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To be genuinely curious about how some people manage to get the world revolving around them?

(61 Posts)
doritosmonster Thu 25-Apr-13 10:15:40

And usually when they're not really that nice a person?

Before I start, I'm not jealous, or bitter, or anything like that, I am just genuinely curious about this. Psychology/people watching fascinates me, but I just cannot fathom this out.

I met a group of women at an antenatal group when I had my three year old DS; there are five of us. There was a sixth member but she moved abroad about 18 months ago. One member of the group is a stereotypical 'popular girl'. She is very full of herself and extremely self absorbed. She never does anything for anyone else or even really listens to anyone else. Everything she does is right, and everybody else is wrong, whether this is about weaning, prams (she had the most expensive/best pram of the group, naturally), preschools, schools, brands of clothing, which hairdressers to go to, everything! It doesn't matter that some of us have older children and so know more about lots of parenting issues than she does, she just lectures us all, all the time. She also makes a lot of put down comments. Things along the lines of "Oh you've chosen X School for your child have you? Oh well, as long as you're happy with your choice it doesn't matter about its reputation I suppose". Or (directed to child) "Look at you all decked out in Next clothes for once. Nice to see mummy makes an effort with you sometimes".

What I find is that everything we do as a group has to centre around what she wants. Someone suggests soft play. Alpha's child doesn't like it so we can't go. Someone else suggests lunch out. Alpha agrees but we have to go after 2pm as Alpha is so very busy that day. I'm easy going generally and am usually happy to go along with things, however it's happening more and more that everything has to accommodate this woman.

From what I've gathered, this woman's family are like it with her too; her parents will do anything for her at any time, and she even has her 15 year old next door neighbour clamouring to babysit for her all the time. Plus she is on my Facebook friends and when I've looked at her wall before she has no end of people on there sucking up to her, asking her to go on nights out, sending her flowers, all kinds of stuff.

I just don't understand why people like this woman have so many people at their beck and call, and basically queuing up to be their friend/to do things for them. Also, how on earth do people like this hold onto friends? I class her as an acquaintance, and am happy to chat to her at meets, but there is no way I'd suck up to someone to be their friend, or try to curry favour with them.

Anyone else know anyone like that?

BlackDahlia11 Fri 26-Apr-13 21:36:45

JohnSnowsTie sounds like you are all too familiar with the same type of friend! At least we recognise it now and can phase out. Proper friends don't put their friends down smile

KneeDeepinPoo Fri 26-Apr-13 20:21:21

Be aware, my Alpha was excellent at turning herself into the victim when I confronted her - she sobbed to her flock of sheep and made me out to be a deranged bitch.

This is exactly what the Alpha in my life did too. Grrrr, still makes me so flippin angry too...not 10 years later in my case, more like three years. And it makes me hacked off in the extreme that her flock of sheep had no guts to do other than wipe her tears and say 'there there', nasty Beta.

bettycocker Fri 26-Apr-13 19:25:44

So you already know my SIL op? grin

drjohnsonscat Fri 26-Apr-13 13:43:12

I had a friend like that at university. I knew her for three years during which time she was hospitalised with an eating disorder, had an affair with the tutor, attempted suicide, got engaged (not to the tutor), got a first. I started to distance myself from her but was young and didn't really understand what was going on. Two years later heard she had got married (not to the tutor or the fiance), had been evicted from her home, got meningitis, got divorced, got remarried to her boss at the firm she worked for, sued the firm for constructive dismissal, left the boss.

I heard about all this by accident - I started talking to a woman at a party who was describing how much she disliked her job because there was someone there who was creating so much drama and victimhood it was affecting the whole firm. Something about what she said made me realise I knew who she was talking about and it was the same person. There's a whole lot more but I won't post more for fear of outing her.

I have not had that much drama in 44 years and this was in 5 years. It was actually the meningitis that made a light go on for me. Maybe she did have meningitis, maybe she didn't. But I suddenly realised these weren't all random events.

