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How to move on from the end of an adult friendship?

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This topic contains 62 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Brandy 1 month, 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 63 total)
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  • #303633

    Brandy
    Participant

    Hi Karina,

    What I’ve learned about women groups is that when one member doesn’t behave the way the others expect her to then that member is eventually pushed out. The only way to survive is to play the game. In other words, you can’t ever be perceived as a threat in any way to the queen bee or anyone who’s close to her or your days in the group are numbered. But you’re not a game player, you have a mind of your own,  and they know this about you. They know that you are not easily manipulated. I think you were going to be pushed out eventually anyway and they are simply using your minor mistake as an excuse to do it because honestly it’s all so ridiculous. I mean, everyone has done what you did! Everyone has made the mistake of talking about something that he/she shouldn’t have. And you apologized over and over again! So anyway, this is the way women groups work, unfortunately.

    Yes, I believe they will eventually get back from the universe what they put into it. A person can only treat other people badly so many times before it all catches up with him/her. Their time will come. I believe that deep down each one of these women knows she’s been behaving badly but her fear of being ostracized from the group herself is stronger than the guilt she feels about hurting you.

    Maybe now is the time to reframe it as YOU not wanting anything to do with any of THEM. Seriously, they are not that great. Say to yourself thank goodness I’m free of the mean women in that group! You are now free of worrying how what you say and do will be judged and gossiped about by them. Realize that what you have now is so much better than what you had with them. You are free! As we get older we realize how important it is to surround ourselves with people who lift us up, that the quality of our friendships is so much more important than the quantity. And shame on those judgmental mean women for making you feel the way you do.

    Oh and be careful not to base your sense of self on how you perceive these women now see you (“Looking Glass Self” concept). We ALL make mistakes, are all flawed, but they are trying to convince you that you’re the only one. Don’t believe them!

    B

    #303733

    Karina
    Participant

    Anita, you’re correct and I know this of course in my head. It’s hard for me when I work SO HARD to be a good person and do the right things and while I’m not always nice, I strive to be kind. It feels like the reaction was not suitable to my wrong, and my apology was ignored.

    #303735

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Karina:

    “I work SO HARD to be a good person”- but you are a good person, aren’t you.. why do you have to work “so hard” at being what you already are..?

    I think that this situation, this “adult friendship” situation activated in you an early childhood situation where you were punished for something you didn’t do, something or things you were not guilty of and there was nothing you were able to do about it at the time, you were helpless, helpless and understandably angry.

    “I wasn’t really forgiven and my apology/ tears fell  on deaf ears and was returned with cruelty”- this is the adult situation,  but it wouldn’t have bothered you this much if it wasn’t for a childhood experience being triggered.

    Anything to what I am saying here, you having been blamed for something you didn’t do, or  something minor that you  did, not intended to do anything wrong… and punished, then you apologized or  tried to make amends and your efforts fell on deaf ears, returned with some kind of cruelty?

    anita

    #303741

    Karina
    Participant

    Brandy, it’s funny but my husband last night finally said that he thinks the woman who motivated the drama is threatened by me and that he thinks I’m a “Queen Bee” who doesn’t know it and she was looking for an opportunity to push me out. How coincidental that you both used the same term in this situation and were able to accurately identify what happened. And it’s true, those who are still in the group don’t question her opinions and follow her advice/guidelines. That was never me.

    I agree that they should be ashamed of themselves and I’m better off without them. It just smarts a little each time I see them together. Often I find myself having imaginary conversations telling them off or giving them hard truths about themselves. It feels unjust that I”m the one giving up our dinner club and I’m the one who is perceived as the bad guy and I’ve also been scapegoated into taking one for the team.

    -K

    #303861

    Brandy
    Participant

    Hi Karina,

    It feels unjust because it is unjust. And I understand how much it hurts when you run into those women. So, whenever you can, avoid them. If it’s impossible to do that in a small town then you need to figure out a way to rise above it and stay calm and present when you do run into them. I know you don’t see it now but this situation may be a blessing in disguise for you. You can become so much stronger from it. Like Mary Tyler Moore said, “You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.”

    As awful as rejection is, it gives us an opportunity for growth. Hang in there.

    B

    #305407

    Karina
    Participant

    <div class=”bbp-reply-content”>

     

    “I work SO HARD to be a good person”- but you are a good person, aren’t you.. why do you have to work “so hard” at being what you already are..? I really had to reflect on this one. Yes, I am a good person. As a child my Mom (who did her best) was quick to point out all my flaws, often dubbed me selfish or bad and really made me feel like a horrible person. As this translated into my friendships growing up, I felt insecure/unworthy and probably did not always make the right decisions in my friendships. I feel unworthy sometimes in my adult female friendships too.

