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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.

cumfy Tue 05-Mar-13 23:50:40

I think the thing is if you genuinely "diagnose" what is going on -- her desperately trying to get in with the "in-crowd", divide and conquer, demonstrate she is more cool/likeable than you; then you will quite likely feel rather sorry for her and her insecure feelings.

You won't need to appear unbothered and breezy, you can just be yourself.

blackeyedsusan Tue 05-Mar-13 23:56:31

the ones who go out with this lady are more likely to be like her type and less like your type. try to find people with similarr outlooks to parenting/life. it is more likely that you will get on. i oculd not get on well with a gf type. I am just not organised enough.. grin different pesonalities and all that.

rainrainandmorerain Wed 06-Mar-13 00:27:31

i think you are overthinking this (and sounding just a little bit obsessed, sorry! when she is next to you, you can 'feel' her looking you up and down strangely? really?)

Relax, if you meet people you like, ask them for a coffee but keep it light (don't get upset or feel snubbed if they don't come, people have ALL sorts of reasons for not coming - it doesn't have to be personal dislike). I wouldn't focus too much on the need for lasting friendship and support when you first meet people. It puts too much pressure on things. Keep it casual.

And don't get too over focused on one woman. Maybe she isn't comfortable around you (like you aren't comfortable around her). So what? You're an adult, steer clear of all this 'Heathers' style 'Queen Bee' analysis. It won't get you anywhere, you'll just brood and come over as tense or worse!

BornFreeButinChains Wed 06-Mar-13 08:03:29


What is INFJ?

DIYapprentice Wed 06-Mar-13 08:14:39

Sometimes, sadly, if you don't get along with a forceful member of a group you may never feel happy and comfortable there. You've said you asked one lady out and she declined, how about some of the others?

I agree with others, get yourself to some of the local baby groups. There are a few that cater for under 1s, etc. Try getting to some of those and meeting some of the mums there. While you've got a really little one that's not getting into mischief it's actually a lot easier to get to know some of the mums. Not all NCT groups gel. My NCT group all got along well enough, but we just didn't really connect as friends, and it was difficult to make a time for us all to catch up so it just fizzled out.

BornFreeButinChains Wed 06-Mar-13 08:20:56

I can take people not liking me, I have worked along side people etc and come up agaisnt people that don't like me, thats fine in my book, sometimes I have actually still liked them, sometimes not.

What I have a problem with is someone not liking me and sort of activly trying to shut me down. She has made a few comments my way as if what I am saying is nonsense, she made a strange comment about my name. A few of my suggestions to meet up she has written off. When I have been talking to others she has somehow managed to side line me and excluded me from the conversation, its almost like she can't bear to hear me speak!

I can co exist in a group with one person who I don't gel with but its harder with someone who is sort of interfering when I am speaking or doing other stuff.

Quite often she has said or done something and I have had to think about whether to respond, she has got me wrong and its been - let it slide but let her think I have mis understood something or correct her and be confrontational, I have ended up doing both.

Meandmarius Wed 06-Mar-13 08:39:35

I can relate to this, a similar thing happened in my NCT group. Most of the group were lovely but there was one woman who was hugely competitive. We used to take the babies swimming and if my DD kicked or anything, she would come right up to us and shout that her baby was doing the same. It was weird. The final straw came when she starting being odd with my DD. We'd all meet up and she would just stare blankly at DD or completely ignore her when DD tried to interact, all the time whilst being friendly to the other babies.

I didn't take it personally, she obviously had stuff going on. Unfortunately though, it did stop me from meeting up with the group as it had got to the point where DD would burst into tears when this woman walked into the room!

As others have said, I think the key is throwing yourself into lots of different classes / groups. I did that and met some brilliant friends.

Katisha Wed 06-Mar-13 08:41:08

Two things occur :
Firstly are you the only one with older children in the group? THis can affect the dynamic if the others are all first timers.
And secondly how about taking the bull by the horns and directly asking this woman round for coffee? By herself?

BornFreeButinChains Wed 06-Mar-13 08:52:44

We all have other DC's. Her other DC is only a toddler though.
We met up once for coffee by ourselves and she kept cutting me off - and if I mentioned something about myself, she wouldn't respond but just then relate back to herself.

We have inadvertently been alone a few times and she has been akward and clock watching and twitchy.

I think she is still in hyper work mode and is applying her work strategies to her DC and to the group.

Everyone else is just normal and relaxed and able to chat normally, when she isnt there everyone gets to speak and chat and ask each other questions...

JaneyLiz Wed 06-Mar-13 09:54:28

Born-free, reading your post made me remember when my boys were young and I too struggled with friendships and loneliness.
I am also very aware of other people's behaviour and worry about if people like me. I'm sensing that there are a number of much deeper lying issues affecting your feelings and reactions and perhaps you need to spend time with those issues and the conflict within you(wishing you didn't have those feelings) I have been reading a mindblowing book on 'focusing' which is a philosophy where you spend time with your emotions, acknowledging their validity and accepting where they come from. It has already helped me with a relationship I have at work with my boss who I started to feel didn't like me. I realise this sounds a bit deep but it has helped me. Another book I love is 'The Happiness Project' - I found it inspirational.

BornFreeButinChains Wed 06-Mar-13 10:07:12

Oh thanks Janey will look up those books.

I think it comes from having a much older sister who used to speak for me and interpret what I felt or how I was feeling and she was always way off the mark. She was extremly domineering too and it was hard to make my voice heard.

For instance I would be sat thinking about happily about apples in a little dream world, she would come along and say outloud to people " oh look at Born, what a face on her - isn't she rude, sitting there with a face like a cats bum when we are all out for a meal".

