AIBU to be upset with this friend?(56 Posts)
So one of my closest friends is a colleague from work. We're not in the same team, but same department (we used to be in the same team at one point)
We're very close and we tell each other everything. Him and I have been through ups and downs and we've always come out of them. For example, he said he had fallen in love with me a few months back and I didn't think of him the same way. I genuinely thought that would be the end of our friendship, but we got through it and we were still friends!
Now recently things have gotten every strained and awkward and I need some thoughts on the situation.
Before I explain what happened, I want to give some background on his character. He's a bit of a chauvinist (you can tell me if I'm being harsh after you've heard the story) and he's also a bit resentful of anyone else's success.
For example, he NEVER has anything g good to say about the work of a female colleague or manager. I understand that it's entirely possible that some of them totally deserve the criticism, but surely not all?! How can all the women he's ever worked with be utterly crap as he describes? Secondly, our firm also allows parents to work flexible hours and every time a woman does it, he thinks it's "unfair". My company recently allowed a senior manager to take some time off work for mental health reasons (her husband was abusing her physically) and then once she had sorted her personal life out, they brought her back to the same role. I think this is fantastic and heartening, but he seems to think it was "unfair"
I've had some successes at work and I've done a lot of work in my time here. He's never once acknowledged it.
I've never taken these things to heart and I've always overlooked them. But recently something just snapped. I was asked by HR and my manager to speak to young uni students coming in for an open day. Basically, I was asked to represent the company and share my experiences and successes with people looking to join the company. This is an honour, and I was pleased. When I mentioned it to him he asked- "really? Why you?" Coming from who I considered to be a close friend, I found this shockingly rude. I still wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. So I jokingly said," well ,maybe they think I speak well and will represent the company well? Why so shocked?" His response? "Interesting" no well done, no acknowledgement that yes Nicebucket, of course you'll do well - nothing.
And this incident made me think back to all the times he's subtly put down my work. I try not to be too forceful or political at work and I'm usually a good sport, so maybe I overlooked it. But I notice he's always made fun of me a little- oh you're always the last one to arrive, you probably don't start work before 11, you spend three hours in the office loo doing your makeup, you're going to suck at this project. He's said it all jokingly and I've always assumed he's pulling my leg, but now I wonder if he believed what he said.
I've also always maintained that I'm interested in getting married or starting a family anytime soon (if ever). While all my other friends respectfully accept this, he's always said " I give it less than two years, this obsession with the job won't last, you'll be married and pregnant. The desire to procreate is evolution" He'd never say this to a man right? I find it patronising that he thinks my focus on my career is a phase and I'll be barefoot and pregnant in two years.
Anyway, after the conversations above, I've been a bit pissed off. And he's probably sensed it, so he's asked me if something was wrong. This was at work and I didn't want to create a scene so I just said everything was cool and we could talk in detail later.
After that things just got really awkward over the past couple of days even though I've been normal and polite. Today he just didn't talk to me all day and at this work party he was really withdrawn and borderline rude.
I'm even more pissed off now, because after behaving this way it still looks lie, he wants ME to apologise and ask him what's wrong.
Am I overreacting? Should I ask him what's wrong or let him have his sulk?
Also, AIBU in my annoyance over his attitude?
I know its a long post, but please take time to read! I could really use the advice.
So basically he's an utter twat? don't give him any more head space, just move onwards and upwards.
He sounds awful. Absolutely vile. I'm glad he's in love with you (I doubt it) rather than the other way round. Why are you friends with him?
Your company sound great though, I'd like to work somewhere with that attitude towards the wellbeing of their staff
Sorry if I haven't read the thread right but have you actually sat him down and had the "talk in detail later". If so, and he's annoyed at what you said then tough but if you haven't actually told him why you are distancing yourself then maybe you need to.
Do you think?! I'm so confused because he's been a good friend in times of need.
Plus, he's still technically a colleague. Also I'm moving to a different role next year and nobody else knows about it- deal between me and the big boss. Even my immediate supervisor doesn't know. He knows (long story) and if he decides to blab because he's pissed with me, it won't be good.
And his comment was rude right? I'm not overreacting?
Whatsfordinner- well, the plan was to have a talk, but he's distanced himself before we could get to that. Also, I don't really know how to even get all this across to him
It is a v long post. Do not treat this person as a friend. He clearly is unworthy of your time. Treat him professionally at work in a smiley way to show him you have no grievances, but do not entertain his opinions. Make sure you are always professional towards him so that there can never be any comeback on you. He sounds like the sort who will end up having HR issues. Make a note with dates of anything where he has put you down, this could be useful later on.
You've just cottoned on to what a twat he is (yay) he's cottoned on to your cottoning on and is trying to make out that his crap behaviour is somehow your responsibility.
