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Normal response if you tell someone they have upset you

(17 Posts)
BertieBotts Sun 30-Sep-12 12:36:37

I'm probably totally overthinking here, but I have no idea what's normal. So I thought I'd consult the Mumsnet Guide to Relationships grin

I attempted to dye my hair blue last night, only it went a bit wrong and ended up light green. It just probably needs another coat or two, and while I don't want it stuck this colour for ages, I thought it was quite funny. When my friends (who'd been helping me dye it) left I spoke to DP on skype chat and he asked to see it on webcam. Then he proceeded to say (type)

"Well at least it looks better than the [bleached] blonde."
"I think you should stick to brown"
"It looks like vomit" sad
"I wouldn't be seen out in public with you"
"You do know you're 24 don't you? Only it's something 17 year olds do"

Now I'm totally shock because it's completely out of character for him to say something which is unkind. He can be blunt, and normally I don't mind that at all, and he can be sarcastic, which I like and find funny, even if it's directed at me as I know it's not intended maliciously.

But the thing was I wasn't a massive fan of how it looked last night, (it looks slightly better this morning) and it isn't even finished - I just thought he'd laugh with me and find it funny. I'm not an idiot, I wouldn't turn up to a professional job interview with neon pink hair, but I know work doesn't have a problem with it and I'm not at school, so why not? And when I mentioned dying my hair a while ago he was really encouraging and even suggested some far-out colours so I don't understand where the sudden sneeriness about it being for teenagers has come from?

I'd had a really fun night and it really took the shine off it for me sad I wasn't distraught or staying up all night upset about it or anything, just a little bit rubbish feeling. (I admit I might be hormonal too as I've just started my period)

Anyway, this morning I told him that he had upset me with his comments last night and that I don't mind if he doesn't like it, but he didn't have to be so critical. This was a HUGE thing for me because I have a real problem with telling someone if they've upset me, due to a previous abusive relationship where any kind of criticism was turned around, blown up out of all proportion into my face or used as a reason that I didn't love him enough and so it feels to me like if I say anything negative to a person I'm undermining our entire friendship/relationship and saying that I don't love them at all. My stomach was churning when I was typing this out and I felt really nervous. However, I'm aware that it shouldn't be such a massive deal to tell someone that you've been upset by their actions so I tried to seem casual about it and didn't follow it up when he didn't reply immediately.

But then, when I did get a reply, it was "oki." What does that even mean?? Does it mean "Okay. I don't care." or does it mean "Okay. I didn't realise that would upset you, I'll bear that in mind for the future." or "I don't know what to say to that because everything I said was true so I can't apologise, and I don't know what else she wants to hear so I'll just acknowledge that I've read it."

I did say Is that it, just okay? Which prompted a discussion on the merits of "okay" vs "oki" hmm and then I felt like I would come across as nagging or crazy or bunny boilerish if I pushed it so I just changed the subject to something else semi-serious we had been talking about the other day, and I hadn't had time to talk about but I'd had some thoughts on, and he said that he agreed, but then that he wasn't in the right frame of mind to think/talk about stuff like this and so I have just left it. He said he was tired. (Hung over, possibly?) and I realise I'm massively overthinking and WTF-ing but I just have NO idea what a normal response should be, and skype chat is a stupid medium to have this kind of conversation over because he clearly can't see how upset/worried I'm getting over it and I can't work out what his tone is supposed to be.

MmeLindor Sun 30-Sep-12 12:41:25

Is he going to be away for a while?

I think that he was unkind, but possibly was trying to be funny and that it is sometimes hard to put that across in written chat.

Can you speak to each other via Skype?

CrackerJackShack Sun 30-Sep-12 12:47:15

How long have you been together? Are you sure he wasn't trying (and failing horribly) to be funny?

As it stands 24 is definitely not to old to have funky coloured hair. I'm 32 and if I could I'd have blue hair.

80sMum Sun 30-Sep-12 12:48:14

Well, I think if you intended to dye your hair blue, the fact that it turned out green and not to your liking is irrelevant. What's relevant is that only someone who wanted to 'make a statement' or invite comments would do something like that. There must be something of the exhibitionist in you, OP, surely? If you have that urge to do something bizarre with your appearance, then you need to accept that people will pass comment - and some may not be favourable!
It doesn't matter what other people say. You are free to do what you want with your hair, make mistakes and laugh about them. But you can't predict or dictate what other people's opinions are likely to be or should be.

