Author Topic: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.  (Read 7332 times)

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Sneezy

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2013, 06:56:24 PM »
I have one friend who does not mix well with others, so I only interact with her one on one. It has limited the friendship somewhat, but it hasn't been a big deal. For various reasons, I do want to keep this person in my life, but I'm not going to inflict her on others.

missmolly

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2013, 07:46:10 PM »
I have a coworker who was very much like them. While he can be very friendly select people, he is quite stand-offish to others, including me. Initially I did try and be friendly but when I saw that it had absolutely no effect on him, I simply just ignored him. Seems to work well for both of us.
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2013, 07:54:15 PM »
I'm kind of with Outdoor Girl, but my goal would be to make them converse with me. So in the car situation, if they responded to my input with a withering stare, I'd ignore it and say to them: "Do you like that kind of car? Have you ever driven one?". They would look ridiculous if they just sit there and continue to ignore you.

I don't think it's necessary to do that outside of a group conversation, but I don't think I could let someone deliberately ignore me like that.

Then stand there and do "the kindly brontosaurus" at them  ;) :P


*snerk*

The kindly brontosaurus smile ought to creep them out enough to decline future invitations to group events!

I know that's mostly a joke, but the fact is that this couple has been part of the group for much longer; even if a few people think they aren't always friendly they are still part of the group, meaning that some (or most) of the other people like/tolerate/enjoy their company. 

I know a have a couple of friends who don't always mix well with others, but they are my friends and I wouldn't be happy if someone came into our group and decided we needed to oust them.

This is all hypothetical, though, since it sounds as though the OP is going with the polite hello then not engaging.

I don't know, DH and I held onto college friends for 10 years after all parties left the campus, and I honestly think in the cases of a couple of them we held onto them looooong after we should have for nostalgic purposes.  Just because they've been around longer doesn't necessarily mean they've been good friends. 

We have one friend left from college we're still friends with because she is a really nice and thoughtful person. 

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

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2013, 11:16:14 PM »
I had a coworker like this.  All of a sudden, she started treating me just like you're being treated.  I knew I hadn't done anything wrong, so it baffled me.

So I just stayed being myself.  When I'd see her in the hall, I'd smile and say hello.  I'd treat her just like I treated anyone else and was pleasant to her.

In the process, I felt better myself.  I wasn't stooping to her level.  I was just being friendly.  And the result of that is that I was happier.  [b/ If she wanted to sulk around and be unfriendly, it was just hurting her.  And she was the one that was coming across badly to everyone else.  Her attitude was noticed by others.  And then they saw me and how I wasn't responding to it and was just being pleasant.  So it only made her look bad.[/b]

The really weird thing is that I think she finally realized all that herself.  And she started thawing.  She ended up being friendly to me.  And all because I never gave in and was rude back.

Re the bolded - I completely agree.

PennyandPleased, I guarantee that the other people in the group are NOT thinking "Gee, PennyandPleased is such an idiot! Why does she make those stupid remarks? And doesn't she know she's not part of Melissa's Inner Sanctum? How dare she have the temerity to even respond to Melissa!"

Instead, they are most likely thinking "Gee, what the heck is Melissa's problem? Why does she have to be such a cow to other people at times?"

As for how to proceed, I kind of agree with the notion that you shouldn't let her get away with pulling a face and ignoring you. I'd be inclined to say (nicely) - "Is there a problem? You don't look too happy, Melissa. Have you had a bad past experience with that type of car?" 


Ceallach

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2013, 01:17:58 AM »
One thing I am thinking is:  When they act like this to other new people, could you point out to your friend that they are doing this and that they did it to you too? Say it in a way that lets her know that it is a form of bullying and that it isn't kind of her to allow this old friend to be unkind to the "new kids."

She could, but what is the hostess supposed to do? She can't change her friends behavior. They are adults who are responsibl for their own behavior.

What she can do is change the guestlist, but I think I'd be inclined to stop inviting the person who is making me choose, and who is more of an outsider to the broader group, and just catch up with the OP separately instead of at my parties.  So not really much of a good possible outcome for the OP.

I agree M&M sound awful, but the hostess evidently wants to have them as guests and I doubt the OP can change that.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 02:50:11 AM by Ceallach »
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Danika

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2013, 01:46:03 AM »
Here's my story, FWIW...

I was in a very similar situation for a number of years. I was good friends with HighSchoolFriend, and then I went out of state for college. When I eventually moved back to where we grew up, she introduced me to all her college friends. Most were nice, but one couple was exactly like this. JerkWoman seemed to want HighSchoolFriend to be her best friend, but that position was already occupied by me. HighSchoolFriend and I were MOHs in each others weddings. That just made JerkWoman even meaner to me. JerkWoman did everything she could to divide HighSchoolFriend and me, and I just ignored JerkWoman and her husband, JerkMan. They treated my DH the same way.

