Author Topic: How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?  (Read 5865 times)

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Carpathia

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How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?
« on: December 18, 2012, 06:52:42 PM »
DH and I don't really have any friends who are clearly 'DH's friend' or 'Carpathia's friend', we are friends with other people as a couple and events such as birthdays have pretty much the same guest list no matter which person the party is for.

I hope that makes sense - basically there aren't any people who would be invited to DH's birthday outing but not to mine.

However, DH has recently got back in touch with an old friend from school, Steve, and to be blunt, I don't like him. I accepted a friend request on Facebook just to be polite but the sorts of things he posts really irritate me - it's hard to explain and DH wouldn't really get why I object but comments like 'X really irritated me, I must be on my period' and others which are sexist and derogatory towards women but which aren't overtly so. I don't think I've really explained that very well, sorry. The thing that made me realise I don't like him was at a party we went to and he made a racist comment. He also peppers his words and Facebook posts with swear words including the C word which I really hate. DH would probably see it as me being 'uppity' or 'snobby'.

I suspect that if my birthday involves having people over to our house for a party or going out anywhere, Steve and his girlfriend will be invited as DH will probably do the arranging. How do I say politely that I don't want Steve there without coming across as snobby?
Separately, do I have a leg to stand on if we host a New Year's Eve party and I don't want to invite Steve? After all, he is DH's friend.

MrsCrazyPete

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Re: How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2012, 07:11:45 PM »
Hmm. Have you actually hung out with Steve or just been in touch on Facebook? Your DH may see the behavior you're describing as offensive (which it is!), if he sees it firsthand. Would you be able to arrange an outing or a dinner with you and your DH, Steve and his girlfriend and another couple who you're both friends with? Maybe if the other couple sees his behavior for what it is, they could say something to your DH about it.

As far as New Years Eve goes, I would suck it up and invite him. You'll have other people there to talk to. For your birthday however, I would put my foot down and say you don't want Steve invited. If your DH thinks that's "uppity", so be it. I'd rather be thought of as uppity than spend my birthday with someone I actively dislike.
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LeveeWoman

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Re: How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2012, 07:13:04 PM »
DH and I don't really have any friends who are clearly 'DH's friend' or 'Carpathia's friend', we are friends with other people as a couple and events such as birthdays have pretty much the same guest list no matter which person the party is for.

I hope that makes sense - basically there aren't any people who would be invited to DH's birthday outing but not to mine.

However, DH has recently got back in touch with an old friend from school, Steve, and to be blunt, I don't like him. I accepted a friend request on Facebook just to be polite but the sorts of things he posts really irritate me - it's hard to explain and DH wouldn't really get why I object but comments like 'X really irritated me, I must be on my period' and others which are sexist and derogatory towards women but which aren't overtly so. I don't think I've really explained that very well, sorry. The thing that made me realise I don't like him was at a party we went to and he made a racist comment. He also peppers his words and Facebook posts with swear words including the C word which I really hate. DH would probably see it as me being 'uppity' or 'snobby'.

I suspect that if my birthday involves having people over to our house for a party or going out anywhere, Steve and his girlfriend will be invited as DH will probably do the arranging. How do I say politely that I don't want Steve there without coming across as snobby?
Separately, do I have a leg to stand on if we host a New Year's Eve party and I don't want to invite Steve? After all, he is DH's friend.

If my husband couldn't understan why I don't want to be around such a creep, he'd be sleeping on the couch until he figured out.

There is nothing snobby or uppity about not wanting to associate with a vile misogynist and racist.

jane7166

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Re: How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2012, 07:19:05 PM »
I don't think it's snobby to be insulted by racism or misogyny. 

You might want to use Steve to start the tradition of DH friends and Carpathia friends.  Tell DH you are tired of Steve's usage of the C word and other nasty descriptions of other people and say you want to enjoy your birthday, and hence, Steve is NOT invited to participate. 

If DH wishes to see Steve on his own time, he is welcome to do it.  It's not unusual for married couples to have separate friends and buddy nights / girlfriend nights.

