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When Do You Call Someone Out?

 

I’m pretty open about the fact that I can be judgmental at times, even though I make a conscious effort not to be. As I’ve mentioned before, I think all of us make judgments when someone’s spending, choices, or behaviors clash with our personal values. For me, though, the dividing line is between thinking judgmentally and actually speaking those judgments out loud.

I have this frenemy in real life – I’ll call her Hazel. (I love giving people goofy made-up names.) To look at her Facebook profile, you’d think she was the queen of frugality. She’s always posting pictures of the crap she buys for 22 cents with coupons or ranting about all the evils of “blind consumerism” she sees in other people’s posts. When someone buys a new car or goes on a vacation, she’s the first one spouting off rude comments like, “That money could have been used to feed a family in Ethiopia for 17.47 years.” She volunteers, she makes her own salsa, and I’m pretty sure she would bathe in saliva if she could find a way to do it.

Except Hazel doesn’t actually do any of those things. She just says she does.

The Truth Comes Out

Awhile back, Hazel posted a picture of her latest coupon haul, and I remember thinking, Did she repaint her kitchen? I started looking through her photos and realized that nearly every single one of them came from DIFFERENT HOUSES. She took care to crop out as much of the background as possible, but I could plainly see different countertops, cabinet hardware, and even wall colors behind all the discount toothpaste and baby wipes. They were very similar but not identical.

Because I’m totally nosy, I ran a few of the pictures through TinEye. Guess what? They all came from various profiles on Pinterest. None of which belong to Hazel.

I called a mutual friend of ours, Tina, to discuss this development. (I did that thing where I tried to ask in a roundabout way without actually disclosing what I knew, just in case Tina and Hazel had joined forces. Don’t act like you haven’t done it.) At first she acted like she had no idea what I was talking about, but as soon as Tina realized I was suspicious of Hazel the Great, she had all the good gossip.

Apparently, not only does Hazel not coupon, but she also doesn’t do any of the other crap she talks about online. A few weeks ago when her grandmother was having surgery and she was absent from Facebook? Yeah, she and her husband were actually in Florida. Her homemade salsa? Store-bought and dumped into a bowl for photo ops. THE BITCH DOESN’T EVEN RECYCLE.

I am stunned - stunned – that I just now discovered all this. I’ve spent years since we graduated from high school thinking this girl was Superwoman. And I’m a little hurt that no one filled me in until I recognized her fakery for myself. More than that, though, I am mad as hell.

When Do You Call Someone Out?

Hazel is one of the most judgmental people I’ve ever seen, and she crosses that line from thinking things to saying them. All. The. Time. I barely even post anything personal on Facebook anymore because I don’t want to hear how many llamas I could have saved from avalanches or whatever.

You have NO IDEA how much I want to expose her for the complete liar she is. I want to take screenshots of all those coupon photos in their rightful place on Pinterest, make a collage, and post it on her wall while tagging every person from our graduating class. I want to rent a billboard that says FYI, HAZEL USES NAME BRAND SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER. I want to steal her garbage and photograph the empty salsa jars, then throw them at her the next time she makes me feel like crap for buying a t-shirt.

But remember when I said I try not to judge? And remember that I’m a licensed therapist, even though that isn’t what I do anymore? Sigh.

Obviously Hazel has major issues if she’s spending this much time creating a fabricated life of frugality and perfection. I won’t go into all the psychological stuff because it would require way too much detail, but this honestly makes me look at her in a completely new way. I almost want to hug her because people do not act this crazy unless they’re dealing with serious trauma.

At the same time, however, she isn’t just doing this stuff in a harmless way. She insults and berates other people for doing the same things that she (according to Tina) is secretly doing. She is attacking people under the guise of “Look at me; I can live without all those material things,” and it’s not even TRUE!

For now I’m not doing anything about this situation. I’m just simmering. But I have to know the answers to these burning questions:

Would you call Hazel out publicly for being a lying liar who lies? Or would you assume she’s criminally insane and let it go? Do you know anyone who is perpetuating a double standard like this? Is it assault if you throw a salsa jar at someone’s face?

