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Confronting long term female friend


rapunzel
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I've been wondering whether to confront a female friend "Molly" over some pressuring, guilt-trippy and "diggy" comments she has made to me over the last year. I've known her for more almost 20 years and about three years ago through she met and became close with another female friend of mine who I'll call "Linda". Linda is a bit of a queen bee, gossipy type under the guise of being a social maven. Molly used to complain to me how she had no friends and I would invite her to parties, gatherings where she eventually assimilated herself into a group of people that I knew. Our friendship slowly changed since she met Linda who is very different from me. She and Linda have become tight (despite both trashing each other to me when they first met), and well, you know the rest.

 

Since then Molly will drop condescending, excluding comments, e.g. "Linda and I know that you don't do last minute invitations". She was kind of nasty to me the other night at a social gathering - with all the people she met through me, Linda was out of town - and I've been feeling badly about it. In retrospect, I wish I was more confrontational or let her know how nasty she was in the moment. I replied in a matter of fact way, but I think she just doesn't get how icky she was to me. She has described herself several times as "socially inept" (and she is) ostensibly from her upbringing so I don't know if confronting her will help or not. Several people over the years have provided unsolicited comments to me about her personality - not usually favorable - but she has a good side.

 

I want to let the incident go and chalk it up to her problem, and not mine. We are both well over 50 so it is highly unlikely this woman will change.

 

I am also worried that she will run to Linda and gossip about the whole thing.

 

I was thinking of asking her to do something, like go for a walk or a drink, and then casually mention it, try to make it light using "I feel" statements so she can see how mean and inappropriate she was. But with everyone's busy schedule I am afraid this won't happen for a couple of weeks and it will seem odd that I am bringing it up. So, fearing that my calling her and telling her on the phone that she hurt my feelings could backfire - would it be better to just hold my head up high, know that her behavior is about HER and not about ME and let it go?

 

Yet, here I am posting about it here so how does one really let these things go? How do you let other people's unkind behavior just roll off your back? Thanks in advance.

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Don't bother confronting her no matter how you word it, it will backfire. The best approach is to distance yourself and tiptoe inconspicuously out of the litter box. Make new friends round yourself out and don't confide in people who are social climbers or play social politics. Be neutral. That means just fade and No Confrontations. Reset your social media settings and remove food for cattiness.

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So first of all I'm over 50 and I've made and am still making several major changes to how I interact with people, with my family, in my marriage etc. Never, ever too late. Second I think you're feeling resentful that she wasn't more appreciative of you introducing her to people. Is that increasing your annoyance with her? If so examine why you had the expectation that she should be so appreciative and why you might feel kind of territorial over "your" friends. It also sounds like you've gossiped about her - sure, they were unsolicited comments but you listened to them, right? You didn't tell the other person not to continue or speak? I probably would have listened too but just be careful about getting that upset about gossiping.

 

I don't think you should use "I" statements if the goal is to get her to see how mean/inappropriate she was. I think I statements are a great approach and if that is your goal it will be transparent to her. Rather tell her only if you think it is important for her to have that information and consider it, not for you to be "right" that she was mean. She may have an entirely different perspective and she might need you to listen to her side in an open way.

 

I choose my battles. And I balance the mean vs. the good side when needed (since you asked). It's not an exact science for sure. In one case I balanced it by keeping my distance from the good friend the last 2 years and veryyyyy slowly trusting her with more information over time. It was partly a last straw situation and partly a long time coming. I didn't tell her how obnoxious her comments were and she did sort of apologize on her own but cumulatively I found it half-hearted. I didn't let it roll off my back in that instance. Sometimes I do, like someone who is becoming a good friend and then thinks it's appropriate to point out how short my son is (and this has happened before with other people). I let it roll off my back on balance.

 

So I'd balance and decide. In this case I don't think she is going to change, not because of her age but because of what you shared about her.

 

I really am very sorry you've been subjected to this nonsense.

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Don't bother confronting her no matter how you word it, it will backfire. The best approach is to distance yourself and tiptoe inconspicuously out of the litter box. Make new friends round yourself out and don't confide in people who are social climbers or play social politics. Be neutral. That means just fade and No Confrontations. Reset your social media settings and remove food for cattiness.

 

Thank you, this incident :smug:will fade into oblivion, like everything else. I will take the high road. Any confrontation will certainly make the rounds in some way. I try very hard to not gossip for this reason.

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I'm over 50 as well, and I'll be the first to tell you.....people rarely change, and it's even rarer at this age.