JohnSnowsTie Fri 26-Apr-13 13:42:34

BlackDahlia I really feel for you when you say she put you down and you just agreed sad. I used to do that with one "friend", I think it was just easier than confrontation and she was quite a bullish type and I excused it because of other issues in her life. Am also in process of operation phase-out as don't have the balls to tell her! I would hate for one of my DDs to end up the doormat I've been over the years, so I can't afford to have her around them really.

BlackDahlia11 Fri 26-Apr-13 13:35:32

JohnSnowsTie I completely know what you mean! It is one thing helping a true friend through something but feels completely different when helping a toxic type friend. The toxic ones seem to have a heck of an amount of drama in their lives!

BlackDahlia11 Fri 26-Apr-13 13:32:00

I've found this thread very interesting. I used to be a follower, a 'sheep'. I was friends with someone in primary school and we were best buds. But looking back I see it was like being in an emotionally abusive relationship. She could be cruel, say nasty things to me and bully other people. But I always followed and watched on, feeling helpless. I feel awful for not standing up and telling her what a cow she was. I was probably no better because I didn't help the people she bullied. If she got into trouble for bullying, I was usually pulled up for it as well even though I didn't directly do anything. It was nice to have security though. Knowing she was always going to be there with me, even if she was nasty at times.

When we were about 15 she started to ignore me and leave me out. I was so hurt. So I clung to someone else as I didn't want to have no friends. I clung to someone exactly like her. This one is still in my life and only recently have I realised what an utter cow she is. She would put me down and I would just agree. Can't believe I didn't see it sooner. Spoke to my husband and he has made me see the light. She's a nasty piece of work. So working on phasing her out (I don't have the courage to tell her what a boot she is).

JohnSnowsTie Fri 26-Apr-13 13:27:31

I know a couple of people like this. One in particular tends to need constant sympathetic attention, and whilst it's one thing helping a true friend through a difficult time, it's quite another when someone becomes accustomed to the molly-coddling and frequently seeks it.

My problem is, whilst I'm good at keeping emotionally demanding types at a distance, I eventually feel guilty when I see others pandering to them, assume the panderers are just more tolerant/nicer people generally and conclude that in actual fact I'm the one at fault, and I'm a shit friend for not pandering!

I suppose because I never expect or demand attention I struggle to relate to people who do.

doritosmonster Fri 26-Apr-13 11:18:12

I think I'll do it discreetly but, well, if Alpha asks why I've stopped bothering with her, or if anyone else does I might just have to let them know why wink

RiffyWammal Fri 26-Apr-13 11:03:09

Good for you, doritosmonster! Are you going to quietly disengage from your Alpha or will you confront her and tell her why you're ending the friendship? I favour the latter. And not just because I want to hear a blow by blow account of it, oh no! smile

Be aware, my Alpha was excellent at turning herself into the victim when I confronted her - she sobbed to her flock of sheep and made me out to be a deranged bitch. Grrr I'm getting angry again remembering it and it happened more than ten years ago!

doritosmonster Fri 26-Apr-13 09:56:45

Yes am definitely going to, expatinscotland. Or at least stop going to group meet ups where this woman will be.

expatinscotland Thu 25-Apr-13 22:50:32

What Hecsy said.

Find some new friends.

doritosmonster Thu 25-Apr-13 22:42:55

Good luck Puds11, I hope you manage to break away from her.

Thank you drjohnson, I too think I needed a bit of a lightbulb moment. I agree, it's funny how those friendships often form in antenatal groups. I'm getting to the stage where I don't need the support from it anymore now my youngest is getting older.

drjohnsonscat Thu 25-Apr-13 22:40:04

Meant to add, it's interesting that these friendships often form in antenatal groups! You meet when you are feeling vulnerable and you need each other but as you get to grips with your life, you get your own perspective on things and realise you don't need that stuff any more.

drjohnsonscat Thu 25-Apr-13 22:38:39

I know you only posted out of curiosity but it sounds as though you've also been thinking about what you need...and come to the conclusion you don't need this! Good decision I think. I find it quite empowering to walk away from that stuff.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Thu 25-Apr-13 22:36:17

I'm in the process of telling someone this is what they are like and that I no longer want to be friends with them.

