How to stop subtle bullying behavior.
August 5, 2010 9:51 AM Subscribe
How to stop bullying in a friend/business relationship?
posted by anonymous to human relations (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Anonymous because the person in question might know my Mefi handle.
I've been friends with this person for two years, awhile ago we started a business together. A good person, but abrasive at times, however lately it has turned into a bullying behavior.
That person would make disparaging comments about my person, but in a veiled way, coming off as a friendly ribbing, not an outright put-down. For instance that person would make comment about my abilities or appearance with positive-negative reinforcement (in that order), building me up then tearing me down. But in a really subtle way, however it gets repeated in nearly every turn of conversation. When I change the subject or ignore it, that person would repeat it until I react (usually with annoyance/frustration). It's difficult to call that person out on it, because I tend to realize what was happening after the fact. Also again, it's done in friendly manner, so that person usually insist that it wasn't meant that way.
Personally, I believe that it's immaturity and control issue and that person is not completely aware of it as I've done similar things in my younger days (the partner is 6 years younger than me).
It didn't happen overnight and I've since realized that I've been enabling it. This hasn't turned into a full-blown problem yet, but at this rate it will. So what is the best way for dealing with those really subtle, veiled disparaging comments that are difficult to catch in the act?