How to respond to hurtful comments?
January 10, 2015 5:33 AM   Subscribe

I am in my 30s and have been single for a while. My confidence is already low due to this. I don't need other people constantly reminding me of it.

I went out the other night with a bunch of co-workers. Again, they started talking about the fact that I am single and pushing me to make a Tinder profile. I have no interest in Tinder and said so. They were really pushy and insisting on taking my picture and making a profile for me right then. I know it's supposed to be in good fun but I am kind of sick of the fact that they are entertaining themselves at my expense.

To make it worse, I pointed out another woman (in her late 20s) in our group that has also been single for ages. They all said "ah she doesn't need Tinder, guys go crazy for her". I have seen no evidence of that but whatever.

How to respond to that comment? It made me feel like s$%@ for the rest of the night as they seem to be blatantly saying that the other girl is more attractive than me.
posted by sabina_r to Human Relations (39 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I just wanted to add that there is all this self-help advice about other people not judging you or thinking about you as much as you think. And then it turns out that they are in fact judging you and quite harshly at that. I almost feel like inventing a long distance boyfriend or something.
posted by sabina_r at 5:46 AM on January 10, 2015

Not being in a relationship does not need to impact your self-confidence in this way - though it's not really your question I think it's worth working on separately.

The Tindr profile - you said you weren't interested, that was the right thing to do. Honestly if I were you I might have left when they wouldn't stop. You could say "Guys, this is making me really uncomfortable. Let's find something else to talk about, or I'll have to leave."

To make it worse, I pointed out another woman (in her late 20s) in our group that has also been single for ages. They all said "ah she doesn't need Tinder, guys go crazy for her".

When people say dumb stuff like that, either look them in the eye and say nothing while they slowly realize what they just said, or ask: "Do you realize what you just said?" or just "Wow."

However, I think you're putting a lot of weight on the opinions of a bunch of drunk, silly people. I don't think their behavior is about you, exactly. Especially if you have told any of them them about being unhappy that you are single - then they may have thought that they were being helpful.
posted by bunderful at 5:53 AM on January 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

Depending on the type of co-workers you have, honesty and openness about your feelings might work or it might backfire horribly. If you think they're not the type to take your open emotional response and use it as an excuse to mock you, something like this:

"Hey, guys, I know you think this is is helping me, or is at least only harmless fun. But it actually makes me feel terrible that you think I'm desperate and incomplete without a man. It's making me feel worse, not better. Please, can we talk about something else?"

If you think they'll just mock you more, go with:

"Great, and when we're done, I can make all of you profiles on Ashley Madison, since I have to listen to you bitch about your SOs all the damn time." Then change the subject.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:57 AM on January 10, 2015 [24 favorites]

You don't have to hang out with assholes. You don't have to hang out with people who make you feel bad. Really, you don't.

How did you try to say no when they made a Tinder profile for you? Did give reasons/excuses why it wouldn't work? Did you deflect? Did you flat-out say no?
posted by J. Wilson at 5:58 AM on January 10, 2015 [17 favorites]

It's not that they're criticizing you, necessarily. They may be living vicariously through you. To someone settled in a long-term relationship for years, the idea of Tindr can be fascinating (and also terrifying -- it's a complex thing). They can't very well set up a profile for themselves, so they start looking for someone affable and unintimidating to "ship".

I'm not sure how to shut them down while still being friendly -- maybe find some more interesting topic to distract them? Show them how happy you are as a single person? -- but I do know that you can interpret their interest as being interested in the unknown possibilities of your future, rather than condemnation of your present.

See: fan fiction; "shipping"; etc.
posted by amtho at 5:58 AM on January 10, 2015 [25 favorites]

If you're into it, maybe it will help to poke fun at their dependency on relationships in return. They're inviting it by going after you, so maybe you can enjoy the competitive banter of negotiating socionormativity in your favor. Philosophical debate of that sort has always been a favored defense mechanism of mine, but I'm a sociopath, so your millage may vary.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 5:59 AM on January 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

Wow, that's just inappropriate.

There are lots of ways to deal with this, if you're comfortable as a smart ass:

"If I wanted to settle, I would have done so by now."

"I'm perfectly happy being single, why does that bother you so much?"

"Tinder might be okay for you, but that's not my thing."

