Bewildered - what is it?(76 Posts)
Dear Mumsnetters, I really feel I need the opinions of impartial outsiders in this matter and would be grateful for anything you can offer.
I will try to keep this as brief as possible but, apologies in advance as it will still be quite long. I really feel I need the opinion
Known these two women 7 years. They are the wives of two of my husbands good friends which is how I met them. I'm in my mid forties and they're in their mid fifties. Used to meet up once a week every Wednesday but gradually has dwindled down, due to various reasons. Now see each other maybe a couple of times a month.
There has always been a problem almost since the start of them blowing hot and cold. One minute friendly the next somehow not so. I try not to take it personally but it has been a recurring theme.
When I first mentioned it to my OH he was sure it was my imagination but then he started seeing if for himself. and agreed that, one in particular, seemed to have some sort of issue with me.
We have never had an argument or fallen out with any of them.
*6 weeks ago*
Hadn't seen them for a while. I went to find them in the beer garden while the men were at the bar buying the drinks. They were alone at a table. Usual greetings, smiles, how are you etc. etc. fine. But as soon as that's over one of the women, the one who is usually fairly ok, said "I'm just finishing my story", turned away from me to the other woman and , both completely ignoring my presence, carried on a conversation.
I truly understand that these women are good friends but I do thing this was rude. Surely the best thing to do is say " I was just telling X about..." and include the newcomer in?
Or if it's private, given them that discreet look, or just say "I'll tell you later" meaning when they talk alone again. Isn't that what most people would do?
In hindsight, I should have said 'I can see you're having a private conversation I'll leave you for a bit" and left them to it but I just didn't think. It took me completely by surprise and I think I was a bit stunned by the rudeness.
Met them in the pub. They seem to naturally segregate when they go out - all round the same table but with the men on one side and women on the other. I sat next to the 2 women and it seemed ok at first. Then one proceeded to talk to the other and again I found myself totally ignored while they just carried on the conversation. I noticed that when ever anyone said anything remotely funny they would laugh but if I would say an amusing comment their faces were just straight. I don't expect them to be rolling around at my sparkling wit or repartee but I just felt singled out in some way. I started to wonder if I was saying something offensive without realising it but I wasn't. They were just off the cuff remarks. As an example, my husband as started a new job and is having a tough time with some of the staff. When he was telling them this one of his mate's said 'I'm sure you'll win them around! and I said 'Course he will! He won me round, didn't you?' really alluding to the fact that we met at work. Just general things like that.
The conversation got going with the 2 women again and one of them said she had a bad night's sleep the night before so told her I had also woken up early and couldn't get back to sleep because I'd had a funny dream and it kept making me laugh. I had no intention of telling the dream as I know how boring other people's dreams usually are! But they asked me what it was. Literally about 70 seconds in the woman said "Oh god this is like a movie". There is nothing wrong at all with comment but it is HOW she said it and was obvious, from her tone, her voice, and her expression, that it was meant as a nasty stab. I could understand, maybe, if it was dragging on and on but it wasn't. Anyway, I let it pass and carried on. When I got to the funny bit that kept making me laugh, the same woman said "You're never right you aren't, I'm telling you". Again, this can be an amusing comment but it was how she said it, with barely concealed venom and spite and a half laugh and sneer. And no, the dream was nothing sick or perverted or unsavoury in any way. It was children's comic book type of funny.
In hindsight, I should have just realised they didn't want me and talked to the men. I do not have any of these issue with the men. But I keep thinking they will 'get over' whatever it is and I am never prepared for it so it catches me unaware and I seem to almost freeze in shock. They way they act is as if I am doing something really unacceptable, like wearing my cleavage to my knees and flirting with their men but nothing could be further from the truth. I never did this when I was young and single, I certainly don't do it now.
I also noticed there was a marked difference in how this women was talking and responding with me than to my husband. It was almost like a switch going on and off. To make it clear NO she definitely doesn't fancy him or anything like that. She sees him as a nice man, a good friend etc. The difference is in her conversation, expression, voice, tone and body language. Unmistakeable.
I asked her if she ever missed work and this is lead her recounting some of the really awful things clients have said to her before . She was understandably a bit worked up and upset repeating them it was more like anger directed as me, how she was saying it, as if there was something wrong with the question. She had a job commonly known to be very difficult but had never said anything about these incidents before.
