Yesterday, in our talk about stepping out, we discussed the notion that often you don’t know what’s in a person’s head, so you might as well imagine they are thinking well of you. But what happens when you think somebody is mean spirited and nasty and then they open their big mouths and remove all doubt?
In our not so genteel society, sometimes people are going to say nasty things. If they don’t say them to you in person, they will certainly say them online in comments or on Facebook. They may moo as you walk past or yell something like, “Just put down the cheeseburger!” At some point in life it happens to all of us.
And that’s really the first step to recognizing that it happens to all of us. Short, tall, round, thin–everybody gets something nasty yelled at them at some point. Heck you can’t even be the president without worrying about somebody throwing a shoe at you. The amazing Ragen Chastain gets so much nastiness thrown at her, she created a separate blog to contain some of the more ridiculous comments. And even if you were model thin, and rich, and drove a fancy car, people would find reasons to hate on you. Maybe they would find even more.
That’s because, believe it or not, the actions of haters really have nothing to do with you. It’s about them. It’s about them feeling jealous or inadequate or lonely or insecure. It’s about them desperately trying to recapture their lost mojo by peeing in your pool. And since you can’t fix the whole world, sometimes you just gotta accept that haters are gonna hate. Bless them, and move on. Sometimes I talk to them and give them a piece of my mind first if I’m feeling feisty. But ultimately, after I’ve had my talk with them, I say, “Bless their hearts” and then move on.
Is it easy? Oh my goodness, no. It’s really hard. And I know sometimes all I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry. But then, from a practical standpoint, I really don’t want to let that hater win. I don’t want to reenforce that crappy behavior, and I don’t want to give that creep that kind of power over me. So when I feel down, I go read Ragen’s hate mail and realize I’m not alone. I call a good friend, get dressed up and go have coffee or an adult beverage somewhere fabulous. I pull out my positive artwork and read some of the great things my friends have recently said online.
Because at the end of the day, my little chicklettes, you can only control your reaction to the world. You can only focus on being fiercely and completely yourself. Because at the end of the day, haters are gonna hate.
The Fat Chick
I so needed to read this post today. I have only recently discovered the HAES movement. I was so happy to find your blog (as well as Ragen’s) and have been riding a wave of positive feelings and hope for a future where people do not judge me simply because of how fat I am. I have been so excited with HAES that I’ve been sharing the ideas with everyone at work, friends, family because I want everyone to ‘get it’ and know that there’s a better way to live and pursue health and happiness. Well, today my wave crashed out from under me when my own mother told me that ‘people’ have been talking to her about my newfound passion and it’s making them uncomfortable. These people worry that my comments and posts mean: I’ve given up, I’m defending being fat, I’m trying to force my ideas on them, etc., etc. I was so upset when I heard this – I felt everything I’ve been sharing has been so positive and helpful…how could people be upset by it? I felt like my mother was saying that I shouldn’t have a right to voice my opinion or if I do have an opinion, better to keep it to myself. I’ve also been very surprised by the lack of support from other friends who are ‘over-weight’. I wonder if I’m not explaining it right? Or are they all just so brainwashed and afraid of catching fat, or admitting that it might really be the truth that it’s okay for people to be fat and still be able to live a healthy life?
I just wanted to say thanks for your uplifting and positive blog messages, I really needed to hear it!
It can be so hard when you first start sharing your views about HAES. It is very challenging to what a lot of people have believed their whole lives and it’s not unusual for them to react negatively. That said, you have the right to run your life in whatever way feels best to you. And if people don’t have the guts to tell you directly that they are uncomfortable, then I just wouldn’t worry about them. As to friends and family, that can be especially tough. You might want to read what I wrote in this post and try some of the tactics there.
Keep on, keepin’ on my dear chicklette. It will get better.
The Fat Chick
This is the perfect post! And so very very true!