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Friends problem

(8 Posts)
sunny42 Tue 29-Mar-16 23:39:56

I'm lucky enough to have a few really close friends, (all separate from each other) and a wider circle of friends, including couples.

A couple of my friends will quite happily tell me that they're not keen on/don't like X's husband or Y's wife.

It makes me feel really uncomfortable, like they're judging my choice of people I'm friendly with. It's put me off ever having a party or get-together as I couldn't relax.
I would never dream of criticising my friends choice of others, and I don't see what it achieves, apart from making me feel bad.

Am I over- thinking this and being too sensitive?
Has anyone dealt with anything similar?

Lonoxo Wed 30-Mar-16 17:07:02

Are your friends bitchy? Is it your close friend talking about people in your wider circle? It's not nice to put you in the middle like this.
I had a similar situation in which Friend A was talking about a mutual friend B and the issues A had with B. It was veering into uncomfortable territory but I didn't say anything because A comments were brief and were A opinions e.g. A doesn't enjoy spending time with B. If it had become a character assassination or the comments were unfair, I would have said something such as stating that I'm friends with B too (get the hint, stop talking) or defending unfair comments.

sunny42 Wed 30-Mar-16 17:45:10

No, not bitchy as such. Just very honest I suppose. In some cases they're correct, such as X's husband can be a bit moody sometimes, but is fine usually.
All of these friends, close and peripheral, have known each other for many years, so its not like they're 'new to them' IYSWIM.

I find myself justifying them. What do they want me to do? Agree with them, or ditch the people they don't like??
I don't really do confrontation, but I want to get across that it's not very helpful and puts me in an awkward position.

sunny42 Wed 30-Mar-16 17:46:31

*don't do confrontation!!

sunny42 Wed 30-Mar-16 17:47:41

Yes, Lonoxo, it's the close friends who are vocal!

Lonoxo Sun 03-Apr-16 21:42:35

Not all your friends will get along, and my experience with groups is that on the surface it seems like everybody gets on but there is always one person in a group that you don't like or are least close to.
You don't have to do anything. People are entitled to their opinions. You don't have to justify your choice of friends to anybody. Just sit on the fence or 'be neutral'. If your friend starts talking about a mutual friend, you don't have to agree or disagree, quickly change the topic of conversation or respond with a stony silence.
If you want to have a get-together, it shouldn't stop you at all though a bit of emotional intelligence will help. E.g. a large gathering should work so if they don't like each other, they can find other people to talk to but a smaller more intimate dinner won't work and will be awkward. Seriously, if you are hosting, it's your rules and you can invite whoever you want.

HeddaGarbled Sun 03-Apr-16 22:01:35

It is inevitable that not all people in your social group will get on with each other. That doesn't mean that they can't be polite and sociable when they are together. It is perfectly normal to do this and then vent a bit when with one person or a small group separately from the people they don't like. Lots of people actually use this as a bonding exercise as it brings people closer together to have a mutual dislike of someone.

Please don't take these comments as a criticism or judgement of you in any way. They are sounding you out. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, you can close it down with a non-committal remark and then move the conversation on. They will know where you stand and won't do it again. Don't try and defend or justify. Absolutely no point, especially if you actually secretly agree.

If the only parties or social get togethers happened when everybody in the room liked everything about each other, well, I'm not sure that any social event would ever happen. It is not your responsibility to ensure that everyone likes each other and therefore no reason why you shouldn't relax. Most people know how to behave appropriately in social situations and are able to keep their secret opinions under wraps until with friends they know they can be honest with.

You sound like a very decent and honourable person. Personally, I quite enjoy a bit of a moan about people I dislike with good friends who feel the same way. I know this is bitchy and doesn't reflect well on me, but I feel that it validates my opinion and makes me feel warmly towards friends who share my views. But I would never be openly rude to someone I dislike in a social situation, because that is bad manners.

3catsandcounting Mon 04-Apr-16 22:41:52

Thank you both for your replies - they make a lot of sense. I am sensitive about this situation and do tend to over-think.
Hedda - don't get me wrong, I like a good old bitch as much as the next person! blush

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