Author Topic: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.  (Read 6954 times)

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PennyandPleased

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Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« on: August 15, 2013, 10:48:56 AM »
I have been friends with "Jenny" for about 3 years. Jenny has a group of girl friends from College who she is still very close with. When she has them over to her house she always invites me and if she hosts events where partners/husbands/etc. are invited she always invites me and my boyfriend as well. They are a great group of people and I have a great time with them all - except Melissa and Mike.

It seems to me that Melissa and Mike are a bit snobby and just don't like "outsiders" in their group. They make zero effort to say Hello when someone new (i.e. someone not an original member of their "college friends") walks in the room, they don't engage in conversation when someone "new" is talking and if they are asked a question by someone they don't seem to "want" to speak to they answer with one word answers, or not at all, etc.

Melissa and Mike are NOT shy. They just seem to pick and choose who they want to engage with and have no issues with being completely unfriendly and just straight up RUDE.

I've made an effort to be nice to Melissa and Mike and so has my boyfriend. Others have said the same thing about them being totally unfriendly, rude.  Sometimes, in an effort to be polite and friendly towards them, I end up looking stupid.

Example: They were talking about how they were in the process of buying a new car. We were all sitting in a group and they were talking openly about it. When they mentioned they were not sure what type of car they wanted I said "I really love my 'Popular Car Brand and Model'. It's never given me issues and it is fun to drive". Melissa made a "why are you speaking" type face and completely ignored me. There was an awkward silence and I felt like an idiot.

Example 2: I was sitting in the empty living room, fixing my shoe lace, when Melissa and Mike arrived through the front door on the other side of the living room. I looked up at them, smiled, and they acted like I was not there, walked right past me, and out the back door to the people outside.

Jenny does not seem to notice this and Melissa and Mike are super nice to her and people they feel like being nice to.

Since besides them everyone else within this social circle is great I don't plan to stop hanging out with them and unfortunately for me I see them pretty regularly. Everyone seems to like me and is always to happy to see and meet new people so I don't think Melissa and Mike's behavior has anything to do with me personally. I should also ad that Melissa and Mike do not ruin these social situations for me, it's usually a larger group when I do see them.

My question is - since Melissa and Mike will never change, and engaging them is awkward and embarassing, how the heck do I act around them?? I don't want to return rudeness with rudeness but I also don't feel like being ignored and made to look foolish when my "Hello, how are you" is met with silence and a nasty look. Do I ignore them right back? Help!

Goosey

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2013, 10:52:53 AM »
I dealt with someone like this, but, unfortunately, I stopped hanging out with the friend who had the friend who acted like this because I was tired of being put in that situation every time we went out. I did talk to my friend about it, but got a lot of "Oh, that's just how she is. She's very protective/private blah blah blah." None of that excused her behavior.

So, I'm interested in seeing what other options are out there.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 10:55:34 AM »
I have been friends with "Jenny" for about 3 years. Jenny has a group of girl friends from College who she is still very close with. When she has them over to her house she always invites me and if she hosts events where partners/husbands/etc. are invited she always invites me and my boyfriend as well. They are a great group of people and I have a great time with them all - except Melissa and Mike.

It seems to me that Melissa and Mike are a bit snobby and just don't like "outsiders" in their group. They make zero effort to say Hello when someone new (i.e. someone not an original member of their "college friends") walks in the room, they don't engage in conversation when someone "new" is talking and if they are asked a question by someone they don't seem to "want" to speak to they answer with one word answers, or not at all, etc.

Melissa and Mike are NOT shy. They just seem to pick and choose who they want to engage with and have no issues with being completely unfriendly and just straight up RUDE.

I've made an effort to be nice to Melissa and Mike and so has my boyfriend. Others have said the same thing about them being totally unfriendly, rude.  Sometimes, in an effort to be polite and friendly towards them, I end up looking stupid.

Example: They were talking about how they were in the process of buying a new car. We were all sitting in a group and they were talking openly about it. When they mentioned they were not sure what type of car they wanted I said "I really love my 'Popular Car Brand and Model'. It's never given me issues and it is fun to drive". Melissa made a "why are you speaking" type face and completely ignored me. There was an awkward silence and I felt like an idiot.

Example 2: I was sitting in the empty living room, fixing my shoe lace, when Melissa and Mike arrived through the front door on the other side of the living room. I looked up at them, smiled, and they acted like I was not there, walked right past me, and out the back door to the people outside.

Jenny does not seem to notice this and Melissa and Mike are super nice to her and people they feel like being nice to.

Since besides them everyone else within this social circle is great I don't plan to stop hanging out with them and unfortunately for me I see them pretty regularly. Everyone seems to like me and is always to happy to see and meet new people so I don't think Melissa and Mike's behavior has anything to do with me personally. I should also ad that Melissa and Mike do not ruin these social situations for me, it's usually a larger group when I do see them.

