What would you call this/how to deal?

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chowder

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What would you call this/how to deal?
« on: April 26, 2021, 12:48:02 PM »
A certain friend of ours has come to rely on us more recently, as he has gone through a divorce and his only family is far away.  My husband particularly has spent a lot of time assisting him.

Recently we were at a restaurant when his son came to visit, all four of us.  At one point this friend says to me, "Lean in towards your husband, I want to get a picture.  This is the first time I've seen your hair brushed."

We were stunned.  This person has always been rough around the edges, but we didn't know how to respond on the spot and in public.  It was initially laughed off, and even his son commented, "And you two are still friends with this guy?"

He made another hair comment when we next saw him in public a week later, and I was again stunned.  I gave a comeback, but not as strong as I would have liked, had I been better anticipating.

I have now told him how unacceptable his behavior was, and if it happens once more he will not see me again.  He has twisted this around, now chastising me for being a terrible person for ending a friendship over one thing, and claiming it was a compliment.   I corrected him to say it was not a compliment...and I was not ending the friendship, but giving him a warning.   (Though, now that I think about it, if he is going to behave like this and tell me how terrible I have made him feel, maybe that is the thing to do.)  He's made it all about him now, how I have offended him.

He sent my husband an email, saying he wants to stay friends with him.  (Natch, we've got a boat and they would go fishing together.)  My husband has a problem with this person, both blaming me for something I didn't do, and for having the hubris to insult his wife in the first place, with my husband sitting directly across from him.

I have no desire to see this person, knowing what he is capable of and what he is comfortable doing - in public, no less.   What would you call this behavior?  I still can't believe someone would make a comment like this.

Additionally, are there any books or resources I can go to, to be a little quicker to respond on the spot?  Many times I realize something later that I should have responded to at the time.  Growing up, I was subject to a lot of verbal and emotional abuse by an older sister, and I think I have a tolerance for abuse, and not recognizing it right away and thereby tolerating it.

Thank you!

« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 12:49:44 PM by chowder »

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: What would you call this/how to deal?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2021, 01:32:53 PM »
Hmmm... So you told him you had a major problem with his behavior, warned him, and he doubled down and DARVO’d you. Nice. Well, looks like he chose to ignore your warning. Too bad about those fishing trips. :wave:

I think it’s common to have delayed reactions like this. I know I do. It catches up to me later and I’m like, “Wait, what?!?” I think my PDs banked on my acceptance of their behavior to get away with shenanigans. But you can always go back and deal with it later, even if it would have been preferable to deal in the moment. Better after missing a beat than never.

Also, sounds like your husband had a delayed reaction as well. Sometimes people say things that are just out of nowhere and it’s nearly impossible to have the perfect response immediately. The fault is not with you, it’s with the one who’s insulting in the first place.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 01:41:53 PM by Call Me Cordelia »

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Thru the Rain

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Re: What would you call this/how to deal?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2021, 02:25:04 PM »
What would I call this behavior? I would call it Rude.

I'm always taken by surprise by bald-faced rudeness and I'm never happy with the response I give in the moment.

Sometimes people are just plain thoughtless. But this situation sounds like it was more than momentary thoughtlessness or a poorly worded statement.

It's OK to let friendships go if they don't work for you. It doesn't have to be a big hurtful breakup. You can just stop engaging.

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chowder

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Re: What would you call this/how to deal?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2021, 03:38:11 PM »
Thank you, both, for your insight and wisdom.  You hit it right on the head, this is textbook DARVO, along with gaslighting.

So the delayed reaction is more common than I thought...all my wonderful responses come later, which I imagine using if there is a "next time," and then I wind up holding them in - which is not healthy, either.   Live and learn.  This person crossed more than one boundary with that one comment, and that says volumes about him. 

Thank you!