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She told me to be quieter because I was embarrassing her - do I say something

(95 Posts)
Notalone Wed 10-Apr-13 20:58:28

I had an old university friend over to stay last weekend. We had a nice weekend though I have felt for a while now that things are not the same as they used to be between us which I have attributed to the geographical distance between us.

At the end of the weekend I walked her back to the train station and while we were waiting for her train I was talking about something my ex did a while ago. There was no swearing and it wasn't a "too much information" type tale but when was I mid flow she told me I was being too loud which was embarrassing her and I should speak quieter. I was gob smacked and felt like she had hit me. Dramatic I know but no-one likes to be told they are an embarrassment. I never said anything as her train was on the horizon and it there just wasn't the time, but to me it was like the opinions of total strangers mattered more than hurting my feelings. And she did.

So do I say something. We haven't really spoken since aside from the odd text. One of my other best friends has said she needs to know how much she hurt me. My ex was abusive which both of these friends know and my other friend has said if she were the one standing at the train station she would have been shouting it from the roof tops with me because she knows how awful my ex was. Another friend has said saying something is only going to stress me out and make me feel worse therefore I should leave it. I feel like she needs to know that she upset me but I just don't know how to go about it or even if it is the right thing to do. AIBU to say something so much later and how do I do it if not?

mynewpassion Wed 10-Apr-13 21:09:31

Maybe your voice increased steadily louder and she noticed other oeople staring. I've been you before and uts not nice. However I do appreciate my friend saying something even if it was a bit embarrsssing.

HildaOgden Wed 10-Apr-13 21:10:25

I think you need to decide whether you want to continue the friendship,or not.

I think either way,you need to express your hurt.Because if it is unresolved,or brushed under the carpet,you will explode one day.

If you want to try retaining the friendship,write her a calm letter,expressing how this made you feel.If she takes that on board and tries to make amends,then take it from there and forgive her for being a twat and move on.
If you decide that it's not possible to get past this....then write her a goodbye letter.Tell her you can't allow someone in your life who makes you feel bad about being 'you'.

I always think of the saying 'friends for a reason,friends for a season,friends for a lifetime'.It would well be that she just isn't destined to be a 'lifetime' friend.

quoteunquote Wed 10-Apr-13 21:12:04

Do you think she deliberately wanted to make you feel bad?

Is she a self conscious person?

shellbu Wed 10-Apr-13 21:14:40

dont see anything wrong with what she said , im always telling my kids to keep it down when we are on a train or in a queue , people listen in and i hate that , she might of thought what you were telling her was personal , and you never know who knows who when you are out and about .

purrpurr Wed 10-Apr-13 21:15:35

Does she care more about random passing strangers than you?

My DH once told me I'd made us sound really stupid whilst walking through a shopping precinct that came to a rather bizarre stop as if funding had been cut during its creation, and I'd said, 'huh, is that it?' When he looked around furtively and hissed that I was making us sound stupid I just stopped speaking to him and fumed until my brain nearly fell out. Some people care far more about the opinions of strangers than they should.

Notalone Wed 10-Apr-13 21:15:53

mynewpassion - possibly, possibly not. I don't think I was being particularly loud. But even if I was, if I was in her shoes I might inwardly cringe a bit but I would never prioritise what a stranger thought over my friend. Funnily enough about the same time there was an announcement about another train being delayed and a woman ner us tutted and stated out loud that that this particular train is always late. Apparently this lady was also embarrassing herself.

Hilda - I am also a great believer in the whole friends for a reason, friends for a season thing. Trouble is there are 4 of us in this group of uni friends and any major issues will affect the group as a whole I think. I never considered we would actually fall out over it, though of course it is definitely a possibility. I do feel like I can't be myself around her anymore now though which is desperately sad sad

MrsPeeWee Wed 10-Apr-13 21:18:20

I'd of shouted - "Well, I find your hair quite embarrassing, but hey, you still have hideous hair and I'm still shouting" wink

Okay, maybe not. grin
But I would certainly text her and tell her you felt deeply offended.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 10-Apr-13 21:18:26

Why do you think she needs to know she upset you? She obviously thought you needed to be told that you were being loud and that was causing her embarrassment, but no good has come from her telling you. It could end up being the same if you tell her.

