It’s not about fat, but this quote from my fave advice columnist Carolyn Hax‘s live online chat is just startlingly accurate. Especially on a week when the whole fatosphere has been seeing increased troll activity (including just oodles of hate speech here that you guys thankfully never have to see), I think it’s worth pinning up on the wall.
Speaking of stages, I think there are stages of perception: 1. When all you know or notice is yourself; 2. When you think everything that you have felt applies to others as well; 3. When you realize that others can go through the same thing as you but not feel the same way as you did; 4. When you can put yourself in other’s positions and understand what they feel. Everyone knows Stage 1 is obnoxious, but people stuck in Stage 2 can almost be more so, because they think they know something about you.
This handily describes the problem with approximately 82% of the trolls we see around here, and as much as 96% of the similar people we interact with in our daily lives (since presumably a slightly lower proportion of those are just immature little knobs who get off on spewing hatred, at least if you’re not in high school).
I think it’s often handy to have a window into the minds of those who antagonize you, even if you don’t really want to know what it’s like in there. This is one of those windows.