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Oh LW, you deserve a much better friend.

Dear Prudence,

Roughly one year ago, I elected to have bariatric surgery. I’ve been relatively upfront about this with most people in my life, but I don’t go out of my way to tell everyone. But a co-worker of mine is extremely quick to tell people about my surgery whenever anyone comments on my weight loss—whether I know those people or not. I find this extremely uncomfortable for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I don’t want to discuss such a personal thing with relative strangers. To further complicate matters, this co-worker and I are very close and maintain a friendship outside of the workplace. In fact, I have been debating asking her to be a bridesmaid in my wedding, as I’ve just recently gotten engaged. Is there a good way to tell her to shut up?

—Stop Talking About Surgery

Re: Oh LW, you deserve a much better friend.

  • “Hey, please stop telling people about my surgery. I don’t like to share it with everyone I meet.”
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Wow, the friend sounds like an asshole. 

  • If she's pissing you off about this then talk to her.    

    And don't ask her to be in your BP without addressing this first. 
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    "Why would you think its appropriate to share my medical history with Sam? I barely know him!"

    Also, fuck Sam (or whoever) for commenting in the first place. LW's weight loss (or gain) is not fodder for chit chat. Maybe it was intentional and a success, but it could also be driven by illness or something bad. Not an appropriate topic for someone you barely know.   
  • I think LW should say something, but I've also seen friends like this in action (with other people). It's such a dick move to basically tell everyone that even looks in LW's direction that LW is formerly fat and that she had surgical intervention.  I don't think a 'conversation' about how it makes LW feel is going to change anything.  It a frenemy behavior to do that to someone. 

    It makes me sad that despite this 'friend' making LW so uncomfortable, that she might ask her to be in her WP.   Can you imagine if this 'friend' tried to make a toast at the wedding? 

    NO LW...tell her you don't appreciate her bringing all this shit up and then slowly back away from being friends with her outside of work. 
  • I can also see this coming from a place where the coworker (CW) is proud of her friend's achievement in meeting their weight loss goal.  CW's perception is that the LW is open about the surgery and is extolling LW's accomplishments in a positive way.

    That doesn't make it right!  In a perfect world, obviously the CW should have "checked in" with her friend before she started blabbing about.  But I can also see how it happened.

    I know there are people out there who really shy away from any kind of confrontation.  But still.  Did it really warrant writing to Prudie?  Can the LW not just figure out that the simple solution to this problem is, "Friend, while I realize I don't make my bariatric surgery a secret.  At the same time, it's my business to tell someone about that if and when I wish to.  So please stop telling people about it."

    This, all the way. This seems like a situation that can be solved by simple words.
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I think LW just needs to be blunt with coworker/friend that she doesn't want her chiming in with that info, please and thank you.

    I agree that the friend probably thinks she's doing a good thing, or at least doesn't see sharing as a bad thing. Honestly, my BFF is a blabbermouth. The thing is, she's not a blabbermouth in a mean and gossipy way- she's just a sharer of information. When we were in our late 20's and 30's I started hearing about the reproductive woes of other friends, because it's like, "Well, so-and-so have been trying for so long with no luck that now they're trying IUI, and did you know that xzy happens with IUI?" It's that sort of thing, informational sharing. 
    If I tell her something I don't want broadcast, I make damn sure to firmly tell her not to tell anyone else.

  • This friend should not be sharing LW's private health information with other people. It should be LW's decision and their decision alone who to tell. Unfortunately, some people don't get the concept that they shouldn't be sharing other people's news for them. 

    LW needs to have a firm, to the point discussion with the friend and let her know that they are very uncomfortable with her telling everyone about this surgery and that she is embarrassing LW. If friend apologizes and stops doing it, then LW can decide whether to ask her to be a bridesmaid or not. But LW absolutely should not ask her until this has resolved. And if it doesn't, I think it's time to create some distance from this friend, because clearly she has trouble with boundaries and respecting privacy.
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