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I can be argumentative when provoked, but I know that I'm not a cruel person that deserves to be bullied. Am I being too sensitive about this?

Tagged as: Friends, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 July 2015) 2 Answers - (Newest, 30 July 2015)
A female United States age 22-25, anonymous writes:

I have a group of friends who I consider myself very close to, which consists of 2 boys, 2 girls (including me). Both boys are culprits of teasing, but one especially, let's call him Jason, tends to go way overboard. Every time I say something, it's like he wants to purposefully go against me and push my buttons. I admit that I can be a bit cautious, opinionated, a bit argumentative when I get pushed, and very straightforward, but I definitely do not deserve that type of treatment. I know you may be thinking that I sound like a supreme bitch; I promise that I'm a very nice person, but I'm not afraid to disagree with my friends. I used to be a major pushover when I was younger, always agreeing with people just to keep the peace. I'm very glad that I grew out of that because it caused me a lot of problems in my life.

Over the weekend we all went to a mutual friends party, and while there, he was pretty mean to my brother, provoking him and calling him stupid, and that's what really made me upset. I treat his brother with so much respect, and I know he would never treat my friends siblings in that way. He does not go against my other friends like he does with me, and it makes me wonder, why me? I've confronted him about it many times, and at one point in the past, his teasing got so bad that another mutual friend had to take him aside and tell him to "knock it off and stop being so rude to her". He apologized and stopped for a while, but then started doing it again. He treats my other two friends with a bit more respect, and I'm wondering, what did I do to him personally that would make him treat me that way. Ironically, I no longer speak to two people for a similar reason; they would constantly attack my opinions and treat me like a second class friend. I was always respectful, but I was not afraid to speak my mind if they said something that was racist, ignorant, or just plain old messed up.

I am really trying to change myself and try to adopt a more accepting and less intense personality. I can be argumentative when provoked, but I know that I'm not a cruel person that deserves to be bullied. Am I being too sensitive about this? Sometimes I believe I am, but other times I believe that I have the right to be mad. What should I do?

View related questions: bullied, teasing

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A female reader, Anonymous 123 Italy + , writes (30 July 2015):

Anonymous 123 agony auntYou're right, he's bullying you because he knows its easy to rile you up. What do you do? You confront him calmly and tell him that you will not participate in a conversation with him till he learns to behave himself. Walk away. If all of you are hanging out together and Jason says something nasty, just stand up, tell them that you have had enough and you will not stand around for this especially after her bullied your brother as well and just walk away from there.

He sounds like a disgusting chap anyway. What do your other friends think of him?

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (30 July 2015):

Honeypie agony auntWhat would I do? STOP getting into it with him. If he tries to start stuff, look at him with a raised eyebrow ( the look of ARE you serious?) or just shrug.

I think he either A. likes the verbal "battles" with you, but he HATES losing... OR B. see you as an easy target and it makes HIM feel better.

Some people like to feel SMARTER than everyone else ALL the times. I think He is one and YOU are too, up to a point. OR HAVE to "share" their opinion.

So maybe try the agree to disagree for a while.

While I can be EXTREMELY argumentative (have been since I was a kid, I grew up discussing everything from religion, politics, to just about any topic at the dining room table, both at home and out with family. It was kind of the norm and it taught me that having an opinion is ONLY great if you can back it up with out turning the conversation into a "fight".) I DO know when and where it's appropriate.

PICK your battles. I can't imagine this not being DRAINING on everyone with the two of you acting like this.

If that does work, tell him to cut it off. OR avoid situations where these "fights" or "disagreements" happen. If he starts stuff... Smile, change the subject or walk away.

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