A poster writes that a “mean girl” in her circle of friends is verbally abusive in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
I have a girlfriend who, over the past couple of years, has begun making subtle and insidious personal attacks on me. She is very sneaky and calculating, and always manages to catch me off guard with her sticks, jabs and innuendoes. She will do this in front of our other friends and even, at times, when we are alone.
I don’t know why she decided to pick on me, or what about me drives her to do this. I haven’t been able to pick up on her doing this to anyone else in our circle. She seems to go out of her way to please and pump up everyone else. At times, I sense she is sharing knowing looks with one of them as if to imply that she has dragged that friend in with her on the emotional assault.
I haven’t noticed any of our other friends doing this to me, and haven’t discussed it with any of them. She is so sweet to everyone else that they would probably think I was crazy anyway!! I am worried that I need to limit my time with this girl, which, in turn, will limit my time with my other friends. It’s not something I want to do, but seems that I have to for my own emotional health. Have you run across a similar situation before? I’m just looking for a way to handle this! Thanks for your help.
I’m so sorry that you have encountered someone who treats you this way. I can’t begin to speculate about why she is doing this but it probably has more to do with her than it does with you.
Next time something like this occurs again, make a mental note of what your friend said (being as specific as possible) and how it made you feel. Find a moment when you can speak to her privately and tell her about her behavior. It is possible that she may not even be aware of her actions and their impact on you. If she is aware of what she is doing, bringing it into the open should make her think twice before doing it again.
I can’t think of any reason why you should be spending time with her alone as a twosome since, understandably, you don’t enjoy her company. Moreover, it will only give her more fodder for her attacks. On the other hand, try to stay involved with your mutual friends because she seems to be the only one with whom you are uncomfortable.
Make every effort possible to not disparage her to others in the group. When someone is acting mean and making personal attacks, others are likely to realize what is going on even if they are reluctant to get involved.
Hope this helps!
My best, Irene
Category: Mean girls