To give a little background about the situation I'm in, the boyfreind of a long-time female freind of mine has been giving me a lot of hassle latley due to the fact he's convinced that I'm trying to steal his girlfreind from him (I'm not, and there is no plausible evidence for this other than that I spend time with her occasionally, in a sixth form room filled with people.
By now I'm going home miserable and annoyed every day, and I've had enough. I'm not a popular person (argumentitive, slightly annoying at times, not exactly eye candy, I could go on). Point is, he's a got a small group of freinds who laugh along with him (despite the fact that I've stood up for one of them and given another advice) so it will be hard to get him to take me seriously without being laughed off. The only way I can seriously consider to get him to take me seriously is through the threat of violence (his freinds are more than happy to annoy me, but they'd be terrifyed of a fight). Problem here is it's been years since I got into a fight, and I'm probably going to have to follow up on the threat to be taken seriously.
I really don't like it when people resort to violence to feel right, but it's starting to feel like it's my only option to get him to start being mature, and talk about it like the 16 year olds we're meant to be.
What's everyone's advice on the matter?
Turn his own insecurities around on him.
You've made no obvious moves, so that tells me that he thinks his relationship with her is tenuous, at best. And this calls into question, in his mind, his own masculinity. At the age of 16, he's likely to be trying to prove himself a man.
As he gets increasingly aggressive with you, look worried, look scared, and then feign an epiphany. "Dude, are you hitting on me???"
Use his insecurities to call his heterosexuality into question. And, preferably, do it in front of your mutual friends.
Embarrassment and humiliation can work wonders when trying to establish dominance.
Do you win by making others lose? Sometimes. But if you can win w/o making anyone else lose, you're more powerful.
Wise words here.
Phil, I understand how frustrated and annoyed you must be.
The only way I can seriously consider to get him to take me seriously is through the threat of violence (his freinds are more than happy to annoy me, but they'd be terrifyed of a fight).
Why do you need him to take you seriously? Is he that important to you? You don't really need his approval, do you?
It sounds like both of you are being insecure. Him about his relationship to his girlfriend, and you about your reputation, or "saving face".
The more you react to whatever behaviors of him and his friends that you consider provocative, the more loudly you are advertising that you are needy for approval. If you react violently, and especially if you're the one who starts it, you are putting yourself at risk of looking like a real fool when you end up facing assault charges.
If you want to look COOL, DO NOT REACT EMOTIONALLY. Not at all! Be like the cool detective in a 1930s detective movie. Be totally comfortable in our own skin, without needing anyone else to speak or behave any particular way in your presence. You just don't care; you don't need their approval. Then you broadcast "Nice try. You can't rattle my cage".
Here is a tip from Marcus Oakey, who is an expert on this sort of thing (beware, obnoxious pop-ups):
Understand that he's trying to help you save face, but not needing to get the better of your rival...just take the wind out of his sails. Get it? No need to be an ass about it. You can even be friendly and engaging as you deliver no worse than a light ribbing. You actually want HIM to laugh it off too...to break the tension.
^ Half right.
I'm not sure we have enough information here, but here goes anyway. You don't have to care if he takes you seriously or not. You don't anything to fight over or gain here. All you want is to be left alone.
What you can't do is give him a big response, or encouragement to keep bothering you. I wouldn't recommend a fight, or a snappy comeback, or anything antagonistic. Assuming you don't have designs on the girl, the problem is between this guy and the girl, and you're just the dog he wants to kick.
So ask him, "Are you two having problems? You keep saying you think I'm after her. What's going on between you that gives you that idea?" Don't give off that you're taking any of this personally. If he wants to wind you up, he'll have to find a different way.
I had a good friend that was convinced that his wife and I were fooling around. Even though I did find her attractive I couldn't do that to a friend. It was funny because he had the hots for one of his co-workers and everyone knew it. I guess he felt guilty about his feelings and took it out on his wife and I.
You could always live up to the problem and start dating her.
There is the turn it back and be convinced he is hitting on you
But probably the best would be to learn to just not give a shit. Tell him he bores you, then just walk away.
The answers aren’t as easy as they used to be. For most of our history, it was taken for granted that insults and personal grievances had to be settled man-to-man. Though the aristocracy favored more "civilized" options like swords and dueling pistols, fisticuffs were embraced by the working classes as an honest, down-to-earth way of defending one’s honor.
Today, the decision to fight comes down to a single question. What do you believe in, and how strongly do you believe in it? It’s one thing to have principles when all that’s required is a click of the "like" button on Facebook. It’s another to ask what you’re willing to take a beating for.
What are you, personally, able to live with? Several years ago, I went to a football game with a couple of friends, one of whom was gay. A couple of rows behind us, a gaggle of drunken boneheads decided the best way to cheer on the home team was to bellow every homophobic epithet they could think of at the opposition. This was at a point in my life where I was trying very hard to be a "normal" person, so I stayed in my seat like everyone else and pretended to ignore the filth raining down on us. Almost a decade has passed since that day, but I still feel ashamed whenever I think about it.
How about you? Would you fight to defend your family and loved ones? Could you stand by while somebody beat a woman or a child? Do you look away when someone in a position of privilege verbally abuses an employee or service person?
Clearly, there are situations in which a man has no choice but to stand up for himself; there are many more in which standing down is unquestionably the right thing to do. The key is knowing the difference.
When I was in elementary school, we rarely made it through recess without two boys squaring off while a mob gathered around them, chanting "Beef! Beef! Beef!" It may have been a little barbaric, but it was how we learned some of life’s most important lessons.
Every kid who ever stepped onto that schoolyard knew the meaning of a "fair" fight. We were courteous to each other (well, as courteous as prepubescent boys can be) because calling someone a name meant you had to be ready to back it up. As for bullying, the truth is there’s no amount of sensitivity training that can better help a bully understand the fear and humiliation experienced by his victims than being smacked around by a kid who’s even bigger than he is.
We may have far fewer physical confrontations these days, but there’s been a corresponding decline in courtesy, empathy and respect, as well as a rise in the number of passive-aggressive douchebags and others who see our penchant for peaceful resolution as a weakness to be taken advantage of.
The Perils Of Punching
There’s nothing wrong with talking things over, but when all is said and done, there’s no form of communication as direct and succinct as a punch in the face. It gets your point across in a fraction of a second, says everything it needs to and leaves no uncertainty as to its meaning or intent.
Not to mention that sometimes it just feels really good.
Very good advice already given.
I would just suggest that try talking to him about it away from his friends.
Remove the incentive for him to turn it into a stage show for anyone.
All this advice is going to get you punched in the face. Michael, Rick and Stephen offer some good observations, but no solution. Rob is half way there. And Will finally channeled Sun Tzu, but his previous advice is still going to get you punched. Not right away like Chuck's, but it's a surety. No one is offering him an out.
You need to confront him, but the frontal approach is the wrong strategy in this instance, you need to flank him. Set up the conversation, and ignore his allegations. Say this, "You and her seem to be hitting it off and I can tell she's into you. But, she's a really good friend of mine and I love her like a sister. Because of that, if you hurt her, I'll have to pick up the pieces. And, that'll piss me off." Leave it at that.
It'll force him to realize three things:
1) The tension between you two is not unfounded.
2) It was for reasons other than he thought.
3) You're willing to defend that which is right.
Everyone saves face, literally and metaphorically.
Well we talked things over and he's agreed to back down for now (and has thus far kept his word). Thanks for all of your advice!