Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => Complete Silence => Topic started by: Nellop on January 15, 2011, 11:02:23 AM

Title: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Nellop on January 15, 2011, 11:02:23 AM
Hello Lovely E-Hellions,

I've been absent from the forums for a while, te reasons for which are below, but find myself in need of etiquette help.

B/G Just before Christmas my fiance left me. We'd had a wedding date, we had vendors and everything was sorted. And then it all came crashing down and I had a total meltdown. In the time between then and now I have discovered just how awesome some of my friends are - I couldn't ask for more from some of them. However, it seems that I have exposed a lot of fairweather friends - happy to be around when things are going well, and more than happy to tell me their problems (this is not a problem, I love my friends and would do anything to help them), but when I needed them they mysteriously disappeared, or continued to tell me all of their problems. Which was not something I could handle, as well as my own.
Most of these I have been able to cut from my life, as I have found that I have wonderful friends who both give and take, and I don't need those who drain me.
However, one friend 'K' is very closely entwined in my main group of close (wonderful) friends, and so I can't avoid her or make a clean cut.
After my engagement broke down I never heard anything from her, other than when she wanted to complain about her boyfriend, or make offhand comments about how much I was overreacting etc etc B/G

So, 'K' got engaged a few nights ago, and she is bombarding me with texts and emails and phone calls asking me about wedding suppliers, venues, all the information I could give her about weddings.  I know that she's excited, I remember the feeling. But there are so many people she can talk to, and I just don't want to talk about it bar offering my congratulations - which I have done.

The subject is still so sore for me, but she is getting so angry at me for not 'being over it already' and jumping every time she tells me to. I have stopped replying to her texts, emails etc, after trying the approach 'Look, I'm happy for you but this is not something I am happy talking about right now.' I'm not sure she'd apprciate me breaking down while I give her photographer details anyway.

But tomorrow there is a party and we are both going to go. I can cope with the obligatory 'oooh' and 'aaah' over the engagement ring, but I can't cope with being hounded for information that makes me want to cry just thinking about it.
I had to find it all out for myself - so I don't see why she can't do the same...
I run the risk of being cast as 'the bad guy', for refusing to help her, but I just don't want to talk about anything to do with weddings, and certainly not to her...

Help!
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Shoo on January 15, 2011, 11:08:54 AM
Can you engage your other true friends to act as a force field around you?  Some people to head her off at the pass and keep her away from you?

In addition to that, I see nothing wrong with confronting her (if you can) head on, and informing her of her insensitivity and callousness.  Basically, let her know she is HURTING YOU and you will have no more of it!  She isn't a friend, you know.  So what if she gets offended by the truth?  It would probably benefit you if she did.  Maybe then she'd finally leave you alone.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: gramma dishes on January 15, 2011, 11:09:02 AM
I'm sorry that you're going through this.  I can't believe your friend thinks that "by now" you should be over it!!!!

Frankly, "K" sounds like she has the sensitivity of a fruit fly!  

Hopefully, at the party where there will be other friends, someone will step in for you if necessary and explain gently to her that now is probably not the best time to play the wedding version of 20 Questions.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: boxy on January 15, 2011, 02:36:19 PM
I was trying to think how I would handle this were I in your shoes.  I would be a basket case.

It's absolutely horrible that she told you to get over it.  That's like watching you wreck your car then saying, "hey, I see you standing by the road bleeding but it's not that bad, just roll that car back over and you'll be able to continue on, a little gauze on the wound will help."  I mean what she's saying is ridiculous. 

When you see her next can you just keep bean dipping?
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Nellop on January 15, 2011, 05:00:43 PM
I am becoming an expert bean-dipper since joining this forum :) I might have to start pulling that trick out of the bag again.
Though 'K' is seriously one track minded, so I'm not sure I can work that for too long.

Good idea on the friend force-field. I have one friend who does that automatically for me, though she's gone to London this week with her gf. I miss her looooooads! Though if I speak to some of my others I'm fairly sure I can sort that out.
I'm hoping that it's going to be a go sized party - at least enough people so I can try my best to avoid 'K'.

