Yielding Our Happiness Over To Cretins Is A No-No

by admin on June 5, 2013

I’d like to share this story with you all and would love to hear how you think I should have responded to this. Of course, at the time I had no words so remained silent which I’m kicking myself for now.

Background:
I’m 22 years old now but have been overweight for the majority of my life. Around two years ago, I decided to start eating healthily and joined a gym. Over time, I managed to lose quite a bit of weight and I am now a UK size 10. Unfortunately, I’m still unhappy with my body and don’t have a lot of confidence in myself so I still push myself daily in order to lose weight. Sometimes this causes me a lot of stress and upset because I haven’t achieved what I would like to achieve.

Anyway, my boyfriend and I had arranged an evening at a night club for a friends birthday. I was excited for the night. I spent the day getting ready and even bought a brand new pink dress which I was nervous about wearing but loved it! Usually I stick to wearing black because I don’t like drawing attention to my body. After spending a fun afternoon getting ready for the big night out, I left the house feeling happy about how I looked though still self concious about the parts of me I didn’t like.

We all arrived at the nightclub and the girls headed for the dance floor whilst the men stood around at the bar. I was having a good time dancing with my friends when I felt someone reach over and ruffle my hair behind me! I turned around to see a man looking back at me. I didn’t say any thing and continued dancing with my friends – but he did it again and again and again. I turned round and gave him a confused look as if it say “What are you doing?” and he came up to me, looked me square in the eye and said “You’re FAT”.

I would like to point out that I had never met this man before in my life and hadn’t said a single word to him throughout the entire “hair ruffling” thing so this seemed very out of the blue and cruel. He walked off after that but left me feeling like I’d been punched in the stomach. My friends didn’t see what happened and I felt too ashamed to tell any one. Instead, I found myself sitting outside on my own wanting to cry.

I was so mortified about what he said to me that I didn’t respond to him however I really don’t know what would be a polite thing to say to someone who had hurt my feelings for no reason whatsoever. As soon as I got home, I threw my new dress away and unfortunately let his comment bring me down.

My question is, what could I have said? This man has no idea that I eat salads every day and work-out four times a week to try and get in to shape and I guess it isn’t really his problem either – but I just WISH I could have said something witty yet remaining dignified too. 0507-13

Likely the man was drunk which does not excuse his rude comment at all.  There exists a subset of people in this world who use the power of the spoken word to gain control, manipulate, abuse and damage others.   If only for a brief moment, he has caught you off guard and inflicted hit-and-run harm.   We will never be able to change the ugly people of this world to be different than what they are.  We can only change ourselves.

One question to ask yourself is why you feel shame for that man’s behavior?  You’ve done nothing wrong to be ashamed about.   Your response should at least be indignation that some creep thought you were worthy of his rudeness.  Sometimes a little arrogance isn’t a bad thing if it helps you develop a polite spine.   How dare this creep think he can dump his insecurities and bias on me!  Who does he think he is?

Second, why do you allow a total stranger to hurt your feelings?   You have given him far greater power to rule you than he deserves.  He successfully succeeded in removing you from the dance floor , ruin your happy mood, and destroy an innocent dress despite the fact that your friends and boyfriend were the positive counterbalance to his ugliness.   One man, for a brief moment, had the power to tip your emotional scales so that the contributions of love, companionship, friendship and acceptance from your friends and boyfriend weighed little in the balance.  Ask yourself, “Why?”   Never, ever let miserable, manipulative, crass, insulting people live in your  brain and heart because to do so gives them more power to hurt than they ever deserve to have.

What would I have done in your situation?  Depending on the situation and the mood, I might have rolled my eyes and said, “Jerk”, before moving on to have more fun.   Living life happily is the best revenge and you certainly never want to give anyone the satisfaction that their words might have a smidgen of power over you.   Or I might have more firmly (as in more loudly) said, “What are you doing?  Don’t touch me again,” which would have immediately alerted my husband and friends that something was amiss.   Draw that line in the sand that says to yourself,  “No one touches me without my consent…ever.”

{ 112 comments… read them below or add one }

Kirst June 5, 2013 at 8:12 am

OP, he didn’t say that to you because you’re fat – or because you’re thin or because you’re any size at all. He said it because there are some men who just can’t get through their day without making inappropriate comments to women. Have a look at everydaysexism.com and it might help you understand that he didn’t say it because of anything about you.

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ferretrick June 5, 2013 at 8:31 am

Oh, sweetie. Lose weight if you want to sure, for your own health and well being, but you have way, WAY too much of your self worth tied up in your weight and appearence. I know it’s easier said than done, but you need to develop more self-confidence in yourself at ANY weight, and know that your inside is far, far more important than your outside. Then the rude boors of this world like this one won’t be able to touch you, much less ruin a fun evening for you or make you throw away a perfectly great dress I bet you looked hot in. I’ve got news for you-even if you achieve your weight goals you still won’t be happy until you find that love inside, and you deserve to feel good about yourself ALL the time.