After years of this, one time, I did mention JerkWoman's behavior to HighSchoolFriend's husband and he must have had a talk with her because she came up to me and faked niceness. Just the one time. And then she went back to how she'd been before.

I couldn't figure out how HighSchoolFriend had not noticed it before. I know I would never let any guest in my house be rude to another guest. There were plenty of awkward scenarios like OP described. If I followed up with a question like "What kind of cars are you looking at?" JerkWoman would just say in a rude tone "I don't know" and then start talking to someone else about something else, so it was just more insulting. There was no point in trying.

Eventually, it became like a tug of war. JerkWoman was trying to claim her territory and claim HighSchoolFriend as her best friend. HighSchoolFriend seemed to enjoy the attention and seemed to want me to compete with JerkWoman for her friendship. It even seemed like she might be pitting us against one another. For a lot longer than I should have, I put up with it, out of reverence for the years of friendship that HighSchoolFriend and I had had.

But after attending numerous events at HighSchoolFriend's house where JerkWoman was mean and HighSchoolFriend didn't react to it and even seemed to enjoy it, I decided to let JerkWoman have her. I remember telling DH that it's not like HighSchoolFriend is a romantic interest where you can only be in a relationship with one other person. I'm fine with her having numerous friends, but apparently JerkWoman didn't feel that way and HighSchoolFriend was ok allowing rude behavior in her home. More and more, these events made me uncomfortable. It's so counter to my nature to walk into a room and not greet everyone or look through someone as if they're not there. That's what I had to do to handle JerkWoman and JerkMan. I felt like I was going to a snake pit every time there was an event. I was either ignoring, faking that I wasn't uncomfortable, or waiting for rudeness on JerkWoman and JerkMan's parts.

I decided that JerkWoman could win. She could have HighSchoolFriend. There's more to the story, of course. I didn't want to see it, but I finally had to accept the conclusion that anyone who would be friends with someone like JerkWoman was cut from the same cloth. HighSchoolFriend is not any classier than JerkWoman and so I gave her the cut direct.

I'm glad that I've distanced myself from that situation. I wish I had done it sooner.


WolfWay

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2013, 06:35:32 AM »
I have a coworker who was very much like them. While he can be very friendly select people, he is quite stand-offish to others, including me. Initially I did try and be friendly but when I saw that it had absolutely no effect on him, I simply just ignored him. Seems to work well for both of us.
I have a coworker like that. One who doesn't like input from certain people in meetings. If someone he likes asks a question, he will answer that person directly and in a friendly manner. If someone he doesn't like asks a question, he won't even look at them but will answer the question to the project manager as though either the project manager asked the question, or the question simply floated out of thin air.

Like this:

Liked-Person: What about XYZ task?
Coworker (talking directly to Liked-Person): Well, [Liked-Person], we've scheduled that task to happen on monday. <smile>
Unliked-Person: Did we take delay time into account?
Coworker (Looking at ProjectManager like Unliked-Person is invisble): Well, [ProjectManager], we've put in several days of lead time so we should be fine.

Coworker is getting on the management's nerves with their juvenile behaviour. It's extra fun when everyone else on a major project with Coworker is on the "naughty list". The only thing in common between all the ignored people is that we are all women of a particular race. So I'm guessing its a prejudice thing.  ???
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #37 on: August 16, 2013, 07:21:16 AM »
Reminds me of Prof. Snape and the way he talks to anyone of Gryffindor house but adores Slytherin students.
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

Margo

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2013, 07:33:04 AM »
One thing I am thinking is:  When they act like this to other new people, could you point out to your friend that they are doing this and that they did it to you too? Say it in a way that lets her know that it is a form of bullying and that it isn't kind of her to allow this old friend to be unkind to the "new kids."

She could, but what is the hostess supposed to do? She can't change her friends behavior. They are adults who are responsibl for their own behavior.

What she can do is change the guestlist, but I think I'd be inclined to stop inviting the person who is making me choose, and who is more of an outsider to the broader group, and just catch up with the OP separately instead of at my parties.  So not really much of a good possible outcome for the OP.

I agree M&M sound awful, but the hostess evidently wants to have them as guests and I doubt the OP can change that.

I think OP could raise it privately with host, perhaps as a question "Do you know whether I've done something to upset Melissa? She seems to be very obviously blanking me and cutting me dead if I say anything -it's really uncomfortable. I can't think of anything I have done which might justify that, and I wonder if you can help - do you know of any reason she'd treat me that way? I noticed she seems to do the same to [name of anyone else she treats this way]"

(Evil Marog would talk to the other people Melissa snubs abd arrange a tag-team so next time she does it to any onf you, the rest all step in

e.g.
Melissa - " I'm thinking about getting a new car, yadda yadda"
You

veronaz

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #39 on: August 16, 2013, 11:31:32 AM »
As host if OP came to me questioning “Do you know why Melissa doesn’t like me?” I would tell OP to take it up with Melissa.

