Guest columnists and contributors are generously sharing their talents and insights while I’m taking some time to care for my new baby. Today’s letter is answered by columnist and blogger, Billie Criswell.
You are absolutely right to not forbid your fiancé from hanging with his friend. This is your choice, not his, and it shouldn’t be imposed on him. I don’t necessarily like your solution of just avoiding social situations with her, mostly because it’s not a solution at all. It sounds like you are risking alienating yourself from a group of friends more than avoiding a person whom you just don’t care for.
You say you want to handle this in a mature way that doesn’t affect your relationship with your fiancé, but you give yourself away by saying that you can’t understand why he would want to hang out with her if you don’t like her because of the importance of your relationship with him. That is not very mature…he was friends with her before he met you, he still finds her an appealing friend, and really, it has nothing to do with you at all. So as far as not feeling resentment when he hangs with her, you just gotta pony-up and get over it. How will you just “get over it” you ask? Well, you just have to stand up for yourself a little and call out this woman for being so domineering. Sounds like she’d do the same to you.
Asserting yourself doesn’t mean you have to be a total bitch about it; it just means you gotta speak your mind. The next time you are at a social gathering and she offends you, simply state, “Wow, that really hurts my feelings.” And then, excuse yourself. If you can’t get a word in, you can say, (while she is taking a much-needed breath), “I feel like it’s hard for me to state my opinions around you — you barely give me time to speak.” If she tries to get all sassy with you, be prepared to back up your statements with all the wonderful examples you have already. Rehearse in the mirror if you have to. And let me also say, avoiding her at social gatherings doesn’t necessarily mean you have to avoid the gathering altogether. Just don’t make a point to hang around her specifically.
You have to be able to deal with people like this and avoidance only gets you so far. If it’s unlikely that her relationship with your fiancé will fizzle out, then you need to find a way to work it out without completely cutting yourself off from your mutual group of friends. So put on your big girl pants, and let this girl know what is hurting your feelings. Otherwise, you will likely continue to subject yourself to her rudeness whether you try to avoid it or not. It will take a load off your chest and allow your relationship with this girl to evolve rather than become a point of contention.
* Billie Criswell is a columnist and blogger from the “Delaware Seashore.” She loves zumba, bloody marys, and cooking. You can follow her shenanigans at Bossyitalianwife.com.
DDL November 23, 2011, 7:56 am
LW, these are traits that YOU can’t stand about her; obviously you fiance likes her enough to overlook them, or perhaps not even notice them, so no they will still be friends. But, have you told your fiance any of this? It’s not up to him to solve the issues between his friend and you, but at the very least he should know that she belittles you. Honestly, these feelings of resentment and etc you have for her should be known to him or else, down the road, that’s what you’ll feel towards you fiance (husband) when he goes to hang out with her, or when he invites her over for dinner. What, you want to leave your home every time she comes over? Didn’t think so. So, woman up!
If she interrupts you, smile politely and say: “Oh, I’m sorry, that pause was for dramatic effect; I wasn’t actually finished talking” then resume your dialogue. Don’t take her crap – be on the ball with snappy come backs that show you can stand your ground, and that you won’t let her push you around. If you get offended and start telling her off, it’ll only drive her to insult you more. That’s not a can of worms you want to open.
honeybeenicki November 23, 2011, 12:30 pm
I love this! I might use it tomorrow with one of my obnoxious family members who is constantly interrupting everyone.
Kerrycontrary November 23, 2011, 8:06 am
I agree with Billie’s advice that you need to stop avoiding confrontation and put on your big girl pants. Think what would happen if this was not your fiance’s friend, but his sister and you had to deal with it for a lifetime. Sometimes we just have to put up with people we don’t like. So either call the girl out or talk to her privately and say “I know you may not realize it, but sometimes I don’t feel like I’m being heard in your presence and I would really like for us to have a nice relationship. How can we do that?” You don’t mention if you talked to your fiance about your feelings or not, but I hope you have because that’s where you need to start. And I hope none of the commenters are too harsh on you. I think you are making a very good attempt at being mature in this situation because it wouldn’t be easy for anyone. I would also be uncomfortable if my fiance was spending time with a woman I disliked.
ReginaRey November 23, 2011, 8:12 am
LW, I know a girl JUST like what you described. Do you know what she thrives on? Hurting people’s feelings! Being domineering! Having the last word! Why? Well, because she’s completely and utterly insecure. She lacks confidence, so she overcompensates by always having to have attention, always needing to say something, and frankly…always coming off as a huge bitch!
