A woman is being bashed online after calling her brother-in-law’s girlfriend “boring,” due to her constant talk about her new job.
The woman, u/throwra_wrong1b, shared her side of the story to the popular Reddit forum r/AmITheA**hole, earning 5,400 upvotes and 1,900 comments in seven hours for her post, “[Am I the A**hole] for telling my BIL’s girlfriend she’s boring because all she talks about is her job?”
The original poster (OP) says that her brother-in-law, “Luke”, has a girlfriend, “Faye,” who won’t stop talking about the master’s degree she got in 2020, and the new job she landed. She says her husband, “Jack,” and Luke have talked about how Faye’s constant job talk has started to grate on them, but they know Faye’s excited, so they tolerate it.
However, at a recent family dinner, tensions boiled over. When Faye started talking about how her new job starts soon, and how she can now do all the things she wanted, fulfilling a “life goal,” the OP asked her “what was next.”
“She asked what I meant. I asked her about things like kids or marriage since they’ve been together for 3 years now. She said she didn’t want to rush into marriage or kids until she had her goals in order but marriage was something she and Luke had been seriously discussing,” u/throwra_wrong1b wrote.
OP then asked how she’d balance work and family, and Faye said she’d make time. When OP said that it’s a lot of work, as she’s a stay-at-home mom who quit her job as a State Tested Nurse Aide (STNA, also known as a Certified Nursing Assistant) when she was pregnant.
Faye said that she wants to be able to provide for any kids she has, adding that she likes being self-reliant because some stay-at-home moms find themselves trapped financially if the marriage falls apart. This upset the OP.
“I told her not all of us are ‘trapped’. She agreed but said you never know and should depend on yourself, even in marriage. Luke was nodding and agreeing. I said, ‘It would also give you more to talk about other than your job,'” OP wrote.
Faye asked if OP had an issue with her job talk. While OP said she didn’t, she did say that it’s “the only thing she seems to have that’s mildly interesting,” as other folks talked about their family, hobbies or vacations, and that her constant job talk is “boring.”
“Then I won’t bore you any further,” Faye replied, according to OP, and then asked OP’s in-laws about their new wood floors.
Once Faye and Luke left, the OP’s mother-in-law chewed her out for being rude, but OP said she was just telling the truth. Jack backed her up, and though his mother agreed that she was tired of hearing about Faye’s job, too, “it’s still an accomplishment no one (looked me up and down) in this family has done yet and I seemed jealous.” OP denied she was jealous, just offended.
“[My mother-in-law] told me I was only offended because Faye was right. Jack said she was right but it was obvious she was directing those comments at me in a judgmental way, and my parents agree with me,” u/throwra_wrong1b wrote.
Though it can be difficult dealing with someone who talks too much about a certain topic—or talks too much generally speaking—there are ways to treat the situation without leaning on insults. Psychology Today lays out five tips to curb someone’s enthusiasm about a topic.
The first step is to listen, “but not for too long,” the magazine says. Just long enough to figure out what the central idea is that the talker is trying to convey. At a certain point, try politely asking if you can interrupt; if they agree, go ahead to the next step, but otherwise, Psychology Today suggests a response like “Oh, I thought you had finished. Can I tell you what I heard you say?”
When it’s time to interrupt, it’s important to properly segue by mentioning something you heard them saying, and ideally something positive about the talker. But after complimenting the talker, don’t stop talking—continue on with what you’d like to say, taking steps to tie it in to what they were saying. Finally, Psychology Today says to be aware that you don’t go on too long and become the talker that someone else has to figure out how to shut up.
Reddit was not having what u/throwra_wrong1b was serving to Faye.
“[You’re the A**hole]. She’s excited. But that’s not the main part. You’re offended at her concerns about being a [stay-at-home parent…. when you started it,” u/PeggyHW wrote in the top-rated comment with 13,300 upvotes. “Seriously. You spent a conversation pursuing her on why her plans (note, HER plans) weren’t good enough. This is on you.”
“[You’re the A**hole]. Also it is none of your business asking someone about their plans of having children. Perhaps they tried and didn’t get pregnant yet. Or had a miscarriage. Unless someone brings the topic up themselves NEVER just assume someone can, and wants to,” u/mnc1076 agreed.
“[You’re the A**hole]. I bet OP would be really offended if someone said ‘all you talk about are your kids, they are not that interesting,'” u/GotenRocko wrote.
“Right?! I am taking notes from Faye!…I am a (PANK) profession aunt no kids; and I have been in Faye’s shoes. My heart goes out to her and I am repulsed by comments OP made to her. #TeamFaye,” u/Hchel25 wrote. “[You’re the A**hole]”
“My favorite thing is Faye pivoting to ask about wood flooring installation and OP rolls with that. ‘Phew, wood flooring! Much better,'” u/seventeenblackbirds wrote.
Newsweek reached out to u/throwra_wrong1b for comment.