As far as talking to others and playing tag-team t try to get to Melissa, that's junior high schoolish.

Better for OP to accept that sometimes people just don’t click.



Aquamarine

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #40 on: August 16, 2013, 01:31:21 PM »
I would simply "see through" these people as though they are not even there.  Acknowledge them if they speak but otherwise "see through" them.  Seeing through someone does not mean looking at them or making eye contact.  It has to be done as if they don't exist in the space they're standing in.

I hope that makes sense.  These people need to become invisible to you.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

Otterpop

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #41 on: August 17, 2013, 11:03:20 AM »
One of the couple is very insecure and the other enables, so it's best to avoid any interaction beyond an initial "Hello."  People like that don't like newbies because the group dynamic shifts.  They are trying to cut you out to maintain their position.  Don't let them.  They are the disturbed ones and SHOULD be embarrassed (but are not), not you.  Keep your friendly demeanor and lavish it on those who will appreciate and reciprocate.  It will drive this couple MAD.

NyaChan

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #42 on: August 17, 2013, 11:32:48 AM »
I was one of the bystanders to a very very blatant example of this behavior for a lovely  ::) semester of study abroad.  I was also friends with the person who was behaving that badly (as in not typically polite behavior) - it was almost surreal how this friendly, vibrant, and fun person could go cold the second this girl walked in the room.  Trust me when I say that I absolutely knew that it was the unfriendly person who was behaving badly - I in no way thought that the other girl was stupid for initially trying to keep up the social niceties.  Eventually the other girl stopped trying and the unfriendly one eased up enough that it wasn't as noticeable. 

In case anyone is wondering why I was friends with the "unfriendly" girl - I knew why she was acting that way and I personally had a similar problem with the other girl.  If I wasn't friends with the "unfriendly" girl, I would have missed out on a lot of awesome experiences as even if I could have faked it enough to make friends with the other one (which just felt messed up to me due to the nature of the problem & the duplicity required), I would have spent the rest of my time abroad shopping in the same mall rather than traveling and experiencing.  Aside from this one facet of her personality, she was one person who I truly enjoyed being around and felt comfortable with.  I figured I could deal with the moral ambiguity for a few months.   

Zizi-K

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #43 on: August 17, 2013, 02:36:26 PM »
I was one of the bystanders to a very very blatant example of this behavior for a lovely  ::) semester of study abroad.  I was also friends with the person who was behaving that badly (as in not typically polite behavior) - it was almost surreal how this friendly, vibrant, and fun person could go cold the second this girl walked in the room.  Trust me when I say that I absolutely knew that it was the unfriendly person who was behaving badly - I in no way thought that the other girl was stupid for initially trying to keep up the social niceties.  Eventually the other girl stopped trying and the unfriendly one eased up enough that it wasn't as noticeable. 

In case anyone is wondering why I was friends with the "unfriendly" girl - I knew why she was acting that way and I personally had a similar problem with the other girl.  If I wasn't friends with the "unfriendly" girl, I would have missed out on a lot of awesome experiences as even if I could have faked it enough to make friends with the other one (which just felt messed up to me due to the nature of the problem & the duplicity required), I would have spent the rest of my time abroad shopping in the same mall rather than traveling and experiencing.  Aside from this one facet of her personality, she was one person who I truly enjoyed being around and felt comfortable with.  I figured I could deal with the moral ambiguity for a few months.   

Did you ever ask her why she was like that, or why she didn't like the other girl?

NyaChan

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Re: Dealing with someone who is plain old unfriendly.
« Reply #44 on: August 19, 2013, 02:37:09 AM »
Yes I know why and can understand her reaction.  The other girl came from a very overprotective family.  She basically got to go to school and then come home.  After somehow managing to convince her parents to let her study abroad, she was in experimenting mode.  At first we all liked her and just wanted to make sure her experimentations were safe (unfamiliar country and all that).  We helped her figure out makeup and offered support when she confided in us that she thought she might be bisexual.  Unfortunately, she started to see us as her guinea pigs.  She'd pretend to be drunk and then drape herself on us with hands wandering everywhere.  The girls who stayed friends with her thought it was flattering and funny.  The "unfriendly" girl and myself did not.  I stayed civil but avoided initiating any conversation, the "unfriendly" girl chose to pretend she no longer existed.  Normally I wouldn't see that as bad behavior considering the reasons why, but I thought it was a bit much to purposefully join a table where other girl was already sitting with her friends and then proceed to make everyone else squirm with discomfort and tension.