Post # 1
I have a ‘frenemy’ I need to get rid of. She’s a toxic person and I’ve been dragged down by her black hole of negativity one too many times. I need out, but how?
We work together (well, in the same company, not the same department although our departments overlap slightly so we have some meetings together)
We have a mutual friend in common whose friendship I value highly (the frenemy doesn’t have many friends and the majority of her socialising happens with this person, and me if I can’t find an excuse to get out of it)
Ive known this person for about 4 years. She moved away for about 18 months but then she came back about a year ago. We ended up working in the same company out of pure (bad?) luck.
I specifically don’t want her at my wedding AT ALL (I dont want anyone there who I would consider would say bad things behind my back etc which I already know she does) but I still want to invite some people from work. She’s not popular in work so I’m not worried about offending anyone else by NOT inviting her but I don’t want to cause any unnecessary tension.
I find confrontations super awkward so would prefer not to have a massive blow out or argument, is there a way to phase someone out that you might have to see in a meeting or work social event but also have a connection through a mutual friend?
Advice please! I’m 28 and supposed to be an adult but this kind of thing just stresses me out.
Post # 3
In the past I’ve had toxic people that I’ve had to remove from my life. I usually make a pro-con list.
Is it her personality you dislike? If yes, you may be able to think through that dislike with some introspection and a bit of compassion. My favorite way to do this is to recognize in the other person traits that remind me of myself, positive and negative. One theory is that we react to traits in other people that remind us of things we like or dislike. If you can build up some common ground in your head you may find her more bearable at work if tensions escalate from a non-invite.
For instance, I have a job where people can sit wherever they want on any given day. A younger, hyper-active to the point of obnoxious girl started sitting next to me and I would cringe every time, until I remembered this whole introspective way of looking at people. I remembered me when I was her age, and how awkward it was to socialize and what was important to me back then. It really helped me not get angry when she would try to grab my attention and babble on and on. To be fair, I also stopped sitting there. But now if I do end up sitting near her, she is tolerable and my day is not ruined.
If she is really bringing you down, with direct verbal abuse or you can’t click with her whatsoever, the best thing is to communicate with her and let her know how you feel in direct, concise terms.
When I was 16 I had friends who made a list of everything I needed to change about myself for me to stay friends with them. It really hurt, and I ended that friendship with a simple, “Being your friend hurts and makes me really sad. I don’t need friends like you in my life. I care about you but for my health I need to find other friends who like me for who I am.” But probably not that exact quote because I was 16 and not articulate. But it was the kind of talk that seems like it comes out of a talk show or self-help book. Talking like that works, but you have to stay stubbornly on topic, and keep redirecting to what you have decided. Know ahead of time where you want boundaries, and then to clearly express those boundaries.
As far as the invite goes. Create tension! Let them be the ones to explode and be a rock in the face of it all. Cultivate your own integrity. Recognize you are not in control of the way others react emotionally when life doesn’t hand them what they expect. Treat others with respect but don’t bend your own respect to cater to their emotions.
I hope this helps!
Post # 4
If you don
t want her in your life, dont have her in your life.
Tell the mutual friend that you would prefer not to socialize with the frenemy anymore so would like to plan to see the mutual friend on her own.
Be civil and polite at work.
Don`t invite her to the wedding.
She will get the message.
Post # 5
@Corgi-cariad: Unfortunately I don’t have any advice about doing this “cleanly”. People who are toxic and, therefore, don’t have many friends generally don’t take kindly to being phased out. Not inviting her to your wedding will definitely send a message and she might get angry.
I had to “phase out” someone who I was VERY close to and worked with several years ago. We would go on every break and lunch together but when I decided the friendship was really bad for me, I just started being “busy right now”. It was super awkward and hard, but eventually she got the point and stopped calling. She did take one of our mutual friends with her, though, so be prepared for that. If she’s already talking behind your back you better believe she’s going to paint you in a bad light with the mutual friend.
Post # 6
I had to defriend a frenemy. It’s not easy. First I debated whether it was a good idea or not because we had too many connections… So I made a pro and con list. And after making the con list I realized it was for my best mental health. How I did it was… I started talking to her less, only got in touch with her if I really needed to. I wouldn’t ignore her but I would gradually become less friendly in my conversations/wouldn’t sound too interested in her life. I was still trying to be nice, but I stopped talking about her and tried to not talk to her. Then it became easier to not invite her to social events, then we both made new friends and separated slowly. Finally, after thinking this had gone quite smoothly, I found out she was talking really bad about me behind my back… After we hadn’t talked in a couple months. Then I deleted her from Facebook because we weren’t talking and then I got a very nasty e-mail from her verbally attacking me because I deleted her from Facebook. So there really isn’t an easy way to do it! I feel like if this is a toxic person than anything you do will bring upon ugliness from said frenemy. It will be worth it in the end though! It was worth it for me. Too old for that immaturity! Good luck!!
Post # 7
@MexiPino: I completely agree with the mutual friend thing! Same thing happened with me.
Post # 8
I was lucky in that I moved not long after I felt like we were nearing the end of our friendship for good – we’d had fallings out in the past, but this last time I felt like there were no “pros” left to having her in my life. I moved, and deleted her off my facebook a few months later (she tried contacting me a couple of times and I even ran into her once on a visit back home but made it clear that I was not interested in talking).