Personality Cafe banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I need advice on how to deal with a toxic friend.

I met this friend last year in college, we're in the same program...

This girl first came across as really sweet and we had loads in common. As our college year progressed, I noticed that she wasn't very passionate about school. She began ditching school for her boyfriend and constantly would ask me for homework answers etc. I have an extremely hard time saying no, so I just let her keep using me because it felt too awkward to stand up for myself.

She has told me that she is a very jealous person and doesn't really like hanging out with other girls. She spends most of her time with her parents and her boyfriend. She has treated me horrible in front of her boyfriend but I just pretend that I don't notice. She has even treated me like this is front of my husband! I've never retaliated ...I've just continued to go out of my way to show her that I am not a jealous person and I treat all my friends with kindness.

I'm the type of person that constantly goes out of my way to compliment and uplift my friends...to a fault. Even if they are really hurtful to me, I don't retaliate with snarkiness etc. Instead, I ignore their snuffs until I'm so hurt that I just start ignoring the person themselves. I am in ignore mode with this girl. I don't talk to her unless she talks to me and if she asks to hang out I act normal and pretend that nothing happened.

School starts in a few weeks and this girl expects that we will be BFF school buddies and I just don't know what to do. I don't know how to stand up for myself at all. She expects me to sit with her and do every project with her but the thing is that I have other friends in the program who I am very close to and they are passionate about the program. She won't socialize with anyone but me though and because she has a broken leg her parents are 'grateful' that I will be able to help her at school.

I don't want to just randomly door-slam her (like I do everyone that I get to this point with) and I'd have to face her everyday at school if I did that. I also know that if I did confront her about how she treats me she would be very angry. I'm very stressed out about going back to school specifically because of this social situation!

Any advice???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I'm not an INFJ, but here's how I would deal with the situation. I'd resort to manipulation and be subtle in telling her that I have a problem with her. As opposed to telling her that I don't want to be her friend, I'd tell her that I have to put my own work first and that my parents don't want for me to spend too much time on someone else, and I'd also say that I have promised other people beforehand that I'd work with them on school projects or at least involve a third party when she's desperate to work with me. If she's that co-dependant, that's her own problem, and my only responsibility is making sure that she gets away from me with the least of amount of pain and drama.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
I agree, sweet heart, involve a third party in those situations. Not so much as to 'lessen the battle', but to give you yourself more confidence in sticking up for yourself.

It seem she's only comfortable around a few people and terribly insecure. Putting others down is the only way she knows how to stay on her feet. She's possibly protecting herself from loosing you in a deep and complicated way. Try to understand her deeper, even as she doesn't want to understand herself, some times an INFJ's only weapon is empathy.

The door slam is a sacred tool, only use it at absolute last resource.
I'd suggest actually getting closer to her; find out why she can't seem to trust you, what's bothering her, where her insecurities are coming from?.
It is going to be emotionally challenging, but at some point she's going to look back on your relationship and see that you were one of the only people there for her, keeping her on her feet and helping her heal. And that's what infjs are here for.

Good luck, hun! Have a beautiful semester, no matter what
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I'd suggest actually getting closer to her; find out why she can't seem to trust you, what's bothering her, where her insecurities are coming from?. It is going to be emotionally challenging, but at some point she's going to look back on your relationship and see that you were one of the only people there for her, keeping her on her feet and helping her heal. And that's what infjs are here for.
Wow, this is amazing advice! Thank you! She really is a sweet person and we have so much in common. I'm also really close to her family. I completely agree that she puts me down due to insecurities. It just hurts that she knows how sensitive I am and still treats me bad.

Here is an example of what I'm talking about:
My husband and I went on a double date bowling with her and her boyfriend. I have fibromyalgia and my legs really hurt that day so I said I would go bowling since they really wanted to but I couldn't play more than one game. Before we went bowling we went for dinner at the bowling diner. I went to get out of the booth and my legs were stiffened up so I was having a hard time. In front of everyone she said, "What, would you like me to carry you or something?" And then she looked in the mirror and complimented her figure and walked away with her boyfriend. I was so hurt that I had tears in my eyes for most of the night but I made it a point to be polite to her so I think she thinks I didn't notice what she said. Now she has a broken leg and I'm going to be helping her a lot at school and all I can think about is how she mocked my pain.

