How would you respond?

posted 1 week ago in Relationships
Post # 3
Member
371 posts
Helper bee

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@sbl99:  first, I have to tell you that I am impressed by your presence of mind. You have worked so hard mentally, physically and emotionally.

I’m sorry that you and your sister have been subjected to these kinds of comments – they are unhelpful at best.

you have recognized the toxicity of some of your family; it’s hard to face, and its important that you recognize their bad behaviour. This isn’t about you, or your sister. This is about jealous commenters who prefer to diminish others than work on themselves.

you have a few choices: you can choose not to respond, you can take the high toad, or you can lash out. They want a reaction because they are filling their own self esteem holes by satisfying an urge to hurt others. Remember that even when you are targeted, it isn’t about you. You can’t control their comments, attitudes, judgements and general assholery, but you CAN choose how you react.

I am an identical twin, and I know a thing or two about being compared. Do not let it rob you of your joy, or the pride you have for the work you have put in, or the pride you feel for your sister. I have found that the best way to meet these comments is to rise above and speak truth. You do not have to respond to what they are saying directly- instead prepare some responses to have ready:

“Sister looks great! I am so proud of her”; “I am so proud that sister and I have taken steps to take better care of ourselves.” 

If you are caught completely off guard, never hesitate to call attention to someone’s bad behaviour: 

“what a cruel thing to say – why would you say that?” ; “I’m sorry, I don’t understand your question/comment – do you want to try and rephrase that?” 

Finally, talk to your sister. Share that you are so proud of her, and distrurbed by the bad behaviour. As her how she feels, and discuss taking a unified approach to dealing with these people.

internet hugs!

Post # 4
Member
1196 posts
Bumble bee

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@sbl99:  It might be helpful to dispassionately ask those like your cousin and aunt simply “What do you mean?” and then wait silently for their answer. People often become flustered when they are made to explain their remarks.

Post # 5
Member
371 posts
Helper bee

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@sbl99:  I can’t help but reply to your update : never ever be ashamed of your goals! It desnt matter if its for health or vanity – every one of us has the right to work towards anything our hearts desire. ❤️ You got this!

Post # 6
Member
721 posts
Busy bee

Yeah… That was a really bitchy and inappropriate comment and I would not apologise. Are you kidding me?? She should be apologising to you. I wouldn’t even humour the idea that you did anything wrong. Your family are being very rude. I wouldn’t even want to be around them. 

Post # 7
Member
261 posts
Helper bee

They sound unhappy, and making other people feel bad makes them feel better about themselves.

 

Keep kicking ass. Ignore them!

Post # 8
Member
2360 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

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@sbl99:  What would I do? I would ignore it. Your cousin was in the wrong, and though it’s admirable that you recognize lashing out wasn’t the best response, I still wouldn’t apologize for it. 

I’m so petty that if I did apologize, I would say, “I’m sorry that I responded to your rude comment to me with a rude comment of my own. I hope in the the future we both speak kindness to each other and don’t criticize weight.”

Post # 10
Member
140 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Ugh… I’m mad FOR you! Just tell them to mind their own fucking business, honestly. 

Post # 11
Member
5785 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

 I wouldn’t ignore your aunt’s text. I would write back that she was making rude comments and deserved the answer she got. That’s it. 

Post # 12
Member
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Turkey

People who don’t have anything better to do gossip, make unwanted and irrelevant comments and try to drag you down to their level. Unfortunately they will always have opinions about anything there is. Try to avoid them as much as possible and I’d not even bother replying to your aunt.

Congrats on your goals and accomplishments. I indeed understand such comments and their possible destructive effects. My sister and I look so much like each other but she’s always been more petite than me. But neither of us are overweight. My entire life people commented on how fat I am, how I look older than my sister because I’m taller / bigger etc. Like, look it’s not helping to me! So, I’ve been hearing those comments and for so many years especially throughout high school I thought I was just ugly and fat and undesirable by boys. That’s probably why I ended up in a fcked up relationship all throughout the uni because I thought nobody else would love me. Almost 10 years after high school, I look back at photos and see how truly innocent and lovely I was. By the way I was size 38-40 European (I guess it means 8-10 I’m AU).

Last year I lost so much weight because of wedding preparations, work and grad school, and became size 34 EU. Then, people started to congratulate for the weight loss, but I was simply not happy.I gained all the weight loss back ever since and guess what I am a lot happier, cheerful and feel like myself. 

Long story short, as much as it is hard and I do struggle just right now to lose 2-3 kgs I put on during lockdown because it’s not ideal in my head, trying to ignore people is the key. We already have a lot to achieve just in our own minds. Cheers. 

Post # 13
Member
1490 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

Two options. 1) ignore your aunt completely. Don’t respond. Because most of the time ignoring blatantly entitled manipulative comments is best. Her daughter said you were fat and all you did was basically repeat her comment back at her. You did nothing wrong. 
2) you reply to aunt and say, ” cousin and I are adults and are perfectly capable of managing our relationship directly. If she has something to tell me she has my number.” 

I think when people make comments about you and sister you do just need some memorized phrases to say. I’d say something like these. 

– It’s great my sister is making good progress, let’s leave me and my physical appearance out of it as it’s rude to negatively comment on people’s bodies and that includes mine.

