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paranoid or mummybullying?

(69 Posts)
clementfreud Tue 19-Oct-10 16:15:09

Am i being paraniod or am i being mummybullied? Another mum at school seems to dislike both me and my child and when she is alone seems to make snidey comments and comes across as having some sort of agenda.I suspect she is being competitive but why do it to people who do not want to enter the competition? I just don't get it. I have given her the benefit of the doubt for some time now but am tiring of her shenanigans. When other mums are around she is sweetness and light. I am beginning to feel very uncomfortable with it and wonder if anyone has any advice? the trouble is the more uncomfortable i feel the more it looks as if i have a problem. Am i being manipulated in some way? I am not very good at this sort of thing so any advice is appreciated. What a tricky customer.

beautifulgirls Tue 19-Oct-10 17:01:14

It is hard to do but I would say you would do best to ask her outright about it if she starts again when you are alone with her. You could just ask her why it is she feels the need to undermine everything you say, or ask why she is making these comments to you as you don't like it. Make her feel uncomfortable for a while and see how she likes it. Remember you have done nothing wrong here, you should not be feeling guilty.

Other than that, well the only option is to try and avoid being in the situation where she is the only other person about. Hopefully the problem will not really exist then as she will not get the opportunity to be like it.

ForMashGetSmash Tue 19-Oct-10 17:22:40

You can't be manipulated if you avoid being alone with her or social activities with her....dont confront her, you might be playing right into her hands. Avoid...and I speak from eperience of all kinds of school gate weirdness....some peope are just weird.

If she comes up to you and you're alone...say "Oooh...just remembered I have to do something"

And whizz off elsewhere....or say "Oooh...Ive got a schoing headache...better get some water"

She'll leave you alone if she realises you aren't playing.

MenorcaFan Tue 19-Oct-10 17:56:42

I know one like this - she frightens the beejesus out of me. Everyone loves her, she's like "super-popular" but on the odd occasion we were alone together, the claws would come out.

In front of the other mums she would call me the wrong name (they would all look at me like they felt sorry for me), or even pretend to forget my name (though she has known me for 3 years), and then apologise in a really OTT way. She was totally fake.

I just totally avoid her now, but it really bugs me that people don't see her for what she is.

Good luck.

claig Tue 19-Oct-10 18:08:38

She is an unhappy person and is jealous of you and your child for some reason. It makes her feel better to pick on and find fault with someone. Sometimes they don't even realise that they are doing it, as it has become a habit. One possible way of trying to put an end to it, is, the next time she says anything nasty, just say
"Are you unhappy?"
this will initially stun her and she will say "no, why?" and you can say "I don't know, but you always seem to find fault"
I think she may then start to cut it out, because you will have unveiled the real reason. On the other hand, there is a small possibility that she will then get worse, but I doubt it, because your response would always be an unperturbed "Are you unhappy?" and she would realise that she is having no effect on you.

ForMashGetSmash Tue 19-Oct-10 19:57:00

What does she say exactly? Is it directed at you personally? If so and if it is mean...tell her to piss off!

stillconfused Tue 19-Oct-10 20:49:58

Not quite the same but I had a colleague like that who after I confronted her blackened my name in the whole department / company (I found this out later) so would not recommend confrontation personally ...

gabid Wed 20-Oct-10 22:31:09

There are a couple of odd mums at our schoolgate. I don't know them, just see them every day. Most people are polite, smile, say hello or chat a bit, which I thought was good manners.

About a year ago, a mum had a new baby just a bit younger than mine and I asked her how old and how cute, etc. I had never spoken to that woman before and she blanked me after that?? She goes to the same toddler group now, walks past me looking the other way? This is making me feel quite insecure, however, I do hold my head up high and look at her - should she choose to do the same.

I find her very rude and I find myself spending far too much time thinking about such behaviour than its worth.

claig Thu 21-Oct-10 00:03:14

gabid, she sounds pathetic. I hate it when there are people like that, they give out bad vibes and there is no way you can escape them and it does affect you. But like you say, she is odd, so you have to try and ignore it. Sometimes it can just be shyness, she may not know what to say and maybe can't make normal smalltalk, so it may not even be hostile.

Octavia09 Thu 21-Oct-10 09:22:03

Try to be with the other parents so she would not have chance to say something bad. However, if you are alone and she comes over, be polite, and if she says something unpleasant respond loud so other parents would hear you. Say something like: How dare you say such thing about my child. Respond to her comments or questions and she will get frightened because everyone will see that she is a double-faced person. She will be afraid of talking to you so you would not unmask her true personality. At the end of the day she has the reputation of the sweatheart.
I think if other people ask you what happened after your loud response, just talk to them in a loud voice about her comments and add that she always comes to you and undermines you, however, does not do it in front of the other people. Be brave and unmask her. She is not a nice person anyway.

WhatsWrongWithYou Thu 21-Oct-10 09:33:02

One suggestion I've come across here before is to say, 'did you intend that to sound mean?' - never tried it myself but it sounds dis-arming. Lets her know you know iyswim, but you're not being directly confrontational.

I must say, I've been a 'school gater' at 4 schools now, and as others have said, there's some seriously weird people out there.

