Author Topic: Unwanted guest invited to gathering  (Read 20108 times)

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GrammarNerd

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #75 on: January 15, 2013, 10:08:29 AM »
Some posters have suggested telling her what's wrong or not to speak to you again. 

But I recommend not actually confronting her in any way, even to tell her to leave you alone, because she sounds like someone who would seize any hint of confrontation and escalate the drama to miserable levels.  "-Why- do you hate me?  What have I ever done to you?  What's wrong with you that you would ever say such a thing?  I'm the best neighbor ever!  I demand that you answer me!"  Especially because you are neighbors and will have to continue to see each other to some extent. 

I think your instincts about avoiding confrontation with her are correct; she could really make your life miserable if you allow her to make it into the actual fight she seems to want.

In your situation, I would just become like Teflon.  I might not even ignore her completely, but I would only respond every once in a while, very briefly and vaguely, in order to give her nothing she can seize on to cause drama with.  To the three texts she sent, I might wait a few days and then respond "No worries, my phone was charging." or something.  Don't respond to her demands, and don't give her any justification for continuing to demand answers from you.  Just slide free with vague responses about being busy, everything's fine, see you later.

She definitely sounds like a bully, and I hope that you can continue to wiggle out of her grasp until she gets bored and moves on to something else!  Good luck!

I'm going to go against the grain here and say yes, do respond to her texts, but just so she has a response.  Certainly don't justify or answer her 'why do you hate me?' questions.  (She's looking for ammunition or an argument with that tactic.)  Like I said before and the PP above says, you don't want to give her any ammunition against you.  If you don't answer her, then your silence could make her start to say nasty things like she has in the past, or worse yet, try to ramp up her efforts to talk to you to get ANY sort of response from you.  She could (and probably would) see it as a challenge. 

So I would fire off a quick text in response, possibly right before you leave the house sometime (in that awesome, envy-inducing new car!! haha).  Say, "Just saw your texts.  Things have been BUSY! Take care!"  That way, you're responding, and she can't whine about you to anyone else that you're ignoring her.  Then if you leave right after that, if she's watching (and I'd say there would be some probability that she could be watching you), you justified your claim of being busy. 

If she ever confronts you directly, just act clueless.  Practice it in front of the mirror.  She's spoiling for a fight.  Don't give it to her.  Don't give her ANY reasons.  I guarantee it: a cheery, clueless text back will bug her more in the long run than no response, especially b/c you've done nothing that she can gossip/whine about.  And in the long run, it will make you less of a target.  Clueless/pleasant means she's not getting to you, and I'm sure she'd HATE that.

TootsNYC

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #76 on: January 15, 2013, 10:29:58 AM »
Put me down w/ anonymousmac and GrammarNerd.

Wait. Then give her a noncommital response. And maybe even say, "I don't really text." And then block her texts.

Especially because you said the texts feel like an invasion, turn them off.

Also "hide" her feed on Facebook. And you can choose "hide this update from specific person" for YOUR posts--I *think* you can make it a default.

MrTango

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #77 on: January 15, 2013, 10:43:34 AM »
Another great option would be for the OP to block all texts from the bully.

Then, even if the bully tries to seize on "she's not responding to my texts," the OP can honestly say that she hasn't been receiving the bully's texts.

(Of course, there's no need for the OP to say why she's not receiving the bully's texts.)

fnygrl

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #78 on: January 15, 2013, 10:49:05 AM »
Again thank you all so very much for your valuable input and kind words! 

This is clearly something I'm struggling with and want to do or say the best thing(s) in order to keep the bully at bay and, in hopes of leaving me alone in general.  I fear if I say something (not just a general response) she'll be nasty and, as someone mentioned earlier, questioning why I feel that way and so on.  I also worry if I don't respond to her texts at all, she'll continue to text me and get more angry.  (Last night I blocked her number on my phone)  So I do feel that writing a general response is best.  I wish I were leaving the house today, as I love the idea of saying I've been busy and then hop in the car (because she IS the neighbor that looks out the window ALL THE TIME) but my daughter and I are going to be home all day (until we have to pick up my son at school) as we're sick with colds.  Perhaps I'll send the message at that point! 