She's a very OPENLY competitive, vain and jealous person, it's not like she's tried to hide that from me.
We actually started a band together, which has added to the stress for me because I don't think our personalities will work well long term. She thinks we're a perfect match but that's really because I am never combative and go along with whatever. I just get really excited in new friendships and I see all the good and ignore the bad to the point that before I know it I'm rooted deep in a toxic relationship.

I'm really thankful for your advice...I'm going to try my best to politely show my hurt when she puts me down again. My other (really sweet xNFP) friend at school has fibromyalgia, as well, so we really have compassion for each other and became really close over the summer. I'm hoping that by choosing a seat closer to my xNFP friend, many of the issues regarding schoolwork will iron out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,245 Posts
@bloomingdepths
To be honest, you can't teach or encourage empathy in others when they only see their own needs and lack maturity, all you can do is distance, use an intermediary to convey wrongdoing or tell them directly what you feel in the moment (it can feel like you are 'parenting' or 'educating' people at times).

The trouble with trying to engage with self interested people is that they often project issues and expect others to move heaven and earth for them until something is asked for in return...seeking to understand or help such people is wasteful, akin to enabling their issues when they often only vilify or keep expecting 'favours' if people start declining. As a frequent team leader in my last degree, I had to learn a difficult lesson; no matter how much you like or value people during free time, it is possible to dislike them where studies or group work are concerned (seeing social loafing, apathy, last minute 'interest', empty promises, token efforts, manipulating others to avoid hard work and people that flat out barely attended classes mooching notes and work off others - as just the memorable behaviours).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,208 Posts
It seems that she is being oblivious of her selfishness. She might know that she can be jealous, but she is not realizing what she does hurts your feelings and the friendship.

Some people can be more immature and lack of empathy/awareness of others, needing more time to grow up than others. If you value this friendship enough, you should try to talk to her as only by communication you can have a chance of solving conflicts.

If you simply doorslam and distance yourself each time you encounter similar situations, then you might lose more friendships/relationships as people are not perfect, we are all flawed and conflicts happens. And then people don't read minds, some are a bit too oblivious and need to be pointed out their mistakes and give some time for them to process so that they are allowed to overcome it.

Imagine that you meet another friend that you perceived as great, but somehow she ended up distancing herself coz you were not aware that you did some things bad. Perhaps you'd have preferred that she could be more honest with you. Perhaps it can be hard for you to not be defensive or process the fact that you were wrong, but you still might have wanted to be given a chance to deal with it together and maintain the friendship.
Simple dooslams can leave the other person hurt and clueless, never given the chance to be aware or understand what she did wrong.

Also, it's important to have boundaries and not teach others that it is ok to be mean to us. Fe might make it hard to stand for ourselves, but we need to do it so that we can have healthier relationships.

Lastly, if after being honest she does not change or is mean to you and don't see herself as wrong, you can then distance yourself. But at least you tried.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,434 Posts
You can talk to her about your feelings until you turn purple but it won't make any bit of difference because there is no motivation for her to change. She will continue to do the same things over and over and over again, because you allow her to do so. There aren't any consequences for the behavior and until there are? Nothing will change.

My advice would be to tell her how you feel and that if she doesn't change the way she treats you, then you cannot be friends any longer.