As for what you should say to that guy? This is a bully, you don’t need to worry about what’s “polite” to say in response. Work on “assertive” instead. You should have locked eyes and told him in a firm, commanding voice, loud enough to be heard by other people, “Do not touch me” the first time. He was testing you to see if you could be intimidated-and when you let that slide the bullying escalated. If you had put a stop to it the first time, he probably would have muttered the b word under his breath or somethign like that, but he would have gotten the message and gone away to harass an easier target. And if he didn’t and touched you again, or said anything else to you, turn around and walk away. Find the bouncer if there is one, or the bartender, and tell them that that man was touching you without invitation and harrassing you and you want him removed. If they refuse, which they probably won’t, then you get your party together and find another club.

Best wishes to you in future.

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Jenn50 June 5, 2013 at 8:35 am

I agree with the principle of what admin has said, but it’s easier said than done. As a human being, it’s sometimes tough not to let the words of cretins hurt. The second time he touched me, I would have stood stock still, and said, loudly, “Stop touching me!” and then gone over to the other side of my group of friends to dance. But I’d be doing it with tears stinging my eyes because I’m not so evolved as to not be upset when someone mocks me for something I already feel insecure about.

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Anonymous June 5, 2013 at 9:07 am

When I was that age my feelings were very easily hurt, just as yours were. It’s pretty normal for that age, especially if you are already sensitive emotionally. You should not feel bad about that. However, it is in your interest to start a program to toughen yourself up for certain situations, realizing that there ARE nasty people out there who are only too happy to destroy your good mood. The first thing I would do is tell your husband and/or a close friend what happened and discuss how bad it made you feel. In fact, promise yourself that you will tell hubby/friends immediately the next time something like that happens; if you keep it inside you, it will just fester (as you have noticed). The more you analyze it, the less power it will have over you. Hubby/friends will be shocked at the pure nastiness of that fellow and will offer comfort. That’s what you need right now. Then, I would practice different scenarios with myself and perhaps hubby or friend in which I would reply loudly to offenders with choice phrases (“Have you lost your mind? Get away from me” “Leave me alone or I will call the police” etc). Practice until you feel you know how to ward off any unwanted touches or verbiage and will have the presence of mind to use your phrases the next time you are approached by some idiot.

I feel for you, because I know how painful that comment was for you. I was exactly the same way at your age, and I truly had no one to talk to about how sensitive I was to such things. You have a hubby and friends and, if you want to engage one, a counselor can help you talk about it, too, so you can learn to process your feelings to avoid causing yourself such pain in the future. I wish I’d thought about that when I was a kid…..

At age 60, of course, I can turn a gimlet eye and a fast mouth on such jerks, but that came with age. Practice, practice, practice your facial expression and some choice phrases, and you can hurry up the process that took me many years.

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Princess Buttercup June 5, 2013 at 9:32 am

My response is usually; “well thank you captain obvious. Were you hoping to get a cookie in reward for noticing the obvious?”
But I am fat and I accept me as I am however that may be. (I’d like the weigh less and have tried but there is some sort of problem with my body and I continually slowly gain weight and have ever since my metabolism gave up when I was 9)

Another option is to respond; “And you’re rude and lack manners, however I am working on my problems, you should consider trying the same.” Then brush it off and walk away. Don’t let his issues ruin your day.

By the way, I looked up size conversions and based on the size you said you wear, you are not fat. You may have a bit more weight then you’d like but you are not fat. Many women would love to be your size. Learn to love yourself, you are not near as bad as you have convinced yourself you are.

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gramma dishes June 5, 2013 at 9:33 am

There are a few instances in life where I think we don’t have to worry about being “polite”. This is one of those. This is a person you don’t have to interact with. He has nothing to do with you or your life in any way. Manners are designed to help us through awkward situations without harming ourselves or others. This man was/is a non-entity in your life so who cares how he feels or what he thinks?

Him: “You’re fat!”

You: *shrug*
“And you’re a jerk!”
*dancing continues*

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WildIrishRose June 5, 2013 at 9:38 am

My dear, ferretrick is right. Your body is not who you are. I applaud you for eating sensibly and working out to look and feel better, but that is only physical. You may want to consider some form of counseling or therapy to help you get past the belief that your looks define you. I’m so, so very sorry that you felt the need to discard the dress you loved because of this asshat. And in the future (because this man is not the only one who clearly was reared with no manners whatsoever), do NOT let a stranger touch you a second time. The first time he does, you say, loudly and firmly, “I don’t know you so keep your hands to yourself,” or “Do NOT touch me again,” or some such thing. Loudly. Firmly. So that others hear you. Seriously, call attention to it. If others fail to intervene, or if the boor persists in bothering you, then you do what ferretrick recommended–you seek out the bouncer or bartender and sell the jerk out. I believe Admin is right; the idiot was probably drunk, and most drunk people run their mouths without thinking (because they CAN’T think).

I hope you can get past this and see it for what it likely is: An isolated incident starring a jackass who undoubtedly went home alone. Please don’t let people like that consume your thoughts. They aren’t worth it and you deserve much better! Now go out and get yourself another new dress (not black) and go out with your friends and have a kick-a$$ time!!

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Cora June 5, 2013 at 9:46 am

Here’s an insight that might help: not everyone has to like you. So many girls are taught to make nice, be nice to everyone and if people don’t like you, then you’re a failure. This is garbage.