(Sorry for my ramblings)  :)

Thanks again!

artk2002

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #79 on: January 15, 2013, 11:34:50 AM »
Hugs to you.

I'm going to repeat some things from an earlier post and make a suggestion or two. You are giving this woman tremendous power over yourself. I'm reading a great deal of anxiety and fear in your posts, caused by what this woman says. The comments about the new car making you "better than us," seems to have cut very deeply. Reacting that strongly to a stupid comment isn't good for you. Living in fear that your neighbor might send you a text message is not good for you. I strongly suggest that you spend some time in introspection to understand why you've given her this power. I further suggest that you spend some time with a professional to do this. (Hint: I find the fact that you have emphasized that the car was "new to me" -- that is, used -- to us, strangers on the 'net very interesting. There's nothing shameful at all about owning a brand-new car. Why are you afraid that she (and we) would think the less of you because it was brand new?)

Have the confidence that you are a good person, and are entitled to the things you have and the life you lead. Understand that what she says is nothing but words, and words that say a lot about her and nothing about you.

Be The Cat.

Final advice: I'd ignore her. In trying to stop persistent behavior, you have to be absolutely consistent. She wants attention/a response/to control you. If you respond, you're giving her permission to continue. She will continue for a time, even if you don't respond, but responding will just prolong the bad stuff. Like pulling off a band-aid, it's best to get it done quickly, albeit painfully, than to drag the pain out for a long time.
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

fnygrl

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #80 on: January 15, 2013, 11:56:05 AM »
Hugs to you.

I'm going to repeat some things from an earlier post and make a suggestion or two. You are giving this woman tremendous power over yourself. I'm reading a great deal of anxiety and fear in your posts, caused by what this woman says. The comments about the new car making you "better than us," seems to have cut very deeply. Reacting that strongly to a stupid comment isn't good for you. Living in fear that your neighbor might send you a text message is not good for you. I strongly suggest that you spend some time in introspection to understand why you've given her this power. I further suggest that you spend some time with a professional to do this. (Hint: I find the fact that you have emphasized that the car was "new to me" -- that is, used -- to us, strangers on the 'net very interesting. There's nothing shameful at all about owning a brand-new car. Why are you afraid that she (and we) would think the less of you because it was brand new?)

Have the confidence that you are a good person, and are entitled to the things you have and the life you lead. Understand that what she says is nothing but words, and words that say a lot about her and nothing about you.

Be The Cat.

Final advice: I'd ignore her. In trying to stop persistent behavior, you have to be absolutely consistent. She wants attention/a response/to control you. If you respond, you're giving her permission to continue. She will continue for a time, even if you don't respond, but responding will just prolong the bad stuff. Like pulling off a band-aid, it's best to get it done quickly, albeit painfully, than to drag the pain out for a long time.

Thank you so much!  You are absolutely right.  I obviously give this person power over my head and my feelings.  I could delve back into my past (which believe me - I have done on more than one occasion) to explain why I am the way I am.  Child of an alchoholic parent, another parent who wasn't there for my sibling and me to cope with that, that somewhat absent parent constantly telling me that my feelings were wrong and/or not important so I learned to keep things to myself, the list goes on.  I don't like to rock the boat, I don't like confrontation, and unfortunately, I want people to like me - even if I don't like them. 

I made the "new-to-me" comment because the car is used.  It's not brand new - but it's new to me.  That's what I meant by that.  And I mentioned it here because, in my original post back in September about my neighbor (the bully) making comments to or about me and the car, one of her main points to make to everyone is, "it's NOT new!"  It didn't matter to me - it mattered to her for whatever reason because that's all I heard about for weeks.

