Advanced search

To think that that those that enable bad behaviour are as bad as the people that behave in a bad or rude manner?

(51 Posts)
Itsjustalot Sat 03-Nov-12 19:07:31

I don't understand why people pussyfoot around those types of people.

I worked for several years in a busy office. One woman there, doing a similar job to the rest of us, had a bit of an attitude problem and was rude, snappy and downright nasty at times to many of the other women. At various points she made some colleagues actually cry. It was all just dismissed, by staff and management as 'just her way'. She spoke badly to me a couple of times and I let it go, then one day when I'd not been there long she was very rude to me when I dared to place a message for her on the wrong side of her desk. I told her never to speak to me like that again, and whilst she sulked for a few weeks with me, she did eventually start being very respectful towards me. I was the only one, to my knowledge, who ever stood up to her.

More recently I have come across a woman at a toddler group I take ds to, who is very rude and abrupt with people. She's very moody, and makes put down comments. And again everyone pussyfoots around her. I tend to stay away from her, as its a large group, but everyone lamely puts up with her comments. If any child argues with her dd she starts ranting and raving at the mum of the other child. And yet still everyone flocks around her and speaks to her each week. She refuses to take her turn on the washing up rota and everyone tolerates it, and then other weeks she totally takes over the toy clearing up at the end and snaps a people if they do it wrongly. I am going to end up saying something to her at some point, or possibly leaving the group as she is totally ruling it and is a total cow! No one has a good word to say about her but they all enable her behaviour.

Trills Sat 03-Nov-12 19:10:02

YABU to say "as bad as"

Aiding and abetting is not as serious as actually committing the crime.

Itsjustalot Sat 03-Nov-12 19:10:35


IvorHughJanus Sat 03-Nov-12 19:11:34

Meh. Some people don't like confontation. I'm usually happy to think 'dick' but not actually say it, unless I'm in a very very very bad mood or they push me once too often. I don't believe that that makes me an 'enabler' of horrible people.

lecce Sat 03-Nov-12 19:11:59

YANBU - I wish I had more guts but I agree with you, people are as they are, mostly, because other people allow them to be.

Itsjustalot Sat 03-Nov-12 19:14:28

I think Ivor that that depends on whether you ignore the 'dick' or whether you're friendly and chatty with them no matter how they treat you

redexpat Sat 03-Nov-12 19:14:40

I wish I had the guts to challenge people. Like the bitch in my group at uni who has ignored my every suggestion, blamed me for not turning up to meetings when none of them bothered to tell me when they were and who on thursday talked over me. I'm usually just so dumbfounded by the rudeness my mind goes blank.

Somebodysomewhere Sat 03-Nov-12 19:14:48

Im like you. Cant see why people put up with this shit. And i open my mouth probably a bit too freely if anyone tried it with me blush

WilsonFrickett Sat 03-Nov-12 19:17:21

In the work situation, yes you were right,it's someone you see everyday and people do only become these legends of grumpiness because everyone lets them get away with it.

At a play group - meh to be honest. It's two hours a week, personally in that situation I would let it wash over me. I have no vested interest in trying to 'fix' a random stranger who just happened to have DCs round about the same time as me.

IvorHughJanus Sat 03-Nov-12 19:17:31

Ah, now that's a good point Op. I ignore. I am queen of the raised-eyebrow-and-hair-flick. IYKWIM.

Bunbaker Sat 03-Nov-12 19:19:27

I agree. I would go so far to say that this is why bullies get away with their behaviour as well.

Homebird8 Sat 03-Nov-12 19:25:54

One of my colleagues is undergoing intensive performance management coaching kick up the backside prior to disciplinary process after I explained enabling to my boss. Thanks to the MN nest of vipers I am better informed about such things than I once was. Not everyone is and therefore not necessarily culpable (you should recognise your own rudeness but might not recognise your own enabling behaviour).

HecatePhosphorus Sat 03-Nov-12 21:22:18

I wouldn't say they're as bad as them, but I do want to shake people until their teeth rattle when they tell how people are treating them like shit and they take it. They say nothing.

It's not that I don't understand. I'm guilty of it too but trying to change because I believe people in our lives treat us how we allow them to treat us and we do have a responsibility to stand up and say no. You will NOT treat me like this. And I think that if we all refused to accept shitty behaviour from friends, family, coworkers, etc - they would change. They'd have to! But if people treat others like crap and get away with it -why would they change?

KittyFane1 Sat 03-Nov-12 21:53:58

I worked with a woman like this when I started anew job. "Oh, it's just the way she is" was the response I got from management when I discussed her behaviour.
She had worked there for years and knew exactly who to be polite to (anyone senior to her).
Others seemed to like her and I couldn't understand why.
People don't like confrontation so don't always speak up. As I got to know colleagues I realised that quite a number of people felt the same as me but just tolerated it and never said anything. Thankfully she has since retired but she was very polite to me after one occasion when I said "I don't know if you realise how rude that was. Please don't speak to me like that again." She obviously wasn't used to being confronted and looked quite shocked.
Why this woman at the playgroup is popular I have no idea. It's like the bitchiest girl at school who is always surrounded by 'friends'.

AgentZigzag Sat 03-Nov-12 22:02:57

But with the woman at work you were the same as everyone else to start with, why you didn't you tackle her straight away will answer your question.

