Author Topic: I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?  (Read 10491 times)

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Iris

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I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?
« on: April 19, 2012, 01:11:56 AM »
Maybe I should post this in the "Small Hugs" folder, since I think I already know the answer, but perhaps someone can help.

The problem is, I really really don't enjoy spending time with my bff's life partner. He is rude, obnoxious, and patronising, and particularly towards me. If I express an opinion he will enquire into the minutiae of it in a very superior manner, to the point where I feel like I'm undergoing the third degree and then make a dismissive remark. If I make a joke he will counter it with a serious explanation of how what I have just said is really not all that clever at all. I can't even tell if he is deliberately being rude or if he just is genuinely very very serious all the time.

So far I have dealt with this using the e-hell approved methods of a) minimising contact with him and just socialising with my friend without him and b) loads and loads and loads of bean dip, ably assisted by DH and other friends. However, even with the minimised contact I am worried that I will one day (soon) call him on his behaviour, because I feel that he is using my good manners and the social graces of others to get away with rudeness. That is, he knows that WE won't ruin someone else's dinner party or upset my bff by confronting him so sees it as a free pass to borderline insolence. I haven't discussed this with anyone other than DH because I feel as though that would be disloyal to bff but from stray remarks I am sure that others in our circle find him as difficult to deal with.

So, my question is this, given that I have minimised contact as far as possible is there anything else I can do? I have hesitiated even to use the Icy Glare of Death because it might cause discomfort to others, especially bff, plus I'm not sure if this is rudeness or social cluelessness. Has anyone else been through this? Any advice on how to deal?
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Fleur-de-Lis

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Re: I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 01:23:08 AM »
It sounds like manipulative rudeness worthy of a cut direct. The only real solution I can see is to see your BFF only in circumstances where the "couple as a social unit" rule does not apply and say that you enjoy time with BFF, but you and life partner just don't get on and you would rather spend your time truly enjoying time with BFF rather than feeling on edge with BFF's life partner.
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WillyNilly

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Re: I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 08:59:52 AM »
I say fall on your sword. Plan an event and hope for the best but be ok with the worst and just straight up call him out and (politely, calmly but firmly) put him in his place. Stop letting him hide behind everyone's fear of ruining the party.

After that either he will improve or your feelings will be clear and cutting him out will be easier.

O'Dell

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Re: I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2012, 01:01:26 PM »
There is nothing wrong with the Icy Glare of Death in this situation. If someone is crossing a line like he is, there is nothing rude about it. And he's already making people uncomfortable, so that shouldn't be a concern.

Next time he starts up, give him silence and the Icy Glare. Pause. Then excuse yourself and walk away or turn to another guest and apply bean dip. Don't bother with bean dipping him.

BTW, you and the other guests reacting to this guy's bad behavior would not be what ruined a dinner party. His bad behavior is at fault.

Anyone else a Mad Men fan? I'm really liking Joan's version of this---cold but more disengaged than anything. It's not quite a full on Icy Glare. I see it as totally dismissing the person. Might be a good one to try with this goober.
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BeagleMommy

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Re: I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2012, 03:56:58 PM »
The next time he becomes insolent, try "Why are you speaking that way to me?" said calmly but reproachfully.  Put him on the spot for his behavior.

Shoo

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Re: I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2012, 04:37:46 PM »
This is your best friend in the world, right?  If I were you, I'd have a heart-to-heart talk with her and tell her that you love her to pieces, but you simply cannot be around her boyfriend anymore and WHY.  She may not be excited to hear this, but I think you owe it to her to be honest.  And then give the jerk the cut direct.  If she chooses to stay with him, there's not much you can do about it.  But your honesty will give her something to chew on and maybe she'll figure out that he's costing her valuable friendships and dump him.

Mental Magpie

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Re: I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 06:43:59 PM »
Plane out ignore him.  He starts grilling you?  Pretend like he didn't say a thing and keep going or ask for someone else's opinion on the matter.  From his personality, it seems like he'd be the type to get so frustrated with you not playing his game that he'd try to call you out on it.  That's when you answer his question truthfully and calmly.

"Why didn't you answer my question?!"
"Because every time I do, you give me the third degree and I'm just not up for it tonight."

If he belittles a joke you've made.

"Yes, Life Partner, but it's called a joke for a reason.  It isn't meant to be broken down but rather to be taken a face value."  Then pass the bean dip to someone else.
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Iris

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Re: I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2012, 07:05:13 PM »
Thanks, guys. As I said contact is at a minimum already (I think bff realises we 'don't click') so I think I will have to start beimg a bit more direct.