Who care if glassbowls don’t like you? You don’t like them! YOU have the upper hand here. You are in control; you can totally decide not to like someone and not make any effort to get them to like you.

With this guy? He says: “You’re FAT.” You say: “You’re RUDE!” and smile the biggest, toothiest grin you can manage. And if he keeps going, turn it into the toddler game it is:

“You’re fat.”

“You’re rude.”

“No, you’re really ugly.”

“I’m rubber and you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!”

“You’re really stupid.”

“Should I go get the hall monitor now?”

He’s a first-grader. Treat him like one. Within reason of course; and always know where the security guys are in clubs like this if he starts to get out of hand.

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Anna June 5, 2013 at 9:47 am

First off, I’m so sorry this happened to you, as a plus-size woman I know how cruel others can be. So I looked it up, and a Size 10 UK is equivalent to a Size 6 US. Let me just tell you, you are not fat. I encourage you to exercise for your health and live in a way that encourages healthy habits. This guy was a straight up jerk. He was playing an evil game that I have seen before. Some men can seems to sense a woman’s lack of confidence and love to “cut her from the herd” and bring her down. You didn’t respond to his flirting, so he went for the cheap shot and happened on this occasion to hit the mark. I’m sure you looked lovely in your dress. You failed to mention if you boyfriend or any of your friends commented on how you looked that evening, but you said you felt happy about how you looked. What’s most important is how you think you look, and bask in compliments from those who love and care about you. Do not give the power for your happiness to someone who honestly does not matter in the grand scheme of your life.

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spartiechic June 5, 2013 at 9:48 am

YES!! Everything the Admin said was spot on. People don’t have the power to bring us down unless we let them. You need to begin telling yourself that you are worth respect no matter how big or little you are. Don’t let the opinion of one person (especially a stranger in a club) get the best of you.

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Cat June 5, 2013 at 9:54 am

I am far less polite than you are and I, too, am overweight. My first thought would be to say very loudly, “Get your hands off me!”
If I felt the need to reply to the idiot, there’s the stand-by, “And you are rude and ill-mannered, but I can lose weight.” Don’t waste wit on idiots.
That said, you have a boyfriend and friends who want to go out with you. The only person who seems to be unhappy with you is you. Either you have very poor taste in people or you should be realize that your weight is a far greater problem in your mind than in anyone else’s, drunken idiots not withstanding.
That said, keep on eating healthy foods and exercising. Svelte may just not be in your genetic cards. Aim at healthy and happy. You know what Auntie Mame said, “Live! Life is a banquet and most poor fools are starving to death!”

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JeanLouiseFinch June 5, 2013 at 10:00 am

I would have said, “Yeah, I’m fat, and I can lose the weight if I want to, but you’re stuck with your creepy pervy personality.” Then go back to having fun. (Oh and talk to the bar’s bouncer about him touching you without permission.) Like the previous poster, I am older and less misbehavior leaves me speechless. It sounds like you looked great, so you just need to consider the source of that comment more – a creepy perv, who, if he kept touching my hair, probably would have gotten backhanded.

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Morticia June 5, 2013 at 10:00 am

I hope you can retrieve your pretty dress. If you are a UK size 10, the man is clearly delusional, since that is nowhere near fat. However, your size is not really the issue at all. The fact of the matter is, this boor just wanted to empower himself at the expense of a perfect stranger, so he chose one and hit her where almost all women are, sadly, vulnerable. Cretin is actually too nice a word for this bacon-fed knave, but I can’t think of any appropriate ones that can be uttered in polite company. Should there be a next time, remember his comments are telling the world about him, not you.

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acr June 5, 2013 at 10:03 am

Ugh. WHAT a creep! OP, please stop internalizing the ugly thing he said to you. (Easier said than done.)

From my POV:
You – nice person with friends having fun wearing a pink dress and dancing.
Him – jerk who must have no friends and no date, because he had nothing better to do than repeatedly touch a stranger, then say something mean to her.

Now, which of those people sounds like a loser to YOU?

BTW, ask yourself this – why are you giving more value to the opinion of said guy with no friends than you are to your own boyfriend?

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Library Diva June 5, 2013 at 10:03 am

This guy is a pig with no manners and no respect for women, pure and simple, and it makes my blood boil that he ruined a special evening for you. He probably gets all his ideas about women from the shadier sites on the internet (if you know what I mean) and doesn’t understand how to interact with a flesh-and-blood woman. You didn’t give him the attention he was hoping for, so he tried to hurt you. Easier said than done, but he’s not worth the power you’re giving him over your mind. You don’t have to prove anything to him. You don’t need the approval or admiration of people like that. I’m sure you looked beautiful in your dress, and I commend you for working so hard to lose weight. It’s certainly not an easy thing to do.

This may not be an e-Hell approved response, but if a stranger gets physical with me, I try to get them to stop verbally and distance myself first, but if that doesn’t work, I have on two separate occasions shoved strange men who tried to get closer to me than they should be thinking about getting. I still remember the look of shock on their faces as they went sprawling (guys like that always think you’re just going to take it). It made me feel empowered, and hopefully the next time they’re tempted to do something like that to a woman, they remember the time when it ended with them flat on their butts in front of the entire place.

