A confusing friendship
October 22, 2016 at 2:59 pm #178854
Just like everybody else i am here to seek the real meaning of a friendship and wants to put best of efforts to maintain this beautiful relationship
Making friends and being amiable were never a subject of my concern until i met this friend of mine five years ago. This female friend of mine is a common friend of my three other friends. we all met during our studies and during that period things were normal though she was always the center of our friendship. We all loved her and liked her very much. She was more close to two of them than me in those days but since last two years we got very close to each other and sharing the same workplace. During this period she opened up to me for all her concerns ,secrets and desires the same is the case from my side ,but now i feel an intense urge to reflect on our friendship because some of her behavior really upsets me and make me feel doubtful about my own self. I constantly feels something terribly wrong goes in her mind regarding me and i sense envy from her side. She behaves very differently when we two are together but when we go out and meet our other friends specially those two girls she makes me feel aloof and isolated . She does not cherish our friendship in front of others and start behaving very indifferent and superficial towards me and this breaks my heart badly. In private she gives me attention care but in public she gets too self centered i believe. She always tries to focus on my other friends to enable them to like her more than me and i have clearly seen her attempt to affect my friendship with others. There are multiple examples i have faced to support my point for instance she always make opinions opposite to mine, she finds it difficult to get agree with me, she constantly reminds me of my worries and the matter which i am very much concerned about specially with regard to my family. She also make others feel uneasy with me and i really dont know how she does that, she is constantly competing with me at the professional level and i am pretty sure of her desire to one up me professionally. These perception of mine towards her is upsetting me to the extent that now i have become to much self conscious to make new friends and to maintain friendship with our common friends . I tried to discuss these issues with her but she always put me on the recieving end of confusion by saying that i feel this way .I am deeply anxious because of all this and thinking to give a break to this friend but i am 100 % sure that she will tarnish my image in front of my friends even on my this decision and convincing them that problem is not her but ME. I even feel very sorry that this friendship have such a cheap end. WHAT SHUOLD I DO ? KINDLY MAKE ME REFLECT THROUGH YOUR OPINIONS.
October 23, 2016 at 12:27 am #178857
It may well be time to slowly disassociate yourself from this friend. A good friend should support you and you should enjoy each other’s company. Friendship is voluntary, and cannot be forced. You mentioned that you have spoken to her about these issues, but there is no improvement.
You may want to start spending less and less time with her, and then evaluate how you feel with less and less of her company and her influence. See how you feel when you spend less time with her, and if you feel better with less of her company, then make your decision to greatly diminish the time that you actually spend with her.
It will be a bit awkward because you share the same workplace now, but remember nothing stays the same, and either she or you may find another job and then go to work in a different place.
Be open to making new friends, and remember that you do not have to introduce your new friends to this friend. Think about these observations and suggestions, then you decide what is best for you and best for the quality of your life.
October 23, 2016 at 2:25 pm #178872
thank you Lauren for the suggestions..
i will seek out these measures to bring me out of this confusion.. the problem here is my extreme sensitivity towards this issue which overtakes my mind and i start feeling vulnerable whenever she behaves in a way which bothers me..
As a matter of fact regarding the time we have to see each other atleast 14-16 hours daily during which she manages to get everything including winning over my friends, co workers on daily basis which pisses me off .. As i also told she has complete knowledge of my behaviour and perceptions and knows exactly which button to push.:(
October 23, 2016 at 5:16 pm #178875
Thank you for your reply. It is tough being a sensitive person, and having to contend with someone who knows how to “push your buttons”.
It is good that you are aware of what she does and how she does it, so now you can practice to try NOT to show her that it bothers you. Yes, her behavior will still bother you, but the big trick is this:
Don’t, under any circumstances, show her that it bothers you.
For example, when she tries to hurt you and push certain buttons, you could practice yawning, and then say , excuse me , I have to go to the washroom. Then her momentum is “halted”. When you come back from the washroom , just say that you are so busy you have to get on with your work, or you have to make a phone call, etc.
