Author Topic: Unwanted guest invited to gathering  (Read 22869 times)

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Texas Mom

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2013, 09:11:54 PM »
Any advice on the best way to handle this situation? 

Avoid her whenever possible.

When it's not possible to avoid her, be cooly polite and detached.


artk2002

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2013, 09:14:45 PM »
Understand this: She can only bully you if you let her. Unless she's physically pushing you around, all she has are words. Why let the words of this person control you? So what if she thinks that you are the most awful person in the world? Does that really have any impact beyond what you let it have? Embrace this fact: Not everybody in the world will like you. Somebody in the world will seriously dislike you. But let that be their problem.

Similar to advice in the work folder, give her monosyllabic answers. "Yes" and "no" are just fine. Don't explain anything -- avoid JADEing. The more you engage her, the more opportunity she has to twist what you say. Ignore her as much as you can.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

RooRoo

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2013, 09:19:10 PM »
Quote
...I answered saying I don't have time as I need to get my kids in bed.

For the future, don't give her any details about why you don't have time. Just say you don't have the time, and to any further questioning, give her the old E-Hell standard: "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

From there, make it a Toots special: whatever she comes up with, answer only "I'm afraid that won't be possible," with no details. Details just give them ways to get in: "because I'm having lunch with my mother" is rebutted with "Where are you going? I'll meet you there!" Or, "...because I have to get the laundry done" gets "I can come over and help!"

That's why "Don't JADE (Justify, Argue, Defend or Explain)" is now an E-Hell standard!

Hang in there, and keep on keeping this bully out of your life!
If you have an opinion about my life, raise your hand!
Now, put it over your mouth.

fnygrl

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2013, 09:20:39 PM »
Yes!  To what you both have said!  So true and one hundred percent helpful!  I'm going to print your words out and recite them to myself!

I really dislike the fact that I can be sitting in my home, minding my own business, and in comes a text from her.  It's almost like an invasion.

Thank you again for your very helpful advice!

fnygrl

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2013, 09:22:06 PM »
Quote
...I answered saying I don't have time as I need to get my kids in bed.

For the future, don't give her any details about why you don't have time. Just say you don't have the time, and to any further questioning, give her the old E-Hell standard: "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

From there, make it a Toots special: whatever she comes up with, answer only "I'm afraid that won't be possible," with no details. Details just give them ways to get in: "because I'm having lunch with my mother" is rebutted with "Where are you going? I'll meet you there!" Or, "...because I have to get the laundry done" gets "I can come over and help!"

That's why "Don't JADE (Justify, Argue, Defend or Explain)" is now an E-Hell standard!

Hang in there, and keep on keeping this bully out of your life!

Thank you, too, RooRoo!  Your reply came in while I was responding.  I'm writing down your advice, too!  I've got to burn it in my brain to make sure I remember and will not falter!

Danika

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2013, 09:31:42 PM »
... anytime she sees me, she (for whatever reason) feels the need to speak in an affected voice. (Like she will begin to speak with a British accent - we're American.)...

I'm tempted to ask if she's my old roommate from college. She was born and raised in New Jersey, but about two days a week, she spoke with a fake British accent, and another two days a week spoke with a Southern (U.S.) accent. It was so crazy that the only way I could handle it was to just laugh.

I have no advice for how to rid yourself of her. I have a few folks like her I need to shake loose, myself.

fnygrl

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2013, 09:42:22 PM »

I have no advice for how to rid yourself of her. I have a few folks like her I need to shake loose, myself.

I hope we can both find ways that are comfortable for us in getting these people out of our lives.  Please keep me posted!

My main concern is that Bully will see me outside and ask why I'm avoiding her or not talking to her (or whatever she can say) and there's no yes or no answer or way to dodge the question.  Or is there and I don't know what it is?

TootsNYC

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2013, 10:21:59 PM »
Be Teflon. Keep the conversation REALLY short. She gave you a cue you can use--you don't have time. She'll respect that. And, not having time ("I've just been pretty busy lately") is a low-drama way to dial down contact. "Sorry, I don't really have any time--I promised the kids/DH I'd help with something. Gotta go!"

So she says, "Are you avoiding me?" and you say, "I've just been pretty busy lately."
When she says, "But it seems like I see so much less of you!" you say, "I've just been pretty busy lately."
When she says, "But you act all stuck up," you say, "I've just been pretty busy lately."

Sound sort of puzzled but patient.

Remember this: You are NOT required to answer the question someone asked you. They don't get to determine what the topic of the conversation is; they can only suggest it.
   YOU get to decide what you will talk about, and YOU are only going to talk about the fact that you're pretty busy lately.

Also remember: You don't want to fix her--you don't have enough invested in her for it to be worth the effort.
(if it was your kid, your long-time friend, your sister--you might have a reason to say, "lately you just seem to always make snide remarks to me, and it hurts my feelings. So yes, I have been avoiding you, because it hasn't been pleasant to be around you lately.")

You just want her to go away. With minimal drama.

This is a perfect opportunity for the cut-and-paste technique.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 10:24:11 PM by TootsNYC »

rain

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2013, 11:06:34 PM »
I'm with Toots -

btw just because she texts you doesn't mean you have to answer ... at all.
"oh we thank thee lord for the things we need, like the wind and the rain and the apple seed"

Jeremy

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2013, 03:19:35 AM »
Fnygirl, let anything she says to you be like water off a duck's back.  So if she tries to hurt or annoy you, don't acknowledge it or let it sink in, just let it bounce off you.  Don't dwell on anything she says to you, because it's not important, it's just her being unpleasant.

Minmom3

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2013, 11:29:45 AM »
Yes!  To what you both have said!  So true and one hundred percent helpful!  I'm going to print your words out and recite them to myself!

