suffocating friend

(46 Posts)
backoffbarbara Mon 16-Sep-13 21:54:08

When I moved to the village I'm in I got friendly with another Mum. We get on but we are very different parents and this has caused issues, more for me thsn for her.

She is super competitive. Her dc can do no wrong yet the they are actually rude and obnoxious just she fails to see it. She is one of these parents that loves to tell other peoples kids off and ho really ott.

She is reslly intense and suffocating. If I arrange to go for a coffee with someone else in the village she will maje a pojnt of asking where I am going and have this face on like 'and why arent' I invited'. The next day she will make arramgements to have coffee with the same Mum. It happens without fail and I now don't know whether to laugh or cry about it. And can I just say this mum has way more friends than I do. She has friends I don't know, yet if have any new pals she wants to meet them and instantly wants to be their fb friend etc.

She is 'everyones' friend. I know it is very importsnt for her to feel liked and much of this is insecurity o her part but it is becoming very wearing.

It always needs to be about her. If she feels I am cooling off (i have tried..) she gets a catty and has in the past bern quite jokey rude to me slagging ofc my haircut sayjng 'oh look at you all new hair like a teenager Oooo'. She can also be really patronising infront of others making this face of exaggerated concern and saying 'are you alright love?' argh....

It has got to the pojnt where dh will say to me just keep away because he thinks she is dangerous. She is certainly manipulative thats for sure.

AIBU to feel like telljng her to fuck right off her weird suffocating behaviour.

silkboots Mon 16-Sep-13 21:55:46

No don't need to be rude to her just fob her off and distance yourself from her

backoffbarbara Mon 16-Sep-13 21:56:15

Oh god sorry so many typos. Stupid phone and my big fingers blush
Difficult to read op sorry.

backoffbarbara Mon 16-Sep-13 22:00:25

As soon as I distance myself she will make a point of becoming 'best mates' with whoever I am spending time with. It is like having a fecking stalker.

ItIsKnown Mon 16-Sep-13 22:03:29

I read the thread title and thought you had a pillow in one hand and your phone in the other grin

Life is too short and too hard to have people like this in it. If she has no redeeming qualities then I would send a frank but polte email telling her that you do not wish to have any further contact and citing the reasons. It might make her cop on to herself a bit and change her behaviour.

I have relatives like this but I don't dare say anything until my parents are dead (there will be SPECTACULAR wakes) but this isn't a person you need in your life.

KoalaFace Mon 16-Sep-13 22:05:32

She sounds horrible.

Do you feel able to weather a storm of fury if you just cut her out? If not is there anyone you can confide in who can act as a buffer? Go out for coffees together and stick to group activities. Be busy whenever possible?

Bin her.

But I would just do it. She'll soon get the hint. I wouldn't email because you have to see her around don't you?

fabergeegg Mon 16-Sep-13 22:12:52

There's no need to be rude about it. She doesn't own you and you don't have to bust a gut to step outside her control. It would probably be very wearing to have her as a sworn enemy. There will always be people like this in life.

It doesn't matter who she's having coffee with so stop worrying about that side of it. Her problem. Likewise, it doesn't matter what faces she pulls. This is completely you buying into her games. Ignore. Regarding the catty/patronising behaviour, I would practice being assertive so you're either ignoring it or calling her on it. Pleasantly. I find that people seem to run a mile when I put on this really concerned, intense stare and ask them about their feelings. It's convenient. Also, I would affirm her in ways that highlight the differences between you, reminding her that you're happy she's so popular and is such a ray of sunshine and ending with the observation that you're happy to have different, less spectacular gifts.

I can't see how you're going to get out of meeting her and going through the motions, though. I would have somewhere to go after ninety minutes and be exceptionally dull and breezy.

backoffbarbara Mon 16-Sep-13 22:17:48

Its not just see her around, she is part of just about everything in my life. School, swim lessons, dance lessons, Rainbows, etc. We live in a tiny village. Her suffocating ways have already cost me a friendship with another Mum. She is a manipulative cow and yet I'm only just beginning to see the extent of it.

revealall Mon 16-Sep-13 22:19:36

I think you might need the direct approach. She obviously delights in "the friendship game" not helped by the incestuous nature of villages and small towns.
Next sarky comment she needs a curt "what are you trying to say?" or similar.Preferably in front of other people. You can always put it down to being tired/bad mood or something but she'll have find a way to justify her comments. She might back off when she works out you aren't needy enough to put up with her.

MistressDeeCee Mon 16-Sep-13 22:21:55

Agree with other posters, and your DH. Life's too short just distance yourself from her. She sounds like a complete pest. I bet you're not the only one who feels the way you do about her either.

I'd be distancing myself and not worrying too much what she thinks about it at all. Feelings of relief will outweigh any other thoughts..

Oh dear that's bad then.

