The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

If You Can’t Say Something Nice, Come Sit By Me. . .Wait A Minute, That’s Not Right. . .

on August 5, 2013

I had a friend a few years ago who was very supportive about me losing weight and yet when I was with her she constantly offered me food and sugary drinks and sweets.  It took me a while to understand what was going on, but I realized that she liked me being fat, she liked me being single, and she liked to think of me as a failure, because it made her feel better about her own life.  There was always someone she could point to and say “Well at least I’m not as pathetic as her.”  What she didn’t count on was that I don’t think of myself as being pathetic.  Too fat yes, could do with a lottery win and an adoring boytoy sure, but overall I’m doing ok.  When our friendship fell apart because I realized that she was only nice to me on the surface, she revealed herself to be quite the nasty piece of work and told me what she really thought about me.  At first I was hurt by her words, but then I just felt sorry for her because her life was apparently so pathetic and she was so unhappy that she could only feel good by degrading others.  Another woman I used to know, who is my size, once told me that it was unfortunate that I was bottom heavy and not more proportionate like her.  Um sure, if that makes you feel better about yourself well hey you go girl!  But really it was one of the saddest things someone has ever said to me.  Sad not only because her self esteem could only get a boost by pushing me down, but also because apparently the only thing she could fault me on was something for which I am often complimented.

I’m not sure if similar behaviours arise amongst men, but I see this kind of behaviour far too often amongst women.  In order to feel good about ourselves we knock those around us and tell ourselves that we are in someway better than THAT poor schlub.  I am also not immune to this behaviour and I did feel better when after telling my mom about the disproportionate comment she noted that if I lost weight I’d be really pretty, but that my colleague would still be unfortunate looking.  It made me laugh and it was meant to make me feel better, but it wasn’t a very nice thing to say and I’m not even going to acknowledge the backhanded compliment my mother gave me.

We talk a lot about the importance of female friendship, of camaraderie, of mentorship and yet all too often we demonstrate the stereotypical behaviour of the catty bitch.  Back in May a CBS Houston blogger made some disparaging comments about a Cheerleader who she felt was perhaps too “chunky” to be on the squad.  She also criticized this woman’s breasts for being too small in her opinion and hedged her comments by making it sound as if she was just repeating what she had heard.  It is my understanding that the blogger was subsequently fired for her comments, but it is appalling that of all the things she could report on she thought that criticizing this beautiful woman was the way to go, and if you take a second and look at the pics, the cheerleader in question has a beautiful figure.

We all tease, and laugh and goof around, and I’m not saying that we can’t have any fun, but consider what it says about you if the only way you can feel better is to disparage someone else.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could give someone a compliment and actually mean it and keep the negativity to ourselves, or go that one step further and see the beauty in ourselves and our friends instead of always focusing on the supposed shortcomings of those around us.

– the Goddess


3 responses to “If You Can’t Say Something Nice, Come Sit By Me. . .Wait A Minute, That’s Not Right. . .

  1. When I feel good about myself, I don’t have that constant comparison conversation running through my head, wherein I don’t measure up to other women for whatever reason it might be. I truly live for those days when I feel comfortable in my skin, and only think about being the best me, I can be.

  2. I stumbled across a quote the other day and it basically touched on the fact that we compare our own “behind the scenes” footage with everyone else’s “highlight” reels and so of course we feel inferior, unsuccessful and “less than” at times. My real issue though is that instead of reveling in the successes of others and being supportive and perhaps even working to emulate their hard work and subsequent success, we all too often choose the negative and tear others down to make ourselves feel better.

    • TedWest says:

      wow that “behind the scenes” footage with everyone else’s “highlight” reels analogy is realy smart. most people are such good pretenders myself included.

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