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Ex friend: maybe more of a psychology question

(16 Posts)
Truckwell Sun 05-Jun-16 16:58:32

A few years ago i started a new job and very quickly became good friends with a colleague. She sought me out inviting me for coffee, hanging round my office etc. All was good for a few months and then I did something she disagreed with (although she didn't tell me at the time). She started to cool the friendship, without telling me why, until she became outright nasty to me. Luckily i changed jobs and so no longer have contact with her. I know that she has behaved in a similar way to at least one other person: one day they are the best thing since sliced bread and then suddenly she's pointing out all of their character flaws behind their back.

My question is not about her but about me. We both work in the same industry so I occasionally hear news of her and she seems to be able to maintain normal friendships with most other people. For some reason I have this nagging voice in my head that pops up occasionally and tells me that if i'd been a better person then she wouldn't have fallen out with me. Why do i feel bad like i failed at the friendship even though she was a bitch to me?

Earlybird Sun 05-Jun-16 17:03:53

Did the two of you ever talk about the incident?

Was her unhappiness with you over a work or friendship/personal matter?

Truckwell Sun 05-Jun-16 17:16:31

She was unhappy about how i had dealt with another work colleague, who was also her friend, in a work related matter. I only found out several months later that she was unhappy with the way i dealt with it. If in the same situation again i would do the same thing again so my feelings of failure are not directly related to me thinking i made the wrong decision.

DoreenLethal Sun 05-Jun-16 17:18:30

if i'd been a better person then she wouldn't have fallen out with me

How would you be a better person exactly? You reacted the way you reacted, that's you. To be a better person does that mean just doing what other people want you to do?

Fuck that for a laugh.

BlackAmericanoNoSugar Sun 05-Jun-16 17:18:59

Perhaps she stays friends with those that she feels she has influence over or who are useful to her. The thing that you did, could you have made a different choice that would have been beneficial to her? Or did she think that you should have asked discussed it with her before doing what you did?

If she needs to be the lead person in of all her relationships then it's probably her and not you. Provided she's a nice person when she gets her own way and isn't too bossy then she probably would sustain friendships with people who don't challenge her.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Sun 05-Jun-16 17:19:13

I don't think you failed, you fell out over something. It happens.

Bambamrubblesmum Sun 05-Jun-16 18:22:55

Depends on what you did that she disagreed with.

Truckwell Sun 05-Jun-16 18:25:38

Except milk, we didn't fall out, she fell out with me. Maybe that's why i feel like i did something wrong, because i had no say in the situation.

Kittencatkins123 Sun 05-Jun-16 18:40:19

I've spent months years worrying about friendships that went wrong and why they don't like me but do like xx blah blah blah. Now I just think - if you don't want to be in my life, then I don't want you in it. I have enough excellent friends, I don't need any half-assed self-serving cuntlords.

She sounds like a psychopath anyway and if those people are friends with her still it's likely just an unpleasant fallout waiting to happen. I think you dodged a major bullet OP.

Earlybird Sun 05-Jun-16 18:51:41

The work situation caused you to see a different side of your friend (and perhaps she saw a different side to you). Perhaps you weren't so compatible when a not-strictly-social issue arose - and one that didn't concern her directly, at that.

i think the important thing is that you are/were comfortable with how you handled the work situation.

It is a shame the two of you couldn't talk things through. But she never really allowed that to happen. I think you've just got to move on knowing that the friendship was not strong enough to withstand a philosophical difference - and she was unwilling to even have a conversation about it. Says far more about her than you.

Hassled Sun 05-Jun-16 18:58:44

How is your self-esteem? Because I can't work it out - on the one hand it's healthy enough that you say "in the same situation again i would do the same thing again" - but on the other hand you're questioning whether you cocked up in some way because this woman reacted badly to your actions. Can you see how that makes no sense?

You'll never please all of the people all of the time, and that's fine. The fact she's able to maintain other friendships is irrelevant - you don't know what those friendships actually look like, how many compromises people are making, etc. You don't fail in friendships - they work out or they don't.

Vintage1996 Sun 05-Jun-16 19:02:40

Depends is this female friendship?

Iliketeaagain Sun 05-Jun-16 19:09:14

I think the problem is the combo of work and friendship. I've started only having superficial friendships at work after being burnt once or twice in the way you describe.
The problem is that in some cases, it doesn't
matter if you are friends or not, a work issue may have to be dealt with.
IME a work issue has to be dealt with the same way whether you are friends or not, because you can't give someone special treatment just because they happen to be your friend, nor should they no Acton to be taken if they do something wrong because they are friends with line manager / someone who is their superior at work.

LellyMcKelly Sun 05-Jun-16 19:35:05

Perhaps her other work relationships are less intense and that's how she's able to maintain them. I had a friend who did something similar to me and then found out that she had a history of it. In my case, I got dropped because my daughter got a lead role in a school performance, another friend got dropped because she filed for divorce, and another got dropped because (I kid you not) she could consistently run 5k faster. We're not sure what goes on in her brain, but we're definitely better off not having to worry about what misdemeanour has offended her this time.

ChitChatarunga Sun 05-Jun-16 19:40:49

I think you're wrong that if you'd been ''better'' she wouldn't have fallen out with you.

I think sometimes people perceive you to be even tempered and pleasant and they deliver their irritation to you....... in a way that they'd never dare to attempt with somebody who'd tell them to fuck off.

I bet you're too nice.

Truckwell Sun 05-Jun-16 19:51:22

Thanks chit that makes me feel better (I think). Hassled my self-esteem is a bit all over the place, if that's possible. A lot of the time it's not as good as it should be, if i had better self-esteem i wouldn't be worrying about failing at the friendship, but regarding work things I'm usually quite confident i made the right decision.

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