Do things like this, and remember this is the “armor” that you put on to protect yourself.
I learned little social devices/tricks like this at an assertive course that I took. Sometimes I can be too nice for my own good and consequently, too open to those who wish to hurt and manipulate.
It’s wonderful to be a sensitive person, but you must especially take care not to show too much of your sensitivity to those who would seek to hurt and manipulate you. Always remember, don’t show your “Achilles Heel” to her or others like her.
Sensitive people have to be aware not to invite or attract trouble by showing open blind trust and unwarranted, inappropriate optimism. Start keeping your guard up around her. Be your true self, but be more guarded around her, and keep using ways to show her she does not bother you. This is very important.
You mentioned that you tried to speak to her about this, but there was no improvement (and probably no apology). That tells you that she knows exactly what she is doing, and has no intention of stopping. So keep your guard up, Shazzy.
October 23, 2016 at 6:59 pm #178882
October 23, 2016 at 9:05 pm #178883
October 24, 2016 at 5:23 am #178891
Hello, I read you.
One other thing that might help – considering that maybe there is something off with your self esteem and that has made you paranoid towards a very close friend. I’m not judging and I’m not saying that this is how things are – but maybe something of it you will find true and it might come handy for you.
When you are out with a group you feel aloof and isolated. You feel that you are to your own friends not as likeable as she is. You feel like she wants to be the opposite of you, disagree with you all the time. You feel anxious in groups because you think she is trying to turn those people against you. You feel like she is competing you and doing her best to always beat you by one.
You know – these beliefs can become a self-fulfilling prophecy – the more you fear that she is talking behind your back and doing everything she can to put you down – the more you start believing it… And the more likely you will end up acting on those beliefs.
These are not healthy beliefs. And you wouldn’t be thinking or feeling any of this if you had some confidence in you.
Do you believe that you are a likable person?
Do you believe that gossip and badmouthing can actually make you a bad person?
Do you think competition could actually motivate you to perform better or do you feel like it is setting you up for a loss?
Do you think being intimidated by competition or a “perfect friend” is a sign of someone being malicious or you believing that you can never become good enough?
First thing you could take into your head – no person is perfect – your friend isn’t perfect – she probably has her own insecurities as well, makes mistakes, has faulty arguments, feels sad and lonely on some evenings, misunderstands many concepts of life and makes bad claims on them etc. That’s just how most people are – and you will keep meeting those people even if you distance yourself from this particular friend.
One thing that helped me overcome anxiety about people and their opinions was the realization (I actually read it from a book (and it makes good sense to me)) that other people are as clueless as you are about all the things they are doing and saying.
We seem to believe that other people always know what they are doing and keep their stuff together – but nah, they do as many emotional and impulsive decisions as the guy next to them on a daily basis – uninformed opinions, emotional responses, hasty decisions…
Realizing this helped me build some confidence in what I know and what I say. When someone starts to talk me down, I listen respectfully but also remember that their responses are almost never sincere, as soon as things start looking emotional.
Second – find a way to build self confidence, learn to think clearly and realistically instead of negatively cautiously – you’ll find out that you actually are an amazing, capable person. Googling something like “thinking patterns” might give you a good idea what I’m talking about.
You feel anxiety right now but when you figure it all out, you’ll feel great doing what you do, hanging out with these very same friends and listening to them talk about silly things, having a heated argument with that disagreeing friend – even when the friends and circumnstances around you will not have changed – because the bigger part of making you feel great about it is in your own hands.
Also, when thinking realistically and you find that this friend really is utterly toxic – you will feel fine about distancing yourself from them – right now I think when you’d do that you just wouldn’t be doing it with a 100% certainty and would still feel doubt and some weird sense of guilt.
Be brave o/
October 24, 2016 at 3:21 pm #178912
Hello Dear Nova
I really appreciate your time to go through my issue.
