A woman who despises her arrogant brother-in-law orchestrated a scene in which she used a friend to expose his shortcomings at a dinner party from "about a year ago."
Redditor "EffectiveDrummer0" revisited her story since the subject recently resurfaced.
The brother-in-law—who is described to be a know-it-all—has not spoken to the Original Poster (OP) since the embarrassing dinner party in which he prattled on about a topic he pretended to be an expert on but was exposed for his cluelessness.
Her husband wants her to take responsibility and apologize.
The OP began painting her brother-in-law in an unflattering light and explained why.
"So some background: my BIL, 43, sees himself as an expert in all things and grew up with the kind of family that always praised him for being 'brilliant' (he's really not)."
"Personally I've always disliked him because he's arrogant and always calls me 'over emotional' whenever I disagree with him on anything."
"Instead of owning up to his mistakes when he's caught, he'll also pretend like he never said it or you just misunderstood him or you're too 'irrational' for him to continue the convo."
During the OP's anniversary dinner last year, the brother-in-law began spouting stock market terminology that sounded like gibberish.
"BIL was sat close to me and further down the table was one of my good friends who happened to be in town."
"Well he was spouting some major BS about stock markets this time. He had just gotten really into investing and none of us really knew what he was talking about."
"I couldn't pinpoint why it was wrong but it all sounded pretty made up to me."
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The OP put the brother-in-law on the spot by asking her friend—who happened to be a "famous financial strategist" to clarify some of his erroneous jabber.
The OP admitted this was where she might be seen as TA (the a**hole).
"So my friend is actually a fairly famous financial strategist. She has been watching stock markets for over 2 decades."
"She's constantly on TV and her face has been on the cover of industry magazines."
"Anyways, I asked BIL to repeat what he said to my friend (she was too far away to hear organically). I definitely did channel that initial conversation and I did NOT introduce her as an expert. I won't drone on but you can imagine what happened."
The qualities by which the OP described her brother-in-law earlier became exposed for all to see.
"My friend refuted a few of his points fairly nicely, corrected some of his glaring misconceptions, he then blew up, told her to stop misquoting him and read more, and she finally dropped the bomb of what she does for a living."
"He mumbled about everyone 'overreacting' over things he supposedly never said (despite everyone hearing him say those things minutes earlier) then stayed quiet."
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"It was glorious to see but it was also pretty apparent BIL was beyond humiliated because he made a lame excuse about how his stomach hurts and left dinner not 15 min later."
"It's been a long time now but BIL avoids me like the plague and my husband wants us to resolve things."
"He thinks I should take the initiative to apologize because I was the one that started it by redirecting the convo to someone I knew would be an expert over BIL."
"AITA for what I did? I didn't need to make that convo happen, but it just seemed so perfect at the time I couldn't resist. But I admit had I not done it none of this would be happening and it does feel petty looking back."
She asked AITA (Am I the A**hole) for letting her friend "publicly humiliate" her brother-in-law
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked to declare if the OP was one of the following:
NTA - Not The A**hole
YTA - You're The A**hole
ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
NAH - No A**holes Here
"NTA. Your BIL is probably the way he is because his family coddles his precious little ego! He needs to grow up!" – jesgolightly
"NTA. I don't think redirecting the conversation puts you at fault, nor is it petty if he has a history of doing this."
"He put himself in this situation by starting the conversation. Had your friend of been sitting closer the exact same thing would have happened."
"The only reason I'd see a need for you to apologize is if he wasn't talking about this at all on his own and then you said 'hey BIL, what are your thoughts on the stock market' knowing your friend was an expert."
"That would be a little petty, but in this case it wasn't some grand set up. Honestly he put his foot in his own mouth and he needs to learn to get over not being the expert on everything."
"No one can possibly be the expert in all topics, and he needed to learn this lesson." – laurenquad
This Redditor suggested a way for the OP to disguise her motivation as a passable apology.
"NTA and if you're looking for a sweet cover story (instead of confessing to setting him up for the entertainment value) you could go with, 'I'm sorry I doubted your expertise. I heard you say you are looking into stock market things, I thought my friend could help, I was just looking out for my family,' or the like."
"This gets you there for an apology and a passable motivation, instead of 'I wanted you to say stupid things for my friend so I could chortle to myself while you got schooled.'" – Wuellig
Or she could use this:
"I genuinely thought you would enjoy speaking with someone as brilliant as you are! [you pompous a**]." – rafster929
"I'm so sorry that I put you in a position where you publicly exposed yourself as a pompous, self-important moron with a fragile ego. I never would have done that if I knew you'd get all emotional and irrational about it." – freeeeels
Might he have learnt something from being disgraced?
According to these Redditors, not so much.
"OP, if you're tempted to feel the slightest bit guilty, please realize you were doing your BIL a huge favor."
"Arrogance is simply a cover for insecurity and it effectively drives people away."
"Your BIL may feel like he's seen as an expert and therefore intimidating, but most everyone sees he is a frightened child that will not play well with adults."
"Unfortunately, this overdue humiliation probably hasn't actually taught him anything." – CoderJoe1
"Really OP should tell her husband that he and his family did her BIL an injustice by praising him for everything."
"Makes it impossible for people to live in the real world, which doesn't center around them." – Binky390
"He sounds a bit like a narcissist. If that's the case, we won't learn the lesson you think."
"The lesson he's learned is to watch out for OP because she's willing to bruise his ego." – alecesne
"Doesn't matter how you word it."
"Doesn't matter how OP apologizes."
"If he is that ego-centric he will simply hate her more for reminding him about his failure instead of appreciating or accepting an apology."
"Honestly she should apologize because he will hate it and continue to hate her and avoid her, making him the obvious a**."
"NTA though, op still did nothing but set someone up to egg themself." – GruffGrapes
For someone who knows everything, the brother-in-law didn't even see the Reddit condemnation coming for him.
*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.*
The book The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World is available here.