To sum it up it felt like there was a lot of repressed anger and resentment that had built to such a level it was just seeping out and it was only aimed at me.
I have also just realised that they are both fine when the other one isn't there. To me this suggests they talk about me behind my back.
I don't know if this is relevant but it just came to me so I will mention it: I was bullied in high school by a particular girl. Years later she apologised and said she felt really bad. I asked her why she did it and she said 'because you were also so POLITE all the time!'
This did take me back a bit!!lol!!
I have also overheard someone saying I might look like butter wouldn't melt but 'there's more than meets the eye'.
I am wondering if I am appearing too good to be true and people are somehow thinking I'm putting on an act or I'm really up to no good?
I am just being myself. I am no saint not by a long way. But I don't deliberately go out of my way to put people down, or bitch behind people's backs or go along with the crowd for the sake of. I'm not argumentative, a bully or a show-off and, as far as I know, I don't have an annoying laugh!
When things similar have happened in the past I have just blamed myself and shrunk my self smaller and smaller or tried to bend myself out of shape to please and appease other people but I am not doing that. I cannot thing it is anything I am doing or saying that seems to be the problem but it might be just 'me', perhaps I've got an annoying voice or something etc. No one has ever said this btw.
If there is an issue I would prefer they said something. I don't see any excuse whatsoever for treating me like this.
Is it me? I'm always willing to stand back and look at my own behaviour as I'm aware it's easy to offend people sometimes without realising.
These incidents are obviously not going to stop. How should I carry on going forward. I've thought of several possibilities:
A) Just stop seeing them - this appealed at first but then I think this makes it seem like I am running away and I would rather deal with it. Also, why should my OH not socialise with his mates?
B) Ask nicely and politely, "Have I upset you?" or something to that effect. I just feel this is pointless as they would deny it and probably say they were joking.
C) Sit with the men - I should have done that last night, if feel
D) If the do it next time, say "I can see you want to chat to eachother, I'll leave you to it" - and then sit with the men
E) Be on my guard in conversation with them ready to respond straight away. For example, when she said " oh god this is like a movie" say straight away 'oh I won't bore you with it then'. And when she said 'you're never right...' stop her and say 'what do you mean by that *Julie?' and make it very clear I know she's being passive-aggressive.
Or other? I don't want to inflame the situation but it needs addressing, somehow.
Just to be clear, my OH didn't see any of this as he was sitting on my opposite side mostly talking to his friends.
If you have reached this point, thank you for listening.
There clearly is an atmosphere there and they sound a bit poisonous. Perhaps just let your OH meet them while you do something different that you enjoy.
Your first question. I think you are over-analysing these interactions. Sometimes people will say something that sounds a bit off, as in the example when your friend was finishing her story - you shouldn't overthink that sort of thing. People not getting your jokes - this happens all the time; again, it isn't a personal slight.
I agree it's annoying if someone asks you to tell them something (like your dream) and then loses interest half way through. I'd have done as you suggested and said 'I won't bore you with it' or similar.
I don't think you can pre-script how you might react to different situations. Any or all of those might be appropriate at different times. I would steer away from asking if you have offended, for the reason you say. If you don't feel welcome/included, leaving them to it is a good idea.
Make sure you're sat next to your husband, ask him to listen in when he can, that way you get a second opinion. And talk to the men if the women aren't any fun.
Or just don't go?
Next time I wouldn’t even try to talk to them, just talk to the men. If the women try and engage you just be cool and have short responses, then back to your discussion with the men.
Sorry I had to stop reading because that went on forever
See i'd want to make a point by showing I don't be bullied out, but then I don't think I could be arsed with that at all,and I'd end up sticking with the men, who's conversation I'd probably be more interested in anyway
I wouldn't put myself through this. Life is too short. Let your DH get on with it if he wants to. It does seem like bully behaviour in what you've described. They are obviously a very 'cliquey' couple of friends who think nothing of making you feel uncomfortable. Totally unacceptable. Go out with other friends who make you feel good about yourself and appreciate you for who you are and give these couple of a nightmares a good swerve. Good luck.
Congratulations for the longest opening post I have ever seen on MN!
But no idea what advice to give you I'm sorry.
You need new friends. Let your DH go out with his mates without you - problem solved.
I will be quite frank here.
They don't like you. So what?
