Author Topic: I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend  (Read 7974 times)

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PrettySticks

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I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend
« on: January 16, 2013, 03:14:54 PM »
This post had reminded me a bit of the situation that led me to find this site about a couple of years ago, so I thought I'd finally get around to posting it to get some others' takes on it. 

I read something about Popular 80s Movie (P8M) being re-shown in movie theaters for two screenings only.  My friend Beth and I are HUGE fans of P8M, though slightly too young to have seen it in theaters, so I was super excited and email her immediately saying we absolutely MUST go see this together.  She was very excited too and agreed.  I should also mention I was not being at all coy about my excitement.  Suffice it to say, I was being a tremendous dork for the month leading up to the screening, so she knew this was a big deal to me. 

Three days before the movie, I got a text from Beth that says "Guess what!  Jen's going to be coming to the movie with us too!"  Jen was a friend of Beth's that I'd met maybe twice.  I have nothing against her, but I was bummed both because Beth had invited someone along on our outing, and also because it's harder/less fun to have a dorky adventure with someone you don't know that well.  I was sitting next to my boyfriend when I got the text, and my face must have given something away because he immediately asked what was wrong.  I read the text to him (he knew how much I had been looking forward to this) and he immediately said "Not cool."  Which kind of tipped me off that this was Not Cool, because nothing bothers BF, and I tend to be way more uptight, so a lot of the time it's just me getting bugged about nothing. He suggested that I just tell her that this bothered me.  I've known her for nine years, and we have a very non-confrontational relationship (which BF knows).  If she does something that bugs me, I just seethe, then eventually forget about it.  But BF convinced me I should say something, so I texted back "OK. But in the future, please ask me first." (I don't know if that's PA.  Everything looks PA in a text!)

The next day she contacted me through Gchat and asked if I was kidding about the text.  I said no, that I thought we were planning something together, and it hurt my feelings that she invited someone else along.  I really expected her to say something like, "Sorry, I didn't think that would bother you." Which wouldn't have been 100% satisfying, but at least I got it off my chest, and it wasn't as though at that point I would demand she dis-invite Jen.  But instead she starts going on and on (I mean a LOT of writing) about how that was the stupidest thing she'd ever heard, and she didn't know anyone else who would expect her to ask permission to invite someone along to a public place, and just because I'd told her about the screening did that mean I was in charge of her now... stuff like that. 

Beth also asked what I would have said if she'd asked me first, and I admitted that I probably would have said it was fine (to avoid conflict), so she could not see why it mattered, since both ways Jen ended up going to the movie with us.  I said that was like stealing five dollars out of my purse as opposed to asking to borrow it.  I would probably have said yes, so both ways she ends up with my five dollars, so what's the difference!  She said the analogy was stupid (yes, she kept using the word stupid).

She eventually said that this conversation soured the whole thing for her and now she wasn't sure if she even wanted to go to the movie.  Which was kind of how I was feeling.  But I was supposed to meet up with her the next day to give her her ticket in advance, and I said I would still do that.  I figured it was hard to interpret tone in a chat, and that once we were face to face we could smooth things out, and maybe I would at least get a non-apology ("Sorry you got upset" or something) and we could go back to our non-confrontational selves. But when I saw her she acted like nothing had happened.  I didn't know how to bring it up without sounding like I was beating a dead horse, so I wimped out.

We went to the movie, and it was fine even though we were a little chilly toward each other.  But it really did color my opinion of Beth.  Like, every time I thought of inviting her to do something, I would remember her calling my feelings stupid and decide I didn't feel like seeing her, and the friendship basically died.  Though I want to make it clear that the friendship did not die simply because she invited another girl along (that's almost a red herring) but because I told her my feelings were hurt and she basically said "That's stupid."  Actually, if I hadn't brought it up, I probably would have seethed and forgotten, per the usual, and we would have remained non-confrontational friends for years to come.  Darn my BF for encouraging me to talk to her like an adult! ;)

However, my question to the community IS based on that inciting incident.  Was Beth rude to invite someone along to an outing I'd set in motion?  I'm inclined to say yes, based on people's responses to the post I linked above.  I told this story to a few other friends (none of whom know Beth, for the record) and they all had the immediate reaction of "Not cool" just like my BF, but they didn't necessarily think it was rude.  Just not cool.  I'm not so sure I see the difference. 

In case it matters, we're both women in the US and 29 when this happened - so, too old for this junk, and also too old to be getting excited about a P8M! 

