To ask how I can stop attracting frenemies/using friends?

(55 Posts)
winearama Thu 20-Jun-13 23:26:47

I currently have about 3 'friends' in my life that all make me feel shit when I am with them and that treat me like dirt. I've had to dump numerous other friends in the past for the same reason. People seem to think I'm fair game for nasty comments, nasty digs, and for taking the piss out of and generally using, generally at the same time as befriending my other friends and being as nice as possible to them.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm oversensitive. Other times I think perhaps I put up with too much until it's too late and I have to dump the friend, whereas other people would make a judgement sooner about the person.

I'm not in general a people-pleaser. My confidence and self esteem levels are reasonable but when I'm in the company of those types of friends they feel at rock bottom.

Help!

WinkyWinkola Thu 20-Jun-13 23:32:54

Watching with interest

WafflyVersatile Thu 20-Jun-13 23:40:30

If it's a repeating pattern it might be worth talking to a counsellor. Maybe there is something you are doing that is landing you in this situation a lot. Also the old 'you can't change them, you can only change you'.

winearama Thu 20-Jun-13 23:42:56

I have pondered on it so much Waffly and I think it's the following things:

I am too 'nice'; if someone wants to be my friend I let them be my friend and often don't realise what they are like until they have really been unpleasant and I realise I can't put up with their nastiness any longer.

I'm not unassertive in general, but I'm not very good at witty comebacks and also I'm not very good at saying replies in a humerous way.

quesadilla Thu 20-Jun-13 23:44:40

You say people make nasty comments and digs: how do you tend to react when this first starts happening?

You wonder if you leave it too late before you knock this behaviour on the head: without knowing you it's hard to be sure but it sounds that way. People with well developed self esteem tend not to take much if that sort of bullshit from people: if someone is routinely doing that to you that is abusive and they are not a friend.

It sounds like you need much clearer boundaries and to put them up earlier. If people you call friends are doing this to you a lot you need to teach yourself to spot the signs and withdraw from them when they start doing it, or tell them they are out of order. If it feels shit it's not friendly and you don't have to tolerate it.

WafflyVersatile Thu 20-Jun-13 23:48:31

Well there is nothing wrong with being friendly and welcoming. Maybe you need to learn to cut them off quicker. Or built up more robust shields in the face of what others see as friendly teasing but feels to you like attacks or put-downs.

I can't tell if you are my idea of oversensitive. I do think some people are.

Samnella Thu 20-Jun-13 23:49:08

You have pretty much answered your own question.

I am too 'nice'

Drop the ones who are causing issues and be more choosey with new contenders. I find a simple 'what do you mean?' is enough to challenge most people.

winearama Thu 20-Jun-13 23:49:36

Quesadilla, my reaction varies really. In the past whenever I've pulled anyone up for a comment or for treating me shoddily they've taken the hump and I've been told I'm oversensitive, I can't take a joke or they just fall out with me and turn it into a big thing.

One of the friends that has started doing it is someone I've known for around 3 months. She has been really nice until a few weeks ago and is now doing it more and more. It's like when she sees me she is glad as she can then take the piss and make jokes at my expense.

What are the signs that someone is going to be that type of person when they are nice at first? I don't know if there are perhaps things that I'm not spotting?

winearama Thu 20-Jun-13 23:50:59

Waffly, is 'teasing' ever friendly though? And should it be the only thing that a friendship should consist of?

chickenliversfortea Thu 20-Jun-13 23:59:23

Mmm well you answered your own question. When you say "let them be my friend" it implies you are unsure about whether you want them to be your friend. Why not make friend with people you actually like?

Do you have habits that annoy people? Are people friendly because they have to be ie school run, clubs etc?

What are you looking for in a friend and work out if you meet that criteria.I think 3 months is enough to tell if you are going to be mates or not. Possiblily this is why friendships reach breaking point. Find people you will get on with outside your enforced social groups.You can't assume these friends will come into your life unless you embrace them.

winearama Fri 21-Jun-13 00:02:02

I don't think I have habits that annoy people, what kind of things did you mean, chickenlivers?

When I meet that type of person they are usually very friendly and go out of their way to be my friend; inviting me out all the time, saying nice things and being very friendly, then it's after a few weeks/months that the nastiness starts

winearama Fri 21-Jun-13 00:03:30

I meant to say earlier in the thread that I do have other friends that aren't nasty types; I just seem to attract these nasty types in addition to them. I probably should have clarified that.

yamsareyammy Fri 21-Jun-13 00:05:31

Where do you meet these people?

yamsareyammy Fri 21-Jun-13 00:07:06

How many other real friends do you have?
You probably have enough all ready.
Frenemies are not real friends at all.
But I dont think they can be spotted. It is more a case of, kno ing when to cool it with them.

carolthesecretary Fri 21-Jun-13 00:08:19

Either cut them off or withdraw gradually.