Oh believe me, she's come out with some corkers when it comes to what she says. She's one of those people who has no sensitivity when it comes to other people. When she first found out about my ex leaving me she sent me a message which said 'Sorry about (ex), men are so annoying! Here are all the annoying things about my boyfriend....'
She is showing similar restraint when it comes to my friend 'O'. 'O' is my oldest friend (as in I've known her the longest, not that she's old), and we are the closest of friends. We're there for each other, no matter what. O's mum is currently dying of cancer, and so 'O' has started comfort eating. Upon evesdropping on mine and O's conversation 'K' said 'There's no excuse for eating badly. I should know!'
I have also discovered that she's putting it about that I'm jealous of her because her fiance wont leave her.
And yeah, guess what - when I think about it, I am pretty jealous that her fiance is sticking by her - who wouldn't be?! But I have better things to do than worry myself about stuff like that now!

Argh! I'm making myself all angry and worked up again remembering all the classics 'K's come out with... Far too many to go through anyway!
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: DangerMouth on January 15, 2011, 05:21:55 PM
How about "Oh I tossed all that info, seeing as I wouldn't be needing it. Anyway, doing the research is the fun part. Good luck!"
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Deetee on January 15, 2011, 06:36:43 PM
How about "Oh I tossed all that info, seeing as I wouldn't be needing it. Anyway, doing the research is the fun part. Good luck!"

I like that. Or "Gosh a photographer! Yeah those are hard. I picked a good one but I don't remember his name, maybe James or Fred. No wait! It was woman. Fred did the flowers. or maybe the he was the DJ. He was great so make sure you get Fred the DJ...or maybe it was James?"

Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Animala on January 15, 2011, 07:19:58 PM
I like Dangermouth's suggestion.  I don't have a suggestions, but (((hugs))).
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Baxter on January 15, 2011, 07:40:41 PM
How about "Oh I tossed all that info, seeing as I wouldn't be needing it. Anyway, doing the research is the fun part. Good luck!"

POD

I think you should practice saying this ahead of time so you are ready for her and confident.  Use this line in combination with your force field friend to deflect her, and then bean dip, run or refresh your drink.  Good luck and (((hugs))).
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Nellop on January 17, 2011, 07:10:07 PM
I think I am to be cast into the fires of EHell :(

I was good at the start of the party and I just avoided her. She walked over to where I was - I found something interesting elsewhere, or I started a conversation with someone else. She talked to me I would be polite, but before we could get into any sort of conversation I would notice someone waving me over or notice that I needed another drink.

Until the incident with 'O'. I was sat with 'O' and a couple of other friends and 'K' wandered over and started listening to our conversation.
'O's mother has just been moved to a hospice because she is not going to get any better at this point, and now it's a waiting game for O and family. 'O' mentioned that her mother would not be starting chemo, as there wasn't anything it could do and her mother didn't want to go through it. Everyone was giving words of encouragement, and it was fine. Until K decided it was time she said something. Unfortunately she decided that the best thing to say was 'At least you wont have to bury her bald.'

I lost it. I full on lost it. I was a shouting, arms flailing, finger pointing mess.
Sorry guys, but at that moment I saw red.

Cast me into EHell!
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Nellop on January 17, 2011, 07:11:15 PM
Oh yeah - and cast 'K' down here with me.
She's not the innocent party!
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Really? on January 17, 2011, 07:15:06 PM
Hi Nellop,

Seriously it sounds like you held it as long as you can. My sympathies.

Onlyme
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: gramma dishes on January 17, 2011, 07:20:26 PM
Well, Ehell residency is kind of like Monopoly.  There's this "Get Out of Hell" card and I think you just drew that one, so you're free.  Go home. 

Sometimes words just escape and sometimes it's okay.  This would be one of those times where you weren't angry for yourself, but for a friend and that softens the 'rudeness' of it considerably.