Can you move? grin

backoffbarbara Mon 16-Sep-13 22:24:20

faber interesting points. I will call her on her comments in future. Just sometimes I am so gobsmacked I am speechless. I painted my lounge once, agonised over my choice of paint, saved money up to afford Farrow n Ball. Risked my bold choice and when she arrived telling me 'oh Im dying to see it' she was like 'ooo' and no comment. So I ask 'what do you think?'. She says 'well it's orange'. (I know that obviously!!!!!)

ARGH!!!! She totally boils my piss!!!!

Are there any towns and villages nearby that you could socialise in? Mn meet up perhaps?

backoffbarbara Mon 16-Sep-13 22:25:18

itisknown yes sometimes i wish i had a pillow handy wink

pinkyredrose Mon 16-Sep-13 22:26:08

Life's too short for shit friends. You should make sure your other mates know what she's like.

How did she cost you a friendship?

pigletmania Mon 16-Sep-13 22:30:31

Just because your kids are involved in those things does not mean you ave to interact with her. Just be polite and civil, don't arrange anything, drop your dd/ds to rainbows and swimming and go sit I the car r go home and collect later

SugarHut Mon 16-Sep-13 22:32:01

Ok...if in all practicality and reality you can't avoid her, you need to deal with her so she doesn't irritate the shit out of you.

Some people are just like this, they have to make little comments, they have to feel they are more popular, they have to feel like they have that speciality above us mere mortals. That's what makes her world go round. Just be thankful your life has a little more substance.

The next time she acts like a braying hoorah and scoffs at your hair/shoes/etc, say nothing, just look her directly in the eye, smile in a satisfied way, and remind yourself that for someone's actions to affect you, you have to consider their opinion worth a toss. And it will make her look like an ill mannered buffoon.

In all reality, she's probably very lonely, lots of "friends" but actually no one of real substance that she has a genuine relationship with. What people think of her, and feeling included/queen bee is what makes her tick. It doesn't have to make her a bad person, just a bit of an arse when she can't help herself with her behaviour sometimes.

I can't remember who said it, but the quote about "when you scratch the surface, you get more surface" is probably rather well suited to her. Don't ever feel like the lesser person because you have better manners and more depth.

backoffbarbara Mon 16-Sep-13 22:39:06

Other people have found her overbearing. I know this. But I am not comfortable 'bitching' about her behind her back. (only on mnet!! grin )

She cost me a friendship by creating this really uncomfortable situation where she would constantly be pushing herself on me and this other person. She would invite us to her house and then get all offended if we couldn't go and then turn up at my house thinking the other one was round here (she wouldnt say this but it was fairly fucking obvious). It got to the point where this other girl spent a lot of time coming to me wanting to bitch about her and like I said Im not happy to do this. Also this other Mum would still go out with the 'suffocater!!' In the end I backed off and saw none of them, other Mum paniced I assume she thought I would reveal her bitching about the 'suffocator' but tbh I just wanted away from the whole situation. Honestly at that point I thought i might check into my local mental hospital for some respite. The whole thing spiralled and other Mum stopped speaking to me. Ironically she still speaks to the suffocator who I am sure stirred the whole pot of shit to end exactly as it did. I don't need this woman as an 'enemy' she is Mrs Manipulation.

Sorry such a big drawn out story, that was as short and sweet as I could make it. For the many minor points id need at least a night and a whole bottle of wine!!!! grin

backoffbarbara Mon 16-Sep-13 22:45:05

piglet without sounding needy, if i just drop and collect or sit in car I would completely cut myself off from everyone else. This is a small rural village. We have no family here. I need some 'friends'. Just not the psychopathic type....

sugar Though provoking post thanks. It just makes me sad that I have to put my energy into this. We are supposed to be friends ffs. I guess i am also disappointed to be seeing her true colours more and more.

MistressDeeCee Tue 17-Sep-13 00:36:26

Just get rid of her. What more to think about? She's not your sister.

People aren't sheep - every woman in the village isn't going to ignore you just because you aren't friends with her! Even if some did then surely they wouldn't be the type of friend you want - cliquey, with no mind of their own.

I'd get rid and not assume your social life lies solely in her hands; of course it doesn't.

Saffyz Tue 17-Sep-13 01:11:52

Think of a few people you don't like, and tell her you are thinking of meeting up with them. Then sit back and watch her copy!

dorisdaydream Tue 17-Sep-13 09:52:51

I think we all know one of 'those' types. My DS's best friend's mum is like it. She is the kind of person who wants daily contact and wants to do things together all the time, which tbh I find very stifling and I don't like. She then gets the hump when I won't do things the way she wants me to.

She also has to be 'friends' with everybody, and pushes her way into all conversations. She is very loud, and very pushy. I cringe sometimes when I see how she conducts herself.