My question is - since Melissa and Mike will never change, and engaging them is awkward and embarassing, how the heck do I act around them?? I don't want to return rudeness with rudeness but I also don't feel like being ignored and made to look foolish when my "Hello, how are you" is met with silence and a nasty look. Do I ignore them right back? Help!

Except beyond a low-key greeting, I'd just ignore them. 

Cherry91

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 10:57:18 AM »
Sometimes we're blinkered when it comes to our friends and their behaviour. It might be a good idea to talk to Jenny about this - politely and discretely. If you bring it to her attention, she might notice when Mike and Melinda are next rude to you and then bring it up with them.


cwm

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2013, 10:59:22 AM »
Except beyond a low-key greeting, I'd just ignore them.

Agreed. Don't be rude, necessarily, but don't expend any extra energy trying to engage them, it doesn't sound like it's ever going to happen.

lowspark

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 11:26:03 AM »
I would just ignore them as they do you. I don't see this as retaliatory rudeness because it's not as if they want you to interact with them or can be expected to reply if you do.

So, no greeting, no smile. Just continue on with what you were doing as if they hadn't just arrived. In conversations that they initiate in a larger group, walk away and move on to a different group to chat. If it's a large gathering and everyone is seated together and they happen to have the attention of the group, start a side conversation with whomever you happen to be sitting next to. There's nothing rude about that, it's a common dynamic of social situations with large groups.

I think you just accept that they don't want to interact with you, so don't.

AnnaJ

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 11:35:20 AM »
I'd just smile and say hello the same way you would to anyone else, then don't engage unless they directly address you - they can choose to be rude, but that doesn't have to affect your choice to be polite.  Then just enjoy talking to the others in the group, it sounds as though the rest of the people are friendly.




veronaz

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013, 11:40:34 AM »
I would just ignore them as they do you. I don't see this as retaliatory rudeness because it's not as if they want you to interact with them or can be expected to reply if you do.

So, no greeting, no smile. Just continue on with what you were doing as if they hadn't just arrived. In conversations that they initiate in a larger group, walk away and move on to a different group to chat. If it's a large gathering and everyone is seated together and they happen to have the attention of the group, start a side conversation with whomever you happen to be sitting next to. There's nothing rude about that, it's a common dynamic of social situations with large groups.

I think you just accept that they don't want to interact with you, so don't.

This.

OP, you need to stop making efforts to be friendly towards them.  Just ignore.  And don't bother trying to figure them out - they are what they are.

tinkytinky

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2013, 11:46:20 AM »
I agree that a general greeting would be the best option. I would be courteous, but not OTT. If you are in a group discussion, you have every right to weigh in and if Melissa and Mike snub you, you aren't the one that looks foolish. It sounds like it's not the whole group acting this way, so definitely talk about the subject at hand. You have tried to be friendly, so now its a live-and-let-live type of thing. If you are doing nothing wrong, you shouldn't have to avoid talking to people that you do have a friendship with just because Melissa and Mike are in the vacinity. Just be your friendly self. Some people just don't form a connection, and that's OK.

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2013, 11:52:33 AM »
Probably not polite but I think I would have to call them on it.

Like after your car comment and Melissa's look, 'Why are you looking at me like I'm something you scraped off the bottom of your shoe?'

They'll either continue to ignore you, in which case, you ignore them beyond a greeting, if appropriate.  Or they'll sputter something and look like idiots to the rest of their friends.  Or they'll actually realize they are being bacon-fed knaves and start behaving better.

I know the last bit is unlikely but to treat someone like this seems really childish.  Friends of mine have friends who don't like me much.  I know they don't like me much, as when the party is at their house, I'm not invited.  I'm totally OK with that.  When we do end up at a party together, we manage to converse and have a good time and nobody ignores anyone else.
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lowspark

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2013, 12:00:49 PM »
Probably not polite but I think I would have to call them on it.

Like after your car comment and Melissa's look, 'Why are you looking at me like I'm something you scraped off the bottom of your shoe?'

This kind of reaction can easily backfire. It definitely is embarrassing for everyone who witnesses it, particularly the hosts if they happen to overhear it. I think that it's probably clear to most people what Melissa (and Mike) are about but throwing it back in their faces like that can really make you look bad. Not to mention, if Melissa comes back with something clever or insulting, how are you going to handle it? Keep volleying? Ignore it but feel even worse?

