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Passive aggressive friend

(58 Posts)
Icandoanything Sun 07-Feb-16 11:12:23

Was out for a few drinks with a friend last night (quite a good one who I've known since school) and noticed another friend in the bar. Whilst second friends partner had gone to buy them drink, struck with conversation with her introducing first friend. We had a chat for a bit and I tried to get first friend involved but she didn't really join in. I tapped her leg after about 5 mins and said, you ok? She replied, oh yeah, I'm having a great time here on my own whilst you two talk. I was quite shocked at her pettiness but didn't say anything.

When we got back to the house she said, I had a really good time tonight, apart from when I felt like the third wheel.

This isn't the first time she's come across to me as passive aggressive or even the first time that night. We were talking about our kids and I said saying how different they looked at 1 years old because my son had loads of thick hair so hence looked a lot older. Her response was, so what are you saying about my baby? I like his baby hair, it's cute!!! I hadn't even made a snide comment, it was just how different they looked!!!

She also is continually digging at me for not reading a book she wrote a few years ago. This has been going on for about 2 years since we got back in touch. Pretty much everytime I see her there's a sarky comment about how I have time to read other books but not hers. I would read it, but I just don't think it's the kind of genre I'd like. I have said this to her and tbh, I'm not gonna be forced to read a book at 34 years old!

I'm just getting a bit sick of it tbh. I don't have lots of close friends here due to relocating and would like to salvage our friendship, but at this point I don't know if I can be bothered. I'm pretty feisty myself so when she does these things it takes a lot to bite my tongue and not tell her to grow up and get over it. I am aware she's sensitive and very insecure about things and she's seeing a counsellor for it, but AIBU to think she shouldn't take it out on me?

LookAtAllThesePhucksIGive Sun 07-Feb-16 11:19:02

Tell her. At this point it can't hurt to be blunt. You never know you might find something out you hadn't noticed, she could be feeling really low and down and needs you or she could just be a bit of a dick. I have to say though even if it took me a while I'd definitely read a book my friend wrote. I'd be honoured.

theycallmemellojello Sun 07-Feb-16 11:19:28

It's hard to tell from the info. But I think you're probably being U, or at least it's six of one, half a dozen of the other.

It is harsh and hurtful not to read a book has friend has written when you've had a few years to do so. Sorry, but that's a bit shit. Doesn't matter whether it's your thing or whether you enjoy it, it's a major achievement of hers and a friend should show an interest.

Wrt the comment about her baby's hair, I get that it wasn't unkindly meant, but it could easily have come off as unkind and that's obviously how she interpreted it. She was being pfb but aren't we all at times. You should have just apologised and made clear you weren't being critical, and it would have blown over right away.

Wrt to the comment in the bar, she does sound pretty rude. Even if she found it hard to get involved with the conversation, if it was only 5 mins she could have just listened politely. However if it was going on longer than that, then it's a bit rude to chat away with a different friend to the one you'd actually made plans with.

theycallmemellojello Sun 07-Feb-16 11:21:18

Also she is not passive aggressive as she's telling you directly what she's upset about. That's the opposite of pass-agg! Pass-agg would be saying when you asked her how the evening was "ohh it was fiiiine sigh"

LaurieFairyCake Sun 07-Feb-16 11:24:16

I have no idea about the rest of it but not reading a book your friend wrote isn't very supportive

Arfarfanarf Sun 07-Feb-16 11:24:31

She's certainly sensitive but her comments werent passive aggressive. If she'd said something about how wonderful it was to sit and watch the two of you chat and bond - that would have been pasdive aggressive.
She just sounds oversensitive and mardy.
Maybe the best thing would be to respond to her comments. Not aggressively but assertively.
I felt like a third wheel - that was yourchoice, i tried to involve you in the conversation.
So what are you saying about my baby - im saying that babies look different.
You need to tell her that not everything is competition and criticism. If shes really sensitive and insecure she'll feel it is.
Telling her to grow up and get over it would likely make things worse not better. Gentle and kind is the way forward, but speaking not holding your tongue because if you carry on doing that one day you'll blow and say things that can never be unsaid.

ilovesooty Sun 07-Feb-16 11:24:59

You don't seem to like her much really. I'm getting the feeling that you tolerate her in the absence of an alternative.

pillowaddict Sun 07-Feb-16 11:28:18

I'm not sure she does like the problem to be honest, she was quite rude in the pub although it can be really uncomfortable if people are chatting to each other and leaving you out entirely so maybe she felt the need to bring your attention to the fact you were doing that, even if you hadn't meant to. She sounds slightly defensive over the hair comment but not rude, natural to be defensive I'd say especially if you weren't the first to comment. And you are being incredibly unsupportive to not read her book. You don't sound like a very good friend to her to be honest.

CalleighDoodle Sun 07-Feb-16 11:28:35

Were you having a conversation your friend could get involved with? Was the conversation about her experiences / knowledge too? After about 5 minutes you tapped her.. Is a long time in that context!

Not reading the book because you just dont want to is of course your decision and right, but it isnt at all supportive of a friend.

I can see her pov about the baby comment too. If you pointed out how much older, therefore more developed, your baby looked i can see why she'd be irritated by that. Never compare babies. Come on, that's parenting 101!