    I think that this situation, this “adult friendship” situation activated in you an early childhood situation where you were punished for something you didn’t do, something or things you were not guilty of and there was nothing you were able to do about it at the time, you were helpless, helpless and understandably angry. So you hit the nail on the head right here.

    “I wasn’t really forgiven and my apology/ tears fell  on deaf ears and was returned with cruelty”- this is the adult situation,  but it wouldn’t have bothered you this much if it wasn’t for a childhood experience being triggered. Yeah, this is every other incident with my Mom as I was growing up, to be honest.

    Anything to what I am saying here, you having been blamed for something you didn’t do, or  something minor that you  did, not intended to do anything wrong… and punished, then you apologized or  tried to make amends and your efforts fell on deaf ears, returned with some kind of cruelty? Again, my Mom. I do feel the connection, which I’ll have to explore further in my mind.

    </div>

    #305409

    Karina
    Participant

    Brandy, it’s impossible not to run into them. I skipped our dinner club on Friday and instead hung out with my bestie and her family. I was feeling good about my decision. Then in my social media pops up a picture of the three of them partying it up together for the “wronged” woman’s birthday today. It’s an occasion that I was invited to last year and was intentionally left out of this year. Even though I AM grateful to know what kind of friends they are, it doesn’t make me feel any less sad or betrayed. Or that this whole situation was unnecessary.

    I can now recognize that my mental health takes precedence over my curiosity about their social media and I’ve unfollowed them on everything.

    I appreciate your understanding and that quote is really very true. Mostly I’m able to focus on what I’ve learned and how to be a better friend and appreciate my current tribe. I’m able to recognize the reality of those friendships and feel grateful that I’m no longer wasting time on them.

    I spent the weekend with all the best people and felt very warm and loved. Instead of focusing on my loss I need to refocus to all the good friends and family in my life. Relapses happen and I’m very relieved to have this forum as a safe space.

    #305493

    Brandy
    Participant

    Hi Karina,

    I understand your feelings of sadness and betrayal. Surely the woman who posted those photos has social media followers who weren’t invited to the birthday party (in addition to you), so why post the photos? Why make others feel left out? Social media mentally baffles me. It was a smart move to unfollow these women.

    The one good thing that may have come out of this situation is that you may now have more compassion for those who are excluded. I’m not saying that you weren’t a compassionate person before this situation. I guess what I’m asking is this: last year before this situation occurred did you ever think about the other moms in your community who were on the outside of this particular circle of women?  Are there women who follow you and the others on social media who haven’t been invited to your parties, social gatherings, etc., but have seen the photos online? I think a lot of people don’t think about that when they post photos online. Again I wonder why do people post these kinds of photos anyway? What’s the purpose?

    You hang in there, Karina. I know how hard this is. I really do.

    B

    #305497

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Karina:

    “As a child my Mom (who did her best) was quick to point out all my flaws, often dubbed me selfish or bad and really made me feel like a horrible person”-

    It will help you when at one point, you will see that when a mother makes her child feel like a horrible person, she is not doing her best.

    To no longer believe that your mother was right when she dubbed you selfish or bad, you have to believe that she didn’t do good by you (“did her best”) but instead, she did bad by you.

    anita

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  anita.
    #305501

    Karina
    Participant

    I understand your feelings of sadness and betrayal. Surely the woman who posted those photos has social media followers who weren’t invited to the birthday party (in addition to you), so why post the photos? Why make others feel left out? Social media mentally baffles me. It was a smart move to unfollow these women. I was part of their group, so it’s especially obvious they left me out on purpose. And now they are rubbing my nose in it. I’ve never experienced this in my life, and I didn’t think I would feel this from a group of adults.

    The one good thing that may have come out of this situation is that you may now have more compassion for those who are excluded. I’m not saying that you weren’t a compassionate person before this situation. I guess what I’m asking is this: last year before this situation occurred did you ever think about the other moms in your community who were on the outside of this particular circle of women?  Are there women who follow you and the others on social media who haven’t been invited to your parties, social gatherings, etc., but have seen the photos online? I think a lot of people don’t think about that when they post photos online. Again I wonder why do people post these kinds of photos anyway? What’s the purpose? The purpose of social media is a new popularity contest, to show everyone how perfect your family is, how booming you are socially, your fancy vacations…. Posters want everyone to know that they’re social and popular and out-about, etc. I was thinking about left out moms this morning and how I could have made someone feel this horrible. While I do my best to be inclusive and friendly, I can be better.

    You hang in there, Karina. I know how hard this is. I really do. Thank you, Brandy. Your message came just in time, I was feeling really down and sad and a little panicky.

    #305503

    Karina
    Participant

     

    It will help you when at one point, you will see that when a mother makes her child feel like a horrible person, she is not doing her best. She probably suffered from depression and was in a marriage that brought her misery. The only way I’ve been able to move forward and not resent her and be angry as an adult is to acknowledge that she was overwhelmed and probably needed medication. As a parent I can’t imagine treating either of my children the way she treated me.