It's unlikely to achieve anything if you tell her you were upset, because she will feel like she was justified in saying what she did, and you will disagree. But she didn't actually do anything wrong, she wasn't deliberately hurtful, she was just pointing out that you were being loud.

You have probably taken more offence than is really warranted tbh.

WorraLiberty Wed 10-Apr-13 21:20:59

You seem to be quite dismissive of your friend's feelings and have kind of turned it into all about you.

It's not nice being told to pipe down if you're too loud, but then it's not nice being embarrassed by a loud friend.

I don't really see the problem here. I'd just put it down to a difference of personalities/opinion.

HollyBerryBush Wed 10-Apr-13 21:21:11

'Shouty' people are annoying.

DaffodilsAhoy Wed 10-Apr-13 21:21:28

I have a tendency to talk louder and louder, especially when I am enthused/outraged about something and have, on a couple of occasions been told by friends to pipe down. However, they have managed to do it in a way that hasn't left me feeling really upset. A tad embarrassed but not feeling like a total embarrassment.

Your friend was tactless expressing her feelings the way she did but perhaps you were a little loud?

If it is going to churn you up, perhaps send her a text saying. 'I'm a bit upset about the other day, I know I can be a bit loud but have never thought of myself as an embarrassment to my friends :-( ' and put the ball in her court.

Take care and hope you can resolve this one without any more hurt feelings. I do understand how you feel.

Notalone Wed 10-Apr-13 21:21:35

quote - I don't think she deliberately wanted to make me feel bad. But she did and I felt very upset when I got back home. I guess she is a little more reserved than some of my other friends but not a shy and retiring type either if that makes sense

Shellbu - I know we have to tell our kids how to behave in public and about social etiquette. But I am not her child. She doesn't live in my town and never has, she lives hundreds of miles away now, and I see it as if I am being indiscreet then that will come back on me, not her.

Purr - My point exactly. She cared more about what they thought than hurting me. She will never see them again and in all probability we were just not that important to be memorable to them. On the otherhand, she will see me again and now I feel hurt, self conscious and like I just can't be myself around her anymore. I completely underatand how you felt when your DH said that because it sarts, it really does.

ReluctantBeing Wed 10-Apr-13 21:23:35

What exactly were you saying?

wombatcheese Wed 10-Apr-13 21:23:46

She could have said it meaning to be kind and protective. If you were getting louder and more emotional about private relationship behaviour and she didn't want the platform to know your issues, thinking a neighbour/ boss etc could have been there. She could have phrased it better and unfortunate to have the conversation and her reply just as her train arrived.

thezebrawearspurple Wed 10-Apr-13 21:24:11

Ignore the friend who's telling you that at the train station they would be shouting information to the whole world about your abusive ex, the fact that you even think that could be in any way appropriate suggests that you're oblivious to normal social behaviour and the mortifying impression you're leaving on others.

She was embarrassed because you were talking to loudly about your private life so that others could hear, she was probably getting funny looks from strangers who are wondering why the hell they have to listen to this and she may have being feeling judged for being with the weird person who has to share their conversation with the whole world.

There is no reason for anybody else to hear your conversation, she was entitled to ask you to lower the volume and if you're going to continue invading strangers eardrums with details of your personal life then you can expect most people will find your behaviour embarrassing and invasive.

You can choose to be offended with her or you can choose to be aware of how your actions are perceived by others and maintain a bit of dignity in public. I don't see how telling her you're hurt by her embarrassment is going to get any sympathy, it was your behaviour which caused the problem in the first place, she was only being honest with you. yabu.

WorkWankWail Wed 10-Apr-13 21:27:12

To be honest I've spent the day with a friend. Lovely woman. incredibly, deafeningly, loud. Just one of those 'ringing' voices.

