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How would you handle this?(6 Posts)
Not sure if this is the right place for this but here goes anyway.
I have a close friend (have been friends for about 9 years I was her bridesmaid and am friends with her whole family) who I am struggling with a bit at the moment. Although we are good friends I feel that we have quite different views on things sometimes. On a few different occasions I have done things which have offended her (unintentionally of course ) and she goes the route of ignoring me for a few days or becoming cold in her responses or most recently cancelling plans we had made, instead of saying 'when you did x it upset me'. I have confronted her on occasions when her behaviour has indicated that she feels I have done something wrong but it is getting wearing feeling like I am walking on eggshells especially when i don't always feel i have done something wrong. An example of something I did wrong is to have not gone to her Dad's birthday party, which was being hosted at her house, when baby DD and I both had a stinking cold. Both felt grotty and was also concerned about passing the cold on to everyone. She had told me not to come if I felt rotten but then behaved in such a way that it was obvious that it was definitely NOT ok. Eventually I asked her about it as I couldn't stand it any longer and she said she thought it was rude that I didn't message her dad personally to let him know (we're not talking small family party here, they are extremely sociable and invited at least 50 people). Although it would never occur to me to be offended over something like that I conceded that I perhaps should have contacted him and immediately messaged him to apologise, but did that really warrant the cold shoulder? Sometimes I feel like there was a big book of social rules that was handed out to everyone but me as I so often seem to get it wrong despite trying to do the right thing.
What can I do to fix my friendship? I just can't handle this being the way things are every time I commit a transgression real or imagined. I have probably made her sound horrible which she really isn't, she's mostly lovely, and her perspective on the subject would no doubt be different, but I am finding this aspect of our friendship so hard.
She sounds passive aggressive and cowardly.
I would start to leave her to stew, not respond to her sulkiness, nor send repeat texts etc., and wait for her to grow the fuck up and talk to you l like an adult if she feels you have offended.
And fwiw, I think she was being ridiculous about the party, but what was the response from her dad when you messaged him? Might this be an attitude she got from her parents?
I agree with Peppa. She sounds high maintenance.
Thanks both. Yes passive aggressive is definitely the term I would use for her behaviour. I do think that her family are very rigid in their views. They have a certain way of doing things and if others do it a different way it tends to be seen as not just different but wrong. They are also the kind of people who kind of enjoy being offended if you know what I mean? Her dad is actually the most relaxed one of the bunch and was fine about it. I get the sense that being offended on his behalf was an excuse for her petty behaviour.
You could be right that the key is not to pander to the behaviour. I just start to question myself and wonder whether I have done something wrong.
With the party you definitely did nothing wrong.
Now if you have other examples where you slept with her husband, robbed her granny or told her whodunnit in Broadchurch, I might say different but she sounds like someone who needs you to interpret her moods and pander to her.
The only thing to do is ignore her and if you are feeling kind, you might say something once or twice like, i notice you are being very quiet, I can leave you alone but if there's something you'd like to talk about, I'm all ears but I'm not going to pry.
They are also the kind of people who kind of enjoy being offended if you know what I mean
I know exactly what you mean and there's one word for people like this: draining.
I would probably step back from the friendship a bit and strengthen your other social ties. I just find it far too fucking time consuming to be friends with people who want you to chase them, read their fucking minds about whatever trivial thing you've done that's pissed them off, and then beg forgiveness. Life's too short!
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