You could be the nicest person under the sun, but there will be people who won't like you. It's simply impossible for everyone to like everyone.
Just go and find yourself people who will like you and you will like them. Frankly, I wouldn't even go for that drinks next time. It's not "running away and being bullied out". Why should you spend time with people who don't like you when you can act do something else and better instead?
I e also been described as being overly polite!
Basically I've been told I'm as happy for others success as I am my own - and apparently that's unusual.
But I've often felt like people can take or leave me. That they don't have any particular feelings of friendship towards me but not necessarily unliked.
Someone once elaborated when I asked and basically said I'm a person who doesn't demand attention and therefore I often don't get it. People know however they behave I'll always be polite and loyal.
It made me think and I decided I'd rather be a 'nobody but everyone's friend' than a cliquey person who needed undivided attention.
However recently lots of colleagues have been married and all have invited me to evening do alongside the popular people.
My personal advice would be to chat to the men. Be polite to them if they chat but don't show any intention to get involved iyswim? Watch their reaction
But yes to stop over analysing. And learn to respond in a witty ball in their court sort of thing.
So with the dream I've learnt to respond with something like "really? Did you think my dream would be less than a minute long when you asked?"
Have you asked them if there's an issue? Personally I'd have said something by now, but i know everyone isn't the same
Just talk to the men, be polite and friendly to the women but don't initiate conversation. They'll eventually get bored of bitching about you behind their backs. I wouldn't bother asking them what the problem is, they'd just get bitchier then.
Don't count them as your friends anymore! Just acquaintances. Go out with your actual friends and try not to get bothered about these two
I'm sorry but you have overanalysed everything and I don't even understand what you're saying some of the time: the same woman said "You're never right you aren't, I'm telling you" wtf does that mean?!
I'm wondering if in your interactions with these women you are as long-winded as your first post is? From your description of the dream story it sounds like it might be.
If you do want to carry on going to these meet ups, maybe work on keeping anything you say short .... just to see if it makes a difference ... ?
@BrutusMcDogface I really struggled understanding that bit
They clearly don't like you and are passive aggressively making that very clear. Don't over think it though. Someone not liking you does not mean that you are fundamentally unlikable. It's probably just a personality clash and not helped by the fact that they are tight and see you as an outsider.
Honestly? They don’t like you and they’re bitchy. I’d stop seeing them alone and be cool in groups.
They’ll mention it eventually. Then you can say ‘oh, I’ve been busy with friends, I try not to waste time with people I don’t get on well with’ and give them a big insincere smile.
I have actually done almost exactly this. For some bizarre reason they couldn’t try harder after that. I just left them to it. They showed themselves to be petty and I moved on.
I would literally not sit with them in any social situation... ignore them.. give them short one worded replies and move on from them..
It's obvious..they don't like you. Stop trying so hard to fit in....they have no manners or would include you to be polite..sit with your dh in future and don't give these rude women another though
In a nutshell they're not keen on you for some reason out of your control. Sometimes this happens. I'd stop going as they sound horrid and it's upsetting you. This happened to me with a friend and now I see people who do seem to like me 😊
OP you sound just like me and I've encountered similar with certain women over the years. I don't know the reason/motivation from their perspective so can only talk about my own thoughts about and reactions to it but at least you know it's not just you!
I am an over-thinker, I analyse everything and can see that I'm a bit over-sensitive to other people's behaviour towards me. It matters too much to me that people like me and I have to make a conscious effort not to people-please, I feel like I have to actively try not to be 'too nice' if that makes sense because I do think some people see it as insincere.
Hand on heart I don't see it as a huge character flaw, I'd rather be too nice than a total bitch! But it's better for my MH and self respect to rein it in a bit in certain company, be a bit more aloof and less eager to please. I don't think you've done anything wrong here but, for your own protection more than trying to please them, I would step back considerably from these women.
Yes to taking more to the men, minimal responses to the women in order to be polite but no real attempt from you to engage them in conversation and short answers with little detail to any questions they ask you. Basically give them nothing, no opportunities to put you down or make you feel awkward because I do believe they're looking for those opportunities.
I'm not even going to attempt to understand people like that, I genuinely don't have a 'nasty' side and am still (at 43) surprised that so many other people do. All I can tell you is that life is easier when you stop engaging (any more than superficially) with them.
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