Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Passive Aggressive friend(17 Posts)
I have a friend who I'd class as someone I care about a lot, but she comes from quite a damaged background and I'd say she is abnormally defensive, cold at time, very secretive, mistrusting and easily aggravated.
She falls out with people a lot, and she has a tendency to expect a lot more than she gives and I don't think she realises this. She is impossible to talk to about these things because she is so defensive. She would rather push people away than see who really cares about her.
She has had a tendency over the years to attach to "new people" and does everything for them and then falls out with them and cuts them off for dead. I have been ditched quite a few times for one of her "new" people and am pretty easygoing so it's never bothered me. She has always seemed a bit jealous of the friendships I have with others in our group, but to be fair they have been more consistent and more "there" over the years whereas she has come and gone.
Right now though she has been giving me the silent treatment (utterly ignoring all my calls and messages) for weeks over something very small. I feel a bit tired of it.
What would you do?
Talking to her about it is out of the question. If I try and raise it by sending a message explaining how it makes me feel and that I care about her she will respond aggressively. The usual pattern with this is to let her stonewall me for months; then she comes back like nothing happenned.
I am a bit sick of it though!
Ever heard the phrase: when someone shows you who they are, believe them?
You can't change her.
Why would you want to be friends with someone like this?!
I would wait for her to follow her usual pattern then and contact you again when it suits her.
I would then tell her that she's just too much like hard work and not worth the angst. Or maybe I'd just not bother replying and treat her like she did you.
Either way, I'd take it as a sign the friendship is over and move on.
Ditch this 'friendship'. I always say the same on these threads - take it from one who knows. Life is lighter without these people. Am looking forward so much to this Christmas without my 'friend' ruining it one way or another !
It's hard when you care about someone
I know she does it because she is defensive and paranoid. She has had a bad past.
It's hard. I really don't want to continue it being like this though.
Depends really on what she's fallen out with you over?
Something really not worth falling out over. I don't want to put in details as it's long and boring but I've run it past other friends and they think she's really over reacted.
The point really though is that if she's my friend and I annoy or upset her, I'd like her to either (a) be annoyed for a day and forget it or (b) talk to me about it and sort it out.
Not telling me she's annoyed and then giving me the silent treatment isn't really acceptable anymore for me as I get older. I don't feel prepared anymore to play a role in a friendship where someone behaves like this.
We all get things wrong and hurt and upset over small things from time to time but if this is the result then I feel like it puts too much pressure on me to walk on eggshells to avoid her Wrath.
I've had friends like this and it's unacceptable. You just have to get over it. It still bugs me now but I'm glad I didn't pursue it any further. Don't put up with the drama!
I repeat: this is who she is.
Whatever you would like her to do, this is what she's actually doing.
You've said you care but you don't want to put up with it. Time to stop putting up with it!
I put up with lots of hurtful behaviour from a friend and forgave her because she'd had a hard childhood and was still having a hard life and I cared about her. I knew the bad behaviour was a result of her ongoing unhappiness. It still hurt me though.
Unfortunately, she recently had a massive go about something to do with my dcs and was astonishingly nasty. It was the final straw and suddenly, with no conscious decision, I no longer cared about her. I don't know if it was the degree of nastiness or taking her stuff out on my children that did it, but it was over for me from that moment on. I still feel guilty and sad about it, but I don't think anyone is obliged to take unlimited crap because someone has issues from their past.
It's possible your friend will wear you down in a similar way OP.
Yes possibly. I know I can't change her. I think she needs therapy. She won't have a relationship because she thinks no one can be trusted but if you told her that she needs therapy, she'd go mad!
"I don't think anyone is obliged to take unlimited crap because someone has issues from their past. " Spot on butemily
Are you trying to save her from herself?
You can only save those who want to be saved
Hi - I just came across this, being in the same weird situation as you (or certainly similar). What happened in the end between you and your friend? I am finding it very difficult dealing with a really good friend who has completely shut down but is being super boarding school polite with me while also making little passive aggressive digs and all sorts of things. I am quite blunt and I am terrible at lying so even pretending things are fine is beyond my reach.
I do not get any pleasure from being passive aggressive to others and I really do not understand why one would want to be like this, especially to a friend. If you've had an argument, get over it, talk about it, or cut off friendship. I can't do any of these things because this person is sweeping everything under the carpet but at the same time doing small things by omission which would be impossible to prove or little "jokes". I have seen her do this or heard from her that she does this with other people in the past but I am the only person who's really close to her and being at the other end of this and getting this weirdness with both barrels makes me feel really horrible. I think about it all the time and she lives on my street.
It's easy to say "why do you have a friend like this in the first place?" But it's much more complicated than that. I find it amazingly stressful and I don't know where it will end.
The argument started when I blew up at her finally about her weird secrecy and it seems that my being angry is completely unforgivable and evil - unlike someone who permanently hides their feelings and prides themselves on never letting anything show. WHY?!
I am getting really bored of this preoccupying me. But every time I leave my house I might bump into her. And I am so stressed about it I can't behave normally any more. I thought it would all blow over but then it became clear that it hadn't at all.
I have a 'flakey' friend OP.
Similar to yours in many ways. Different in others. My one loves a bit of therapy (in a way it's made her worse to be around - she tends to expect friends to behave like therapists: listening and nodding to the same stuff for hours on end).
I probably sound harsh, but i cant describe the whole 30 year friendships and it's ups and downs. We were mates in primary school, very best mates in secondary school, but it went odd
when i got married after that.
What it boils down to with me is - i kind of let her get on with it. If she's doing a spell of ignoring me (and it can go on for years at a time - longest was about 5) then i put her to the back of my mind, send a basic xmas and birthday card if i think of it, and wait for the inevitable thaw and the 'oh it's been ages' gushy phone call. When it comes i never give more of myself than is comfortable to give and we have a couple of years of friendship/meals out/good laughs again.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.