If I reflect on the level of my self esteem I found it quite satisfactory as I believe this is the only thing which keeps me going in this situation. I am really trying very hard to bring grace to this friendship, may be my expectations from this friend are bit unrealistic which also I am aware of because though we are friends we are totally opposite in nature. We try to be friends through our differences and that makes me proud of this bond but now I feel totally confused because of her hideous behavioral patterns which I am observing, feeling repeatedly. Regarding social situations I don’t crave attentions and absolutely know my place in a group the only objection I have is her attitude towards me at this point of time. This is the main issue here. WHY IS SHE BEHAVING LIKE THIS?
As Lauren suggested me to hide my sensitivity I have tried this and what I have observed is the fact that this girl really gets confused and startled whenever I behave in contrast to my inner nature and she has even down rated my level of sensitivity after one day when I met with my old buddies with her. She literally said me that you are reducing your sensitivity. What does that mean? I absolutely have strong wit that she observes my behavioral patterns knows what makes me happy or upset she senses me very well and thus she will never like to lose that knowledge which she gladly uses against me
Its not my believe but the confusion an intuition regarding her which I am facing. I would never like to lose such an old friendship on the basis of my self limiting belief but now every now and then I find the traces of envy,despise and unease in her attitude towards me . I love healthy competition and I can envision a friend who is healthy competitive with me to bring out the best in me. I absolutely vote for that but this attitude is objectionable by me and I feel very bad about this. I am not convinced with the fact that whatever people do is out of their conscious level and say whatever they say unintentionally and unconsciously. People choose their acts words wisely depending on the formed perception of others. This can happen sometime but not ALWAYS. I believe she is as sensible as I am and as informed as anybody else in the world.
The only guilt i will be having to lose friendship without and dialogue and overwhelmed feelings and emotions .
I am not perfect nor is she but willingly we can make perfect moments that could be done if I get to resolve this problem
I regard your point of view. Thank you very much for your advice
October 24, 2016 at 5:11 pm #178917
Well, people puff themselves up like a blowfish when something intimidates them – maybe she is the insecure one then – feels so intimidated that she needs to aggressively and violently put you down in order to feel elevated.
And if so – remember that this doesn’t really say as much about you as it does about her – when a person gets intimidated by something or someone, they just lack the confidence to cope with that encounter otherwise. Becoming as humble as possible ourselves never hurts but even if you are the most humble person in the world – “haters gonna hate” – insecure people will still feel the way they do.
Do you believe your friend could be that insecure? If so, that might be it and you really don’t have to feel let down due to it – but if that’s so and you understand why this happens, you no longer need get bothered by her sleazy moves.
And well, if anything – you can always beat those people at their silly ego-games by not playing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_games
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by Nova Grata.
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by Nova Grata.
November 1, 2016 at 3:55 pm #179096
As asked earlier kindly suggest me how should i make her realize that i am feeling being envied from her constantly. In past few days i was not in company with her but what i am observing now is rough attitude of other common friends towards me. I am pretty much sure the she is communicating some bad feelings about me to others. What should i do to make it confirm. Should i ask my other friends clearly to tell what she says abt me but this will look bit immature from my side. I am so trapped wd all this . Plssss suggest something really strong action
November 1, 2016 at 5:41 pm #179099
Asking them wouldn’t really be immature, as asking is better than assuming.
Whether they would give you an honest answer is a whole other story. They might give you an honest answer (which would be, I remind you – their opinion – which is almost never the universal truth, by the way) as well and it might be something shocking. They might have a problem with your attitude or something – you never know – so in that light, sure, ask – you’ll find out.
Strong action – I’d say go full wu wei and do about it absolutely nothing. No words in your defense or to her offence will gain anyone any good the way I see this playing out. In an emotional state I’d do something reckless and irreverable, probably. I’d lash out on someone and call vulgar names, probably. And oh how I would regret that later on. Keeping it cool might make better results.