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AMC June 5, 2013 at 10:04 am

My guess is that ruffling your hair was his inappropriate way of coming on to you. And when you didn’t respond the way he wanted you to, he retaliated by hurling an insult. This says waaaay more about him than it does about you. He is a pathetic piece of garbage for thinking 1) that is okay to touch a stranger without their consent (It really is not, EVER.) and 2) that when someone refuses his creepy advances, which they have the right to do, the proper response is to call them names. This guy’s social develop obviously peeked when he was nine.
Admin is right: Do not let this creep live in your head rent free.
I also what you to know that you are beautiful exactly the way you are. I don’t even have to see you to know that. You have the right to exist in your body at any size, in public, in the pink dress, at the club, on the beach, ANYWHERE, having fun with your friends. Don’t ever again let anyone make you believe otherwise.

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NostalgicGal June 5, 2013 at 10:05 am

The first time the dude touched me I would have stopped, pulled myself up and looked him in the eye and told him firmly and loudly “DON’T TOUCH ME AGAIN”. If he touched me again I would have LEFT the dance floor and demanded someone do something about him (like to a bartender)

He was a jerk, he invaded your space, and blow him off. As you said, he was not sober, and he has no power to ruin anything if you don’t let him.

OP you are beautiful just the way you are! If it is still bothering you, seek out a counselor and talk with them… do not let this yo-yo mess up one more second of your life.

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Pen^3 June 5, 2013 at 10:08 am

What an awful man.

When I was 22, I would have responded the same way, emotionally. I would have felt terrible, even though I knew I did nothing wrong. But even five years later, I’d heard enough insults to develop a thick skin. Unfortunately, it takes time and experience to realise, deep down, that idiotic statements like these aren’t worth bothering about and don’t really matter. Until then, no matter what we say or tell ourselves to feel, they can still really sting us.

As you get older, it gets easier to not take things as personally. But it sucks in the meantime. I know that when I look at my husband, I see a wonderful person who makes me happy. But when he looks in the mirror, he sees all these zits and imperfections and things. Sure, I see the pimples, but they don’t stand out as much and don’t detract from what I’m focussing on. Maybe you have the same thing when you look at your boyfriend, a family member, or another loved one. It takes a while, but it’s worth realising that no matter what, they see you the same way: a kind person they love. Everything else is secondary. Just think for an instant how wonderful the people you choose to spend time with look. That’s how they see you, too.

In future, a response can come at the point where someone touches you and you don’t want them to. “Don’t touch me,” said firmly and loudly enough that your friends hear you. Then move away and go back to enjoying yourself. If he follows you and spits out his unkind statement, a raised eyebrow and “what a rude thing to say. Leave me alone.” Then go to the bouncer, your friends, or some group of people who can help you deal with a person who is following you, insulting you, and touching you without permission.

Having rehersed a few things like this in your head can help you deal with rude slugs like this if you meet any again, and then you won’t be out of your depth, and it will be easier to summon the courage needed to say them. (Also, if you have a few things you can choose from in advance, it won’t take as much courage, either.) You’ll probably become more confident in the next few years; I know I did, as well as just about every girl I know! And in the meantime, always remember: the people you love are wonderful. Think about just how wonderful. Why do they choose to spend parts of their lives with you? The only logical answer that stands up to scrutiny is because they think you are *just* as wonderful.

You are so much more graceful than the scum who say unkind things like that, because you would never walk up to a happy stranger and do the same thing. You have people who love you and think you are a fantastic person. Rock on!

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Ripple June 5, 2013 at 10:08 am

For these kinds of situations, you don’t need a polite spine – you need a tough spine. Maybe a few therapy sessions to get to where you start feeling good about yourself no matter what your weight or shape is would help. If something like this happens again, turn to him after the second hair-ruffling and say loudly, “Leave me alone, creep!” Loud enough so that your friends notice and so do the people around him. Then shift your position so you aren’t next to him any more. If he continues to harass you, get the club employees involved. They don’t want creeps and drunks bothering their other patrons.

By the way, I looked it up and a British size 10 is equivalent to an American size 6 or 8 (depending on the site) – certainly not fat!

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betty June 5, 2013 at 10:08 am

If it happened to me, I would love to have said, “And you’re an idiot” and then gone back to having fun. I carry a few extra pounds myself, and it’s not like I’m not aware of it, so perhaps I would even had said “No sh*t, Sherlock” and again, turned my back to him. If he continued to harass me (and that’s what this was), I’d loudly tell him, “Don’t touch me again.”

In the moment it would be hard to deal with, though. Please remember that this was HIS problem, not yours. No reason for you to feel ashamed that some stranger was a jerk to you. If someone else saw the incident, they would have seen it for what it was: some jerk being rude to you.

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Helen June 5, 2013 at 10:09 am

This reminds me of the Winston Churchill retort. Applied here it works out to:

You can lose the weight, but that guy will always be a jerk.

