Ridicule from family friend - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-30-2007, 05:09 PM
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We have a family friend who is forever teasing me about me being a vegetarian. At first it was funny, and we would all laugh. However, lately it has been going too far. This has been going on for about a year now. I finally decided to get advice here after an incident this weekend. I was at a party for his daughter, where there were many people my age (17, 18ish.)

We were all standing in a big group, eating cake. Then he say's "Don't worry, there is no animal fat in the cake" really loudly. Everyone started talking saying "She's a vegetarian?" (I should add that the country we are from is HUGE on meat.)

I tried to smile and pretend I didn't hear the people around me whispering.

Then, later that night he was on the phone with my mom, and then came into the room where everyone was and said "I think I gave your daughter meat, she is looking a little green." Everyone was quiet and looking at him as he went on saying that I was looking sick.

This may not seem too bad, but it was very embarrassing for me as I am very private and I don't go ranting about my vegetarianism, especially in front of people from my country.

Some more things that bother me are that he is a grown man teasing someone else's teenage daughter. To me that seems to be over the line.

Also, he likes to tease our family. He will say things like my siblings and I are spoiled, we are sissies, etc.

I am not sure how to approach this, since my family and I always camp with them.

He seems to be worst when I am around my peers, so he can embarrass me.

I have actually considered swearing at him in front of everyone just so he can get the message.

Please help! He is not the type of person who I can discuss this with, he will actually laugh in my face.
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#2 Old 04-30-2007, 05:28 PM
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This is hard - can you ask another member of your family to approach him, perhaps? You need to talk to him - I'm sure that if he understands that what he is doing is genuinly hurting you, then he wouldn't laugh at you. Perhaps because you have taken it on the chin for so long, he thinks that you don't mind.

Good luck - I've had this problem, and I try and ignore it (then rant to friends and family about it afterwards!)

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#3 Old 04-30-2007, 05:32 PM
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I think you should tell him to his face what you think. Cuss him, you're entitled to. He's bullying you, and it isn't right. If you sees first-hand that you won't take sh*t from him, perhaps he'll tone down.
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#4 Old 04-30-2007, 05:36 PM
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Have you talked with him about how this bothers you?

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#5 Old 04-30-2007, 06:07 PM
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Not really. He isn't the most negotiable person.

It's worth a try though!
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#6 Old 04-30-2007, 06:15 PM
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I would mention it to him, and if he's still completely insensitive, tell him that you won't be able to spend time with him anymore and do your best to avoid him. If that's not realistic because he's at a lot of family gatherings that you want to attend, I would tell him that you'll simply have to ignore him and do that. I would find it impossible to spend too much time with such a person.
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#7 Old 04-30-2007, 07:57 PM
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This guy is a bully, trying to pass it off as humor. Or so it sounds.

Telling him directly and privately would be best -- if he will listen. If that fails, I would lose my interest in worrying about his feelings.

I don't know how your cultural rules are, but here I would wait until he makes such comments in company and ask "Is it considered polite in your household to make fun of other people's eating habits?" That is likely to embarass him somewhat, which is pretty much what he deserves.
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#8 Old 04-30-2007, 08:47 PM
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I am wary of encouraging passive aggressiveness, because I do think a calm, thought-out confrontation expressing your honest feelings is always THE best way. But for difficult situations, when I'm being harassed by someone I don't really know- I've learned to either one-up them, or basically ignore them in a way to create a very uncomfortable an awkward silence (which usually leads other people who are around to stop and think "wow, what an assh**e!").

I think I've developed this from many many years in the customer service industry where, you CANNOT confront someone, even if they are being extremely rude and vulgar (because you either won't get a tip or will be fired). Many times I had to approach a table full of a bunch of college aged guys who couldn't wait to make me (a girl) squirm in front of his friends.

So I became pretty quick at coming back with a better response to shut them up, or blatantly ignore them and try and make THEM feel uncomfortable. By blatant I don't mean pretending you didn't hear them, I mean make it really obvious that you heard them, and you are ignoring them.

On Saturday I attended a wedding and it was great because the bride made sure that I had a vegan meal. I was at the same table as a young, cocky, and immature guy who seemed to constantly need to be the center of attention. He made some comments, at which point I shot things right back at him (meaning instead of him get a laugh, I got a laugh). Then finally he made some idiot remark about "Don't worry, the rolls are only made of pine sap"

At this point everyone looked at me, and I made a face (I just look really really bored), turned my head to the guy next to me and said "WOW THAT WAS FASCINATING, EH?" Then I just went on with my business. That shut him up.

Never ever let people make you think it's you. It is utterly ridiculous that anyone question things that are YOUR business. Everytime he says stuff think "THIS is an adult?!!"

Believe me, it will get more and more dull, and you can work on your "bored face" this way .

Not sure if I explained that well, or if it works for you, but it always seems to work for me.

Consider him practice for all the dummy comments you'll be getting as a veggie .


stupid comment=bored face-->then something like "Geez, being a vegetarian is really annoying, and I ain't talkin' about the giving-up-meat part"
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#9 Old 05-01-2007, 06:34 AM
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I'm new at this myself, anf pretty nervous that something like this might happen with me, but I think everyone had great advice. I can totally sympathize though.
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#10 Old 05-01-2007, 07:53 AM
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kill him, cook him, then eat him. thatll show him
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#11 Old 05-01-2007, 11:12 AM
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If you're not comfortable talking to him have you considered talking to one of your parents about it since he is a friend of theirs. Maybe if they say something politely to him he may get the hint?
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#12 Old 05-01-2007, 12:37 PM
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You need to talk to your parents about this guy and how he's making disparaging remarks towards you. Not only is he not acting mature, but something's awry here.
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#13 Old 05-01-2007, 01:02 PM
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If you are able to muster up the gumption, maybe you could just say something like, "Why are you trying to embarrace me? Your comments really aren't funny to me anymore. Please stop it." You don't need to do it in front of everyone, but to the person who is harrasing you so. If you can't, I would ask your parents to intervene for you.

I'm sorry this person is being so insensitive to you. hugs.
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#14 Old 05-01-2007, 07:35 PM
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he is a bully.

Tell him nicely to drop the vegetarian topic.tell him that its enough already, and that it bothers you.

if it continues,you should blast him.look at his faults and pick on him in front of people.

i hope that you defeat this bully.
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