SamiHami

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Re: I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 03:20:22 PM »
Of course she was rude. You two made plans to do something together, and she changed the entire dynamic by inviting someone else without making sure you were okay with it. That in itself was rude.

But discounting your feelings and calling you stupid? That is far beyond rude. I could forgive the first offense (inviting someone) but not the second offense (calling you stupid).

I don't think you've lost much of a friend.

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rose red

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Re: I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 03:25:11 PM »
It wouldn't bother me if it was a normal movie, but a third party does affect the mood when it's a special movie.  I wouldn't be as comfortable geeking over it.

But the rude part was calling you stupid, and not only that, but kept going on and on.

P.S.  You are never too old to get excited.  :)

Winterlight

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Re: I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 03:32:44 PM »
I think that if she'd asked you first, that would have been acceptable. Adding a third person without asking to an outing you proposed was inconsiderate. Scolding you for objecting (though I think text was a bad medium- this should have involved a phone call from you) was rude.
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GSNW

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Re: I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 03:44:53 PM »
It sounds to me like Beth knew she did something inconsiderate and obviously wasn't receptive to your very gentle way of bringing it up.  Perhaps she was embarrassed because she knew she was in the wrong?  Your feelings about the issue aren't silly, but I find her reaction to be very extreme.  You're stupid because you expressed reservations about inviting someone you hardly know?  This is a silly adolescent tactic - turning the tables by trying to make you feel bad instead of just apologizing and trying to understand where the other is coming from.

Agreed with above - you didn't really lose a friend so much as get a nice reveal as to Beth's true personality.  I wouldn't lose sleep over it!

WonderWoman

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Re: I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 03:57:36 PM »
I believe your friend was rude to you on both counts: 1) making the invite and 2) calling your feelings "stupid". It seems to me that Beth knew she was out of line, so she went on the defensive. Or maybe she is super sensitive to criticism?

Such behavior seems to be common, so you're not alone!

For example, DH and I invited a couple, Carl and Carla, out for dinner and drinks. When DH and I arrive at the meeting spot, there are Carl and Carla and Amber and Aaron. Apparently Carl and Carla decided to invite Amber and Aaron to our night out without telling us.

Another time recently, Dan and Darla invited us over for dinner. When we arrive, we find that they also invited another family. So our expectation of a quiet family evening where the adults relax and the kids play nicely together changed into DH and I having to monitor the kids because the Other Family kids were not well behaved and we were worried about DD.

In both situations, DH and I both were offended but didn't say anything because we felt awkward about it. So, good for you for speaking up!

I'm looking forward to some e-hell approved ways to deal in the future. Because I have a feeling it will come up again!

BeagleMommy

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Re: I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 04:08:29 PM »
Beth was rude for inviting another person without asking.  You had planned an evening of mutual geekdom and had no idea if the other person would appreciate it.

She was then doubly rude for dismissing your feelings as stupid.  I don't think your life will be lacking without her.

Bijou

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Re: I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 04:10:57 PM »
It was inconsiderate at best for her to do this without asking how you felt about it.  Plus, you had her ticket.  Does this mean you bought her ticket, as in treating her? That makes it even more 'your' party and even more inconsiderate of her.  Add in the stupid remarks and I am not surprised that the friendship is over.

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Hmmmmm

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Re: I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 04:20:33 PM »
She was wrong but she will probably never see it.  I have a sis who always believes the more the merrier and there is always room for one more.  The only thing i know she didnt invite someone else to was her honeymoon. And I cracked up the other day when our nephew announced he was getting married on her anniversary and she said "that is great. We can all take anniversary trips together."

MyFamily

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Re: I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2013, 08:45:51 PM »
I believe your friend was rude to you on both counts: 1) making the invite and 2) calling your feelings "stupid". It seems to me that Beth knew she was out of line, so she went on the defensive. Or maybe she is super sensitive to criticism?

Such behavior seems to be common, so you're not alone!

For example, DH and I invited a couple, Carl and Carla, out for dinner and drinks. When DH and I arrive at the meeting spot, there are Carl and Carla and Amber and Aaron. Apparently Carl and Carla decided to invite Amber and Aaron to our night out without telling us.

Another time recently, Dan and Darla invited us over for dinner. When we arrive, we find that they also invited another family. So our expectation of a quiet family evening where the adults relax and the kids play nicely together changed into DH and I having to monitor the kids because the Other Family kids were not well behaved and we were worried about DD.

In both situations, DH and I both were offended but didn't say anything because we felt awkward about it. So, good for you for speaking up!

