Antagonism

View from window today. Hard to keep up the pessimism...
View from window today. Hard to keep up the pessimism...

Do you know that weird and distinctly unpleasant feeling when somebody around you actively dislikes you? There’s a mother in my son’s new school who at first seemed like a nice person. Very well groomed, pretty, nice language, etc. Engaged her in conversation (at “event”) to find out more about her. Very quickly I felt an extreme amount of condescension and wondered what I’d done to antagonise her so quickly? When I met her again a week or so later it was even worse. Such a horrible sinking feeling.

However, two things happened to put me somewhat at ease. The first thing was that at this second occasion I overheard her speak in the exact same way to several other people. The other that I was reminded of another woman I’ve met recently, also beautiful, well groomed and this one even married to a lovely man, who acts in the same way.

So I gather that I’m “a type” that this kind of women can’t be bothered with. This is very puzzling. It’s absolutely OK not to like me, there are lots of people I don’t like. But usually I get to know them before I decide whether I like them or not? (unless they say something really horrible in the first 3 sentences). A lovely friend I’ve got here in the UK says that I’m much more direct than most British and that this is very likely to put some people off. Well, that sure also put some people off back in Denmark, but I believe it could be worse here, where people never seem to say anything, even the most innocent, straight out.

I was ridiculously happy when my otherwise tolerant and super-easygoing husband, on his own accord and quite without prompting, said of the second woman: “I truly dislike her. Pity, because I like the husband.” Yeah!!! So wonderful to know that it wasn’t just me.

I always try hard, really hard, to put these things behind me, but as you can see from this post, I don’t find it easy. I think it’s to do with my background – I was seriously bullied as a child and frightfully lonely. Once I started in high school all was good, but I guess these things stick!

Another blogger and twitterer wrote about an episode of adult bullying recently. I so empathised with her! Actually, her audacious blog post brought good things with it, so read her next post as well.

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2 tanker om “Antagonism”

  1. How horrid! Usually, though, the kinds of people who feel obliged to make others feel small by inflating their own sense of self importance are actually very fragile and insecure. Thus they need to create these false hierarchies. It’s pathetic, actually, though it doesn’t feel very nice to be on the receiving end of it. The British seem to specialise in this kind of behaviour – I note we are almost trained into it from birth.
    Truly happy, well mannered and gracious people never act in this manner, and neither do those who are feel really loved, liked and at ease with themselves. Beauty, grooming and nice clothes are no armour against feeling like shit inside, so I wouldn’t be surprised if either of these women are a jumble of insecurity behind the facade.
    Good for you for being honest, true and open.
    xoxo

  2. Nothing worse than alpha-mums!!

    At my children’s school we have also got our fair share… The worst one actually being… well yes, Danish! Though pretending hard not to be! So hard in fact, that when we moved back into the country two years ago and sent our, back then non-English-speaking, children to the local school it took the girl sitting next to my daughter three weeks to come out and tell everyone that she spoke a bit of Danish. Alpha-mum’s daughter!!! Her mum, whom I met 7 years ago in the Danish Club in Wimbledon makes a point of not helloing me…. Fortunately, she’s got a reputation of treating everyone a bit overweight or not well groomed or not rich (how she knows the latter beats me…!)or not whatever… like this!

    My reaction: I go out of my way to say hello everytime I see her… Love it!!! Makes my day!! Probably not the slightest bit any more mature than antagonism, but there you go. That’s me – only human. Embracing decent behavior, honesty and directness. And by the way, I don’t agree with British people not being direct – they just have a fab way of hiding it in their way with language. I’ve never met a people more able to be rude with out being! It’s all in between the lines. Okay, maybe that’s not directness but the exact opposite. But it’s clever! Very clever, so difficult to argue with and I love it!! As long as I’m not on the receiving .

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