- This topic has 8 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 6 months, 1 week ago by Brittany Catton.
May 24, 2021 at 10:03 am #1088617
I’ll change all the names in the post for privacy reasons. I (36F) was platonic friends with Rachael (38) for two years. We became close friends and started to talk and hang out a fair amount. I had introduced her to my close male friend Henry who used to be my FWB and they were seeing each other for about a year, but broke up a year ago on very amicable terms. Rachael is my best friend Belinda’s housemate and the four of us had formed a little friendship group.
At first I thought that Rachael is nice and we connected over a couple of mutual hobbies. I did feel a good click in conversation and enjoyed hanging out with her. She has depression and anxiety and gets bad migraines. She doesn’t work and is on government benefits. She used to stay home 24/7 and barely even leave her room. She would often have to cancel plans at the last minute because she was physically and/or mentally unwell. Over the last year she has been feeling much better though and has been a lot more outgoing. However due to not working or doing anything in life, Rachael doesn’t know many people and the few friends she has she met through me and my best friend.
I’d noticed that Rachael is very opinionated and she was having issues with a few of her housemates. She was having huge blow ups and even yelling with one housemate, who then moved out. She was initially friends with a male housemate but their friendship then started to go sour and ended with him telling her to f off. Rachael was also getting annoyed with a third housemate apparently because she wanted to be good friends but that housemate just wanted to be polite and just be housemates.
Last year, also due to the COVID pandemic, I started talking to Rachael online a lot more. I was really enjoying our conversations and her friendship helped me to an extent through lockdown. However, I began to realise that she’s very blunt and insensitive and can be rude.
Back in 2018 I was living with my fiance at the time. I wasn’t actually that close to Rachael at the time but I invited her to a Christmas dinner at our place. A friend of mine, Sally, was also there and they didn’t know each other at all. After the dinner Rachael said that she saw Sally looking at my fiance a lot and she thought Sally was into him/checking him out. I was really surprised Rachael thought this because Sally had been to our parties before and she knew my ex fiance before me. My ex said of his own accord that he wasn’t attracted to Sally at all and I never saw them chat online really and never noticed anything at all about their acquaintance.
End of 2019 I was dating a guy who is from the same country she’s originally from. She was basically implying that guys from her culture are no good and I shouldn’t be dating him. Even though I told her the guy was actually really nice. It’s not so much she told me not to but her opinions came across that way.
At the start of 2020 the four of us went on a trip interstate. We flew there and were renting a house. We rented a hire car and drove 1.5 hours to these famous mountains which are very beautiful. Rachael hates walking and it had already been an issue in the past. She said she didn’t want to walk, so instead of going on a hike we said we’d just go up the chairlift. She said she didn’t want to walk 20 minutes to the chairlift. I suggested she just relax in the shops and cafe and pub they had there. She said no because we can’t leave her alone. But the rest of the way she complained incessantly that she doesn’t want to walk and cut our visit short. On the trip she had also been saying we should get Uber everywhere, even if it was a ten minute walk. I asked her in private what the issue with walking was, was there pain or anxiety? She said no and that she just doesn’t like walking. She knew we were annoyed but never apologised for her behaviour.
One time I shared a post on Facebook by the actress Lena Dunham about her having COVID-19. Rachael commented: “She’s a paedophile”. That’s actually not true and it was just some kind of controversy. I messaged Rachael privately and I said I didn’t feel comfortable that she made that comment because it’s not true and it makes it sound like I’m sharing posts from a paedophile. I work with disabled people and have people from work on Facebook so this could really tarnish my reputation. Rachael got defensive and said she is who she is and she shares her opinions and basically I have to accept her as she is. We had an argument about it all and she never apologised.
I have a tradition that every Christmas Eve I have a few friends over for dinner. Rachael knows this because she’s been to one dinner before and been invited to two. She couldn’t get a lift with my best friend (her roommate) and I live an hour away from them and Rachael doesn’t drive. So she seemed anxious to get to my place on public transport and suggested we have the dinner at her place. The location was inconvenient for a few of my guests but I wanted her to be there so agreed. Then Rachael said that a couple of the guests she knows can come but is it OK not to invite my good friend Jack because she doesn’t really know him. I was feeling like she was being rude because she was asking to change the whole thing and taking control over my event. Then she changed her mind and said let’s not have it at hers. I didn’t think I was being rude but I guess I seemed frustrated and she got really defensive. She said:”Honestly I’m really annoyed. You seem pissed off at me and being rude. Talk to you later”. The next day she messaged saying: “We may not have the same opinions but I’m your friend and you have to treat me with respect”. So I apologised coz it felt like she wanted me to but I explained why I was frustrated. Then she didn’t even acknowledge what I said and began talking about something completely different.