I'm looking forward to some e-hell approved ways to deal in the future. Because I have a feeling it will come up again!
I agree that Carl and Carla were rude, because you invited them so you planned the event.  But Dan and Darla weren't rude.  They invited you to dinner, they weren't obligated to share the guest list with you.  I invite people over and I don't share the guest list with them.  Unless I say "how about if our two families get together for dinner at my house" there is no expectation that the dinner will be only our two families.  For all you know, the other family was invited first and you were the ones they added on to the evening.  (This does not negate the fact that the other family had a child who needed to be parented and they didn't do their job there that evening - that is rude).


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gramma dishes

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Re: I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2013, 09:01:31 PM »
Yes, she was rude.

You were the one who had brought up the subject with her, essentially inviting her to go with you AND you (apparently) were the one who got the tickets in advance.  So in essence, you were the "host" in this matter and she was rude to invite another person to join you without at least running that idea past you first.  Especially since she knew how excited you were about this and should have sensed that this was something meaningful for just the two of you to do together.

But I also suspect she really has no idea what she did wrong.  It doesn't matter.  I don't think you're going to miss her. 

LifeOnPluto

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Re: I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2013, 09:06:17 PM »
It wouldn't bother me if it was a normal movie, but a third party does affect the mood when it's a special movie.  I wouldn't be as comfortable geeking over it.

But the rude part was calling you stupid, and not only that, but kept going on and on.

P.S.  You are never too old to get excited.  :)

Agreed - generally, movies don't require much interaction with other people, so it wouldn't bother me if someone else was invited along.

But berating you when you politely tried to explain your feelings was very rude.

buvezdevin

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Re: I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2013, 11:02:00 PM »
I think your friend was inconsiderate to invite another person to join an outing which you had suggested as an activity for the two of you - movie, meal, shopping, whatever.  And I agree with a previous poster that text/electronic chat are probably not the ideal medium to discuss feelings, but regardless, your friend was pretty blatantly dismissive of your feelings. 

It isn't that she needed to ask permission from you to invite someone to a public space, it was that she changed the specifics of a social "date" the two of you had made without consulting you on the change in advance.

There have been numerous times it has been mentioned on this forum that it is not rude to decline to attend an event one has agreed to attend if the specifics of the invitation or event are changed by the host after the original acceptance.  That is, in my view, in recognition that the social "contract" of accepting an invitation should not allow the host to unilaterally change the invitation and still "bind" the other party to the original acceptance.  Your situation was the flip side.

I also agree with other posters that I would not have cancelled movie plans in this situation, but I would have been cautious, and expressly stated that an activity was "just us" when making plans with this person in the future.  Except that a friend who was so dismissive of my feelings, regardless of the medium of communication, would not be near the top of my list for making plans in the future.

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Raintree

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Re: I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 03:44:57 AM »
I agree that Beth was rude.

I think it was merely thoughtless that she invited a third person without checking. Perhaps to her it was a "the more the merrier" thing, and she didn't consider that it was something you wanted to do with just her specially, or that you'd feel uncomfortable getting geeky about the movie.

Where she got really nasty though was in calling you "stupid" for feeling that way.

I do think your text probably came off the wrong way, ie not as you intended. "Please ask me first" does sound like you want permission for something that she sees as perfectly normal (inviting someone else somewhere public). It might have all come out better if you'd spoken to her and said, "Beth, I have nothing against Jen at all, but I was a little disappointed that you invited her as I was looking forward to seeing this specific movie with just you. Next time, if I initiate plans with you, can you please check with me and discuss it before inviting other people?"

Niamh84

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Re: I Invite Friend, Friend Invites Other Friend
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 09:30:08 AM »
I think I'm going to have to go against the grain on this one...

Maybe it's just my friends but for a trip to the cinema not a single one of us would ever think twice about asking another person along.  I know you're saying you felt it was a bit more special as it was a certain 80's movie you love but your friend obviously didn't see it that way and I don't think I could call her rude or inconsiderate for not knowing you were placing such importance on this particular film.

I can see how your text was taken badly, "in future please ask first" probably wasn't the right thing to say.  You were hurt and it was absolutely fine to let her know this but something along the lines of "Oh right, I had thought it was just going to be the two of us big S8M fans having a silly night out together" or something like that.

Maybe I'm wrong, in fact judging by all the other answers from previous posters it would appear that I am wrong.  I just think you could have handled it better in the first place.  She was worse than rude to call you stupid but I can see how she feels you provoked it with your original text.