Talk

Advanced search

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.

Friends that actually make you feel bad about yourself

(35 Posts)
ditavonteesed Wed 18-May-16 08:03:34

My bf for more than 15 years goes through phases where she will basically tell anyone we are out with stories of what a knob I am or how stupid I am or how drunk I was. Basically anything I have ever done that she doesn't like will get told to any friends of mine. The rest of the time she is a lovely friend who I love dearly. She does have a lot of stuff going on in her own life so I understand things are hard for her.
I realised I stopped going out at all about 2 years ago and it's not that I don;t want to go out it's that I don;t want to go out with that friend, I am on guard the whole time and waiting for the stories to start. Plus I daren't have any fun as I know it will be used as the next story of how ridiculous I am.
She quite clearly really doesn't like me but then will try and make out that we are inseparable to any strangers.
Makes me feel like she is embarrassed by me and wants everyone to join in laughing at how useless I am and what a treasure she is to put up with me. I do realise this is not intentional and she would be upset if she knew I felt this way.
I don;t see her much or hear from her much unless she things there is something wrong with me (I sometimes struggle a bit with busy life asd dd etc) and then she phones me with this sympathy voice that is so fake and plasticy like she is wanting me to be struggling so she can fix me.
She has a lot more money than me and is always incredibly generous, paying for lots of things and buying the dd's lovely presents etc.
Anyway after a night out a few weeks ago I have been through every emotion going, I woke up the next morning really angry, now I am back to sad and anxious and not able to work out what I have done. The whole night she was making digs at me, finishing with whispering 'your drunk but we love you' in my ear, I wasn't particularly and other friends have confirmed that I was fine, also it was my birthday.
To alleviate my anxiety I have tried to word this thread so that if bf was to read it I haven't said anything I wouldn't say to her if I had more confidence or was able to deal with confrontation.

TheNotoriousPMT Wed 18-May-16 08:08:20

She's not your friend.

She puts you down because it makes her feel good about herself.

GeoffreysGoat Wed 18-May-16 08:10:34

You haven't done anything. She's not a friend she's a bully and she's conned you into her little web so she can prop up her own self esteem by draining yours

CocktailQueen Wed 18-May-16 08:11:39

PMT is right. She's not your friend.

Delete her contacts, block her, start contacting other friends and going out with them instead. She sounds poisonous. She's certainly not worth any more head space.

NannawifeofBaldr Wed 18-May-16 08:14:41

Why not tell her you don't like her behaviour?

If that doesn't work just stop going out with her.

SqueegyBeckinheim Wed 18-May-16 08:16:49

I do realise this is not intentional and she would be upset if she knew I felt this way.

I'm afraid it's entirely intentional, and she wouldn't be upset you felt that way, she'd be upset you realised she was using you to boost her ego.

I had a friend like this once, a long time ago. In front of others she would enjoy telling stories of supposedly embarrassing things I'd done. I phased her out of my life, I'd suggest you do the same.

Ginslinger Wed 18-May-16 08:18:47

she's a bully and not your friend - move her out. flowers

MrsBertBibby Wed 18-May-16 08:18:52

What do you want to do? If you want to try to reset the friendship you will have to explain how her behaviour is hurting you, but the chances are, she won't respond well.

Been there with a friend of 25 years, it was horrific, and we are now completely estranged. But it was incredibly illuminating to watch how she responded to being called on her behaviour. Vicious.

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Wed 18-May-16 08:22:33

OP think it through. Do you need this friend in your life? She has you doubting yourself to the point that you needed other people on your birthday to confirm what you thought, that you weren't that drunk.

Her little comments like that are belittling and patronising.

I'd rather have no friends than friends that make me question myself all the time and feel bad.

Ditch her. Find your self respect. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good, even if you have fewer friends, at least they will be positive influences on you.

MagicMoonstone Wed 18-May-16 08:27:42

I have one of these friends.

She was fine till I got a DP.