November 2, 2016 at 8:02 am #179104
Thanks Nova ! I really appreciate your ability to give an advice keeping the point of view from both sides:)
I absolutely want to resolve this issue very gracefully and calmly without offending her that is why i am just ignoring the hurt which i am facing to reach to her in a bad manner. Its such a confusing state that sometimes she behaves extremely well towards me even when with others but ever given a chance when her ego is on the verge she despise me like anything and feels agitated. I feel deep down she hates me .I silently feels and watch all this happening and feels very hurt and confused even having the maturity of not being affected by this but i just cant!! My emotional states are pissing me off 😛 I really just want some conclusion on this
November 2, 2016 at 8:04 am #179105
November 2, 2016 at 9:40 am #179106
You titled your post “a confusing friendship.” I think sometimes manipulative people aim to confuse you, to throw you off balance, by blowing hot and cold. Think about it: If this woman were to only treat you badly, you would not feel confused, would you? Therefore, she needs to treat you in a friendly manner sometimes, in order to play you.
Do not be taken in by her. Trust your own perceptions about her. You are in a difficult situation, because you will be around her for at least two more years. Keep your guard up. She knows you are sensitive, so protect yourself as much as possible. I was very interested to read what Lauren said about how sensitive people can act with blind trust and inappropriate optimism. Remember not to trust her, not to be optimistic that things are okay after all. See her for who she is.
Be civil to her, because it is the easiest route to take. Don’t worry whether she talks about you to other people. Just be yourself and don’t engage in any gossip, and others will probably come to see her for who she is.
Protect yourself, don’t worry about her. And realize you won’t have to be around her for the rest of your life.
November 2, 2016 at 10:02 am #179108
Hmmmmmm… Have you considered looking at her on-and-off behavior as moods? Could be that she’s just acting out her moods more intensely than an average Joe?
What we think, say and do – can vary so much based on our mood, really. When you are in a good-confident mood and someone throws a mean snarky comment at you, you will just brush it off, maybe even laugh about it. When the same comment flies and you are feeling down, tired or irritated – you might just blow up and want to punch that person in their face for what you just had to hear.
We so often choose based on a mood what we talk about, what we say, what we focus on when listening to others etc, how we spend our time, how we complete our work etc etc. How we react to something etc, also.
In that sense when something happens again or you hear her saying some bad stuff or bitter comments – consider she is doing it out of a bad mood, not because that’s something what she’s always and “truly” thinking. Same goes for good comments and good mood, but nobody really seems to mind when that happens 🙂
It is possible to somewhat control our moods or how we perceive things under moody pressure, but that’s not a skill learnt at birth – some people somehow learn it naturally while they are growing up, at least to some extent, others don’t and might want to catch up if moody behavior starts causing them real trouble at some point (e.g I had to learn it mechanically with the help of a therapist (and that happened as recently as one year ago)).
Even when you feel it’s not your moods that are getting on the way – often just understanding that people have moods and moods skew their beliefs and how they act upon them, helps to make the whole difference by getting hurt or not by what they say.
November 5, 2016 at 3:40 pm #179184
Dear Just Bella
Thank you for giving a better understanding to my point of view ! Your suggestions are applicable to my problem. I absolutely understand your solution to this issue.She is very muh confident to consume my sensitivity and she is also well known to the fact that i will not change myself on this. If i would started to show traits like her to retaliate bak then there will be no difference between her and me and i even dont want this. I AM NOT LIKE HER WHO FAILS TO UNDERSTAND THE OTHER SIDE. I atleast enjoy this difference between her and me but yes i just have to start to be oblivion to her.