You’re giving her exactly what she wants. You’re being AFFECTED by her. The way you handle this situation isn’t to avoid gatherings or even tell her how she makes you feel (sorry, Billie!…I think this woman would probably thrive on knowing she’s hit a nerve). It’s letting her see that what she says doesn’t matter to you, that maybe you even find her a bit trite and annoying. How do you do that? You don’t even have to say anything. A stare and a quick smirk, a raised eyebrow, a smile and walking away…nonverbals speak volumes.
But if you do feel like saying something, I’d not say anything heated or passionate. In fact, be as dry and sarcastic and glib as you can. If she’s disagreeing about something meaningless just for the sake of having an argument, you can simply say “Wow, who knew you were so passionate about cats?” And then walk away. Show this woman that you can’t be bothered to spend precious time giving her the attention she so desperately wants.
atraditionalist November 23, 2011, 8:55 am
agree 100%. LW don’t avoid social situations you’re just hurting yourself in the end. Just don’t talk to her and if she hurts your feelings or annoys you do what RR says with a raised eyebrow etc… These kinds of people want an audience so don’t react to what she says. It will only encourage her
Mel November 23, 2011, 9:18 am
THIS. Don’t aknowledge to her she’s getting at you, ’cause that is what she wants.
cporoski November 23, 2011, 9:31 am
do you think that is what she wants? I think she is not doing it intentionally but the LW is taking it that way.
ReginaRey November 23, 2011, 10:16 am
It’s hard to tell whether she’s doing it intentionally or not. The girl I know – absolutely intentional. This girl? Maybe not. Either way, I think it’s probably best to just let it roll right off your back, and show her it doesn’t matter to you.
cporoski November 23, 2011, 11:21 am
You are right. I think that most of the conflicts that we have are in our own heads. And in this letter, the way i read it, nothing has happened except for being ignored. All the other emotions are hers alone.
katie November 23, 2011, 9:37 pm
i was thinking as i read the letter…. then why dont you just not engage her in arguements? dont argue, she cant argue back. done. problem solved!
but- i know its a little more complicated, so i like your advice better. and i completely agree- saying something like “who knew you were so passionate about cats?” after she is launching into her arguement mode, and then everyone laughs at her… yea she will quiet up real quick i think.
FireStar November 23, 2011, 8:29 am
People like this like an audience – don’t give her one. I’ve been to small dinner parties of four people where there were two conversations going at the same time. When she says anything disparaging to you – shake your head with a smile and tell her don’t be silly. I’m not really one for the drama filled confrontation of telling someone they are hurting my feelings – particularly in a social context – I feel that just leads to awkwardness. But if that is your thing then do as Billie suggests. I say go with your fiance and talk to someone else and catch up if you find her tirade rude or be mildly dismissive of her before turning the conversation to another. Surely, if she is as bad as you say then someone else will want to escape that and talk with you as well. If, however, the goal is just to have her fade from your fiance’s life – as it kind of sounds in your letter – then you are out of luck. You don’t get to pick your boyfriend’s friends for him. As long as she isn’t disrespecting you then you will have to tolerate her. Not allowing you to get a word in edgewise or being cutting in her disagreement is poor conversation form but not really disrespectful. My husband has female friends that aren’t my favourite – when we got engaged they all but peed on him trying to mark their territory – but whatever. Because I care about his happiness I’ll deal with their behaviour once in a while and have them over. At the end of the night they go home and I get treated like I’m the best wife ever. There is such a thing as killing with kindness.
cporoski November 23, 2011, 9:35 am
Sarah November 23, 2011, 10:31 am
I kind of feel like telling someone to “not be silly” might not be the answer here. Someone being domineering in a conversation is bad, yes, but isn’t it just as bad as someone being passive aggressive? Trying to cut someone down is wrong, no matter if its loud or quiet. As awkward as it is to say the truth about what the friend is doing, its important to be as honest as possible about your feelings because it will give the other person a chance to do the right thing. Honesty is a conversational bully’s (and a passive aggressive person’s) kryptonite.
Carolynasaurus November 23, 2011, 10:53 am
I think just saying “don’t be silly” out of the blue would be insulting, but if it is a response to something clearly insulting she insinuating, I think it’s a great response. It’s like saying, “Why are you being ridiculous and saying hurtful/untrue things? No one else agrees with you, you dizzy bitch”, but more politely.
cporoski November 23, 2011, 10:54 am
See, I think being aggressive in this situation is totally blowing it out of proportion. I see this as “Holding Court” like a queen who doesn’t care what the LW has to say more than intentionally hurting her. I think you have to be honest out of a kind place in your heart. If you make a big thing about something tiny I don’t think the group will appreciate it.
