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“Friend” trying to drag other friends into an issue

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  • #962707 Reply

    Here is the background: my birthday was a few weeks ago, and I celebrated by hosting a COVID friendly picnic in the park with 6 of my closest girlfriends. We social distanced, brought our own food, and had a good time. I invited one of my friends, we’ll call her “Sally,” and she claimed she couldn’t come because she “was not allowed to socialize with COVID” and “there were too many variables she couldn’t control.” Weird since I’m trying to make things COVID friendly, but ok. Later, I saw on social media that Sally had been partying at her high school friend’s cabin with 8-10 other girls, not social distancing. Additionally, the weekend of my birthday, I saw on Snapchat that she went camping with her boyfriend and his friends, who she hadn’t seen all summer. So much for “not being able to socialize.”

    Sally never followed up with me one on one to do something, so she basically blew my birthday off. Sally has been an unreliable/bad friend for a long time now, and I have been the one putting in all the effort. Needless to say, that was my last straw. I didn’t start any drama over what she’d done, but I haven’t bothered to reach out to her since my birthday.

    My roomie/close friend is (was? Sally puts zero effort into their friendship as well) friends with Sally, and is still holding out hope that they’ll be close again. My roomie told me she contacted Sally to go for coffee since she hadn’t seen her in several months. My roomie told me that Sally had declined by giving the same COVID excuse, and then mentioned, “I think Freida is mad at me anyways :(.” I didn’t tell my roomie what Sally had done because I didn’t want to start any drama by bashing Sally. My roomie asked me about it, so I told her everything above, and then stated I was not mad, but hurt. I then quickly changed the subject. My roomie tried to stay neutral, but I could tell that she was disappointed in Sally as well.

    Sally is someone who never takes responsibility for things. She is always trying to be the victim. I think it’s funny how Sally has never contacted me directly to ask if I’m upset with her (which obviously I am), but instead she is spreading it to my roomie. This clearly speaks to me that Sally is trying to play my roomie and “circle the wagons.” The statement “I think she’s mad at me” attempts to frame me as the selfish, unjustified one, when she is the one who lied to me. How can I handle this?

    #962708 Reply

    It sounds like you are quite far down Sally’s priority list, but many people would choose time with their bf camping with his friends than a birthday party. A lot of people view birthday celebrations as overblown and optional, outside of kids in the family and crossing major age thresholds. “I think she is mad at me” clearly isn’t wrong, your whole post shouts that you are mad at her, so own it. You had a party. She declined. She doesn’t need an excuse. But also clear you aren’t atop her friend list.

    #962711 Reply

    I don’t think that camping with boyfriend is the issue. (I would most certainly never choose camping over anything else, personally. I’d much rather go to a kid or adult birthday party.) The issue is that Sally LIED about it all, which is lame. It’s Sally who isn’t owning her shit.

    LW, just drop Sally. She’s an ass, let’s face it. Don’t worry about her circling wagons or any of that crap. If she ever asks you, “are you maaaaad at me? ;)” then you can say, “I think you have that backwards.” And nothing else. But the better thing is to just drop her. It’s done.

    #962712 Reply

    Thank you! I’m not mad that Sally went camping. I just wish she had been honest with me by saying, “Hey, I made other plans already, let’s get together another time.” I would have understood that. But she didn’t even have the decency to be honest with me, which sucks.

    #962713 Reply

    I mean, just don’t be friends with her anymore if she brings you down. A lot of people will bring you down in life, and you can choose just not to maintain a relationship with them.

    As for lying, it was lame because it could be easily debunked. She’s absolutely allowed to decline social invitations she’s not into, but she should be smarter about it.

    ETA, it sounds like she doesn’t want to do Covid-modified activities. She’d rather party like it’s 2019 without precautions. I get it. Honestly I’m skipping things like socially distanced picnics or coffee. It’s just a hassle to me and not fun. I don’t want to sit 6 feet away and yell through a mask. I just decline and use my mental health as an excuse. You don’t then see me on Instagram partying because I’m not down for being irresponsible and killing my parents either. Sally needs to come up with better excuses if she doesn’t want to be rude. That said, she may not care about being rude.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by avatarKate.
    #962715 Reply

    It hurts when people lie to you, and it also hurts when you realize you prioritize someone more than they prioritize you, but it’s also just…life.

    Surely there are people out there that want to be friends with you more than you are interested in being friends with them.

