Dealing with a microaggressive acquaintance who comes over to my house every day


  • Empress of War

    I wasn’t sure where to put this but since it’s a bit of a rant, I figured I’ll just put it here (mods can feel free to move it if they feel this isn’t the appropriate section for it).

    So my husband has a white friend he met at work, or rather, a white fanboy because this guy looks up to my husband A LOT. He admires my husband’s body (I know that sounds gay, but it’s not what you think it is lol) because my husband is super fit, muscular and athletic so he pretty much wants to get the same body. Because we have a home gym that my husband built, this white guy comes over every single day (yes, including weekends) to come work out with us and he’ll do basically anything my husband does; squatting, deadlifting, benchpressing, running…they do everything together now. And since none of his lifts (or even his run time) come close to what my husband lifts and runs, he is adamant in coming over everyday so he can at least get close to my husband’s accomplishments.

    Even though he’s been coming over for a couple of months now, I’ve been tolerant of it since it’s kinda amusing/funny to see how much he idolizes my husband (he basically showers my hubs with compliments on his physique). Although I would still prefer him not come over so often, I tolerate it. The only thing that bothes me is his wife, also white–who seemed really cool at first but then have been saying stuff that just didn’t sit right with me. And yes, he drags her over everyday to work out with us.

    It actually first started when we were at their house having dinner. I complimented her on her dress and we got into the topic of shopping. She then told me she didn’t shop often back where she lived and when I asked her why, she said, “Oh you know…there are a number of ghetto…well, y’know, black people around there and you know how they dress. I just don’t wanna shop at stores that cater to…those types of people.”

    Then a month or so later, after working out at my house, we were talking about a Latina friend we both knew who accidentally got pregnant when out of nowhere, she said, “It’s not surprising really that she got an accident. I mean, Hispanic people are SUPER fertile. They breed like rabbits! It’s so common to see a Mexican woman with 20 kids surrounding her!” and she laughed.

    Even though I’m not black or Hispanic, both of these comments made me a bit uncomfortable because I know for a FACT that she has black and Latina female friends who she consider herself much closer to than she is to me. If she’s capable of thinking negatively of black/Latino people despite being best friends with black and Latina girls—what does she think about me? Probably not very positively since I’m not white.

    Despite all this, I didn’t want to say anything because she is my husband’s close friend’s wife and I didn’t want be the cause of drama that might break up my husband’s friendship with the white guy.

    But after today, I have officially become extremely uncomfortable with this girl. I forgot how we gotten onto the topic but we were discussing female models and their interesting looks, when she said, “I think blonde-haired, blue-eyed people are by far the best. They’re the most gorgeous” (she, herself, is a brunette with dark eyes) and at which point, her husband overheard her and interjected, “There are beautiful people in every race, hun. They don’t have to be white.” At which point, she responded, “Well, yeah…well, you know what I mean. I mean, I think Oriental people are beautiful too, like oriental porcelain skin…” and blah, blah, blah. The moment I heard the word “oriental”, I began tuning out because my mind was racing like crazy. Was she being racist? Why the hell is she using the term “oriental”? Was she trying to preach white supremacy (by stating blonde/blue-eyed people were the “best”) but then got embarrassed and backtracked when her husband interrupted? Am I overreacting? Am I “overly sensitive”? Do I want to destroy my husband’s friendship with this guy by calling his wife out on all this? I honestly didn’t know what to do or think.

    It’s been a few hours since they’ve left my house at the time I’m typing this up. They’ll be back tomorrow and every day after that. But as of right now, I really don’t want them to return. However, I do understand that my husband and this guy are very close friends and I will feel pretty guilty for ruining their friendship all because I wanted to set his wife straight. I honestly don’t know what to do. Should I just speak out against her racist comments anyways and hope that it won’t do much harm to my husband’s friendship to her husband? Or should I stay quiet to assure I don’t drive away one of my husband’s closest friends?


  • Empress of War

    @suiko_no_shin

    My suspicion is that if he ever catches up to your husband, it’ll go from fanboy worshiping your husband to subtly exerting superiority/dominance. He’s only fanboying so hard because he wants to extract all the knowledge he can from your husband.