I just need to learn to not care.   Not care what she thinks.  Not care what she says.  None of it.  I truly wish I was the strong person I want to be and this year, I'm trying to do that.  *trying*  :)

Thanks again for your advice.  You hit the nail on the head!

Hmmmmm

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #81 on: January 15, 2013, 12:21:51 PM »
I'm going to agree with everyone who say to not confront her directly.  She lives on your street and neither of you seem to plan to move anytime soon.  Open hostility will just increase your anxiety especially if you end up in neighborhood events together. 

Just keep what your doing.  Respond to texts with "we've been busy" and you can even throw in "we've been busy with family and friends" on occasion to make the point that you don't include her in the friends category.

If asked by friends about your lack of invitations to her or interaction with her a simple "Oh, we've never been close and we don't have much in common."  Or if they say "Bullyneighbor said you are giving her the cold shoulder."  You respond "Really? I'm not sure why she feels that way. She's contacted me via text a few times and I let her know that we've been very busy but I didn't ignore her texts."

But if the neighbor you confided in repeated your comments to others you can say if confronted by another neighbor "I just found our styles very different and thought it best to not to try for a closer friendship. I'm sorry if she feels "jilted" but I'm sure she's made lots of other friends in the neighborhood. I don't have any hard feelings toward her."
 
And if confronted by bullyneighbor you can use a similar approach "I just found our styles different and didn't see a reason to try for a closer friendship. I'm sure you've made other close friends in the neighborhood.  I certainly have no ill feelings toward you and I hope you feel the same about me."

artk2002

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #82 on: January 15, 2013, 12:32:17 PM »
I made the "new-to-me" comment because the car is used.  It's not brand new - but it's new to me.  That's what I meant by that.  And I mentioned it here because, in my original post back in September about my neighbor (the bully) making comments to or about me and the car, one of her main points to make to everyone is, "it's NOT new!"  It didn't matter to me - it mattered to her for whatever reason because that's all I heard about for weeks.

That's kinda my point. She cares, but for some reason the fact that she cares, makes you care. It does matter to you that it mattered to her. That's what I'm suggesting you investigate -- why does the fact that she cares make any difference to you?

All the best!
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

fnygrl

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #83 on: January 15, 2013, 01:07:28 PM »

That's kinda my point. She cares, but for some reason the fact that she cares, makes you care. It does matter to you that it mattered to her. That's what I'm suggesting you investigate -- why does the fact that she cares make any difference to you?

All the best!

I understand what you're saying.  I will look into it more and hope to feel better about everything.  Thanks again!

fnygrl

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #84 on: January 15, 2013, 01:10:03 PM »
I'm going to agree with everyone who say to not confront her directly.  She lives on your street and neither of you seem to plan to move anytime soon.  Open hostility will just increase your anxiety especially if you end up in neighborhood events together. 

Just keep what your doing.  Respond to texts with "we've been busy" and you can even throw in "we've been busy with family and friends" on occasion to make the point that you don't include her in the friends category.

If asked by friends about your lack of invitations to her or interaction with her a simple "Oh, we've never been close and we don't have much in common."  Or if they say "Bullyneighbor said you are giving her the cold shoulder."  You respond "Really? I'm not sure why she feels that way. She's contacted me via text a few times and I let her know that we've been very busy but I didn't ignore her texts."

But if the neighbor you confided in repeated your comments to others you can say if confronted by another neighbor "I just found our styles very different and thought it best to not to try for a closer friendship. I'm sorry if she feels "jilted" but I'm sure she's made lots of other friends in the neighborhood. I don't have any hard feelings toward her."
 
And if confronted by bullyneighbor you can use a similar approach "I just found our styles different and didn't see a reason to try for a closer friendship. I'm sure you've made other close friends in the neighborhood.  I certainly have no ill feelings toward you and I hope you feel the same about me."