OrangeSquashTallGlass Sun 07-Feb-16 11:32:06

Just read the bloody book. You may not enjoy it but you'll be being supportive of her. It's what friends do.

Icandoanything Sun 07-Feb-16 11:34:50

Ok, point taken on the book, maybe I'm in the wrong not to read it, but I feel I have been supportive about it, just don't feel the need to read it. But maybe I'm in the wrong there. It would feel a tad fake to read it now after a couple of years, IMO.

We were just talking about general stuff, not anything specific. It was about 5 mins.She could have easily joined in if wanted to.

My child is actually 6 whereas hers has just turned 1, so I was saying. Not sure if that make a difference to people. It never would have occured to me that a comment about hair would have some people thinking I was commenting on development!! Random!

Arfarfanarf Sun 07-Feb-16 11:35:21

It wouldnt kill you to open the book tbh. Dismissing it out of hand isnt a nice thing to do to a friend.
Read a few pages. If you dont like it, skim through it get an idea of the story. Find something nice to say about it.
If you're wondering how to salvage the friendship, that gesture might help.

ilovesooty Sun 07-Feb-16 11:37:54

I don't see what's "random" hmm about it. You didn't say your child was much older.
I still think you neither like nor care about her much by the sound of it.

StayWithMe Sun 07-Feb-16 11:39:20

You don't sound very supportive of your friend. Is it that difficult to skim through a book. You never know, you might be in it. Maybe that's why she's so keen for you to read it. Is there a wee bit of jealously on your side?

LookAtAllThesePhucksIGive Sun 07-Feb-16 11:40:37

Friendship has to be about give and take. Her book is probably her greatest achievement and you're being so... meh about it. You're hurting her feelings and that will be clouding everything else you do. Tell you what. I'll read her book. Is it on Amazon?

firesidechat Sun 07-Feb-16 11:42:19

She wasn't passive aggressive as others have already said.

I think your comment about her babies hair could have been you being ever so slightly passive aggressive however. It might have been a simple fact, but it also implied something less advanced about her baby, which no parent is going to take well.

You should have at least made some attempt to read her book. It would have been a nice thing to do and friends should do nice things for each other.

theycallmemellojello Sun 07-Feb-16 11:42:49

You were saying that your child looked older at age 1 than her child does at age 1. That is a comment about development!

Regarding the book, if she still brings it up, I don't think it's too late and therefore "fake" to read it. I think if you want to continue the friendship you should at least skim it and think of a few positive observations to say about it.

I think it sounds a bit like you have quite different attitudes towards life - you probably wouldn't be offended if she made these kinds of comment to you so don't get why she's offended, she sounds much more sensitive (and I get that can be a pain!) but she might also think to herself that she would never say something like that to you. It might not be a case of anyone being right or wrong, just a mismatch in attitudes. So I guess it depends if you are able to curb the bluntness to a level she can handle, or you feel that would be too much. If the latter, then I guess maybe tone down the friendship.

carabos Sun 07-Feb-16 11:46:38

Crikey, your friend wrote a book a couple of years ago and not only haven't you read it, you've made it clear you're not going to read it? hmm. Is this a proper, published book or is it a "book" (we've all written one of those). I think if she's written a book that anyone could read, then you should read it, regardless of the genre. It's not going to kill you to do that and then, if you don't like it, you say something along the lines of " well done, such a challenging project to get a book out, fingers crossed it's a success for you."

I don't think she's P/A, I think you're a bit of a rubbish friend tbh. I imagine you're the sort who is always looking over her shoulder for someone better to talk to and that's what she picked up on with her comment about feeling like a third wheel.

Gillybobs Sun 07-Feb-16 11:51:40

I find it really strange that you haven't read your friends book, that's a major accomplishment imo and I would definitely have made the effort (I am nosey mind you).

I think any comment that could be even remotely regarded as developmental comparison is dangerous territory when discussing our DCs, always worth treading extra carefully.

Aridane Sun 07-Feb-16 11:54:47

Sorry - but I don't think you sound like much of a friend blush

Baboooshka Sun 07-Feb-16 11:55:20

Genuine question: how can you be supportive about someone writing a book if you won't read it?

Yay! You wrote a book. Well done.
Would you like to read it?
God, no.

MidniteScribbler Sun 07-Feb-16 11:58:00

Just read the fucking book.

SuperFlyHigh Sun 07-Feb-16 11:58:07

You're not really a friend of hers nor do you want to make the effort to be one, true?

That's fine but don't dress it up as being a friend. I agree you could've read the book or skimread so you know what it's about.

No she wasn't being PA. but I think she has your number re being your friend and maybe is being a bit sensitive about it.

Gobbolino6 Sun 07-Feb-16 11:58:57

Not read the other replies yet.

I think I'd be hurt you didn't read my book, even if it was a genre you didn't like.

As to her other comments, they aren't passive aggressive, they're low-key confrontational.

I think she sounds insecure.

ClashCityRocker Sun 07-Feb-16 11:58:57

If one of my friends wrote a book I'd want to read it as I'd be paranoid I was in it grin

But yeah, I can see her PoV re the book. She does sound a bit over sensitive, though.

How are her relationships with other people?

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