FireStar November 23, 2011, 11:04 am
The point of “don’t be silly” IS to be dismissive – when confronted with rudeness or disparaging remarks. The LW doesn’t have to make herself vulnerable by talking about her feelings to make the nonsense stop. That can open her up to additional ridicule depending on the motives of the friend. Ultimately, it has to do with personality and what the LW feels comfortable doing. Personally, I’m all about shutting things down – not making nice.
Sarah November 23, 2011, 11:35 am
Ehhhh, I just don’t know. To me, being dismissive in that way would be more frustrating than having to hear someone be loud and rude. I guess I have too many memories of having my conservative family bring up politics to me, I get impassioned in my side of the argument, and they tell me to “chill out” or “calm down”. Its like they win by default because they didn’t let their emotions show. Except its cheating though, isn’t it? To belittle someone.
I think trying to take away someone’s ability to have a valid point in a conversation will only make them worse in the long run. It certainly drove me bonkers. Maybe that’s why the girl has turned into the domineering conversational she beast, because she feel like she has to start off defensive and ready for a fight. If you honestly and politely address someone about your feelings, it kind of takes the air of their aggressive balloon. I don’t think being honest makes you vulnerable if you’re kind and not overly emotional when you talk, in fact I think it puts you above all those silly little mind games aggressive talkers love to feed on.
cporoski November 23, 2011, 11:56 am
See, I love talking politics but only with people who can keep it in check. If someone freaks out then it isn’t fun anymore. I have never thought it belittling, but just keeping things light.
However, your point is giving me a whole new light to a fight I had with someone years ago. My husband and I used to socialize with a group and there was a small group within the group that loved to talk politics. Like, we would come with topics ready to go. This girl stopped talking to me and it became this whole big thing. Now, I realize, she would join the conversation, get really upset and I would say, “come on, we are all just trying to have fun here.” Or “we are just trying to figure out the worlds problems over a bottle of wine.” She must of thought I was belittling her and dismissing her. Where I thought we were just discussing for the sake of discussing, no right or wrong. Seriously, this just gave me a whole new perspective on things.
Sarah November 23, 2011, 12:10 pm
Hey, alright! Glad I could help :). Yeah, I definitely think you should always keep your emotions in check, especially with politics, but I admit, I will become that stubborn liberal if someone baits me. I would never angry or upset or anything, but there were emphatic hand gestures used. Especially if my uncle or someone will start up a random conversation out of the blue like “so Sarah, I saw the Obama sticker on your car, I didn’t know you were a communist,”.
Unfortunately I am very black and white about …everything really…and it can seem abrasive. Luckily I have learned to keep my passionate speeches for people who are just as liberal as I am and learned to not let myself get baited with my family. For instance, now when my uncle will come up to me asking me how long I support abortion until I consider it murder I answer back, “Usually until the kid reaches third grade.”
cporoski November 23, 2011, 12:32 pm
yea, I should have written in to dear wendy a year ago and we would have this all worked out 🙂 These conversations were more pseudo-intellectuals debating the finer points of whatever was the issue of the moment. We thought alot of ourselves. We weren’t egging each other on, ya know. Now I realize that this poor girl was deflated afterwards. I realize as I get older that there are people who intentionally hurt us and unintentionally hurt us. This was totally unintentional.
Sarah November 23, 2011, 12:43 pm
Isn’t that just the worst part of growing up? I hate realizing when I unintentionally hurt somebody. Its like despite my best efforts I can still seem like a douche bag sometimes. Like the other day, there’s this sweet wonderful German girl working in the office, and I forget she’s German and make a Nazi joke. I apologized but acccck, its hard to remember!
mcminnem November 23, 2011, 2:54 pm
This is absolutely my very worst fear. Forget spiders or getting lost or falling, I absolutely DREAD that moment when I realize, too late, that I’ve been insulting or insensitive. That person is going to live the rest of their lives under the impression that I’m an asshat! I want to run back going “No! I’m sorry! I’m a nice person! Don’t hate me!”