    Tbh, I’m not too concerned about that because…

    a. It’s pretty funny to actually imagine someone trying to exert dominance over my husband xD Let’s just say due to my husband’s past run ins with his white bosses firing him because he refuses to give into their demands, his admittedly not-so-clean records with the police and just his character in general…I find it hard to believe anyone can tame him :laughing:

    b. Most guys who know my husband either like/respect him a lot or hate him a lot. He has a lot of guy friends (white, black, Asian, all races) who he knew since childhood and who look up to him quite a bit so the fanboying from this guy isn’t that unusual tbh.

    c. This guy actually helped us out a lot when Hurricane Matthew hit our town directly by providing shelter and sharing his food with us when we had minimal food. He also volunteered himself to do a lot of other favors for my husband, even the most exhausting ones. Just his actions sort of make his friendship to my husband seem genuine.

    d. I can’t imagine what kind of knowledge he expects to extract from my husband that he can’t get off from just simply googling the internet. I would think it’s pretty common knowledge nowadays that lifting does wonders for your body.

    e. I haven’t yet seen any of my husband’s guy friends catch up to him in lifting, except for one Asian guy who surpassed him because he’s a professional powerlifter. But if I didn’t know any better, I’d say the men in my husband’s family has godlike genes. His father is in his 50s-60s but the man runs 5 miles every morning and does approx. 15 pull-ups a day. All of his brothers are also athletic. And tbh, even before he went into lifting (when we first started dating), I noticed that my husband is naturally big-boned and naturally had very wide shoulders despite being skinny. Only after a couple of months of lifting, his muscles grew dramatically. His white fanboy, on the other hand, I think is at a genetic disadvantage compared to my husband. His shoulders still seem a lot more narrow, even more narrow than my husband’s during the time he didn’t lift, even though he’s been lifting a couple of months already with us. His muscles haven’t seem to grow at all, although he has gotten a bit stronger than when he started. But overall, his progress is slow relatively speaking.

    So don’t worry! The chance of this guy being able to exert white supremacy bullshit over my husband is pretty much zero.

    She likely has a stereotype about Asian people and how we are either white worshiping or deferential to whites. She took a wild guess that you are an ally to white people and consequently feel safe with saying such things.

    That actually makes a lot of sense. It is true that a huge number of us are indeed white worshipping.

    Of course she thinks white is the most beautiful. She is white herself. I’d be suspicious if she thought any differently.

    Sure, but isn’t it a bit rude to suddenly state out of nowhere that you think those who look like you OR your family are the “best”? She didn’t even used the word “beautiful”, she used the word “best”. That’s like me randomly, out of the blue, blurt out Asians are the best in a group of non-Asian people, lol. I mean, if someone asked me SPECIFICALLY who I prefer, then of course, I will say that I prefer my own men. But if not asked specifically, there’s no reason for me to randomly say it.

    Anyways, thanks for the feedback though! I have talked to my husband about it but he seems to not care much simply because he, himself, cracks racist jokes towards non-Asians even in front of his non-Asian friends (and ends up losing friends because he’s always under the false impression that people aren’t offended by his jokes at all or if they are, then he doesn’t care sigh I always facepalm when he does this). Also because he almost never interacts with her, he’s not as affected by it. Additionally, because she hasn’t specifically shit talk Asians yet, he’s not that bothered yet either. I think for him to dislike her, she would have to directly say something malicious or hateful about Asians. Then again, I don’t want him to despise her either. I always ended up feeling bad for everyone who’s been on his shit list in the past, so I’m kinda walking a fine line here. Anyways, I do like your suggestion. Now, I just need to get my husband to see things from my perspective (without making him insanely pissed or hate her…if that makes any sense).


  • Level 1 - Sergeant

    @natalie_ng said in Dealing with a microaggressive acquaintance who comes over to my house every day:

    So my husband has a white friend he met at work, or rather, a white fanboy because this guy looks up to my husband A LOT.

    My suspicion is that if he ever catches up to your husband, it’ll go from fanboy worshiping your husband to subtly exerting superiority/dominance. He’s only fanboying so hard because he wants to extract all the knowledge he can from your husband.

