To struggle with this lady

(60 Posts)
BornFreeButinChains Tue 05-Mar-13 14:51:12

I know I am BU and I can imagine all the " Perhaps she senses you dont like her comments" but if anyone has dealt with this kind of thing and can give me tips I would appreciate it. I Have name changed for this. I am from a rural "ish" village have 2 older dc's 5 and 9 and a five month baby.

With the older two for various reasons I was isolated after thier births, had not joined any groups and really struggled to make friends, I made some wonderful friends eventually through toddler groups and they moved! I do have more of a network now they are older and at school but I had to fight and stuggle to get where I am .

With this baby I was determined to try and get things going from the start. I joined my local NCT group and felt like a new world opened up to me, and considering we have been randomly thrown together by virtue of all having DC at same time, I am so happy that all of them are really nice. We have been meeting up roughly once a week.

However there is one lady who I am really struggling with and its making me feel childish and moody. I am fighting these feelings and doing my best by putting a smile on my face but its hard. The other day she invited another lady from our group out right in front of me, to go on elsewhere and ignored me! So I cleary think she has a problem with me too. She is very strong willed and I get the impression she is chatting to others in the group but not me.

She is new to the area and is utterly desperate to make friends, and I sense that she is pushing me out.

I can't say too much incase she is on here but I am trying to work out why I am taking this too personally and why I can't ignore how she irritates me and rise above it but I find it akward and difficult to talk when she is around, she will often cut you off mid sentance and talk about herself, she does this alot.
We have polar opposite parenting styles, her being v GF. She is very buzy - go go go go go - her mannerisms and movements tire me out just looking at her, which sounds so bitchy of me.

However she has also made digs at me, as far as I am aware I have not made any to her. I get the impression she doesn't like me speaking and cuts me off, or makes it akward somehow to join in. I am terrified of being isolated again, its a small community here and I want to have more luck third time lucky as I feel I missed out alot not getting in at the grass roots with the other two and I want my baby boy to have friends too pre school. All the friendships are still quite new so we are not that relaxed with each other yet. I feel I am struggling then appear to come across as moody or odd to the others.

When we all see each other I try to be as nice as possible, smile, ignore it if she makes a dig ( which is hard as I am quite feisty), and chat to her like I chat to the others.

I get the feeling that she took against me from the off , I don't know how to be in the group now because I also feel insecure.

BornFreeButinChains Tue 05-Mar-13 14:51:38

oh my goodness this is so long, I am very sorry.

WileyRoadRunner Tue 05-Mar-13 15:00:51

It sounds like a clash of personalities. I would try to grin and bear it in group situations, you can be friends with the others independently. You don't have to be great friends with this lady.

What you don't want to do is flounce off out of the group, or get into a "this own ain't big enough for the two of us" stand off or you will look like a drama queen.

It does sound awkward but I can't help but think it sounds a bit childish. Sorry. I just think it's part of being an adult dealing with these sort of situations. You will be isolated if you carry on being so insecure. I think you need to work on some self esteem issues and accept that you can't always get on with everyone.

Snoopingforsoup Tue 05-Mar-13 15:07:52

She sounds an utter dragon! But you need to be the person you are and not worry about her. Carry on as normal. Your friends will realise what she's like and if she's cutting you off, how rude she can be sooner or later. People will like you for who you are, don't worry about the strong personalities. I've worried in situations as this and have come to realise it just doesn't matter. The good souls remain the good souls. We all feel we should be part of one great coffee morning yet in reality, it's nothing like that.

BornFreeButinChains Tue 05-Mar-13 15:09:33

I feel childish wiley.
I just find her so dominering its hard to be myself round her.
I can accept that we don't get on, but how to be myself round her.
If for instance it turns out she has been out for coffee without me with everyone else individually in the group bar me, how do I respond to that.

Sometimes I wish I could take a break from myself!

TheSecondComing Tue 05-Mar-13 15:13:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WilsonFrickett Tue 05-Mar-13 15:19:26

You need to get this into perspective. She doesn't like you. That's fine. You don't like her much, do you? Her going out for coffee individually - that's fine too. The group isn't excluding you, at all. They're just saying 'yes' when someone else from the group asks them out for coffee.

If you start to build this up in your head it will become obvious to everyone else. Don't let it, please. You are in with a nice group, apart from one person. It's fine.

DontmindifIdo Tue 05-Mar-13 15:21:18

I think it would help to strength friendships away from the main group, so if there's one or two of the other mums you do get on with, invite them separately for a play date or to come feed the ducks with you etc. That way you're not inviting everyone, but get to chat to them solo and build your friendships. If you feel akward chatting to them as you're just getting to know each other, ask them questions, get them talking, if she cuts you off, she probably makes them feel the same (if possibly not to the same degree as you). Avoid slagging her off though.

