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how to make friends when you're fat

Remember when you were a kid on the playground and friendships started by just playing together? Once you’re an adult, starting a new friendship can feel harder, especially when you are fat.

Some people are biased toward fat people because of certain societal norms or preconceived notions. It can make finding new friends harder or intimidating when you are fat.

Are you a fat person who wants to know how to make friends?

Making new friends is not as complex as you may imagine it in your head. If you want to make friends as a fat person, find people who have similar interests and share common goals with you. Once you find that type of person, treat them with kindness and allow the friendship to blossom.

Let us look at this more thoroughly to help you understand how easy making friends as a fat person can actually be!

Here’s The Good Thing About Making Friends When You’re Fat

We’re going to explain everything you need to know about making friends when you’re fat, and most of this applies to folks of any size, shape, color, or anything else!

But the good thing about putting yourself out there when you’re fat is that everyone can see that you’re fat.

You don’t have to do anything special and you certainly don’t have to tell someone that you want to be friends with, “Hey, just so you know, I’m fat.”

That makes things much easier. If someone likes you, then they like you! Fat and all!

So while it can be stressful to make friends when you’re fat, don’t let it hold you back and never treat it like a secret that you have to be ashamed of (because it isn’t).

Work On Yourself First

Before you can be a friend to others, you must first be a friend to yourself. Part of being a friend is caring for that person. If you don’t know how to care for yourself, how can you care for others?

Begin with a self-care routine. Self-care is the ability to focus on maintaining health, actively working to prevent disease, and learning to cope with illness. That does not mean you have to lose weight in order to find friends. But instead, just practice self-care. 

Start by learning self-care tips to become a better friend to yourself, which will help you be a better friend to others. The following self-care tips will help get you started!


Many fat people are extremely confident with themselves. But some fat people lack this quality and have low self-esteem. Confidence is something you usually acquire as you grow up. Some people were not taught how to be confident, and they must teach it to themselves. While others come from families that exude this quality and it is picked up over the years.

Confidence is self-assurance. When you are confident, you believe in yourself and your abilities. Essentially you are comfortable with who you are. Confident people choose a path and stick to it, knowing that they made the best decision for themselves. 

When you are a confident person, people will more likely choose you as a friend- whether you’re fat or not. People may admire this quality in you because it shows them that you trust yourself and the decisions you make.


Hygiene is something else that should have been taught to us as children, but not every person had the luxury of learning proper techniques. 

Hygiene is the practice of staying clean and odor-free. Proper hygiene helps keep you free of disease and sickness. It is a great way to help you love yourself because it makes you feel good and keeps you healthy.

First impressions are important when creating new friendships and you only get one chance at them. When someone meets you, they notice if you aren’t taking care of yourself. They will be reluctant to start a friendship because you may look sick or smell bad.

I know, this is basic stuff here and it’s true whether you’re fat or not.

The bad odors that are the result of poor hygiene can be a turn-off when making new friends. Bad breath from not brushing your teeth, body odor from not showering, or dirty fingernails are all signs that a person needs to improve their hygiene.

As a person of size, you may sweat more than other folks. More sweat can often mean more body odor so you may need to work a little harder at staying fresh and clean- especially if you’re active in sports like CrossFit or gymnastics.

Make sure you don’t go straight from the gym to happy hour (although that applies to everyone) and be mindful of your body odor especially.

Create Boundaries

Boundaries are limits you put on yourself and the things around you. Boundaries are used as a form of protection and help you create your identity. When you set healthy boundaries, you are less likely to have unexpected occurrences from happening. 

Boundaries can be physical, mental, intellectual, or financial. Before you start a new friendship, tell your friends what your boundaries are. If someone violates your boundaries, you need to talk with them about the violation. Make it very clear that it will not be tolerated. If there is a second occurrence, there will be consequences.

When you have boundaries in place, you will know what to expect. For example, if you have a financial boundary that keeps you on a budget, you know you can afford your lifestyle. If someone tries to convince you to continually go over your budget, that person is a bad influence, and you need to talk to them about the situation, or cut them off.

Boundaries will protect you from influences that don’t match your lifestyle. Especially if someone tries to make fun of you or shame you for your fatness. Having boundaries will help keep these types of people away from you. 

Find Activities That You Enjoy

Your self-care journey should include finding activities or hobbies that you enjoy. Hobbies and activities help you expand as a person. Think back to when you were younger. Were there things you enjoyed that you haven’t done in a while? Or maybe things you always wanted to do but never put in the effort? Now is the time to find the things you enjoy and go after them! 

Don’t feel limited by your fatness. Try new things to see if you like them. It’s okay if you don’t because there is always something else that you can try! Take a look at this plus size gal enjoying the slopes via tubing: 

Look For People With Similar Interests

Once you have worked on yourself and created your self-care routine you can start to look for others who share your interests. You are now the best version of yourself, and you are ready to find new friends! One of the best ways to find new friends is to look for people with similar hobbies.

Part of your self-care routine was to learn new things that you enjoy. Not only did you find new interests, but you now have the confidence to put them into action!

