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How do grown manage to turn people against others? Seriously how do they do it?

(21 Posts)
RunnersAndRiders Thu 30-Jun-16 15:53:04

I posted about this on another thread yesterday and it's really got me thinking and wondering about a) why some adults do this and b)how the hell they actually do it? What do they say?

DD is in year 6. On her first day in reception she became friends with another little girl, I'll refer to the other girl as Sarah in this post. Sarah's mum and I didn't know each other before this but as the girls got friendlier and became best friends, Sarah and I became friends too. We didn't live in each others pockets or anything like that but we met up regularly with and without the children (both have younger children too), had nights out from time to time, texted each other, were friendly on each others' FB, that kind of thing.

About 2 years ago or so it gradually dawned on me that Sarah's mum was, whilst being very nice to my face and super friendly towards me, probably causing problems behind my back with other mums.

Over the 7 years DD has been at school I'd say there have been 7 or 8 other mums that have suddenly stopped talking to me and started blanking me for no reason. These are usually mums that previously I've chatted to and been friendly with. I've then noticed that Sarah's mum has made a huge effort to become friendly with them and to chat to them, and within a few weeks of this then said other mum stops talking to me. I've been defriended by a few on FB too.

Sarah's mum is very popular, and likes to be friends with everybody, and everybody does fuss around her and gives her a lot of attention, as she is attention seeking both about her and her children. So she manages to stay friends with everyone and people fall out with me for seemingly no reason. It really is baffling; one minute they are talking to me and being all friendly and the next they seem to want to avoid me at all costs. Nothing has ever happened at school between DD and their DCs, and I've had no cross words with them or anything like that. I don't think it is anything I've done tbh as I don't get hugely involved with school mums other than being friendly, chatty, having the occasional coffee etc. Plus I have no problems getting on with anyone at work, never had problems at school, have great friends at hobbies I go to, get on well with my neighbours etc. I just get vibes that Sarah's mum has set out to cause trouble for me throughout the school years.

Once I realised this I did, of course, disengage with her as much as possible whilst still being 'friendly' as our DDs are best friends, but I just can't understand what exactly she is telling these women.

I did notice recently that one of these women had written on Sarah's mum's Facebook wall "Don't let the bitch grind you down", and quite a few other mums had 'liked' it, and I am convinced this was about me. I think she is definitely saying things to people about me.

Yet she is so nice and friendly to my face! To make matters worse the girls are off to the same secondary school and have just been placed in the same tutor group, AND our younger children are in the same class next year at school too, so I guess I have another year of having to be polite/nice to her and another year of her working her way through the mums telling them not to like me, or whatever she is saying.

Any advice? Anyone been through similar? Also any ideas of what this type of person does or says to turn others against people? Thanks

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Thu 30-Jun-16 16:10:43

Based on my own experience, if she says anything catty about another mum to you, she probably goes back to that mum and repeats what she said, but says it came from YOU. It's bloody pathetic.

You have my sympathy! flowers

MyKidsAreTakingMySanity Thu 30-Jun-16 16:47:28

You'd think we were past all that crap once we leave school right? I think it's actually worse. I'm 34 and there's more bitchiness now than ever. I've actually decided to pull away from everyone. I'm letting the kids walk themselves to school and I'm trying to keep any interactions with the school mums to a basic "Hello" or "Good morning". I'd rather be lonely than put up with that.
I think you should pull someone aside who used to be friendly with you and have a quiet conversation. Ask them outright. Maybe pick the most gobby who is least likely to give a shit about insulting you by telling you their opinion. At least you would know.

SeaEagleFeather Thu 30-Jun-16 19:31:33

Some people never grow up from age 12, rather unhappy and catty

some people get off on the power thing.

why do other mums listen? because the catty ones can be subtle and lie effectively and very few will actually ask you what's gone on. .

I've had this with another mum who lives over the bloody road unfortunately. Acquintances are friendly, then she sees me chatting and then within a couple of days they blank me. Other people whom I'm closer too ask me why she makes a catsbum face when she sees me!!

I think tbh the woman has some problems.

it's bloody unpleasant to live with though. Frankly, no matter how childish it is, I've startedblanking her and the suddenly-unfriendly acquaintances. What have they got to lose by just saying good morning? More fools them if they just take her word.

We're also planning to move, coincidence but my god I wont miss her. (will do some other neighbours tho!)

techmonkey Thu 30-Jun-16 19:47:45

I agree with the first two replies, she is a manipulator, and prob does this for reasons she cant even explain clearly... She gets a thrill I'm sure from it.
As for advice, you have done all you can really, maybe ask a mum who blanks you why, but be prepared to be hurt by the response.
People are often quick to believe a thing, but slow to let it go, so it could be a whole can of worms if you do try to find out what she is saying...
I guess I would advise you to "not let the bitch grind you down" and be happy, make friends who aren't mums so aren't in the cliques and have fun!
Good luck! smile

techmonkey Thu 30-Jun-16 19:48:26

Also, sounds like she's perfect for one of those "real housewives" bs drama factories!

RunnersAndRiders Fri 01-Jul-16 16:13:52

Thank you everyone!

I think she must, as has been mentioned, be very manipulative. And it definitely would not surprise me if she tells people that I have said things when I haven't said them.

She's a cow!

Myusernameismyusername Fri 01-Jul-16 18:25:05

Oh this drives me mad. I stay out of all playground politics. I am the one on the edge, alone! I have one or two friends from the school but it has been hard going. It was like being back at school myself!

VocalDuck Fri 01-Jul-16 18:31:00

Some women are like this. I guess it just says far more about how unpleasant they are and what deeper issues they have though.

