suffocating friend(46 Posts)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Don't gpgive personal details to her, keep private!
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.
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...?
Sorry, meant to add a , 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?
I think we know the same woman - I am currently distancing myself. I also retort to hurtful comments.
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.
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.
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).
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.
> 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.
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.
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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