evanscr05 November 23, 2011, 8:49 am
I used to work with a man who just like that. He would come up to you for no reason and babble on about things you didn’t know/care about, always tell you how good he was at it, would talk louder and louder if you tried to jump in to the conversation, and basically just drone on and on for an hour. It was annoying, frustrating, and a complete waste of time. No one could stand him. You know what finally worked? Not turning around when he would come into my cube. Continuing working. Not engaging in the conversation with him. Eventually, he wasn’t getting what he wanted, and he stopped bugging me for more than 15 seconds at a time. Bliss, I’ll tell ya! I know this is a bit different than a co-worker, but you really can get through it if you find ways to take some kind of control back. If she comes up to you at a party, keep doing whatever you were doing. Don’t give her eye contact. Don’t engage her on your own, or if she initiates it. Walk away as she talks. Whatever you need to do for her to get the clue that you’re not interested. Quite frankly, there are just some people who do not realize that they are completely dominating conversations and they assume that what they have to say is FAR more important than anything anyone else says. Telling them that they do this doesn’t change things, either. Not always. So, just finds ways to assert yourself more and you’ll be fine. Accept that your fiance will have people in his life you don’t particularly care for (I know my husband has some friends that I can’t stand, but, I put up with them on the few occasions I see them….for him). Eventually, life will start getting in the way of frequent visits and you’ll see them less and less over time.
biggirlpants November 23, 2011, 8:52 am
Use my husband’s comment. “Were you under the impression that I was thru talking?” If she continues to belittle you or talk over you just stare at her….and I mean really stare at her. Do not remove your eyes from hers. Don’t say another word…..just stare. Unless she is a complete egomaniac she won’t be able to stand it. If she snickers just stare. If she asks what’s wrong just stare. Do not say a single word. Silence is one of the most powerful weapons we have. Use it. Your fiance may notice and remark on it. You can smile at him, kiss him and then leave the conversation for another group but don’t look back and get on with the party. He may ask you later. Tell him you were just listening to her. Never tell him how you feel. He will get the message if you use this tactic every single time you are with her. I think she is in love with him and it is killing her that he chose you.
Kate B November 23, 2011, 10:25 am
mf November 23, 2011, 11:26 am
THIS. Silence makes people REALLY uncomfortable. It’s a great way to express your displeasure without giving the other person the response they want.
Kaylee November 23, 2011, 11:42 am
While I agree with the silent looks and ignoring this girl, I disagree strongly with never telling your fiance how you feel. I’m not saying whine on and on about this girl but I do think you should have a talk with him where you calmly state how she makes you feel and why. Do not belabor the point or tell him he shouldn’t hang out with her but definitely let him know. And then don’t bring it up again unless she gets out of hand. The way your fiance reacts the next time you are in a situation where she hurts your feelings or makes you uncomfortable will tell you a lot about him and how much he values you and your feelings.
mcminnem November 23, 2011, 2:58 pm
Also, if your fiancee is aware of your feelings, that means that he can hopefully run a little interference. As well, should things ever get a little out of hand (hopefully not) and you’re pushed past your limits, your reaction won’t come out of the blue for him, and you won’t get the “what the heck is wrong with you all of a sudden?” response.
LeahW. November 23, 2011, 9:03 am
You say you keep thinking “Why would he want to spend time with somebody who makes me… feel so crappy and uncomfortable?”, but I wonder if you’ve ever actually ASKED your boyfriend this question. It seems like a reasonable question as long as you’re truly open to whatever his response is and don’t make it sound like an accusation or demand. Or how about, “I know you like hanging out with [good friend], but I guess I don’t understand what you see in her that makes her a good friend. I always seem to wind up feeling hurt and uncomfortable when I’m around her!” Maybe hearing what your boyfriend sees in her will allow you to see some of her redeeming qualities and make it possible for you to be around her again.
Also, sometimes I think that guys just tend to have looser standards when it comes to who their friends with. I’ve had male friends (and female friends’ boyfriends) say they hang around with people that I personally couldn’t stand because they were “loyal” or “fun”. Or maybe it’s just easier for him to keep hanging out with her because she’s part of a larger group! Even if your boyfriend has a less-than-stellar reason for keeping her around, even when it hurts your feelings, it will probably make you feel better to know where he’s coming from and that he’s listened to your feelings on the subject.
Carolynasaurus November 23, 2011, 10:58 am
I’m so glad you brought this up. This was the first thing I thought and no one else had addressed it yet.
