Etiquette School is in session! > "Have you tried the bean dip?"

I'm TIRED of bean dipping - new technique?

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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?

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.

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.

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.

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.


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