Then came the jealousy and the snidey fb digs and whatsapp statuses.

If i do anything nice with my kids I have to keep it a secret because she will literally turn into someone who wishes she was dead because she can't do things with her kids. (That's no exaggeration)

If my DD does well in a test I have to play it down in case her DD didn't do as well.

She openly said the other day that if she sees a friend has had a new hairdo she will purposely not say it looks nice because it pisses her off that they've had it done.

Very very sad way to live. It also makes everyone else sad.

RiceCrispieTreats Wed 18-May-16 08:29:36

She puts you down to bolster her own ego.

aka Bullying.

BeStrongAndCourageous Wed 18-May-16 08:49:28

I have just gone low contact with my supposed "best friend" after years of this sort of behaviour. She's spent years making subtly unkind remarks to put me down and knock my confidence, and I spent years defending her - oh, she doesn't really mean, it's just her way, she'd never intentionally hurt me, etc, etc.

The scales finally started to fall from my eyes after my daughter was born, and she started doing it with HER, making unkind remarks implying her to be The Worst Child Ever and me an unfit mother. In spite of this it still took years for me to speak up in our defence - I remember posting on here once when I was lying awake in the middle of the night, furious with myself for spending a whole afternoon listening to her insult us and not saying anything - and even now she is still resisting my attempts to get her out of my life. Apparently she still wants me for a punching bag.

I'd go no contact if it wasn't for the fact that she has form for being scarily vindictive when she feels slighted, and I'm genuinely scared of what she might do.

ditavonteesed Wed 18-May-16 09:17:56

Thing is it can't be intentional because I don't believe that anybody would feel better about themselves by intentionally making someone else feel bad unless they were a psychopath which bf definitely is not.
I just genuinely feel she has a very low opinion of me, she is always talking about others and how fab they are and what great mothers they are etc and has never said anything positive to me. I am now remembering weird things like the compliment when she was babysitting so dh and I could go out of ' would I say you look awful, no'.
Dh said that he thought it was always so subtle that others didn't realise what was happening until after they were laughing at me, but on this night out it was really obvious that other friends who had not met her before told me they were shocked.

RiceCrispieTreats Wed 18-May-16 09:20:46

No-one thinks they are nasty. No-one tells themselves "I want to be really horrible to others so that I can feel superior." And the kind of people who do behave like that, would never admit to it in a million years.

It's just the way insecurities play out.

gonetoseeamanaboutadog Wed 18-May-16 09:29:43

She sounds horrid.

NannawifeofBaldr Wed 18-May-16 09:49:31

Dita if she has a low opinion of you that's fine. Just stop seeing her.

You have a DH and other friends - why on earth would you out up with this?

thecatfromjapan Wed 18-May-16 09:55:30

Sounds as though she has a pattern, whereby you are her social/conversational tool - she makes jokes about you to make people laugh. Old friends are used to it, probay don't even 'see' it. They may even think it's your 'routine': you're the 'straight guy' in your paired comedy routine. If they think about it at all, they probably dismiss it, assuming you're OK about it.

Patterns like that can get quite set in friendships that were made when you were young and 'finding yourself'. Thing is, you're older, you've changed, she hasn't. It grates, and newer friend are baffled/horrified.

It IS cruel, and it is immature.

A poster up thread talked about 're-setting' the relationship. That is what needs to happen.

You can either talk to her about it. Low-key setting, talk generally about how people change, talk generally about patterns between people and how they change/need to change as we get older, draw analogies from television (or something), and hope she makes the link/lead her to it.

Or you could have a more direct conversation.

Or you could bring it up with a mutual friend and set in motion a kind of mediation. Often, that works well: discuss with mutual friend how this makes you feel (as you have here) and just wait. Usually, conversation within a friendship group will work like a machine that runs self-resetting checks, and the conversatin(s) will work to adjust the group dynamic.

If none of that works - and it might not (she may have too much invested in this pattern; she may not be flexible enough to change; your group dynamic may not be strong enough to facilitate such a change,) then you need to disengage from her.