thank you very much
November 5, 2016 at 4:03 pm #179185
Dear Nova ! Hope u doing gud
You comment on linking my on and off behavior as moods is inappropriate until u make me understand from which part of my discussion makes u think that i am moody enough to bring this matter to this forum ,discussing ,reflecting and getting hurt just because of my unstable moods? I am sure about my contemplation about this girl which is clearly evident in all states . My mood is not cooking this story its her action behavior and sarcasm affecting, though you are right in saying that my good spirit can surpass her pissy behavior towards me but you know what nova no matter how much in a good mood or bad mood you are in you show what you are from inside your moods cannot change your values opinions and judgement and to me if anybody is like that who wants to hug or brush off this world depending on mood that is a sheer shallowness of that person.
i will again say that no body has the right to hurt other feelings just because he or she is in a bad mood . You I or anybody else cannot be in high spirit all day along to prove our immunity to others stupid behaviour . BAD WORDS,BAD THOUGHTS,BAD GESTURES HURT INSPITE OF ANY MOOD YOU ARE IN ATLEAST FOR ME.
Again thank you for your advvice
November 5, 2016 at 5:28 pm #179187
Hey, I see that you don’t really dig my responses and for some reason you keep seeing red – but let me assure you – I am not judging you – that’s not what I do. I’m trying to come up with solutions here. If they don’t work for you, that’s fine, and I am sorry to have bothered you.
I was saying that it might be her that is acting based on her moods, I did not say it was you. Moods are with us every day – they affect people differently – that is a fact.
Values, opinions – they are all the same – values and opinions change over time, too. When someone has an opinion or a belief that “you’re not good enough” or “you deserve to be walked over” – is that a “truth” of any kind?
If it makes easier for you to believe that this person is genuinely evil, out to get you and manipulating your sensitivity – go ahead. That’s one way to get over it. But I get the feeling that this same problem is going to return and you’re going to have to struggle with it again.
Yes. Of course, no one really has the right to say hurtful things to another person, based or not on their mood. Moods, banters, bullying, different opinions, games of power – that’s what people do, they’ve always done and will be doing until the end of times.
And this all is NOT justifying them – it’s accepting the fact that that’s what people do. It’s accepting the fact that too often there simply is nothing we can do to change it. If a person goes in with their bad mood, or value, or opinion and starts bashing at your self-esteem, what do you imagine you can do? Pull out a gun and point it at them? Would that be justified?
The idea isn’t to prove your immunity – the idea is to have the strength to cope with all of it – for your own good. You’re not doing this for anyone else, you’re not doing this so someone else can have their way, you’re not doing this so other people can get away with the bad things they do – but you’re doing this for yourself. For your own good health, success and sanity.
It’s you that’s getting hurt by this other persons behavior – how else do you intend to make this inconvenience go away? Kill that person? Beat her up and show her whose boss? Sorry for the radical examples, but I am sort of getting lost what kind of a solution you’re expecting to find?
If someone does have a good idea on what combination of words and actions to use on that person to make everybody win, then I’d very much like to hear it, there would possibly be a Nobel Prize for this formula, too.
I’m not one to suggest to fight fire with fire, so the only option here, the way I see it – is to understand what makes people tick the way they do, what makes me tick the way I do aka what makes you tick the way you do…
That silly research has given me enough knowledge to figure out if what another person says to me or not has to power to actually hurt me or not. It has given me the power to sit trough my bosses silly emo tantrums on things that never happened. It helps me sit trough otherwise decent people gossiping other good people. It helps me not to care for peoples constant struggle to one-up me or talk me down. It helps me sit trough disagreements and gives me enough cold air so I can think and figure out what’s what. What can I do to improve the situation, and if not, just let go…
I see your struggle. I wish you could see things from a different perspective so you’d feel in control of the things and you’d feel great about yourself so this struggle would end. So many of us have been there, as helpless as you are. It’s unfair, I know it, you know it. But figuring all that out, that’s just one of the possible solutions.
You can either continue being the sensitive victim or you can take over the driving seat – there’s your choices, and nobody is gonna judge regardless your choice – it’s for you, not for your nemesis or not for me either. Just trying to help, really, I don’t judge.
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