I keep her at a distance. I have a feeling that she can, and would, turn quite nasty if she doesn't get her own way.

dorisdaydream Tue 17-Sep-13 09:53:59

Also, you would, I'm sure, be surprised at the amount of people that don't like the woman, but that just go along with things to keep the peace. People like her are never genuinely popular or well liked

backoffbarbara Tue 17-Sep-13 10:08:14

Sounds very similar to this woman. Always the one who talks most at meetings/the school gate/parties.
She LOVES parties and is very put out if she hears my dc are going to a party that her dc have not been invited to even if the children are completely different ages to her dc. What I find hard is she will actually say 'oh my dc haven't been invited' in a tone which suggests she feels they are intitled to an invite to everything and takes it personally if they aren't.

She is also keen to tell me things that are hurtful to me like 'oh did you see Sue really looking at that dress you are wearing and sniggering?' She will follow it up with 'oh don't worry love I think you look amazing, she just has no style!'. I mean wtf do you say to that hmm

dorisdaydream Tue 17-Sep-13 10:13:57

They sound like the same person, Barbara!

What I find that the woman I know will do is talk to me if there is no one else, but if there are other people there to get 'in' with she'll just totally ignore me. I dropped DS at school today and she was standing at the school gate talking to another mum and I said hello to her and she just looked at me, whilst if I was talking to someone and she decided she wanted to talk to me that day, she would have no hesitations in coming up and hijacking my conversation. Her usual trick is to put her back to me, and then start dominating the conversation by talking to whoever I'm talking to, totally engaging them and firing question after question at them so that they stop talking to me.

backoffbarbara Tue 17-Sep-13 10:24:53

Oh she sounds horrible doris. To be fair this woman will always be friendly to me and everyone else. She is very two faced. If i have been cool with her she will make a point of being all friendly and jokey with others infront of me, making sure I know they are off out somewhere together. Showing me how popular she is. To me she is verging on desperate.

Last year I found a lovely local teenager to babysit. After she had babysat once for me this woman literally poached said teen. Booking her up, taking her 'under her wing', paying more, etc etc. Full oc stories about how she knows this teen, knows her Mum, etc all exagerated to suit her story. angry

ItsInTheSand Tue 17-Sep-13 10:30:17

The whole small village thing is so hard. Many people will keep life easy for themselves so tread really carefully.

I was struggling a bit socially with one mum but did n't chat to anyone just thought smiling and time would help the situation however, without putting my side, this was obviously the biggest source of gossip at the time.
An Alpha Mum decided to pick a fight with me which I refused to engage with but in the long run by making me the village scrafical goat has bonded the group really closely.

I don't gossip or bitch and I am left with no friends and small village life is really hard.

I would tread really carefully:
Get a pretend/real/volunteer job that you can say publically takes up lots of time.
Lie and say how much you miss having the time to met up.
Go to yoga/bell ringing/have coffee with someone for social contact but say its the 'only chance to sit down this week' when asked.
Arrange to met up thean cancel due to fictous work commitment.

revealall Tue 17-Sep-13 10:34:14

dorisdaydream Perfect time to be assertive (can you tell I have a friend like this too).
If she's ignoring you call her out...say something like "oh sorry I'm interrupting"with a smile. This means you have pointed out she is ignoring you but also gives the other mum a get out and a chance include you.

When she takes over a conversation give her a minute and then say to the other mum "anyway I'll talk to you later" and walk off. Other mum can then include you or you can walk away knowing that friend knows she's shut you out.

IMO I found that friend didn't get how annoying she was till it was pointed out subtly. You'd be doing her a favour!

dorisdaydream Tue 17-Sep-13 10:36:11

That sounds just like the woman I know too Barbara. She always has to demonstrate to me, and presumably to others too, just how popular she is. If DS makes any new friends at school, she then tries to force a friendship between her DS and that child too, inviting them round for tea, and making out that she and the other child's mum are best friends.

DS had a birthday party in the summer and she went round gathering phone numbers of the other mums. Every friendship has to be engineered and planned to suit her. One mum said something to me about wanting my number so we could keep in contact throughout the holidays and my 'friend' immediately said 'I haven't got your number', strategically positioned herself between me and the other woman, and then took over, talking about meeting for playdates etc.

dorisdaydream Tue 17-Sep-13 10:40:40

Thanks revealall, I'll give the interrupting thing a go next time she does it. I already do the 'I'll talk to you later' thing when she butts in. The other person usually looks very embarrassed but I think my 'friend' is so pushy and gobby that no one ever dares opt out of any conversations with her.

EldritchCleavage Tue 17-Sep-13 11:49:00

Channel your inner Margot Leadbetter/Duchess of Devonshire/Princess Margaret. In your head, imagine yourself saying 'frightful little woman, truly ghastly'. The more you get into your secret upper class cowbag persona, the more you can distance yourself from the hurtfulness of the situation.