Part of it too is that because he aggravates me, things that I would normally shrug off irritate me. I'm aware of this and it makes me hesitate to confront him in case it is over something that would normally not bother me. At this point I am at the "dissection" stage, where I will leave the gathering and discuss an incident with DH, questioning myself over "Was this rude?" "Would it bother me normally?" "Would it bother me coming from another person?"

The answers to these questions is so frequently "yes" that I decided it was time to ask you guys :) It's weird. Bff is a genuinely lovely person who is almost universally popular, but no-one in our circle has ever liked any of her boyfriends...
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NyaChan

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Re: I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2012, 07:07:41 PM »
This is your best friend in the world, right?  If I were you, I'd have a heart-to-heart talk with her and tell her that you love her to pieces, but you simply cannot be around her boyfriend anymore and WHY.  She may not be excited to hear this, but I think you owe it to her to be honest.  And then give the jerk the cut direct.  If she chooses to stay with him, there's not much you can do about it.  But your honesty will give her something to chew on and maybe she'll figure out that he's costing her valuable friendships and dump him.

Saw your update, but thought I'd put my 2 cents in anyways :)

I'm with Shoo on this one.  This isn't a small thing that won't affect your relationship with her if you keep quiet, but might hurt her feelings if you tell - not telling is going to drive a wedge between you anyways because this guy is going to either push you over the edge or you'll start having to avoid her to keep that from happening.  If this is your BFF, how is she not noticing how he treats you?  How have you gone this long without discussing what her SO is like?  When we date people, my friends and I usually talk about that stuff.  My BFF had no problem saying that she was sure there were things that made him more attractive to me as his date, but as just an acquaintance of his, she found a guy I was seeing to be arrogant.  I understood that this was her being my friend and being honest, and not her trying to upset me.

Iris

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Re: I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2012, 11:03:43 PM »
This is your best friend in the world, right?  If I were you, I'd have a heart-to-heart talk with her and tell her that you love her to pieces, but you simply cannot be around her boyfriend anymore and WHY.  She may not be excited to hear this, but I think you owe it to her to be honest.  And then give the jerk the cut direct.  If she chooses to stay with him, there's not much you can do about it.  But your honesty will give her something to chew on and maybe she'll figure out that he's costing her valuable friendships and dump him.

Saw your update, but thought I'd put my 2 cents in anyways :)

I'm with Shoo on this one.  This isn't a small thing that won't affect your relationship with her if you keep quiet, but might hurt her feelings if you tell - not telling is going to drive a wedge between you anyways because this guy is going to either push you over the edge or you'll start having to avoid her to keep that from happening.  If this is your BFF, how is she not noticing how he treats you?  How have you gone this long without discussing what her SO is like?  When we date people, my friends and I usually talk about that stuff.  My BFF had no problem saying that she was sure there were things that made him more attractive to me as his date, but as just an acquaintance of his, she found a guy I was seeing to be arrogant.  I understood that this was her being my friend and being honest, and not her trying to upset me.

To keep a long story as short as possible, I was living a long way away when they were building their relationship. Through phone contact etc I did make it clear that I didn't like the sound of this new guy, but it was based on his reported treatment of HER without any personal feeling involved at all. By the time I moved back close enough she felt that she had worked through their issues (I don't think he's improved as much as she thinks, but that's another story) and the relationship was too far progressed for me to be stating personal likes/dislikes - as in, they have a child together and live together, so waaaaaay too late for "Are you sure he's the right one? Seems kind of a jerk to me."

So she knows that I don't entirely approve of him, but she also knows that I won't be getting in her face about it and am just there to support her when she needs it. And to be honest, the fact that I think he's a jerk to HER far overshadows that I think he's a jerk to me, which is probably why I've let this get this far and have never put a personal slant on it with her.

Actually now that I type it out, that is probably the main reason I have neglected to act on this earlier. She is one of those friends that you can discuss anything with with perfect trust - when DH and I were struggling with a few things she was literally the only person that I spoke honestly about it to, knowing that it would never, ever go any further and also I could trust her not to let it affect her behaviour towards DH, making it socially awkward when we sorted things out. Maybe I just feel that I need to do the same thing for her - be the safe person that she can say things to without it causing complications elsewhere. And she can, I just have to work out how to not translate that into letting him be rude to ME.