I’m sorry you threw your new dress away–I’m certain you looked lovely in it. In junior high, I developed early. I was 5’3″ weighed 100 pounds and wore a C cup. I was also tremendously insecure about my body, my weight, etc. I had another kid call me fat, and while a friend of mine was there, heard it, and yelled at him and told him he was wrong. Still, it stuck with me, but you know what, he was wrong as was this obnoxious oaf.

A UK size 10 is a US size eight. That’s thin. In the US, a size 12 is average. You are two sizes smaller than average. Again, that’s thin.

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Din June 5, 2013 at 10:11 am

First, *hugs*. Body image can be a difficult thing to deal with. I’d encourage you to seek out professional help to deal with your self-esteem and body image issues. You shouldn’t have to deal with this pain day after day.

Second: NOBODY has a right to touch ANY part of you without your permission. After the first time he touched your hair, you should have said to him “What are you doing?” After the second time, “DO NOT TOUCH ME AGAIN.” If it happened a third time, you find club security/the bouncer/management. You have no reason to be polite to this complete stranger. You owe him NOTHING. No explanation, no apology, nothing.

Please be well and consider talking to someone about your body image issues. You shouldn’t have to struggle like this. Nobody is perfect, and we all struggle. Take care.

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Stacey Frith-Smith June 5, 2013 at 10:14 am

If strangers touch you (repeatedly, uck!)- get a bouncer. Seriously, he is so far out of line he’s off the entire Cartesian plane!

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Ergala June 5, 2013 at 10:19 am

He may have said that because you didn’t return the “flirt” (when he was touching you…*shudder*). Ever notice that when a woman doesn’t welcome advances suddenly she is called a name or insulted in some way shape or manner? When I was 21 it happened all the time. Only I wasn’t over weight….but they would find SOMETHING to point out about me. Usually my nose or the fact I have a tic (Tourette’s YAY). They were fine up until I didn’t reciprocate or declined the drink they brought me. It’s unacceptable.

Now about your weight. There is so much more to being beautiful than the number plastered inside your pants. At age 31 I have gained a considerable amount of weight. I hate how I look. So I’m doing something about it. But I’m not doing it for anyone but me. I realized that there are no pictures of my kids and I really together, I’m always taking the photos because I hate being photographed. When I am long gone there won’t be any pictures of me for my grandchildren and great grandchildren to see so in a way they will never know me. That makes me incredibly sad. You need to remember that your boyfriend obviously finds you beautiful. You can’t love someone if you can’t love yourself and I want you to love yourself with all your being. Chin up and look in the mirror and buy another pink dress and wear it proudly.

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Andrea Robinson June 5, 2013 at 10:22 am

Are you sure he wasn’t saying “phat”? According to the urban dictionary, it’s “pretty hot and tempting” – maybe he was paying you a compliment instead.

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Ashley June 5, 2013 at 10:25 am

Ugh, what a jerk. Please realize that it wasn’t YOU that caused him to say that, it’s the fact that he’s a jerk. If he hadn’t made a rude remark to you, he probably would have targeted some other girl instead. Let’s face it, only jerks say stuff like that and only jerks actually physically touch someone without permission.

I know how awful comments like that can be, I spent most of my high school life getting picked on for one thing or another and yeah I let them bother me for a while, til I realized that the people picking on me were picking on EVERYONE they felt was “beneath” them somehow.

Now a days I get yelled at for being too thing, even though I’m a size 8, which is interestingly enough a UK size 10, which further affirms that this guy is a jerk. I know people carry weight differently but still, I am your size and I don’t know how anyone could think this size is fat.

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Katie June 5, 2013 at 10:38 am

How horrible!! It sounds like he was ‘coming on to you’ as we say in the UK, and he said the hurtful thing because you weren’t responding to his advances. I’m also from the UK and this sort of thing has happened to me as well in nightclubs. I’ve been called ugly and all sorts of things by men who were… very COINCIDENTALLY trying to cop off with me just a few minutes earlier. PLEASE don’t think this is you. It’s not easy, but it does get easier with age. It’s very easy to say ‘I would have blah blah blah’, but the truth is that we all get caught out by these things at times (well, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been), so try to put it out of your mind and get on with your life. And congratulations on your weight loss and healthy lifestyle! :)

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Katie June 5, 2013 at 10:40 am

Sorry- post amended as it didn’t make sense!

How horrible!! It sounds like he was ‘coming on to you’ as we say in the UK, and he said the hurtful thing because you weren’t responding to his advances. I’m also from the UK and this sort of thing has happened to me as well in nightclubs. I’ve been called ugly and all sorts of things by men who were… very COINCIDENTALLY trying to cop off with me just a few minutes earlier. PLEASE don’t think this is you. It’s not easy, but it does get easier with age. It’s very easy to say in hindsight ‘I would have blah blah blah’ and just taken the moral highground, but the truth is that we all get caught out by these things at times. The best thing is to try to put it out of your mind and get on with your life. And congratulations on your weight loss and healthy lifestyle!

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girl_with_all_the_yarn June 5, 2013 at 10:41 am

I had a guy say that exact thing to me once, OP. Except, he was in church. I was probably rude, but I was roughly quoting Winston Churchill (if memory serves) and I really didn’t think before I said it.