I work in a very large office and often pass fellow workers in the hall. Most of them are friendly and we exchange greetings as we pass. But as an example, one woman, with whom I worked closely on a project for several days in a row when she first started here, never greets or acknowledges me in any way as we pass each other. At first, I'd say Hi or smile, but she just didn't respond. So I quit making the effort. Now I just continue walking as if she weren't there. I don't think I'm being rude at all. Just following her lead.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2013, 12:14:19 PM »
I have been friends with "Jenny" for about 3 years. Jenny has a group of girl friends from College who she is still very close with. When she has them over to her house she always invites me and if she hosts events where partners/husbands/etc. are invited she always invites me and my boyfriend as well. They are a great group of people and I have a great time with them all - except Melissa and Mike.

It seems to me that Melissa and Mike are a bit snobby and just don't like "outsiders" in their group. They make zero effort to say Hello when someone new (i.e. someone not an original member of their "college friends") walks in the room, they don't engage in conversation when someone "new" is talking and if they are asked a question by someone they don't seem to "want" to speak to they answer with one word answers, or not at all, etc.

Melissa and Mike are NOT shy. They just seem to pick and choose who they want to engage with and have no issues with being completely unfriendly and just straight up RUDE.

I've made an effort to be nice to Melissa and Mike and so has my boyfriend. Others have said the same thing about them being totally unfriendly, rude.  Sometimes, in an effort to be polite and friendly towards them, I end up looking stupid.

Example: They were talking about how they were in the process of buying a new car. We were all sitting in a group and they were talking openly about it. When they mentioned they were not sure what type of car they wanted I said "I really love my 'Popular Car Brand and Model'. It's never given me issues and it is fun to drive". Melissa made a "why are you speaking" type face and completely ignored me. There was an awkward silence and I felt like an idiot.

Example 2: I was sitting in the empty living room, fixing my shoe lace, when Melissa and Mike arrived through the front door on the other side of the living room. I looked up at them, smiled, and they acted like I was not there, walked right past me, and out the back door to the people outside.

Jenny does not seem to notice this and Melissa and Mike are super nice to her and people they feel like being nice to.

Since besides them everyone else within this social circle is great I don't plan to stop hanging out with them and unfortunately for me I see them pretty regularly. Everyone seems to like me and is always to happy to see and meet new people so I don't think Melissa and Mike's behavior has anything to do with me personally. I should also ad that Melissa and Mike do not ruin these social situations for me, it's usually a larger group when I do see them.

My question is - since Melissa and Mike will never change, and engaging them is awkward and embarassing, how the heck do I act around them?? I don't want to return rudeness with rudeness but I also don't feel like being ignored and made to look foolish when my "Hello, how are you" is met with silence and a nasty look. Do I ignore them right back? Help!

Please, QUIT thinking you look stupid or foolish! They are the ones who are behaving badly, not you. Others see how they behave, too.

ETA a helping verb.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 12:17:03 PM by LeveeWoman »

lilfox

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2013, 12:39:09 PM »
My DH has old college friends who are like this (well, the wife is, the husband is generally friendly).  In a group setting I have no problem saying "Hi!" with a smile and absolutely nothing else.  I haven't had to worry about being polite in response to her since she has very rarely tried to engage me in conversation.  Even in a setting with just the two couples, she would talk almost exclusively to DH and her own husband.  We don't see them much anymore, fortunately, but when we do, I just make it a priority to chat with the people I enjoy chatting with, which leaves no time for snobs and snubs.

I found out she acted like this to another college friend's new girlfriend, now wife, someone who is much friendlier than I am and much more willing to try to get along (and is now my close friend), and even she gave up after a few not-so-subtle snubs.  Last straw for her was getting ditched at the college football game when the first couple, who was their ride, ran into other friends they liked better and left without telling them.

jaxsue

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2013, 01:08:41 PM »
OP, no need for you to feel awkward. You're not the one being rude.

I've dealt with a situation like this a few times in my life. I'm a very social person. I like 95% of the people I meet, and I can tolerated 99%. I've had people act just like the couple in your post. I honestly don't know why people are like this. I found that simply ignoring them is the best solution.

m2kbug

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2013, 01:12:19 PM »
I'm kind of in Outdoor Girl's camp to call them out on it.  It seems like several people have noticed, but no one is saying anything and just silently tolerating this bad behavior.  What is it about people like this that they still have friends?  I'm pretty sure if I behaved this way, no one would want me around.  What is it?  What are these magical powers people like this have?

I also agree that calling them out is probably not the best way to manage this.  You enjoy your time with your other friends and you're not sitting ignored and unwanted in corner or anything.  Mike and Melissa are really no more than a nuisance that really can't be avoided like ants at a picnic.  You can be courteous and exchange pleasantries, but otherwise, don't try to engage.  Just enjoy your other friends, and really expect absolutely nothing out of these people otherwise. 

Try not to feel awkward or embarrassed.  You're not the one being rude. 

One thing I'm curious about and pops in my head is if you stop actively trying to engage them, if they come sniffing after you because you're not treating them like the royalty they think they are. 
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 03:02:57 PM by m2kbug »