Have a similar situation to you, Gabid - a mum I chatted with at a coffee morning when we first came here, and since then when helping to prepare the kids' Christmas party, now blanks me every day - literally sets her face and looks ahead when I pass. I now deliberately look her straight in the face and grin, but she doesn't even notice she's so determined to avoid looking at me. Bizarre.

And they do always seem to be well-liked and popular, these types - mystifies me.

WhatsWrongWithYou Thu 21-Oct-10 09:34:53

And no way is she shy - has a posh foghorn voice and is always ready to speak up and put her oar in at school meetings etc.

gabid Thu 21-Oct-10 20:02:52

That mum who chooses to ignore me has her litte clique of friends she feels very comfortable with, I believe she thinks of herself as a bit posh, but works at a local supermarket - maybe she is insecure.

quietplease Thu 21-Oct-10 20:18:41

Grown women often remind me of girls I was at school with.

Sad they can't move on.

mangobanjo Thu 21-Oct-10 20:32:34

Some one said to me once that this sort of thing (bitchiness)is ongoing and its 'just how girls/women are'. This friend came from a family of girls so i accepted her advice and funnily enough took comfort from it because it helped me to largely ignore any vibes and stop being so sensitive. This approach has stopped silly little things getting blown out of proportion.

I think that if you find cliques uncomfortable then just think to yourself that it is better to be on the outside and not privvy to playground gossip. I prefer to focus on my children when in the school environment and keep my personal life personal. You will always come across some people who rub you up the wrong way but after time you should get quite good at spotting them smile

WhatsWrongWithYou Thu 21-Oct-10 21:53:36

Good advice.

< ponders > I wonder if any MNers recognise themselves as 'blankers' and whether they'd care to explain the phenomenon?

KT1324 Thu 21-Oct-10 22:26:11

Its just like being back at school yourself!!

Every school has mums like this, people who think they are so much better than everyone else, who look down at you and think they are uber cool... they are NOT.. :-)

My advice (and this has happened to me) is to IGNORE IGNORE .. I said something and wish I hadn't now I drop my kids off in the morning and on a nightime whip in at the last minute and get my kids.

I have made some wonderful long term friends at my kids school and see them regularly after school, on an evening and a weekend so don't need to hang around in playground being ignore anymore.

Good luck :-)

WhatsWrongWithYou Thu 21-Oct-10 22:33:05

I must say, I do feel much more relaxed now that DS2 is old enough to chuck out of the car, and he takes himself to the playground after as well, so I go and pick him up from there a bit later.

I've also found some sympatico mums who make it bearable when I see them - grim when there seems to be no one you can talk to, though.

arfasleep Thu 21-Oct-10 22:40:06

I 'blank' some people but usually only those who seem to have been mean or rude in previous meetings. Just don't have time to be polite to people who are not

DinahRod Thu 21-Oct-10 23:11:48

I might be an inadvertent blanker - am really awful at recognising people out of context.

There are some people who do look like the innocent flower but are the serpent under it. There is a look you can give these people, you raise your eyebrows/ slightly lower head as if looking over a pair of glasses - it's a disbelieving/disapproving look. And then depending on how you feel:

"It's a good job I don't easily take offence, isn't it?"
[In tone of genuine enquiry] "Why are you so unpleasant?"
"Oh you do make me laugh"

and the noting the negativity and asking if they are unhappy is a good one.

WhatsWrongWithYou Thu 21-Oct-10 23:16:28

But if they're sweeping past you, clearly thinking 'ignore, ignore, ignore,' your subtle looks pass un-noticed and you can't aim your comments at the back of their head, can you?
< overthinks >

mangobanjo Fri 22-Oct-10 13:19:49

Just an observation, but when i was at school this morning i got caught out big time and it got me thinking about how tricky it can be.

As i walked up the road a vile mum was coming towards me like a bull in a china shop. i averted my gaze and heard a loud 'hiya'. It caught me off guard so i looked up only to be greeted by a death stare and i really mean demented death stare shock that then lifted to a big smile as she greeted her friend who was behind me. I felt embarrassed and humiliated as there were alot of people around. So much can be conveyed in a split second and with the best will in the world some kinds of confrontation are unavoidable when someone is hell bent on victimising you. Its very tiring.

pagwatch Fri 22-Oct-10 13:23:23

I have one woman at our school who seems to hate me and I have no idea why.
Her DD is in the year below my DD and we always pass them en route to school. DD used to greet her DD so I would smile and say hello. I would get a weird look in return - sort of checking me out and finding me to be really awful. The kind of look that makes you wonder if you have your skirt on back to front.

She has been doing this for two years now. She knows some mums that I know and I am dying to ask. But won't.
My strategy is to act as if she does not exist.

But why do people act like that.
Tis weird

MilaMae Fri 22-Oct-10 13:46:30

I'm having the same thing as Pag,it's wierd you don't get it with boys.

In fact I've never ever experienced it before.

I use the same strategy as Pag as basically I couldn't give a s***t.smile

abr1de Fri 22-Oct-10 13:55:29

I've had a blanket for about eleven years now. I actually wonder if she's one of these people who have that condition which means they find it very hard to recognise faces out of context, can't remember what it's called...

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