I am already feeling the backlash of having dared not want to be her friend, and I expect its going to get worse.

Ah well, at the end of the day I won't have to see her anymore.

doritosmonster Thu 25-Apr-13 22:31:54

I think I will pull back from the group deepfriedsage. I've been reflecting upon it all today and I really can't be arsed with it all any longer. I think perhaps I'll arrange a couple of smaller meet ups (at soft play as queen bee definitely won't want to go there) with a couple of other members, or maybe invite another member round to lunch on a one to one basis or something.

I've never been brilliant in groups if truth be told, as they always inevitably turn into a bum licking fest,

doritosmonster Thu 25-Apr-13 22:30:47

I think I will pull back from the group deepfriedsage. I've been reflecting upon it all today and I really can't be arsed with it all any longer. I think perhaps I'll arrange a couple of smaller meet ups (at soft play as queen bee definitely won't want to go there) with a couple of other members, or maybe invite another member round to lunch on a one to one basis or something.

I've never been brilliant in groups if truth be told, as they always inevitably turn into a bum licking fest,

WishIdbeenatigermum Thu 25-Apr-13 22:28:53

Meh. Try being related to one! At least you can chose your friends. It's very hard listening to the same bitchy nonsense for years and worse watching your dcs biting their tongues. grin and [anger]

doritosmonster Thu 25-Apr-13 22:27:34

drjohnsonscat, I am the same as you; drama and attention seeking immediately makes me disengage. I just can't be good friends, or even casual friends, with someone who wants constant attention and validation.

deepfriedsage Thu 25-Apr-13 22:26:10

I agree, these queen bee types are not quite right personality wise. The sheep will have a low self esteem, I was once a sheep, not any more and I feel very sorry for people who waste their energy and time on such parasites as the Queen Bee.

I like the brambles post, hack it back OP, go and plant beautiful flowers instead, use your energy to cultivate nice people around you.

doritosmonster Thu 25-Apr-13 22:26:06

I too am bad at sucking up to Queen Bees, Noseynoonoo. And I too have far less friends than those who are willing to suck up. I was looking tonight at the FB page of a woman at the school who I'd say is also a little bit of a queen bee, and there is so much sucking up going on there too from other school mums; lots of photos of her posing and people saying how gorgeous she is, and lots of attention seeking statuses about what she's bought, how much it cost, and all that malarkey. And this is from a 40 year old woman, not a teenager.

drjohnsonscat Thu 25-Apr-13 22:23:47

those people are dreadful but tbh so are the people who facilitate them, hanging off their every word and taking their judgments as gospel.

I can't bear the attention seeking and the narcissism. Nothing makes me switch off faster - but I notice that other people do respond to it.

I'm also very bored by drama - I have one dear friend who is a total drama llama. She'll send me an email saying "you won't believe the latest" and I am supposed to jump in with a "What? What? Do tell!" but it just makes me disengage.

Noseynoonoo Thu 25-Apr-13 22:16:33

I could have written the OP - my antenatal group was exactly the same. I hacked it for almost 4 years. I had withdrawn myself from larger group activities for quite a while but when I declined to attend an Easter Egg hunt on a cold wet day I found myself de-friended on Facebook by Queen-Bee and her lieutenant and have met up with 2 of the group on one occasion since. It has not been any loss of any sort. It was a total relief.

I am very bad at sucking up to Queen Bees. As a result I definitely have less friends. I do however have some fab friends who would never put up with such shenanigans.

KneeDeepinPoo Thu 25-Apr-13 22:03:02

these friends are usually weak characters who are not very deep thinkers

^^ this is do true. Unfortunately it does mean that if you do anything to upset her, you will be ousted from the group for sure. It happened to me. The woman was actually defined as a sociopath...gregarious, funny, attractive....but manipulative and bitchy in the extreme.

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