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Toxic friend?

(123 Posts)
Dgrann777 Fri 19-Jul-19 09:44:37

Good morning everyone.

I have a friend who is lovely in many ways (you know there’s a but).smile but,
She makes little digs and put downs constantly sometimes with false humour and sometimes with false advice eg. Don’t like the paint colour did you make a mistake?
Why don’t you ask for a refund on that sofa etc etc.
Your hair is a bit short, long, is that what you asked for etc etc.
You Irish are all alike, a bit daft, don’t like your accent etc etc.
Usually I just ignore it because I know she has personal problems and to be honest I don’t really care what she thinks of my taste but now she has started on my grandchildren...my Achilles heel....
Is this what is called a toxic friend?
I think I have to walk away. What would you do?

maddyone Sat 27-Jul-19 11:39:59

With friends like her/him, who needs enemies?

It's very true, people who are unkind, spiteful, or enjoy putting us down just aren't worth spending time with. The knock on effect is that you end up feeling low, unloved, and used. I have dropped a couple of 'friends ' over my lifetime, they were people who appeared to not be able to stop themselves from being unkind or sarcastic or demeaning. Eventually you get fed up with it and realise life's too short. Only keep the friends who you enjoy being with and who make you feel good about yourself. And hopefully they feel good about spending time with you.

Lorianne Sat 27-Jul-19 10:24:26

As others have asked, how is she lovely in other ways? Can you give examples of her otherwise loveliness?

Witzend Fri 26-Jul-19 10:21:50

Goodness, if anyone said anything derogatory about my Gdcs I'd drop them like a stone. And wouldn't feel remotely bad about it, long so-called friend or not.

I've always had a loathing of people who make little digs or criticisms in the guise of ' funny' - at someone else's expense.
Dh used to have a male friend who did it all the time, thinking he was being funny. Thankfully he moved long ago to Western Australia so we only have to see him once in 20 odd years if that - and last time he did seem to have grown out of that stupid, juvenile habit.

Shropshirelass Fri 26-Jul-19 10:08:13

Not us, is!

Shropshirelass Fri 26-Jul-19 10:07:57

She sounds very jealous of you and us hanging on to your world. You don't need her in it, a real friend would not behave like this, they would respect you.

Ooeyisit Tue 23-Jul-19 09:11:59

The answer to your question is , yes . When someone constantly pokes fun at you and tries to undermine your confidence it’s very bad manners but more often trying to cover their own insecurity . You don’t need it . Just ease her off . Start with not answering the phone ,then you can’t meet up you are out that day ,(no reason given ) If she asks you will,tell her later (then don’t ) . If she eventually asks just say” I stopped liking you as a friend when you were unkind to my grandchildren .but hopefully she will take a hint and stop phoning you . I have backed off from “friends”like this and given myself the pleasure of doing so .

Lilyflower Mon 22-Jul-19 09:04:14

Wanted not waqnted!

Lilyflower Mon 22-Jul-19 09:03:37

You could, if you waqnted, give the 'friend' a last chance. Be upfront. When she is rude about your beloved GC say, 'I am OK with you having a dig at me if you feel you have to, but my GC are off limits.'

This will put her on notice that you are aware that she is making horrible digs about you under the guise of so called humour and that there are limits to your toleration of her rudeness. The ball is then in her court. If she tries another comment about the GC you can then say, 'That's enough.'

I personally wouldn't put up with it but then I am happy to have virtually no friends.

kwest Sun 21-Jul-19 21:47:47

I usually get on with everyone but in the past 20 years I have ghosted three 'friends'.
With two of them I simply ceased to be available, stopped calling them etc.
With the other one to whom I had been very close and to this day I think of with affection and amusement, the relationship had become toxic. Retrospectively I think she was emotionally fragile at the time and seemed hell-bent on falling out with everyone who cared about her. Life is too short to be bickering. It was right that we ended the friendship, for both of us.
My life is happier without any of these people in it.
I hope you decide to move on without this person in your life.

Dgrann777 Sun 21-Jul-19 15:28:59

Thank you so much everyone, I really really appreciate the time and thought you have put in to these messages. I am fairly new to gransnet and feel I have gained some lovely friends.
I have told her I am not prepared to listen to any criticisms of my Grandchildren ....however she tries to phrase it in a caring way...the latest was ‘ I do hope E doesn’t get bullied when he starts school because of his hair. ( he is a gorgeous little boy with lovely copper coloured hair.). In my opinionsmile That is just one of the many digs.
I hate confrontation but the red mist descends when my family are involved.
I have read all your posts and am so grateful for your insight and support.....I have taken your advice and stepped back from this ‘friendship’.
Once again thank you I can’t tell you how much lighter I feel. Xx

willa45 Sun 21-Jul-19 14:20:35

Sorry, my daughter asked the jerks to leave.

willa45 Sun 21-Jul-19 14:18:50

Nananna,
My daughter's husband had a serious girlfriend in college.
They broke up about two years before he met and married my daughter.

