Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Toxic Friend?

Posted by Anonymous.

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I guess I'm writing this to express my disappointment in someone, or maybe just the situation. Feedback (constructive of course, I'm a wee bit delicate) is appreciated.

I'm friends with this person, we meet at grad school, work together in the summers, and get along well. She's always been harsh (mean comments about appearance, unnecessarily blunt to people) and says whatever comes to her mind and I accept that about her, knowing it's just who she is and you can't take things personally.

I think it's fair to say I've been a good friend to her - chauffeuring her to job interviews more than 2 hours away, driving her to see another friend an hour from there, and home. I did things like make dinner for her and her partner when she was in a minor accident, and the like.

As it turns out when school's done we both end up with jobs in a city far away from where we met and so our friendship becomes closer given that I'm a long way from friends and family. She was one of the only people I knew outside of work in the new city, and we got along great and hung out all the time.

While we're there, I get engaged, and, given how close we had become, I ask her to be in the wedding party. Even though we hadn't been friends for too many years, I thought it made sense to ask her, and did. You can likely see where this is going.

With the goal of making it easier on her (she makes it clear on a regular basis that she hates weddings and anything to do with them) I told her about the dress I had picked out and colour I liked (sage green), sent her the pictures, and places near her where she could see it. I offered to order it for her and pay for it myself and then bring it to her (4 hour drive) so it'd be more convenient for her. Once I've done that she calls to tell me how awful the dress is and how much she hates it. In a move I'd like to say is uncharacteristic of me, I cry about it because I'd worked so hard to make things easier for everyone.

A few weeks before the wedding, her and I, our partners, and extended circle of friends all go out for dinner and a few drinks together. Through dinner she makes comments my fiance interprets as rude and pointed at him, and they eventually exchange words, him saying he was "tired of her fuckery," a sentiment that was largely based on her comments that night, and partially what she'd said about me earlier.

She emails to say he's no longer welcome at her house (where we were staying for another wedding a couple of weeks later). My fiance emails to apologize to her for having lost his temper but never gets any kind of response or even acknowledgment.

Since the wedding a few months ago she and I both attended a wedding shower for a friend of mind, and she went between being curt to me and ignoring me. I joked at the shower (where a four course meal was served to more than 200 people and the bride announced at the front of the room with a microphone what she got, which included things like large appliances) that it was "fancier than my wedding," given that I'd never been to a shower that was so over the top. She told me to "shut up."

At a wedding we all attended she pretty much ignored us, to the point that people asked what was wrong.

I know we'll be in neighbouring cities over the holidays so I tell her when I'll be there and offer to get together. She has dinner with mutual friends in town where we are, but never calls me. I've called and left several messages since my wedding that were never returned.

Is this friendship a write off? I'm tired of feeling like the schmuck.

17 comments:

DD said...

Ask yourself this: what is it about the friendship that you liked? You say you got along well, but the friendship seems very one-sided in her favor as you tolerated her rather brutish behaviour.

A friendship should be mutual in give/take and unfortunately, this one does not sound like it, especially since she won't even try to get over her anger at your fiance by acknowledging your attempts to contact her.

And I'm sorry, the appropriate response to the bridesmaid dress is gracious acceptance regardless of what it looks like.

Anonymous said...

You, dear, are NOT the schmuck in this story. I hate to say to write this friendship off, as I know you felt that you were once close and she was one of the few people you had as a friend nearby for a period of your life. But seriously, no one should ever treat you like that. And no one should ever talk to someone you love (your fiance) like that.

You sound like an extremely thoughtful friend. And she sounds like the opposite. If I were you, I would try to get all remnants of her toxicity out of my life. You deserve better, my friend!

Ericka said...

i had to ask myself this rather difficult question recently: do i like you or do i like you better than being completely totally alone in a new place far away from everything i care about? answer for me: i'm afraid i used you to not be totally alone.

kinda sounds like you did the same and this person isn't really a friend.

Anonymous said...

Friendship is over. Well, to be honest, it wasn't really a friendship at that point.

I can understand not liking the dress. But you picked it up, and paid for it, so really, who cares?! It's one night!

I had a similar situation with a girl who was in my wedding, and no, we no longer speak. I've moved on. Yes, it still hurts a bit, but that's life!

Anonymous said...

It's always sad when a friendship is lost but in this situation I have to say that woman is toxic so just let it end.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to let go, even of a destructive friendship at times, but doing so will make room in your head, heart and life for someone who deserves a friend like you.

SUEB0B said...

You mention all the things she got from you in the relationship, but what did you get from her besides abuse? I don't see how this was a friendship. Friends don't treat friends how she treated you. My 2cents.

Andrea said...

Seems to me that she's getting a lot of mileage out of having her feelings hurt by your husband at that dinner party, but she doesn't have any trouble hurting your feelings (especially about the bridesmaid dress that you paid for and picked up, which was over-the-top gracious of you). Despite the fact that you're not the one who offended her, she's taking her anger out on you. I can see that going on at first but after a few attempts on your part to rectify it, she really ought to have talked to you about her feelings by now.

