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My best friend, Liz, is shy, introvert and has anxiety. Sometimes she asks me when I have free time to accompany her to parties, shopping and doing stuff so she feels more comfortable with me around. I like to be there for her.

There's this friend of her (let's call her FA) that is sometimes with us, especially in parties that I'm a little stranger to others. FA just won't stop criticizing what she knows I like and do. she doesn't do this directly for example:

I can't stand people with Y haircut. they are so horrible.

(I clearly have Y haircut.)

All this started from one day that FA said "let's listen to my kpop playlist" and Liz said "oh my metalhead friend here won't stand that". Yeah I'm a fan of metal music but I always keep that to myself. Liz was joking and I didn't want to nag about kpop. For a long time, FA was like "metal is only noises", "metal is for violent lunatics" and blah blah blah.

I REALLY don't care about what she says. These things she says only make her small and since it is a long time she is doing this actually others are getting annoyed. I just want to be there for Liz. that's all. but I think I should solve this so in parties people have fun not being like "there she goes again!"

why is she doing this? I don't know I don't talk much or notice my surroundings.

How I can talk to her reasonably without turning her into a new disaster?

I just don't want her to think that she is bothering me and try to make it worse just to enjoy more or she thinks she found a week point in me. All I want is that parties be fun for people and Liz enjoys it.

  • Does she only talk about you that way? Or is she usually picking anyone and then mock that person which just happen to be you when you're around? – Imus Dec 10 '19 at 10:30
  • @Imus i think its only me – BlackCrystal Dec 10 '19 at 10:53
  • Following lmus question, does she talk like that towards you depending of the people around? If she talks like that with public is because she's not talking to you, but to them (she does not want to be associated to you, so she reminds them that). If she talks like that only when she's with Liz and you, then is possible that she's trying to set the hierarchy of the group. Maybe you can add more examples of her behavior. – Santiago Dec 10 '19 at 15:02
  • @Santiago honestly i ignores her too much that i never noticed about what you asked. sorry. – BlackCrystal Dec 11 '19 at 8:06
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I would go with the direct approach. Meet with her one on one and talk honestly about it with her.

Make sure you don't carry any of your own ill will towards her into the conversation. She has annoyed and frustrated you, and she hasn't been kind to you either. I would carry quite the amount of ill will towards her by now. But leave that behind for this talk.

Tell her that you realize she has a problem with you, tell her you don't really know why she does and that you would like to know it. But also make it clear that you don't need to be friends with her, or have her be friends with you. You care for Liz, and I assume FA does so too. So try to speak about that with her, about how the pseudo fight/ rivalry between you two has an effect on Liz as well. And then simply ask to work it out, whatever is wrong, or to agree on acting like normal people around each other.

If she refuses all of that you only have two options left. And that is either ignoring her behaviour (Which I would recommend) or going for a direct confrontation that is less friendly. (Which I would not recommend but have done so myself when I was younger.) A direct confrontation on an ill note will most likely result in more blad blood between the two of you and making it impossible for you two to get along with each other. And Liz will be the main victim of this I assume.

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Depending on your attitude being slighlt confrontonial might help. I do such things in kinda joking manner to show that I noticed the poke and I can rebutt it.

For example, if I heard metal is for violent lunatics I would say "that's why we have band called Party Cannon" or "only if we need to make sword out of lighting and kill dragons". Or if the sentece was metal is only noises "ok boomer, you sound like 50's housewive complaining on rock".

I can't stand people with Y haircut. they are so horrible.

Could be answered with "babe, you better sit down then because I'm gonna stay here for a while".

Sometimes I go with classic "opinions are like genitals, everyone have theirs but showing them in public is just cringy".

Side note: there is a thing that my grandfather called "horse courtship". Kind of annoying, a little bothering, maybe even sometimes unpleasant behaviour. It was done by one person toward another one (and only toward that one) as an attempt to being noticed. Kind like a fly, you give it some attention when it's bothering you.
Maybe she's doing it trying to get a reaction out of you? For a long time (as a kid) I though I need to start rough with everyone because there must be some contact, some sparks as talk about a weather won't lead anywhere.

So maybe encourage her to extend what she is talking about? Maybe ask if she listened to Baby Metal? If she say's about haircut Y ask her "and what type of haircut you think I have?"

  • this is good answer but i think i can't do that. i don't talk to annoying people but when i do i make sure it is the first and last time. i just roast them really bad. but Liz asked me to handle this one peacefully so.... – BlackCrystal Dec 11 '19 at 7:22
  • @BlackCrystal You can always ask them if they realize that you don't care about such comments but they make everyone else annoying. – SZCZERZO KŁY Dec 11 '19 at 7:27
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How you talk to this person relies primarily on two things:

  1. Your personality type
  2. FA’s personality type

There should be a way to address FA in a way that doesn’t lower your dignity, but also doesn’t exacerbate FA’s pompous behavior.

What Liz feels, quite honestly, is irrelevant unless FA is a vindictive and spiteful person who will either hurt Liz or your relationship to her.

From the sounds of it, FA is childish. This behavior seems like the kind of thing they might just grow out of, hopefully, but in the meantime you might want to do the following:

  1. Ask Liz if she’s noticed this behavior. Emphasize that you’re curious, not that you’re bothered.
  2. If she has, ask if she knows why FA treats you this way. Ask if FA treats other people this way.

Now, I can’t say for certain what would be best for FA without knowing her better but here’s a list of things to try. Make sure to read the room and to pay attention to context, as some things are appropriate only in response to certain situations.

  1. Try complimenting FA’s tastes at first. Maybe they will see it as an olive branch of sorts, and in turn lay off.
  2. Try diverting attention. If FA speaks disdainfully about your interest, ask what they like. For example, one person I met was really complaining about a boy band I like a lot. I asked what music they liked to listen to, and then they started talking about their music taste. (Which I very pointedly did NOT make fun of, so I could lead by example.)
  3. If the complaints drag on a lot and the first two approaches don’t stop the behavior, try a straightforward approach. (*This requires delicacy, especially if you’re not straightforward.)

Hey, FA. You know I like [insert interest here] a lot. I’m not hurt but I am confused. Why would you say this when you know that I like it?

Putting them on the spot may make them realize how ludicrous this kind of passive-aggressiveness is. I have not applied this directly, but I generally don’t find being straightforward about issues problematic unless I’m talking to a liar.

  1. Ignore the comments very pointedly. Talk about what you want to talk about. Sometimes silence is louder than words. Someone recently made a jab at music I liked, and I just ignored them and kept talking to get to my point. I didn’t even acknowledge that they said anything. (This person is sort of a friend, so I guess it’s a different situation. But they are very snarky so I playfully jab them back - no visible detriment to our relationship, as far as I can tell.)

Now, I ask you to consider the following. I may be reading too much into your question, but maybe FA is jealous of your friendship with Liz. They are conceivably acting out of pettiness, but don’t plan on escalating things or ruining the friendship - because they are simply lashing out.

If you don’t know them and don’t plan on getting to know them, maybe ignoring them or playing nice would be the best. But if you’re in each other’s space a lot, maybe having a conversation would be worthwhile.

I don’t know how much this helped, but hope it did? I can edit my answer with more information. OP, you may want to also specify what country you’re in.

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