He liked how things stood because he could put you down and pretend it was banter, it's never going to go well after you've seen him for what he is and made it plain you're not up for it.
Back way, way, way off and leave him be is my advice.
I have no idea why you have to write such a long message about someone that is just a colleague mucking about with your feelings pretending he's a friend?
He sounds annoying. Let him sulk if he wants to.
If he's very chauvinistic, never acknowledges any good work done by female colleagues, then it's not altogether surprising (although wrong of him) if he's also ignoring it when you're doing well at work.
What does he say about fathers who work flexible hours BTW? Is that also unfair, or does that pass without comment?
BondJayneBond- the fathers pass without comment. And the male colleagues who leave at sharp 5 whether their work is done or not are commented on, but they're "funny"
From what I've read, you've done nothing wrong, and you aren't drip-feeding (you are trying your best to give all the information) but this is very much a story from your perspective. I'm saying this because I've just spent the last 45 minutes having an imaginary conversation in my head with a colleague I'm going to see next week when no one else is around and I'm going to raise with her about what a bitch she was to me before she knew me, based on what another colleague had told her.
I'm not trying to change the tone of your thread, but reading it from the perspective of how the 'other' person would read it.
From the information you've given, your friend sounds like a dick, so sure you'll get loads of advice telling you to dump him.
But what do YOU think his perspective would be?
If you can work that out - and talk to him about it, from that you can suss whether you want to sustain the friendship or dump him.
BTW, is he v young? If so, possibly less ingrained, and more opportunities for him to learn.
Hope this helps. x
ok so this happened to me a few years back. He was pretty inappropriate and when I objected he told me it was my boundaries that were 'off' and I needed to rethink. We worked closely with others who saw something wasn't quite right so supported my distancing but minimised what I should have reported.
He's just starting a 2 yr sentence for sexual assault.
Both 'friends' have tagged me in the local news report but when I said - thank fuck, I now feel vindicated... no reply :/
He'll obviously think I'm wrong and his perception would be that Im being unreasonable.
OP, with the utmost respect, how can someone who is doing so well in their career be unable to tackle a good friend over this issue? I'm astonished that you don't even know where to start. Ask to meet up and tell him you have been distancing yourself because his attitude to you and your achievements - and women in general - are undermining your friendship. Tell him he is a complete test and that unless he changes pronto you will find friendship elsewhere.
Yeah, I worked with an utter twat. When we had a petty disagreement because he wanted to report a manager and have me back him up. I didn't agree with it, and he refused to speak to me afterwards. Then decided to try and sabotage me and bully me for a year before I quit, since the boss was refusing to do fuck all about it. Company went under a few months later, after a bunch of other good workers left because the boss refused to put his foot down on bullying behavior or gossiping. I felt pretty vindicated.
Anyway, he's a colleague first and foremost. You don't need to be his friend, but you might need to work with him. It doesn't sound like the friendship is worth saving if that's how he acts. He clearly doesn't respect you. Just make sure that any time you have to work with him, you get everything in writing so he doesn't do anything underhanded. Personally, I wouldn't even humor the silent treatment. If you need something email him as usual and continue to be cordial.
sounds like he is happy when you are not doing well and vv. Handle him with kid gloves until your promo is made public just in case - or head him off at the pass by asking the big boss to inform your direct supervisor asap before he does it.
If he has lots of merits, it's worth having a frank discussion with him about feeling put down constantly
I'm so confused because he's been a good friend in times of need.
He was nice to you when he thought there was a chance of getting in your pants. Now he knows there isn't you're seeing his true colours.
Or his outward negativity reflects some inner turmoil. He's down in the dumps about something to do with himself but he projects on to others
Amarmai- unfortunately, we really can't tell anyone yet.
NoArmani- you're probably right! He had not too long ago confessed his love or whatever to me and I'd turned him down.
Minimalist- it does. He's a complexed person with serious confidence issues.
Not sure what you mean by next year when your role changes, but if it's in the first few months of the year, then I'd try and keep things moreorless as they are for the timebeing, but be careful what you share with him.
He may just be socially awkward but he doesn't sound a particularly nice person to me and you know what they say about a lover scorned. My advice Watch Your Back
I work with a lot of senior management and traders. And I've always had a fabulous relationship with them. They usually work from a different office though and when I'd been over to see them there the first few times, the welcome was lovely. Everyone was nice and people volunteered to train me on new things, have meetings etc. And we're talking about a notoriously difficult audience here.
When he asked how things had gone, I told him that everyone had been lovely and really encouraging work-wise. His response? Well, they lead such boring lives otherwise, of course they'll be nice to a pretty girl.
So they were being nice because I'm "pretty". Not because of the possibility that I'm really good at what I do?
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