When you are then all together doing big group meet ups, when she's trying to push you out of conversations, you will already have built up relationships and will know the others better.

Try to go to any baby and toddler groups now, not waiting until your baby is older and will get more out of it, see if you can go now to something each day and meet more people without this woman being around.

Here's hoping she goes back to work full time once her DC hits 1... wink

KindleMum Tue 05-Mar-13 15:22:57

I don't see why you'd expect her to ask you out for coffee, given that you've said yourself that your styles are "polar opposites". You're pretty clear that she's not your kind of person so presumably she thinks the same about you. Just be civil in the group and focus on making friends with people you do have something in common with.

As wiley says, definitely no flouncing or trying to make people choose between you. It won't reflect well on you.

MiaowTheCat Tue 05-Mar-13 15:29:54

You sound like you think as little of her as she does of you. You can either deal with it sensibly, or you can resort to primary-school-think of "she's taken my friend off to play hopscotch and it was MY friend not hers"... personally I'd be working out a way to either coexist, or starting to branch out away from the whole "must have the entire NCT group out for the coffee every single week" mentality that's NEVER going to work long term really - things are going to fragment into smaller groups doing things together under a looser whole-group umbrella.

But if you're sitting there bristling as she's making arrangements to go somewhere with one or two other people - you're not going to make yourself a very enticing proposition to want to hang out with are you?

DeepRedBetty Tue 05-Mar-13 15:42:55

Our original group of about 12 or 15 mummies quite comfortably slimmed down to three or four groups of about 3 to 5 as we got to know each other better. Luckily there was no one particular other mummy that I couldn't stand, it was more that four others and I seemed to hit it off better than others. We were the 'dirt is good' lot, whereas a lot of the others seemed to be manicly sterilising everything in sight. I know some of the others built closer friendships amongst themselves after we drifted away in our dog-hair covered, muddy puddley way. Small town, and we all still kept running into each other in the only supermarket. I don't think anyone was deliberately left out.

Sorry all a bit waffley but trying to say these changes in the dynamic happen, and it's better to flow with it than try and force change, or force things back the way they were. This lady sounds like she's got a nasty case of queen bee syndrome, and I very much doubt you're the only person who's noticed. Ask people you like to go for coffee/picnic whatever, and leave her to play her own mindgames.

ChairmanWow Tue 05-Mar-13 16:02:54

There was another similar thread recently. I'll see if I can find it and link. But the main thrust was that loads of women had similar experiences. It's a funny mix of being artificially thrust together with a group of people you might not ordinarily get to know then dealing with the stress and sleep deprivation of a baby.

I had a bit of a weird single white female type in my group. Thankfully I wasn't the one she fixated on, but she would be frequently referring to their side meetings. It was irritating. But I also found a load of other groups to go to and two years on my circle of mummy friends includes 2 NCT mums plus people from swimming, buggy fit, rhythm and rhyme and a couple of baby groups. We've set up a Facebook page and still arrange stuff regularly.

My advice is don't put your eggs in one basket. It can get very claustrophobic!

MrsLion Tue 05-Mar-13 16:06:00

I had my 3 dc in a new town where I didn't know a single soul and I know how hard it is to feel isolated.
Sorry you had to go through that op.

I do agree with the others and think you need to relax a bit. It's ok if the others meet for coffee without you.
It's also ok (and perfectly normal) to have a clash of personality with some people. It's how you deal with it that matters.

I think you should accept she's going to be on the scene (she doesn't sound like my kind of person at all either btw) and just be pleasant and polite to her, but only make the extra effort with those you really get on with. Like someone else said, there's nothing stopping you inviting other friends out for coffee.

Likeminded people always gravitate towards each other - have faith in yourself that you have good qualities!

Please don't get offended by this but you do need to work on your self-esteem, don't get needy or possessive over your friends or you will frighten them off.

Grinkly Tue 05-Mar-13 16:28:21

I think we take against people who have the same traits as ourselves which we don't actually like (but often suppress rather than face them) so maybe she too is trying to make friends but fears that she might not be too successful.

Why don't you try to get into a position so you can casually invite her round for a coffee because you are keen to hear about her take on childrearing grin, you feel you need to get a grip and are too soft (or whatever, just some believable excuse to invite her round) .

You might end up with her as your best buddy and wish you could get rid of her but maybe that is better than feeling she is your enemy.

LynetteScavo Tue 05-Mar-13 16:32:53

So why aren't you inviting people individually around to your house for coffee?

(Don't bother inviting her though!)

BornFreeButinChains Tue 05-Mar-13 16:34:49

Thank you so much for the kind and helpful replies.