Not everyone is in a situation where they feel able to risk falling out with the person, or strong enough to deal with the inevitable tantruming/confrontation, or even see anything wrong with the persons behaviour.

I mostly can't help myself and have to say something, but that's not necessarily a good thing and it can look as though you're being awkward and prickly.

SkinnyMarinkADink Sat 03-Nov-12 22:50:57

Oh i agree and this gets me angry too.

I have no time for standing around and being nice to someone who is rude to people / two faced.

Example.. i became very good friends a friend of a family member on dh's side. Before me and dh got married we had a very rough patch and had some time apart said friend decided she wanted nothing to do with me as her best friend is dh cousin and she thought it would be awkward however she decided to be foul to me and we had a huge row etc etc..

Fast forward to now, both of our children go to the same pre school and she has tried on numerous occasion to get me to stand and talk with her..why would i??

If i was to do that i would be enabling her behaviour and saying 'its fine to treat people like shit'

dh says my face says exactly what i am thinking at all times can be awkward if i don't like something he's given me grin

Itsjustalot Sat 03-Nov-12 23:23:24

AgentZigZag; I said I let it go a couple of times before I pulled her up on it. This is because I feel it's fair to give people the benefit of the doubt in case they genuinely are having a bad day or something has happened to upset them. I didn't put up with it for years, as many of my colleagues had done.

Do people seriously sometimes not think there's anything wrong with rude, obnoxious peoples' behaviour? I disagree that it can make someone look awkward and prickly. Well no more awkward and prickly than the person dishing out the nasty treatment that is.

AgentZigzag Sat 03-Nov-12 23:35:06

I used to know a completely cantankerous old bloke, really rude and abrupt, not someone anyone could put up with regularly.

But I know him (if he's still alive) to be the most giving and generous person going, quietly doing kind things for people and the community.

Being rude really was just his way, and I accepted it from him because I knew he was one of those souls who genuinely was selfless in everything he did.

From the outside you would think I was unreasonable putting up with him though.

The awkward, prickly bit comes in when it's making a scene or atmosphere that other people have to live in, and in that way it can be seen as a bit selfish.

Itsjustalot Sat 03-Nov-12 23:39:07

But one could argue, Zigzag that the person who is the crochety/rude/nasty person is the one creating that scene or atmosphere in the first place. I don't think that people should just not pull others up on bad behaviour just to stave off a tantrum from them. Because then that goes back to enabling the behaviour doesn't it?

Itsjustalot Sat 03-Nov-12 23:39:45

And I'm a firm believer that confrontation doesn't have to mean being nasty. It can be done with a smile and nicely. If the other person then has a hissy fit it's their problem.

Itsjustalot Sat 03-Nov-12 23:46:37

Just been thinking about this Zigzag, and I think that lots of people that are one of 'those' types rely on others having the opinion that you do. That it's selfish to make a scene. Or that people who answer them back will feel that they look awkward. That's exactly how they get away with things.

AgentZigzag Sat 03-Nov-12 23:52:04

You can do it with a smile and nicely all you like, but it'll just come across as passive aggression because there are some things which can only be taken one way.

Don't get me wrong, I was brought up by a very straight talking mum (who ironically can't take any straight talking back) and find it very hard to bite my tongue.

I used to scorn my MILs habit of sweeping everything under the carpet, but I've changed my mind over the years and think she's probably right.

It galls me that the people you're talking about in the OP are kowtowed to by everyone else, walking on egg shells to not upset them, so I know what you mean completely, but causing atmospheres and stirring up all sorts of shit is what happens if you decide to be the one who confronts their crappy behaviour.

I'm not saying I don't or wouldn't say anything, but you have to see it for what it is, and that is that you might come across as bad as the person you're trying to correct.

FromEsme Sat 03-Nov-12 23:54:07


I rarely confront people. But I also don't let them get to me. If someone tries to take the piss, I just ignore them, let them get on with it.

It's not my job to tell people how to act and I can't be arsed having an atmosphere. I would sooner just roll my eyes and let them get on with it.

FromEsme Sat 03-Nov-12 23:57:45

The thing is, people actually are very rarely rude to me. I think I just have the arsey face of someone who won't be told to do something.

The only time I can think of someone trying to take the piss is when I used to go into schools and tutor kids who spoke English as a second language. The teacher would ask me and another tutor to photocopy her stuff. Other tutor would do it, I just said I had my own stuff to get on with. Problem solved, no confrontation. If the other tutor didn't want to do it, she should have said.

Itsjustalot Sun 04-Nov-12 00:03:10

I disagree Zigzag smile I don't really care what people think of me though, but I suppose if someone is more bothered about what people think then I can see how one might hold back a bit. I actually think that people do tend to respect others that stand up for themselves more than they respect people who just sit back and take bad behaviour. If, for example, I was out with a group of friends and someone said something unpleasant, I would pull that person up, in a polite, pleasant manner. I think people respect people that say how they feel more than they respect those that just sweep things under the carpet.

FromEsme; the point I was making was people being all nice and friendly to those that are rude to them. I do think ignoring and eye rolling about idiots does have it's place, but if you're being all friendly to someone that is rude to you regularly then I think that that is enabling their behaviour.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: