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Novice question- how to cope with being belittled

(15 Posts)
WarmestRegards Sat 18-Mar-17 08:47:51

Hi Everyone,

I'm just looking for a bit of advice on how to cope with being spoken to like I'm stupid! I wonder if anyone can offer me any pointers or even suggested reading. I'm not well read at all on the subject of feminism but I've realised in recent years that I need to make it a priority!

Anyway, my situation is this. I'm currently in the process of selling and purchasing a house. Stressful enough in itself, but it occurred to me that the reason it's really getting to me is that I'm constantly spoken down to by solicitors/estate agents etc. On one occasion I spoke to a female estate agent to arrange another viewing of the purchase property and as I was thanking her and saying goodbye she put the phone down as I was still speaking. I don't know for sure if it was deliberate and I can't prove she wouldn't have done the same to my husband... but I have a strong feeling! These are very small things I know, and in the grand scale of things very insignificant, but they build up to make you feel a bit idiotic.

My question is, how do you remain resilient when very small but regular things like this make you feel crappy? Again, I can't prove these things happen because I'm a woman, but they just don't seem to happen to my husband.

Thank you for reading.

ChocChocPorridge Sat 18-Mar-17 08:55:10

I laugh at them, or politely complain (after the 3rd time with our rental agents addressing stuff solely to DP - who they had never met, and certainly wasn't listed as first point of contact, I sent them polite but firm emails every time). If I can, I go elsewhere until I find someone competent.

WarmestRegards Sat 18-Mar-17 09:03:29

That's terrible!
You're right, thank you.

YetAnotherSpartacus Sat 18-Mar-17 09:04:01

No words of advice ... but I know how you feel. sad I started a thread about something similar a while back (those times you know it's because you were female but can't prove it) but it has long since vanished.

MumBod Sat 18-Mar-17 09:24:10

I've only noticed this since I started working with DP.

He's built like a brick shithouse and looks a bit scary (even though he's a total softy really).

People we deal with in the course of running our business are generally lovely, but we have one or two tricky customers.

Without fail, people who have been bloody rude to me never are to him. He's often surprised to hear what so-and-so said to me.

It's shocking really, the difference. His life must be so much easier.

ohdoadoodoo Sat 18-Mar-17 09:37:23

Maybe they do happen to your husband, but he just doesn't complain about them and accepts that everyone has these type of things happen to them.

ChuckDaffodils Sat 18-Mar-17 09:39:59

Maybe they do happen to your husband, but he just doesn't complain about them and accepts that everyone has these type of things happen to them.

Nah, you not heard? There is this thing that people in general treat men and women differently.

Just a recent example to aid you in your research:
people.com/human-interest/man-discovers-his-invisible-advantage-at-work-after-he-switches-email-signatures-with-a-female-colleague/

CoteDAzur Sat 18-Mar-17 09:47:14

Smile less. Apologise less. Let them try to please you, rather than the other way around.

WarmestRegards Sat 18-Mar-17 09:49:30

Thanks for your replies. I know everyone deals with difficult people, it's part of life. It's very subtle and hard to explain but sometimes it's abundantly clear assumptions are made about me being ditzy or daft based on nothing other than who I am. I can't prove it of course!

Thanks again

WarmestRegards Sat 18-Mar-17 09:50:19

Apologise less is an absolutely spot on suggestion- I'm a terrible offender for it!

sniffle12 Sat 18-Mar-17 09:52:15

I vote with my feet/money. I went to a car dealership wanting to get a used car, budget up to £5000. Salesman kept trying to push me into a personal contract hire on a new vehicle and every time I told him that wasn't what I wanted, seemed to presume it was just because I didn't understand numbers and if he kept saying 'only £199 a month' I'd change my mind.

Like you say OP, it's hard to put your finger on how you know it's because you're a woman, but you just feel it. He was taking a totally condescending tone I don't think he would have taken with a man trying to give him £5000.

Let's just say I bought my car somewhere else.

DJBaggySmalls Sat 18-Mar-17 10:05:02

Stop treating it as if they are belittling you, and start thinking they are showing their ignorance smile
Look for assertiveness training classes. You can learn the theory from a book, but you really need to find a good class to practice it

PoochSmooch Sat 18-Mar-17 10:12:26

I agree that there's no substitute for real world practice, but if you did want to try a book, this one is a good one.

It's maddening, OP. And more maddening still when people dismiss it as being your problem, or that you're imagining it.

HmmOkay Sat 18-Mar-17 10:37:17

That response from ohdoadoodoo is exactly the type of belittling comment that we are talking about. The "How dare you notice something that affects you, shut the fuck up" kind of thing.

Could not have been demonstrated more aptly. smile

EffieIsATrinket Sat 18-Mar-17 11:33:49

Have this with a work colleague at the moment.

He asked if I played golf to which I replied no and politely feigned an interest in his new hobby.

He said 'I suppose shopping would be more your thing'hmm

We're both doctors.

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