Catty Remarks, Cloaked in Sugar

Hey, forbee...

Thanks. I hope you didn't get a bad impression of my hubby, because he really is a sweet person most of the time. I know he didn't mean to hurt me by saying that. It was simply a case of foot in mouth. He can be very blunt and doesn't always think before he speaks. Nevertheless, it did hurt. But it was 3 years ago. I'm trying to put it behind me. It was just a stupid comment. I'm thankful that I have a good marriage otherwise. I also know that if I were more confident, certain comments from people wouldn't bother me as much. I need to work on that.

I completely agree with the rest of y'all. I do perceive "rising above it" as weakness on some level, but that's what I've done most of my life. Sometimes I think of a witty comeback when it is too late. When I replay certain incidents in my mind I think of all the things I would like to say. There have been a few occasions when I have either told somebody off for insulting me or made a snappy comeback, but it is pretty rare. I have a temper but I don't show it very often. I'm pretty soft and I don't like confrontation so I've let a lot of stuff slide.

Like I remember a time when this girl told her boyfriend that I looked like a "hot mess" when I was just sitting there minding my own business. He simply shook his head and didn't say anything. He looked embarrassed. I would be too, if I were a guy and my girlfriend was acting like an insecure b*tch. I didn't respond to her catty comment but I was fuming inside. I decided that it would be more classy to not react. I was about 18 at the time and I was eating lunch with my aunt. I didn't want to embarrass my aunt by responding to the other girl.

I just thought it was funny that this girl was wearing a stained t-shirt and sweats, without a drop of makeup, and she had the nerve to criticize a complete stranger. I wanted to ask her if her clothes came from a dumpster. Mean, I know...but I knew so many girls like her in high school that were just catty and evil. I guess what stopped me is the realization that I would be stooping to her level if I did that. I don't want to be that kind of person, even if somebody deserves it.

Sometimes mean girls never grow up, because I know women in their 60's and 70's who still act like catty children. They pick other women apart based on looks. It's pathetic.

Anyway, this whole conversation brings up a lot of memories. I wish that as women we could all be nicer to one another. I'm not saying that we have to be all lovey-dovey but what happened to basic kindness and respect? I mean that in the general sense. I don't see any reason for women to treat one another badly. I don't know any of you guys personally, but you all seem really cool. I wish I knew you in real life. Maybe you could teach me a thing or two about being more confident and less passive.

I wonder if Kindred has had any more interesting conversations with her coworker?
Hi curlyhoneyb,

I don't feel any ill will toward your husband. I was just shocked.

As far as the mean girls thing, I definitely agree. I grew up being that ugly girl that everyone picked on because they could. I never defended myself, because everyone I talked to would advise me to ignore it. Once I even broke down crying because a couple of mean girls wouldn't stop pestering me. I was so embarrassed.

I think it was actually just a few years ago that I started defending myself. Now most people don't say ish to me. But I don't know what would have happened if I didn't get angry enough (oh was anger that finally propelled me to act) to overcome my shyness.

Now that I am a little more confident, I feel that nothing can stop me. I never thought that shy little me would ever get to this point.
last relaxer 08/08/09
all natural since 7/30/10

Shrinkage happens.
Nej and ND, I see what you're both saying, but being targeted is different than most of the examples in this thread. They strike me as one-offs with near- or complete strangers.

There are many slights, almost daily at times -- some intentional, some not -- which can and should be ignored, IMO. To do otherwise would be engaging with the crazy, and for me that is a huge waste of my time.

As an aside, I find that people's cattiness is typically pretty transparent. The poster earlier who mentioned someone saying she looked hot mess when that person didn't look so great herself is a fine example. I have found when people are harshly critical, they are often lashing out because they find themselves lacking somehow. Seeing their own weakness outside of themselves makes them fearful or something.

But if someone is going to target me and I must deal with them on a regular basis, well then, yes, they are going to hear from me about it.

But IME, such experiences are very rare, and getting rarer with each passing year, as my demeanor gets ever more refined at broadcasting to the world at large my low tolerance for ******** and bullying. There was this spate of it in junior high, then less and less ever since.

All that said, I still maintain that rumination and coming up with biting comebacks is almost never a good use of my time. If my hand is forced, I find directness works best, either something akin to figjam's suggestion, or something softer if the situation calls for it (i.e., someone I have to work with).
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 15,529
As always, to each her own
why would i want someone to marry me because of my looks? my marriage would soon be over as soon as my looks changed. i'm quite happy to have all shallow men pass me by.

her line of thinking is immature to say the least.
@ dj machismo, is that samus? she's my favorite.
@ dj machismo, is that samus? she's my favorite.
Originally Posted by frau
You got it. Sprite from Super Metroid.
Stephen Fry on "respect" and being "offended".
Calgon take me away.
Frau...I agree with you. Love really should have nothing to do with the way a person looks. Physical beauty is nice, but it isn't what matters in the long run.

wild~hair...ITA with your post. I feel the same way. Looking back, that girl was probably feeling insecure and she took it out on me.

Ninja're right, too. To each her own. I see other women all the time who might not be physically beautiful or stylish in *my* opinion, but I would never attack them or be unkind over some dumb ish like that. Like, really? Why? They aren't hurting anyone by wearing certain clothes or looking a certain way. Now if I think somebody looks ridiculous, that's fine, but I would rather keep my opinions to myself than be catty about it. There's simply no need for that.

The world is filled with all kinds of people. We all have our own tastes and preferences, likes and dislikes. I might not like another woman's style but I'm not about to criticize her. We all make judgments, me included, but sometimes it is better to think before you (general you) speak or not say anything at all if it isn't positive.

Some of us can remember when it wasn't just strangers but people close to us, like family, who have made hurtful comments. Some of my family is from the Caribbean. Jamaica, to be more specific. In some cultures, people have no problem with calling you fat to your face. I was always very thin until a few years ago. I wore a size 0. Now I'm a size 8 or 10, depending on the clothes. Some of my relatives, as well as others, are quick to point out that I'm not skinny anymore. It is said in a very mean-spirited way. But they praise my size 16 cousin constantly. She is beautiful but it hurts that my own family has never viewed me that way, too.

I understand where Kindred is coming from because I've also heard the "cute but not beautiful" backhanded compliment. It's like, wow, thanks. Calling somebody cute IS a compliment but when a person feels the need to add the part about "but not beautiful" it feels like an insult. Almost like they're trying to insinuate that you're just a homely Plain Jane in comparison to everybody else, especially if you did not ask for their unsolicited opinions of the way you look.

Not that there's anything wrong with being plain. I guess by many people's standards, that is what I am. But I constantly hear stuff like this and it gets me down after a while. It's fine if people don't find me attractive...I can live with that. But I also feel that there is a lot of hostility aimed at me because of the way I look, something I have very little control over. Sorry if this seems whiny, I'm just frustrated.

Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 15,529
I don't think it's whiney at all.

I don't understand why people quantify looks, as in, "you're this, but not that." My sense is that some of us grow out of the need for competition and realize most other women struggle with their looks, too, so we back off as we mature. Some of us don't, though, and those are the people using others as a means of inflating their damaged egos. I suspect those are the same people who have internalized the pressure to be a certain kind of beautiful, without recognizing that these are artificial standards that are often quite damaging to women: to our health, self-esteem, bank accounts, etc.

I struggle with my feelings about my appearance all.the.time. From my hair color (red) to my skin (pale, but not evenly "pretty pale") to my's a tough battle, feeling good about my looks. I do get positive attention at times, but it's a shallow high, and not worth much in the long run.

I think your family is hard on you.

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