What to do about overly involved acquaintance?(86 Posts)
I've thought about posting this for a while now but recently things have escalated so now need advice.
An acquaintance who I used to work with has rang me 4 times tonighf as she has a present for my DS for Christmas and she wants to bring it round. I ignored her calls but gave up and text her saying it's late blah blah blah. She starts guilt tripping me about this present and how she really wants to give it to me in person and she's free now to drop it by.
Backstory: we worked together and we helped each other loads as we were both junior managers at the same time (diff departments). For me this was purely a work based friendship. When I announced I was pregnant she had handed her notice in at work just before and offered to withdraw it so she could support me being pregnant at work. I laughed as I thought she was joking but it came out that she did try and withdraw it. She made a huge FB post with pics of my scan (which I had posted on my FB in all fairness) introducing her 'future drinking buddy'. She turned up at the hospital the day after he was born with a huge box full of things she had bought him which was very kind of her. She turned up at his Christening, making a scene that she wasn't invited. We let her stay as she had come quite a way for it on public transport. She got drunk (was in a private room in a restaurant) and whinged at my best friend that she hadn't been asked to be godmother and what more could she do to get me to like her.
I've not led this woman on. I did think she was nice but now I actually find her a bit scary! How do I get her to leave me alone?
Tricky. I would ignore her demands, be very non-committal and just refuse to make any firm arrangements to meet her. Text her that you will let her know when it is convenient to drop round with the gift and then don't contact her. If she pins you down just say how busy you are. It sounds cruel but she sounds like a nightmare and more than slightly creepy.
I doubt trying to having any kind of a discussion or 'drop hints' would do any good.
She sounds unwell to honest. Some kind of personally disorder? Are you aware that she is like this generally, do they find her a bit much, or is it just you she is fixated on?
It's interesting that you describe her as an acquaintance when she is obviously under the impression that you were very good friends. Clearly she is taking the rejection hard and has felt used and dropped in some way. You must have been more than just acquaintances/colleagues at some point, surely, for her to feel that way? Especially with her hoping to be Godmother. I'm not blaming you by the way, overly needy friends who lack boundaries are irritating as hell and I'd have had to distance myself too. There's no easy way to do it I'm afraid.
How long ago was the christening and is this the first contact you've had with her since?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I’d meet her out somewhere and graciously accept the present.
And then I’d quietly start phasing her out.
Seriously limit her fb access.
Reduce the amount I saw her.
Meeting in public places with time limits.
Tell her very little about my life (she should never have known about the Christening for example)
Slowly begin making excuses. Let her know you can drop by her place or agree to meet up somewhere. That way you can control what time the meet up is over.
OP what's her family situation? Any kids? How old?H/P?Employment?
YY to everything Cavender said. Especially to meeting her outside of your home so you can choose when to leave and she can't outstay her welcome.
That sounds creepy as fuck.
How did an acquaintance got to know enough details about the christening to be able to be in the right place at the right time? You need to seriously limit the contact you have with this woman.
Does she know where you live? I'd make up an excuse as to why you can't meet her now and start to phase her out of your life as PP have suggested.
This is extremely weird I agree with the poster to be honest and nip it in the bud I wouldn’t expect the gift as it’s opening the invitation for her to continue contact further with you.
She knows where I live from doing carshare at work. And she knew about the christening through mutual friends who hadn't known she wasn't invited. Mutual friend was invited because they have a small baby too. Outside of a few select friends, it was mainly family.
As I say, we were friends at work in a way, but we never socialised outside. I think we stayed for after work drinks (a whole group of us) only once or twice in the 2 years we worked together. She is married but always whinges that her partner is much younger than we are and they just don't understand what life is all about.
I get weekly phone calls from her and multiple texts each week. Tbf, I hardly answer the phone anymore, but that just seems to make her worse. I've tried just distancing myself from her but then she will start doing things like this and buying my son gifts as an excuse to come round.
I just don't think I can face being so direct with her. How do you basically tell someone you don't want to see them again?
In your situation I send a text saying. “I enjoyed working with you but I don’t want to be friends, sorry, please don’t contact me again”
And then I would just ghost her completely.