These are all fantastic ideas!  Thank you!  :)

I think what I'm going to do is send a text before leaving to pick up my son from school saying that I've been busy - or something along those lines.  I do think if I don't answer, she'll watch out the window for me and confront me in person and, as much as I'd like to be, I don't have the need or want to deal with that in my life - and I haven't practiced enough to handle that yet!  :)

Thanks again!

Only me

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #85 on: January 15, 2013, 01:27:31 PM »
FNYGRL, so did you ever get together with others for your BD celebration.

and when if you text back with "I've been busy", technically you are not lying. You've been busy worrying about the situation. You're right you need to not "sweat the small stuff", but sounds like you're getting there.

Onlyme

EMuir

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #86 on: January 15, 2013, 01:40:13 PM »
I feel for you.  I have family members who treated me badly (insulting me, my possessions, my decisions).  However if I complained about what they said they told me they felt like they had to walk on eggshells around me because I was "so sensitive".  They couldn't take their own medicine however, if I tried making the same kinds of comments back to them they'd be hurt.  I finally decided to give them the direct cut when I realized that logic didn't matter.  They were used to being able to make people dance to their tune.  Luckily they don't live right next to me.  It would be so awkward if they did. I hear that they complain to other family members "I don't know why EMuir avoids me."  And I believe they really don't understand it.  Which is why I avoid them. :)

I think your neighbour realizes that you don't like her, which is why she only confronts you in texts.  Block them.  I doubt she'll be brave enough to actually talk to you in person.  And if she does, beandip about how busy you are.  She wants you to say something mean to her so that she can play the part of the hurt friend who didn't deserve that kind of treatment.  She can't do that if you just keep saying you're busy.

fnygrl

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #87 on: January 15, 2013, 01:43:37 PM »
FNYGRL, so did you ever get together with others for your BD celebration.

and when if you text back with "I've been busy", technically you are not lying. You've been busy worrying about the situation. You're right you need to not "sweat the small stuff", but sounds like you're getting there.

Onlyme

The BD celebration has been planned for the twenty-seventh!  I'm looking forward to celebrating a new year and newish me!  :)

Thank you for your support!

fnygrl

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #88 on: January 15, 2013, 01:48:56 PM »
I feel for you.  I have family members who treated me badly (insulting me, my possessions, my decisions).  However if I complained about what they said they told me they felt like they had to walk on eggshells around me because I was "so sensitive".  They couldn't take their own medicine however, if I tried making the same kinds of comments back to them they'd be hurt.  I finally decided to give them the direct cut when I realized that logic didn't matter.  They were used to being able to make people dance to their tune.  Luckily they don't live right next to me.  It would be so awkward if they did. I hear that they complain to other family members "I don't know why EMuir avoids me."  And I believe they really don't understand it.  Which is why I avoid them. :)

I think your neighbour realizes that you don't like her, which is why she only confronts you in texts.  Block them.  I doubt she'll be brave enough to actually talk to you in person.  And if she does, beandip about how busy you are.  She wants you to say something mean to her so that she can play the part of the hurt friend who didn't deserve that kind of treatment.  She can't do that if you just keep saying you're busy.

Ah yes!  "Too sensitive!"  Something I've heard quite often, and it sounds like you have, too.  But when the tables are turned, they must be "too sensitive", too!  (Though they'd never admit to it!)

I appreciate your letting me know I'm not alone and sharing your suggestions!  Thank you!

fnygrl

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Re: Unwanted guest invited to gathering
« Reply #89 on: January 15, 2013, 03:06:09 PM »
So I replied to her text saying, " Didn't see this right away. Been pretty busy lately.  Hope things are well with you!". (Basically copying and pasting what some have suggested) :)

Her reply was, " Oh ok just wanted to be sure you weren't mad at me..."

And I left it at that.

I feel that, given the circumstances and the fact they we're neighbors, I made the right choice. At least for now. Who knows, my spine might stiffen up by tomorrow - though I'm not THAT optimistic just yet. :)

Thank you all for your assistance and virtual friendship. It has been invaluable!
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 03:08:43 PM by fnygrl »