If you love art, join a class! Classes are great places to meet others who share the same passions as you. The group setting allows you to interact with others without being forced. You can find people that you may want to be friends with! Once you get to know them you can extend the offer of friendship.

Classes aren’t the only place where friendships can blossom. There’s a community for just about everything whether that’s hula-hooping or horseback riding. Or maybe you love Cosplay and want to find friends at a local convention! 

If you’re trying to make friends with another person of size, then discussing your plus-size life is an easy starting point!

Clothing is usually an area that any pair of fat folks can find common ground. Whether it’s the confusing nature of XL vs 1XL in women’s clothing or a lack of clarity around what big and tall sizes really mean, you probably have something to talk about.  Of course, clothing isn’t the only thing big folks have in common but it can be one of many areas that you can start with!

Introduce Yourself To Potential Friends

Once you find your niche, the best way to create friendships is to introduce yourself! This is where confidence helps you. Whether you are in a class, gym, or any other space where you have met like-minded people, you can initiate a new friendship by greeting the new person and telling them a little bit about yourself. 

Build Trust

When we create new friendships, we want to trust the person. Not only do we want to trust them, but we want them to trust us, too! When you are starting a friendship, you have to learn how to earn and build trust. The following tips will help you get started.

Be True To Your Word

We always want to be honest with our friends. Once trust is broken, it is hard to rebuild. Think before committing to something if you think you may flake in the end. Don’t lie, even if it is to spare their feelings. Staying honest is the best way to gain trust.

Have Open Communication

Communication is important in all relationships, especially friendships. When you have open communication you don’t have to question how they feel or think. Open communication helps you and your friend be clear about each other.

Be Consistent 

Consistency is part of being a good friend. When you are consistent you prove to your friends that you are the same in all situations. Don’t treat your friends differently when others are around. And always stay true to who you are. 

Don’t Boast

No one likes to hear someone boast or brag about their accomplishments or gains. It is healthy to be happy for yourself and want to share good news. But when you continually talk about yourself in excess it can be unflattering.

Admit When You Are Wrong

When you admit that you are wrong you are showing vulnerability. Vulnerability helps others feel more comfortable around you and allows them to open up as well. When you are up front about your mistakes it helps your friends admit their mistakes, too. 

Use Social Media To Stay In Touch And Find Fat Positive Friends

When people are friends, they stay in touch. The ways people stay in touch have changed over the years from writing letters, to making phone calls and texting, to the modern way of social media! 

Social media is a great way to share photographs, updates, or any other information that you want your friends to know. The interactive features allow your friends to like or share what is available on your social media or send you a message about it!

Social media can be a great way to find friends. As we talked about earlier, joining a community that is like-minded to you is a great way to begin friendships. Social media has an incredible fat-positive community where fat people can share a safe place to enjoy each other. The fat acceptance movement has helped change how fat people are perceived in our society. They use hashtags such as #fatspo or #effyourbeautystandards which are great places to start looking for other fat people.

Invite Them To An Outing

When you have a long-term friendship, you will want to enjoy doing things together. Invite your new friends to do things that you will both enjoy. Going to get lunch at a new restaurant, or going shopping at a store that you both love, are great bonding experiences that will bring you closer together.

Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and try something new! You never know, it may be something you learn to love!

Build On The Friendship

Continue building on the friendship as time moves forward. Staying in touch and enjoying activities together is what friendship is all about. But you also want to have a deeper bond than just surface activities. 

Practice Gratitude

Being grateful is an honest way to show that you value your new friend. Remind them that you appreciate them and enjoy their company. These words of affirmation will let them know that they are valued in the relationship, and it will help the friendship last.

Be Kind

Always be kind to your friends. Actually, be kind to everyone. Being kind is the best way to show people that you are a good person. When you are kind to everyone, it shows your friends that they can introduce you to others and not be afraid that you will treat others differently.

Help When You Can

Sometimes our friends need help. They may go to the hospital and need support, or maybe their car broke down, and they need a ride! Helping out when you can, shows your friend that you are dependable. Dependable friends are great when life gets tough. 

Make Sure They Are A Good Friend, Too

When you do everything you can to be a great friend, you want to be sure that your friends are reciprocating that energy. If the friendship is one-sided, it is not a friendship. Remember that boundaries are crucial in all aspects of our lives. 

When a person stops being a friend it is okay to discuss the expectations of the friendship with them. If they don’t care or continue ignoring boundaries it is always okay to end the friendship. 


Making friends can be intimidating for anyone. When you are fat, you can feel even more intimidated because you are unsure if people will accept you. Learning to accept yourself first helps others feel comfortable around you because you will have confidence and know what you want in life. 

Follow these steps to become the best version of yourself so that you find people worthy of you and your friendship. Friendship is only worth it if everyone is being treated fairly and respected. Always use your voice and be confident in your choices to create and maintain the best friendships.

Camila R.

Camila is a body positive blogger and fat activist that's focused on helping people of all sizes live life big! That means accepting yourself at any size and just enjoying life! She lives in New Mexico with her husband and two chihauhuas.

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