About Andrea Whitmer

Andrea is a freelance web designer and single mom trying to maintain a sense of humor in an otherwise chaotic world. She blogs in hopes of helping others avoid the same mistakes she made in the past. Join in the discussion here on So Over This, or connect on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google Plus. You can also subscribe to new posts via RSS so you never miss out!

Comments

  1. I wouldn't call her out publically, even though I know you're upset right now. I would approach her privately and tell her what you've found out. Listen to her explanation and then write another post on it. Just kidding! Maybe she has a good explanation.

    • I agree with potentially calling her out in private as being the best solution.

      That said, if you post something on Facebook that she gets all preachy about again, I would seriously consider implying that you know about her secret, non-frugal life in a follow-up comment. For instance, you say, "I'm loving this new salsa I bought; it's flavor-tastic," she replies, "OMG, don't you know you can make your own for total cheaps-ville?," and you reply, "Ah yes, good idea, I saw your post about that; also, I noticed in your picture that it looked like you repainted your house — how did you save money on that?"

  2. As badly as I would love to call her out, I don't think I would. It would just be a way to involve yourself in someone else's drama. And that is rarely fun.

  3. I don't know that I would call her out just yet. Considering how big a bitch she is towards others, and her holier-than-thou attitude, I may just hold onto my knowledge for the right moment. Sometimes it's fun to drop hints to people who think they have a tightly kept secret, slowly making them question whether they are safe or not. Make snide remarks back to her whenever she says something stupid toward another and let her wonder why all of a sudden someone is talking smack back to her. Then at the most opportune time, or when she says something so outlandish you can't hold back any longer, drop the bomb on her! Karma can be just as big a bitch.

  4. Are you serious? I understand this woman gets on your nerves, but you shouldn't meet bad Facebook etiquette with bad Facebook etiquette. Just defriend her if she bugs you so much.

  5. The level of crazy going on there is too much. I'd pull out of her sphere (unfriend her or whatever), and only deal with it if she notices. Maybe if enough people alienate her for her chronic criticism and lying, she'll get help…but I wouldn't want to get particularly involved in her neurosis.

  6. queenlbee says:

    I would comment on a photo and say…I saw this on pinterest! Is this your board?! with a link…acting like I'm such a fan and all excited I found her on pinterest.

    THAT BITCH DOESN'T EVEN RECYCLE.

    So Many wasted salsa jars. Loved this post.

    • I like this passive agressive way of doing it.

      In the end I would probably just cut the person off and ignore them for a while. Things like this make me glad I am one of the 4 people in the US who doesn't have facebook. Of course my wife updates me on everything!

    • Remind me never to get on the wrong side of you L Bee!

  7. Fawn Capps says:

    "THE BITCH DOESN'T EVEN RECYCLE" Hahahaha! Ah, I love reading your post. I wouldn't call her out publicly without talking to her privately first. And unfortunately I think it is assault if you throw a salsa jar at someone's face. You could try to find out what brand she buys and bring it to her next get-together though and see if anyone can tell the difference between the two ;)

  8. Very interesting question – call out or not. I thougt about what would I do… You know now that you have this information, you have power. Don't rush to use it. Sit back and watch. You might see many more interesting things surface. People like her usually blow themselves up. Eventually. However, I probably would mention something if she starts bullying someone again.

  9. LOLOL LOVE Queenlbee's idea. *snort* that's awesome. Yes, that's how I'd do it- kind of call her out without being hugely obvious about it- and give her a chance to realize that her behavior is ridiculous and that she's bound to get caught without a huge public humiliation. (though I admit I also love your collage idea) lol

    THANK YOU for saying "people do not act this crazy unless they’re dealing with serious trauma". That… is probably the most true thing I've ever seen on the 'net.

    -Mary

  10. I don't think it is worth your energy or stress levels to care about this.

    But if you did want to do something, I'd go with the passive-aggressive comments like queenlbee suggested. Just leave it on facebook, don't take it into the real world.

