You’ve heard me recently rail against my boyfriend’s ex’s friends. I am probably more upset over the behavior of the people around her than with her behavior. Yes, she might be childish and self-righteous and so passive-aggressive everyone feels the need to kowtow around her lest they invoke her wrath, but they are the ones who continue to enable her and continue to allow her to be such a menace.
My friends would never allow me to make such an a** out of myself. Yes, there is a period after a break-up when being completely off your rocker about your ex and his activities where it is deemed ‘socially acceptable’. You are permitted to be bitter and grouchy and nasty. However, when you still have friends and activities in common with your ex, it behooves you both to either behave yourself, or minimize all contact. R, at first, minimized contact with mutual friends, but after a short time, he figured they all knew about the break-up and the worst part of her ire should have been over, or at least had become manageable. No. Almost a year later now, she still continues to purposely seek him out in social settings and set her back to him, to make snide comments about him, to be as rude and as nasty to him in front of as many people as possible. She also makes it a common practice to make any of her friends who speak to him feel like children caught with their hands in the cookie jar when they speak to him, even though he is their friend too.
Where is that line? Where do you stand up and say we are all grown-ups here and I am not responsible for your actions or activities? At what point do people who think her behavior is just obscene and juvenile stand up and say enough is enough already?
There are so many scenarios of are we responsible for our friends.
Here Slash Coleman talks about how if you introduce two of your friends to one another in hopes that they might like one another or help one another out, and one person pretty much ignores or lets down the other person, it’s not his fault simply because he introduced them.
I can see if I invite you and my other friend to meet for lunch so we can all discuss this project that would be good for us and one person doesn’t show. Since I set up the meeting, and I invited all the parties, if one person didn’t show up, I would apologize to the other person, simply because I am the one in charge, and somebody dropped the ball on my watch. I would not sit and wait for the other person. I would apologize for the other person…and then I would move on to whatever project we had come to meet about. That other person then becomes responsible for catching up on what he missed, offering his input, joining in or opting out or whatever else he is going to do. I am sorry he missed my meeting, but my life does not revolve around accepting responsibility for his conduct.
Slash also gives the examples of if I introduce two friends and one bails on the meeting…Slash is not responsible for the other guy’s actions simply because the one guy stood the other guy up. I am totally there. I thought you two would hit it off. Obviously, my friend is a dufus and has other plans. He let us both down. Sorry, but I didn’t have anything to do with that. Time to move on now. I would definitely call the other guy and say, hey, what’s up? Guy #1 called and yelled at me because you didn’t show up for lunch. You owe him an apology. I am not dealing with fallout over your stuff. But otherwise, it’s not me. It’s out of my hands.
Seems that Melissa here has very similar ideas to mine.
But neither of these issues really hits where I am trying to go with this. R’s ex would learn to behave herself, just like another former couple that is still very active in the same group as this ex and R, if other people would stand up to her and say, stop acting like a spoiled brat. No one wants to be the ‘bad guy’. No one wants to argue with her. No one wants to make her feel bad.
But no one minds talking about her, her behavior, her actions, her words, behind her back. No one minds making her the butt of all their jokes. No one minds rolling their eyes when she isn’t looking. No one minds purposely avoiding contact with her as much as possible, as long as possible, at any given time. No one minds leaving her out of invites just to have a peaceful time with other friends where she isn’t being belligerent.
I am not saying these people are responsible for her actions. I am saying these people need to be accountable for themselves, to themselves. She continues, after nearly a year, to make everyone uncomfortable around her. People don’t like the way she acts, the way she handles herself, the way she communicates, or in her case, the way she never communicates even the most simple of things. No one ever calls her on it; everyone complains about it and hates to have her around. When do these people become responsible for themselves and for their happiness at group events, rather than catering to one out of at least twenty others who just isn’t happy with anything she herself does? When do they stop calling her names and picking on her behind her back? When does someone gently take her aside and say, hey, we know you’re hurting, but taking it out on everyone is making us all miserable. Can’t you tone it down like M and S do when they are around one another?
I am not saying yell at her in front of others. I am not saying be mean to her. I am saying, where are the real friends who care enough about her to point out that she is alienating everyone in her life because she is angry with one person and she can’t let go? Where is the person who cares about her enough to tell her she might want to consider therapy? Or something. Try taking your aggression out on the shooting range or something. Anything. But learn to deal with your own issues instead of spewing them all over your friends.
I hate to say I feel bad for the woman, but I do. One of the major reasons she cannot pull her head out of her own butt is because no one is genuinely honest with her. There are so many ways to be brutally honest without being mean or hateful, but no one in her social circles has the testicular fortitude to do anything more than talk about her behind her back. It has to be a sad way to live, with no real friends to speak of, but you think everyone adores you, when they really can’t stand you.
Woe unto all of these people when I start hitting the events with R. The ex won’t listen to me, because 1 she’s never liked me and 2 I’m not just dating R, I am living w him, but I can definitely call her out on her actions. Plus, I will be more than happy to point out to the other friends that talking behind her back is horrid and they need to say things to her face. She will always be a problem until someone stands up to her, even a friend who does so with compassion and love.
Either that, or my presence and my vast knowledge about her and her relationship with R that I will spew in an inordinately large and detailed manner will scare her away from everyone and none of us will have to deal with her childishness ever again.