"If all I'm going to find on Tinder is the likes of you, I'll pass."

Or, if you're really feeling it, "Joe, this seems to be a favorite topic of yours, are you trying to tell me that YOU want to go out with me?"

Now, once it escalated, you should have gotten up and said, "This is crossing a line, I said no. No means no. Now I'm leaving. Joe, since you're such a big man, YOU can pay for my drink."

Then leave. Don't be persuaded to come back, don't buy into whatever drama this stirs up. Just leave.

The next time anyone brings it up, in any context, just say, "This topic is so old it has moth-holes. I'm single and I'm happy. You seem to be VERY concerned about my private life, why is that?" Then wait in perfect silence. At some point someone will stammer some lame thing out at which you can respond, "Do you understand now that my status is none of your business and that I don't want you to mention it or comment on it any more. If you say anything else I'll report it as harassment to HR, now drop it. Permanently."

Draw your own boundaries and respect them. They keep doing this, in part because you let them. Stop letting them. You can start off lightly and hopefully that will be the end of it.

As for letting other people decide how you feel, work on that. What other people think of you is none of your business. This really is a fake it till you make it situation.

Get a song that makes you feel like hot stuff, like Milkshake or Crazy in Love, something that in YOUR head gives you power. Keep telling yourself that you're awesome and worth more than what other people are willing to settle for.

These idiots are doing it because for whatever reason they think that women who aren't paired up are missing something, you need to set them straight about that.

Also, ask yourself, are these folks so amusing that you want to spend your private time with them? Are you doing happy hour after work because it's fun? Because it doesn't sound like fun to me.

Sounds to me like you're way more mature than these bozos.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:00 AM on January 10, 2015 [18 favorites]

These people sound like jerks. How do you respond? You leave and spend your time with better people or (better yet) doing things that restore your confidence.
posted by Toddles at 6:01 AM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Ruthless Bunny puts it really well.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 6:03 AM on January 10, 2015

What a bunch of boundary busting dicks. Leaving would have given them a drama feed 'she's so sensitive about it' - staying made you feel like hell... I had a friend pushing me about shit to do with an ex - she basically started looking him up on fb which I wouldn't touch with a barge-pole- it's all very well thinking what 'could' have been said in hindsight but sometimes peoples audacity just leaves ya' dumbfounded.

Tbh I am always a tad suspicious of people in relationships who bang on about why single people should be in a relationship (it's a different dynamic, surely, if the single person themselves had sought this conversation out?). It genuinely makes me wonder how great their relationship is to want to be poking around in my life, uninvited, in this way. I would bet money on some of them being in less than fantastic relationships. It's also kind of a fall back topic for folk who don't have other things going on in their lives, which as a single person you likely do.

You might like Bella DePaulo.

Hope you find some good company, I couldn't bear 5 minutes with those folk.
posted by tanktop at 6:17 AM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm in my late 20s but otherwise in the same boat. Do you have to socialize with these people for the sake of work? If not, I think you'd be much happier if you stopped spending time with these people. Even if they mean well, that doesn't override the fact that their actions are hurtful. Ruthless Bunny, as usual, is right on the money.
posted by pemberkins at 6:38 AM on January 10, 2015

Response by poster: I don't "have to" socialize with them but I am in a new city and they are the only "friends" I have. It's a choice between hanging out with them or staying at home alone. We sometimes go to bars/clubs so it may be a good way to meet new people. Do you all think that staying home is better?
posted by sabina_r at 6:45 AM on January 10, 2015

What J. Wilson and jacquilynne said. Stop hanging out with these people, if you have the choice. If you don't, either be honest with them (if they're usually kinder than this example indicates) or say something like "You just want me to test out Tinder so I can help you with it when you're divorced." Maybe you can bond with the other single woman in the group more?

On a different note, for your own self esteem, there is another way you could interpret their actions: it's flattering. They think you should, could, and will find a partner (or at least a series of dates.) No one suggests dating sites or other man-finding avenues to single woman they think are hopeless. ASK ME HOW I KNOW. Yes, it's supremely annoying and rude, but try to think of it as if they're clumsily telling you they believe in you.