    Reminds me so much of TV, putting store bought food in home containers and pretending, using a Glade candle and pretending it is a fancy french one, etc.

  11. I feel your betrayal by your friend. I do think her ways are a telling link to her view of herself. I wouldn't call her out either. Sounds like she's desperate to be thought of as a GREAT person. Her self esteem must be at rock bottom. She's living a lie and it will come back to her in some form.

    I can't help but feel she very unhappy in her life.

    I would simply stop being friends with her..and delete the negative thoughts that come with it. I once had a friend like that. She sabotaged everything I did. It took me years to realize what she was doing.

  12. Just send her a link to this blog post! She sounds like a complete tool. I recently found out that a girl I know has been lying about being in school – she talks about how smart she is but turns out she never passed high school let alone got into college! Yet she goes on about how smart she is.

    What makes people such pathological liars?!

  13. Stephanie G says:

    I like Eric's idea. It would be so tempting to totally call her out, but his idea would be much more fun and satisfying in the longrun.

  14. If it was me…I'd unfriend her. If she asked why, I'd say because she's bringing too much negativity into my life with her self righteous comments. If there's one thing I've learned over time its that concerning myself with other people's affairs brings nothing good. The revelation you've posted about is hilarious, but bringing it up with her would just be stirring the pot. She obviously has issues, I wouldn't want to be the one to dredge them up.

    Great post though. :)

  15. I don't even know if its worth getting mad over. Tons of people put up the illusion of a life that they don't lead to look good to others. I may sneak in my own snarky comment the next time she posts something about how much money she has saved from couponing. Maybe subtly let her know that the jig is up.

  16. Since you don't want to do it- how about I add some gratuitous psycho-babble?

    Don't call her out unless she posts/comments about you first. Game Theory (Tit for Tat) at its best! If they play an X, then you play an X…if they play a Y, then you play a Y.

    Naughty, Naughty! You TOTALLY started an emotional triangle with your friend- Tina! Cue the downward conflict spiral!

    Sure, she may be nasty, but Eric is right about karma. So, what would that mean for you if you initiated an unprovoked attack on her?

  17. moneybeagle says:

    I wouldn't bother calling her out. She'll just delete your stuff and deny it all anyways. I'd just de-friend her and eliminate a lot of potential stress moving forward.

  18. Publicly? No. I would remove her from my life, and I would email her and let her know why – that you don't care if she wants to lie to herself and others, but when she bullies people with these actions that she doesn't even do, then it's time to part ways.

    And then I would not be shy about telling others what you know. Not in a gossipy way or to be mean, but if anyone asks "why aren't you friends with Hazel any more", I'd honestly tell them why.

  19. Jesort415 says:

    I had a few friends like that. Now Usually I am the first to call a B*tch out but since this was all happening on FB I decided to also use FB to call them out. My status one day said something Like…Hopefully one day your real life will be as exciting/interesting as you make it appear on facebook. :)

  20. I agree with moneybeagle. Just ignore it… but with that said, WHO DOES THAT?!

  21. Christi Frederick says:

    You have an ace in your pocket. Don't be afraid to post "personal" stuff any more that she might comment negatively on. I would invite her negative comments. You've got her over a barrel…use it to your advantage. Sounds mean and conniving, but she cannot bully you anymore. She is fake and you can prove it. oooh…I would let her know in subtle ways that you are on to her game. Make her sweat.

  22. "Is it assault if you throw a salsa jar at someone’s face?"

    You are so funny! I literally almost spit coffee everywhere. Seriously, I agree that she has some major issues. You mentioned that she is a "frenemy." Is she just a girl from high school or do you actually still communicate with her regularly and hang out? I would subtly let her know that her gig is up and you are there if she needs to talk. Maybe she just needs a friend….?

  23. I wouldn't call her out until the right moment… next time she jumps down someone else's throat I would bring up her fake behaviour and point out the inconsistencies. Preferably in a long Facebook thread that has a lot of subscribers for a full on public shaming.

