Her name, which we shall alter, will be "the red head". The red head is one of my best gals; granted,she wasn’t part of the original posse but she was inducted when she moved in with my two best friends. Nowlet me start by saying this…I knew what I was getting into when I met her, I knew her abrasive and blunt manner of speaking and acting was going to be an issue, but NEVER was I prepared for the path of destruction she was going to lay out in front of meand my best friends when she moved in with them.

Like I mentioned in my last post I don’t live with them so my exposure to the drama is minimal,but the red head still finds ways to permeate my daily life with stress. I spoke tomy therapist and upon catching her up on the issue; she basically said I need to remove my ties to this girl, my mental health being the main reasonbecause her behavior triggers my obsessions and social anxiety.What I need from you lovely people isanyadvice that allows me to try and keep the red head at a distance so that our friend group remains functional and together.Or, if you feel that I would just be better off ceasing contact all-together. I will admit, I am a pushover and a conflict shirker. I often allow others to take advantage because I obsess over offending someone or hurting their feelings to the point of exhaustion, so the problem may be completely mine in the end and any advice for that is welcome as well!

For context purposes, some examples of her reoccurringbehavior are as follows:

  1. Her most characteristic conduct is her need to make someone or everyone her punching bag. I often call her the porcupine because if you catch her on an off day or she is just feeling mean, she will poke you with a quill or two (or a bunch in my case). She does this because she refuses to express herself in any healthy form but then expects others to be accepting of her issues. I am often the victim because in the past I have allowed the behavior to continue and been too afraid to call her out on it, a mistake on my part.
  2. The next most common issue is that she refuses to handle any issue in person. Her go to means of contact is texting, which I can’t stand, and her talent seems to be the nasty, sarcastic way she words her messages. For example, the one she sent me the other day started out fine, but got ugly quick. It basically stated “hey could you possibly bring the parking pass back tomorrow? You know some of us have friends too who need to use it.”
  3. Another issue that I face with her and one that really upsets me is the fact she NEVER apologizes until you drag it out of her. Her trademark is to explain why she behaved the way she did or said what she said, but she never acknowledges she is wrong or says sorry. I often discuss this with my gals and we have come to the conclusion that this is pretty much all we will ever get out of her. The saying I have adopted is “you may have gotten an explanation, but remember, it wasn’t an apology”. In addition to this, when she does have a spat with someone, she acts like nothing happened the next day but brings it up later as a grudge she’s held onto for months.

There is so much more that she does but the major issues were listed above. Any and all help is greatly appreciated and I promise I read every bit of it even if I don’t respond! Thank you all so much for bringing me into a community that outstretched its arms and offered me love without question!

5 Comments
  1. Ablee 8 years ago

    Ashley I m new here but here goes.  Ironically i had a redhead friend and she had very strong personality.  She influenced things in such a way that people followed or got her wrath.  We were good friends though but when i disagreed with one of her plans she got really mad.  Looking back the best thing i did was stand up to what i believed and that was the best thing.  Dont let people step on you be true to yourself they may fire back but in the long run you will feel good about yourself.

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  2. BLUESEAS 8 years ago

    Dealing with the dynamics of a group is always a difficult situation to navigate. Especially not being familiar with the relationships and history of the people involved. That being said, I’ll offer my take on things. There is no such thing as a nasty friend. Friends can be sarcastic etc. if it is all in good fun. But if this isn’t the case, then this red head either isn’t much of a friend to begin with or just doesn’t know how to function in the role of a friend or maybe she’s just a jerk. Looking at her as if she carries the same weight in your life as your real friends gives her behavior more influence than she deserves. If you are reluctant when it comes to confrontation, especially if you think it may hurt your standing with your other friends in the group, you may want to look at her as a training exercise in dealing with thorny people. When she sounds off, just remind yourself to consider the source and train yourself not to take what she says or does to heart. Not everything that people say or do is a reflection on you, mostly it reflects on them.  It could be a chance to remove a stumbling block from your path and gain new strength and confidence. People respect strength and confidence. Even if it doesn’t change her behavior, you’ll still be part of your group and you’ll feel a lot better.

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  3. BLUESEAS 8 years ago

    I dropped back in to add a few more thoughts. I used to be quite a doormat in my younger days and the ocd didn’t help. Socially, I had lots of cringe-worthy moments and I had someone appear in my social circle and I was pretty sure dealing with him would be the death of me. He seemed to have all the strength. If you care about this group of people and want to stay part of it, then stay regardless of the red-head. We all have to deal with her kind sometime and if we abandon ship every time one shows up we’ll spend our whole lives moving from one group of friends to another. Her bad behavior shouldn’t cost anyone but her, and it will, because eventually problems like her solve themselves once everyone has had enough. Until then, keep the high ground by not allowing her to draw you into conflict with her. If you can train yourself to disregard her rudeness and not take it personally you’ll strengthen yourself and probably help your social anxiety. If you can take it one step further and bring yourself to be nice to her, you’ll undercut her credibility in the group.  If you can pull it off, she can’t brand you the problem to the others and it will make her look worse in comparison. Even though it may sting a bit to be kind to her, taking the high road isn’t agreeing with her or saying that her ways are ok. In fact, it is silently showing the whole group how not ok it is and it spares you the stress of a big conflict and protects your place in the group. Basically, if you care about these people and they care about you, don’t let anyone run you off. This is your life. She’s just visiting.

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  4. ancientgeekcrone 8 years ago

    I do not know what to do with toxic people(toxic to me) except to eliminate them from my life.

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  5. ashleyheather 8 years ago

    thank you all for your feedback! to answer a few questions from the comments, the red-head's relationship with each of the women in our group idffers but mostly each one of us has had our run in with her on one or multiple occassions. two of the total 5 of us in the group dont have much of a relationship with her and often tell the red-head outright when she is being offensive or rude. my closest girlfriend of the whole group has the amazing ability to let it roll off her shoulders when the red-head acts up and I envy her for that beacuse she often tells me "consider the source, whatever is going on is between you two and we understand she is hard to deal with". So the general thought between the whole group is that shes a difficult person to deal with, but i am the only one who struggles to fight off the anxiety and personal hurt that comes with her attitude and abrasive personality.As of late I have tried standing up for myself more, last night being an example when I said to her "you have been picking on me and going at me all night, please stop" and her response was to become angry (no suprise there). but it felt good to let her know i wasnt going to take her crap and my girlfriends agreed. thank you all again keep the feedback coming!

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