I don’t think avoiding social situations where she might be entirely is the right strategy, but your fiance should know to rescue, even defend you, against this woman if he needs to. I’m not saying he needs to cut her out, but if he can’t identify times when she is making you uncomfortable, that’s a HUGE red flag.
cporoski November 23, 2011, 9:17 am
I think you have gotten way in your head about this. This girl is not out to hurt you personally, so why are you taking it that way? Here are some questions for you. Does everyone feel the same way as you or are you alone? Is everyone trying to find a way to but her out of the group or are they looking forward to seeing her? Are your examples over the course of a year, and now it becomes “She always…”? Has this one flaw gotten so big in your head that you have forgotten all her good qualities? Have you ever called her out?
Go into this with a soft heart. Because if you go in ready for a fight, or one day just blow up, everyone will think you are crazy. I am not sure if you are a “nice girl/doormat”, but you sound that way. Doormats always lose because they only fight when an issue is too big to be solved civilly. Remember that you at one time liked this girl and thought she was a nice person. Remember why eveyone likes her before letting this one flaw makes your pop a blood vessel in your eye.
I am not saying to not assert yourself, or establish your place in the group and conversation. But you have let this get so big that you are removing yourself from this situation which is a complete overreaction to being interupted a handful of times.
Ani November 23, 2011, 4:50 pm
This is what I was thinking when I read this, especially since LW says herself that they have more mutual friends in common besides her fiance. And you really have no say in who your fiance hangs out with. I noticed that a few other commenters were suggesting that you go and talk with your fiance…. I think that should be an absolute last resort and only if you really have rock solid proof that she is being a disrespectful bitch and this is why I’m saying this: I’ve been (and probably still am by this person) considered “the evil friend of the significant other”. About two years ago, my good guy friend broke up with his long term live in girlfriend and starting going out with someone new. I never really had any opportunities to interact with her and didn’t know her very well at all (seriously, I knew her name and that was only because he finally became “official” with her on facebook). Last year, she and I ended up having a class together (we were both in the same college at the time). I had no problem saying hi how are you to her or making general small talk but I’m not a very social, chatty person in general (it’s takes me at least a few weeks to feel very comfortable with people) and she always seemed to run into me at the most inconvient times (like when I was really late for class). For me, her constantly trying to have a conversation every time she saw me was odd because for the entire time she had been dating my friend, she had acted like I didn’t exist (like I would come over to his house, she would be there and I wouldn’t even get a hello) so I wasn’t expecting her to be this persistent and it was actually making me a bit uncomfortable because I felt like I was being cornered a bit (I also couldn’t understand why on earth you would try to have a conversation with someone who was practically running up the steps because they were that late for class) so I tried asking my friend to see if he could have any insight on this 180 in her behavior and, of all the ironies, he tells me that all semester she had been complaining to him every time he said that he was going to hang out with me that I was being mean to her, I was ignoring her, etc. My reaction was literally “huh?”. Once I told him that I wasn’t trying to ignore her, she just kept trying to talk to me at really bad times, his reaction was ‘I didn’t think you were really ignoring her; You guy’s don’t have to be best friends, just as long as you’re civil with each other.’ Consider this a cautionary tale: your fiance may not have any desire to play mediator. He has a right to hang out with who he wants to hang out with. I know my friend sounded pretty aggravated about his girlfriend complaining about me every time he was going to hang out with me. In the end, you only have control over what you do. I strongly suggest following cporoski’s advice and re-examining this situation. Look at this way: dealing with her will be good practice for the day when you have no choice but to deal with someone who does something annoying like interrupting you; you can’t go to an HR department and file a complaint for that.
Allison November 23, 2011, 9:39 am
Good advice by Billie. You seem to be saying that she treats everyone like this, so it must not be personal. I think the key is to detach yourself a little. I’ve had co-workers like this or friends of friends. Maybe if it had been a close friend of mine, it would have hurt me more, but as someone who I was just sort of stuck with, I just looked at it as an annoyance more than anything.
I assume what’s ratcheting up your feelings is her friendship with your fiance. You’re right not to forbid your fiance from hanging out with her. But it seems like instead you’re just hoping he’ll do it anyway, without you having to say it. What good is not forbidding him if you’re just going to resent him for not doing what you want anyway?
I have a couple of friends or co-workers I spent time with who I acknowledge can be annoying, for various reasons. You must have some, too. Either way, I would not be inclined to stop hanging out with them if my significant other told me or implied to me to stop. It would have to be much more than obnoxious personality traits.
