My friend let this man disrespect me
Dear Harriet: I got into a verbal argument with a guy in a bar, and my boyfriend didn’t step in to defend me.
I feel that his job as my friend is to defend my honor at all times.
The guy wasn’t physically dealing with me or threatening me in any way, but the mere fact that he was raising his voice at me should have provoked my boyfriend. I felt like an idiot for being with him while he was just standing there and watching me feel disrespected.
Is this a reason to break up?
Dear Bar Fight: Did you talk to your friend about the accident? What did he say that the reason for his silence? I wonder if he thought that by jumping in, he would spark an already dangerous situation.
This does not mean that he should have let this argument continue without your support. It is a possible reason for his decision to step down.
I don’t know you should break up with this, but you need to talk. Ask him what he feels is his role in your relationship, and what he considers his responsibilities. Have him talk about his values and beliefs. Tell him to you. Don’t assume you believe in the same things. Use this moment to be crystal clear about what you want from him and how disappointed you are that he didn’t stand up for you at the bar.
Sometimes women present themselves as being so strong that their partners or others don’t think they need help in any situation. The Superwoman that so many women adopt can make it confusing for their significant other to feel there is room to jump in to save them. I know this.
That’s why you need to talk so you can get to the same page about expectations.
Dear Harriet: I’m sick of my male friend who constantly corrects me. He knows everything in an extreme, and at times the way he speaks takes on a misogynistic tone.
He always apologizes afterwards, but an apology sometimes annoys me more because that means he knew he was rude at the moment.
What should I say when this happens?
Dear knows everything: When that friend clicks on his know-it-all behavior, stop him immediately. You can do it cheerfully by saying, “Oh, oh. Here he goes again. Become the man who absolutely knows everything.”
When he tells you something isn’t acceptable, call him. You could say, “Do you hear yourself? What do you think if I talk to you that way?” or “Should I stop talking and let you say everything since you seem to know everything?”
Say something as close as possible to the time the offense occurred. Thinking about what he’s doing is how you get him to notice his behavior.
Chances are, he doesn’t have any evidence that he’s mean, condescending, or misogynistic. education!
Harriet Cole is a lifestyle specialist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people reach and make their dreams come true. You may send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.