New Year's Eve:  a bit more difficult.  If DH wants Steve there, you can always stay away from him and walk away from him when he acts inappropriate.  You aren't responsible for his behavior and you walk away from it. 

Piratelvr1121

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Re: How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2012, 07:41:20 PM »
DH and I don't really have any friends who are clearly 'DH's friend' or 'Carpathia's friend', we are friends with other people as a couple and events such as birthdays have pretty much the same guest list no matter which person the party is for.

I hope that makes sense - basically there aren't any people who would be invited to DH's birthday outing but not to mine.

However, DH has recently got back in touch with an old friend from school, Steve, and to be blunt, I don't like him. I accepted a friend request on Facebook just to be polite but the sorts of things he posts really irritate me - it's hard to explain and DH wouldn't really get why I object but comments like 'X really irritated me, I must be on my period' and others which are sexist and derogatory towards women but which aren't overtly so. I don't think I've really explained that very well, sorry. The thing that made me realise I don't like him was at a party we went to and he made a racist comment. He also peppers his words and Facebook posts with swear words including the C word which I really hate. DH would probably see it as me being 'uppity' or 'snobby'.

I suspect that if my birthday involves having people over to our house for a party or going out anywhere, Steve and his girlfriend will be invited as DH will probably do the arranging. How do I say politely that I don't want Steve there without coming across as snobby?
Separately, do I have a leg to stand on if we host a New Year's Eve party and I don't want to invite Steve? After all, he is DH's friend.

If my husband couldn't understan why I don't want to be around such a creep, he'd be sleeping on the couch until he figured out.

There is nothing snobby or uppity about not wanting to associate with a vile misogynist and racist.

POD.  DH was friends with a guy who was a misogynist and a racist but not overtly so and didn't use the C word but he tended to speak very condescendingly towards women.  Like he was talking to a slow child at times.   He'd tell racist jokes ("What does Pontiac stand for?") and homophobic jokes as well that I didn't laugh at and neither did DH.  I know DH didn't like that about the guy but he was DH's only golf and chess buddy. 

DH finally cut off the guy and his wife 2 years ago, so no more dealing with them! LOL!
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

LeveeWoman

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Re: How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2012, 07:52:25 PM »
DH and I don't really have any friends who are clearly 'DH's friend' or 'Carpathia's friend', we are friends with other people as a couple and events such as birthdays have pretty much the same guest list no matter which person the party is for.

I hope that makes sense - basically there aren't any people who would be invited to DH's birthday outing but not to mine.

However, DH has recently got back in touch with an old friend from school, Steve, and to be blunt, I don't like him. I accepted a friend request on Facebook just to be polite but the sorts of things he posts really irritate me - it's hard to explain and DH wouldn't really get why I object but comments like 'X really irritated me, I must be on my period' and others which are sexist and derogatory towards women but which aren't overtly so. I don't think I've really explained that very well, sorry. The thing that made me realise I don't like him was at a party we went to and he made a racist comment. He also peppers his words and Facebook posts with swear words including the C word which I really hate. DH would probably see it as me being 'uppity' or 'snobby'.

I suspect that if my birthday involves having people over to our house for a party or going out anywhere, Steve and his girlfriend will be invited as DH will probably do the arranging. How do I say politely that I don't want Steve there without coming across as snobby?
Separately, do I have a leg to stand on if we host a New Year's Eve party and I don't want to invite Steve? After all, he is DH's friend.

If my husband couldn't understan why I don't want to be around such a creep, he'd be sleeping on the couch until he figured out.

There is nothing snobby or uppity about not wanting to associate with a vile misogynist and racist.

POD.  DH was friends with a guy who was a misogynist and a racist but not overtly so and didn't use the C word but he tended to speak very condescendingly towards women.  Like he was talking to a slow child at times.   He'd tell racist jokes ("What does Pontiac stand for?") and homophobic jokes as well that I didn't laugh at and neither did DH.  I know DH didn't like that about the guy but he was DH's only golf and chess buddy. 

DH finally cut off the guy and his wife 2 years ago, so no more dealing with them! LOL!