On preview: Yes, I absolutely think staying home, or better yet, doing things on your own, is better.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 6:50 AM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

You know what? Leaving could very well have fed them something new to make drama about - but it would not have been in your presence. People of this caliber - people who would ignore your protests and freaking make a Tinder profile for you against your wishes - don't really need to be taken very seriously. Would you be hurt by a tantruming child who called you a poopy head? Sure, these people may judge you, but these are the judgments of people who would MAKE A FREAKING TINDER PROFILE AGAINST YOUR WISHES. You're not the one who comes off crappily there.

Being ganged up on naturally makes a person feel fragile and powerless, so do what you can to take that power back. Trying to divert attention to another single person is just playing their game, and maybe even validating the game in a weird way. You don't have to do that. Personally I think it would've helped to do a reality check in the moment: these people were behaving incredibly immaturely. What is the best response to that? Be above this bullshit. Be the classy one. Picture yourself as the adult in the presence of a group of junior highschoolers, not as the helpless victim surrounded by bullies (which is not to say you weren't being bullied - you'd be the best one to judge that). To me, that would mean disengaging because you're just not interested in this tedious jackassery - not flouncing out in a huff, but just saying it seemed like a good time for you to head out, see you all on Monday, etc.

Walk away calmly, and leave the monkeys to their poo flinging - you deserve better than that crap.
posted by DingoMutt at 6:50 AM on January 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

I hear you on the no established social circle thing. Is there perhaps a person or three in that group who aren't exhibiting a deep need to see you in a relationship by next week? Hang out with them. In fact, invite them to show you their city and to others of their friends. It sounds like this is a case of "none of us is as stupid as all of us." Getting in a relationship sounds like a fantastic way not to experience a new place in all its glory. Tell them that.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 6:51 AM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

Staying home to avoid them is worse than staying home because there's a hobby or something else drawing you home. Getting to a place where you can impose your will upon them instead of having them impose theirs on you is probably the better scenario.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 6:52 AM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

We sometimes go to bars/clubs so it may be a good way to meet new people. Do you all think that staying home is better?

I think your premise is flawed here. Yes, of course it can be easiest to make friends with the people who are already in your day-to-day environment, which can often be your coworkers. But the usual 'meeting people' ideas apply here - you can join Meetup and find groups of people you'd enjoy, you can take a class at the local community college, volunteer, call for a Mefi meetup, etc ... there are other people out there besides your coworkers, and you would be doing yourself a favor to find them (not only for their own sake, but so that you could hang out with your coworkers on more equal footing - it's a lot easier to say what you're not going to put up with when you feel like you have other alternatives, yeah?).
posted by DingoMutt at 6:53 AM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

Ack, I just glanced back through your question history and would like to even more strenuously suggest you look for ways to make friends outside of work. You yourself recognize that you're working with gossipy, backstabbing people; that is neither normal nor healthy, and it makes a terrible pool from which to cultivate friends. I suspect part of the reason these people's actions are hurting you so much is that you've become so wrapped up in their dysfunctionality that you've lost sight of how inappropriate it is, which is understandable if they've been your main social contact for several months now. I hope that you'll take to heart all the people here telling you that what your coworkers are doing is NOT acceptable, but it'll probably be easier to really believe that once you have other friends in your immediate area to support you.

Again - Meetup, classes, volunteering, Mefi meetups ... I know it's not easy, but what you're doing right now is obviously not easy on you either. Don't rely on your coworkers as a good way to meet new people, as odds are good you're only going to meet other people like those coworkers this way. Break out and find something healthier - you deserve that!
posted by DingoMutt at 7:06 AM on January 10, 2015 [9 favorites]

These people don't sound very nice. Would you be friends with them if they acted this way and you didn't work with them?

You can politely decline these invites to "happy" hour. These people don't sound like they are all that happy if this is how they treat a coworker.

There are plenty of other ways to make friends, from attending religious services, or volunteering at Petsmart to feed and clean liter for cats up for adoption. The latter invites conversation about animals and pet anecdotes, not conversation about how you're single. Any volunteer effort sparks conversation more about that and less about you.
posted by SillyShepherd at 7:22 AM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

How do you respond to this? Tell them to STOP. If you enjoy hanging out with these people except for the dating nonsense, the next time someone brings it up just say, "Listen. I'm really happy with my life and I don't want any more dating advice from you. You need to drop it because it's pissing me off."
posted by kinetic at 7:32 AM on January 10, 2015

We sometimes go to bars/clubs so it may be a good way to meet new people. Do you all think that staying home is better?

