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WWYD about a self-inviting friend

(115 Posts)
JessicaBeatriceFletcher Fri 10-May-13 08:59:54

I have a group of friends, we all get on well, spend a fair bit of time socialising etc. But there is one friend who is very lovely but has a habit of self-inviting, a trait which I find very rude (and I've discovered my best friend in the same group who feels the same way as me).

If she and a couple of others in the group organise a night out I don't say "ooh, can I come too?" She does. Sometimes we are able to steer around it but other times we just give in and one or two of the 'weaker' friends really let her dictate a bit much.

She suggested that she, her husband and my best friend and me did a big charity walk together. As she is not overly fit, we said we'd plan some walks leading up to it to help. Great. All mutually agreed. Next thing you know, she's invited all sorts of others to join in, without asking us, and there is at least one person who we would actively choose to avoid (an awkward personal situation).

She heard that two of us were going to Cornwall for a weekend (where she comes from) and tried to change it into a weekend for all four of us and we could do "XYZ". We managed to divert that one.

I don't want to upset her feelings, because she is lovely, very generous and kind - just overly social perhaps - but it's becoming too much of a habit and I don't know how best to handle it.

BerylStreep Fri 10-May-13 09:29:06

I don't know what you can do. It can make you feel a bit mean, but I know exactly what you are talking about. I had a friend like that - you would plan to do something together, and then she would start inviting lots of other random people along. I always felt a bit hmm because it was as if she didn't really want to spend time with me, but always needed a crowd around her to feel validated.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 10-May-13 09:31:48

You'll have to risk upsetting her feelings, unfortunately. She may be lovely, generous and kind but you have to set out pretty unambiguously what you want and don't want to happen. You don't have to be nasty about it, just be clear.

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 10-May-13 09:35:49

If people push boundaries like this, and are either oblivious to the intrusion or simply don't give a shit because only their needs matter to them, then all you can do is draw your boundaries ever more clearly and stop worrying about hurting their feelings.

Next time she invites herself along: 'Well, it'll just be me and x this time, but next time maybe we can all get together".

And to other suggestions just say you'll think about it, or no, that won't work for me.

Just be firm and stop allowing her to be in control.

thebeastandbeauty Fri 10-May-13 09:36:28

"If she and a couple of others in the group organise a night out I don't say "ooh, can I come too?" She does. Sometimes we are able to steer around it but other times we just give in"

What do you mean by this? It reads as though you organise nights out amongst yourselves, make her aware of them, and then don't invite her.

I think that's quite rude.

I don't see a problem in inviting everyone. Why be cliquey and exclusive about it?

badguider Fri 10-May-13 09:36:37

If you're a group of friends organising a night out then why wouldn't you ask her too? Particularly if she knows about it - it's very rude to discuss plans to do something in earshot of somebody who 'isn't invited' hmm

As far as I can see the walk was 'her' social event so she can invite who she likes...

Hmm... I don't know... I guess I'm a 'more the merrier' kind of person and would never arrange an 'exclusive' meetup that others knew about but weren't welcome to.

MMMarmite Fri 10-May-13 09:43:33

I agree with badguider, in general I don't have exclusive events, and if I do, I don't talk about them in front of people who aren't invited, it just makes them feel left out.

It sounds like actually you don't like this friend very much, and you are convincing yourself that she is the rude one so that you feel justified in excluding her. If you and your best friend want to distance yourself from her, fair enough, you're not obliged to keep up any friendships you don't want to. But don't blame it on the self-inviting friend, because I don't think she's done much wrong here.

chocmallow Fri 10-May-13 09:47:42

So she's lovely, generous and kind - just the kind of friend I would want around.

I think you sound a bit mean, purposely wanting to leave someone out. Don't arrange plans within earshot of her if you don't want her there!!

PeppermintPasty Fri 10-May-13 09:48:22

Yes, I can't really get a handle on this either. She is very lovely, and in your group of friends, yet you want to exclude her from stuff from time to time? -That's how I'm reading it. It sounds a bit odd.

Perhaps you need to give a bit more info.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Fri 10-May-13 09:49:34

the beast - sorry, was trying to keep stuff brief.

No, we don't deliberately make her aware. Example: me and friend decide we want to go out for a meal and see a film/play. Just us two. Two weeks later, inviting friend asks my friend if she is free on Saturday to do something. Friend says she already has plans. Inviting friend asks what. Friend says she and I are doing X. Inviting friend then says "ooh, I'll come too".

Surely sometimes you want to do things just one-on-one or just two couples and not always want it to be a huge gang?

Inviting friend will often ask one of my friends to go out for a meal or a drink on a Friday night in front of me. I don't invite myself along, because I think it's rude. I don't mind them organising something in front of me, because we don't all leave in each other's pockets.

trixymalixy Fri 10-May-13 09:49:48

Why would you not invite her to the night out if she's part of your group of friends? Very bad form to be discussing events in front of her that you don't want her included in. It's really very rude of you.