    It actually first started when we were at their house having dinner. I complimented her on her dress and we got into the topic of shopping. She then told me she didn’t shop often back where she lived and when I asked her why, she said, “Oh you know…there are a number of ghetto…well, y’know, black people around there and you know how they dress. I just don’t wanna shop at stores that cater to…those types of people.”

    She likely has a stereotype about Asian people and how we are either white worshiping or deferential to whites. She took a wild guess that you are an ally to white people and consequently feel safe with saying such things.

    The moment I heard the word “oriental”, I began tuning out because my mind was racing like crazy. Was she being racist? Why the hell is she using the term “oriental”? Was she trying to preach white supremacy (by stating blonde/blue-eyed people were the “best”) but then got embarrassed and backtracked when her husband interrupted? Am I overreacting? Am I “overly sensitive”? Do I want to destroy my husband’s friendship with this guy by calling his wife out on all this? I honestly didn’t know what to do or think.

    Of course she thinks white is the most beautiful. She is white herself. I’d be suspicious if she thought any differently. The important thing is how tolerant she is of others and it sounds like she’s not very tolerant at all based on her previous comments.

    Regarding the oriental comment, it’s an outdated term. The word has been banned from use in the federal government. It’s a term that entertains the idea that Asians are exotic and perpetually foreign. I’d advise you to educate her if she ever uses it again. On that note, use these kinds of opportunities as a way to condition her to be more tolerant. Do not go at her outright. That will not work. It’s sort of hard to explain but the strategy to employ is the Chinese way of “dancing around a subject”. It is not explicit or direct.

    Should I just speak out against her racist comments anyways and hope that it won’t do much harm to my husband’s friendship to her husband? Or should I stay quiet to assure I don’t drive away one of my husband’s closest friends?

    Talk to your husband about this. Tell him you’re not comfortable with having his wife over and why. A possible solution is for your husband to get a gym membership. Gym memberships typically comes with a guest pass (like LA Fitness). This will allow the white guy to work out for free but not at your place. Make up some bogus reason for why they should work out at the gym rather than at home. Maybe something the gym has that your home gym doesn’t. Hopefully the wife does not mind this not being a group thing anymore (she was dragged there anyways right?). If she still tries to get in contact with you, just ghost on her gradually and slowly. Again, make some bogus (but somewhat plausible) reason and eventually she’ll get the message.


  • Empress of War

    @secondstrike

    First, your husband put you guys in an awkward position by letting them come over to work out and everyday too.

    Yeah, tell me about it. I think he just likes the white guy because the white guy kisses up to him a lot. The guy practically fuels his ego now.

    Second, this woman repeats mainstream talking points [those types of people, breeding like rabbits, porcelain skin].

    True that it’s mainstream stereotypes but I just dislike how at least TWO of her closest best friends are black and Hispanic yet she still thinks this way and even has the guts to say it so loud in public. Whereas my relationship to her is very lukewarm…we talk because our husbands are close friends so we’re kind of forced to hang out together. So I hate to imagine what kind of negative stereotypes she’s coming up for Asians (especially since she hardly knows any) if she’s capable of stereotyping her friends.

    I would tell her we should avoid stereotyping people because it can be harmful like “blonde bimbo” or “white pedophiles”. Maybe use less offensive examples. I think this would help them see things in a different light - I hope.

    I sort of tried that when she commented about Mexican women “having 20 kids”, but I tried to make it sound lighthearted and not accusatory. I just laughed and said, “C’mon…definitely not ALL Latinas have a bunch of kids. Your other friend, Samantha, obviously didn’t.” And she responded, “BUT IT’S TRUE THOUGH!!! They always have kids! And Samantha’s husband isn’t around much, that’s why!” Idk…maybe I’m going about it the wrong way and I might have to be firmer/more direct but she seems pretty set in her ways of stereotyping her friends.

    @asianmovement

    No, in fact i think it would be normal to react in such a way. You and I are aware af asians. For people like us , stuff like this is like a giant warning bell.

