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Anxiety-ridden friend and how I should be

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:28 am
by SillyMistakes
I've started drifting away from my closest friend, it started a while back, initially her and another of our close friends started taking the lemonade out of me a bit too much, i confronted them both individually about it, she improved, he didnt, I fell out with him. Keeping it short and sweet. For the last few months I've gotten grumpy at her, I think noticeably so, for treating me differently - I know that the reason she does is actually because she feels she can, but it makes me feel terrible to have my own self-esteem issues and her knocking me down every time we're with other friends (when we're alone together we have meaningful talks, she's nowhere near as derogatory as she is while other people are around), but she'll have a go at me for things other friends do freely, it's all little things but it gets to me.

Anyway, tonight, we had our first proper "alone" chat after a close member of her family died, she was in tears, and confessed that she feels aspergic with how little she understands people (she's always had social anxiety, i've wondered whether I get frustrated because we've known and been close to each other for so long that her social anxiety has extended to incorporate me) and she said that even after 7 or 8 years of friendship with me, she doesnt feel like she fully understands me.

This made me realize that she's picked up on my grumpiness with her (it was never *constant* I just saw it as standing up for myself when she made comments I didn't like) and made me feel bad, because I wondered whether I'd been immature for taking them so personally.

I don't think it'll ever change, even if I do make a fuss about it, and the fact is I'd like to keep her as a friend despite the comments that upset me, I enjoy our private talks, so in your opinions, with what barebones information I've supplied you with, should I just "deal" with the comments and accept them as a way she's showing her closeness to me, should I confront her and cause a drama (cos I have a feeling it will), or should I just continue as i have been doing - defending myself when i feel the need but not confronting the issue directly because it's not worth the drama?

All opinions welcome.

Re: Anxiety-ridden friend and how I should be

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:58 pm
by reckoner
I think all good friendships have their ups and downs and, in the end, those downs are probably what make the bond tight.

I think you need to find a non-combative way to respond to the she makes comments that you don't like. Can you give an example for us to consider?

Re: Anxiety-ridden friend and how I should be

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:43 pm
by SillyMistakes
well, as i said its more the consistency - she always acts as if i'm embarrassing to be around, they're little things but they get me down but for instance;

we have a very open friend group, everythings talked about as a group, but twice now, once in my own house, she's shooed me out of a room to have "girl talk" which i find out about later anyway, i just find that a humiliatingly exclusive thing to do. The last time she did this I was drunk, and sat down and made a point of staying.

Recently i had my first few days off in 4 years due to sickness, when one of my friends asked (in front of her) how long i'd had it, she replied for me with "pfft, like 2 days" as if it wasnt worth asking about, and I said "well actually i've been feeling rough for a couple of weeks, and i had 3 days off, but i think its gone now".

Or whenever we go out to a restaurant, she'll be groaning with embarrassment if I show any sign of enjoying my food, or if i order a side dish, or if i get something meaty (she's a veggie) but with anyone and everyone else she'll be laid back and let them do what they want.

Or when we were on a group holiday and I woke up early so I thought I'd be nice and clean up the place we'd rented, I tried to keep quiet, she was first out of bed, and - this is what got me - didnt say anything until she saw it was me, i even heard her start to say "oh wow" as she walked out of the kitchen, then saw me, and started going on about how i'd woken her up and she'd barely slept anyway. It's the fact it would've been different had it been ANYONE else who was there.

We recently went on holiday and had a "mishap" with a rental car on a very busy road, I was the only one who remained calm (my other friends later complimented me on this), she started screaming at me to help, which I did, but she was thanking everyone else for like, passing her stuff when I was the one who found out who to call, and called them, When I went to get out of the car she freaked out, but when the police turned up randomly and helped push the car, they told us getting out if its safe would be the thing to do, I didnt comment cos I knew she was on edge. And as we pulled away, she had a go at me for not doing up my seat belt quick enough, but another friend in the car hadnt done hers yet and the only reaction she got was "okay, well let me know when you're done". I know it was a stressful situation but I'm kinda fed up with being the only one to get the brunt of it.

Sorry, I ended up ranting a little there, if i'm overreacting, please do tell me :L

Re: Anxiety-ridden friend and how I should be

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:20 am
by David020549
This girl is not treating you like a friend at all, reading your last post that is the way a girl might treat a pesky little brother.
Unless you stand up for yourself and return her tantrum with yours and every nasty remark with one of your own she will continue because "she can", this is not banter between friends it is bullying.

Really you need different friends, a group that fits in with your natural personality, by all means try to change the way she treats you, maybe she will, for instance when you got up early to cleanup and she berated you. Your reaction should have been "somebody had to you're a lazy cow", she will flare of course but eventually she will realise the worm has turned.

Re: Anxiety-ridden friend and how I should be

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:43 am
by stephie2
I must say that she doesn't seem like a very nice friend! Stand up for yourself and don't let her bully you this way. If she falls out with you then tough luck on her part, you would be better off with friends who want the best for you not want to put you down and embarrass you in front of everyone.

Re: Anxiety-ridden friend and how I should be

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:46 pm
by reckoner
Yes, I can see why you're frustrated. I don't think you're overreacting.

My guess is that she's using you to establish or elevate her status within the group, pack behaviour basically, which is why she's different when it's just the two of you. I don't think it's premeditated, neither is it big nor clever. Generally, I don't think people fall for this kind of thing unless they are similarly pack-minded, in which case you might be better off without them.

I agree that you should challenge her on it. Either during a private chat, or request a private word. Tell her that while you enjoy and value your friendship, you've noticed that she's very different when others are around. You've noticed her putting you down and making unflattering observations about you to / in front of others several times, that you're not cool with it and she has to stop.

By all means listen to what she has to say but, essentially it's not a discussion, it's a straight request, so all you're really after is an agreement and, ideally, an apology. If these are not forthcoming, or if she doesn't stick to it, I'd keep her at arm's length, at the very least.

Re: Anxiety-ridden friend and how I should be

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:17 pm
by SillyMistakes
Thanks everyone for at least letting me know that I'm justified in how I feel - I feel the need to defend her slightly in that despite all of this, she is in other ways incredibly thoughtful - she gets incredibly insightful and thoughtful presents for all her friends, she's always so altruistic with all friends (which, in a way, makes it more irritating on the occasions she isn't towards me), but also makes it harder when she does this only in front of friends - I'm never sure if my friends see it or if they just see the same selfless, thoughtful girl she is to them, and used to be to me when I introduced them all. I've made a point of not talking to any of them about it to try to find out - I don't want her to feel like I've been saying things behind her back, and I hope she'd treat me with the same courtesy.

But again, thank you for making me feel like I'm not being over-sensitive, I think I'll definitely continue defending myself where I can and if things require a discussion then they'll have one, I'm not entirely sure how she'd react, but I'm hoping it'll be with acceptance.

Re: Anxiety-ridden friend and how I should be

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:47 am
by stephie2
If you want to still be friends with her just pull her to one side and tell her that you will not tolerate her pulling you to bits in front of people or in private. Tell her you would like to remain friends but will no longer be a pushover.