult to answer because they assume we all want to lose weight and believe in some perfect body that we’re all chasing. Actually being asked why they want to lose weight seems to stop them for a moment.
A friend of mine recently asked, having ventured onto dating sites, why men found her photos attractive, as they weren’t that brilliant. I pointed out that she was attractive, and she looked like fun, an interesting person to spend an evening with and that was more important than looking like a doll. She still doesn’t quite believe it herself but I’ll keep on telling her.
As for me, I can’t remember the last time someone was rude about my appearance. This either means that I ignore it, or don’t spend time with people who make negative comments. Either way I would not leave it unchallenged. I feel that’s an insufficient answer.
When, a few years ago, I started putting on weight, one of my neighbours who didn’t know me very well, stopped me in the street and said “Congratulations” to me. I responded “what for?” and then watched her dawning embarrassment as she realised that I wasn’t pregnant and therefore she was being rude. She more or less just ran away from me. I think I may have mentioned this before. Was that the best thing for me to say? It was pointing out that she was making assumptions based on insufficient knowledge.
My children occasionally talk about people being fat, or friends being badmouthed because they, or their parents are fat. I always point out to them that I too am fat, and that it’s not a nice thing to poke fun at. I don’t run away from saying that I’m fat. It’s a statement, not a criticism and they need to learn that it’s possible to make such a statement without including all those negative connotations that we are used to.
Beautiful You, by Rosie Molinary, with 365 thoughts and challenges, is available at Amazon (click on the picture) and her website is Rosie Molinary