Two friends meet, one acts like an ass, you...

Say you have two friends–I’ll call them Gary and Cindy–who have never met. You introduce them.

Cindy is a bit of a dip, but a nice, fun person.

Gary belittles and insults Cindy because of the dipness, mostly behind her back.

Is this sort of thing enough to make you dump Gary as a friend, or do you feel that friends are allowed to have their own taste in people? Do you feel a sense of loyalty to Cindy that forces you to speak up on her behalf when Gary insults her, or do you view that as schoolyard behavior?

I say to Gary, “Okay, I get that you don’t like her, but she’s my friend. We don’t have to hang out with her, but I’d appreciate it if you don’t badmouth her.” If he can’t refrain, I’d have to consider whether he’s too much of a jerk to be friends with, but that’s not my first reaction.

They can have all the taste in friends that they like, but they don’t get to belittle your friend.

One verbal warning, one clarification, and then they get dropped.

Thank heavens my friends are all better behaved than that.

I’d like to say I’d handle it as rationally as that, but I know from experience that I would simply become engaged in a sort of protracted land struggle with the asshole friend. This would involve telling him not to badmouth her, and also contradicting him when he did it in public, then making several arguments about why he’s wrong. I’m not one for throwing away frienships quite so lightly. People will always find a way to disappoint you. If that’s the worst Gary can do, you should keep him around.

I’ve had sometimes friends who didn’t get along well. In one case, they wouldn’t speak to each other for years (for a really stupid reason, and one of them was clearly in the wrong. I told her so. Many times.)
When one criticizes the other, I generally tends to defend him/her. They’re friend, so quite logically I think highly of them and generally disagree with negative comments. And still since they’re friend, me disagreeing with a negative comment isn’t a huge issue. Anyway, stop discussing about this issue is generally the best choice. “Did you like the movie?” is generally a good answer to “Don’t you think your friend Z is a moron?”
And there’s no way I’m going to side with one against the other. If they don’t like each other, or have grudges, that’s their problem, not mine. I definitely don’t accept that people tell me with whom I should be friend with. The hardest part is with gfs. But I make very clear that you take me with my friends (and that includes exes) or not at all. You’re not obligated to like them/see them, but there’s no way you’re going to part me from them. That’s not an option.
Dumping friends isn’t on my agenda (well…it might happen, but there must be much more serious reasons than someone telling me “I don’t like her” ). But this might be because I’m quite selective with whom I call “friend”. To say the truth, that’s the first thing that came to my mind when I read your OP. That the kind of friendship you’re refering to must be quite superficial and not that important if you even ask such a question (“should I drop friend X if she badmouths friend Y?”). In the case of real friendships, the answer to such questions is glaringly obvious.
The only major issue in cases like that is knowing the stance of both sides. Friend X tells you about issue A with friend Y, and you already know perfectly well what’s Y’s position on this issue. Of course, friend X asks for advice you cannot really give truthfully without betraying Y’s confidence. Worst case scenario : X and Y are former lovers spliting, have feelings for each other, etc… Fortunately, in these cases, generally only one of them has been the true, original friend, or none are really close friends. Still very uncomfortable when you nevertheless like both. Eventually, in this case also, you might have to refuse discussing the issue.

As an aside, I don’t know what “dip” means whe applied to a person, and couldn’t find it in my dictionnary.

Garry sounds like a real Pussie to me and Cindy sounds funny and entertaining. Mrs. Roboto has many diverse friends and I enjoy meeting everyone of them. She asked me awhile back to go see an Elvis impersonater with some of her friends that I had never met. She also warned me that these friends were a little eccentric. We had a wondeful time and I met some very interesting people. Guys like Garry are Pussies and can’t relate on a man-to-man level. I vote for Cindy!

If you’re friends with Gary, you’ve probably heard him make similar comments about other people (who didn’t happen to be your friends), so, if this is enough to hurt your friendship, you might want to rethink your own behaviour as well.

My basic sentiments. I would have told “Gary” that he would be lucky to have a friend like her and don’t be crackin on my friends lest Ye be lookin to downsize.

I would wonder what Gary was saying about me when I’m not around.

As far as taking any sort of action, I’d probably laugh it off initially (“Heh. Yeah, isn’t Cindy funny?”), and if he continued I’d say, “I really liker her. It’s a shame that you don’t. I’ll make sure not to hang out with you both at the same time anymore.”
Chances are I’d not feel like spending much time at all with Gary after that.

I don’t think we have enough information in the OP. How do we know Gary doesn’t have a point?

I can’t speak for the OP, but I believe it means “flaky” or “ditzy”. Perhaps… toqué is the equivalent word.

“Dip” basically means dumb, but it’s not a very descriptive term all by itself. The OP has not said what is “dippy” about this person and one person’s “dip” might be a complete asshole to somebody else.

Not only that, but I’d be willing to bet dollars to donuts, Gary talks shit about the OP behind his back too.

I’m not sure if this is where the OP was going; but to me, the world is FULL of Gary’s.

It’s a pet peve of mine.

It amazes me how people can so passively talk shit behind peoples back and not even think twice about it. People who are otherwise pretty good people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no saint myself. I’ve been guilty, sure. But certainly not to the extent that (in my eyes) most people do.

Trite but true:

Don’t say anything about a person you wouldn’t say to their face.

That includes things like:

“did you hear Joe and Sue are having marital problems…”


“I think So-n-so has a drinking problem.” “Really? me too… Just the other day I saw …”

Seems like a lot of people think the above examples don’t qualify as talking shit behind ones back. :rolleyes:

I guess this is kinda what I was thinking of.

I can’t clarify the “dip” very well without going into ridiculous detail that would cause everyone’s eyes to glaze over. But I mean to describe someone who is a kind, funny, but eccentric person.

The OP was so vague because I was trying to put a real situation into hypothetical terms that would make more sense to most people. There is a Cindy, but the “Gary” in the OP isn’t a single person, but an entire (not the SDMB) message board with a private forum.
Imagine if you had a good friend who came to the SDMB and was a little eccentric and immediately started getting pitted but also became the subject of a lot of non-public ridicule. You found out. How would you feel about the SDMB? Would it bother you?