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To distance myself from this group of friends as everything revolves around one person?

(36 Posts)
FirstToothOut Sat 12-Mar-16 12:36:03

I am friendly with a group of 8 other women. We all met when our DCs were little and still regularly meet up, mainly now for evenings out or the occasional lunch/coffee during the day when we are all available/off work. We also have a Facebook group where we can chat about things and also make arrangements.

One friend is a total and utter drama queen, always with some crisis or another, yet also with a very superior attitude as though she is better than others. As a result of both of these things, I am finding that everything is revolving around her and her problems/moans/wants. I'll refer to her as Caroline in this thread.

I have never really received any support from any of the others in the group. For example last year a family member of mine was really ill and had to be rushed to hospital for emergency surgery and needed a lot of care afterwards from me. I posted about this in our Facebook group at the time and out of 8 others only 2 replied and they were very quick abrupt "Oh no" type replies rather than anything truly supportive or caring. When I next saw all of the others not one person asked me about my family member or how things were going. Caroline has crisis after crisis, which are usually very mundane day to day things that the rest of us would just suck up and get on with, and each and every time she gets lots of replies and support. One of Caroline's children only has to have a sniffle and everyone else is offering to take her other children to school, asking if she needs anything from the shop, and offering to help her.

I have also noticed that if anyone else has anything going on, then Caroline appears out of the woodwork with yet another crisis or problem to basically try to trump whatever is going on in someone else's life. So everyone else gets forgotten and all focus is on her.

When we all meet in person it is getting more and more ridiculous as conversations are literally dominated by Caroline's problems and moans, with everyone listening sympathetically and offering support. Caroline is a very earth mothery type and the others all seem to look up to this and put her on a pedestal. She is quite disparaging about others who parent different to her.

I am getting to the point where I am fed up, and bored, of everything being about Caroline all the bloody time! I don't want to distance myself from them in one way as I've known them for years but it is all very irritating and doing my head in! I could meet up with others individually I know, but it puts me off that they are so simpering and arse licking towards Caroline all the time. Plus of course it puts me off them that none of them could offer me any support when I really needed it.

Has anyone else come across a situation like this? What did you do?

FrozenPonds Sat 12-Mar-16 12:41:02

Perhaps it's just you.

Maybe they are all genuinely good, close friends, who swap childcare favours, and see each like one another.

Whereas you are (and you describe them as) just someone who they are friendly to as you had a child at the same time?

Nanny0gg Sat 12-Mar-16 12:42:13

Move on.

Some friendships are for a certain time in your life, and once they become one-sided or you get nothing from them, then it's time for a change.

FirstToothOut Sat 12-Mar-16 12:43:55

Very true NannyOgg. I've not been getting anything from the friendships for quite some time.

VoldysGoneMouldy Sat 12-Mar-16 12:44:00

Can you just distance yourself from her? If you're a clash of personalities, there's no reason you have to stay friends with her.

Friendship groups change and evolve, and it's okay to decide to move on from the group, be it as a whole, or from individual members.

They may just genuinely be closer.

FirstToothOut Sat 12-Mar-16 12:46:58

I'm not sure they're all closer really, as no one else gets the attention and support that Caroline does. They all appear happy to have things revolving around her and to not get much from the friendships though, unless of course they are just all fawning because they think everyone else does, who knows!

BurningBridges Sat 12-Mar-16 13:07:42

I don't think its going to resolve itself anytime soon First I've been in similar situations many times - get new friends, move on from them.

Namechangenell Sat 12-Mar-16 13:13:50

I know exactly what you mean, OP. There's a similar character in a group I'm part of. It's just a group of mums who met in a local park and meet once or twice a week for the kids to play. If this particular woman has anything going on in her life, it's a crisis, but if anyone else does, it's small fry. It is truly exhausting and I often wonder how/why the others don't see her for what she is. I'm trying to think of a tangible example - eg when we moved house, we just got on with it. MIL came to stay for a week, we were able to sort out the old place, move into the new place and hire a van to transport our stuff. One friend watched one DC for a couple of hours on moving day. Our Caroline also moved house around the same time and it was all panic stations, this had happened, that had happened, drama this, drama that, people running around to get her extension cables and so on from the hardware shop. I was so close to saying that she'd caused all of this herself! There was very little actual drama, just her perception of it and exaggerated stories about various 'disasters'. I see the rest of the group now but actively avoid her. Yet - I still wonder what hold she has over the others.

HanYOLO Sat 12-Mar-16 13:15:02

I suspect the rest of the group don't see things the same way at all. There's probably not much fawning and arselicking going on. How do you know what they get out of the friendships?

It's a bit shit that you didn't get the support when you could have done with it. I've found that life's "copers" often don't. The trick is to ask, sometimes, if you really need it. It hurts when it is not offered though.

Caroline may or may not be horrible, domineering and needy. You don't like her, that's for sure. Do you like any of the others? Do your kids? Maybe meet up one to one with those you do get on with. There is nothing wrong with gradually not turning up any more to stuff, and interacting less, especially if it brings you no happiness. You don't sound invested in these connections. Move on.