Him: “You’re fat!” (Or something to that effect.)
Me: “Well, in a few more months, I won’t be fat. But you’ll still be a jerk.”
Him: “You can’t say that to me!”
Me: “I just did.” ::walks away::

I had recently hit the 50lb weight loss mark (about half of what I needed to lose).

Good job on your weight loss, OP. Keep up the good work, and ignore the idiots who don’t know your story.

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Karen June 5, 2013 at 10:41 am

Well, that guy’s worthless so ignore him. The real problem I have comes before you get to the club- you have your self worth tied to your weight, which is incredibly dangerous and unfortunately incredibly common among women.

Also.. if I’m not mistaken, a UK size 10 is pretty small. I’m not sure that you ARE fat anymore, it just seems like you think you are.

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StephM June 5, 2013 at 10:47 am

OP, there was nothing you could have said to this man that would have made him realize what a rude, insensitive jerk he is. All you could have done was tell him to back off before you got the bouncer.

Like other posters have said, please love yourself. You have friends and family who love you unconditionally. Try to see what they see.

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LonelyHound June 5, 2013 at 10:47 am

OP, I am so sorry for the treatment you received by that horrible person. Please, please, do not let it fester in you or get to you. I know where some of that inability to release those comments and pain can come from especially if you were bullied about your weight growing up. I was bullied almost everyday about mine. I grew up with a warped image of my body and can take even stray glances, that may not even be looking at me, as hurtful though I never say anything. I can tell you that you have to take those things and turn them around. Do not let them fester. Talk them out with your hubby/boyfriend/friend if that is what works for you. I used to go for runs and would pound every hurtful word into the pavement until, by the time I was done with my run, the words were either gone or dull; and could not hurt me anymore. I lost a lot of weight taking my frustration out on pavement. Oh, and my bully? Even though I was done 35 pounds she still bullied me. Some people are just like that.

Focus on your boyfriend and friend. First of all, they are there because they see YOU. They see your personality and your heart. Your boyfriend also sees your body and obviously finds you SEXY. Take those with you in situations like that and use them as a warm blanket against cold idiots.

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Lerah99 June 5, 2013 at 10:48 am

Oh sweetie, this world is going to eat you alive. It is time to grow up a little and learn to love yourself.

So you don’t look like some airbrushed cover of a magazine. So what?

Are you a good person?
Do you try to do the right thing?
If yes, then stop your campaign of self hatred simply because your body doesn’t meet some ridiculous commercial ideal. It is time to love yourself as you are now.

Feel free to keep going to the gym and eating healthy if that is your desire. But don’t allow your self esteem to be tied to a number on a scale or the size of a dress. You, as you are right now, are worthy of love. You, as you are right now, are beautiful.

Don’t let some loud mouthed drunk in a bar rent any time or space in your brain. Seriously, forget that dude. If some random stranger on the street yelled “You suck” or “I hate you” or “No one likes you” or any other random judgement about you, would you give it any creedence? Would you spend anytime worrying about the random stranger who yelled something nasty at you? The correct answer here is no.

I can assure you Mr. Hair-Touching-Fat-Yelling-Stranger hasn’t given you another thought. So don’t spend your time fretting over him. Life is short. You only get to live it once. So don’t waste any of your time or energy worrying about what random strangers think about you. Instead, find ways to be happy right now.

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Annie June 5, 2013 at 10:49 am

The guy was coming on to you by touching you (incredibly inappropriate). Your response was to turn him down by ignoring him. He wanted to hurt you, and picked the thing that’s most likely to upset most women. It had nothing to do with you.

When strangers make unwelcome comments, I follow Miss Manners’ advice and say coldly, “I don’t think I know you.” It’s fun to practice it in the mirror. Draw yourself up, raise your eyebrows, and look down your nose :)

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Amy June 5, 2013 at 10:50 am

At 22 and being overweight my whole life i would probably react in a similar fashion. But the most important thing to remember is that how you feel is all that really matters in this type of situation.

At this point of my life, i would have probably dropped the “f-bomb” and told him where to go. One thing that I am noticing as I have re-entered the dating scene is that if a guy is showing you some interest (ruffling your hair) and you don’t immediately turn around and worship the ground he is walking on, then of course you are deficient. If your weight was really such a concern to him, he would not have been trying to get your attention in the first place. But since you put him down he had to return the favor with whatever came to his head first.

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Allie June 5, 2013 at 10:54 am

Personally, at the first touch I would have alerted the club’s security and they likely would have removed him from the establishment. Chances are he’s done this sort of thing before and may be known to them due to previous complaints. He was either drunk or is mentally unbalanced. He may even be dangerous. And not that it matters, but a UK size 10 is in no way fat. I agree with Admin’s advice not to let people like this get to you, but honestly, it sounds to me as if you may need a little extra help (counseling perhaps) to be able to come to terms with your body image. I don’t know how much you lost, but if you are thinking a UK 10 is fat and are eating nothing but salads and working out obsessively, please consider seeking help. Lastly, I will tell you what I would have said and have said when people have told me I’ve gained a lot of weight (I’m probably a UK 12 or 14). I say “that makes two of us”. Shuts them right up. I used to think I could only say that if it were true, but I think you know very well a comment doesn’t have to be true to be effective.

