Friends Become Colder After Reader's Weight Loss
DEAR HARRIETTE: Now that I've lost weight, my friends are treating me differently. I was always the heavier friend. Last year I started my fitness journey, and it's done wonders for my self-esteem. I dress nicer, I go out more and I'm just a noticeably happier person.
I noticed a few months ago that my friends don't treat me the same as they did when I was bigger. It's pretty subtle, but I went from being invited everywhere with them to only getting the invites for certain things. One friend in particular made a comment about how "cocky" I've become. There's no way I'm cocky. I think they're just used to me having no confidence at all, so they don't know how to deal with the confident version of me. How do I handle this? -- New Confidence
DEAR NEW CONFIDENCE: Start by talking to that friend. Rather than being defensive, ask questions. Find out what, specifically, that friend was talking about when referring to you as cocky. Ask what they think you are doing differently now. Listen carefully so that you can get a sense of what's on their mind.
Acknowledge that your life has changed. As you have lost weight, you are developing self-confidence, something you had little of before. Tell your friend that your life feels different. Describe what you like about getting healthier and what is challenging you. Among those challenges is the changing dynamic of your friend group.
Tell this friend and then the larger group that you see that they are treating you differently. Ask why. Tell them what you want. If that is to stay close to them, talk it out to determine what will make both sides happy. Know, too, that you may need to expand or re-curate your friend group.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My mother buys my children whatever they ask for, but she usually asks that I reimburse her for the things that she buys. My sons are at the age where they ask for a million things. I know when to say no to them, but my mother doesn't. I end up paying for everything in the end. I've told her that I can't afford for her to keep spoiling them like that, but she keeps doing it whenever they spend time with her. What should I do? -- Say No
DEAR SAY NO: Sit your mother down and tell her that you must draw the line. Explain that you do not believe in giving your children all of the things that they request, and you cannot afford it. Warn her that, starting now, when she buys things for them, you will not be able to reimburse her. And then follow up with the matching action. DO NOT PAY HER BACK. At first, your mother will be shocked because you have set a precedent of giving in to her whims. It is time for a new precedent. Stop paying, and soon she will likely stop buying.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)
Copyright 2022, Harriette Cole