 

Plus, as you've said, she'll run and tell Linda, and Linda will share your thoughts with more people, and pretty soon, you'll be on the outs with them all.

 

Best, as Wiseman said, to distance yourself.

 

I realize this is the lonelier of the options, as this leaves you without "friend" Linda, or "friend" Molly. I put the word friend in quotes because, well, these women aren't really your friends. They aren't friends with each other, incidentally.....they use each other. Linda uses Molly as someone with whom to trash others, and Molly uses Linda to feel accepted.

 

Molly was lonely, so she latched onto Linda, who loved it, because she now had a lonely, "less than" person she could say anything around, and Molly, being the lonelier, the one with fewer friends, isn't going to defy Linda, and Linda knows it.

 

Hmmmm....wonder if I know women like this.....why yes, I do.

 

As you distance yourself from these women, get more involved with things where you'll meet nice women like yourself. Volunteer, women's groups, etc.

 

And by "distance", I don't mean that you suddenly start hanging up on them, or that you turn down every invitation. You can distance yourself while you're at social events with them! Just be cordial, pleasant, not too personal, ask about them (especially Linda, because she loves to talk about herself, am I right?), and move away slowly. No one will even realize you're doing it.

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"As you distance yourself from these women, get more involved with things where you'll meet nice women like yourself. Volunteer, women's groups, etc.

 

And by "distance", I don't mean that you suddenly start hanging up on them, or that you turn down every invitation. You can distance yourself while you're at social events with them! Just be cordial, pleasant, not too personal, ask about them (especially Linda, because she loves to talk about herself, am I right?), and move away slowly. No one will even realize you're doing it."

 

Great advice. But I would only go out to meet new people if you can work really hard at not having the mindset that someone's age is related to their ability to change aspects of their personalities and how they interact with people. Nothing can be further from the truth IMO. It's not that I think your goal should be to change people -not at all -just have the mindset that people have decent intentions and if they are doing something or not doing something that is hurtful they can make the choice to change that habit, pattern, etc. And if they choose not to, so be it, but nothing to do with age and I wouldn't assume that someone of a certain age cannot change. It's just not true.

 

Also I commend you for doing your utmost not to gossip or be involved in gossip. FWIW.... good for you!!

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@Batya33....thank you for your thoughts. I have left out a lot of details to try to keep the story short. Yes, I have considered what you said - am I being "territorial" and perhaps I was. I think it is natural when two women you knew separately meet through you, and then go on to "bond" and start doing things without you, and then make icky, condescending, judge-y comments to you, it is natural to feel badly - as a human being - when being excluded and subjected to such behavior. That said, I am not perfect and neither are they.

 

I just think it is rude of Molly to treat me this way after I introduced her to a group of people and other women that she socializes with frequently. She and Linda are both too judgmental of others, in my opinion. Molly chose to behave this way, not me. I mentioned our age as a detail, because this stuff makes me feel like I'm still in high school.

 

When these people have made unsolicited negative comments about Molly to me, I have not told them to stop. When you are "in the moment", at the time, in a bar or at a party when someone says "oh her, she's cold as ice" very few people would immediately tell the person to stop talking - I would sometimes try to defend her or explain, or as you said, listen and say nothing or very little. I cannot control what other people think or say. As I age, I do very much try to not gossip about others in our social group as I learned the hard way, it can come right back to you in an unpleasant way.

 

Indeed, it is good to try to take the other person's side and try to understand but honestly, without going into all the details of her behavior the other night, it was NOT the way you treat or greet a friend. There was no ostensible reason for it. If I had behaved that way, I would have contacted the friend and apologized profusely.

 

Thanks again. I'm going to let it go, this too shall pass. :eek:

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Don't bother confronting her no matter how you word it, it will backfire. The best approach is to distance yourself and tiptoe inconspicuously out of the litter box. Make new friends round yourself out and don't confide in people who are social climbers or play social politics. Be neutral. That means just fade and No Confrontations. Reset your social media settings and remove food for cattiness.

 

This is what I would do, I have no time for people like Molly and Linda.

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If you have "the talk" with your rude acquaintance, she will only sense weakness and will probably blab to all your friends some version of what happened that will make you look like you insulted her. You have to use the Miss Manners approach of killing her with kindness. When Molly told you that you weren't invited because she knew you didn't do last minute things, you could thank her for being so considerate of your feelings or for knowing you so well that she knew how you would respond. Your other friends will detect your sarcasm while Molly is so rude she may not. When she says something like how she is socially inept, you could reply, oh, no, dear, I think you know exactly what you're doing -- socially, that is. Again, your friends will get the joke while Molly might be put in the position of thanking you for your "compliment." You could have a bit of fun at Molly's expense and turn the tables on her with a few comments.