And if I were your friend, the one whose Mother is dying, I'd kiss you on the cheek and give you chocolate.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Yvaine on January 17, 2011, 07:21:28 PM
 :o Wow, sounds like K is an all-purpose insensitive female dog. Pod gramma dishes.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 17, 2011, 08:24:45 PM
What a- *claps hand over mouth*.   Well I can't blame you at all, Nellop, for losing it, as I know I would have gone beserk too.  K sounds like a female dog and something tells me she might be working on alienating herself from the rest of the group too, with that behavior.

So one consolation I guess is you're not alone in being a target for her rudeness.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Darcy on January 18, 2011, 06:27:57 AM
(((hugs))) all around.  I think you can be excused for your rudeness considering the circumstances.  I really wouldn't even consider it rudeness, with what K said.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: missmolly on January 18, 2011, 06:37:25 AM
Nellop, I can't cast you in the fires of e-hell because in your shoes, I know my patience would have run out long before yours did.

Ideally K would be swiftly ejected from your circle of friends, but if others insist on having her around, then they ought to have a few terse words with her. I'd say that she'll probably scoff away anything you or O say.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Shotochick on January 18, 2011, 07:15:26 AM
Nope - no fires....ok, it wasnt the best reaction, but maybe its the only one that will sink in with her.

That said - how did she react? How did the other people react? Juicy gossipy bits please!!

PS: I am sorry your ex was such a jerk to you...there is a special spot in a warm place reserved just for people like him. May you live a long and happy life just to spite him :)
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Poirot on January 18, 2011, 09:14:23 AM
((((Nellop)))) A quick trip to the fires for you with swift release for good behavior. K however, gets a long sentance for insensitivity and petty meanness. I POD everyone who said your reaction is totally understandable under the circumstances. My thoughts and prayers for O and O's mom as well.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Nellop on January 18, 2011, 12:31:16 PM
I was at 'O's house today. She's doing good and we had a lovely chat. I am loving getting to hang out with her. Eeeeee ^_^

We were discussing K at length (I say discussing, we were leaning more towards the female dog - ing).
There is a definite divide in our friendship group, between those who will no longer put up with K, and those who really like her and wont see what she is like.
Alas, the ones who like K stick up for her, and while its good to know that I have fiercely loyal friends, I can't help but feel that their loyalty is misdirected. These friends are also ones who are still at university or travelling and don't see K that often. She is very nicey nicey to those people too.

Juicy gossip bits for Shotochick - after I had stopped the shouting (even I need to breathe sometimes) K looked VERY shocked and tried to tell me it was a joke. I suggested a place for her to shove her jokes, and stomped off with O. O was shocked too, but she was pleased that someone had finally said something, because K is a digger, and she'd been making digs at people for some time.
The other people are a mixed bag of those who do not want to get involved, and those who have congratulated me on my brief descent into EHell.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Nellop on January 18, 2011, 12:32:25 PM
Ok - so this is off topic but I LOVE the people here. You give me warm fuzzies. I adore polite people with a burning passion.
J'adore EHellions ^_^
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Animala on January 18, 2011, 12:39:28 PM
Oh that good old "I was just joking" line that gives her the ability to say anything or hurt anyone 'cause it's all just a joke.  ::)
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Shoo on January 18, 2011, 01:06:52 PM
I'm one who believes there is a time and a place for polite, and then there's a time and place for telling it like it is.  I don't know where that belief falls etiquettely, but I'd like to believe that etiquette allows for really awful people to be told off when it's necessary.  I haven't read such a rule, but maybe there should be one.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Deetee on January 18, 2011, 01:19:28 PM
Alas, the ones who like K stick up for her, and while its good to know that I have fiercely loyal friends, I can't help but feel that their loyalty is misdirected. These friends are also ones who are still at university or travelling and don't see K that often. She is very nicey nicey to those people too.


In your friends defence, it sounds like they haven't observed her in action and rarely see her, so I wouldn't call that full on blind loyalty. Just they haven't seen her yet loyalty.