You have to say it, mean it and stick to it, though... or you'll be right back where you started.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
@warweasel
She has also told me that she's the type of person who looks for fights. Even when I've just explained an opinion of mine to her, she immediately went into defense mode. So I agree that talking to her about my feelings will probably do no good. I will just try to deal with her behavior on the spot when she treats me bad. She's been very clear that she values our friendship and that I'm one of her only friends. Maybe me choosing to not ignore her behavior will help her mature...I don't know until I try I guess. There was one incident where I did show my disapproval because she said something very rude about another woman near us in class. I didn't say anything but I looked at her and kind of cocked my head at her. I noticed she got really quiet and I saw her wipe a tear out of her eye.
@AriesLilith
I feel that she kind of just expects people to understand her behavior because she's already openly said that she's a competitive and jealous person. She has half-apologized to me for attacking me over an opinion of mine. She just told me the day after that she's been struggling with taking out her frustrations (regarding her broken leg) on her family and friends. I've door slammed so many people in the past that I've decided to resist the urge to door slam her so that I can learn from this challenging relationship rather than ignore it. I never knew that I was door-slamming people until I found this forum a few weeks ago...now it makes a lot of sense! I'm learning from many people on here that it's important to resist the urge to door-slam. I especially appreciate you saying, "Perhaps it can be hard for you to not be defensive or process the fact that you were wrong, but you still might have wanted to be given a chance to deal with it together and maintain the friendship." That's very valuable advice, thank you!
@StElmosDream
That’s a really good point! It just seems easier at first to ignore the behavior to avoid conflict but that's not really the right way to deal with it in an academic/peer situation anyways. I just need to find an appropriate balance between my personal relationship and peer/work relationship with her. I think with everyone’s advice I feel so much more confident now in using the 'in the moment' strategy. I work so hard at school and I’m pretty much giving free tickets out to avoid telling people no. I always take on the hard work for people in my jobs as well, and I can see now that it’s just not professional at all for me to keep doing that.
@Domagoj
Thank you for your advice! Part of the problem is that I allow her to cling to me at school and she doesn’t want to socialize with my other friends or sit with them because she knows it means she has to actually do work. She’s been very controlling about making sure we sit together on our own. So I’ve already explained to her that this year I want to do more group work rather than independent work. I’ve hinted that I feel like I’m ignoring my other classmates when I’m not sitting with them at the front of the classroom. She treats me like I’m her little helper that will follow her around and do whatever she wants because I love being around her but really I just can’t say no and find being at her beck and call extremely stressful. I’m 25 years old and even in high school I never dealt with people like her. I feel like I’ve really dumbed-down my maturity levels in the last year due to this silly relationship.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,245 Posts
@bloomingdepths
I have known this kind of obsessive codependent behaviour before with a female housemate whose female friend visited them often, behaving as you noted but more stalkerish to the point where I actually thought they may be a couple.
Long story short the female housemate finally stood up for herself rather than being dominated and bullied (emotionally manipulated as well) by the friend from the past that chose the same University to study...very quickly the former friend latched onto someone else to get needs met as a first year student.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
@bloomingdepths
I have known this kind of obsessive codependent behaviour before with a female housemate whose female friend visited them often, behaving as you noted but more stalkerish to the point where I actually thought they may be a couple.
I know exactly the type of person you are talking about!

My friend is very much infatuated with her boyfriend (thankfully for me haha). She's quite independent and outside of school she only chooses to be around her parents and her boyfriend but once those people aren't available for a social event she desperately needs me by her side. However, if her boyfriend is around, her attitude towards me changes and she acts like a different person. At first this hurt but, now that I understand her personality more, I know it's really a blessing in disguise for me! It's just school interaction that I have to deal with and our program has only approx. 30 people in it so I can't hide hehe!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,052 Posts
@bloomingdepths I feel that sometimes we make room for people we would not otherwise let as close to us then we can be surprised someone we did not expect is as close to us as they are. If you are honest with her of your values she may not be as ready to assume you see her perspective or will go along with her way of doing things. You know what? We deserve to be called out on our shit. This is not a free pass to hurt others. We must always wear the consequence when we hurt someone else, whether that is what we meant or not. That is very important. Because I am a person, I DESERVE to see when I have made an error and hurt someone else because of blindness to my own circumstances and thinking I would reflect on someone else instead of myself.
 

·
MOTM October 2013
Joined
·
6,445 Posts
Boundaries. Identify some specific behaviors, then some actions you can take to mitigate them. For instance: "If you put me down in front of your boyfriend, I will immediately walk away." "If you put me down in front of my husband, I will change the subject and ignore you until you're pleasant again." Then follow through.

I understand your hesitance in calling her out on it. I think confronting is always preferable (golden rule, I'd want to know if someone was really upset with me), but there are some people who react terribly to it and try to punish you for it. I suppose my advice is to make the boundaries in your head and not tell her about them in so many words. If you make good boundaries, they'll start speaking for themselves soon enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,838 Posts
It sounds like you're doing all the right things.

Just remember you have the right to say no. Don't forget to exert it - often and firmly and intentionally, yet with love.


I'm glad you have a husband and so many other friends who feel passionately about the same subjects as you - focus on that and try not to worry too much about hurting her feelings. I know, it's hard! It's in your nature to be considerate, after all.
But if you are true to yourself and are above reproach (e.g. Don't flip out on her. In terms of the context you've provided, it would honestly be 100% understandable for you to do this! But... I have a feeling she'd somehow spin this against you.), I don't think you'll have much to worry about.

