- This topic has 10 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 11 months, 1 week ago by Anonymous.
October 10, 2022 at 9:51 am #408275
Oh man! This question feels so complicated and multidimensional that the internet is not providing me with a good answer.
Context: now that I am more confident in myself, I’m reaching out and hanging out with people. This includes a friendgroup which I had amassed from my old high school buddies; most of us had not interacted for 5 years! My friends 1, 2, and 3 have been generally fantastic, but friend 4 is quickly becoming a topic of concern for me personally.
We have hung out twice and mostly organize via groupchat.
I will attempt to be impartial and simply state her actions.
For reference, we are all 23 years old.
- Materialistic goals. When asked about her romantic relationship, friend 4 has expressed that she wants to marry ONLY a doctor, of a specific appearance and cultural background that she has stated she fetishizes, purely as a “sugar daddy” for their money. She has stated she wants to be a housewife and live lavishly. I don’t mind this goal if the true spiritual mission is acknowledged (perhaps what she wants is to feel secure, calm, safe, and pampered), but the underlying messages are not stated or discussed. She interrupts the discussion and simply attests she wants the money rather than love and that is all.
- Inappropriate sexual talk. When in a family restaurant in an upscale town, with multiple children around us, she loudly began describing her sexual preferences, being so specific as to describe body parts, fetishes, and the actions she wanted done to her. Afterwards, 3 of 5 friends loudly joined in. I tried to mitigate this discussion but did not succeed. I felt absolutely anxious and powerless; I felt unable to leave as I was at the end of a booth and could not get out of the table without asking everyone else to move. It was one of the most humiliating moments of my life to be that close to this conversation, while I imagined the discomfort of the children and parents around us. I later found out one of the other friends also felt shocked by this moment, and we bonded over our shared powerlessness and discontent.
- Forces other friends to do things. For example, I very much wanted my friends to dress up for Halloween like myself. However, I no longer force people to do things my way. I understand this is selfish, and we are all adults free to make our own choices. I asked the groupchat whether they would. When my shyer friends gently refuted, I said no problem and we will have plenty of fun regardless. However, friend 4 jumps in hours later with allcaps, shaming those who did not want to dress up by calling them “STINKY BUTTS” and saying “WE ARE ALL DRESSING UP AND THAT IS FINAL.” Her language may make this seem like a joke, but the shyer friends (including a friend she often teases) immediately changed their minds due to her text, implying that her text was only a half-joke and included genuine aggression.
- Disparages others’ choices. She hasn’t hurt me, but she relentlessly picks on the aforementioned other friend, who is of the same cultural background. This other friend asked whether we like a certain love interest for her; a love interest whose career I do not ideologically support. I told her it doesn’t matter what we think; it matters how she herself feels, whether she is excited about a future with him and whether he treats her right. Meanwhile, friend 1 yells that he is ugly and she needs to “BLOCK HIM!”, demanding her phone so she can do it for her. I can feel how powerless and offended my friend gets in these moments. Besides this, friend 1 also is quick to use the words “cancelled” and hold grudges for years on end.
- Judgements based on shallow ideals. During our first meeting after 5 years, I had politely asked the friendgroup if they were seeing anyone. This quickly became a race to open dating apps (not what I had hoped at all), and the friend demanded that everyone show her their matches for her approval. She then disparaged nearly every single man shown to her: she complained of their ugliness, height, and (after ogling their pants) their genital size. I felt hurt because, as a man, these are things I already feel insecurity about. I was hurt by her shallow judgements and felt undesirable for days after that discussion.
- Rudeness to staff. During a night out, I experienced her yelling at a bouncer for a $5 entry fee, because the same bar was free years ago. I did not believe the man’s firm, polite statements warranted such an outburst. She then walked away proud of herself, in a nearly silly fashion. When I tried to bring some incredulous laughter to lighten the absurd moment, she did not budge, seeming satisfied with her behavior. Then again, she may have been intoxicated at the time.
I am not including other things we do not agree about, such as religion and substance use, because I can usually be friends with someone regardless of these value differences.
However, at some moments, I do seem to see her vulnerable side when she speaks about her troubled past. She accepted my identity without question. She can also be silly, spontaneous, and a great dancer. Her caring nature reminds me why I befriended her. But these moments feel overshadowed by the behavior written above, and after a moment of tenderness she swiftly switches back to this armored goddess persona who does all of the things mentioned.
In summary, I find this to be impolite behavior. It feels like she hurts the one other friend and makes the group unsafe for me emotionally. I don’t know if this is something I should discuss one-on-one, or unionize and see if we can eschew her from the friendgroup, or continue to bear with the behavior. What do you think?
THANK YOU so much if you made it through reading all this!October 10, 2022 at 10:16 am #408276AnonymousGuest
“However, at some moments, I do seem to see her vulnerable side when she speaks about her troubled past. She accepted my identity without question. She can also be silly, spontaneous, and a great dancer“- every bad person (including serial murderers that I read about, count Hitler in) has a troubled past and a vulnerable side, a side one can see at times. And every person is attractive in one way or another, dancing well, or whatnot.
I think that you should not socialize with friend 4 anymore.
anitaOctober 10, 2022 at 10:36 am #408279
Thank you very much for your prompt reply and providing your opinion! I am so glad to cross paths with you again on this thread. Thank you for reading.