I'm sorry you're facing this decision, and were I in your shoes (and I'm sure there's more to the story that a blog post can't get to in one fell swoop) I think I'd be letting her go.

I had a toxic friend once, and it dawned on me in a single conversation just how miserable she made me feel about myself. She was constantly putting me down because she thought I was spoiled. It took a long time to believe I hadn't done anything wrong by simply being born to parents who tried their best (and they were not wealthy by any means) to make life easy for me, i.e. paying for my college and providing me with transportation while I was there. Once I realized she was beating me down in the name of "helping me" instead of really helping me, it was a simple decision to let her go. Not simple to actually do it, but deciding was easy, which was another hint that it was probably for the best.

I hope you find the answer you're looking for.

T. said...

Write it off chicky, write it off.

I could go on and on and tell you my reasoning, but it's been pretty much covered by the other commenters.

I will just add that life is short and very precious and by keeping a toxic friend about like her, what are you adding to yours?

Free up some room for that new wonderful friend who is just waiting to meet you around the corner.

Good luck.

julia said...

She sounds like a manipulative, aggressive, not-much-of-a-friend and you sound like you deserve someone who will treat you and your kindness and generosity with the gratitude it deserves.

KAT said...

My personal motto: "If you're not helping me, you're hurting me. And if you're hurting me, you're gone." Not always easy to do but there are too many wonderful people in my life to hang on to the toxic ones. And even if you don't know a lot of people now, dumping this rude lady will just make room for the new (and improved!) friends you are sure to meet.

Good luck!

Heather said...

Thanks first to Her Bad Mother for the chance to vent (anonymously too, even if I'm blowing that by responding), and a big thanks to everyone who did comment. To be fair, I ordered, picked up, delivered and paid for the dress, but she reimbursed me when she had the money to.

dd: She's part of a group of friends of mine, and we used to get along great because our politics are the same. I've worn my share of ugly, unflattering bridesmaid dresses with a big stupid grin every time. Thanks.

anonymous: I'm leaving the ball in her court - if she wants to call she will, if not, that's fine too. Thanks.

ericka: We actually were getting along great (provided I knew that whatever she said she really didn't mean it to be mean, it was just her nature) but this one incident kinda has us off the rails. I did have other friends I made in the new city from work who I hung out with, so she wasn't the only friend (To be honest, more often than not I was too busy to get together). Thanks for commenting - it's appreciated.

anonymous: I did buy the dress, but she eventually paid me back for it. I'm getting used to the idea of moving on. Sorry you went through something similar, thanks for commenting.

anonymous: I'm starting to think it has already ended in her mind, and I guess I'm okay with that.

anonymous: Thanks for your sweet comment.

suebob: In the interest of brevity I kept it short - we were part of a circle of friends, and she and I were in agreement on politics and things like that, and her partner and I have a lot in common. We got along well for the most part so long as I realized that her telling me my glasses make me look confrontational or the jeans "did nothing for me" and otherwise had lots in common. Appreciate your two cents.

Andrea: mileage really is a great word for it, and she's not usually one to mince her words. I think I'll just leave it in her court to call and if she doesn't, I know she's made her decision. Funny enough this friend thinks I'm spoiled (stable family growing up, help with university, much like you) as well. Thanks for commenting.

t: You're so right about live being too short (I learned that lesson the hard way a long time ago). Thanks for you well wishes.

julia: I'm not even looking for gratitude (she paid me back for the dress), just the friendship. Guess I'm off to look elsewhere. Thanks.

Kat: Good motto for sure. Thanks.

Nancy said...

I've always thought that ending a friendship is so much more painful than ending a romantic relationship -- I guess because there's no easy way to just break up and move on. With the end of a romance, it seems expected that you'd do that.

I know it's hard, but hang in there, and remember (a la "Toy Story") that you've got a friend in me.

Kelly said...

WRITE.IT.OFF. That's my opinion anyway! I'm sure you're wondering who the heck I am...I found you while blog hopping and I think you're a great writer.

I'm in a somewhat similar situation with a girlfriend from my high school years. She's is SO negative, and complains CONSTANTLY...I just don't have time for people like that in my life anymore.
The angst she's causing you isn't worth it.
Good luck!

I'll be back! ;)

ewe are here said...

It sounds like it's time to move on. People change; relationships change; some move on with us; others don't.

This one may have run its course... don't waste your precious time on someone who isn't interested.

metro mama said...

I'd say so. Life's too short.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me if I'm repeating something that someone else has said. But why on earth would you want to be a friend with (excuse me) a bitch like that....because that is what she is. She's toxic, unfriendly, rude..to not just you but your fiance.

I don't understand why you would a) go out of your way to be her friend.
b) put up with her crap over and over and over again.
c)actually be sorry that the relationship is over.

Because it is over. dead in the water over.

You shouldn't have to put up with that crap. You may lose a friend but you'd be gaining sanity!