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Toxic friend or is it me? Our friendship has become such hard work.

26 replies

SecondhandRose · 12/05/2012 08:16

Not the greatest of titles and sorry if this is long winded. Met my friend on holiday 4 years ago, she lives close by. We used to be pretty close, lots of coffee and chats. She lost her Dad a couple of years ago and really, really struggled to cope and went on AD's in the end (after much coaxing from me to get her to her GP). I supported her through this although her husband failed to find his sympathetic side,

She doesnt get on with her husband, forever slagging him off. He is actually a nice bloke but they just dont get on. It makes me extremely uncomfortable when she tells me about their relationship. He is a good, hard working Dad but they are just incompatible. They bicker and snipe constantly and to be in their company socially with my DH is uncomfortable (for me).

If she tries to organise a date to meet me and I cant do it she gets paranoid that I dont want to meet her. If I have to postpone again it will be because (in her opinion) I dont want to see her. She asked me to go shopping with her on Monday (3 days notice), I really cant do this as I have a weekly Monday commitment which she already knows and didnt happen last Monday because of the Bank Holiday. I told her I couldnt so she stuck out her bottom lip.

I dont have masses of good friends probably about 6 that I see but none that behave in this way. You ring them, suggest getting together, catch up on news, have a giggle say goodbye but this friend is all doom, gloom and misery. i never leave her feeling happy or boosted which apparently is how friends are supposed to make you feel.

I have lost 24lb since I last saw her in March and she didnt day a word about it last week. I am now a size 14 and pretty proud of myself but for her to say nothing made me wonder what kind of a friendship I have. Other friends say I look completely different so I wonder why she failed to notice or mention it.

Anyway, after I saw her on Friday she rang to say had she upset me as I was quiet but she had invited a 3rd person along that day and they spent perhaps 70 percent of the conversation talking about horses and dogs, a subject I admit to have zero knowledge of. I said this to her and had tried to join in but really couldnt. I was driving so really couldnt talk to her but she was pretty confrontational on the phone and made paranoid accusations. I just said that I felt we had gone in different directions. Sounds feeble I know but I dont want to start an argument. I hate confrontation.

I said I couldnt talk as I was driving, she said ring me when you can and put the phone down.

Why cant it be easy and fun like it used to be? Maybe I have changed?

OP posts:
SecondhandRose · 12/05/2012 22:24


OP posts:
AbbyM · 12/05/2012 23:21

Read about narcissistic people...if she checks the boxes....get out pronto. Been there done that.

Spero · 12/05/2012 23:24

She's not a friend. I would save your time and emotional energy for the other six who do actually enrich your life.

SundaeGirl · 12/05/2012 23:26

This will pass. Just don't call back.

tethersend · 12/05/2012 23:40

I feel drained just reading that.

If she were a boyfriend, you'd dump her.

Just stop meeting up with her.

gingerchick · 12/05/2012 23:46

She is obviously very bogged down with her own stuff and cannot see the wood for the trees I would withdraw but maybe text or ring in a week or two to see how she is, I feel for you tho

Thumbwitch · 12/05/2012 23:50

She sounds far too needy - she isn't really giving anything to this friendship, is she?
If you're feeling like it's all a bit one-sided then I's let her go, tbh.

stuffitunderthebed · 12/05/2012 23:53

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SecondhandRose · 13/05/2012 07:33

That is really helpful as I was thinking you would say the opposite and my fault etc. i now realise that our friendship has changed and we have both moved on.

She told me to ring her and put the phone down but I dont think I will but is this a cowards way out? I have never done this before eek!

She used to be a really special person in my life, I wonder if I have become stronger or she has become more paranoid.

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RnB · 13/05/2012 07:39

A god, please please abandon this friendship. Unbelievable that she didn't mention your weight loss - what a cow.

She sounds like hard work - you sound lovely. Dont waste your time.

catsareevil · 13/05/2012 07:58

'She used to be a really special person in my life, I wonder if I have become stronger or she has become more paranoid.'