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--Lia June 5, 2013 at 10:54 am

As hard as it is to believe, you did the right thing. You may think you’d have felt better if you said something, but you wouldn’t have. Perhaps a loud DON’T TOUCH ME might have done the trick. If you choose that route, do it with the idea in mind that you have a lot of people hear you so if he does escalate and if you do have to knee him or call the police, you have witnesses that you gave him warning first.

I’m a little concerned that you asked about what the polite thing to do would be. That’s a little like asking how to be polite to the person who has ransacked your house. What he did was a deeply aggressive act. Your thoughts should be towards protecting yourself, not on being considerate to someone who’s a jerk on the edge of being a criminal.

I’d like to suggest that you talk to your friends about what happened. If they’re really friends, they’ll give you the warmth, love and support that you need. It can be very healing just to sit with friends and complain about the bad people on this earth. You can go wild with exaggeration and laugh about what a horrible life he must lead and what tortures you’d like to submit him to.

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Lisa June 5, 2013 at 10:55 am

That is a first class jerk. Forge on with your regime, and don’t let one ugly comment get in the way of your success. I probably would have reacted the same way.
For what it’s worth, I’m working on developing an icy stare combined with a look of complete shock and horror that someone would say something so offensive.

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Lisa June 5, 2013 at 10:59 am

You don’t have to be polite in this situation. No one should put their hands on you, ever, without your consent.

“Get away from me!” and “What is the matter with you?” and “Don’t touch me again or I’ll call the bouncer!” are perfectly good responses in this situation.

You’ll feel better having asserted yourself.

Also, I don’t think this really had anything to do with your weight. He would have found someone or something to pick on regardless. People like this are bullies and sadly, they will likely never change. Saying he bothered you because you are heavy is like saying a rape victim asked for it. It’s not true and it’s just about someone exerting his (pathetic) power over another person. Please don’t let it continue to weigh heavily on your heart.

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Catrunning June 5, 2013 at 11:15 am

One of my best friends is a “big beautiful babe” who runs into this occasionally, despite being a plus-sized model. Unless the perpetrator is a young child who doesn’t know any better, her retort usually runs along the line of “I may be fat, but I can always lose weight. You, unfortunately, are stupid (or ugly or whatever fits the perpetrator) and you can’t change stupid”. They get in a huff and act as if she went out of her way to insult them, when they were just doing her a favor by letting her know she is “fat”.

Granted, both my friend and I know her retort isn’t the most polite. But when people are so cruel or dense to think they have a right to comment on a stranger’s weight, you can’t get through to them with polite discussion.

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S June 5, 2013 at 11:22 am

I went out with a friend to a club and watched horrified as something similar happened to her. We were having fun flirting with guys. Then out of no where a guy informed my friend that she was overweight and made a comment about how she shouldn’t be hanging all over guys. She had done nothing inappropriate but my usually confident friend couldn’t find the courage to response to this jerk. I however confronted him, something I usually don’t do. Instead of backing down this guy attacked me as well, however on a less personal level. I was shocked that a person we’d never met, had decided to be mean to us for no reason.

My strong voice and comments to him drew a crowd and the sweet gal that was with this jerk looked horrified and brightly suggested that we all “just get along”. I told him he was a piece of dirt and we moved on. Still, it ruined our night. Here we were having fun and feeling good and these jerky comments just made us think that we must really been terrible people for this guy to single us out. I know it shouldn’t matter what some random person thinks but when you get blindsided like that it’s really hard to not take it personally. I’m still shocked that someone could be so hurtful to a couple of fun girls on a night out.

Of course this happened 20 years ago. I’d like to think I’d react much differently today.

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Misty June 5, 2013 at 11:28 am

I’m 31 and I used to be that way as well. Around 25 or so I suddenly had a lightbulb moment where I realized “wait a minute, I don’t even know these people? What do I care what they think??”

Look at it this way – let’s say this guy had walked up to you on the street and said, “I think all women should have short, spiked, hot pink hair!” Would you immediately drop what you’re doing, run to the nearest salon and get your hair cut short, spiked and dyed hot pink? Of course not, because this guy is a total stranger who means nothing to you. Yet, when this same complete stranger who means nothing calls you fat you immediately stop dancing, leave the club entirely, throw away an outfit (as well as the money you used to buy it) and have your entire evening ruined. You changed your entire night because of him. Why in the world does he deserve to have that level of power and control over you, especially when you don’t even know him?

Some people feel powerful by ripping others down, it has nothing to do with you other than they saw a convenient target.

Walk with your back straight and your eyes straight ahead, make brief eye contact to acknowledge people, walk with a brisk pace – all of these things make you appear confident even if you don’t feel it yourself (though you’ll start to after awhile). When people say stupid things remind yourself you don’t know them, and what they say doesn’t matter. Act confident and most jerks will veer away from you (they want a victim they can watch collapse in front of them), if they still try to be a jerk call them out on it. I had a guy with a history of being a underhand jerk (posting stuff that was rude and hurtful under the guise of it being “funny”) post a rude and hurtful response to a post on Facebook (on my own profile) and I called him on it on that same post (effectively in public), basically forcing him to acknowledge that, yes, it was rude and the only reason he did it was to be hurtful. When I next saw him face to face he had a deer in headlights look – I responded to him as though the incident never happened and since then he’s been nothing but polite and respectful, no more jerky behavior.

