I have a best friend who is overweight, but she doesn’t think she is. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that she’s confident about her body, but not everyone feels the same way. She always wears clothes that are too small on her. When she asks me if she looks good in an outfit that’s too tight, I say yeah. But really, I’m lying. I’m afraid if I tell her the truth, she’ll get mad at me because in her mind, I called her fact. Heather, I’m so confused!! Can you please help me?? What should I do – tell her the truth, or keep lying?
The short answer? No, you shouldn’t tell her she looks bad. In this situation, being completely honest with her is going to make her hurt, angry and embarrassed. I’m all about honesty in every friendship and relationship, but there are some occasions when a little white lie is needed.
Now, for the longer answer: there are other nicer and more subtle ways of letting your friend know what you think about her choice of clothing. The next time she tries on an outfit in front of you and asks for your opinion, you can say something like, “that’s not my favorite.” Then grab a dress or shirt from her closet that you think would look better and say, “you’ll look totally hot in this, though.” If she asks why you don’t like the other one, don’t tell her she doesn’t look good in it – that’s just not a nice thing to say to anyone, even if you have the best intentions in mind. Instead, give her a white lie, like you don’t love the color.
If you really think she needs an entire wardrobe revamp, ask her to go shopping with you. If you see something you think would look great on her, grab it and tell her she has to try it on. Don’t go totally overboard, or she’ll probably start to wonder what you’re up to. If she tries it on and it’s really flattering, pile on the compliments. And whenever you see her wearing something that looks good, let her know you think she looks fab. The more she hears that, the more she’ll probably start gravitating towards those items.
Keep in mind that this subtle manipulation might not work, and if it doesn’t, there’s nothing you can do… except go for the truth and really hurt her feelings. The bottom line is that if your bestie feels confident and happy in the clothes she’s wearing, it doesn’t matter what you or anyone else thinks – she should wear what she feels comfortable in. I know that you think being honest might help your friend, but no girls wants to be told they look “fat” or bad, especially by their best friend. Like you said, it’s great that she’s confident – there’s no need to make her feel bad about herself.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org