Basically overall she was very blunt as well and just blurting out her opinions even where it’s inappropriate. One time I said I better watch how much wine I drink because it’s high in calories. She said: “Yeah you’ve put on weight!” But I actually hadn’t put on any! I still weighed the same but I just made a throw away comment. And I’m not huge either, only chubby. After that Rachael was like: “Oh, sorry, was I too blunt?”
Another thing was, our friend Henry and I were at Rachael’s place during COVID restrictions and we were sleeping over. Our friend Sally is a sex worker and fairly open about it, so Rachael knew that. But she hardly knew Sally at all. Sally was hosting some online video games that anyone could join. We asked Rachael if she wanted to play and she said she wouldn’t because she doesn’t feel comfortable with Sally because she’s a sex worker.
On New Year’s Eve we had a disagreement again because she was being really opinionated and judgemental. I said to her that you can’t just say every single opinion you have if it’s hurtful. And she said: “I’ll say whatever I want but just not to you then”.
After New Year’s Rachael knew I was upset with her and was distancing myself. She asked to meet and talk and sort it out because she really cares about our friendship. We talked in person and she said she’d try to be less blunt and opinionated but she didn’t really apologise for anything. She also said: “I know it upset you that I don’t like Sally but my values are just different than those of a sex worker. And I know the reason is petty but it’s also because she was looking at your fiance at that Christmas dinner.” By that point my ex fiance and I were broken up for 1.5 years and the Christmas dinner she referred to was 2.5 years ago. And there was no actual evidence of any of what she was saying.
Then Rachael went on a diet but sometimes she’d cheat on it and not follow it. She cancelled on two events we had together. One event she gave only one hour notice that she wasn’t coming and she said it was due to that she hasn’t been following her diet and she didn’t want to be tempted by food and alcohol if she went out. Then it happened again and she gave about three hours notice to cancel and said it was due to not following the diet again. I asked Rachael if it was anything to do with her mental or physical health. And if it is to please be honest and give the real reason. She said she was upset that I didn’t believe her because she wouldn’t lie. And that her not following her diet was the reason. What really bothered me she didn’t apologise at all for the cancellations and simply said she wouldn’t come at very short notice. One event was I got her a free ticket to a comedy show and it was for her specially.
I told Rachael I was upset about the cancelling on social media chat. I asked to talk about it but she said she wouldn’t reply to me until she speaks with her therapist because the conversation was distressing. I knew she only sees her therapist once a week or once a fortnight so I was obviously not going to get a response for that long. I got so annoyed and said I couldnt do this anymore and couldn’t be friends anymore. And ended the friendship.
I know Rachael really valued our friendship because she said to my best friend that she’s worried she was losing me. She is loyal in the sense that she would always stand up for me. And if I needed to talk or vent she always listened and gave good advice.
Rachael is still friends with my friends but now I don’t hang with them as a group. I saw Rachael at a party the other day and spoke a bit. I’m not sure if I should try to fix the friendship or maybe we’re not compatible?May 24, 2021 at 11:11 am #1088676BittergaymarkGuest
Honestly? Rachel sounds rather unpleasant. And difficult to be around. If you miss her. Perhaps renew this friendship on a much smaller level.May 24, 2021 at 11:23 am #1088688
Thank you so much for your comment. I just wasn’t sure if maybe I had over reacted because my other two friends didn’t have much issues with her and are still friends with her. But they’re both shy and quiet people. The male friend in particular is very unusually chill and actually a bit of a doormat to be honest. So I think their personality probably matches well with Rachael’s dominant personality.May 24, 2021 at 11:31 am #1088696BittergaymarkGuest
Here were the two big Red Flags that leaped out at me.
1) The way she behaved on the trip was simply obnoxious. She SHOULD have happliy explored the shops on her own. Or shut the fuck up. I travel a lot with friends. And often we want to do different things… so we simply split up for a few hours or even the entire day! It’s how adults behave.