FirstToothOut Sat 12-Mar-16 13:19:00

Namechangenell, that is exactly the sort of thing that would happen amongst the ladies in my group of friends. Everything is a drama and requires the whole entire world and his wife to help to sort it all out.

honeylulu Sat 12-Mar-16 13:30:13

I know what you mean too about one person seeming to have a "hold" over group members without really giving anything.
I suspect I am mildly autistic (never been diagnosed) and tend to be rather over-logical. Qualities like "cool" and charisma are completely lost on me, particularly if there is clear evidence that the person is selfish or unpleasant in some other way.
However, charisma seems to be hugely influential for a lot of people and they apparently gain something from the relationship by spending time with that person. The person can be fun and entertaining. Dare I say it, there is probably an element of wanting to bask in the reflected glory of the chosen one.
My husband's best friend is like this. Completely hedonistic and selfish, outspoken to the point of insults, even to his friends. Yet if you see him seeming a group in the pub, he just holds court, with people hanging on his every word. I've seen him pull some very attractive young women simply by saying "fancy a shag?" (I shit you not mumsnetters.) It's completely lost on me but I witness people being in his thrall all the time.

shrekislove Sat 12-Mar-16 13:43:07

You'll probably find they all think the same about her and more than likely bitch about her behind her back.

sonjadog Sat 12-Mar-16 13:53:59

You really need to take a step back. Caroline is annoying you more than any other person should. What the others in the group think of her and how they interact with her is their business. The only think that matters is that how you interact with them and it doesn't seem like you are getting anything out of contact with this group any more. So detach yourself and focus on developing other friendships and other interests. You don't have to ignore these people, but when your focus is elsewhere, then they won't annoy you so much and you can take them for what they are.

WhereYouLeftIt Sat 12-Mar-16 13:55:25

YANBU, I don't care to be anybody's entourage. Do you think the others actually see her as a friend, or more as an interactive soap opera?

absolutelynotfabulous Sat 12-Mar-16 14:02:18

I think some people like to bask in the drama of other people's lives, tbh. The more drama there is, the more they invest. I agree with a pp who said that life's "copers*, who get on with things without any drama, get the least attention.

Forget them and move on. Getting no help when you need it hurts.

theycallmemellojello Sat 12-Mar-16 14:17:24

It's clear you hate Caroline and are angry at the others for liking her. In those circumstances you're not going to get anything out of the friendship group. Move on.

Pannacott Sat 12-Mar-16 14:19:15

Extroverts and drama queens can play an important social role actually. It can be easy to be around them because they dictate a lot of the content of conversation and keep that going. It's the opposite of boring.

I've had friends like this in the past, they have periodically totally done my head in and I've fallen out with them and not spoken to them for years at a time, so I totally understand how desperately dominating and irritating they can be. But at other points in my life, when I've been feeling socially more lazy, I've found it easy to be around them and just react to their minor dramas, without having to think too much, talk about myself, or really give too much of myself.

iyamehooru Sat 12-Mar-16 14:31:02

I'd stop making any contact and see if they notice, when they arrange the next get together say it clashes with plans you've already got but hope they have a great time. They'll get the message eventually.

thebestfurchinchilla Sat 12-Mar-16 14:46:56

Sounds like she is the queen bee in the hive. Read The Hive, by Gill Horsnby you'll probably find it amusing. I'd move on and let all the other suckers be her lap dogs. They don't sound very interested in you so why would you want to be friends with them?

thebestfurchinchilla Sat 12-Mar-16 14:50:57

honeylulu You are so right. I work as a TA and see this a lot with chn. You get a child that is always in trouble, not very kind to others and yet the whole class wants to be their friend. It amazes me. Yet a quiet, well behaved child who does as they're told is like wallpaper, nobody notices. It's all about charisma. Scary really.

TobleroneQueen Sat 12-Mar-16 15:06:53

Hi, I'm pretty much in the same boat in a similar situation. I find the friendships are very fake and talk of how our kids will go to Uni together is quite frankly nauseating. There is one particular Mum who is OTT nice in front of everyone yet bitches about some of the in an underhand way to me. I meet up for the sake of my LO but can see the group fizzling out especially as the kids grow and more come along, it will change the dynamics of the group but I'm fine with that as I haven't built any solid friendships out of it.

Move on gradually, you will find other friends 😊

Namechangenell Sat 12-Mar-16 15:20:24

Totally agree with the PP re copers not getting any help. I think that is very true. As with the moving example I wrote about above, DH and I just got on with it. To be honest, I don't really like asking for favours and being the one who always needs someone to give me a hand. It may well be that we weren't seen to be in need of help... But then, it would have been nice to have been asked, and not just drama llama getting all the support. I mean, when she was moving house, people were fawning all over asking if she needed anything. When we did, we just did it quietly and without fuss. No one could say they didn't know what moving house entails as we are part of an expat community and people move all the time. They'd also just watched our Caroline equivalent movie so knew exactly what we would be going through. Maybe I should make more fuss about things and see where it gets me!

Our Caroline makes a point of frequently referring to people who've 'been a good friend' to her. I've discovered this is code for her little band of helpers who basically out her needs above their own. She doesn't reciprocate when they need a hand... Again, I wonder what it would take for the scales to fall from their eyes.

bbpp Sat 12-Mar-16 15:21:52

I've been in a friendship group like this, except her control was used to be mean: spreading rumours, lying about events, excluding people just to see if she could. It turned into a big tiff and I left, and the person I was closest to in the group left too after about a month. Then maybe 6 month later the final two, who were the most arselicky, left also. I guess it got too much for them as a group of three. The one who was closest to me is now a best friend and we have our own group, the other two I'm on friendly terms with and will chat if I see them around but have their own friends, and the 'queen bee' doesn't talk to any of us (read: hates us), but I think she has a new friendship group where she's can't rule the roost anymore. I think it was better for everyone.

If you leave other's may come with you. If they don't, at least you've got chance to spend your time with people you'll like much more!


FaithAscending Sat 12-Mar-16 16:02:57

Out of curiosty, are there any of the group you particularly like? Have you ever tried seeing them away from the group?

tobysmum77 Sat 12-Mar-16 16:18:26

It's clear you hate Caroline

I think that is a bit strong. Caroline gets up the op's nose that's hardly hatred.

Op distance yourself, stop following the Facebook group.

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