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Thread: Friends want to befriend my bully

  1. #1
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    Friends want to befriend my bully

    I am in a foreigner country and I have a group of friends from my workplace, and basically they were my main friends in this country right now.
    Something like two years ago I had a person at work bullying me, only because I was getting along with a guy she liked, because we are from the same country. She only talked against me in public once, but acted "secretly"when we were left alone in the office or somewhere else.

    I was getting into the group as the newest member, so they will invite me to places and events. When it was obvious this guy felt more comfortable with me she started to flip. First, because we talked regularly when the other people were present, I would greet her or ask a question and if we were alone she will bluntly ignore me, like I was air. I thought for a while that maybe I was imaging stuff but then when other people arrived she will all of the sudden talk to me again. I've been bullied several times over the years, so I know how to spot abuse.

    So I started avoiding her as much as I could, then she will make plans with the group and not inviting me, which, OK, she wasn't obligated to, but then would make sure I knew she was excluding me. She will remind them of the plans while I was present and gave me significant looks to make sure I knew what was going on. Whatever, I tried to ignore her.

    My friendship with this guy kept growing and then she proceeded to get more physical, never actually laid a hand on me, she would shove things near my face, happened several times, obviously when nobody was around and once, out of nowhere put herself in front of my, inches away from my face as if she was about to butt-head me, which was really weird...

    This went for several months, and I decided to just avoid the group so she will leave me alone, which she didn't, even after she got a boyfriend (not the guy in question) and then one day she just stopped. Now she is more like, on good days she will talk to me, on bad ones, which are most of them, ignore me but nothing too dramatic.

    After she got the boyfriend she stopped hanging out with the previous group of people, stop talking to them and ignore them, just because, maybe now that she had boyfriend she didn't need them anymore, who cares. So I got close to them again and we were a happy gang for more than a year, got really close and we were dealing with crazy things over here, and became what I would called my best friends in this place.

    This week I found out they went out with this girl, the whole bunch, of course without me, and honestly I feel betrayed. Not because the gang went out without me with someone else, but because they are trying to rekindle the friendship with the person who bullied me for so long. At some point way before, I told them what happened with this person, and even they found out some things they thought were weird at the moment. So they wholly knew what it was about. Now, I've been in this situation several times as well. My "friends" don't see the bully as one, because of course they didn't experienced any of the abuse. More than that, I've told this current group about previous friends, what other people have done and they kept hanging out with those bullies and even making excuses for them, so I had to cut them out. They knew those were my values and boundaries and they decided to not care...

    Now I told them I don't want to be friends with them anymore, because I can't trust them, they have proven that given the chance, and if it fits them, they will do something that could hurt me, even though people might think is something so small. Their response was to tell me that they don't think that what I said is reason enough to finish our friendship, that they've never hear her to say something bad about me, so I shouldn't get mad at them. Passively aggressively told me that they will wait for me to calm down and if I ever want to contact them they will act like nothing happened and will rekindle our friendship... which obviously means they don't have any remorse, as they don't think they are even slightly wrong.

    I've been thinking maybe I shouldn't have just completely cut them out, instead spend less time with them and understand that they were not really trustworthy people after all so not see them as best friends anymore, but then, why to keep a friend which you can't trust? Also if I just act like nothing happened I will be disrespecting myself and my feelings, for the sake of not being alone? No way...

    So I am just trying to think, if I need them in my life after all? Was I too quick to cut them out? was I too harsh on them? I really don't think so, an anyway I can't see them the same as before, but many people are telling me I am making a mountain from a grain of salt... not sure what to think anymore.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Therapy to help explore this dynamic as well as developing tighter boundaries and better assertiveness skills could help you. You can't avoid people all the time or depend on cliques, office politics, office romances or cattiness to resolve any of this. The sooner you develop assertiveness skills and stronger boundaries the sooner this will stop happening repeatedly and you won't feel like a helpless victim. Learn to stand up to people in appropriate ways and develop more diverse friends outside of the workplace.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    The problem is between you and this girl, don't make it about the entire group.

    I think they want to be friends with you both and don't want to become part of your fight with this girl. It's fine is they want that.

    It doesn't mean they aren't your friend just because they are still friends with her. It means they don't want to become part of the fight between you two.

    On the other hand, if it bothers you that much, it is up to you to walk away from them as friends.

  4. #4
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    This is your battle, not theres. You cannot expect your friends not to associate with her, just because she doesn't like you.

    This is your problem. You should have dealt with this girl, early on, and not have been so passive. Why didn't you stand up for yourself?

    You sound very unreasonable, demanding and difficult. You need to check yourself. You would be lucky of they want to continue a friendship with you.

    You need to grow up. This all a part of life. You also need to have more than one friend group.

