Fed up of Queen Bee behaviour

(24 Posts)
Quickncjust4this Mon 22-Nov-21 15:52:37

I'm part of a group of 8 friends. We have all been close for a few years, all have primary age children at school together and live close by.
One of the group is a typical queen bee - has to have a say on wether or not we can invite anyone else to join us, has to dictate what we do and when etc.
We used to get along really but a few incidents in the last few months have led me to distance myself a bit.
As examples, invited the rest of the group to join us for a day out in summer term. Laid out plans for the day, doing one activity in the morning and something else in the afternoon. This friend and two others came along, great fun for all the kids but she arrived late and complained all morning that her kids were bored that were desperate to get to the next thing (and they were, because she'd told them that's what we were doing - the rest of us hadn't). It really spoiled the morning.
Then in the summer I threw a big party for a big birthday, all friends and kids invited. She spent weeks before hand making snide comments about how she would never want a big party or to be the centre of attention etc etc.
Now are trying to organise a birthday dinner for one of the group. There are two potential dates that all of most of us can do. The first i am not free until later in the evening due to a volunteering commitment so I would miss the dinner, the second is the eve of Queen bees youngest son's 2nd birthday. She's completely ruled that out as she needs the evening to prepare for the birthday. The rest of the group have offered to help her with birthday prep, or book the meal for later in the evening on the alternative date (to which she replied that wouldn't work for her as she doesn't want to stay out late) and they've all private messaged me to say sorry that it's so tricky.
I don't want to be the one to make it difficult so I won't make a fuss but I'm feeling quite irked by it all!
I've distanced myself from spending much time just the two of us, though my daughter and her older son are very close. But i don't know how to address this without causing trouble for the kids or the group as a whole.
Do I just have to put up with it?

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nocnoc Mon 22-Nov-21 16:00:43

The short answer is yes if you want to be part of the group. You’re all enabling her. The only way to get round this is stop with the group activities and start inviting out individuals and have the day as you want it.

Quickncjust4this Mon 22-Nov-21 16:04:39

That's good advice nocnoc thank you

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LawnFever Mon 22-Nov-21 16:05:38

No you don’t have to put up with it, you need to call her out tbh.

The snide comments about your party - you should’ve said, that’s fine you do whatever you like, I’m looking forward to my party.

The day out, if her kids are bored she takes them somewhere else, tell her she’s ruining it for everyone else.

The date clash for the meal, which date works for the majority of the group? Go with that.

All of you are pandering to her, so she thinks the world revolves around her, so stop your world revolving around her.

thenewduchessofhastings Mon 22-Nov-21 16:13:26

Firstly the birthday dinner;that's very simple;what date does the birthday woman want?;whatever it is:stick with it.If anyone including yourself can't make it;tough luck.

As for the queen bee;I'm betting she's been like it her entire life and isn't use to not having the world revolve around her.She's obviously a drama queen who loves being the centre of attention.

You all need to start being more assertive with her.

"My kids are bored;they want to do x" that's easy;respond with a simple "Okay,you take yours to that,we'll catch up player".

You've got more patience than I have.

Quickncjust4this Mon 22-Nov-21 16:21:00

Thanks both, yes you are right we really do have to be a bit firmer.

We did all suggest she take her kids to the second activity of the day when they were all making so much fuss but she didn't want to, she just kept making comments about how the obviously couldn't wait to go to the next thing (and dragging our kids into it too - 'you're ready to go now aren't you kids' )

Birthday girl can make either date and isn't fussed which. The rest of us are generally much easier going - which I suspect is part of our appeal! It feels like it's just me getting irritated at the moment with it but I do wonder if perhaps I'm not the only one. I wouldn't complain to any of the rest of the group about her. I'm grateful to be able to sound off here though!

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SunflowerTed Mon 22-Nov-21 17:57:03

We are a group of 4 who were enabling one of our group. Got to the point where we ended up not doing anything because we were pussyfooting around her. We made the decision to stick with date in the end and if she couldn’t make it she was welcome to come next time!!!!


Quickncjust4this Mon 22-Nov-21 18:06:05

Well done Sunflower. Did she make it in the end? It's really tricky isn't it finding the balance between setting boundaries and not upsetting the status quo.

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LawnFever Mon 22-Nov-21 22:44:42

We did all suggest she take her kids to the second activity of the day when they were all making so much fuss but she didn't want to, she just kept making comments about how the obviously couldn't wait to go to the next thing (and dragging our kids into it too - 'you're ready to go now aren't you kids' )

In this type of passive aggressive blaming the kids situation you need to get a backbone and say something like, ‘you head off we’ll catch you up later, you/they obviously aren’t enjoying this and we’re staying until X as agreed, so we’ll see you later - bye!’

TheRigatonini Tue 23-Nov-21 09:16:58

I would bet she’s annoying other people too but you’re all at the stage of not wanting to mention it and break the shared taboo. My bet is that left to carry on as she is, at some point the rest of the group is going to start forming a consensus that this behaviour is annoying. I would be wary about getting on the wrong side of her as she sounds like the type to try and get the group ‘on side’ if she senses a mutineer – I would bet that others will get sick of her passive aggressive bossiness soon anyway.

coffeeisthebest Tue 23-Nov-21 09:53:41

Why are you in such deference to her? She sounds moany and miserable. Just because your kids are friends, doesn't mean you have to be. Do you really want her in your life? Do the meal on the birthday eve and tell her that she can come along to the next one. I have never been a Queen B in a group but people have no issue saying that to me if that is the truth. Why are you pandering and then by default teaching your kids the same?

