Are these comments insulting, or am I being too sensitive?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2008
Are these comments insulting, or am I being too sensitive?
Mon, 09-17-2012 - 9:30am

I have a newer friend who, over time, has made what I consider insulting comments about my kids.

For example, my 22 year old is not in school full time, but he is working and is planning on taking a class a semester.  He's trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life...not unusual for this age.  

My friend made a comment indicating my son was a screw up.  I don't see him that way, but I didn't say anything.

Another example...her daughter met my son early in the friendship and my friend said to me, "I told my daughter she should date your son and she said "no...he's not that cute."  

Granted...her daughter was the one who made the comment, but my friend thought this was funny.  I think my son is adorable, by the way.  And her daughter is not anything great.  But I WOULD NEVER SAY THAT.  

My friend has a sarcastic sense of humor, which I think is funny most of the time.  But her whole family is very negative about other people, and it's something I didn't recognize until we had coffee one day, and my friend made a flip comment about something I told her - in confidence - about something one of my kids was dealing with.

I had reached my limit, and I told her she had a big mouth, and told her I have enough to deal with, and got up and walked out of the cafe.

I know I didn't handle it well, but am wondering...what do you say to someone who continually makes derogatory comments about your family or kids?  Do you ignore it, then just ignore that person?  

I'm wondering if I should go back and tell her WHY I was so upset that day.  Am I being too sensitive?

I'd appreciate hearing other people's thoughts.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004

In my personal opinion, it might be that you are a little passive with her remarks. When she said your son was crew up. Why did you take it and didn't´t say a word? Like " Try your words to be better than your silence", Or "Well, he is my son and if you can´t say anything nice, please say nothing".

When she said that her daughter said your son is not that nice. You could have said. " Well, you should see how many girls find him attractive". or "Well how nice from your daughter and you are nicer telling me".

I don´t know, this are just examples, but you need to find your own voice or style to make people realize that what they have said was not nice.

If you contact your feelings, you can find how to respond.

People are so stupid that they don´t even realize that their words can hurt you. AGGGGGGGGGGR!

About the comment during the coffee.Probably you are a very private person and she is not. So, you are right, she must be more careful with her words.And that is called BIG MOUTH.

But the lesson here for you, is to set limits and don´t wait until you are that mad. LIMITS!

Good luck!

Limits have been a big issue in my life, I know it is hard.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2010
I think at the time she made those comments you should have spoke up and defended your son like a big ole Mama Bear!! Since you finally spoke up leave it this way...she hasn't earned your friendship.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

Sarcasm can be very funny (although often not when its directed at you) but it has a fine line between funny, and mean or rude. Your friend doesn't seem to know quite where that line is.

I don't think her comments go so far as to be insulting (as in, intended to insult you) but they are definitely insensitive. And I don't think you are being too sensitive. Some people don't seem to know when they just shouldn't tell something, or know when to keep their mouth shut. She may not even realize that her comments could be taken as insults.

She doesn't seem to be a person that you should share private or sensitive information with. If she has other good traits and you generally enjoy being around her then I would say continue to be friends with her while knowing there will be some topics that you will never discuss with her; and expect to have to let some comments roll off your back because she somehow doesn't know better than to not say them. You don't sound ready to completely write her off yet so I would say that yes you should try to explain to her why and how her words upset you. Hopefully she was jolted by your reaction in the cafe and is willing to listen and learn how her behavior prompted your reaction. Then you'll have to watch to see if she improves in the future. If that's too much work or not what you want in a friendship then it would be better to just stop hanging out with her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2008

I spoke in confidence to her because I thought we were good enough friends to do so.   At that point, I didn't have reason to not trust her, other than these occasional comments about my kids.  And, in fact, she was very supportive when my other son was in the hospital.

Knowing what I told her in confidence is not what's relevant here - whether it was, "He wears orange underwear" or whether it was, "He has developed a meth habit at age 11", the point is that I shared something with her and when I did, I stated explicitly and clearly that it was something I was confiding in - her - and did not want it repeated to anyone.  I also explained that it was a really difficult thing to deal with.

So...technically, she didn't repeat it - other than being in a public place and I don't know if anyone else heard it - but her comment about what I told her was insensitive at a minimum.  Let's say it was that my son has a meth habit (which he doesn't, but I'm speaking hypothetically).  Her comment was like saying "He has a meth habit and he's probably selling it too and making a lot of money."  So...making a joke about something that I was having a hard time dealing with - which is why I shared it with her, because she had been supportive when my other son was in the hospital, and I thought she'd be understanding and supportive.  Which I obviously misjudged.