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I'm over 50 as well, and I'll be the first to tell you.....people rarely change, and it's even rarer at this age.

 

Plus, as you've said, she'll run and tell Linda, and Linda will share your thoughts with more people, and pretty soon, you'll be on the outs with them all.

 

Best, as Wiseman said, to distance yourself.

 

I realize this is the lonelier of the options, as this leaves you without "friend" Linda, or "friend" Molly. I put the word friend in quotes because, well, these women aren't really your friends. They aren't friends with each other, incidentally.....they use each other. Linda uses Molly as someone with whom to trash others, and Molly uses Linda to feel accepted.

 

Molly was lonely, so she latched onto Linda, who loved it, because she now had a lonely, "less than" person she could say anything around, and Molly, being the lonelier, the one with fewer friends, isn't going to defy Linda, and Linda knows it.

 

Hmmmm....wonder if I know women like this.....why yes, I do.

 

As you distance yourself from these women, get more involved with things where you'll meet nice women like yourself. Volunteer, women's groups, etc.

 

And by "distance", I don't mean that you suddenly start hanging up on them, or that you turn down every invitation. You can distance yourself while you're at social events with them! Just be cordial, pleasant, not too personal, ask about them (especially Linda, because she loves to talk about herself, am I right?), and move away slowly. No one will even realize you're doing it.

 

Thanks. Yeah, I did slowly distance myself over the last three years because the way both of these women behaved was less than exemplary or what a real "friend" would do. I tend to be a "people pleaser" so it was painful but it has now morphed into a situation that I have very little control over and since it has made me uncomfortable, I had no choice but to just let them be and as they say, let the chips fall where they may.

 

I researched "Queen Bee" behavior extensively and what happened here is classic. Linda is the Queen Bee, and Molly is one of her disciples, a "Wanna Bee". I am too independent for this type of hierarchical pecking order stuff in groups of women and gossip makes me uncomfortable. Being human, yes, I occasionally gossip but as I age, I am VERY careful about what I say and who I say it to. Words are powerful.

 

And you are right, distancing is the lonelier of the options. While I certainly enjoy socializing, I also really like and require spending time alone. I could play alone for hours as a child, I was a quiet creative kid.

 

Hmmmm....wonder if I know women like this.....why yes, I do. Too funny. Sad but soooo true. Groups of women can be very difficult. Linda has trashed every single one of the women to me in some way. Molly is quick to judge and criticize people. Since I refuse to do this, we have all drifted apart yet I keep things friendly and pleasant while trying not to disclose too much personal information which they can and will use against me.

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If you have "the talk" with your rude acquaintance, she will only sense weakness and will probably blab to all your friends some version of what happened that will make you look like you insulted her. You have to use the Miss Manners approach of killing her with kindness. When Molly told you that you weren't invited because she knew you didn't do last minute things, you could thank her for being so considerate of your feelings or for knowing you so well that she knew how you would respond. Your other friends will detect your sarcasm while Molly is so rude she may not. When she says something like how she is socially inept, you could reply, oh, no, dear, I think you know exactly what you're doing -- socially, that is. Again, your friends will get the joke while Molly might be put in the position of thanking you for your "compliment." You could have a bit of fun at Molly's expense and turn the tables on her with a few comments.

 

Great advice. Killing her with kindness - I remember this from Miss Manners. I will try this approach!

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What did she say?

 

If you value the friendship, then say something. If not, distance yourself from this woman.

 

Good on you for not gossiping.

 

This was one in a string of unpleasant comments. The other night I was invited to a "last minute" social gathering by a male friend, I was one of 15 or so people on an email list where ALL the names were listed. I was out when I received it so I showed up at the bar/restaurant. Molly greeted me with an overly dramatic look of perplexed and perhaps even annoyed consternation: "What are YOU doing here???" VERY unfriendly. It was, actually, shocking. I said, calmly: "umm, I received an email invite". She continued to stare at me with a look of incredulity, which was odd since I have seen her at two other social events in the last month, which I told her. She continued in this vein, and then "well, it IS a surprise....it was last minute...".

 

First of all, this is ridiculous. I am not a robot, and true, I do not attend each and every last minute invite, who can? Yet, in HER mind, I am now in the box of "Linda and I decided this about you".