Perhaps you should say to the next parent you become friendly with that someone is going out of their way to bad mouth you and you aren't sure who it is, but have your suspicions, so you'd be really grateful if they tell you when Sarah's mum someone says anything to them that relates to you.

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Fri 01-Jul-16 18:53:30

At DS1's school, the PTA mums are fucking terrible for this - they're proper mean girls. They're in their 30s and 40s, for Christ's sake.

markingthebench Fri 01-Jul-16 22:32:14

My sister has spent her whole life trying to turn people against me - she has pretty much hated me since we were about three. Sadly, because she comes across as so reasonable, a lot people believe the lies she tells them, and I have very few family members that make an effort to see me. She went nc with me about seven years ago and I was terribly upset at the time, especially as I knew she would lie about her reasons to the whole family, but my life has been much happier since and I am learning to live without family (I have plenty of wonderful friends that I don't think I deserve, and they find it difficult to understand why my sister doesn't like me).

As another poster says, telling other people that YOU said something catty that SHE wants say is a very effective method. A number of times, I have been taken up on horrible things I supposedly said and would never even dream of saying. People have wanted to challenge me on my vile views, even though my sister made them promise not tell me that she had told them I said it (if you can follow that!)

It's stupid, and it's petty and it hurts. I had a lot of counselling before I was able to accept that my sister is not a very nice person and that she clearly has issues of her own.

You have my sympathy flowers

Anita4077 Fri 01-Jul-16 22:38:28

God how awful, - big hugs I sympathise, I have known two people like this. Isn't it sad to realise how simple and sheep like people are..how quick to believe in the words of a sly manipulator....probably fuelled by jealously, but sometimes you're a victim for absolutely no reason at all. What can I say, it's not you it's them. I was delighted my days of the school run were over. Finally I just dropped those pathetic types and made a effort to build other friendships. She doesn't control everyone, just step back and give yourself some breathing space.

gamerchick Fri 01-Jul-16 22:46:40

Drop off on the bell and pick up on the bell. Delete the lot of them and move on. Honestly those who depend on the school gates for a social life need to be avoided like the plague.

seawardess Fri 01-Jul-16 23:22:19

It's pure brazenness. People will so rarely go up to someone else and say "so and so says you are like this - are you really?" So people who are happy to just make things up about others for entertainment mostly get away with it, because polite British people assume that they would only say it if it were 100% true, that they wouldn't risk the reputationally damaging issue of lying.

The brazen, rumour spreaders are relying on the polite English attitude to ensure their lies never come out.

Take this to a Mediterranean country though, and it's fireworks!

Having experienced this before I find the solution is to be brazen yourself. Talk to and do whatever you want with your head held high. If your brazenness gets to a certain level, people will seek to "bring you down a peg" and it's likely then you'll get an idea of what's been said... And you can challenge it.

regularbutpanickingabit Fri 01-Jul-16 23:34:48

You've been Wendied. It's really really horrible and something that has happened to me and lots of people on here. It is unbelievable what lengths people go to for something that baffles me!

Paniniswapx3 Fri 01-Jul-16 23:49:17

There's a mum like this at my DCs school - I stay on the periphery of the school gate & be polite & friendly with everyone & going on a few occasional nights out but I wouldn't say I was friends with any of them. TBH, I have plenty of great friends & family so don't need additional friends anyway, but do feel a little sad sometimes when I see other mums being such good friends & worry my DCs might miss out on parties / play dates etc but that hasn't appeared to happen thankfully so no concerns there.

Paniniswapx3 Fri 01-Jul-16 23:49:57

Sorry, should have added, good luck with your own situation & try not to let it get you down.

newbluetrue Sat 02-Jul-16 13:09:25

My work place has a woman like this. She has to be the centre of attention and if she thinks that you are not giving her enough attention, or are likely to detract attention from her, she bad mouths you. When it happened to me i took the view that the colleagues who just believed her, and made no effort to get my side of the story, were not people i particularly wanted to be friends with anyway.

I would say stop being nice and friendly to her. Keep your interactions to the minimum required to arrange things for the children and keep out of the way of these other mums. As you say, you get on well with others, so you don't need these people to complicate your life. Just because they have decided that they dislike you based on some second-hand rumour, doesn't make you a bad person in anyway.

WillIEverBeASizeTen Sun 03-Jul-16 15:46:22

School playground Mums..OMG they are worse than the kids!

However I did meet some lovely Mums..so they're not all the same (my Mums weren't cliquey though)

daisychain01 Sun 03-Jul-16 16:26:39

Any advice?

yup! Delete all signs of them, don't invest time overanalysing, you'll never regain the lost mins/hours of your life.

Anyone been through similar?

Yes, and that's why I'd give anyone the above advise. Anything else is called "a hiding to nothing"

Also any ideas of what this type of person does or says to turn others against people?

Impossible to say really because each situation is so individual. Probably lies, distortions about you as a person based on spurious gossips from sad individuals with vacuous, damaged lives, with nothing better to do.

The minute they realise you don't care and aren't stoking their fire anymore, it will frustrate the hell out of them! Well worth it for the smugness you can feel getting on without them.

CigarsofthePharoahs Sun 03-Jul-16 17:05:08

There's a mum clique at the school my son attends. He's just finishing reception year and I've decided I can't be bothered with the lot of them. I'm the mum who turns up just in time to drop off at the bell and with seconds to spare at pick up time. All I have to deal with then is the five or so minutes they play for after school.
Ironically I've found some of the other mums to be perfectly ok if you're just having a quick chat with them on their own, it's when the big group forms it gets a bit nasty.
Still, in taking on a voluntary social pariah status I haven't had to put up with week in week out playdates. Bright sides! And it's not as if DS doesn't have plenty of friends either.

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