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If you misread into what has been written then it's your fault?

(24 Posts)
youarekiddingme Tue 23-Dec-14 08:52:05

A 'friend' misread a comment I'd written - that was meant nicely - and then replied with a tirade of abuse that was very personal in reply.

And now apparently I'm the bad one for cutting contact.

AIBU to think if you think something written was insulting then you speak to that person not start a personal attack on them? (Which to me makes me think she couldn't have thought much of me anyway!)

FunkyBoldRibena Tue 23-Dec-14 08:53:50

What sort of thing did you write and how did she interpret it? Did you type bad grammar that added to the misinterpretation?

Fudgeface123 Tue 23-Dec-14 08:55:39

then replied with a tirade of abuse that was very personal in reply

I don't think your original comment can have been that nice!

What did you say?

wheresthelight Tue 23-Dec-14 08:57:54

we need to know what was said and in what context because if the friend replied angrily then I actually think it is your fault as what you wrote cannot have been as clearly "nice" as you think

youarekiddingme Tue 23-Dec-14 08:58:27

Grammar wasn't bad for once!

The comment was festive and positive new year wishes which I extended to a family member I know. She thought i was having a dig at family member with the use of positive hmm. Because 2 months ago it was mentioned in passing they were having a difficult time.

It have never crossed my mind and is the usual greeting and wishes I'd extend anyone this time of year who I won't be seeing.

meditrina Tue 23-Dec-14 09:03:33

It happens a lot with the printed word.

Even in highbrow lit crit, author's intention tends to come second to what is received by the reader. And you see things being taken the 'wrong' way on here most days.

All you can do is accept that (however inadvertently) you have caused offence, wait a bit for everyine to calm down, then apologise. If you converse afterwards, you might find out which parts gave offence so you can avoid doing so again.

That assumes of course that your friend is usually ordinary in social exchange. If tipping into excessive touchiness, you cannot do much about it other than apologise and make the acquaintanceship far more distant.

youarekiddingme Tue 23-Dec-14 09:11:26

She rang me after the comment and laid into me about it. I let her finish and said "I'm sorry to took offence but it wasn't meant that way" to which she replied about how things can get tangled up in print etc. we chatted for quite a while after.

It was a few hours after getting off the phone I realised she'd replied with 2 extremely offensive personal attacks. I had not seen these when we spoke.

So I had been reasonable enough to apologise for misinterpretation and listened to her rant about how not to bring family into things when infact she'd already done the above which I hadn't seen.

My comments had been misinterpreted - hers had been a deliberate personal attack. If it had just been the phone call I wouldn't have thought she WBU iyswim?

Ohmygrood Tue 23-Dec-14 09:11:44

What did the tirade of abuse consist of?

Ohmygrood Tue 23-Dec-14 09:13:46

She must have been pretty upset to phone you straight away. Has she had a difficult time caring for the family member?

youarekiddingme Tue 23-Dec-14 09:14:15

Insults about my family - she's never met and general comments about things regarding both our DSes. It's through out DSes we met as they both have SN.

youarekiddingme Tue 23-Dec-14 09:15:31

No she doesn't care for family member. The things that she thought the positive comment related to were minor she had just mentioned they were oissed off over something.

Ohmygrood Tue 23-Dec-14 09:26:22

It does sound like an overreaction on her part based on what you've posted, but obviously we don't know the full context of the conversation.
Was this all on FB and you've now blocked her?
Probably best to just disengage.

youarekiddingme Tue 23-Dec-14 09:31:55

It was through messenger because my phone battery had died in night. Wasn't in FB page - just like texting really iyswim?

My account has been deactivated for now - tbh her reaction and comments really hurt me and I just want to engage with friends in RL iyswim? Eg my close friends who all have my mobile and house phone number.

I was very upset by this yesterday and confided in my closest friend. She said it's a case of "attack is the best form of defence". She doesn't know this friend of mine and then I tangled myself up in thinking she was bias towards me and could I still be wrong iyswim?

HolyTerror Tue 23-Dec-14 09:34:52

It does sound like an overreaction, without knowing more of your joint history, but I have to say that if someone I knew wrote 'festive and positive new year wishes' and addressed that greeting specifically to a third party (which is how I read your account if what you said), I would notice and wonder what was meant. It's not a standard card greeting.

youarekiddingme Tue 23-Dec-14 09:42:38

It was " wishing you all merry Christmas and a positive new year - pass to your family member too as I won't see her either"

Simple as that. Simple as the other friends I won't see now til new year who I've passed wishes too and extended it their family members I know but don't or won't see.

CrispyFern Tue 23-Dec-14 09:47:22

No of course you aren't wrong for cutting contact. Your ex friend hasn't been very nice, so you don't want to know her any more, that's fine.
If she feels upset about it maybe in the future she won't be so rude before thinking.

bananaramadramallama Tue 23-Dec-14 09:52:12

Over reaction on her part, but something you said always pisses me off:

"Sorry you took offence, but it wasn't meant that way", is not a sorry.

"I'm sorry I offended you, it wasn't meant that way" is a sorry.

I know it's pedantic but it makes a whole world of difference to acknowledge that your action was wrong, not their reaction.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Tue 23-Dec-14 09:59:58

What did she reply to you?

OriginalGreenGiant Tue 23-Dec-14 10:00:36

Sorry you took offence, but it wasn't meant that way", is not a sorry

I disagree in some instances.

To cut a very long story short, MIL asked to look after ds1 a couple of years ago and I said no...because over the past few days she'd been having unexplained dizzy spells. I was very nice about and tried to be gentle. But she took huge offence and didn't speak to us for a year

After she'd marched out I left it for a couple of days and phoned her to apologise. 'I'm sorry you were offended, it wasn't meant' and 'I'm sorry you felt that way' were genuinely meant by me.

It was an apology for hurting her feelings, but not for my actual actions which were completely right in the situation.

youarekiddingme Tue 23-Dec-14 10:28:55

That's what my apology meant original sorry the comment offended her but not sorry I wished them a merry Christmas! (Because to say sorry yiu were offended by the wishes just seems strange!)

Reply to which bit ghoul? There were a few messages and then phone call.

bananaramadramallama Tue 23-Dec-14 10:36:04

Original, what you said is an apology though - you apologised with no 'but', you said you were 'sorry she was offended'.

It's the "sorry you took offence, but..." that winds me up; it's like putting any blame on the offense taker, rather than a simple 'sorry' iyswim?

Regardless, an apology is an apology if it is genuinely meant, and I'm just being a pedantic knobber! blush
(I knew this when I posted, but it is something that always riles me).

bananaramadramallama Tue 23-Dec-14 10:40:12

X-post, sorry.

I would let it go tbh - you've apologised for your part in any misunderstanding (although you did nothing wrong). If there is a next time then I probably wouldn't be apologising, I would point out that she has form for over reactions.

youarekiddingme Tue 23-Dec-14 10:42:43

What yiur saying is true banana tbh I can't remember if I actually said but or not but the apology was certainly along the lines of sorry you took offence - because I'd just had an earful and I was still unsure how anyone could take offence to a wish of good and positive times.

The messages that I read later had been sent before this phone all though. I just hadn't seen them and would not have apologised or conversed if I had.

My question was AIBU to have seemingly sorted it and had a friendly chat and then to have cut contact later when this personal attack came to light. It was irrelevant to the actual conversation we'd been having and tbh anyone who can say what was said really cannot respect me as a friend.

Tbh if they are her real thoughts I've probably done her a favour grin

bananaramadramallama Tue 23-Dec-14 13:11:59

Bollocks to her then!


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