BertieBotts Sun 30-Sep-12 12:50:21

Yes he is, and we can, although he doesn't have a working mic or camera at the moment as he's in the middle of a house move so it's either one sided or both typing. I just don't know what I should do - sorry I forgot to add this question in the OP blush

Do I leave it now that I know he is aware I was upset, and what he'd done to upset me. And then wait and see how he responds to things in future, because obviously if it happened a lot it would be a big issue, but I can think of maybe one or two times when he's ever upset me (unintentionally but not exactly the same situation) in our relationship, we've been together for two years.

Or do I bring it up again and try and work out the things which are bothering me like why he suddenly thinks it's "teenage" and what the "okay" response is supposed to convey? Even though it's really not a massive issue if he doesn't like my hair colour, as long as he isn't making comments about it all the time (which I don't think he would anyway!)

I don't want a "Sorry I didn't mean what I said" but it would be nice to have a "Sorry I upset you".

MardyArsedMidlander Sun 30-Sep-12 12:51:54

Pah! I have put pink streaks in my hair this morning- and I'm a damn site older than 23. And I'm not an 'exhibitionist'- I'm just too old to care what's Age Appropriate.
Tell him to sutff up his elderly tweed covered arris grin

BertieBotts Sun 30-Sep-12 12:53:14

Well maybe 80sMum, but you expect your partner to be supportive, no? I wouldn't mind him being honest if I asked, it was the way he said it and the timing and the unsolicited advice nature of it that got my back up.

CrackerJackShack Sun 30-Sep-12 12:57:58

Honestly, with the exception of a snide comment about his new haircut or new sweater or something someday, I'd let it go. He's not going to always like how you do your hair, and you aren't always going to like how he does his. End of the day, not really worth the fight.

BertieBotts Sun 30-Sep-12 13:01:49

Actually I think posting this and writing out what my question actually is has helped a lot. The first response (leaving it alone) makes more sense, I'm just overthinking things.

And I'm definitely not too old to have blue hair grin (it is more blue this morning!)

BertieBotts Sun 30-Sep-12 13:02:20

xposted - I'm glad we agree smile

Thanks for all your help.

MmeLindor Sun 30-Sep-12 13:06:09

I agree. If it was something that happened regularly then it would be worth digging into.

80smum
Presumably Bertie's DH fell in love with her the way she is, and has no objection to her having brightly coloured hair, and has in fact encouraged her to continue to colour her hair.

I would not do this, but I don't pass judgement on someone who does as being immature or exhibitionist.

handbagCrab Sun 30-Sep-12 13:10:34

God I'd love to dye my hair a bright colour but my work dictates otherwise and I'm lots older than you.

I think adults should be tactful and kind. People are so harsh on themselves anyway so don't need other folks coming along and 'telling it like it is'. I imagine because it didn't go how you expected you were not overly happy with it so could have done with a friendly, 'it's not so bad, could have been worse, least it didn't fall out, it will look fab with a bit more colour etc etc'.

I suppose, is this the only time he has said anything like this? Is he funny sarcastic but no hidden meaning or hiding nasty thoughts behind a veil of sarcasm? Would you say something similar back? How would he respond if you did?

StuntGirl Sun 30-Sep-12 14:01:22

If he didn't like it he could've phrased it better. My boyfriend had long hair when I met him. He recently shaved it all off and if I'm honest I didn't like it at first, but I didn't say so! His hair, his choice.

I dye my hair all sorts of colours, and I'm older than you. It's currently a pretty manky orange colour because it needs re-doing and I was too lazy busy to do it this week, if someone commented I'd be pretty hurt. I don't say to people "Ooh your roots need doing", so I would expect people not to pass unkind comments on me either.

SugarPasteMonkey Sun 30-Sep-12 19:06:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thats lilac in that article (or maybe violet) crazy colours you can buy them on ebay ect.. lovely colours.. me not brave enough sad grin

Lambzig Sun 30-Sep-12 20:52:47

As my DH has in the last month said to me:

"You look like a russian shotputter" when I tied my hair back
"thats a bit mutton dressed as lamb" about a new (distinctly safe) dress
"God, reds really not your colour is it?" about a top I had put on

and probably numerous others, I wouldnt take it too personally.

Also, if I told DH I was a bit upset with his comments, he rolls his eyes and tuts.

You were right to tell him, but I wouldnt read too much into his reaction.

HissyByName Sun 30-Sep-12 21:29:20

People who are supposed to love us don't say things to hurt our feelings and IF they inadvertantly do so, they need to know, AND they need to say sorry.

Bertie, TRUST your instincts. He doesn't sound kind enough for you. You need a kind man. How long have you known him?

Lambzig, your H's comments are cruel, you SHOULD be taking this kind of stuff personally, cos he's going for the jugular.

We don't need or deserve to be insulted.

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