Feel free to refuse to socialise with her. Sounds like some people would be happy with that. Maybe not the full cut direct but an apologetic "I really don't have anything to say to you, sorry but I have to go floss my plants."
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: missmolly on January 18, 2011, 04:11:39 PM
Oh that good old "I was just joking" line that gives her the ability to say anything or hurt anyone 'cause it's all just a joke.  ::)

My cousin's response to one of these protestations was: "Perhaps you should leave comedy to the professionals then, because your idea of a joke is my idea of an insult".
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: iradney on January 19, 2011, 01:43:48 AM
Oh that good old "I was just joking" line that gives her the ability to say anything or hurt anyone 'cause it's all just a joke.  ::)

Ugh, people like that really grate my carrot!

Nellop, I have to applaud you on your restraint with K. TTO lost his mother end of '09 to cancer, and if someone had said what she had said, I strongly suspect that I would have slapped them.

I'm also keeping O in my thoughts, FWIW.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: sammycat on January 19, 2011, 03:17:09 AM
I'm one who believes there is a time and a place for polite, and then there's a time and place for telling it like it is.  I don't know where that belief falls etiquettely, but I'd like to believe that etiquette allows for really awful people to be told off when it's necessary.  I haven't read such a rule, but maybe there should be one.

I'm another who thinks this.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: Otterpop on January 20, 2011, 07:12:30 PM
I agree too.  K should have been told-off in front of everybody.  Comments like that are unforgivable and "I'm joking" doesn't make up for it.  The outburst may divide the groups loyalties (most narcissists have their followers) but at least you'll know who is worth keeping as a friend.  Thank you for standing up for O and hugs to you for your broken engagement.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: toontownnutter on January 24, 2011, 05:36:01 AM
Oh that good old "I was just joking" line that gives her the ability to say anything or hurt anyone 'cause it's all just a joke.  ::)
It's not a joke if nobody laughs at it.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: DragonKitty on January 25, 2011, 02:03:04 PM
I'm sorry that happened to you and your friend.

But I'm not quite going to give you a free pass, I'm going to give you 'homework'.  Work on things to say to her again if you see her, and practice saying it politely (coldly polite is fine).

Feel free to refuse to socialise with her. Sounds like some people would be happy with that. Maybe not the full cut direct but an apologetic "I really don't have anything to say to you, sorry but I have to go floss my plants."

What DeeTee suggests is good, or other things similar.  But you will need to practice them, either to a mirror, or to a friend, so that when you are confronted with 'K', then it will come out smoothly, and you won't have to fumble to remember what you were going to say.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: aventurine on January 28, 2011, 04:42:34 AM
I'm sorry that happened to you and your friend.

But I'm not quite going to give you a free pass, I'm going to give you 'homework'.  Work on things to say to her again if you see her, and practice saying it politely (coldly polite is fine).

Feel free to refuse to socialise with her. Sounds like some people would be happy with that. Maybe not the full cut direct but an apologetic "I really don't have anything to say to you, sorry but I have to go floss my plants."

What DeeTee suggests is good, or other things similar.  But you will need to practice them, either to a mirror, or to a friend, so that when you are confronted with 'K', then it will come out smoothly, and you won't have to fumble to remember what you were going to say.

I agree that this is the way to go now, but I believe, unfortunately, the outburst had to happen in order for this technique to be at all effective.  K ignored clear avoidance signs in the past, and she sounds so obtuse (or drama-queenly) that even this approach might not have worked with her.

Actually, let me make one little adjustment to the above.  Scratch "apologetic."  Nellop, you have no reason to be deferential to this person.  She most certainly isn't respectful of your feelings, and her "joke" (ugh) at O's mother's expense shows that she considers any and everyone fair game.  I'd go with "cold."  Leave no doubt that you have no intention of socializing with her.  Some people need a studded clue-by-four.
Title: Re: Staying silent not working - but don't know what to say!
Post by: magician5 on January 29, 2011, 03:06:11 PM
"I'm sure you'll get better advice from someone who has not only planned a wedding and selected vendors, as I did, but who has completed the process and seen the final results, and who can tell you which ones worked out to her satisfaction."