When she comes out with comments about Sue not liking your dress, you smile faintly as though embarrassed for her over her bad manners or just say 'Yee-ees' and casually move on to speak to someone else.

Always try to move away from her after she does something like this-it is subtle training: treat me badly, lose my attention.

And never feel you have to fill a silence after one of her comments: the ability to just stay quiet and do nothing is invaluable with people like this, it is often the one thing they can't manage very well.

I work with someone like this, i.e. a person who is emotionally manipulative, subtly bullying but above all, so insecure and desperate for interaction that they will take negative attention as well as positive. All the above tactics worked.

treadheavily Tue 17-Sep-13 11:54:41

Have you thought about rat poison?

pigletmania Tue 17-Sep-13 12:26:35

You might have to Op for a little bit, you don't need the whole village to be your friend, just say your busy and have to pop out. Those people who are your friend will have your contact details so you meet up without her.

pigletmania Tue 17-Sep-13 12:28:45

Don't gpgive personal details to her, keep private!

henrycavillyum Tue 17-Sep-13 12:50:52

I would not say anything to the woman but you need to distance yourself whilst being polite. If she invites you places, tell her you have something else planned.

If you see her at any social functions be polite but dont spend any time in conversation.

I had something similar a few years ago. Except she turned some others against me. She would always befriend anyone she saw me talking to. She would also arrange for any children that my DD spent time with back for tea and would cultivate friendships between the and her DD.

Myself and DD felt isolated at the time. It was like having a stalker.

RenterNomad Tue 17-Sep-13 12:58:11

What about publicly calling her a controlling bitch, and then accepting the "refugees" who will flee her once there's a "safe haven" (someone who can never go back to Her). You chickened out of this with the "Mum friend" you lost (you said yourself she didn't trust you not to go back to Her), but it could work if you leave yourself no way back...?

RenterNomad Tue 17-Sep-13 13:04:42

Sorry, meant to add a grin, even though the suggestion's not totally tongue in cheek. After all, her isolating you and stealing a babysitter are harsh measures you're already suffering - why not try to reclaim at least something by presenting yourself as an alternative to her reign of terror?

Ev1lEdna Tue 17-Sep-13 13:09:07

I think we know the same woman - I am currently distancing myself. I also retort to hurtful comments.

Laura0806 Tue 17-Sep-13 13:11:46

It s a wierd thing isn't it, I know someone like this and I also live in a small village and have found this year very hard because she no longer speaks to me and I feel awkward and dread every chance meeting (very frequent in a small village with lots of mutual friends). Therefore, I would follow the suggestions above about slowly extracating yourself rather than any confrontation. I suspect most people will see through her , its just that, sadly, people do want to make life easy for themsleves and so you will find they will keep inviting her along to things too. Much easier if you haven't totally blanked her or fallen out.

dorisdaydream Tue 17-Sep-13 13:21:03

It's a huge bugbear of mine that that type of person always ends up smelling of roses, no matter how badly they treat people, or how much of a bitch they are.

However I'm a firm believer in karma and I think that in time people like that do get their comeuppance. I think too that generally they are unpopular and unliked, but as had been mentioned people do anything to keep the peace and so they include them as they are so pushy and in their faces.

springyduffy Tue 17-Sep-13 13:40:39

I'd guess you aren't the first person to be subjected to her intense attention? Maybe the others are breathing a sigh of relief that she's moved on to someone else (for the time being).

Hullygully Tue 17-Sep-13 13:47:41

Smile pleasantly all the time and pretend utter oblivion to her "Oh I should be invited too" type things and other such. Ignore everything else. See her just enough that she can't accuse you of avoiding but don't be drawn into involvement. Build other friendships.

Saffyz Tue 17-Sep-13 13:58:01

> It's a huge bugbear of mine that that type of person always ends up smelling of roses, no matter how badly they treat people, or how much of a bitch they are.

Yes, I agree! I know exactly what you mean.

ExcuseTypos Tue 17-Sep-13 13:58:10

You will never change her behaviour, but you can stop her opinions getting to you.

When she makes a comment such as Sue disliking your dress, turn it back on her 'gosh, I expect Sue would be upset to hear you've told me that'

If she's going on about not being invited for parties/coffee, say 'oh don't worry about things like that'. Just deflect things from you and end the conversation.

I do sympathise. I live in a small village and it can be very claustrophobic. I tend to have friends outside the village, so I can 'escape' whilst still being friendly to everyone else.

dorisdaydream Tue 17-Sep-13 22:30:48

I had to laugh this evening, and thought of this thread straight away! I was on FB and saw that the woman I know has been adding loads of friends of mine that she barely knows. She adds people all the time, just to have loads of 'friends'. It kept coming up in my newsfeed; 'X is now friends with Y' 'X is now friends with Z'.

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