In your previous questions, you sound like a nice and lovely person - I think if your stupidhead coworkers are making you doubt yourself, it's going to negatively impact any new connections with people you could be making on these outings. So yeah, I think staying home to research your own independent social activities, the kind that SillyShepherd suggests above, is better. Then you'll have activities lined up, so you won't really be staying home in the long run.

(I'm suddenly single after 10+ years, and that's my plan for building my new social group, so know you're not alone in this.)
posted by wheek wheek wheek at 7:56 AM on January 10, 2015

Your choice is not between going out with these people and staying home.

Your choice is between going out with these people, taking a class, joining a meetup, volunteering, getting to know your neighbors, getting coffee or a drink at a friendly neighborhood spot, etc. It's hard to find the right thing, the right group, etc. It takes a lot of courage and patience, but when it pays off it really pays off. And being the new person at a yoga class, poetry reading, or volleyball may be awkward, but it sounds a lot better than hanging out with people you don't like that much.
posted by bunderful at 8:03 AM on January 10, 2015 [16 favorites]

It's true what someone said above- if they are obsessed with your single status then they are BORED. You don't think they would rather have something "more interesting" to talk about? But obviously they don't. So, hang out with them occasionally while you're still new and figuring things out then try to join various things/volunteer etc so you can meet a wider variety of people to be friends (or more?:)) with.
posted by bquarters at 8:31 AM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

"I'm just skipping the first marriage."

That's what I always do at my family gatherings where there are always drunk people looking to make you feel as bad as they do-- have line ready. "Actually I've been making a ton of money writing porn," was what I used to say during a period of unemployment. It happened to be true, except for the ton of money part but I loved the double take from the half in the bag uncle or aunt who expected me to respond defensively.
posted by BibiRose at 8:44 AM on January 10, 2015 [16 favorites]

"I'm perfectly happy being single, why does that bother you so much?"

This is usually the perfect answer. Your co-workers are assholes.

I actually dislike it when an OP's previous AskMes are checked when they ask a question, but someone else has already done it, so being the lemming that I am, I did it too. You have asked many questions about being lonely, possible boyfriends, and wanting a boyfriend. Are you talking at work about being lonely and wanting a boyfriend? Or somehow projecting it through envy of others' talk of their marriages or relationships? It is entirely possible that your jerky tone deaf inappropriate co-workers actually think that they're helping you. Sometimes when people like you and hear your sadness, they want to help. HOW they are helping is assholish though, yeah.

Note: even if you are projecting your desire for a boyfriend at work, I am in no way blaming YOU for how idiotic your co-workers are. Memorize some of the very good shut down lines above and use them!
posted by the webmistress at 8:56 AM on January 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

Seconding the webmistress. You learn who is trustworthy by trusting; some people fail the test and get their personal information privileges revoked.
posted by bunderful at 9:56 AM on January 10, 2015

Ok, just answering the question you asked about this particular instance - if this stupidity emerged as a thing from them goofing around after they'd had a few, and I generally liked them (assuming I'd also had a few), I would probably not go heavy and might instead try to fob it off with something like, "Yeah, no, actually good point, Layla's a total hottie. Anyway, me, I'm good, honestly, because believe it or not I really like being able to watch tv in the absence of remote control wars. This is very important to me. Also, you have no idea what I get up to on weekends." I'm a goofball, so I might spin that out into some obviously ridiculous scenario involving spending a lot of time at random hotels, or if they persisted, maybe I'd playfully grab my phone and run away (assuming we're all half in the bag, ok, and assuming we are in fact friends).

I think if they're horrible people, don't hang out with them. It's worth doing the extra work to build yourself the kind of life you want, no question. If they're ok people with some blind spots, and you could take them with a grain of salt, I think you could occasionally go out with them with that in mind and boundaries firm, but it's better to focus your energy elsewhere.