I really dislike the fact that I can be sitting in my home, minding my own business, and in comes a text from her.  It's almost like an invasion.

Thank you again for your very helpful advice!

You could also try responding "No, I don't want to talk to you.  By!"  It usually surprises people to be firmly told that you don't WANT to be in contact with them.  If you can pull off telling them that in a calm tone of voice, so you aren't making excuses, you're just denying them their opening, that can be very helpful in derailing the endless cycle of give and take, or push and pull.  It really helps (or has for me the few times I've done it) dislodge the polite fiction that we're all friends to greater and lesser degree.
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

Mikayla

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2013, 12:41:11 PM »

My main concern is that Bully will see me outside and ask why I'm avoiding her or not talking to her (or whatever she can say) and there's no yes or no answer or way to dodge the question.  Or is there and I don't know what it is?

First, I would stop responding to all electronic communications from her, like texts and FB messages.  As others have said, they don't require a response and you don't owe her one.  She's using these as a cheap way to get inside your head.  In fact, I'd call it passive aggressive bullying.

On the above, based on what you've said, it doesn't sound like she would ask you directly. Bullies are cowards at heart, and it takes a little courage to ask this question.  Instead, I could see her saying something like "Wow, I haven't talked to you in ages."

I'm pretty direct, so my response would be (said with a smile):  "Yes, and that's how I prefer it."  If that doesn't work, just smile, say something generic like "I agree"...and walk away. 

If you really want no contact with her, you may have to up your game a little, so just pick whatever works without giving her ammunition, which is generally anything short and sweet.

Kaypeep

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2013, 01:02:27 PM »
POD.  Ignore the texts and FB messages.  I'd go so far as to remove her from your friends list on FB because she's going to use that to keep being "in" your life.  You can still be polite and say hello outside and be neighborly, but if she pushes for more just say "I like being neighbors with you, and I hope to remain neighborly with you.  But I'm afraid my life is such that it's not possible to be more than that and so I felt it best to just keep things on a neighbor level."

GrammarNerd

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2013, 02:57:56 PM »
I would still respond to her texts, but not respond to them promptly.  Because if you want to remain above reproach and avoid grounds for having a confrontation, then you probably have to keep up some premise of politeness.  If you don't respond at all, she could always confront you on it, and since you're not good with that, here we go with the bullying thing again.  However, if you respond a day or two later, then you can just say, "Didn't see this right away. Pretty busy lately...not a lot of free time." 

I had a situation with a family on our kids' summer sports team.  We liked them, we got along, etc.  Then I started hearing some things from several different people (reliable) that some not-kind things were being said about us behind our backs.  I didn't confront them, I didn't ignore them, but I dialed it waaaaaay back.  If I saw them during the summer sports events, I'd smile and say hi, but not really engage much past that except for a very light conversation here or there.  At the END of the summer, when I wouldn't see them anymore (haha), the mom FB messaged me and asked what was wrong; why wouldn't I talk to her?  (Yeah, if it bugged her, why didn't she say anything all summer?) I claimed ignorance and pointed out several times when I'd had (light) conversations with her or husband.  Never heard any more about it.  Basically, if she was spoiling for a fight, I didn't give it to her.  That was a few years ago, and I still don't talk to her much, but I have made comments about how big the kids are getting, etc. 

With FB, just hide her from your posts.  So it's not so blatant as defriending her, which could be grounds for her asking why you defriended her (another confrontation...ugh) but she just won't see anything you post.  You could let her see the occasional post, just to make it seem like you don't have everything blocked.  I do this with a family member who I don't want to know all of my FB business. 

So in summary, pull back, be clueless, but be pleasant so she never has a reason to come back at you for anything. And if she's the kind of bully who tries to turn others against you, then she won't have a leg to stand on if you're pleasant to her.  How can she complain about you being pleasant?   If you do end up around her and she makes a nasty comment, just give her the blank stare or ask her why she said what she said, or ask her if she can repeat it (practice that clueless look). 

And did she ever stop making comments about your car?

fnygrl

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2013, 09:02:21 PM »
As always - thank you all for your great responses.  You're really helping me to change how I handle things - even if it's just in my head. But I apparently still need a lot of work.

I haven't seen or heard from the bully in quite some time - except for tonight.  My husband, son, and I just came upstairs after playing a board game and I find three texts on my phone (which was left upstairs)  All three are from the bully.  She sent one message saying, "Hey do you have a minute?"  Twenty minutes later, she sends two more texts saying, "I'm sitting here trying to figure out what I did wrong?  I have a feeling you are mad at me for some reason....I hope you aren't.  I don't think I've done anything wrong.  If I did I would love to know what I did.  Give me a call when you get some time."

Yikes.  I don't even know what to say at this point in time - except that my anxiety level is through the roof.  Here is someone who is mean and nasty to me, talks badly about me to other neighbors and it gets back to me, and the list goes on - and now she's even sending bullying texts.  I have no idea what to do or say.  I know some have suggested to ignore texts, others have not.  Even if I did respond - I wouldn't know what to say.  I just want her to leave me alone.  If someone who I thought was my acquaintance/neighbor stopped talking to me, I'd probably wonder why - but would never confront them on it.  Especially in a text.
My husband, son, and I were outside earlier this evening talking to another neighbor, and the bully came home.  She's two houses away.  She didn't say anything to me, and I didn't say anything to her - I didn't even look in her direction.  (Who knows if she looked in mine)  Is that what sparked these texts?  This is ridiculous and I feel like I'm in eighth grade.  So childish.

Please- if any one could offer adivce, I would appreciate it.  I have no idea what to do.

PS - We technically haven't seen or talked to one another since September or so, so I don't know where this is all coming from on her end.  My head is reeling right now.  I hate that I give her this control over my head.  Ugh.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 09:14:25 PM by fnygrl »