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Wedding Woes

Time to run away from these friends.

Dear Prudence,

In the past year I have gotten into distance running, and it has turned my life around. I’m a happier person and am no longer plagued by anxiety attacks. I’ve also gotten a lot leaner. At first it was fun when people would ask if I’d lost weight, but I’ve had something happen over and over that I don’t know how to respond to: A friend will say loudly in front of other people that I look anorexic, or ask if I’m addicted to drugs. It’s usually framed like a joke, but often I can tell the friend is genuinely worried. While I appreciate the concern, I can only imagine that if someone was anorexic or struggling with drug addiction, blurting it out at the dinner table would not be the right way to talk to them about it. Furthermore, I don’t have an eating disorder and I’m not addicted to drugs—but when I say that, people say “Hmm” and nod as though they don’t believe me. It makes me feel embarrassed and self-conscious about my body. There are a couple of people I see regularly who use these lines as their opener every time we have a conversation. Because these disorders are associated with being thin, they think they are paying me a compliment in a twisted sort of way, but I wonder how I can politely let them know that I would rather we don’t talk about what I look like at all.

—Running Out of Patience

Re: Time to run away from these friends.

  • kvrunskvruns member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    These definitely aren't your friends. And I'm curious what LW does/says when they say it since it sounds like wasn't a one time thing. 

    I'm guessing friends are a bit jealous of her weight loss or new running addiction and being jerks about it. 
  • I mean, sometimes it's worth re-training people. If they're good friends otherwise, and LW thinks this is just societal expectations being barfed back up at the bar, it might be worth it to simply say, "Hey, I know you think it's funny or complimentary, but honestly, commenting on bodies is just not something I think anyone should do. Please don't comment on my body again." They could back that up by not talking about bodies themselves, and gently redirecting when the friends start ANY sort of body talk. 

    But most people don't have the energy for that. (It's so exhausting, sometimes, and you get labeled a killjoy a lot.) So, yeah, in that case, find some new friends and distance yourself from these ones. 

    Or, could turn out that LW is a jerk, and only wants them to stop commenting on THEIR body, in which case, die in a fire, LW! ;) 

  • Ro041Ro041 member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    "Those kind of jokes make me uncomfortable.  Please don't make them anymore."  If they keep making the jokes, find new friends.

  • What is wrong with people?!?  Ugh.  It almost feels like some sick, subconscious "excuse" a person is making for themselves that THEY aren't the ones making such a concerted effort to be healthier.  Because only people with eating disorders or a drug habit are thin, smh.

    And she makes a good point.  If I was legit worried that a friend was anorexic or had a drug problem, that would be a serious question asked in a private conversation, in a quiet place. 

    The first time a person asked me that, I would give them a scowly mad face and respond, "Of course not!  Why would you even ASK that?"

    The second time the same person asked that, I'd pull them aside and explain how upsetting I find their comments.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • “Yes”. Then stare at them. 

    Would be one way to end the comments. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    "I'm sure you're trying to make a joke with these anorexia/drug addiction comments about my weight, but those are very serious problems and there's nothing even slightly cute or funny about these comments. Please stop making them because they are impairing our friendship."
  • Have your friends never seen pictures of the winners of the Boston marathon? Runners get skinny. It's one of the most efficient ways to burn calories. Can you just say, "You know I'm a distance runner, right?"

    Commenting on someone's skinniness is as rude as saying, "You must be addicted to ice cream" to a fat person. 
  • 6fsn6fsn member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    My smil asked if I was anorexic and it shocked me so much I couldn’t think of a response.  My mil keeps commenting too and it’s annoying. 
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