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Anxious Woman Leaves Birthday Dinner After Brother Asks Waiters To Sing Despite Pleas Not To

Waiter bringing birthday cake to table of 3 women
SrdjanPav/Getty Images

Anxiety is no joke. Luckily mental health is being recognized more and more widely.

However, for Redditor JustABird588, her shyness and social anxiety wasn’t accommodated on the day when everything should be about her — her birthday.

The Original Poster (OP) turned out subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for feedback.

She asked,

“AITA for walking out of my birthday dinner?”

She went on to explain.

ETA: In the past, they have recorded it on their phones and shared it on their personal social media pages and other family, even in other countries find it funny.”

“I also would be ok with singing for someone else. It’s the making a whole spectacle of me that is the problem.”

“I [35-year-old female] am an introvert and have severe anxiety. Being the center of attention is my biggest nightmare. I would be fine living alone in the woods as a recluse.”

“Because of that, I HATE to go out for my birthday, I’ll either spend it alone or at home with close friends where I am more comfortable.”

“I have some friends/family who always want me to go out for my birthday with them, and sometimes I go.”

“Unfortunately, even though I literally beg them not to, every once in a while, someone will think it’s funny to tell the staff it’s my birthday and have them do the whole dessert and sing happy birthday, and I literally go into a full-on panic attack.”

“They think it’s hilarious. I’ve even had them pull out cameras and record while they laugh.”

“A week ago, my grandma died. The family pushed and wanted to do a birthday dinner. Said it would be good to get out of the house. Some close friends also went.”

“Well, we are finishing up dinner, and I hear the sound that literally filled me with anger and rage.”

“It was the sounds of the line of wait staff clapping as they are all walking towards us with a dessert with candles and they start their restaurant’s signature, loud, obnoxious birthday song.”

“My brother and his wife start laughing.”

“With the wait staff mid some and about 5 feet from our table, I got up and walked out of the restaurant, got in my car, and went home.”

“My mom says she was mortified and says I was the major AH, and that it wasn’t only rude to everyone who came to my birthday, but also to the staff, and that she had to apologize profusely and leave an extra tip.”


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided:

NTA You know, I’d tell my kids, ‘It’s only funny if it’s funny for everyone.’”

“Being the eternal butt of their one-note joke is too much. It’s not funny. It was NEVER funny.”

“Don’t do your bday with them again. I’m pretty sure that even seeing you THIS upset won’t change their behavior.” – pineboxwaiting


“‘My mom says she was mortified and says I was the major AH, and that it wasn’t only rude to everyone who came to my birthday, but also to the staff’”

“Is she not even going to CONSIDER how mortified you felt and how rude it was to you, the guest of honor.

“It is completely ridiculous that they cannot respect you, your wishes, and your very valid need to avoid being the center of attention.”

“If this were me, I would actively avoid having another birthday dinner with them.”

“Definitely NTA here.” – dr239

“NTA. Your family constantly oversteps your very reasonable boundaries to do what THEY want to do.”

“I would refuse to go out with them anytime within six weeks of your birthday ever again. Also, do what YOU want to do. You are an adult, and “no” is a complete sentence.” – Foggy_Radish

“NTA. Your family is cruel as f*ck for making a joke out of your struggles. To record a panic attack laughing is sick and disgusting.”

“The speed at which I would have shoved his phone into the cake, I swear to the gods.” – luminous_sludge


“Laughing at someone else’s discomfort is called bullying.”

“‘Even though I literally beg them not to, every once in a while someone will think it’s funny to tell the staff it’s my birthday’”

“What an awful family. They start laughing while you’re having a panic attack?”

“I’d go NC [no contact] for a long while after pulling a stunt like that.” – Capelily

“NTA Your family overstepped your boundaries for their own amusement on your birthday. You were right to walk .” – OnlymyOP


“They absolutely knew that they were crossing a major boundary–why else would your brother and his wife both laugh as the staff is coming out–and it was just after your grandma died, which must have already been stressful enough.”

“They played stupid games, and having to apologize to the wait staff was their stupid prize.” – artofterm


“OP, I’m so sorry that your family and “friends” don’t respect you enough to celebrate your birthday how you want to.”

“The fact that they deliberately put you into a situation that can and does have a negative impact on your mental health is disgusting on its own, but the fact that they used your grandmother’s death as an opportunity to set you up to be humiliated… there are no words.”

“Your mom should be mortified – mortified that she and the rest of your family and so-called friends go to great lengths to ruin your birthday.”

“You deserve better.” – Glitter_Voldemort

“NTA. You’ve repeatedly told them you don’t want this treatment, and they’ve repeatedly seen the negative impact on your mental health.”

“Any friends who continue to subject you to this torment are not your friends; any family members who subject you to this torment don’t deserve to remain family.”

“I can’t imagine being mad at anybody- let alone my own child- for taking measures to safeguard their own mental health.”

“Your mom should be mortified, but not for the reasons she is. She should be mortified at having her emotionally abusive behavior laid bare for the world to see.”

“They repeatedly trigger your extreme emotional distress and then film it for their entertainment.”

“I mean, what do they do, get together when you’re not there for a comedic screening of the panic attacks they’ve given you?”

“They should all be ashamed of themselves, and you did nothing wrong. I gotta say, with a family like that, it’s no wonder you grew up to value your solitude.”

“Not only are you not the a**hole, but you’d also be completely justified in cutting them all off and never looking back.” – TurtleTheMoon

Sounds like you were set up by your brother, but that is just a guess.”


“Your mom also does not understand what you are going thru, and I bet that she has said in the past that she wishes that you would “just get over it,” which shows that she does not understand your condition and how it truly makes you feel.”

“You need to stick to your guns and not bow to the social pressure to go out on your birthday in the future. You do not need to be the butt of their joke on your birthday.”

“Anyone who was laughing at you was not really there for you.” – Mike_in_CO


“I can’t stand when the birthday singers come out. It’s the main reason I don’t go out to dinner for my birthday anymore.”

“It’s your birthday, and you already conceded to your family and went out. No birthday singers isn’t an unreasonable request.” – LtColShinySides


“Your mom and sh*tty family should be “mortified” by the joy they take in bullying you.”

“It’s telling that they seem embarrassed by the fact that their abuse backfired. I can’t imagine how betrayed you must feel by having the people you love treat you so horribly.”

“I think you would be justified in cutting or reducing contact with them and telling them exactly why. Hell, forward this post to them if you want a bunch of randos backing you up.” – HowCanBeLoungeLizard

“NTA – I did this when I was ten at Pizza Hut when I explicitly said no birthday song, then came out of the bathroom to it starting up on the jukebox. I sat on the hood of the car til we left.” – teresedanielle

NTA, your family sucks personally I’d make sure I’d never see any of them on my birthday ever again.”

“Spend the year saving as much as you can, then book yourself a night in a hotel or holiday and pamper yourself in whatever way makes you happy on your next birthday.” – Anewstageinlife

NTA, not even touching on the fact that you were obviously still grieving your grandma, I can say as an introvert myself that Nobody would Ever have the chance to do this to me more than once and stay in my life.”

“People who can’t respect clear and perfectly reasonable boundaries do not belong in your life.” – nejnoneinniet

Hopefully, next year the OP can celebrate exactly how she wants to.

She certainly doesn’t have to put up with her family’s sheet… cake.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)