    But I'm a mean girl when the moment is right, most people aren't as vicious lol

  24. The healthy approach would be to unfriend her and stop dealing with her drama.

    But I'd probably go with "Oh, did you repaint your kitchen? Last week it was red."

  25. Assault? Totally! I would just ignore her and post whatever you want. However if she calls you out on something that is when I would start slowly throwing her under the bus asking questions like how often do you replace your counters they are always different.

  26. Yes, I believe hitting someone with a salsa jar counts as assault. You probably would not serve jail time, but I bet you'd get a fine, AND it would be in the paper. If your local paper is as scandelous as most small town papers that would NOT be worth it. Her true colors will come out, and I bet you feel better now that you've vented. Thanks for the laughs.

  27. DontDebt says:

    My hubby's niece is a gossiper. Always has been a gossiper, likely always will be. This is what she does and she gets away with it. At least, she did until the gossip was about me. She told folks in our church some lies about her uncle and myself (her own uncle!!) and passed them as the truth. She had no proof or evidence that this was the truth. As a matter of fact, she knew otherwise.

    So one night after church while she's chatting away with me, I said, "OK, I can't stand this. I know you told (stuff) about me and it's not true. What were you thinking?" She stammered, hemmed, hawed, stuttered… tried to blame me because of something innocent I had put on facebook. I said No, that doesn't cut it. If you have something to say, you come to ME or your UNCLE and say it, not the whole church. You're a gossip and need to quit it.

    She apologized and hasn't talked about me since. HA

  28. If I did succumb to temptation, it would probably be something along the lines of colette.

    "oh wow did you paint your kitchen?? that looks so much better than your old colour. Can't wait to come for coffee and see it in person"

  29. laurenwhitehead says:

    Wait for her to say something nasty, call her out briefly and succinctly, and unfriend her so you don't have to deal with this craziness any more.

  30. I'd take this as a sign that someone unhealthy was in my life and just step away from the entire situation. She sounds really pitiful. If you feel like you have to do something though, seriously, just email her or better yet call. Don't entangle yourself and keep your boundaries firm, but let her know that you know what she's been up to and that you're worried about what it means for her. Maybe even advise some stress management or a therapeutic check up.

    One shouldn't feel the need to hide their vacation or publicly humiliate others in an effort to keep up a disguise. No one's life is perfect and I hope that if you take an action you'll not let her lessen you.

  31. This boils my blood! How irritating, but you know, revenge is a dish best served cold. Either let her hang herself, or lead her to the gallows. PS wtf is wrong with her? PPS Hazel is a cute name!

  32. bogofdebt says:

    I'd be more likely to wait on the news until she really bothered me or someone I liked. And then it would be the "oh I love the new counters–so much better than last weeks or the week before that….How many llamas did you not save by getting new ones?"

  33. mysti1031 says:

    I wouldn't do it in public, but I think you have to decide how much her friendship means to you. If it doesn't mean much, then in private….call her out. Say your peace, and then be done. Once you open this can of worms….it is open.

  34. I know you and I don't always agree on things but I loved this post – highlarious! I totally disagree with the people who say to defriend her. Facebook friends like this are highly entertaining and I would never defriend someone like that no matter how much their fabricated postings irritate me.

    Tough call on how to use the intel though. I'm really not sure. As a therapist, any insight as to why someone would go to such lengths to mislead their friends?

  35. TeacHer says:

    This is what seriously weirds me out about any type of human contact on the Internet – FB, blogs, etc. – it's so easy to be deceptive for NO REASON. It would never even occur to me to out-and-out lie on my blog. Sure, there's stuff I don't talk about because it's either not relevant or too personal, but why lie?!

    In other news, my disdain for FB has been heartily reinforced!

