I attend daily mass and now that I am on sick leave from work, I often chat in the vestibule with others after the mass has ended. I’ve become friendly with a gentleman in his 60s who also attends daily, and we often stop to chat. Sometimes he will give me a ride home (I walk to mass) and when I was really ill he brought food to my house and had a mass said for me. He’s been very kind.
However, he unfortunately makes many insensitive comments to me. These usually take the form of a criticism or judgement of me personally, my attitudes, my faith, my work or personal life. It hurts my feelings. In the past month or so the comments seem to have increased. Its to the point where I often cry or feel like crying after speaking to him. After speaking to him last time, I actually didn’t feel like going to mass for a few days. He made a comment about my faith (I’m a new convert) and I felt so discouraged.
I do tell him I disagree when he makes these comments, but I don’t think he realizes he’s being hurtful because when I protest he just argues and/or teases me. At first I thought I was being overly sensitive but I told one friend a couple of the comments, and she said she would be very upset, and would stop talking to him completely.
I’m not sure what to do, I suppose I could just say “your comments hurt my feelings”. I’m not keen on not speaking to him at all, as I do see him at mass everyday and that would be awkward. Not to mention, he has been very kind to me in some respects. I wish I could just not care what he says. Any suggestions would be appreciated.