I appreciate your advice not to socialize with friend 4. I suppose I should ask, how do you think this can be achieved? Should I speak to the friendly directly and state my own intentions? Should I speak to other friends and try to collaboratively exclude friend 4? Should I create a new groupchat without the friend?
I do wonder how to physically go about this!
We are slated to get together in a very large group on Halloween, so I think that may be the last chance I give her.
Thanks again for providing your thoughts!October 10, 2022 at 10:45 am #408280AnonymousGuest
You are welcome and I am also glad to cross paths with you again!
“how do you think this can be achieved?“- first, talk to friend 4 and to the other 3 friends, let them know what you stated here, in your thread. (I will be away from the computer for a few hours).
anitaOctober 10, 2022 at 5:18 pm #408289AnonymousGuest
” I don’t know if this is something I should discuss one-on-one, or unionize and see if we can eschew her from the friend group, or continue to bear with the behavior. What do you think?“- I wanted to add to my response: you and the others in the group should not continue to bear with friend 4’s inappropriate, rude and abusive behaviors because if you do, there is nothing to stop her from continuing these behaviors and hurting more people, like the bouncer at the bar who was only doing his job, and doing it respectfully. I believe that you and hopefully the others in the group should tell her that you disapprove of her abusive behaviors. With your honest feedback, maybe she will change her behaviors.
I suggest that you talk to the others in the group first, to see if you can all present a united front when confronting friend 4. If that is not possible, I would confront friend 4 one-on-one, if I was you.
The way society is supposed to work (and think of your friend group as a mini-society), is that when an individual does significant wrong, or a series of wrongdoings (like friend 4 does), other individuals within the group should let the wrongdoer know that it is not okay, so to discourage bad behavior and promote good behavior.
anitaOctober 11, 2022 at 10:02 am #408314RobertaParticipant
Do you as a group do any voulantary work or would be interested in doing so? Doing something purposeful is a good way to bond and heal a friendship group especially since normally no alcohol is involved so less chance of bad behaviour, maybe number 4 would excuse her self from such group activity or it could give her a chance to do something worthwhile.
I wish you luck and I hope that the rest of the group is supportive, but they may not be even if they do not like number 4’s behaviour.
Either way be true to your values and ethics.
RobertaOctober 11, 2022 at 4:54 pm #408328
Dear friends Anita and Roberta,
How liberating it feels to get these thoughts off my chest! Thank you both for reading my situation and providing your perspectives.
Anita; I have been mulling over what you said about groups of folks being a mini-society. It has helped me realize how permissive I tend to be, which may extend towards unhealthy practices such as staying silent when injustice such as racism or bullying occurs. I hope to change this in myself by becoming the type of compassionate man that empowers and stands up for others. I’ve heard Buddhists philosophize that such situations are great opportunities to learn so I will try! Imagining my role in this little government makes me consider my own leadership stance and how I want to be as a friend and as a person. Thank you for the unique idea, it has helped and continues to open new doors in my mind’s hall!
Roberta, I am surprised and intrigued by your idea to volunteer together. I’ve never volunteered as a group before as it seems like a very vulnerable thing for myself to do. I believe it really is a great risk-free way to gauge who is interested in helping the greater good, in general. I know one of my friends from the group has mentioned it before, and we both expressed an interest to do so together but haven’t had a chance. It is such a different approach than getting together with the goal of just having fun, as we have been doing. The idea of doing this makes me feel uplifted, mature, and grateful. I will mention it to my friend who expressed an interest and see where it goes!
It also occurred to me that, just as all things change from moment to moment, people may change from moment to moment. This includes responding to different environments, days, and feelings. I will keep in mind that each incident listed above is caused by different moments and memories in my friend 4’s life, while at the same time opening myself to the idea that she can change.
Thanks again everyone for the wonderful ideas.October 11, 2022 at 6:07 pm #408331AnonymousGuest
You are very welcome and thank you for expressing your appreciation with such grace!
“It also occurred to me that, just as all things change from moment to moment, people may change from moment to moment… I will keep in mind that each incident listed above is caused by different moments and memories in my friend 4’s life, while at the same time opening myself to the idea that she can change”- unlike what it takes for things to change, it takes intent, motivation and persistence for people to significantly change negative attitudes and rude. abusive behaviors. If she doesn’t have the intent and motivation to start with… she is not likely to change. Maybe… just maybe, an appropriate confrontation by you/ the group will steer her toward forming an intent to change.
“I hope to change this in myself by becoming the type of compassionate man that empowers and stands up for others“- you form the intent to empower and stand up for others, thank you for this!
anitaDecember 24, 2022 at 12:46 pm #412593AnonymousGuest
MeRRy ChRistmaS/ Happy Holidays, StoutHeartedMen!
anitaDecember 24, 2022 at 12:55 pm #412597
Thank you very much Anita, what a kind wish to read in my inbox this morning! I wish you the same joy!
As an update for you and all future lurkers to this thread :), I am happy to say that the friend turned out to be extremely busy with her work, career, schooling, and family. She naturally detached from the friendgroup without any intervention. I personally believe that God/Spirit/etc willed her to withdraw from us to focus on her own life, and this is what I believe is best for herself and everyone. I am glad I did not choose to intervene and gave her space as needed.
Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to you too! May warmth and coziness be near you those days and always!December 24, 2022 at 1:09 pm #412599AnonymousGuest
Good to read back from you, you are very welcome, and thank you for your holiday wishes! Thank you for the update as well: it’s a good thing that she withdrew from your friend group.