2) The Christmas dinner drama was VERY oft putting to me. Very.May 24, 2021 at 11:54 am #1088714
Thank you. Actually it’s funny you say that because the incident with walking on the trip happened just over a year ago and was actually the first time I noticed her behaving in these self-centred ways. Then believe it or not, all the rest I wrote happened in only a year! Yet I have some friends I’ve actually known for twenty years and I hardly had any issues with them in all that time!
You are right, when travelling together in a group, someone doesn’t have to do something if they don’t want to. But if they agree to do it by their own will, they can’t complain the whole time that they don’t like it.May 24, 2021 at 1:08 pm #1088774LisforLeslieGuest
You don’t have to describe with an overwhelming amount of detail all of the crap Rachael has put you through in order to show that’s she’s exhausting. If you say ‘frankly, dealing with her was exhausting, she’d make us change plans multiple times, she’d make insinuations, she’d spread gossip…. blah blah blah” we’d get it. Save your energy.
She’s exhausting. I really don’t know why you’d miss having to put up with her. It’s ok to say “She’s not a malicious person, but I simply don’t have the emotional energy to deal with her shit.”
Lastly, it seems like she burns through friends pretty quickly. You said she was friends with roommates and they moved out – didn’t sound like it was on good terms. Was it? Her last roommate was absolutely uninterested in being her friend. People who burn through friends – aren’t good friends. They consume you, make ridiculous demands, up the level every time. The intensity is part of the lure. It’s like falling in love (platonically) and now you’re grieving a bit. Be polite. Be kind. Move on.May 24, 2021 at 7:33 pm #1089080
Thank you so much for your reply. Yes sorry for the long post and all the detail but I guess I just wanted to give specific examples so as to show the actual situations. I guess the reason why I was second guessing myself is because my other two friends are still friends with her and they don’t have a problem with her really. The male friend did say she has a really strong personality but he still likes her. But in his case he actually is very unusually chilled out and passive. In my opinion in a way that hardly anyone is. For example, when they were seeing each other, she cancelled on him at the last minute a lot. And he said she never wanted to walk anywhere and told him to always drive, and he just drove. Even with me, he was really passive as well. For example, one time I was running two hours late to meet him without any particularly good reason but just that I slept in or something. I sent him a message on Facebook in advance saying I was two hours late. He didn’t check Facebook and arrived on time. Then two hours later I showed up and apologized profusely and he was smiling and not phased and was like: “That’s OK! I was just sleeping in my car”. I mean, pretty much 99% of people would not have this reaction. This is basically his reaction to everything so of course his friendship with Rachael works because he never says anything to her and that’s why there’s no conflict.
I guess it’s just been hard for me because us four used to hang out together and I did have a fun time. I’m still friends with Belinda and Henry but I’m just not spending time with all of them. For example, Rachael is having a Birthday dinner this weekend but of course I’m not invited. But I realise that being friends with someone should actually be because you enjoy your friendship with THAT person. And it should be a good stand alone friendship. Not just being friends because my other friends are and to be part of a group.
I think also not everyone clicks with absolutely everyone. I pretty much never have conflicts with people but I’m also not a quiet or passive person at all. I have a talkative, really outgoing personality. And if someone is out of line I would tell them. E.g. If someone is two hours late, I wouldn’t yell at them or anything, but I’d express that I’m annoyed. So for that reason I’m probably not suitable to a friendship with a dominant and self-centred person because I would confront them and obviously that creates conflict and fights.May 25, 2021 at 6:12 am #1089440LisforLeslieGuest
You’re in your mid-thirties and you’re behaving like you’re 10 years younger. You’re setting boundaries for what may be the first time in your life, that’s good!
Your asshole ex friend is exhausting and there is a high likelihood that others will figure that out soon enough. So relax, stay social with your other friends and meet new friends if possible. Invite them to do things. Make plans! Make plans like hiking! Or going to brunch. Or having lunch in a park. Either your friends will figure out that she’s awful or they won’t (but they probably will). But if you force them to make a choice, they’ll pick the more sympathetic pitiful character and that’s your manipulative ex-friend.May 28, 2021 at 6:17 pm #1090017Brittany CattonGuest
A friendship such as this always has consequences. Yes you miss and care for her, but not to your detriment. Cheer her on, from very far away.