She was over ten years older than me and was always making comments like that or telling my DM how to parent me!I used to internalise things then went the other way - really standing up for myself.

BornFreeButinChains Wed 06-Mar-13 10:11:24

I have a friend for instance who can walk into someone's house with OCD, and not notice them twitching about shoes on, cups on wood ( cup ring marks), and be cheerful and upbeat and carry on being themselves.

I walk into someones house with OCD I notice, I notice the twitching, the hand movements, the pursed lips, the sharp in takes of breath. I notice and I feel akward and unable to relax.

I want to be like my friend!

Ionasky Wed 06-Mar-13 10:21:27

It could be that she's v anxious herself - I do twitchy, over-talktative, not relaxed, interrupting stuff when I've had too much coffee (oddly to feel more confident in social situations) but anyway who cares - trust that you don't enjoy her company. Only thing I've learned: try not to tell yourself stories about what any other person thinks of you, go on the verbal proveable communication only & distract yourself if you start thinking too much. It's helped me a lot. Advice on trying to join more activities is good too - more interaction, less time to worry about each interaction!

LemonPeculiarJones Wed 06-Mar-13 10:47:28

Whatever her reasons are for being off with you, they are irrelevant. They are her business and her problem. She sounds like a pain in the arse.

BUT the issue here is you have worked hard to avoid the isolation you felt with your previous DC. So just think, 'I'll be DAMNED if this random woman makes me feel pushed out!' Be firm. Breezily ignore all her nonsense and focus on the other members of the group. The stronger and more confident you are, the more she will expose herself as being childish and moody and others in the group will start to notice and feel less comfortable with her, too.

Stay strong, fight your corner by being breezy and ignoring all her crap. Stick with the group and also strengthen individual friendships. Take the long view with this one. Don't be weakened by her rubbish!

NutellaNutter Wed 06-Mar-13 10:59:09

Sounds like you are an INFJ. I am so much like you. Go onto the Highly Sensitive Person website and do their personality test. Bet you are a HSP!

lainiekazan Wed 06-Mar-13 11:23:23

I looked up INFJ and it is absolutely me! Can't believe it. I know when people don't like me, or, as BornFree says, sense when other people don't like something. So many people are utterly oblivious to others' sensibilities and it must make life easier to have more rhino-like skin.

My sil sounds like Born's village frenemy. For nearly 20 years she has been making me feel just that little bit uncomfortable. Not enough so that others really notice - dh for example always says "rubbish" when I complain - but I always get the slightly-turned shoulder in conversations, the "oh, you don't need to help, thank you" at family events... just those small gestures that communicate "I don't like you."

BornFreeButinChains Wed 06-Mar-13 11:25:53

what does INFJ mean please? someone else said that but didnt say what it was?

claudedebussy Wed 06-Mar-13 11:45:45

it's a myers-briggs personality type. they have 16 basic types. you can take a questionnaire and find out what type you are.

here's one. There are lots - the 'proper' one is about 4 hours long.

Branleuse Wed 06-Mar-13 11:46:52

this would really upset me too. So whether its unreasonable or not, i can relate. i would feel awful if someone purposely let me know that they didnt like me like that.

I wonder if its possible to get the perspective of another friend because they may have noticed it too

musicismylife Wed 06-Mar-13 12:03:28

Hey OP, her opinion of you is actually none of your business.

I don't mean to sound blunt, just wanting to put things into perspective.

fabulousathome Wed 06-Mar-13 12:32:15

I'm amazed at that INJF personality type, it's so me.

I too have people in my circle of friends that I don't like. One in particular is my husband's boss's wife who is so full of herself and v annoying. I see her at the religious organisation that we both worship at and at women's club that I belong to which is an offshoot of the religious organisation.

I decided it was worth tolerating her in order to mix with other people there. I just keep my distance and am grateful not to be invited to her house as I wouldn't want to invite her to mine! This could be a way to go for you.

Smile sweetly on the outside and be a lady about it but inside think your own thoughts.

You are the winner as you are getting what you want (social interaction).

cumfy Wed 06-Mar-13 12:43:23

And by by your logic music, neither is your post.grin

cumfy Wed 06-Mar-13 13:01:16

Really, really, have to disagree with the "be breezy" advice.

Be yourself.

She has started this game of hers and you will be playing right into her hands and the rhino-skinned bitch will just outbreeze you precisely because its her game.

You care and she doesn't, and she knows it.

She probably has a little sister 10 years younger who she still bullies.wink

Don't play her game

DeWe Wed 06-Mar-13 14:05:41

I think, from what you've said, that you've let this build up in your head to be bigger than it is.

You don't really get on. Never mind, that happens. There's people I see regularly that we'll make small talk but we'd never go out anywhere together. We don't have that much in common.

It's possible that she's intimidated by you, or something else which means that she hasn't asked you. Have you tried asking her for coffee?

Asking one person to go somewhere afterwards wouldn't bother me assuming you're in a group where it's not where they all go afterwards. Or if you've just said that it's something you really want to go, then it's rude.

I think you've hit the nail on the head with "I just need to relax more" which is easier said than done. But the more it bothers you, the more you (or certainly I find this with me) see slights and irritation in all that's said and done.

silverstaresatnight Wed 06-Mar-13 19:47:49

Sorry have been out at work, but as others have said INFJ is a personality type you can google it . I have this type and it means you are the sort of person who senses the atmosphere a lot and can generally divine what is going on beneath the surface, as well as being rather perfectionist or idealistic, and not very extrovert .

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