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  6. #5
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    You have created 5 threads on this woman, to were there two women you were having issues with? You really need to look into establishing boundaries in your life.

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    As I understand your reasoning and appreciate the advice, I would like to say this is not my battle. You need two people to figth, my only sin was to get along with some guy because we were from the same country. I never fought back because in that case, I would be the crazy one. She never did anything when others could see her, I was new at this job and with these people, they knew nothing about me and she's been here forever, so, who are they going to believe? She for sure would comment on me saying anything to her, and I would be in trouble anyway.

    Now yes, this has happened before, the same scenario, different people. I am living my life dealing with my business and then some random girl doesn't like me and try to make my life difficult, what am I supposed to do? Even when I confront them they have ways to turn it to me, very similar to gaslighting. Believe me, I am trying so hard to put my life together to mind anybody else's that's why I don't deal with drama, just cut them of my life.

    Everyone is always preaching about boundaries, and when they are crossed to cut people, go no contact and stuff, does that mean only abusive couples are supposed to do it? She was abusive to me, for no good reason, one thing is not to like someone but other to try to get them no matter if that person is even leaving the conflict. If this was a couple situation would you say the same to the friends of an abusive partner? I am sorry, but from the posit and constant advice in this site I would say no.

    I might have made the mistake to cut them out directly, but then, who has time for half friendships? Anyway I appreciate the advice but I hope that people can understand that there are all types of abusive, and if you are going to side with the abuser/bully then I need them out of my life.

    Thank you anyway for reading my story.

  8. #7
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    Your friends did not overstep your boundaries. You are choosing to misinterpret what is being advised.

  9. #8
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    How am I misinterpreting the advice?

    I should fight this battle: I did by avoiding that woman, but she kept coming after me

    I should be more asertive and dealt with this woman before: by doing what? confronting her? creating problems in my new work environment. Because always confronting an abuser is a good idea?

    I should establish boundaries: I DID! that's why when this woman start to abuse me I stayed away, and left very clear to this group of people in advance that I can't tolerate people who mistreat me and the ones who support them. Several times. Those are my boundaries, are you going to tell me which ones are my boundaries? For me that is is deal breaker just as cheating would be in a relationship, I thought everyone had different values and boundaries. If you think you could be friends with someone that abused a friend of yours that is your boundary, don't try to make it mine.
    Maybe you don't agree with my boundaries but those are mime nonetheless.... and that is the whole point, they crossed them when they wanted to befriend a person who hurt me. This type of abuse is not so spread but it exists, amd dealing with it in my work environment, where O spend most of my day it's quite draining.

    For the rest of the advice that I didn't listed here is because I agree with what they are telling me, but I feel like the rest are judging the situation from a point of view that have never deal with mental abuse in a work place. I get it, not everyone will like me, but is not like she gave me a dirty look and because of that I don't like her, she bullied me for no reason! just because she was jealous, of a bonding between two people from the same country living abroad.

    By the way, I do have more friends, this group was the ome I spent more time with, which made it even more disheartening, if they were mere acquaintances I wouldn't have cared so much, but because they were close

  10. #9
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    I am not talking about the woman. Cutting off these other people is extreme.

    I would NEVER expect others to drop a friendship because I did not like someone. This is unreasonable, and you will have a very difficult time in life, as your expectations are over-the-top. You could have told them that you will not attend the group outings if she was going to be there, you could also do smaller groups. There are other options.

    i have to deal with an idiot on on Sunday, but am going because we are celebrating two birthdays (close friends), and I am the organizer - one of the b-day people invited her last minute -In the future, i will not attend any parties she is attending. I am going to sit on the opposite side of the table on Sunday, and do my best to ignore this obnoxious, ridiculous individual. I do not want to say anything that is going to make others uncomfortable, because if we were alone, I would not hold back.

    Lastly, they never "abused" you. Just because they did not drop her as a friend, does not mean they abused you. You're being dramatic!

  11. #10
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    Mariana, trying to say this gently, but this is not grade school. Adults are going to have troubles with one another from time to time but it's not a scenario where you gather up all your buddies and have it us versus them.

    This is a problem between you and this girl, don't involve your friends and don't expect them to be involved. It's not fair.

    To be honest,I think the first mistake you made here was thinking it was right to make friends with people from work. That never usually works well.
    Work is work...it's for a paycheck, not to socialize.
    This is a huge reason right here as to why you don't do it. If something goes awry with any of them, it makes the work environment very awkward to the point of coming in between you and your means to survive.

    No one needs that stress!
    Be polite to people at work, but socialize outside of work. Find friends who have nothing to do with work.

    But in this particular case, this girl didn't like you. She made it well known. Again, this is not something other people need to be dragged into.
    Did you need to confront her? No, but why not make a complaint to the boss and have them speak to her if it was getting that bad?

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