I will never, ever associate with someone like that. The world is ugly enough without inviting more ugliness into my life.

WillyNilly

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Re: How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2012, 08:33:47 PM »
I think for your birthday you can just speak to your DH casually "oh hey by the way, if we do anything for my birthday, could you leave Steve off the guest list?  I know he's an old friend of yours, but I don't really know him as well and well, you know its my birthday..." You can go on to say what you do know you don't like, but I don't really think its necessary.

As for New Year's, if its a group of 8-10 or more people, I think just don't say anything about Steve and just spend time with others on the group and not him. Its possible as time carrys on either others in your group will also show a dislike of Steve, or perhaps your DH will even remember why he stopped hanging out with him to begin with. Either way its kind of last minute to ditch someone for New Year's - you have plenty of time to disengage from being friends with Steve.

LeveeWoman

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Re: How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2012, 09:46:28 PM »
Why should anyone wait for the pressure of the group to exclude a rank misogynist and racist?

This is Carpathia's home. Is there some etiquette rule of which I'm unaware that dictates a woman should be quiet about a base individual being invited by her husband?


CaptainObvious

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Re: How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2012, 09:59:37 PM »
DH and I don't really have any friends who are clearly 'DH's friend' or 'Carpathia's friend', we are friends with other people as a couple and events such as birthdays have pretty much the same guest list no matter which person the party is for.

I hope that makes sense - basically there aren't any people who would be invited to DH's birthday outing but not to mine.

However, DH has recently got back in touch with an old friend from school, Steve, and to be blunt, I don't like him. I accepted a friend request on Facebook just to be polite but the sorts of things he posts really irritate me - it's hard to explain and DH wouldn't really get why I object but comments like 'X really irritated me, I must be on my period' and others which are sexist and derogatory towards women but which aren't overtly so. I don't think I've really explained that very well, sorry. The thing that made me realise I don't like him was at a party we went to and he made a racist comment. He also peppers his words and Facebook posts with swear words including the C word which I really hate. DH would probably see it as me being 'uppity' or 'snobby'.

I suspect that if my birthday involves having people over to our house for a party or going out anywhere, Steve and his girlfriend will be invited as DH will probably do the arranging. How do I say politely that I don't want Steve there without coming across as snobby?
Separately, do I have a leg to stand on if we host a New Year's Eve party and I don't want to invite Steve? After all, he is DH's friend.

This is your Husband, just tell him the truth. Etiquette doesn't apply in personal relationships, especially a marriage!

gmatoy

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Re: How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2012, 10:04:23 PM »
The thing that made me realise I don't like him was at a party we went to and he made a racist comment. He also peppers his words and Facebook posts with swear words including the C word which I really hate. DH would probably see it as me being 'uppity' or 'snobby'.

These would be my "hills to die on." Any man who doesn't understand that the C word is beyond the pale needs a clue-by-four. Any one who uses racist language is beyond a clue-by-four. I wouldn't want my other friends to think that I was the type of person who would use racist language. And, as my mama says, "Birds of a feather flock together."

Surianne

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Re: How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2012, 10:18:15 PM »
I think for your birthday you can just speak to your DH casually "oh hey by the way, if we do anything for my birthday, could you leave Steve off the guest list?  I know he's an old friend of yours, but I don't really know him as well and well, you know its my birthday..." You can go on to say what you do know you don't like, but I don't really think its necessary.

As for New Year's, if its a group of 8-10 or more people, I think just don't say anything about Steve and just spend time with others on the group and not him. Its possible as time carrys on either others in your group will also show a dislike of Steve, or perhaps your DH will even remember why he stopped hanging out with him to begin with. Either way its kind of last minute to ditch someone for New Year's - you have plenty of time to disengage from being friends with Steve.

I think this is a good way to handle it.  If it's your event, you can let your DH know that Steve isn't someone whose company you enjoy.  For the bigger New Year's group, try to spend time with other people.