IF the Op was being so loud it offended her friend's delicate sensibilities, then humour is a much better way - I've said to my friend before, "hey , you're not the town crier!"

I'm not a massive fan of people shouting but she was rude. YANBU

Notalone Wed 10-Apr-13 21:29:24

I am not actually a particularly loud person, but I feel it is incredibly insensitive of someone to tell a friend they are embarrassing. I could possibly understand if we were in her home town where she knows lots of people, but she knows not a soul where I live. I would never ever do this to a friend, even if I felt a bit embarrassed,especially if I didn't know anyone there I would definitely not find it an issue.

I feel on this occasion the fact that she has hurt my feelings, over shadows the fact that she felt a bit embarrassed around a 3 or 4 total strangers.

I like daffodils idea of a relatively light text that still states how I feel, though I will probably try and do it in a conversation to avoid a text silence which will make me feel worse rather than better

Numberlock Wed 10-Apr-13 21:30:16

Irrespective of this incident, let this friendship go. It was never destined to last post-uni.

shellbu Wed 10-Apr-13 21:31:45

Shellbu - I know we have to tell our kids how to behave in public and about social etiquette. But I am not her child. She doesn't live in my town and never has, she lives hundreds of miles away now, and I see it as if I am being indiscreet then that will come back on me, not her. kids are adults but still my kids lol , i dont have to teach them social etiquette,it was an example ,i just meant she might think someone you know would hear and report back to whoever , its like that here , everyone knows someone who knows someone , she probably didnt mean it nastily just maybe not wanting it to come back on you .

WorraLiberty Wed 10-Apr-13 21:32:28

I feel on this occasion the fact that she has hurt my feelings, over shadows the fact that she felt a bit embarrassed around a 3 or 4 total strangers.

Well that's your opinion, as long as you don't expect her to share it.

You're basically saying it's perfectly OK for you to be upset but it's not OK for her to be embarrassed.

They're both natural reactions and both equally as valid.

Honestly, I think you're paying this far too much mind.

zwischenzug Wed 10-Apr-13 21:32:41

I'm really not sure what your abusive ex has got to do with any of this. And equating someone asking you to talk more quietly with hitting you indicates a massive over-sensitivity on your part.

It sounds like you haven't tried looking at it from your friends perspective at all, which is the first thing you should have done before deciding if your behaviour is reasonable or not. You just seem to have assumed you are in the right.

HildaOgden Wed 10-Apr-13 21:36:41

She sounds very uptight,not only did she comment on you but she also passed judgement on the woman on the platform by saying she was embarrassing herself too.

It defintely sounds like it's her problem,and not yours.

I'd try to feel pity for her,it must be awful to be that wound up that you are trying to behave (and make your friends 'behave' too),in a far-away town,full of strangers.Honestly,who really gives a shit about that?Only uptight 'perfectionists'.

She made you feel 'judged'.And that's a horrible feeling.But bear in mind,she spends her time'judging'...and that's really a very bitter and frustrating way to live.

Notalone Wed 10-Apr-13 21:39:32

I was not saying anything embarrassing or personal. I never said about my ex being abusive or anything. I was talking about the fact that my ex was having DS later for a few days and that I wasn't sure if he would pick him up or not because last time he wanted me to catch a train with DS to drop him off which would take 2 hours when it is only a 20 minute car journey from his to mine in his car. Like I said, no swearing or too much info. At what point does a normal conversation in public become offending peoples eardrums or being undignified in public ffs? Should we all not have conversations in public now then in case some senstitive soul finds it too personal? Like I said, she found another womans actions embarrasing too when she commented out loud about the train being late so I really feel she was the over sensitive one and I was not being an embarrassment

apostropheuse Wed 10-Apr-13 21:41:09

I have to say I would be embarrassed by someone being loud in public, especially about personal stuff. I would probably ask them nicely to lower their voice.

If I was being too loud, which can happen even if you don't realise you're doing it, I would be glad if my friend told me to pipe down.

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