Avoid a show-down - it will make group meet-ups tough - just avoid her. Don't sit next to her. Don't meet up with her one-to-one. You can try distancing conversational tactics too, of increasing levels of bluntness. Start off with mild ones (abrupt conversation shifts) and just practice to see were your comfort level is. Regard it as practise for you in dealing with awkward people.

It's not a good situation to have to deal with but it is part and parcel of having long term friendships that have to accommodate change.

It does sound to me, though, as though you are - in fact - moving on. Although the situation is making you feel like the weaker part of this dynamic (for obvious reasons), in fact I suspect this is arising/ becoming visible to you precisely because you are growing and developing an inner strength and self belief. That is a great thing to do. Far better to change for the better as life moves on than to cling defensively to past selves and old, negative behaviours.

MrsBertBibby Wed 18-May-16 09:57:02

So does your husband agree with her low opinion? Do other friends? Who do you believe?

It's a fair bet that the things she criticises in you are in fact the things she fears about herself.

marryoneorbecomeone Wed 18-May-16 09:57:10

Thing is it can't be intentional because I don't believe that anybody would feel better about themselves by intentionally making someone else feel bad unless they were a psychopath which bf definitely is not.

There's your problem. She might not be a psychopath but she's perfectly capable of choosing really shitty behaviour whether she likes you or not.

There are people I don't like, but I don't get off on putting them down the way that your friendly-enemy is doing, and by putting up with it, she will take this as tacit approval. Bin her, ASAP!

Ilovetoast12 Wed 18-May-16 10:02:52

Anybody that makes you feel continually anxious, upset or belittled is not somebody you (or anyone) needs in their life whether you believe their actions are intentional or not, it's toxic. Please don't put up with being treated as someone's emotional punchbag.

Life is too short to be putting up with others bullsh*it.

P.s been in similar position, I cut them out and now feel much happier smile

indecisionindecision Wed 18-May-16 10:15:37

You should try to stop thinking of her as your BF. You may have been great friends in the past, and you may again at some point in the future, but at the moment this friendship isn't working for you and therefore isn't a friendship. As pp have said, you can try and reset the friendship but you have to be prepared to walk away if she doesn't want to adjust her behaviour. I have been in a similar position and put up with a load of crap just because someone was an old friend. When it became clear that she wasn't prepared to meet me halfway I hung on far too long, thinking things would magically get better but they never did.

If you don't think she will listen to your opinion, then the friendship doesn't have much value to her anyway and you should probably just distance yourself because her behaviour is clearly hurting you, and that isn't what friendship particularly best friendship is for.

thecatfromjapan Wed 18-May-16 10:20:10

I was just coming back to add that I think it is important for you to stop referring to her - and thinking of her - as your 'best' friend. But previous poster has said just that!

It's an important psychological step for you to do that.smile

thecatfromjapan Wed 18-May-16 10:22:24

indecisionindecision said it.

Sorry to not have used name: am in phone and goldfish memory meant I had forgotten by time needed to write! Apologies for not referring by name!

Drbint Wed 18-May-16 10:28:28

Get rid, get rid, get rid. I had a friend like this. I was hopeless at doing anything about it and minimised it until one day she was extremely nasty about my DH and I had enough. I sent her an email telling her she was out of my life and why. Years on, I still remember the wave of relief at being shot of her.

Cue grovelling-yet-minimising response denying a lot of it and begging to be friends. I don't think so.

Interestingly, my DH couldn't stand her and asked me from the start why on earth I let a supposed friend treat me like that. He used to slap her down if she started...she didn't like him either, funnily enough.

BeatricePotter Wed 18-May-16 10:42:38

At the grand old age of 45 I have realised that 'friends' who make you feel paranoid, stupid, foolish, etc. are best discarded. I don't do it to other people so why should I let them do it to me?

You could have a conversation with her but I doubt if it will improve things. Better to let her go and move on.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now