Friendship issues - feel like I'm being bullied in my 30s!(8 Posts)
Oh dear. Name change as is identifying. Sorry if the story is confusing I will try and make it clear.
Friend 1, known her for 15 years. Best friend. Loved her to bits up until about 5 years ago when I started to grow a little but more confident and be my own person. There was always an imbalance in the friendship. She was the louder one, the one that had all the boyfriends, the popular one I guess. I've become less shy, finding my feet in life, dressing better, eating better, got a better job. Just working things out in life. She's become more and more aggressive towards me. Belittling, unkind, unsupportive. I thought she was going through a diffucult patch when it got particularly chronic about a year ago. But it got so bad that I approached her, by letter!, as I just felt so downtrodden by it all, and said I wanted to maintain the friendship but it had to improve and some of her behaviour was unacceptable. I haven't heard back from her. That was about 6 months ago. I have noticed that all friends in our social circle now no longer reply to my messages. I feel that they are avoiding me :-(
Friend 2, met her through friend 3. Friend 2 didn't really know friend 1 other than in passing. Known her for a couple of years. Gradually realised she was very draining. Negative and always asking for stuff. I stopped contacting her about 6 months ago as I felt I was always the one organising meet ups etc. she hasn't been in contact at all since. From my perspective all is civil. Just the friendship had petered out.
Friend 3, known her for about 5 years. Met her through friend 1. Friend 2 as I said above has been friends with friend 3 for over a decade.i still see her but increasingly our meet ups ar awkward. She has said more than a couple of times that I am ignoring friend 1 and friend 2 and that I do that to a lot of people apparently and they are all really upset. Friend 1 and friend 2 have become extremely close friends In The period that I haven't see them. Photos all over facebook etc enjoying nights out. Everyone is meeting up, hanging out together, going to summer festivals that kind of thing. I haven't been involved in any of it!
I am just totally confused! I don't consider I have behaved badly to anyone. I don't understand why there is all this backchat which seems to me untrue, unkind and divisive. Feeling very lonely tbh as seem to have lost 80% of my social circle.
I have to go to a wedding ina couple of weeks time and they will all be there. Was wondering whther I should try and get everyone together for a drink beforehand and just approach directly but gently to find out why there seems to be such a misunderstanding and to ask them not to back chat!
Is this being wendied?! I feel like I'm in the school playground!!
Thanks for reading.
Sorry, I don't have much advice other than you need to move on from these friendships. I see them all at the schoolgates and it is all very much like being back in primary school yourself.
I would certainly not arrange a meetup prior to the wedding as I think you could isolate yourself further and give them ammunition for more gossip.
I think friend 1 became jealous when you grew in confidence and improved your appearance as she felt the status quo in your friendship was threatened and she is now punishing you further through your other so called friendships.
I know it is hard when you feel your social circle is diminishing but sometimes friendships do come to the end of the road and I think your mistake is pursuing relationships that really are over. I think you need to concentrate on making friends outside this little group and you need to stop trying to please people who are really not very nice.
Do you genuinely enjoy the company of any of these people? Do they make you feel happier and better about yourself? If not then just move on. Friendships really shouldn't be this complicated. A small social circle made up of lovely people who want the best for you is far better than a large one made up of 'frenemies'.
Yes you were definitely the worse off friend who made f1 feel better about herself, and now you are acting out of your assigned role.
Of course you havent acted badly. The friendships have simply run their course. It can be tough to accept it when youve been mates for 15 years. I would go to the wedding, look fabulous, and circulate, oozing intelligence, introduce people with thoughtful detail. Ok i nicked the last bit from bridget jones, but it is a good way to deal with it. And kill them with kindness if you see them there.
You haven't done anything wrong OP. You've changed, that's all. For the better too as you're no longer prepared to stay in the 'downtrodden' role within the group dynamic.
I'm not sure that a meeting before the wedding will change anything. You can change your own behaviour, but you can't change other peoples.
Agree with the responses. You might also find that you prefer a few one-on-one friendships. I don't tend to like group friendships as you can a lot of "she said..." gossip - boring and bitchy!
To be honest, and I mean this in the nicest way, perhaps you have acted worse than your making out here? 3 separate friends, 1 of which has raised some not nice behaviour on your part, I can't help but think you have contributed to this situation. Friend 1 doesn't sound like a nice person at all and thats a friendship you're best out of. However, if you like and respect Friend 3, you would perhaps do well to listen to her.
You're not being wendied. If you're ignoring people, it's no wonder you're not being invited to stuff. If I were you I would make new friends but remain civil to everyone else.
I've been where you are and you are definitely being wendied. Ditch these so called friends and move on. Life is too short to waste on people like that. Don't have any more contact with them, as a pp said just go to the wedding, look fabulous and be lovely to everyone. It will then be clear if these "friends" try to say anything bad about you that they are being nasty due to jealousy.
Onwards and upwards.
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