Thanks for asking that question! Sorry for the looooong reply, but it's really helped me sort out some things in my head.
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Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

ttaylor

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Re: I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2012, 09:49:29 PM »
Maybe I should post this in the "Small Hugs" folder, since I think I already know the answer, but perhaps someone can help.

The problem is, I really really don't enjoy spending time with my bff's life partner. He is rude, obnoxious, and patronising, and particularly towards me. If I express an opinion he will enquire into the minutiae of it in a very superior manner, to the point where I feel like I'm undergoing the third degree and then make a dismissive remark. If I make a joke he will counter it with a serious explanation of how what I have just said is really not all that clever at all. I can't even tell if he is deliberately being rude or if he just is genuinely very very serious all the time.

So far I have dealt with this using the e-hell approved methods of a) minimising contact with him and just socialising with my friend without him and b) loads and loads and loads of bean dip, ably assisted by DH and other friends. However, even with the minimised contact I am worried that I will one day (soon) call him on his behaviour, because I feel that he is using my good manners and the social graces of others to get away with rudeness. That is, he knows that WE won't ruin someone else's dinner party or upset my bff by confronting him so sees it as a free pass to borderline insolence. I haven't discussed this with anyone other than DH because I feel as though that would be disloyal to bff but from stray remarks I am sure that others in our circle find him as difficult to deal with.

So, my question is this, given that I have minimised contact as far as possible is there anything else I can do? I have hesitiated even to use the Icy Glare of Death because it might cause discomfort to others, especially bff, plus I'm not sure if this is rudeness or social cluelessness. Has anyone else been through this? Any advice on how to deal?

My personal favorites: Startled look, "what do you mean by that?" *long awkward pause, putting them on the spot* and after dissecting a joke, serious face, "it was a joke, relax" *go on talking to someone else*. It puts the focus back on them, but not in a good way. If they take things to extremes, sometimes a simple but polite (and a tad condescending) "oh my...." followed by complete shock and silence can also do the trick. When used properly in front of others, the offending person usually dials it way back when they realize everyone else in the room is aware of their rudeness too.

Oh Joy

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Re: I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2012, 08:52:05 AM »
Hugs to you for being 'that person' to your friend and wanting to continue to model grace.

I suggest more direct redirection to BFF's BF  ;) , delivered with a calm smile and a light tone.  'This is just a social conversation...we're not sitting for our board exams.'  'Humor is like a hotdog...hard to enjoy if you think too hard about it.'  Then serve your beandip or put the conversation back on track by throwing the ball to someone else about the original point.

Best wishes.

Redsoil

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Re: I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2012, 09:26:00 AM »
Would it be worth saying "No doubt about it, you're a funny bloke".  (Said in a slightly quizzical way.) Then walk away if possible.  Otherwise, engage someone else in conversation straight away.

If he continues in the face of this, simply say straight out "You always seem a little intense about things, and I'd rather just enjoy light conversation at social gatherings."
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SamiHami

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Re: I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2012, 10:13:01 AM »
This is your best friend in the world, right?  If I were you, I'd have a heart-to-heart talk with her and tell her that you love her to pieces, but you simply cannot be around her boyfriend anymore and WHY.  She may not be excited to hear this, but I think you owe it to her to be honest.  And then give the jerk the cut direct.  If she chooses to stay with him, there's not much you can do about it.  But your honesty will give her something to chew on and maybe she'll figure out that he's costing her valuable friendships and dump him.

Yup. What Shoo said. ^

I had to do the same thing with one of my BFF's. I've known her since the first day of sixth grade, we are now approaching 50. I absolutely, completely, entirely despise her husband and for very good reasons. He is the main reason she and I stopped talking for several years. When we did decide to pick back up on our friendship I laid it out plainly-I told her I loved her, but I wanted no part of him. If she was okay with that as a condition of our friendship then I'd love to start spending time with her again. She agreed and it's not an issue for us anymore.

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Iris

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Re: I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2012, 07:48:50 PM »
Wow! Didn't think I'd be getting replies after all this time  :)

It's all become a bit of a moot point, actually. I think my bff has a pretty good handle on the situation because I just haven't seen him at all since I asked. I've socialised with bff a few times and we have just made it her-only things without me saying anything. Even when I invited her to my house and my whole family were there she came by herself with her DD without me saying a word. She seemed quite happy to do it that way regardless so it seems to have resolved itself quite well.

I suspect there is a good chance that he doesn't enjoy my company either  ;D Fine by me.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.