It also may be helpful for you to highlight all the ways she's hurt you?
I wouldn't necessarily recommend being emotionally vulnerable with her - she's shown you that she is an UNSAFE person.
But I do think that if she ever asks explicitly, it might be wise to explain to her that you are not cutting her off without her prompting it time and time again.


I don't know if any of that made sense, but I do hope it was semi-useful to ya, @bloomingdepths
Good luck in your academic endeavors!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
@Maker of helmets
Yes, I definitely understand your point! I have started to share with her my values/differences in opinion about our band and she has almost taken a personal offense to it because I’ve always agreed with all of her ideas. I am very much a chameleon and when I initially get close to someone I am excited about what they are excited about and it comes across as me just agreeing on everything with that person. Then I go through a phase where I begin to see the bad things in that person because they are putting me down/using me etc., but I won’t act any different besides distancing myself a bit. When I do call someone out on being hurtful, I’ve waited so long that it only makes the person even more defensive. It’s really hard to train myself to express my hurt to someone on the spot.

@Aizar
“I suppose my advice is to make the boundaries in your head and not tell her about them in so many words. If you make good boundaries, they'll start speaking for themselves soon enough.” That was perfectly said and very valuable! Thank you for your advice! I think identifying the behaviours and deciding on my actions towards those behaviours is very helpful. I just can’t see myself confronting her because she is the type of person who has the, “Who are you to tell me…” sort of attitude. I truly do want to remain compassionate towards her while still establishing my boundaries. I often feel bad about establishing my boundaries because I think I initially come off to people as not having any boundaries at all and then ‘out of the blue’ I’m all fenced in.

@Fern
“Just remember you have the right to say no. Don't forget to exert it - often and firmly and intentionally, yet with love.” Thank you, I really appreciate your advice! I think it’s also a really important point that you’ve made to not become emotionally vulnerable with her. In other situations I have often trusted people with my heart too soon after they have hurt me, only for them to do the same things or worse. I noticed that I’ve gotten to certain points where my reactions have been irrational because I’m reacting to everything they’ve done rather than the small snuff/put down that they’ve made towards me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
769 Posts
I'd suggest actually getting closer to her; find out why she can't seem to trust you, what's bothering her, where her insecurities are coming from?.
It is going to be emotionally challenging, but at some point she's going to look back on your relationship and see that you were one of the only people there for her, keeping her on her feet and helping her heal. And that's what infjs are here for.
Wow, this is amazing advice! Thank you! She really is a sweet person and we have so much in common. I'm also really close to her family. I completely agree that she puts me down due to insecurities. It just hurts that she knows how sensitive I am and still treats me bad.
No, it is a bad advice. Look up to this girl intentions. If you sense that there are not of good will, why would you engage more in relation that you perceive as toxic? You know what is healthy to do with TOXIC things in your life? Get rid of them. This girl probably keeps you close because she sees you as convenience, as someone to hangout with because no one wants to be stigmatized as "that one" with no friends.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
No, it is a bad advice. Look up to this girl intentions. If you sense that there are not of good will, why would you engage more in relation that you perceive as toxic? You know what is healthy to do with TOXIC things in your life? Get rid of them. This girl probably keeps you close because she sees you as convenience, as someone to hangout with because no one wants to be stigmatized as "that one" with no friends.
@bloomingdepths
She is correct in a lot of cases. It's up to you to decide weather this friendship is worth the fight or not. keep an open mind, follow your gut. You're already doing everything you can.

"Sometimes you have to give up on people, not because you don't care, but because they don't."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
@blue_moon @TessaVictoria
I'm going to try my best to have a level-head about it, use the situation to insert my boundaries and try to keep it more of a school relationship. I can't really create a lot of distance between from her because our school program only has about 25 people in it. I think not allowing her to cling to me or keep allowing her to isolate us from other peers will really force her to respond differently. I have good hopes for this girl but I'm not necessarily going to put my neck out again. I will definitely try my best to call her out on the spot and not give in to her getting a free ticket from me schoolwork wise. If it works, it works...if not then it's really her call. I think I've come to the conclusion that it would not be smart to try and have a personal friendship with her. At school I'll try my best to be compassionate towards her. Maybe me not allowing her to mooch off of me will help her in the long run anyways. What I mean is I won't door slam her but I'll put my boundaries in place, not to teach her a lesson, but to go through a more responsible process than just pressing the off button.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top