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Childhood friend - constant bitchy remarks and put downs

(30 Posts)
vanmorrisons Wed 20-Apr-16 17:22:48


I have a childhood friend who I have known for 30 years and although we're not close any more she still does call / visit sometimes. Our parents are good friends and we have a lot of links to each other and I can't really avoid her or cut her off without it causing a big problem. Our children are also friendly and the whole thing is quite awkward.

I really just wanted a bit of insight into this because it makes me feel so low and wanted advice on why she does it and how to handle it.

She basically just picks on me, puts me down absolutely constantly. In public in front of people, online, basically when anyone else is listening or watching -and no - she doesn't do it to anyone but me and she only does it when someone else is here to watch or read it. One on one she is very nice to me.

What she does ranges from irritating to downright upsetting.

For example, she thinks because she has known me so long she is the world's leading expert on me. So she makes up lies about me, or maybe "lies" is too strong a word but she basically steps in with new people in my life and tells them she knows all about me, like "vanmorrisons is always doing such and such" when in reality I haven't done anything of the sort for 20 years.

For example, if I have a new friend, she will say "oh you think vanmorrisons is easygoing? Oh no she is the biggest drama queen ever". Which in reality is absolute bull shit.

Then if I correct her calmly, she scoffs at me and makes me look even more stupid by making out I am lying and can't admit the truth about myself - when reality is she has not really known me for years and years and bases her judgements and knowledge of me off the 12 year old version. And I am now a completely different person.

She also just makes constant bitchy comments to me and has not got anything nice to say at all if anyone else is listening; for example if people compliment a photo of me she will comment on it "oh I just saw her in person and she looks much worse than this, it's all makeup and filters". You know.. nasty.

I know if I blocked her or anything like that it would be a massive drama and I really don't want or need that sort of hassle in my life. It's been a really down year - partner left me - and small things like people saying I look lovely in a photo on facebook really cheers me up and to have someone comment on it nasty things is just really embarrassing and I know he will read it and it drags me right down.

She doesn't do it to anyone else, no, but a lot of people don't like her and she is constantly bleating on to me about how we are true friends and always there for each other. I think she basically thinks she is really very funny when she does this. Yes, I have tried to talk to her about it, no, she refuses to listen and scoffs at me, ignores me for a few weeks and then goes right back to it.

I know she will say it is just all jokes, but it feels that way. It feels like she is putting actual hatred and maybe a sort of bullying on me and she has done this since we were 10 at school. Always the same, putting me down and making me feel small.

Any advice on how best to handle her? I am getting a bit sick of dealing with it, and wanted to really make some sort of clever comment back to stop her in her tracks. Speaking to her in private about it has done nothing and I felt maybe getting a taste of her own medicine instead of me never standing up for myself might be just the medicine she needs to learn how not funny she actually is.

Jan45 Wed 20-Apr-16 17:27:58

In a nutshell ensure you are always busy when she wants to see you or speak to you, it's that simple.

She sounds jealous to me, or else a bully that's never grown up.

Just avoid her until she takes the hint.

redexpat Wed 20-Apr-16 17:31:30

It's only a joke is a bully's defence. To which you can either say well I'm not laughing, or it's not funny, or the only joke around here is you. Or you could say if you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all, which I guess means you'll have nothing to say for the rest of the evening.

AddToBasket Wed 20-Apr-16 17:31:48

If you think she'll take it, you could write her a letter. Maybe spend a few weeks writing it so you get in all you want to say but don't write it in such a tone that your friendship can't recover in the future if she does want to change.

WallyBantersJunkBox Wed 20-Apr-16 17:33:38

I think I'd rally a friend to reply to her comments with "wow, with friends like you, who needs enemies...she must have the patience of a saint!"

vanmorrisons Wed 20-Apr-16 17:33:43

Well I do avoid her, as much as I can but I really can't stop her from making these nasty comments without blocking her and blocking her would cause a problem with a ripple effect. I want some sort of snappy strategy to get her to shut up.

I'm not talking about ribbing or gentle teasing or banter. It's completely different from that and really nasty.

Arfarfanarf Wed 20-Apr-16 17:34:34

Tbh I'd rather handle the short term fallout of telling her to stay away from me or just stopping interacting with her than carry on putting up with that shit.

vanmorrisons Wed 20-Apr-16 17:34:41

wally that is a really, really good idea and I think that would do the trick. She would hate that.

WallyBantersJunkBox Wed 20-Apr-16 17:37:00

Then call her out with a bit less subtlety, she's obviously thick skinned enough.

Retort plain and simple - what you just said was plain nasty, please keep your negative comments to yourself. I'm not in a place to deal with that now.

It sounds to me like a touch of jealousy. Perhaps her life is a bit stagnant and she feels a bit possessive of you around new friends and chartering a new and more interesting life.

Hugs to you and thanks and brew and wine

vanmorrisons Wed 20-Apr-16 17:47:20

I have tried that one Wally, at least to some degree and it only makes it worse "oh why are you so sensitive" etc. more picking.

A bit of making her feel / look a tit by someone else telling her to shut up would probably be better.

BerylStreep Wed 20-Apr-16 18:05:16

I agree with the just being busy approach. Every time.

If you really don't want to block her on Facebook (although I would no matter what the fall out) you could just announce cheerily next time 'right, I'm having a friend clear out - who's first? XXXX? grin'

314inTheSky Wed 20-Apr-16 18:10:58

Don't go anywhere with her! That way, if she says those things, it's bitching.

