Can’t we all play nicely? Not always

Published: April 1, 2011 | Last Updated: April 1, 2011 By | 1 Reply Continue Reading



I’ve put myself in a very complicated situation. My best friend dated a man for several years that I did not approve of. It took me a long time to accept and tolerate him. Eventually they broke up but not before he wedged himself into our group of friends.

I have a second group of close friends. He is now dating another close friend of mine and managed to wedge himself into this group as well. The problem is that I can no longer tolerate being around him. I’ve tried just keeping pleasantries with him whenever I see him at social gatherings, but the last time this happened it ended up blowing up in my face. He pushes my buttons and there are just too many years of resentment.

This is becoming more and more complicated and stressful, and my friends in both groups feel uncomfortable and aren’t particularly supportive. While people agree that he is annoying or a jerk, they continue to be his friend and tolerate him. It makes me feel very alone. I am also questioning myself and my friendships in general.

Since I cannot be around him, I find myself excluding myself from a lot of social events, and I’ve considered trying to make new friends out in the world. What should I do? Am I being irrational?



Hi Allie,

You’ve had enough experience with this guy to realize that the two of you get along like oil and water. This isn’t necessarily a bad reflection on you. It could be that you just rub each other the wrong way and have too much bad blood.

However, since most of your friends are able to tolerate him, you need to examine why he gets you so riled. I say this not for you to make amends, but to better understand yourself and to avoid people like him in the future. It may also help you figure out how to more effectively manage such relationships.

If your friends are growing uncomfortable and aren’t supportive, you need to back off from making your resentment so apparent to the group. You can approach this one of two ways:

1) Are you closer to certain individuals in the group compared to others? Perhaps, you can maintain relationships with individuals or smaller segments of the group, and avoid large social gatherings that include him.

2) Given how uncomfortable you feel with these people, it’s a good idea to expand your social circle by making new friends. You don’t have to abandon these old friends completely but perhaps if you were less involved with him and them, it would be less tense for everyone.

A heart-to-heart talk with one of your friends whom you feel closest to might give you more perspective on what’s happening in this situation.

Hope this helps.



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  1. Anonymous says:

    About 10 years ago, a guy friend in our tight knit group introduced a new guy to the group that was the catalyst for our groups demise. The new guy was cool to begin with and just happened to live a the largest house in our small town so some of the group members immediately put him on a pedestal. Within a few weeks of the new guy being around, he ousted out our original guy friend (who had introduced him to our group) and then began systematically eliminating others too. I was his 3rd target for removal. It was just a tragic situation. That’s when I learned that men can be just as catty as women, if not worse! I remember commiserating with another female friend that was part of the group and she was just as confused as I was. “How did this guy get into our group and why are half the group worshipping him now??” I made a quiet exit from the group and it pretty much deteriorated after that and the “human relationship tornado” went off to another group. Funny thing happened a few weeks ago while I was back in that town visiting my sister, the ‘friendship destroyer” passed by her house while I was standing outside and gave me the biggest smile and wave. I couldn’t believe it. I actually laughed. ~~ Long story short, life is too short to hang around people who irritate you. Perhaps it is life telling you to branch out and find new friends. Good luck!

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