    Thank you for assuring me I’m not crazy, lol. When it comes to stuff like this, I’m so used to hearing people (especially whites) telling me to “calm down” or that I’m “overreacting” that I sometimes end up questioning my own sanity or reaction.

    if i was there , the white supremacy warning bells would probably knock me out. Its the type of racism where white people insinuate that white people are superior in every way by making indirect arguments.

    Yes, a lot of her comments are indirect but they do strongly say to me that she was quietly implying whites are everything “default” (how they dress, how many kids they have, their looks, etc…) and everything every other race does is “out of the norm.”

    To both @secondstrike & @asianmovement

    And since my husband is friends with her husband, the most I’ve been able to do is reject her “whites are default” thoughts by indirectly hinting that I could care less for anything to do with whites or anything related to them. And I’ve been fairly successful at it, surprisingly, since most of the time, she is forced to “agree” with me out of politeness, lol.

    For example, after she commented on blonde haired/blue eyed people [men and women] being the best, I said, “Eh–not really my thing–I prefer darker hair and eyes on men but to each their own” and at which, she responds, “Oh no, I totally get what you mean! I dig tall, dark and handsome too!”

    Or when she said, “I always wanted to go and live in Europe. It’s the most beautiful there–especially England! I wish I can live out the rest of my life in England” and I responded, “Oh okay, that’s like me with Japan or Hong Kong. I would love to live in Japan and even more so since it’s so close to Korea, China, and Taiwan and the rest of the east.” Then she said, “Oh Japan and China are beautiful! That would be cool! So many places to see there!” Then we went on to talk about seeing the Forbidden City and the majestic aura of the Great Wall and how we would both love to walk it one day.

    So it’s actually pretty hilarious. I’m not sure if she actually agrees with me or she’s just going along to be polite (I strongly believe it’s the latter), but in any case, most of the time, I was able to steer the conversation away from her white/eurocentric topics and even towards Asiancentric instead.

    Of course, it would be better if I can actually directly tell her upfront to cut it out with stereotyping her friends but this is the most I can do without causing damage to my husband’s friendship with her husband. Idk if it’s the right way to go about it…but I guess something is better than nothing?


  • Huangdi

    said in Dealing with a microaggressive acquaintance who comes over to my house every day:

    “Oh you know…there are a number of ghetto…well, y’know, black people around there and you know how they dress. I just don’t wanna shop at stores that cater to…those types of people.”

    First they came for the blacks, then they came for the hispanics , then they came for you…
    Thats the feeling i get from this wf.

    Am I overreacting? Am I “overly sensitive”?

    No, in fact i think it would be normal to react in such a way. You and I are aware af asians. For people like us , stuff like this is like a giant warning bell.

    At which point, she responded, “Well, yeah…well, you know what I mean. I mean, I think Oriental people are beautiful too, like oriental porcelain skin…” and blah, blah, blah. The moment I heard the word “oriental”, I began tuning out because my mind was racing like crazy. Was she being racist? Why the hell is she using the term “oriental”? Was she trying to preach white supremacy

    if i was there , the white supremacy warning bells would probably knock me out. Its the type of racism where white people insinuate that white people are superior in every way by making indirect arguments.

    Overall though , i think your husband being friends with the guy puts you between a rock and a hard place…


  • administrators

    @natalie_ng

    They’ll be back tomorrow and every day after that.

    I am tempted to move this to the comedy section.

     

    You are right to question her private views on Asians. I suspect they would be stereotypes just like other minorities.

    The rest of my opinion will be unpopular.

    First, your husband put you guys in an awkward position by letting them come over to work out and everyday too.

    Second, this woman repeats mainstream talking points [those types of people, breeding like rabbits, porcelain skin]. I wouldn’t call it malice since she believes white women - that look different from her - are the most beautiful.

    Third, the word oriental has bad connotations, but I can’t blame white people when Asians themselves use it all the time. This makes any “setting her straight” an uphill battle.

    In summary, I don’t think she is racist. Her husband seems decent enough to correct her.

    I would tell her we should avoid stereotyping people because it can be harmful like “blonde bimbo” or “white pedophiles”. Maybe use less offensive examples. I think this would help them see things in a different light - I hope.


 

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