After the marriage, SIL had two married friends who began giving my daughter a lot of grief. The husbands (and wives) were all college buddies of my SIL and also friends of SIL's ex. They also had a propensity to drink too much.

After months of tense dinner parties and abusive bantering, my daughter finally had enough when one of the 'boys' began to pick on our family and asked them all to leave.

That night she gave SIL an ultimatum which also tested the strength of their relationship. She told him she didn't ever want to see these people going forward (wives included), and that they were never to step foot in their house again!

She did give SIL a choice: You either get rid of these 'A... s' for good, or we end this marriage! I don't want a husband who allows a bunch of inebriated jerks to disrespect or embarrass me in my own house and in front of our other friends. Even less do I need a husband who looks on without saying anything!

Following numerous apologies and telling his offensive friends to 'get lost', daughter and SIL have been happily married for almost 22 years!

Mcbab Sun 21-Jul-19 09:15:15

Grammaretto It’s difficult isn’t it ? My friend is also scatty, usually late, as an example a few of us were going for an afternoon tea treat and she arrived as we were finishing ! She had been at the hairdressers and didn’t answer her phone when we tried to call. I am the one among our small group of friends who see her the most but am now stepping back a bit. The trouble is too that I would like to see the other friends without her as she does dominate the conversation and pick on what people say especially me! I would t leave her out but am quietly pleased if she can’t make it which makes me feel mean!

Joyfulnanna Sun 21-Jul-19 08:23:34

I like optimist's post.. There's far too much ghosting going on these days. But as a widow you need to look after your health. It sounds like you've put up with this for too long, the pattern needs changing if you still like something about your friend. Maybe put it in the third person to her so it doesn't seem like you're confronting her directly. You seem like a nice person and I hope you can resolve it.

granny4hugs Sat 20-Jul-19 22:16:29

Our lives are like our houses - there is a finite amount of space. The more junk you keep the less room there is for the good stuff - or just nice clear space.
DITCH HER YESTERDAY

EmilyHarburn Sat 20-Jul-19 20:14:58

Terminate this friendship. Lots of good ideas on how to do this in this thread.

Nannanna Sat 20-Jul-19 19:18:30

At times feel overwhelmed but it's typical bullying behaviour !
Just don't expect it from ' friends' - quality not quantity.

Nannanna Sat 20-Jul-19 19:13:16

I have this kind of a painful and abusive at times association with my husbands friend and his wife obviously openly resentful as they knew a previous x girlfriend. Seems like an open licence to insult berate and belittle me and now our grandson ! This has really upset me over many years but as they are a part of a group of old friends of my husband's it it not easy to avoid them.
I have been so upset with my husband as he says he didn't realise all that is said, Yes of course insults made out of his earshot.
Great advice here which is strengthening my resolve of how to cope with this - Thank you 💐

123kitty Sat 20-Jul-19 18:47:32

It's been going on a long time, I doubt she will change her spiteful ways, walk away. Good luck.

GreenGran78 Sat 20-Jul-19 18:33:37

I would ask her if she realises just how many critical remarks she makes, and how hurtful they can be. If she doesn’t change her ways well, at least you tried to keep the friendship alive, and can move away from her with a clear conscience.

Philippa60 Sat 20-Jul-19 17:46:17

I too have recently "broken up" with a very close friend after more than 30 years of daily contact. There were issues all along with me putting up with her criticism and judgmental comments about me, my family etc. and yet I never pushed back or stopped it (or the friendship). I was always a little scared of her and of losing the friendship, I get that now.
The blow up came due to something (long story, never mind) that actually involved my H and her brother, business related - and we now have no contact at all.
It's been an incredibly painful thing to deal with but ALL of the advice I've received from both friends (and thankfully I have many) as well as professionals is that I am better off without the negative energy she brought to me. I couldn't see it before....
We are too old and life is too precious to waste on people that we cannot feel relaxed with.
Hope that helps
Phillipa60

GabriellaG54 Sat 20-Jul-19 17:14:39

Urmstongran 's card hits the spot 😂

GabriellaG54 Sat 20-Jul-19 17:05:42

2 choices
Walk away or
Tell her face to face exactly how you feel.
Pull no punches.
She has no idea how churned up you feel, as you probably shrug it off so she's none the wiser.
She's not a mind reader so give her a chance to put things right and mend her ways.
Tell her outrightvthat you once valued her friendship but now you know it can't continue if she carries on in the same manner.
Her problems, whatever they may be, should not colour the way in which she treats you.
We on GN have our problems but we don't take other people down because of them.
No excuses. Just do it over a coffee in a quiet place.
Best wishes and luck.
I hope she listens. flowersshamrock

poshpaws Sat 20-Jul-19 17:02:13

I had a friend like that once. Once. Drop contact with her, there's nothing to be gained once you've realised that the friendship is basically one way, and it's not her direction it's coming from .

RosieLeah Sat 20-Jul-19 16:14:23

Surely 'toxic' and 'friend' are a contradiction? I would guess that the only reason this woman is still around is because you put up with her snide remarks. I doubt if she has any real friends if she treats everyone in the same way. Ask yourself if you actually need her in your life.