I suspect she feels left out a lot of the time and insecure.

She organised the walk so she could invite others.

I can't bear people that exclude others for no good reason, it's like being back at school.

CrapBag Fri 10-May-13 09:53:08

I agree with others, why on earth would you plan a night out with friends and not invite her? That seems odd in itself. If my friends did this I would be thinking twice about their friendships to me because this means they aren't real friends. I know friends don't have to do everything together all of the time but you are arranging things, telling her then getting annoyed when she wants to come. Its very rude to do this. She probably invites herself because her self esteem is taking a beating as it appears her 'friends' don't actually like her much.

The walk thing was her idea, she can invite who she wants. Its a walk FFS anyway, not an exclusive get together.

Again with the Cornwall thing, it seems like 2 of you in the group are going away and excluding her. I am wondering why she is actually friends with you tbh.

I do get the thing about inviting others along all the time though. I have loads of friends like this and it does do my nut in.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Fri 10-May-13 09:54:29

trix - so do you always invite ALL your friends to EVERYTHING you do? One of my friends is in a tennis club. She doesn't things with that group as well as with our group. I don't feel left out if she goes on a walk with them, mentions that she's doing it and doesn't say "would you like to come along"

CrapBag Fri 10-May-13 09:55:11

Still think you aren't being much of a friend. So she invites people in front of you, she probably does that so you know how it feels to not be included.

Sounds like she is trying to cling onto friendships that she feels is slipping away.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Fri 10-May-13 09:56:45

I'm not talking about BIG group nights out. If it's a big social, then I wouldn't dream of leaving her out. We do an AWFUL lot as a big group. What on earth is wrong with wanting to spend quality time with just one of the group occasionally and not inviting everyone else???

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 10-May-13 10:00:28

I'm still with you, OP. Within a group of friends everyone should have the space to forge particular friendships within that, too. In a sensitive way, of course.

You didn't blatantly organise in front of her, she just muscled in. That's when you just need to say sounds good, lets do something with the three of us next time.

QuintessentialOHara Fri 10-May-13 10:01:21

You dont really like her, do you?
Sounds like you spend most of your social life trying to exclude this woman, and work out techniques for diverting her away from you.

In all honesty it does sound like you live in each-others pockets, you just dont want her there in the nice little pocket with your other friends. I think you need to reevaluate why you need such an active, yet exclusivie social life. Is there something missing in your life? Do you need to feel superior in the way you keep managing to let her know you are doing something, just to rebuff her next!

You dont seem very nice. I am glad you are not my friend. hmm

Isabeller Fri 10-May-13 10:01:24

Is it that you like to see people in smaller groups or one to one sometimes and these more intimate occasions keep turning into big social events so you don't get the more relaxed private chats you're looking forward to? (Desperately trying to think the best of everyone smile)

Isabeller Fri 10-May-13 10:02:02

Ah cross post with OP!

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 10-May-13 10:03:34

Wow the OP is getting a hard time here!

I think it's fine to want to spend one on one time with particular friends without others inviting themselves along. It doesn't make you a cliquey bastard!

AThingInYourLife Fri 10-May-13 10:04:57

I think you sound horrible.

Like a mean 8 year old who enjoys leav

AThingInYourLife Fri 10-May-13 10:05:33

Like a mean 8 year old who enjoys leaving people out.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Fri 10-May-13 10:07:18

Isabeller - yes, big social gatherings are great, but sometimes you can't have a proper old chinwag and just doing something one-on-one gives you that chance. I've had one-on-ones with this friend, too!

CrapBag Fri 10-May-13 10:07:56

So when she pushes for info on what is planned, don't tell her if she invites herself and you don't want her there, make sure your friend doesn't as well.

FWIW, I have someone in my big group of friends who was considered to be my best friend, she said the same. I have recently discovered that while she has little free time, she manages to spend quite a lot of time with others in the group, that I was part of but I'm clearly not anymore. I don't see her for months at a time anymore. It doesn't feel great, particularly when I haven't done anything wrong, or invited myself etc.

emsyj Fri 10-May-13 10:09:41

I'm very much a 'the more the merrier' type of person and will happily extend invitations to anyone who fancies coming along - I'm really confused by the OP to be honest, it sounds like something I would associate with primary school age children.

I can see that every now and then if you have a particularly close friend that you want to speak with and catch up with privately then you might want to arrange an evening/lunch/whatever for just the two of you, but how would this woman ever find out if you just arranged it between the two of you and never mentioned it to her? She wouldn't. You can only invite yourself to events that you know about.

As for the bit about wanting to actively avoid someone etc, goodness me...

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