  36. Hey, didn't someone just say they sent her a link to this post making what to do about her a moot point?

    P.S. Loved it (the post, I mean :)

  37. seedebtrun says:

    If you call out dumb people, they stop doing the things that we find so hilarious. Just post about it. Please?
    -M

  38. Great, funny post, Andrea! I wouldn't bother calling her out, publicly or privately. Things could get way nasty way fast. People who live in fantasyland never respond well to having their illusions busted, but as a therapist you already know this.
    She reminds me of many frenemies I've had over the years. The way I dealt with them was to defriend them as quickly and quietly as possible.

  39. I wouldn't call her out. What's the point? Will it make you feel better?

  40. I'd just feel sorry for her and get on with your life knowing that "Hazel" has been fully exposed by this post! Everyone who knows you will read this and know exactly who you're talking about, oh and so will she!

  41. sarah r says:

    I guess my question to you is who cares? Why is it your problem that she has (obviously) such a screwed up life or self-view that she totally fabricates everything she is? Why do you even feel the need to call her out? Are you just angry at yourself for believing her lies?

    And why, oh why are you still friends with her at all, in fact? I would take that poison pill off my facebook view or completely defriend her and just STAY. FAR. AWAY.

    And yeah, if you do say something to her, wait til you're not so angry/irritated/excited. And do it in private, in a gentle way. I honestly don't see that this will do much good for you because someone who's gone as far as she has to create this false public persona isn't going to go gently into that good night. More likely, she'll open a can of whoop-(ehem) on you. And again, what's that do for you?

    Ugh. So so sorry you have such a poison pill in your life, even if it's on the fringe.

  42. That's really tricky. I would want to call her out, but then again what would it really do? As you said, she's probably going through some major trauma, but then again maybe a big slap in the face to reality is what she needs. Plus basically she sounds like a big cyber-bully, and I do not like bullying. Hmm, maybe the next time she posts a photo of her latest frugal recipe creation you can comment with something like "Weird, I saw that exact photo on Pinterest and it was from some woman in Utah?"

  43. Teinegurl says:

    I would write an "update" on fb about how and changes the name for effect act one but do another ! To me it's all fine but when you start commenting on yours decisions that's when you deserve to be taken down! and yes it would make me feel better. Lol =P

  44. Call her out-The appropriate thing to do would be to message her privately, call her out and let her know that you are deleting her as a FB Friend (she isn't a real friend anyways)–but if you do, you will miss all the joy you get from knowing she is a fraud with all of her posts…I have a FB Friend (used to be a real friend) that pushes her perfect, perfect, happy!!! life….so annoying…and i would gossip about her posts with other friends…It has taken about a year, and I am over it…over her…over her need to be perfect and me to make fun of it.

  45. You could always feign ignorance and "innocently" ask her to teach you her tricks–"That's so neat that you make your own salsa. Could you give me your recipe?"

  46. JELOPEZ88 says:

    With people like the "friend" you describe, calling her out will only make her defensive and attack you. It would be better in the long run for you to stop being her "frenemy". Generally you can't get anywhere or reason with such people. By feeling this way about her, you are allowing her to control your emotions.

    I once had someone who I thought was a friend. We argued about the same things for almost four years. He constantly would try and change me; berate and attack me if I did not agree with his point of view or put me down. If that did not work, he would try the "Woe is me" routine in an effort to break down my defenses. After going through months of frustration, feeling stressed out and bad about myself, I finally decided to end our friendship which by then had become much like yours. About a decade has passed and I have not regretted that choice. I hate to say it, but life has been much simpler without having him around.

  47. myliladventures says:

    Hehehehehe!

    I. LOVE. THIS. POST.

    I have no idea who your 'Hazel' is but we've all got one in our lives and they keep rotating through. My Hazel seems to follow me closer then my own shadow & coincidentally does the same things right after I've done them and tries to take credit for it. The best part was when she was called on how she figured out to try it a certain way and well…..she hung herself….she had no answer. I did ;)

    Just let your Hazel keep going about her way. What goes around, comes around. She'll get figured out soon enough. I vote to leave it be, unless it directly affects you (aside from really irking you).

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