Generally, if people are asking probing out of genuine but misguided concern, I would say one of the things people above suggested, I have said those things. I don't find this emotionally difficult though, because I am happy being single right now, and I'd sincerely prefer to be on my own than to be in a bad relationship (but this was a hard-won lesson, and it's not something I made myself feel). If you'd rather not be alone, take others' advice above and create opportunities for more new friendships.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:00 AM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Think about looking into co counselling international for a nice support network. Like everywhere there can be jerks, but I find them to be in the minority.
posted by tanktop at 10:23 AM on January 10, 2015

I'm guessing their comment about "Oh she doesn't need Tinder, guys go crazy for her" was just a way to deflect your attempt to switch focus because they seemed to be having fun teasing you about joining Tinder -- they didn't want to move the topic off you. I don't think they were saying you're uglier than her or anything. I would shut down that thinking. If anything, they may have been implying that she does try to date and you don't, which is why they wanted to push this.

I'm not going to suggest you don't socialize with your co-workers, but I would try to keep your personal life away from them and make friends outside of work you can socialize with and share more about yourself with. The problem with work friends is you have to see them everyday and they are also a piece of your livelihood. It's a bit of a "don't shit where you eat" sort of thing -- try to keep your work friendships from being too personal, especially since it sounds like you don't trust these people at all. Friendships outside of work will be more honest and your job or daily workplace happiness will never be at stake. Do stay friends with them, but try to share less about yourself and focus on them more.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:23 AM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Describe their behaviors accurately. Hey, that's really invading my privacy. (creating a profile) or Well, that was a mean comment. or You really say that to a person? not sweeping generalities, just calm labels of nastiness. Distract them. Come prepared with topics to use to distract them from meanness. Did you see that email from the VP? or Did you see Game of Thrones last night? Be more positive about yourself in a joke-y way. Of course I'm single. So few guys can deal with my awesomeness. and Well, I don't want to settle for a someone who doesn't appreciate me. and once in a while just say It's a shame none of you know anyone nice to introduce me to.

Take classes, find hobbies, something, anything, to develop nicer friends. People who treat you shitty just make you feel bad. I'd rather go to the library or a coffee shop on my own.
posted by theora55 at 11:41 AM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Do you all think that staying home is better?

In this case, yes.

Now, let's get real. You're not going to meet anyone of quality in a place these yutzes congregate. You haven't yet have you?

Things you can do in a new place that get you out of the house mixing and mingling:

1. Get on OKC or Match to meet folks you might want to date. (Not quite Tindr.)

2. Take classes. Do a night course for work, an MBA (I did this, met GREAT people.) Take cooking classes, or a writing workshop, or conversational Spanish through the Continuing Education extension of your local Community College. When I lived in Pittsburgh, Pitt offered architectural walking tours on Saturday that were really fun and interesting, I also took a class in Feng Shui.

3. Fitness. Join a Yoga studio or a gym and explore the classes there. You'll meet plenty of folks that way. Another option is Latin dancing. If they're offering lessons, go and learn, then practice afterwards.

4. Singles clubs. There are places that do adventures with groups of singles. So you go skiing with a bus load of folks, and you meet new faces. And you ski!

5. UU Church. Not at all churchy and often kind of on the weird side. The odds are good, and the goods are odd. I met one of my best friends there.

6. Get a second job. I moonlighted at Macy's mostly for something to do rather than sit in traffic after work. I met some great women there and I'm still friends with them 30 years later. Perhaps you can tend bar in a pub, or be a server in a bistro, or work weekends in a small shop. Not for money, but to have a little fun.

You get the idea. Go places where folks are and go at the same times and you'll likely run into the same people, then you'll strike up a conversation and then you make friends.

It's harder as you get older, you don't naturally hang out in places where folks are likely to strike up friendships, so you have to work harder at it.

This is a list of things I'd rather do at home, than hang out with assholes:

1. Count the money I'm saving by not buying drinks

2. Cook healthy meals every night

3. Clean a little bit every day so I'm never taking chunks of time cleaning on the weekend

4. Beauty treatments

5. Organizing my outfits for the upcoming week so I'm not staring into my closet wondering what to wear and wasting time in the morning

6. Phone calls with friends and family at home

7. Read

8. Pet my kitty

9. Knit, sew or scrapbook
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:43 AM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

OH! Join a sports team. I learned Ice Hockey and then played in a league. It was AMAZE-BALLS!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:44 AM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think these people sound really bored and are just looking for stuff to talk about.

My co-workers are constantly inquiring and advising on the dating lives of the single people among us, because we don't have much to talk about and aren't really friends, and it's something we have in common. No harm is meant - really none of these people could care less about said dating lives; they just can't think of other entertaining topics.

