Should we stay friends?
I've been friends with someone for about a year now, and while it started off really well, but the longer we know each other, the more problems I'm having with them.
Firstly, I've found out my friend has some insecurity issues that never used to affect me but now do. I guess in order to feel valid, they always feel the need to brag or prove how great they are at everything they do. I didn't really mind at first because that's just how they are, and it didn't affect me. But in the past few months they've began to compete with me about things to prove they are "the best at it" and I've started to hate talking to them or telling them things because they make me feel inferior all the time.
For example they harass me about how I pronounce words, how they can find better bargains then me, how they're better at games then me, and more. It's like everything is a competition, and if I do happen to be better at something then them, then they make out that that thing apparently sucks and they didn't like it anyway.
I tried to tell them gently that it was affecting me, and they apologized, but I don't think it got through. Now it's like they brag and then add "not that I'm saying you're not good too" and it feels like a backhand compliment.
They've also been making small remarks about things they don't like about me, as if trying to manipulate me in to changing. They bring up my weight and how I dress a lot, as if they have a problem with it.
I tried to confront them on that too, and they said they did think I was pretty and that my weight doesn't bother them. But it's obvious it does.
I usually do enjoy talking to them, and used to feel like I could tell them anything. But now it's like, they judge me a lot and compete with me, and I don't feel comfortable around them anymore.
I also admit, I'm really lonely, so as bad as it sounds, I'm scared to lose them. And while I want to tell them more bluntly that I don't like what they are doing, I'm scared it'll ruin our friendship.
I guess I just wish things went back to how they used to be when we could talk about stuff and they didn't put me down in the process.
Friendships like the one you are describing can be so one sided. Even if you did try to explain how hurtful the person's comments and attitudes are, they may well throw it back in your face and make it all about themselves.
On the other hand the person may realise the hurt they are causing and change so the relationship can grow and flourish. You won't know which way it will turn out until you try it.
I had a friend who was very similar. In the end she would invite me over for dinner. She would be quite nasty in what she said about me to her husband who would sit opposite me at the table. They would both sit there and bag me and my husband who wasn't there!
For ages I had tried to ignore her "I'm better than you" attitude and her narcistic ways. In the end it was not worth the hassle of being put down and treated like dirt.
Have a chat with your friend by all means. I understand wanting to hold onto a friendship, but at what cost to you and your sense of self-worth and self-esteem? If you can look past her self centeredness than keep up the friendship.
I'm curious to know what you decide to do and how it turns out! Now and then I see the friend I am talking about in the shops and she just ignores me. That is okay too!
Cheers from Dools
I'm not sure you currently have a friendship to lose with this person, friendship is after all two-sided, with mutual affection and care. While you may hold this other person in your affections they are not looking out for you, just using you as a device to promote their own ego.
You have said you have tried to explain the effect this behavior is having on you. Any friend would not want to hurt and would take steps to stop doing so. This person's need to flatter them-self overrides any such feeling. If you think you may not have put the matter clearly then I guess another go could not hurt.
Perhaps I'm a less forgiving person than some but I would see it as more than thoughtlessness.
Mrs D has a point in asking at what cost to you and your sense of self-worth and self-esteem if you simply let things go and continue to suffer. I'm not sure 'friendship' of this sort ought to be bought at the price of putting up with this behavior.
Jessicatherese has asked, do you have other people you are friends with? I would think that if you have one good friend you are doing well and are more fortunate than many. If in fact you do not have one else at the moment I'm sure you will. Having a negative experience like this makes you a more capable and insightful friend to someone else in the future.
You don't like what he says to you and how he says it, but no matter how much you tell them they aren't going to change in the long run, yes maybe short term, but will go back to how they were.
Is waiting for someone else to come along better than being told off at everything you say or do, this r/ship started so another one will come along.
You want to be loved and looked after, not be criticised all the time. Geoff.
I feel like maybe I wrote that in a way that sounded harsher than it is.
Our conversations often go like this:
Me: I like the new stuff in the game, it's nice.
Friend: Oh, what level are you up to?
Friend: 50? Oh I got past that AGES ago, I'm on level 100. It was pretty easy really.
Me: Oh, that's cool.
Friend: Yeah, it was easy though, I'm surprised you haven't gotten further. Did you do it the way I do it?
Me: No, I like to play it in my own way.
Friend: But you should do it my way because it's better, and I'm way further then you.
Me: That's fine.
Friend: Well anyway have you unlocked this yet?
Me: Not yet.
Friend: Well I have 5 of them now. It was pretty simple. You really should just do it the way I told you to.
Friend: Goes on about the way they play the game for 20+ minutes
Friend: So you should really just play it like I do.
Me: Yeah... I don't want to. I just want to enjoy it. I don't care about leveling up quickly.
Friend: Yeah, I guess so. But have you got this yet?
Me: No, not yet. Again, I'm not trying to win.
Friend: Well did you try this.
Friend: Just give the way I do it a go.
Me: But I don't want to.
Friend: So I found some good bargains at the op-shop, found this dress for only $20!
Me: Oh wow, that's really cool. Good for you.