Also, this might sound too “Kumbaya,” but have you gotten to know this girl? Maybe if you got to know her better and both considered each other at least friendly acquaintances, she’d back off a little? Or at least she’d seem less annoying?
bethany November 23, 2011, 9:53 am
I totally agree with Billie. Being assertive is hard and standing up for yourself is hard, but sometimes you have to do hard things in order to grow and become a better person. Also, if she’s treating you so horribly, has your fiance ever witnessed it? If so, I’m wondering why he hasn’t called his friend out on being such a bitch to you….??
I can’t stand the wife of one of my husband’s good friends. I mean, she makes me want to rip out my eyeballs. She’s awful. She’s not mean or rude, just every single thing about her makes me want to die a little inside. However each time I know I’m going to be around her I take it as a personal challenge (I’m competitive, so this works for me)- I challenge myself to be social and polite and to be tollerant. I try to view it as an opprotunity for personal growth. As long as I don’t have to spend an entire weekend with her or something this seems to work fine for me. I reccomend you try it!
wendyblueeyes November 23, 2011, 10:09 am
I had a friend whose husband was a conversation hog. Sometimes he would make a point and ask his wife’s opinion. If she didn’t immediately support his point of view, he would start talking over her. One day, as he started bloviating over her, she said to him “if you didn’t want to hear my opinion, why did you ask?” You could have heard a pin drop. All eyes on the husband. He was speechless for the first time in his life. BTW, they are now divorced.
Carolynasaurus November 23, 2011, 11:03 am
Haha, yeah, I dated a guy like this. No exaggerating, if people weren’t listening to him because he just wouldn’t shut up, he would just get louder and louder until the point that he was shouting at the top of his lungs. It happened in a sedan crammed full of people once, awkward.
Anyway, I tried every trick in the book to change his behavior and there’s really not much you can do since it is usually so engrained in their DNA. They’ve always been insecure and some staring will most likely not lead to a solution. The only things that work are calling them out on it, which will most likely not go too well, or avoid conversation with them.
Sarah November 23, 2011, 10:11 am
Ugggg, my boyfriend has a friend who is just like this (although we don’t see her much now). She would constantly try to cut me down, insinuate that I was simple (often I would comment enthusiastically about some subject she brought up, and she’d be like “Yeah, of course. I think we all knew that,”) and she would insult people that were very similar to me without directly insulting me (“I just can’t stand any blond women in their twenties. They’re just so vapid.” or “God, vegetarians are so weird. I bet they don’t even know why they gave up meat.”) She even flirted hardcore with my boyfriend the last time I saw her!
I talked to my boyfriend about the fact that she kept hurting my feelings, and it meant a lot that he agreed with me that she was out of line. I also probably would’ve expected him to say something to her if she insulted me in front of him if we continued to see her (she lives far away), but then again we were in a group of his friends. I would say talk to her yourself when these things happen but also let your boyfriend know that he has to have your back when she insults you.
If she doesn’t insult you then I guess don’t talk to her? Or ask to speak to her alone in a room after arguing with her and say “Are you mad or upset with me or something? When you talk to me like that, it makes me feel like you don’t want to be around me.” That way you aren’t aggressive but you also get the point out that her actions hurt you. Sometimes the best way to reach conversational bullies is to tell them how you honestly feel.
cookiesandcream November 23, 2011, 10:52 am
ugh, that’s so awful you had to put up with someone like that! It’s great that your boyfriend backed you up though! I mean, you never know if the boyfriend’s friend had a huge, secret crush on him or something like that. I agree with your advice about speaking to her alone sometime. I doubt it’s going to help the LW because the friend seems set in her ways, but she should at least have the opportunity to say something to her. I’d say to keep the boyfriend informed about the conversation for extra insurance; you never know if the friend is going to end up backstabbing the LW or twisting her words around….
Sarah November 23, 2011, 11:45 am
Funnily enough he did say that there was a time years ago that she wanted to start dating him and he had to politely turn her down. As soon as he told me that I was like VINDICATION! but I also tried to let more of her comments slide off my back because I know how hard it is to pine for somebody that doesn’t want you back. That is, except when she flirted with him that last time. In FRONT OF ME. While throwing me insults! There’s only so much you can take! But I kept my cool because she was moving far away and it will be rare to see her as much.
katie November 23, 2011, 9:48 pm
please dont think this is creepy- but that was the girl that was all over your boyfriend at her going away party right?
i can only imagine how happy you are for every mile of distance there is between you guys! lol
Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com November 23, 2011, 12:42 pm
Wow, I am really suffering from technical difficulties this week! I left a few comments this morning and it showed as if I was the only one. Suddenly dozens of comments appeared out of nowhere and mine are all missing. Wah!