How to respond to the comments? Just say "haha no, gross" and change the subject to your co-workers and their relationships.
posted by fingersandtoes at 11:58 AM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

Dang, the Bunny beat me to a lot of these suggestions. I agree with her that yes, staying home would be better than going anywhere with those toxic jerks. But you don't have to stay home just because you're not hanging out with them, and you shouldn't.

You're far more likely to meet people if you ditch this group. Try places that aren't dedicated to partying or drinking because in my experience most people are there to drink/party/dance or find dates/hook up. And even if there is someone meet, you can't do it when these jerks are there because they're monopolizing your time and scaring off anyone who might want to talk to you.

RB's suggestions are great and I was even going to suggest visiting a Unitarian Universalist church if you want fellowship. They accept all faiths (or none, if you're atheist/agnostic) in their congregation. My other suggestion: volunteer. You'll meet people who have the same interests or believe in the same causes as you. All kinds of places need volunteers, from museums, libraries, and interest groups to after-school programs and homeless shelters and crisis centers.
posted by i feel possessed at 12:13 PM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Get a hobby and go do that instead of hanging out with these people. Take a class, join a meetup, learn a new sport or craft. Go to book clubs or board game cafes or dancing lessons. Travel. Whatever, just get the heck out, on your own, and meet new people entirely unconnected to the group whose behavior is toxic to you.

Once you do, set the expectation with the new group that you want to meet people- for friendship first and foremost. Yippee if a relationship eventually comes out of it, but don't make it the purpose. I'd also make a point of *not* whinging about your singlehood (even if you are not thrilled being single) with these new friends.

Societal expectation to be in a relationship (from my mother, my dentist, my guide on the Inca trail..) used to really piss me off when I'd been single for five years. I didn't much like being single, and I wasn't single on purpose, and the bullshit pressure from all sorts of people pushed me into desperately trying to turn OKcupid dates I wasn't that into into relationships. Ugh. (I was so sick of losing I just wanted to win). I eventually quit okcupid in a huff and it was a great decision (not least because Mr. Nat and I got together less than a year later).

So yeah, being happy single is awesome, if you can swing it; but even if you would rather be coupled, being okay with being single and making non-toxic new friendships of your own is the way to go.
posted by nat at 12:34 PM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

"It's a choice between hanging out with them or staying at home alone"

No, it isn't. Go to some meetups. Volunteer. Take some classes.

If it were me, I would never spend any time voluntarily socializing with these jackasses again. There is no excuse for their behavior and it's not your job to try to rehabilitate them. You deserve better friends.
posted by mysterious_stranger at 3:00 PM on January 10, 2015

Ugh, what jerks. Go do something you like, or are interested in, instead of hanging out with jerks.

Volunteering is good because even if you're like me and tend to have social anxiety breakdowns about going to things alone, you can say "This is for a good cause. I don't have to be comfortable. This is worth doing." And almost every time, it was fine, I relaxed, I enjoyed myself. And I was glad I didn't stay home afraid. And I built up my confidence and met people who became, if not always lovers or best friends, friends and acquaintances I was glad to know.

And then next time they say "Let's go out and talk about your love life!" you can say "Sorry, ladies, I have a thing tonight, you'll have to go drink without me."
posted by emjaybee at 4:12 PM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

If you have the nerve, you can always say something like 'Thanks that sounds great. Then we can find a good diet plan for you Marcus cause you've really put on the pounds. And Doreen, we can find a support group for your fear of flying, I feel it's really holding you back. And David, I've been thinking your therapist isn't doing a very good job so we can find you a new one who will finally help you get over your childhood inner demons. This is going to be fun! Let's get started right away guys!'

Then you smile broadly and genuinely. The table will be silent and you can enjoy them squirming for once. I can almost guarantee it will be the last time they do it, esp. if you pick soft spots on everyone. Weight, fears, aging faces, really anything is open since they have no boundaries.
posted by RichardHenryYarbo at 12:44 PM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's not that they're criticizing you, necessarily. They may be living vicariously through you.

Yeah, and your other single co-worker already gives them enough conversational material. THAT'S your real inadequacy. From their perspective.
posted by feral_goldfish at 1:07 PM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

« Older Tell me about your favorite European cookware...   |   What's the difference between an electric viola... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.