Quickncjust4this Tue 23-Nov-21 12:48:26

Therigatoni yes I'm really wary of this. She's not shy to have a moan about the others to me when something has bothered her so I'm sure she does the same about me.
She's the only one of the group I've witnessed having a moan about any of the rest of the group - so I hope they are as intolerant of it as I am.
That's a good point coffee, it probably is giving the kids a bad example to see

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Somebodylikeyew Tue 23-Nov-21 13:08:15

This is crazy. I think youve gotta call it out.

“OK, I think all things considered we’re going to have to go for the 8th. Beth, I know it’s not ideal being the day before Persimmon’s birthday, I’m so sorry, but I don’t see we have any other options that everyone can make… I’m happy to book the table, what time would make your life easiest with party prep Beth?”

Lovelymincepies Tue 23-Nov-21 13:45:05

She’s sounds a pain but I wouldn’t want to go out the night before my sons birthday.

Just choose a date and stick to it.

Quickncjust4this Tue 23-Nov-21 13:49:50

Somebodylikenew thank you, yes i think this is a good approach smile

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hollielouise66 Tue 23-Nov-21 14:19:17

There's someone like this in our friendship group. I've decided to keep quiet as I don't want my kids' being left out of things. This friend has the ability to start being quite divisive if she feels challenged. One day I will be freeeee, lol! Until then I smile and say nothing and enjoy the social life that the group enables my kids to have...

supremelybaffled Tue 23-Nov-21 14:27:18

If it is you who is organising the meet-up for the friend's birthday and you can make only one date, then that's the date you pick. End of.

Should Moaning Myrtle not like it, well just say she's in charge of organising the next big get-together and can choose a day that suits her.

Quickncjust4this Thu 25-Nov-21 13:57:21

Thanks all. Birthday girl plumped for QB's birthday eve in the end which has resulted in a whole bunch of fuss. We had coffee all together this morning with a whole bunch of tears from QB that she feels so overwhelmed with life at the moment and as was really looking forward to this night out.
I don't really know whether to take this as genuine or if it's an attempt to swing things more her way. Either way I am feeling rotten for pushing it.
All of the rest of the group pointed out that she is not being left out. If she just got the birthday prep for little one done in advance then she could still come out - she's a stay at home parent with he either child in school - or she could get dp to do it hmm

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Somebodylikeyew Thu 25-Nov-21 18:09:08

Do not feel guilty! Sounds like the group have got the measure of her.

She has issues, for sure, but you pandering to her won’t help her so stay strong and enjoy your night out grin

EatSleepRantRepeat Thu 25-Nov-21 18:20:02

The only reason Queen Bees exist is if everyone in the group gives them the power to do so. If you have a bit of solidarity with the other group members, and carry on regardless even if she does a flounce, she won't be able to do anything about it. Take the hard road now for an easier life later!

Turkishangora Thu 25-Nov-21 18:26:03

I wouldn't go out the night before my child's birthday, but I wouldn't give everyone a hard time about it! In groups like this I usually find going with the majority works best, I usually say "I can only do x date but please go with the majority". It's impossible to meet everyone's needs.

NinaProudman2022 Thu 25-Nov-21 18:36:27

We have one in our group.

She never replies to WhatsApp messages with a proposed date and time to do something. Or if she does she replies really late either saying has to wait and see about X, Y and or Z so we are no further forward or she can’t make either of 4 dates so the date has to be changed completely. More recently we have gone ahead and made arrangements without her which hasn’t gone down well.

AnFiadhRua Thu 25-Nov-21 18:44:09

I ended up doing a deep dive in to this subject. I read a few books (rachel simmons) about queen bee behavior and bullying studies and bystanders doing nothing (kip williams) and there is no magic solution but this is what i do now......

I recommend staying true to YOUR integrity. Some people really want to belong above all else and i get that, but for me, as hard as it was, i needed to know that i was not party to excluding somebody.

So now when i sense somebody is about to be excluded, i speak out like ive no fears ill be the one excluded and say once "i think we should invite everybody!'

The queen bee will not like it but she'll note your integrity and hate you for it, she'll note your bravery, no fear you'll end up excluded, and she'll hate you for it! She will think carefully about going head to head with you. 6 people will secretly quietly notice that you are brave enough to swim up stream and for the purpose of doing the right thing but they will say and do nothing.

If the queen bee excludes you, act like you couldnt care less! You're busy! You have other friends! I bet 3 of the 6 bystanders come back to you knowing that your group is a place where harmonious inclusion is the standard. No pressure.

I was excluded by two queen bees years ago, two groups, so twice!! i explored what was going on and concluded that im a threat to covert scapegoating narcs because im open, honest, direct but "low status" (single parent not wealthy) and have no social capital to validate a narc, but i connect easily with most people.

Something about my detection of their social 'mask' combined with their detection that my confidence is not as old/innate as i present is both a threat and a challenge.

Quickncjust4this Fri 26-Nov-21 11:06:38

AnFiadhRua, thank you so much!
That makes absolute sense. You are so right and well done for sticking your ground.
I've been giving it all much thought this week and it speaks volumes that QB has no other friends from before her current 'mum life'. Where the rest of us all have uni friends or past work friends , school friends that we meet for weekends etc we have other hobbies and groups that keep us busy. QBs life is only our group and other school acquaintances.
I think control of our group is important to her and you are right any assertiveness is a threat. She works hard to be the first to know everything and to be know the most, latching on to any sadness or difficulty any of us are going through so she feels at the centre.
I do think she latched onto me in the first place as I'm friendly with so may people through various means and she wanted to be in the middle of that so it makes absolute sense that now we've got a solid group im more of a threat than a prize.
It's quite sad really. I really have no tolerance for gossiping and bad mouthing (again, grateful to vent here as I just wouldn't do it irl) and will speak my mind so I imagine she also finds that irksome!

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