I only allow people to get close to me over a long period now. Bad behaviour gets them struck off early on.

Ihavetopushthepramalot Fri 21-Jun-13 00:08:56

What sort of things do they say to you to make you feel upset?
Is it constant, or are there other aspects to your friendships?
If, on the whole you get on well, just make it clear that you don't like being the butt of there jokes. If it carries on get rid.

winearama Fri 21-Jun-13 00:11:36

I generally meet them through my work or through my children's schools.

As for real friends I'd say I have about 4 real, good, decent friends. I don't see them very often and we don't live in each others' pockets but we are there for each other I know they'd be there for me and vice versa.

Also have a group of nice girl friends that I meet up with regularly for meals and nights out, a group of about 10 online friends that I've spoken to online for years and I meet up with some of the local ones every couple of months.

Plus several nice acquaintances, that I wouldn't bare my soul to but that I enjoy a coffee with now and again or a chat if I see them in town, or whatever.

I am actually reading all this back and thinking maybe I just meet/know a lot of people and so there are bound to be a few loons in there somewhere and perhaps I just need to get a bit better at spotting signs of frenemies (such as them falling out with all their other friends recently, as in the case of one of them....)

SisterMatic Fri 21-Jun-13 00:20:34

Can you give us an example of the nastiness and how they put you down?

winearama Fri 21-Jun-13 00:24:09

An example, said by one friend yesterday was a comment about how my DD is really pretty but that it was 'such a shame about her teeth, you really need to get them sorted'. DD is very pretty and the teeth issue is some small hereditary stains on her two front upper teeth, which aren't overly noticeable and she is going to get veneers on them when she's slightly older anyway. It's that kind of thing. Plus this friend in particular makes put down comments about things I wear, and things that I have. 'Oooh, check you out with your new Primark bag' in a really patronising way and the bag isn't primark anyway.

Ihavetopushthepramalot Fri 21-Jun-13 00:26:07

I would say jealousy then.
Not worth your time just ignore and distance yourself.

SisterMatic Fri 21-Jun-13 01:01:16

Okay, that is nasty. How dare she criticise your dd like that?
I think she is jealous and that is not your problem to deal with when she is sniping at you and bringing you down. You don't need that in your life.
I would either tell her how it makes you feel and give her chance to amend her attitude or just end the friendship.

quesadilla Fri 21-Jun-13 06:39:17

wine At the point where the "friend" says you are being over sensitive this is when you need to stand your ground. If you are hurt by something you are hurt by it and your friend should respect that.

And the comment about your dd's teeth is just nasty.

Callycat Fri 21-Jun-13 08:50:43

Wineararama, do you tend to doubt the validity of your own reactions when someone is rude to you? I can imagine a scenario like this

So-called friend: "Generic rude/personal comment aimed at Winearara."
Winearama - "That was a bit rude!"
So-called friend - "No, it wasn't, and the fact that YOU think I'M rude means that YOU'RE really MEAN and HORRIBLE, etc etc ... "
Winearama - "Ohh, sorry, I didn't mean it .. are you OK?"

I know I've been in this situation a lot - it's because if I get upset, it's very easy for a manipulator to persuade me that my response is unreasonable or disproportionate. I'm slowly learning to trust my own feelings, which has meant avoiding people like your so-called friends.

winearama Fri 21-Jun-13 09:22:45

Yes I can identify with that, Callycat! The 'friend' will say something like they were only being honest/a good friend/only joking and will make out that I am trying to cause aggro over nothing.

At school my best friend was a bit of a manipulator and I remember being in a lesson and she said something nasty and I pulled her up on it and she started to cry. The teacher then asked what the matter was and she said I'd told her not to be nasty and the teacher then told me off and said that I 'couldn't go round falling out with everybody for every little thing'

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 21-Jun-13 09:28:54

People take advantage of people who are 'too nice' and they treat them as doormats. It makes the 'too nice' people look too desperate for friends, to an immature social climber.

An example, said by one friend yesterday was a comment about how my DD is really pretty but that it was 'such a shame about her teeth, you really need to get them sorted'.

If you bridled you should say: "She's beautiful, leave her alone" then leave the person or the coffee or the meet up soon. Don't stay and bridle - that "friend" will then be worried that you don't need her and will think about what she's said.

Plus this friend in particular makes put down comments about things I wear, and things that I have. 'Oooh, check you out with your new Primark bag' in a really patronising way

I would say "oh nice put down thanks for that" and just leave them. Who can be bothered with people who need to do that sort of thing?

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