    Sally did err in lying to you, that was baffling and weird, but to be honest she doesn’t really owe you an explanation for why she wasn’t coming. You can’t demand someone’s appearance at your party, they can chose to do other things and it’s not up to you to vet or even know their reasons. Be honest with yourself, if sally had been honest, or even just been vague, would you have given her a hard time? If you’ve tried to guilt or pressure her into doing something in the past, that might explain why she got squirrelly and gave a fake reason that seemed “good” enough to decline. Not excuse, but explain.

    I’m not trying to chastise you or tell you you are being unreasonable, it totally makes sense that you are hurt, BUT I think you will recover more easily if you just realize that hey, you and Sally just aren’t on the same page about what your friendship means. That’s neither good nor bad, it just is. Then you can move on. You can either decide to stop being friends with her entirely, you can stay friendly but dial back the amount of effort you put in to match hers, or you can continue to reach out as much as you have been but make peace with the fact that it will be one sided.

    #962716 Reply

    Also, for what it’s worth, maybe Sally wasn’t lying, she just didnt’ explain all the minutia.

    Perhaps when she said she can’t socialize for COVID reasoning, what she meant was she was stritcly isolating in advance of her camping trip (as were the other attendees), so they could party without socially distancing and not risking bringing COVID along.

    I mean, that probably is a stretch, but, you don’t know. Maybe she was being responsible about it and just didn’t want to explain the whole dang scenerio to you, particularly when it meant she would be doing something fun over going to your birthday picnic.

    All this said, you definitely don’t need permission to stop being friends with Sally, or to downshift your relationship with her.

    But for your own benefit, I’d just accept it at face value that Sally is who she is, and you aren’t going to stress out about it anymore. Your just going to let it go, it just is. Clearly its not personal to you, seeing as she flakes on other folks in a similar way.

    There’s nothing to handle, nothing to confront her about, just acknowledge to yourself she is who she is, decide what feels right to you going forward, and free yourself of further hurt feelings.

    #962717 Reply

    You say she’s been an unreliable and “bad” friend for awhile, so this is just par for the course. You don’t have to do anything. I think you should stop talking about her and just move on. She’s not a good friend to you, and you don’t need to waste any more emotional energy or time wondering or worrying or being pissed that she lied to you. Just take this as a big lesson of who she is, and back off from making effort, as you have.

    Photos on social media can be misleading. Stop following her if it makes you feel bad.

    #962725 Reply

    I’m a little confused by some of the responses. Sally clearly lied — said she was not socializing due to covid and then was partying it up at a cabin AND a campground. Some are implying that the LW was at fault somehow for “demanding” or guilt-tripping or making too big a deal out of birthdays.

    I mean, that’s getting into a dicey area, you know? It’s awful to be lied to and then have others say, “well, if you hadn’t done X, then this wouldn’t have happened…” We’re living that mind-fuck on a national scale right now. Making up scenarios that put the LW at fault doesn’t seem helpful.

    All the LW is saying is that she’s hurt and doesn’t want to be manipulated by Sally’s “you mad, bro?” bullsh1t later on. She wants to know how to handle THAT.

    #962739 Reply

    You already posted about this situation. You already knew then that Sally was lying and not a good friend to you. People told you that it sounded like your friendship has run its course. Time to move on! It’s okay to be hurt when your friends let you down, and growing apart from close friends can be sad and painful. So if you feel hurt and let down, that’s fine. Sally isn’t obligated to do anything with or for you for your birthday.

    I have a germ circle going that include a couple people outside of my boyfriend (my sister and her fake boyfriend, to be exact). Sally’s outings may be her messed up version of a germ circle. Not sure, and that’s probably giving her a lot of credit, but whatever is going on with her, it should be clear to you that you’re low on her priority list.

    Sally telling your roommate once that she thinks you’re mad at her doesn’t sound like she’s trying to drag your roommate into anything. It just sounds like an acknowledgement that she knows she’s done something to upset you. There’s nothing to handle here. To me, you actually seem to be the one trying to turn this comment to your roommate into something bigger than it was.

    Anyway, you need to move on from Sally. She’s not a good friend. You don’t seem to like her because she doesn’t take responsibility, always plays the victim, ditches you for her boyfriends (per your last post), etc. You can waste your time and energy thinking about Sally and what she’s doing and who she’s with and all the ways she’s let you down. Or you can accept that this is who she is and that for whatever reasons, she’s not interested in keeping up this friendship the way you are. Focus on the other friends who are showing up for you and do want to spend time with you.

    #962769 Reply

    Was Sally being a bad friend because she lied to you about what she was doing and got caught or is sally being a bad friend because she didn’t make plans with you for your birthday?
    I am honestly always surprised that ADULTS get so hung up about their birthday. You are loved. People love you. Just because they wanted to do something else on your birthday doesn’t mean anything.

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