MELH November 23, 2011, 1:41 pm
It showed that way for me too! But I read your helpful comment! Maybe it will reappear!
bittergaymark November 23, 2011, 1:53 pm
Oh, get over yourself. No, seriously. Nobody’s friends are perfect. There’s probably one or two of yours that totally grate on your fiance’s nerves… That said, I dunno. You seem strangely threatened by this girl. If she is as rude to every one as you say she is — that only makes me more confused in that why are you choosing — yes, CHOOSING deliberatly by choice — to take this so personally? It’s just who she is, she’s a bitch. Don’t be so surprised then when she acts like a bitch. I keep saying this on here, but it bears repeating. We can’t control other people or their actions, we can only control our reactions to them… This means that when she is rude to you — feel perfectly free call her on it. Very calmly. Or better yet, in a bemused, almost joking manner. Try… “Wow. Do you ever listen to yourself? No? Try it sometime…”
eelizg23 November 23, 2011, 3:27 pm
I know someone like this who makes these snide little remarks all the time that put me down. I know it’s just because she’s insecure and I should let it go, but she really knows how to push my buttons. In groups, she’ll usually try to bait me into an argument by bringing up something she knows touches a nerve. The last couple of times she’s done this, mid-debate, I’ve excused myself to go pee and left. It’s the best solution I’ve come up with so far. She gets the idea that I’m not interested, and by the time I’ve come back, it’s usually fizzled out. Then when I get back, it’s also a good time to transition things and for people to go get another drink or go dance or mingle or whatever. It’s maybe not the most graceful solution, but it’s diffused some situations int he past. It’s totally not worth getting into a confrontation with her since she’s someone I can’t avoid, and I don’t need any bad blood between us to just make things even more awkward in the future.
spark November 23, 2011, 5:00 pm
Fantastic advice, Billie! So often people think the world revolves around them. The LW needs to realize that being around people she doesn’t like is part of life and society. No one is saying they have to be BFFs.
Christy November 23, 2011, 6:17 pm
Just want to reemphasize this point: LW you are not allowed to forbid your fiance from hanging out with this friend. You are also not allowed to complain constantly, whine or otherwise passively aggressively manipulate him into not hanging out with her. You do not get control over his friendships because you are becoming his wife. [I’ve had a bad experience with this in the past!]
On another note, I feel for you. When I was in college there was a woman who absolutely hated me and would do everything she could to undermine me (we were in marching band together). I never understood why. It went on for two years and I just ignored her as much as possible. When I finally stood up to her, she completely crumbled (I’m talking on the ground crying). I think she just had never had anyone call her on her bullshit before. So my advice is ignore her and grin and bear it as much as possible, but at some point you have to (calmly) stand your ground.
katie November 23, 2011, 9:53 pm
Lw, i have an idea that hasn’t been said here yet.
i think your taking her dominant personality personally. so many people above me have said how they know someone just like her, and how terrible they are. that makes me wonder- either all of your mutual friends feel as you do (and so why is she still in the group anyway?) or you are not good/used to arguing and maybe her style comes across and mean to you.
i know that i have a very dominant personality, especially when it comes to debating. i love to debate, and i will talk with literally any person about any subject. i just like talking, i guess. now, im not rude, and i do let other people talk (as much as i hate it!)…. but i think that if i was to meet a very timid, quiet, kind of doormat personality, they might take stuff personally. as if i was attacking them by what i was saying, just from the way i was waying it or whatever…. so i dunno, just something to think about. if the “belittling people” part of her personality really are direct attacks at you, then its a different problem… but then again, her “belittling” could just be her way of joking and things… i guess all i am saying is that you may be the one with the problem, not her.
oh and also- if all it takes is to not engage this girl in a debate… um… why do you still do that?