Block her number and ignore all attempts at contact, if she comes to your house don’t answer the door.
I’ve known people like this and they are very thick skinned, she won’t get hints, you need to either be totally direct or just ignore her completely until she gives up.
I also wouldn’t accept the gift, it’s only inviting more contact.
And fazing our won’t work, she’ll just try harder and every bit of contact you give her will encourage her into thinking the friendship can continue if she just tries a bit harder to maintain it.
Cutting her off completely is the only way.
Delete her off facebook, block her number from calling and if you have to reply to messages keep it to one word.
“Can and pop round with the gift”
“Can we meet up”
“Are you home, I’m in the area and I have something for DS”
You get the idea.
I think I'd take the route suggested by WeAreEternal (although I'd argue that's not ghosting - isn't ghosting where you ignore someone until they take the hint - this would be a lot more direct and ultimately fair).
She has fixated on you and knows at some level that her intensity is unwelcome (see what she said to your friend at the christening) but for whatever reason won't give up. There are evidently difficulties elsewhere in her life or self, but you are not and cannot be made responsible for those.
I don't think it's practical to say NO NO to every text and not pick up every call. Forget to text and next time she calls just be like it's been hectic, sorry I'm in the middle of something (make sure you pick up when you're in an extremely busy place) and ask her if there was anything urgent.
As for meet up outside just let her know you'll pick up and from now on please don't get DS anymore stuff, you've nowhere to put them and you'd be forced to take the gifts he receives after this to charity.
As for fb and all maybe just limit what you post altogether for a couple months so that if she asks the others haven't seen much as well. Then limit what she sees.
OP I know her kind 😔 it's exhausting. If you don't nip it now, it gets really intrusive with the many questions and feeling a part of your family...smh please do it now! No more gifts. Also reply 1 text a week, a fortnight, a month...never! Best excuse is your baby. I cut out so many people after my DD. Best.excuse.ever.
There's a much more benign version of this woman working at my office. She buys presents for the infant children of work colleagues - kids she has never met. She bought a present and card for the guy who left here six months ago. She fusses over you when anything happens and asks lots of questions.
She's quite gentle, and easily put down though (very easily - in fact I have to work hard not to). This woman sounds like she needs blunt treatment. DON'T go and accept this gift. It's taking a step back for no good reason. It should be quite simple to just say sorry, no each time, and whatever you do, don't get your calendar out.
Sorry, I cannot accept the gift. I am afraid you have misunderstood the nature of our relationship which I see as professional only and I don't want you to waste your money.
Block her on Facebook. Block her number. Job done.
I'd tell her that your DS has plenty of presents so could she donate hers to charity instead. Then don't answer the phone and take longer and longer to answer her texts in such a way that you don't start a conversation.
So she came into work today with a balloon for DS. She left it with the receptionist and now it's behind my desk. She has left a voicemail to see if I've received it. Advice?
Crikey blimey.. She is one pushy broad.
It's as creepy as hell. What do your mutual friends think about her? Has she given any of them the same treatment?
I think you’re just going to have be really direct and say that you don’t feel you have enough in common now that you don’t work together, you’re very busy with your family and sorry but you don’t feel able to be friends with her any more.
She’s definitely crossing the boundaries of appropriate behaviour and she doesn’t sound like someone that will take the hint and back off if you just ignore her calls.
I think she sounds very misguided and needy, I’m not sure what to advise other than be very blunt and straight with her. Make it crystal clear you feel she’s over stepping the boundaries.
Mutual friends don't know how I feel. They think we're really close based on what acquaintance has told them. I've been off the scene a bit since having my son so don't see them anywhere near as much.
Start telling mutual friends in a quiet way, ask them not to share about your work.
I’d thank for the balloon in very low key way but ask her not to do it again as it’s not appropriate to receive gifts for your child at work.
This would drive me absolutely bonkers and spook me out. I hate hate hate feeling smothered and this woman has obviously got a problem.
Do you think she would accept you stepping back? If not, then you are going to have to tell her straight... I don't envy you that but the situation needs stopping before it escalates...
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