Friend: You should go op-shopping more often so you can find bargains like I do.
Me: It's not as easy for me, I'm from a small town and I'm a bigger size. I don't often find things and for me $20 is still a lot of money.
Friend: It's not THAT much, and I find things for my mum who is big like you.
Me: (Big like me?) But you live in the city, there's more stuff available
Friend: I guess, but it's not that big here, and if you look you can find some good stuff. I found ... *rambles off about all the bargains they've found*
Me: That's cool, but I'll stick to clearance deals
Friend: Buy why not just go to the op-shops?
Me: I told you, they aren't that good here, and besides I don't have a way to travel to them all the time like you do. I can't drive!
Friend: But you could find nice things for cheap...
So as you can tell, it's not that they outright call me stupid or anything, they just don't listen.
They think they're helping by trying to persuade me to do things their way, and are always bragging about things to the point I feel inferior. Sometimes they drop small insults too as "proof" I'm wrong which hurts. And if I'm "right" about something they dismiss it.
You have tried the gentle approach, and it sounds like it didn't get through. Perhaps it is time to be less gentle.
welcome to the forum and thanks for this fascinating thread.
It is hard on here to convey what a relationship is really like.
In your example of a conversation with your friend I could see how your friend could be annoying but I thought the friend was trying to be helpful but came across as thinking that her opinion is the only one.
I know people like that and it can be frustrating that they think there is only one way to do things and that they are always right.
I think I would cut the conversation short when your friend is going on and not listening-" that's great you like op shops now lets talk about something else. "
After you have given one answer just start another topic.
It is very controlling at times, they can't seem to enjoy things without being competitive and have a very narrow view on how things have to be enjoyed. In short; it's their way, or it's wrong.
I changed a few things to be more vague, but that is how a lot of our conversations go. It starts off friendly but can end up with them insisting I do things the way they do them or I'm doing it wrong.
But ironically, if I do things my way or their way, and am better at it, say if I beat them at the game mentioned above, they get very angry and offended about it. They may even start saying how the games sucks and that they hate it.
So in a way, I can't win.
Yeah, they aren't trying to be outright be mean to me, I don't think, they just don't see how they are hurting me.
I think I do need to learn how to stop these conversations to show them when they are going over the line between "helpful" and "controlling."
It does affect my confidence and self-esteem which is a big reason why I asked for help. It does upset me a lot and I've caught myself thinking a few times "Oh of course you're going to tell me to do it your way, your good at everything." Which I realized is probably not a normal feeling to have around my friend.
I'm lonely because I don't have many friends, and they're the closest friend I have. If I lost them, I'd feel like I'd have no one, especially since I find making friends hard because I'm often very introverted and shy.
They do sometimes use me to inflate their own ego I admit, they brag a lot and sometimes it gets to me. Like I know they have talents, but when they keep telling me that I have do things their way because they're "great at it" it's infuriating. Like why am I not allowed to enjoy things in my own way? Why do they have to keep pointing out my apparent flaws? I can't even show them art I've done without them criticizing me on it at times and telling me how "they would have done it."
Thanks for the insight. I admit I'm worried they'll just keep going back to treating me that way considering Ive tried to bring it up before and they haven't really changed.
In the end I think I have to ask myself if it's worth putting up with, whether they mean to hurt me or not. It's more about if it's affecting me to the point our friendship is hurting me more then it is being enjoyable. But I feel bad still if that was the case.
To be honest, I feel like kind of a turd posting about this on here.
What I really need to be doing is having an open and honest conversation with them and tell them how I feel instead of whining about it to a bunch of strangers online.
I'm just so bad at confronting issues like this because I don't want to offend them or be a jerk, and I always think, "what if I'm just picking out stupid little things that don't matter. No one's perfect. Are you gunna ruin your friendship over this? It's just one thing. Is it really such a big deal?"
But at the same time, it hurts because I want to feel like their equal.
I want to enjoy games with them, instead of feeling like if I don't do it their way they'll harass me about it.
I want to go shopping with them, and buy where I want, and what I want, without them telling me I'm doing it wrong because their way is better.
Because every time they say "do it my way" it feels like they are saying "your way of doing things isn't good enough." It's like their saying I'm not good enough.
I'm mean sure I'm not thin like them, I'm not the best at games, I don't find the best bargains, I can't pronounce some words properly, and I sometimes prefer to do things the stupid or hard way because it's more fun and not because I'm dumb...
Sure maybe there are better ways to do things, but unless it's actually hurting them in some way I don't know why I have to do things perfectly all the time. I don't want to be perfect. I just want to hang out with my friend and not feel like everything I do is for some stupid test I never studied for.
I wish they'd listen when I tell them I don't want their advice, that I just want to enjoy things with them.
We're supposed to be friends, not rivals.
But I should be telling them this... in a better way. I don't want to hurt them, I just want them to know how I feel and to take me seriously. Because if they don't listen, then maybe we can't be friends. Not because I hate them, I don't hate them, but because they are stressing me out. I want them to respect me for being who I am, and for having my own way of doing things. Even if it's not always perfect.