You can also use this line – “oh, you poor thing, someone lied and told you I’d care what you thought.” :)

In short, you decide who gets power over you and it should never be a jerk and it certainly should never be a jerk who’s a total stranger!

Congratulations on the Size 10, I’m sure you looked beautiful in your dress!

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LR June 5, 2013 at 11:40 am

I’m so sorry that happened. Please understand that the problems is HIS, not yours. He’s a jerk, and sounds a little unbalanced and/or drunk. Imagine that he had used another word in place of “fat”. For example, “You’re orange”, “You’re tall”, “You’re dancing like a spastic llama”, or whatever word you choose. You probably would have thought “he’s crazy” and just carried on dancing. Unfortunately, he choose exactly the right word to upset you. I firmly believe that words only have the power that we allow them to have. If you can work on not allowing other people to define your self-image, you’ll be much more comfortable in your own skin.

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Phoebe161 June 5, 2013 at 11:42 am

OP — Congratulations on your weight loss! Don’t let people like him to ruin your day–he definitely wasn’t worth it.

Admin — Loved your response!

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Gem June 5, 2013 at 11:57 am

I totally understand where you’re coming from, OP. Similar to you, I was overweight most of my childhood until I moved out when I was 20 years old, joined a gym, and started eating more healthily. I’m 23 now – so we’re almost the same age. I know what it’s like to be constantly picking and criticizing at yourself, and thinking that every morsel of food is going to cause you to gain weight. And I definitely know how much it hurts when people (no matter if it’s family, friends, or strangers) comment on your size in a derogatory fashion. At some point, you have to just let it go, and not let it affect you – be proud of what you’ve accomplished!

On another point, I’m not sure if this slang word is used in the UK, but “fat” is homophonic to “PHAT” in North America. Do you think he meant PHAT (Pretty, Hot And Tempting), rather than “fat”? He clearly was trying to get your attention, and at a nightclub, usually that attention from opposite genders indicates that they’re interested in you. Just think of it in a positive way :).

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JenMo June 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm

I agree with the others, but one more thing. If the insecure part of you, the part that is hypersensitive about the word “fat”, is taking this as some sort of proof that the word applies to you, please realize this incident means nothing. If a nasty, vicious person looking to inflict pain on someone picks a female victim, nearly ANY female, that is an almost universal put-down that is most likely to penetrate deeply. Unfortunately, most women today with normal curves who actually look great have insecurities about weight. Now if you were hiding in the shadows in your dark clothing, he may not have bothered you, but in your beautiful pink dress looking glowing and happy, he needed to take you down a notch simply because he’s a miserable jerk.

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InNM June 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Bullies, jerks, cretins like this live to get a reaction from you. If you don’t give them one, you win. If your reaction had been to say, “OK.” or “I know.” And keep dancing, he had two choices: antagonize you more (to which you get security involved) or slink away.
This one is not just for the ladies: if someone is touching you in a seemingly harmless, although unwanted way, go get security. He may have just been flipping your hair, but to you it was an invasion of your personal space and every time you let him to it without going to get security, you told him it was okay. I say this as a woman who’s friend’s ex boyfriend tried similar tactics to use me to get a rise out of her. Granted, I used a different, less polite (although effective, it may not work for every situation) response, if you get security involved, it gets the point across clearly without it getting messy. If you do not like someone’s action, stop it early.

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LovleAnjel June 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm

That had nothing to do with your size (if I am correct, UK 10 is a US 6). He is a creep who saw a vulnerable person he could take advantage of. Many, many women deal with unwanted touching or attention be deflecting or ignoring it – it’s what we are socialized to do. No one wants to make a scene. The creeps count on that.

You responded the way most people do. There is a way to deal with this without ignoring it or making a scene, and it works best if done at the first unwanted touch (for example, the first time he ruffled your hair). You look the person in the eye and say in clear, firm voice (but not loudly) something like this: “I don’t want to make a scene. But if you touch me again, I will punch you in the face.”

Creeps don’t want to deal with the chance of actually getting hurt, so they’ll usually bug off after the warning. They expect compliance or an emotional reaction, and by reacting without either you thwart their goals.

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The Elf June 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm

What a glass bowl! There is no excuse – none whatsoever – that could in any way make this anything other than phenomenally rude. I’m sorry this happened to you.

You say you have some body image issues that you’re working on. It might be helpful to see a counselor to help you through it. It can take a while to shed this idea that fat = bad, and “I’m fat” (even if you aren’t) = “I’m ashamed”.

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JZB's girl June 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Evil me would have been very tempted to paraphrase Winston Churchill with something along the lines of: “And YOU sir are ugly! Luckily I can lose weight whereas you will always remain as ugly as you are now!” Good me agrees with Admin.

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