 

I beiieve that well-adjusted adults greet each other at social gatherings with pleasant, friendly greetings and make a person, a friend, feel welcome.

 

It was over the top and flat-out egregious, anti-social rude behavior. You had to be there to hear the tone in her voice and see the look on her face.

 

In retrospect, this woman does not value our long term friendship. She did in a sense use me to leapfrog into a group. People in the group are also aware of her behavior, I am certainly not the only one.

 

It is what it is and she is who she is. I can't change her or the situation. I am angry thinking about how she made me feel but I have to let it go. No confronting her will help. I will just keep on keepin' on. :D

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This was one in a string of unpleasant comments. The other night I was invited to a "last minute" social gathering by a male friend, I was one of 15 or so people on an email list where ALL the names were listed. I was out when I received it so I showed up at the bar/restaurant. Molly greeted me with an overly dramatic look of perplexed and perhaps even annoyed consternation: "What are YOU doing here???" VERY unfriendly. It was, actually, shocking. I said, calmly: "umm, I received an email invite". She continued to stare at me with a look of incredulity, which was odd since I have seen her at two other social events in the last month, which I told her. She continued in this vein, and then "well, it IS a surprise....it was last minute...".

 

First of all, this is ridiculous. I am not a robot, and true, I do not attend each and every last minute invite, who can? Yet, in HER mind, I am now in the box of "Linda and I decided this about you".

 

I beiieve that well-adjusted adults greet each other at social gatherings with pleasant, friendly greetings and make a person, a friend, feel welcome.

 

It was over the top and flat-out egregious, anti-social rude behavior. You had to be there to hear the tone in her voice and see the look on her face.

 

In retrospect, this woman does not value our long term friendship. She did in a sense use me to leapfrog into a group. People in the group are also aware of her behavior, I am certainly not the only one.

 

It is what it is and she is who she is. I can't change her or the situation. I am angry thinking about how she made me feel but I have to let it go. No confronting her will help. I will just keep on keepin' on. :D

 

Yup. Time to move on. This woman is so not worth it. I am sorry that she made you feel this way.

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OP, with these things, I would just tell her that what she did bothered you and ask her to act in an alternative way when she encounters the same situation in the future. Use I feel statements but also be assertive. Say it matter of fact like you're talking about the weather. There's also power in asking someone for their side of the story.

 

If she runs and tells Linda all about your polite conversation with you, she is not a friend and you should then cut her out as much as possible.

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OP, with these things, I would just tell her that what she did bothered you and ask her to act in an alternative way when she encounters the same situation in the future. Use I feel statements but also be assertive. Say it matter of fact like you're talking about the weather. There's also power in asking someone for their side of the story.

 

If she runs and tells Linda all about your polite conversation with you, she is not a friend and you should then cut her out as much as possible.

 

True. In the future, I will be ready to respond calmly when it happens. It is unfortunate it happened at what was in other ways a fun social gathering. Thank you for your advice.

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True. In the future, I will be ready to respond calmly when it happens. It is unfortunate it happened at what was in other ways a fun social gathering. Thank you for your advice.

 

 

 

One of my friend circles, includes a friend like yours - his friends have given him interventions in the past for his behavior. I had spoken to him in the past regarding his disrespectful behavior, when we were friends, he would be good for a short period, but the true personality was hard to hold down. Now, when I have to see him, I am cordial. I have not discussed my feelings with anyone in the friend group, as it is unnecessary and would make others uncomfortable. You will simply learn to tolerate her. I would not go out of my way to be nice, just be indifferent. Within the last year, he said something that was rude, and I told him very calmly to speak with me respectfully. He shut up. He knew that I was not going to accept his behavior, and that I was no longer hurt by it. He has been fine since. These types are simply looking for a reaction. They know what they are doing, and get off on it.

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Rapunzel I am 100% sure your other friends and associates know exactly what Molly is like. People like her are so blatantly irritating that you have to see what they are doing. Molly isnt fooling anyone but herself.

 

Thanks, you are probably right. I have to remind myself of this.

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I would let other people see their behavior if its a social gathering with 15 people --- that comment sounded like they are seventh graders. It is likely you are not the only one who feels this way about them.

 

Yes, other people might have buffered her rude behavior and having a witness or two can help. However, she was seated at the end of the bar away from the few other people who had already arrived when it happened. All these helpful comments have helped me calm down a bit and I'm working on letting this go.....

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