I had a childhood friend who tried to cast me in the role of bimbo! We had been two peas in a pod the whole way through school and then she put on loads of weight (LOADS) and so then she re-branded herself as the clever one and me as the stupid one. She used to make comments about how shallow, forgetful, chaotic, unfocused and girly I was, how I liked to do my nails and my hair and how I counted calories and liked pretty things, shoes, and trashy novels'. It took me a while to see that she had to make herself feel like she had substance on the inside. Our "packaging" had been similar our whole childhoods and she couldn't cope with me still being the conventional one on the outside so she had to build up her own ''inside'' and trash my ''inside''

314inTheSky Wed 20-Apr-16 18:13:44

Also, once, quoting my mother to some lovely people we had met, she put on this accent and made my mother sound like an uneducated ignorant peasant. I didn't say anything which was the best response in fact as the people we were talking to thought she was bitchy.

I could give you a hundred examples llike that one, where she made me look bad in a strange way that I couldn't really object to.

IrenetheQuaint Wed 20-Apr-16 18:26:19

Ugh she sounds horrid. Obviously it's crucial to avoid any indication that you might be hurt by her comments, as she would secretly love that.

Alongside the strategy of a friend saying something, what about laughing and saying 'ah X, you're always so supportive!' or 'I'm sure you don't mean it really' (to which she can hardly say 'yes actually I do' without looking like even more of a bitch).

blowmybarnacles Wed 20-Apr-16 18:38:34

Just call her on her behaviour? Each and every time. Imagine its your DD taking this - what would you do?

Please don't speak to me like that
Please don't say those things about me
That isn't true, why would you say that
You are not the expert on me

If she carries on, frankly, why you just don't drop her?

vanmorrisons Wed 20-Apr-16 19:38:00

Yes 314inthesky, exactly that it makes me look bad in a way where if I objected it would make me look worse, so I have to take it graciously or I am the one who ends up looking a prat.

It's a bit like if someone claiming to know you really well says "Oh 314 wears those granny pants". I mean denying it just makes you look worse because people are wondering why anyone would make such crap up. but she does!!! Everything she says is complete and utter crap. Often it is not just untrue but actually the opposite of true, but because she publicly makes herself out to be the expert on me I feel like people believe the tat she is saying. Some of it isn't even offensive, but just wrong, not me at all!

UpsidedownDog Wed 20-Apr-16 19:54:51

I would be absolutely blunt with her and tell her straight that she'll be dropped as a friend if she doesn't stop her bullshitting about me. Then again, I'm so bloody headstrong and thick-skinned that her ensuing drama wouldn't bother me. I'd just ask her to stop being a bitch and have a day off. Or something along those lines.

If anyone believes her, and refuses to get your side of things, you know not to bother with them. The decent people will ask you if it's true and then take what she says with a pinch of salt.

DailyFailAreABunchOfCunts Wed 20-Apr-16 20:01:08

She's relying on the fact that you aren't going to respond because it will cause a ripple effect. You are being bullied and the only way to manage this is to stand up to her. Fuck the ripple effect - life is too bloody short to spend it being miserable because some snotty bitch keeps having a pop at you.

Defriend her on FB. Don't contact her, warn her or say anything to her. Block her mobile number so she can't contact you. When she does catch up with you then simply explain that she is horrible about you and that you don't like her. End of conversation and walk away. Don't engage and don't explain.

You and her being friends does not prevent your parents from being friends. Everyone is an adult - and part of being an adult is having the self-awareness to realise that you can have a relationship with someone that isn't dependent on your kids being bessie mates. Especially when said kids are actually grown women!

BerylStreep Wed 20-Apr-16 20:08:11

DailyFail I wish I had a like button.

Drbint Wed 20-Apr-16 20:30:33

What would happen if you replied, "FFS, would you just drop your constant lying bitchy shite! I'm fucking bored of it and you're embarrassing yourself."

It's harder to tell someone sweary that they're being 'over-sensitive'. Seriously, tell her to get to fuck.

floraldresser Wed 20-Apr-16 20:35:23

Tell her to fuck off and don't contact her again

monkeywithacowface Wed 20-Apr-16 20:45:27

You don't have to block her on facebook but you can put her on your restricted list so she just won't see you posts. She won't know she's on a restricted list.

Alternatively every time she posts something unkind reply with "Ha ha can always rely on you for a good put down" or "me and X were just having a bet on how long it would take you to post one of your usual comments - I won!" or a simple "Miaow! claws away dahling"

If it's in person turn to the other person you're with and laugh and say "By the time XX is finished I'll have no friends she's always telling people how awful I am, must be doing something right though because I can't get rid of her for love nor money, everywhere I turn there she is! she must love me really deep down"

Gabilan Wed 20-Apr-16 20:51:47

You could divide your FB friends into two lists - BitchFriend and Everyone else - then just make sure all your posts are only visible to Everyone else.

I favour the ballistic swearing approach but then I'm quite fighty. After 30 years it will take something drastic. Just shout. If she cries and you're the bad guy, meh, whatever more likely you'll get a round of applause

TomTomKitten Wed 20-Apr-16 21:00:29

Unless she is actually adding anything to your life I would ditch her pronto!

Life is too short to put up with crap.

eddielizzard Wed 20-Apr-16 21:03:30

i had a friend like this. i slowly cut her out and then didn't invite her to my wedding. the fall out from my parents was unbelievable. the whole family kept on at me to ask her, wailing about how awful it would be for them and what would so-and-so think and how could they ever talk to her parents again... i just ignored it all and they all stopped. she didn't come to the wedding. she did send me an email once which was a bit strange, and i ignored that too.

i still feel guilty occasionally but really your friend is no friend.

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