Calle November 24, 2011, 2:19 am
There are a couple of things I see here. 1) She is just a giant bitch. 2) She is a giant bitch but because of history/memories/whatever, her friends put up with her. 3) She is a pompous, bombastic person and if you are shy type that can be irritating as hell. 4) She had the hots for your fiance in the past and he shot her down or she has a giant crush on him. I see a couple of solutions. You can ignore her, cock an eyebrow at her when she belittles her and give her your best bitchface, or confront her calmly. The best bet would be to think of five examples where she has truly belittled you and one night at dinner discuss this with your fiance. Make sure to say you respect their friendship, but that you don’t feel like she respects you as a person and that you prefer to not hang out with her quite as often. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE BESTIES WITH YOUR FIANCEE’S FRIENDS. Seriously. Be friendly, show up once in while, but you don’t have to go all the time. Find volunteering, other friends, basically something else to do. I had this issue with my boyfriend’s friend. She was a total bitch to me and incredibly passive aggressive. I would just give her a look “like you are beneath me” and it would usually get her to shut up. It was pretty funny, she made a little comment and then I just stared her down once and she actually walked away looking kind of sheepish. Then again, I am the champion of the bitchface. My boyfriend was clueless because she often pulled this when he was off in a corner or talking to another friend, but one time she did it front of him and he lost it. Funny thing is, he thought I was so mature because I didn’t engage in that stuff and just kind of stared at her. I guess he doesn’t understand the power of bitchface. Turns out she had made the moves on him several years ago and he had flat out turned her down. I guess me being around and a serious girlfriend stirred up old jealousy issues for the crazy bitch.
Amy November 24, 2011, 10:52 am
I was/am in a similar situation. My boyfriend’s best friend, who is male, drives me absolutely nuts for the same reasons LW listed. It took me years to get to the point where I didn’t end up crying on the drive home after hanging out with him. We still aren’t best buds, but we can get along now. The important thing to remember is that you can’t change other people’s behavior. The only thing you can control is your own.
I think LW should ask her boyfriend for advice on how to deal with his friend. Just be careful how you do it. Something like this: “I’m frustrated. I really want to get along with your friend, but I am having a really hard time. I feel like she is belittling me, etc. etc. What do you think I can do to make things better?” He knows his friend, and I am sure he knows that she comes across this way. This will also help because if he is supportive and gives you advice, you will feel like he has your back in these situation. Even if he can’t give you much advice, it will let your boyfriend know that you are trying and maybe he should expect his friend to try too.
Something else that worked for me (and this took YEARS to work out), is really finding the times when I can get along with the friend and the times that I absolutely can’t. It’s a compromise between my boyfriend and I, and it works well. So when the friend suggests we go out to a movie or have a game night, both things I absolutely cannot tolerate with him, I politely say no. Then the next weekend I suggest something we CAN get along doing such as having dinner, or going bowling, or watching a football game. It’s a compromise, so my boyfriend also has to compromise a little bit too. He doesn’t spend quite as much time with friend as he would if I were friends with him too, he doesn’t get to make me feel bad for turning down certain invitations, and he doesn’t leave me behind when I turn them down, unless I say I don’t mind. In return, I suggest alternative activities that I can handle his friend in. This is the compromise and my boyfriend is very happy that I have worked so hard to get along with his best friend and he is perfectly understanding that some situations I just can’t tolerate.
twiglet November 25, 2011, 6:25 am
I absolutely agree with Christie that you should never even contemplate shutting this woman out of your fiance’s life. She has presumably been like this for years, and yet he was still friends with her- perhaps her way of being doesn’t bother him at all-not what he’d want in a partner (he wants YOU, and you are very different from her, apparently), but for a friend, just fine. I don’t think much of people who drop their friends because a new partner dislikes them, so it’s a good sign that your fiance isn’t planning to. You shouldn’t be planning to ease this friend out, either.But if you are going to avoid getting hurt, you are going to have to work out a way to get along-why not think of some activity that you are pretty good at, and ask her to join you, just the two of you. That way, she’ll be less likely to talk to you like you are a fool (as you know more about said activity than she does), and if you are cheery and considerate with your assistance, you might break the cycle of her bullying and you being hurt.
Unless her bullying manner is for you alone(and it doesn’t sound like it is) she’s not going to change, and why should she? we are all different. Sometimes people like this can be lively vivid company, sometimes annoying pains in the ass,but life would be dull if we were all the same.
If her bullying does feel like it is directed towards you in particular, then you have a different problem-and don’t rush to think she wants your man all to herself, it could be something like she really got on well with his last GF and is going to take a while to accept you as her replacement. Perhaps she thinks you are not right for him for some reason.In either of those, all you have to do is wait it out until she gets over herself and realises that you are the future, and if she wants to keep her friendship, she’s going to have to learn to accept you and your ways.
You and this woman will eventually find a way of rubbing along, and it will probably get a lot easier with time.
Be glad your guy sounds like the loyal type.