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Why don't I have friends? Because I'm unappealing or bitchy?

  • anonymous Asks ...

    I am overweight and ugly. I can stand this but it effects my thinking in ways that are not good. Whenever I meet someone I just know they are thinking about my appearance. If they act nice then I assume they are pitying and if they are not nice then I consider then shallow and get angry at them for writing me off based on my looks. I know that this does not make a lot of sense but I cant help my first reactions. When a friend asked me why I was always so angry at people I just met I told her why and she said I was being totally stupid and that nobody was thinking like that. I can’t help but feel that people are thinking like that. I am bitchy my brother says and that is why I don’t have many friends. What do I do?

  • Art Matthews Says ...
    Art Matthews

    You start by becoming your own ally and deciding that you aren't going to let other people's opinions dictate how you value yourself. Our society is obsessed with thin people who meet a very narrow definition of what is "beautiful." I wonder in amazement every time I meet a young woman who seems happy with their body and appearance. The advertising and entertainment industries have completely distorted how we see ourselves and what we feel we can reasonably become based on physical appearance. For those of us who fall outside that definitition, we can 1) choose to judge ourselves by the same standards and end up hating ourselves for not being "perfect" or 2) we can choose to see oursleves as whole people with talents, abilities and positive traits as well as those characteristics we (and perhaps others) don't treasure.

    Let me ask this, what is the bitchy mask for? What is it's purpose? Why do you rely on it? I will venture to guess it's because you are trying to protect yourself from rejection or judgment, either real or perceived. That "I just know they are thinking about my appearance" comment is very revealing. Because you don't "know." You assume. Now, you may have had some experiences in the past that lead you to fear being rejected and to anticpate that there are mean people out there who build up their own faltering egos by attempting to tear others down. But by predicting and anticipating (and perhaps coping an attitude before there is any evidence of discrimination or insincerity), you do two things. You reinforce for yourself the rightness of your thinking and you re-experience or even magnify the hurt you felt from some real or perceived slight in the past.

    Most of us have been rejected at some point or other in our lives. Even the beautiful are rejected. Katie Perry experienced this in her short marriage to Russel Brand, who couldn't keep his dilly from dangling in other women's yards. Now, she is also very privileged by her appearance and has decidedly not felt the same rejection that someone "less" beautiful or sveldt has felt.

    My advice is don't give up on yourself. Don't believe the garbage your brain is telling you about your value based on your appearance. Become your own ally, because... well... you are the only person who will be with you for the rest of your life. Why not call a truce and mend fences. You may be very surprised at what a beautiful woman awaits you underneath that self-loathing and criticism. Look for role models out there who are big and beautiful, who have caring compassionate hearts and don't let their body shape or size dictate to them how much of their lives they will participate in.

    What I'm suggesting is hard to do on your own, I know. Especially when you are surrounded by well-meaning but not very compassionate boobs like your brother who can't figure out how to help you without hitting you with a back-hand at the same time. Find support in your area by going to the SAHMSA Therapist Locator. The locator can help searchers find mental health services as well as substance abuse treatment for those who need it.

    Remember this quote from the late First Lady Eleanor Rooseveldt, "No one can make you feel inferior without your concent." And while you're at it, look up her bio and see what a woman who was not a classic beauty can accomplish. She is well respected for her personal accomplishments in politics and social affairs to this day. 

    Be well, and take that chip off your shoulder so that others -- and even you -- can see what your real value can be. 

    Here's hoping you choose only the best for you.

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