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Was this a patronising comment by new boyfriend?

(58 Posts)
greenleavesoutside Tue 19-Aug-14 11:23:29

Been seeing a guy for a few months. We went for a walk in the countryside which involved quite a steep hill (we had to climb up some steep rocks at some point and it there was an almost vertical drop to each side of us). I have quite a fear of heights as it is and got a bit shaky but managed to get up it. I have done a lot of hiking (climbed Ben nevis, snowdon amongst others). Anyway later on we were discussing how lovely the walk was, the views etc and my boyfriend starts gushing how "proud" he was of me to find my hiking feet and that I managed to overcome my fears etc. I didn't say anything, just smiled but inside i felt the pang of annoyance rising as i just felt this was quite patronising.

Do i just need to wind my neck in? Or is this patronising?

DreamingofSummer Tue 19-Aug-14 11:25:45

Wind your neck in. He was being supportive imo

Merel Tue 19-Aug-14 11:28:57

Sounds like you are a fairly accomplished hiker if you have done Ben Nevis and Snowden, so maybe the 'found your hiking feet' comment was a bit patronising but it is rather impressive that you do this despite your fear and it sounds like that's what he was trying to say. I think you should you be proud of yourself too!

Hissy Tue 19-Aug-14 11:32:10

Does he KNOW you climbed Snowdon/Ben Nevis?

If you're flaking out due to a vertical drop (and I bloody well would have been!) then perhaps he forgot about what you have managed in the past?

Quitelikely Tue 19-Aug-14 11:32:48

You got annoyed at that comment, he better watch out then is all I can say!

BringMeSunshine2014 Tue 19-Aug-14 11:35:05

I have the same reaction when my Mum says stuff like that. I know she means well, but it's just completely gets my back up for some reason. I'm not sure if it's them or us though grin

BringMeSunshine2014 Tue 19-Aug-14 11:40:08

'how proud he was of me to find my hiking feet'

It's just so... patronising & dismissive of your previous achievements.

I've decided - it's them grin

Terrierterror Tue 19-Aug-14 11:41:01

I read your post and thought he sounds nice, why is she annoyed? Then I reread it and saw you've hiked Ben Nevis and Snowden!

I can see why you found it patronising. I don't know if he meant to patronise you.

Vitalstatistix Tue 19-Aug-14 11:45:05

was he saying that he was proud of you for overcoming your fear of heights and climbing ben nevis and snowdon and tackling this steep climb etc. Talking about all you've achieved rather than talking just about the hike you were on?

I might say to someone that I was really proud of them if we were doing something that I know they'd had to work to overcome a fear to enable them to do. Even if they'd done it before. It would still be part of their overall achievement and worth recognition, surely?

Give the fella a break - you're own words, you got a bit shaky, in a section that was difficult or a little perilous, but carried on through. Presumably he saw how shaky you got, and is pleased for you that you managed to crack on regardless.
If he hadn't acknowledged it, would you be pissed that he didn't care enough to comment?

PlantsAndFlowers Tue 19-Aug-14 12:03:55

I don't get why he was proud of you. It kind of implies he has some responsibility for your actions, or the fact that you carried in reflects well on him in some way.

I would find that irritating - but I would also tell him so.

If you feel patronised then someone is probably being patronising.

BringMeSunshine2014 Tue 19-Aug-14 12:10:04

It would have been one thing for him to have said 'Green, I'm really impressed that you carried on with our hike even though you hate hights smile' it's quite another to say (to someone who has already done a lot of hiking <without him>) that he's proud she has 'found her hiking feet' as if a) he had something to do with it and b) it's the first time she's hiked anything bigger than her stairs at home.

ShatnersBassoon Tue 19-Aug-14 12:15:15

He probably didn't mean to belittle you. He possibly plucked the wrong word out of the air when he was trying to explain why he thought you'd done well. I don't think it's worth giving a second thought to, in other words.

I would shelve this comment under hmm for now, giving him the benefit of the doubt that he meant to be supportive and not a patronising wankbadger. But if it develops into a pattern of head-patting comments about how clever/brave/accomplished you are for a woman, then run for the hills (see what I did there?!)

Twinklestein Tue 19-Aug-14 12:20:35

It doesn't sound like he meant it the way you took it, he was just acknowledging the fact that felt a bit shaky and got through it.

Unless this is one in a long line of patronising remarks, which is a different story...

abigamarone Tue 19-Aug-14 12:23:11

If he realised your difficulty with heights I'd say he was genuinely pleased for you, perhaps he just didn't quite say it the right way.

Legionofboom Tue 19-Aug-14 12:28:14

Hiking up Ben Nevis and Snowden is a great achievement but neither are especially 'technical' climbs (depending on the routes you take). I don't say that to belittle your achievements at all, but to point out that it is possible that your boyfriend felt that this walk was a greater challenge in some respects.

Whether he was being patronising or not is tough to call without knowing anything about his personality.

StickyProblem Tue 19-Aug-14 12:34:23

Completely agree with Annie - give him the benefit of the doubt, but keep an eye on any pattern that develops.

MrsWinnibago Tue 19-Aug-14 13:46:21

I knew a very clever man who always said "You should be pleased" whenever anyone achieved something..."Well done. You should be pleased." he said it to me once and I never forgot it.

museumum Tue 19-Aug-14 13:54:31

I don't know, I reckon i'd have said something like 'oh my hiking feet are just fine, done plenty of hill-walking, it's just edges/drops/scrambling that freaked me a bit' with a smile....

He was trying to be nice I think. I would guess. But why would you smile on the outside and cringe inside? why not say something? I don't know that I could begin/progress a relationship with somebody I couldn't be honest with and say what I am thinking...

PlumpPartridge Tue 19-Aug-14 13:56:19

I think I'd say "Thanks for your support darling, but do you realise how patronising you just sounded?"

This works on DH grin

Ivehearditallnow Tue 19-Aug-14 14:26:06

I don't think IMO it's patronising but it's definitely cheesy - I would have laughed in his face I think. But then, I'm a gobby cow grin x

thestamp Tue 19-Aug-14 15:34:52

if he knew you were nervous, and you yourself admit you were nervous, then I think the comment should be taken as supportive of you since you managed to make it despite feeling wobbly.

Jan45 Tue 19-Aug-14 16:09:02

You are over reacting.

ilovelamp82 Tue 19-Aug-14 16:24:24

Maybe past girlfriends weren't good at hiking or facing their fears so he feels lucky to be with someone who does.

You were scared. You did face your fear. You should feel proud.

If this is the only comment he's made that's made you question whether he was being patronising then I wouldn't worry about it.

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