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To (gently) stand up for myself?

(14 Posts)
bitofadoormat Thu 07-Apr-16 11:08:40

This might be a bit long, but I don't want to dripfeed. I have changed some details to make it less identifiable, but nothing important.

I am part of a large circle of friends. Some are close friends and then others are more acquaintances. We sometimes socialise as smaller groups, but all get together for parties and things.

I'm a fair bit younger than most of the others, and at a different stage in my life. I became good friends with a neighbour when I moved to a new town, and she introduced me to the group. We get on well despite the age differences, but some of the older friends talk down to me sometimes.

There is one woman in particular who I struggle with. I only see her at larger group gatherings. She always seems to make a beeline for me, only to then ignore me confused she also often interrupts me when I'm having a conversation. E.g. someone asked me a question about a topic I know a lot about, this woman's child knows a bit about so she interrupted me and started talking about her child's experience.

Another time we were stood in a group and she just came and stood right in front of me, so that I could no longer participate in the conversation confused I thought she maybe hadn't seen me so tried to nudge back in, but she moved again to block me. It was at a wake so I didn't want to make a scene, and I don't really know I should say anyway.

This sort of thing has happened many times. I cannot think of anything I have done to offend her. She has treated me this way since we met. I do not understand why she deliberately comes to sit next to me, sometimes she has actually asked someone to move, only to then ignore me and interrupt anything I say, or make snide comments about things I say.

I've tried carrying on talking when she starts talking over me, but she just carries on as well and no one can hear anything. Also I've tried waiting til she's finished and then saying "As I was saying..." but then she just interrupts again.

So as not to dripfeed, this woman has a terminal illness. She is not actually unwell with it at the moment, but has a shortened life expectancy. However, I do not believe that has anything to do with her treatment of me. Her personality is not affected by the illness and has not changed since diagnosis. And the behaviour seems to be very much directed at me personally.

Obviously I don't want to upset her. But this behaviour is really starting to bother me, and puts me off wanting to socialise with my friends when she is there.

So would I be unreasonable to stand up for myself more? And how?!

FelineLou Thu 07-Apr-16 15:09:13

I think you need "Excuse me I am talking to .....", "Excuse me I had not finished" Tinkly laugh "Please dont stand right in front of me". If she sits and ignores give her a few minutes and then "Well I must find .... we can have a chat some other time" Tinkly laugh, glare and move.
In other words expose her very ignorant rude behaviour every time so she is the embarrassed one. Others will notice if you address it fairly loudly and every time.
Her illness does not excuse such petty, nasty behaviour.

wallywobbles Thu 07-Apr-16 15:13:17

Do you mean to be so rude (to me)?

PassiveAgressiveQueen Thu 07-Apr-16 15:16:17

sod the tinkly laugh "excuse me I was talking, it is rude to talk over other people"

ImperialBlether Thu 07-Apr-16 15:27:37

Wtf is this tinkly laugh all about?

bitofadoormat Thu 07-Apr-16 16:46:00

Thank you smile

You are all right, of course. I just need to be polite, but direct. I'm such a wimp about this sort of thing!

I should be seeing her next week so I will be brave. And I might just wait until she has sat down before choosing my seat.

PassiveAgressiveQueen Thu 07-Apr-16 20:24:29

From FelineLou
I think you need "Excuse me I am talking to .....", "Excuse me I had not finished" Tinkly laugh

That was what i was saying sod it to

bitofadoormat Thu 07-Apr-16 22:34:08

I don't think I could manage a natural sounding tinkly laugh anyway.

As a shy person I can see its benefits, as the worry for me is that being assertive will be considered rude. But then it really isn't rude to expect to be able to finish my sentences. I shall "woman up" smile hopefully once will be enough...

Thank you flowers

LaurieFairyCake Thu 07-Apr-16 22:49:39

Can you act mad as a chicken.?

Perhaps pick her up and swing her round shouting Weeeeeeeeeeeee when she stands in front of you ? grin

MammaTJ Thu 07-Apr-16 22:56:27

I don't think I could manage a natural sounding tinkly laugh anyway.

Who cares? By this point they have her labelled as bat shit crazy anyway! You are just reclaiming your audience!

Proginoskes Thu 07-Apr-16 23:12:08

Her shortened life expectancy doesn't gain her any leeway here. I, too, have a shortened life expectancy and multiple health conditions but I still remember my Kindergarten teacher teaching us all that it's very rude to interrupt people! This might not be something you'd be comfortable doing (I'm not usually this aggressive but being interrupted boils my piss something awful) but I've found it very effective to say LOUDLY, "BETTY! I was TALKING, do you MIND? You can wait til I've finished!" It's extra-effective if you can pull off a just-about-to-snap look in your eye too.

Pettywoman Thu 07-Apr-16 23:30:10

If you are talking and see her coming could you say ' oh here comes Betty, she doesn't like me for some reason, I expect she'll butt in and blank me, she always does' . Then smile at her when she arrives and let everyone watch her silly behaviour.

fatmomma99 Fri 08-Apr-16 00:44:47

I agree with prettywoman.... it sounds to me like you've tried to hold your ground/be assertive but still polite, and she's STILL talked over you and stood in front of you.

So now, (like prettywoman), I think it's time to mention it to other people. I.e. Oooo, I'll have to finish saying this very quickly as she's going to join us and she always interrupts me, etc.

GraysAnalogy Fri 08-Apr-16 03:10:13

Whenever people do this to me I always say quite loudly but with a laugh in my voice and a smile on my face, 'can I finish!' That sounds weird it's hard to describe, but it always goes down well and the person looks embarrassed so it works.

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