My confidence has just been shattered, I used to be good fun and make friends easily pre DC and DH. Then a few things happened and being isolated as well, I became extremley disconected and down I suppose - out of the loop. I have been trying to get back to being a more fun person which is who I feel I am, so I am trying to look at myself as others would see me and making an effort to keep the conversation light and jolly.

TheSecondComing - Yes I know I don't own people, and they can all go out without me. But this make me " feel" akward, I cannot help it. So its trying to deal with that akwardness and be OK about it.

I am stupidly sensitve and emotional, its ridiculous.

I am not going to make a fuss at all, what I would naturally do is just quietly withdraw and I don't want too because I like the other ladies.

Many thanks, I feel alot better now. Good ideas about doing other stuff too.
( Altough I did go to a baby swimming class and everyone seemed to be part of an NCT group and had all joined together, it was hard to chat to them).

Love MN x

BornFreeButinChains Tue 05-Mar-13 16:42:41

Lynette

I did invite a lady round who lives near ish me, she declined, I casually asked about three times over the months. Then I found out she had been out with this other lady.

Everything between us all has been quite light thus far so I really can't think this other lady does not like me either, she seems far more softer and relaxed. This is why I was worrying that perhaps this other lady whom I dislike had something to do with it.

Grinkly, I laughed at your suggestion! My older two are older than her first, I have cringed with the way she talks to her boys - nothing too bad but she is a very cut and dried person and is easily irritated, she needs to be always doing.

May I say though she is a nice lady - she isn't nasty, she is very perky and upbeat ( like she is on speed). I get the impression she is very impressed with some of the credentials of other ladies in our group but just not me! I am just not in her eyes a go getter that she wants to be friends with.

Grinkly Tue 05-Mar-13 16:45:40

These queries come up all the time on mn.

I think if you rely on other people to make you happy and cheerful it is a big ask. We need to be happier in ourselves first, have no magic wand but try to think what you want to do that would make you fulfilled and enjoy (other than v demanding babies grin ).

This might just be a change of thinking to learn to appreciate and enjoy what you already have. And if you have something to take to the new friendship then making friends should be easier.

The same applies to relationships with DH/DP - wanting them to fill some emptiness in your life and make you happy is a big ask.

Not that I have mastered this myself but am working on it grin .

Grinkly Tue 05-Mar-13 16:49:32

I get the impression she is very impressed with some of the credentials of other ladies in our group but just not me! I am just not in her eyes a go getter that she wants to be friends with

Yes, I think this is human nature, you want the attractive, go getting people you admire to be your friends so that you can be part of that group (proving that you are one of the 'chosen few' yourself).

But truly, nice friends can be anyone, in fact the go getters probably have less time for real friendship.

lookingfoxy Tue 05-Mar-13 16:49:32

You really seem to be building this up too much.
I would suggest that you ask this woman out/round for a coffee as people often seem less threatening once you get to know them even a little bit.

digerd Tue 05-Mar-13 16:57:41

Strange how domineering, full of their own importance type of people are given so much respect? I don't like them. But then I am older and have no small children - so I sit with people I like.

Some people just have to be the most popular < on face value> and others are more for 1 on 1 genuine friendship .
Don't let this woman upset/annoy you - she's not worth it.

BornFreeButinChains Tue 05-Mar-13 19:00:16

Hi Foxey,

I have been alone with her a few times and I think I irritate her. Once or twice I thought we had, " broken thru" as it were but no joy. When she is next to me I feel her looking at me strangely up and down.

Digerd, the thing is - she is quite forceful and people do tend to fall in with the group sometimes. So this lady could re arrange us all round her schedule and they would be fine but I would be thinking - but what about x y and z...

I need to relax alot more.

It seems stupid but I sort of always have antennae on how people are behaving...I have a few freinds that are like this - most people are not aware/ or not affected. I am also trying to be like this.

cumfy Tue 05-Mar-13 23:33:57

She sounds quite insecure and manipulative.

Anyone who feels the need to deliberately interrupt others mid-sentence is a few teaspoons short.

The silver lining is that it's a rather handy test; people who genuinely like her probably aren't worth knowing either.

gimmecakeandcandy Tue 05-Mar-13 23:42:18

Why are you letting yourself be bothered by her? The best thing you could do is be breezy and totally unbothered around her! I bet she loves that you are bothered as I bet it shows. Don't let it show!

silverstaresatnight Tue 05-Mar-13 23:44:37

Born free, are you INFJ?
I am and can relate and it can be quite exhausting.
Fwiw , if you are, I don't think you will be ale to relax and forget about this lady's influence . Just accept you don't like er and that you find her irritating there is t much else you can do.

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