It's a tricky thing, I agree.  It sounds like he doesn't actually go around insulting people, and has never insulted you -- he just uses language you don't like, which doesn't make him an intrinsically bad person, just not your type of person, so it's a little harder.  Swearing doesn't automatically make someone wrong/bad.  For example, I use the C-word myself, and make period jokes, and I'm a woman -- so really only the racist joke would stand out here to me, and even then only if it happened more than once (I'll usually forgive someone a single foot-in-the-mouth poor taste joke if they don't behave in a racist manner otherwise).  So I can see how you and your DH would really differ on whether or not he's a good/bad guy. 

So post-New Year's, if you can make it about how *you* want your birthday to be celebrated, and the friends you want there, rather than saying something negative about Steve, it might come across better to your husband. 

Deetee

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Re: How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2012, 12:14:26 AM »
This is your husband. Standard etiquette doesn't apply.

If it were me, I know my husband is a good guy, but sometimes does not get nuance. So if something like this was bothering me, I would first draw his attention to it using specifics. "I can't believe Friend made that period comment. That is so dismissive of my opinion. I was angry because that's not fair, and to suggest it's hormonal is ridiculous" or "Friend's feed is full of profantity. And really not nice words"  or "I just deleted Friend's comment on my feed. He used a racist slur".

First my husband would defend him (well, not in the OP's case because I can't imagine that he would put up with the C word etc.. 5 seconds longer than I would, but I'm imagining another scenario) . Then I would wait about a week and ask him again and by then he would start to recognise what is being said and would likely drop him on his own or at least recognise that the guy could not be around me.

In the actual examples you gave, I would be too busy going nuclear to worry about bringing my husband on board though.

JoyinVirginia

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Re: How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2012, 02:41:33 AM »
Just quietly defriend him on Facebook. If you don't feel you can do that, them block his updates and block him from seeing your updates.
Just tell your dh, you don't want to associate with him, tell him to get together with his friend some other time. I also think you can conveniently forget to invite friend.

Danika

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Re: How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2012, 02:58:14 AM »
I definitely would put my foot down about my own birthday party.

And I would probably do the same for New Years, simply because if you find Steve offensive to be around, your friends might too. And they might not have fun at your party. Why have a bunch of guests over if some of them are going to get offended by Steve and have a bad evening?

My DH had an acquaintance that he met and he invited him to our 4th of July party one year. He seemed really cool and I liked him. He was talkative and friendly. The next year, we invited him again. But this time, I found him to be really dismissive of my feelings, requests and rules in my own house. He blatantly disregarded things I told him and was being dangerous (for example, lighting fireworks in our garage right next to my classic car which has a bad valve and emits gasoline fumes).

DH and I were planning to have another 4th of July party the next year and I told DH several months in advance that I was not ok with that guest blatantly endangering us all, our cars and our house, especially after I specifically told him to stop and he disregarded me. So we planned not to invite him.

Then, the guy sent my DH a text asking "Are you having a 4th of July party this year?" DH asked me what he should reply. I told him to reply "No." And I said "I was looking forward to the party. I was looking forward to having the neighbors over, and baking pies and starting the BBQ. But if this guy is invited, I will be dreading the party. And there is no point in going through all the work and hassle of cleaning the house, shopping for groceries, cooking and baking to have a party that you're dreading. So I will cancel. And then it will be the truth that there is no party." So DH told him we weren't having anything.

I think it's nice if one spouse endures a guest who isn't too bad, to please their spouse. But if one spouse is beyond merely bored and is actually uncomfortable in their own home and feels demeaned, by guests or relatives, then they should be able to nix that invitation and say they don't want to feel lousy in their own home. Home should be a safe, comfortable non-toxic place. And even if your DH doesn't understand that, or thinks you're snobby, prissy, whatever word he wants to insert, he should still respect your feelings. Like you would most likely respect his if the tables were turned.

ETA: changed to putting my foot down, because that's more effective than just putting your food down
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 05:00:40 PM by Danika »

Mr Wigglybones

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Re: How to politely tell someone you don't like their friend?
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2012, 05:22:15 AM »
Etiquette doesn't really need to be involved in this; he's your spouse. Just talk to him and tell him that you would rather not have this person invited to your birthday party.