    To no longer believe that your mother was right when she dubbed you selfish or bad, you have to believe that she didn’t do good by you (“did her best”) but instead, she did bad by you. No, she wasn’t right at all and at the end of the day she was emotionally abusive. It takes years to undo messaging from someone who is supposed to love you unconditionally. Your pointing this out is giving me something to think about for sure, it never occurred to me that I don’t really see myself as a truly good person worthy of good friendships bc my flaws as a child (who isn’t a little selfish and naughty as a child?) were constantly pointed out.

    #305507

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Karina:

    “who isn’t a little selfish and naughty as a child?”- interesting, I heard if said about children but I learned later on in life that children are eager to please, needing the parent’s approval as if it was oxygen needed to breathe. When a child is naughty, it is when the child was disapproved of for too long, angry and in pain. But even angry and in pain, the child still reached out to that absent approval, and does so into adulthood.

    So I figure, the reason you have been so affected by this “adult friendship” is that it activated your childhood experience. It hurt so much to be treated the way you were treated by this woman, because it brought up the deep hurt you experienced being treated (way worse) by your mother.

    As adults we forget how deeply it hurt at the time, when feelings were raw and so very powerful. We forget and make peace with the past best we can. I suppose the past is in less of a hurry to make peace with us.

    anita

    #305511

    Brandy
    Participant

    Hi Karina,

    The purpose of social media is a new popularity contest, to show everyone how perfect your family is, how booming you are socially, your fancy vacations…. Posters want everyone to know that they’re social and popular and out-about, etc. Yep, my sentiments exactly! It’s interesting, isn’t it, to think of this woman sitting in front of her computer (or her phone, or whatever) taking the time out of her day to upload personal photos to her social media with two purposes:  1) to elevate her own social status, and 2) to make those who weren’t included feel bad.

    Now think of the millions of people around the world posting their personal photos online every day hoping to project an image of themselves that will make people admire them, want to be around them, think they are popular. Crazy, isn’t it?

    I feel happy that you don’t drink the Kool-aid, that you’re on to the ridiculousness of social media. Honestly, the more selfies/personal photos a person posts online, the more respect I would lose for him/her.

    I know this doesn’t take the sting away but I hope you know that you’ve reached a level of awareness that these women many never get to. Like you say, they are not your people.

    B

    #306619

    Karina
    Participant

    Anita, I have always needed my mother’s approval and I’ve rarely received it. It’s really only been in the last few years that she’s stopped giving negative, critical opinions and I’ve stopped needing her approval.  All I can take from my experience is how NOT to mother my own children. She wasn’t a good mother to me, but to think about those times and wallow in the emotional abuse would not be a good mindset for me. I struggled for a long time. I focus on now, and my own parenting  and we’ve finally reached a place of peace.

    Feeling secure in my female friendships has always been a struggle but as an adult, I finally felt like I’d mastered it. I’m moving forward from the mess of the dynamic, but it’s a slow process. I’m now on month three, and am in the “anger” phase. Mostly at the woman who I was friends with for five years and brought into the group, but there’s plenty to go around.

    Will I ever be able to move forward completely from this experience?

    K

    #306621

    Karina
    Participant

    I shouldn’t misrepresent myself regarding social media. I do post a few times a month, and I’m now questioning my motivations and taking a step back. It never occurred to me that I was making others feel bad.

    Brandy, you mentioned your challenges with the parent group at your kids’ school. How did you move forward from this experience and how long did it take? Where did you land emotionally? Apathy? Indifference? I’ve started to think about it much less, and there’s no mourning for the relationships just anger and resentment. I no longer talk about it with my friends (I never spoke to anyone who was a mutual friend), it’s just exhausting to rehash and I don’t want to waste conversation or thought on this topic anymore. I want to stop thinking about it altogether and stop having imaginary conversations in my head for closure.

    I’d like to not feel completely devastated when I see a picture of them together. Enjoying eachother’s friendships and not giving a thought to how much they’ve hurt me and how unkindly they behaved.

    I’m not absolving myself of my mistake, in fact I reread the text sent by the “victim” and saw it with fresh eyes (going back to that Einstein quote) and I definitely hurt her. I don’t agree with dragging it out for months, going on a trip with someone (I feel used) and then bringing a 3rd party into the conversation. I absolutely think it didn’t have to be made into this level of drama and that she’s easily manipulated.  At the end of the day, she only has her friends (her family is there but doesn’t seem all that reliable) and I betrayed her. I feel sorry for her at the end of the day. She needed approval from this group so badly, she crucified me to get it.

    I mentioned above to Anita that I’m on month 3….am I making too much of this experience?

    K

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 63 total)

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