AIBU to feel deflated by this odd comment, or should I take it on board?

(42 Posts)
andabookaboutsandwiches Mon 12-May-14 20:56:56

I am from the UK but live abroad and am just learning the local language. I go to a group each week for people in my situation to practise the language, and I have a lot less language experience than the others in the group, as they've all been here a lot longer than me. This evening, I was idly fiddling with my hairband which had been on my wrist, when one of the group suddenly interrupted the conversation and said 'Can we talk about nervousness?' as our next topic. It was clear he was alluding to me and the hairband, as he stared right at me. The facilitator picked up on this too, I think, and gave the impression he thought it a bit odd, and said 'Let X finish first, then we can move on'. We did then address the topic of nervousness and the guy then explicitly said I looked nervous, and asked me if I was etc. It was very bizarre and totally out of context, and not done in a sympathetic way. I managed to laugh it off and stick up for myself, but I've come away feeling sad and stupid. Can't decide whether to ignore it and pass it off as just one guy's weird behaviour, or to actually wonder if I come across as nervous (in my mind I now equate this with 'pathetic'). I am now worried that other new people I am meeting think this too, and it just makes me feel belittled. Trying not to let it bother me, but it actually does!! AIBU to let it get to me?

God no, give this nasty man no head space. Speaking as a supremely confident person, I don't judge nervousness at all. YABU to let it get to you and YANBU to get nervous sometimes. If people were all the same, life would be boring (and loud if everyone were like me).

AnyFucker Mon 12-May-14 21:02:02

This is a language group ?

Your body language (nervous or not) is of no concern to anyone else

Tell the man to Fuck Off if he makes you feel like this again (that needs no translation)

Joysmum Mon 12-May-14 21:04:39

If he thought you were nervous and wanted to help, he'd not have raised it I. Front if the whole group! Clearly the guy is either piss poor at people skills or gets off on effecting pie pole negatively.

Joysmum Mon 12-May-14 21:05:05

*people not pie pole!

Chottie Mon 12-May-14 21:08:41

Do not let this pathetic man get to you. He is not worth it.

pombal Mon 12-May-14 21:08:51

Do you know how to say fuck off in both languages, just to make sure you get your point across and demonstrate your linguistic skills at the same time??

barneychuckles Mon 12-May-14 21:11:06

How horrible for you! You have my sympathies.

This bloke obviously has very low emotional intelligence. I would give him a very wide berth if I were you. Do not let an idiot like this dictate how you feel about yourself. He sounds like a twat of the highest order.

MrsWinnibago Mon 12-May-14 21:22:24

What nationality was the man? It could be a cultural thing. I've worked with people from ALL nationalities and notice that some are very forthright compared to Brits. In particular off the top of my head I think of a friend from Columbia who I can imagine saying that.

gertiegusset Mon 12-May-14 21:23:06

Always learn the sweary words first in any language. wink

whois Mon 12-May-14 21:24:09

He sounds like a total idiot. Give him no more thought.

KeepOnKeepingOnAndOnAndOnAndOn Mon 12-May-14 21:25:29

Nervousness is not always a bad thing! Its pretty normal.

Being overly confident is. He is a nob.

Marvintheparanoid Mon 12-May-14 21:28:20

Nervous is NOT pathetic. You're learning a new language, of course you are nervous. I've done exactly the same, and it's not easy. This man was being weird, it was not you. Don't feel bad, I'm sure most people in the class weren't judging you at all. Keep sticking up for your self in class and don't give him head-space outside class. thanks

Roshbegosh Mon 12-May-14 21:28:26

This was a group to help you learn the language? Not some kind of half arsed therapy. He crossed a line and I don't blame you for feeling upset about it but I'm not sure what you can do. What about a word with him after the class?

Tinks42 Mon 12-May-14 21:30:03

Id say twiddling your hairband could actually be annoying to others in class though and rather distracting. Same as someone fiddling with a pencil. It does tend to get on my nerves somewhat, pardon the pun grin

PansOnFire Mon 12-May-14 21:30:42

What a nasty piece of work he is - making a spectacle of possible 'nervous' behaviour only serves to intimidate them, which is a universal language. Give this man no time at all; no thoughts, nothing. He sounds like he has an issue with boundaries which screams at me as a sign to avoid him.

Don't let him see that he has affected you, don't engage with him on any level. What a prat.

FWIW any friends I made who thought nervousness = pathetic would not be worth having as friends. People who matter don't judge. I get called nervous all the time because I'm a hair fiddler, the only one who has ever got it right is my 7 year old niece. She asked me if I was tired when I was fiddling with my hair one day when I didn't realise I was doing it, then I realised I do it when I'm knackered. Everyone else assumes it's a nervous thing.

EvaTheOptimist Mon 12-May-14 21:33:10

You need to learn this phrase in your local language:

Did you mean to be so rude?

littlegreengloworm Mon 12-May-14 21:35:08

What the hell?
He's being a head fuck

Stick up your fingers

Babelfish wouldn't do Did you mean to be so rude for me. Is it secretly run by SWMNBN?

MisForMumNotMaid Mon 12-May-14 21:36:43

I can see why it's hit a nerve, but do you feel their was malice in it?

Is it possible that in a round about way he was actually wanting the teacher to boost your confidence but is socially clumsy himself?

What ever the reason it happened do your best to let it go and keep practicing the language. At some point you'll no longer be the newbie of the group and suddenly realise you know more than some of the others.

violetlights Mon 12-May-14 21:36:44

I've noticed people (mainly men) making comments like that to women before. It seems clearly to me to be the reserve of arrogant nobheads who think it shows them to be superior or super confident. It doesn't. It shows them to be nobheads. Take no notice of him. He just noticed the hair fiddling and used it as a vehicle. He may even have said it to try and impress you. (Is that possible do you think?) What a nob.

Rainbunny Mon 12-May-14 21:40:32

I wonder what his nationality is as well? I used to teach English as a second language in a country where there is less sexual equality than the UK. I can totally see one of my previous male students say something like this as men in that culture were easily capable of being d**ks like this.

andabookaboutsandwiches Mon 12-May-14 21:40:58

Loving the idea of translating 'did you mean to be so rude?' grin We should totally start a Mumsnet international phrasebook!

Seriously though, thanks for your reassuring replies, they are much appreciated. Am determined I won't let him put me off going to the group again.

MMcanny Mon 12-May-14 21:43:00

Is it not just that he could think of all the vocab? I'd not be bothered at all...but maybe that's because I'm not nervous.

Meinten Sie so unhöflich zu sein?

Mente du å være så uhøflig?

да ли сте мислили да се тако непристојно?
da li ste mislili da se tako nepristojno?

Any of those any good OP? (I could use the last one myself for someone I fell out with at work, although customer of the same nationality was charm itself)

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