People who dont like it when you get stronger are bad news, IMO. It doesnt sound like this friendship is doing anything at all for you.

stuffitunderthebed · 13/05/2012 11:20

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SecondhandRose · 13/05/2012 17:30

Thanks for all your words of wisdom. I am not interested in a slanging match with her, would rather retain my dignity. She is not the sort of person who would admit she has done wrong anyway (much to do with her volatile relationship with her DH).

Will let you know if I hear from her but am hoping not but also feel a bit guilty to be honest. She told me recently that she describes me to her friends as her 'posh friend' (am not at all posh just dont have a London accent). I didnt dare tell her that to my other friends I call her 'my high maintenance friend'!

Re Facebook she already put a short sentance on her status update right after we spoke and gained some sympathetic messages. I didnt write anything. I expect she will delete me soon!

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stuffitunderthebed · 13/05/2012 20:18

This reply has been deleted

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SecondhandRose · 14/05/2012 22:46

Well today i feel a bit guilty for dumping her. We live in the same town so we are bound to see each other at some point. Maybe a letter in a week so?

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Thumbwitch · 14/05/2012 23:15

And THIS is why people take advantage of you Rose - you are a softie! Grin.

Leave her to it but if she phones you again be polite and coolly friendly, without trying to get involved again. She is NOT your problem.

stuffitunderthebed · 15/05/2012 09:41

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SundaeGirl · 15/05/2012 11:52

Agree with others. Always be friendly when you have to see her or speak to her but rebuff all invitations and don't let conversations get deep. ( Be 'rushing off' to do something.)

I hate ending friendships but I think this may be one where you need to step back and stay back. I have actually remade friends with people after a couple of years when I/they seem to have got of themselves in that time.

SecondhandRose · 15/05/2012 12:30

OK, OK I will be strong and brave and wont write to her. Gulp!

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stuffitunderthebed · 15/05/2012 20:09

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SecondhandRose · 16/05/2012 14:16

Not contacted her and she hasnt either, lying low.

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Thumbwitch · 16/05/2012 15:09

Well done Rose! Stay strong. :)

Are you feeling any better about it yet?

stuffitunderthebed · 17/05/2012 21:43

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MarthasHarbour · 17/05/2012 21:48

i agree with the approach you are taking, you see you havent actually 'fallen out' you are just not contacting her.

stay strong!

PooPooInMyToes · 18/05/2012 19:44

In a way i feel sorry for her. She is still recovering from the death of her dad which can take a long time. Two years after the death of a family member of mine i was still hardly coping, i was a mess! It was horrendous. I didn't want to be like that but someone dying can trigger off all sorts of things. For me it was depression, extreme anxiety, couldn't cope with day to day things, my children at all. Plus more i won't go into.

Add to that you say her husband hasn't been sympathetic . . . how awful! The person closest too her who is supposed to comfort her more then anyone just 'failed to finding his sympathetic side!'

Two years isn't long when you have lost someone you love. For me it was at about that stage that i felt a tiny bit of the cloud lift. It was still another two years until i felt significantly better and another year until i felt normal. Although of course still sad.

So if she is acting out character perhaps that is why?

I actually had a friend dump me during the first year for being miserable all the time with a massive explanation saying how awful and depressing it was for her to be around me. Poor her! Never mind the hell i was going through with my grief and mental illness!

You mention that friends are meant to make you feel happy and boosted. Well yes in an ideal world but they are just people, not clowns there to entertain you and make you laugh no matter what they have going on in their life. Expecting to be cheered up by this woman who is suffering depression, dealing with grief and a husband who appears to not give a toss is unrealistic. How about you cheer and boost her for a while. Friends are also supposed to support each other during difficult times, its not all laughs.

On the subject of her husband, you mention his complete lack of sympathy yet appear to like him and imply that their relationship problems are her fault. I don't understand that. Any person who shows no sympathy to their partner when they have been bereaved is a cold, unfeeling arsehole!

Having said all this though, sticking her bottom lip out, hanging up on you, pa messages on fb etc is childish and unacceptable.

As for the paranoia, are you sure that's not her medication?

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