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Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,860
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

@grandma r wrote:

Usually I try to ignore such comments, but, for the past year or so a certain neighbor feels the need to be unkind.  For whatever reason, she only makes comments if another person is present. 

 

For instance, I was working outside wearing faded jeans and a tee shirt, no makeup except for eyebrows (I don't have any).  Anyway, she and her husband were passing by and stopped to chat.  The husband said my hair looked nice(I had lost my hair due to illness in the past).  Before I could say thank you, she chimed in with "she always likes to look like a beauty queen"!!  Beauty queen????  I was a sweaty mess from weeding!!!  I didn't acknowledge her comment, but, thanked the husband about noticing my hair and said I needed to get back to work.

 

A month or so later we ran into this couple at a local eatery.  I was wearing a D&Co tee shirt dress and flats.  Yes, I was showered, had makeup and jewelry on, and my hair was fixed.  Her first comment was " well, aren't you fancy??".  I smiled and my husband said our table was ready.

 

At my age, I really don't want or need a confrontation, however, I can't figure out why this woman is being so snarky.  We have known her for 30+ years, as neighbors more so than friends.  She has made comments over the years and I have ignored them.  Ever since my illness and recovery she is worse.  I am not the only neighbor that gets these remarks either.

 

Thanks for listening!!!!  I think I will just continue to not comment to her.  Although, some days I would really like to shut her up!  I just don't understand why some people feel the need to be so unkind, especially to people they really only know to see.


 

I haven't read the replies, but want to respond to just this post.

 

You've know her for a long time. She has always been like this to some extent, but it is just getting worse (in my reading of your post). Might I suggest a few things.

 

First, it could just be her, and most likely is. She is aging, and her not so nice traits are getting more prominent. It happens to many. The mean and bitter get more so. What it stems from we don't know but could be anything from age, to dementia (or other medical reasons), or just the fact that she gets away with it and for so many years, it keeps building with her. 

 

Her husband could be speaking kindly about you to her when they are alone, or speaking of you with sympathy or with admiration of how you handled your illness, and that isn't going down very good with her. Perhaps she is jealous that her husband notices/thinks well of you. 

 

Perhaps she is just a bit jealous of you period. Maybe you fit society's standards  better in weight, height, attractiveness, and dress and maintain your appearance better than she does or can. Perhaps it is just that she feels inferior to you and she handles her insecurity in that way. 

 

There is always the possibility that she doens't mean things the way you hear/take them, or not as severe. We all know people who have a 'different' way of saying or doing things that can come across quite different (more harsh, gruff, hard) than we know is in their minds and hearts. It's just the way they are.

 

And there is always the possibility you are getting more sensitive over time, and noticing/tolerating less from her.

 

My guess is it is her and her insecurities whether she has some medical/mental reason for getting worse or not, we can't know.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,899
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Some people are just inept when communicating, don't know how to make conversation or give compliments.  Perhaps she is one of them.  OP says she has known the woman for 30+ years and there have been such type of remarks for years.  Perhaps it is part of her personality and she may not be aware she comes off as being offensive.  Though I admit the "beauty queen" comment seemed snarky.   I would probably said "What?" "You're  kidding right?"  She may have responded "You always look so nice."

 

Perhaps no one has questioned her when she makes what they feel is an untoward comment.  I don't mean getting confrontational, just asking out of curiosity.   She may be very surprised people are viewing her like this.

 

I don't know, just trying to bring a different point of view on the subject.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,010
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Is it possible that that is  how she actually gives compliments?

 

Maybe she just doesn't know how, or can't, give a compliment the way people normally do.

**********
"The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."
- Augustine

Be Vigilent
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,162
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

It's no surprise people who try to discourage or tear people down with their words are the most unhappy people walking the planet. And yes, they're trying to get a response from you. They WANT to rent space in your head. There is an appropriate time to respond to evil, but most often, no response is your best alternative. BE SILENT. BE SAFE. It's the power of the positive 'no.'

 

  

"I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees." Henry David Thoreau
Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,104
Registered: ‎10-26-2010

Thank you to everyone who took time to read my post.  Thank you to everyone who commented.  I have read every response at least once and I do value your input.

 

Yes, I have become more sensitive these past several years.  I will take your suggestions and move on.

 

Thank you again for helping me put things into better order in my head.  I appreciate your help!!!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 21,215
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

@grandma r   I think her husband probably has said once or twice how nice you look... and she is very jealous.  He should not say anything to her or about such matters  as appearance of other women.. no SMART HUSBAND ever would.

 

( my husband NEVER has commented about what he thinks of how other women look for over the 40 years we have been together... keeps that stuff to himself thank goodnessSmiley Happy)  

 

 I would not worry about it.  It is between her and her husband. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,304
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

@Allegheny wrote:

Some people are just inept when communicating, don't know how to make conversation or give compliments.  Perhaps she is one of them.  OP says she has known the woman for 30+ years and there have been such type of remarks for years.  Perhaps it is part of her personality and she may not be aware she comes off as being offensive.  Though I admit the "beauty queen" comment seemed snarky.   I would probably said "What?" "You're  kidding right?"  She may have responded "You always look so nice."

 

Perhaps no one has questioned her when she makes what they feel is an untoward comment.  I don't mean getting confrontational, just asking out of curiosity.   She may be very surprised people are viewing her like this.

 

I don't know, just trying to bring a different point of view on the subject.


^This is a good idea.  I have not tried another idea I once read that is supposed to stop this sort of thing.  It is supposed to put her way of talking to you back on her to own and consider immediately and later on.

 

First put your best friendly voice and smile on:  "Thanks but why do you say that to me?"  or if what she says is more outlandish like the Beauty Queen remark, change it to "Thanks but what makes you say such a thing?", making a Beauty Queen remark the focus for her consideration.

 

It covers your acknowledgement of a 1) couched compliment, 2) that it comes entirely from her head, and 3) that she has responsibility for the snark.

 

She'll probably respond something about liking your jewelry or that you always look nice and you can respond with something nice that has already been covered in this thread.  It might work to make her think twice before she snarks again or might not, could be worth a try and if you have to do it again on another day, all the better.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,892
Registered: ‎07-03-2013

Since she's a neighbor, I wouldn't confront her.  I would play on her words.  You look like a beauty queen = Aren't you fancy.  Thank you Sue, I appreciate your kind words.  Kill her with kindness.  😉

Honored Contributor
Posts: 23,907
Registered: ‎05-10-2010

Oh, just ignore the woman.  You are placing far to much importance on a few strange comments.  Obviously, you are not friends and never were so what difference does it make?  When she makes those comments, just say nothing and smile.  But more importantly, don't let them bother you.  It's just not worth it.  It does sound like she might be a little jealous of you and she's behaving like a high school girl.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 26,549
Registered: ‎12-17-2012

I'm a snarky person.  I use the snark to figure out if someone has a sense of humor or not.  If they don't come back with a "snark" then I know to be a normal person around them.  Not saying you don't have a sense of humor, but saying that she is now on a rude path. 

 

She is being rude for whatever her reason is.  Just ignore her comments or come back with a whitty response.  You could probably shut her down with a few words. 

 

Or ... just give her the "Look" when she opens her mouth.  LOL  Amazing how that works ...  and those around you will understand even if she doesn't. Smiley Wink

 

Just keep being you!  You've earned it and NO ONE can take that away.

Fate whispers to her, "You cannot withstand the storm." She whispers back, "I am the storm."