– What do you mean by that? ( this is a great one for when someone makes a rude comment especially if they jokingly say it assuming they can say something unkind and it’s ok because it’s a joke or an off hand commment. Asking them what they mean makes them pause, realize explaining would mean admitting it was rude and it embarasses them and do this enough times to someone who has this habit and stops it.) 

– when you comment on my weight it makes me ubcomfortable, id like it if it didn’t happen again thanks

– That’s rude.. ( and walk away) 

Post # 15
Member
1679 posts
Bumble bee

 

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@sbl99:  

There are two separate issues here: what happened with your cousin and how you’d prefer to handle things moving forward.

Regarding how things went with your cousin.  It’s time to be real and not put standards of idealism on yourself.  What your cousin said to you was way beyond “inappropriate.” It was nasty and malicious, whether consciously or subconsciously.  It’s no surprise that you turned it and served it right back at her.  Taking the high road and being careful with responses gets best results.  However, you are human with real emotions and you were caught off guard with a very nasty attack.  She got less than what she deserved, honestly, which would have been to get chewed out authoritatively right then and there for being unacceptably nasty about a sensitive subject and to have that backed up by everyone present.  And had she left in tears after that verbal whooping, I’d be crying a river for her–in bizarro world.  She got off easy as far as I’m concerned.  So don’t feel bad about that incident in the least, is my opinion.

Regarding how you would prefer to handle this situation moving forward…I can only share how I would handle it and I’m one to take the bull by the horns. This may or may not appeal to you. As for me, I can put up with some things, shrug and brush them off, but other things–no.  For instance, those who know about my trauma from growing up in an abusive home and my consequently severed relationship with my father and then make light of it, joke about it, or guilt trip me about cutting off my father?  Oh, hell no.  My husband says, “gimmepretty doesn’t take shit from anyone.” It’s not entirely accurate.  I put up with a lot.  I even brush off jokes about the fact that I have epilepsy of all things, which is a terrifying and humiliating sickness.  But I brush it off.  But, like I said, I have my limits and when I let someone know they’ve crossed my limit, I’m very clear. They’ve been warned.  After that there’s no playing around. So..

Rude weight comment happens.  Response: “I don’t know if I’ve been clear enough about how inappropriate and hurtful these comments about my weight are.  It’s rude, it’s hurtful, and it’s nobody’s business.  I need for all of it to stop right now and I’m letting everyone know it. I expect that there shouldn’t be any more comments moving forward.”

Alternative: “Wow.  What a rude and nasty thing to say to someone.  Is there something going on in your own life that’s got you feeling the need to be rude to others.”

If I’m feeling generous: “I don’t think you meant to say that. I’m sure you know that body image comments are socially unacceptable and no one wants to hear it any more than we want to hear about your trips to the bathroom today. I mean, right?”

If they get defensive and justify their behavior or accuse you of being defensive.  Response: “The comments have been going on for too long. They’re rude and I’m not taking it anymore.  I’m being as clear as I can be: STOP.  This shouldn’t be an issue moving forward.”

Time passes and another comment happens.  Response: “I did mention before that comments about my body are inappropriate and rude. Stop.”

They say you’re overreacting, they meant well blah blah: “If you mean well then you won’t make comments about my weight or my figure anymore.  It’s all hurtful. Every time. Don’t do it.”

None of what I have there is nasty but it’s no nonsense and no apologies or subtlety. I would use my “don’t push me” tone of voice. I don’t see the benefits of being passive about something like this. I also wouldn’t go to efforts to be discreet with it if they aren’t. I would say it all right in the moment in front of anyone present, of course. If they initiate it publicly then it can be dealt with publicly. 

There is a limit to how much of this I would put up with, however.  Three strikes and you’re out. If it happened again, I would stop attending events or doing visits where those people will be present.  Family is not some ball and chain we are tied to.  If a family member or a whole collection of family isn’t respectful to you, then you have every right to shake them off. Withdraw and spend your time with people and in places where you will not be insulted and left feeling so down about yourself that you’re regressing into a pattern of self destructive behavior patterns that can be lethal.  People really die of eating disorders.  If someone assaulted you and caused physical harm to your body, would you return to them for more? Of course not.  Bee, this is no different. These people are causing you physical harm with what they’re saying and doing. Don’t go back to people who hurt you.  See that this is unacceptable treatment and do not tolerate it. Protect yourself.  Make your health a priority. People who hurt you get the boot. I teach my kids “As a principle of dignity and self respect, don’t go back to people who treat you badly.” Beyond the words, I teach them by example. Put your foot down and don’t feel bad about it for a second.

Feel better, Bee.  I’m sorry that an eating disorder has affected you and is now rearing it’s ugly head. This kind of thing doesn’t let go easily. Take care of yourself. I hope you can get whatever support that will help you to stay well.

Post # 15
Member
1679 posts
Bumble bee

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@sbl99:  

Just adding, regarding the text. I would not apologize.  Most people would ignore. I would block if I went that route to prevent further texts but I wouldn’t expect her to drop it.  I might honestly say, “She’s a grown woman, too old to be having her mother demanding apologies for her.  And she’s too old to think that she can say vicious things to people and that they’re just going to take it. She never should have said what she did. I’m sorry she felt the need to say something so nasty to me that day. I’m working on getting over it. Take care.”

Then I’d block her and your cousin on all forms of communication. But that’s just me.

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