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Topic : Ending Toxic Friendships

Number of Replies: 486
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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:20:14 am
Author : dataimport
It can be hard to extricate yourself from a friendship gone bad. Share your stories and strategies for handling this sticky situation.

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November 11, 2005, 4:57 pm CST

Boomerang Toxic Related Friend

Hello All, 

  

I hope this isn't too much.  I'm upset right now and I'm venting.  

  

I have a friend, which is also a cousin.  A few years ago, I ended the friendship abruptly.   I returned everything that belonged to her and picked up anything of mine and quit communicating.  Since then, I've learned that I have boundary issues and that I have allowed people to mistreat me, without saying a word to them about my feelings.  I've gotten better but I still have problems confronting the boundary breakers.   

  

My friend(F) had been taking advantage of me.  She would show up and drop her kids off, at my house and go a few houses away to visit her father.  My thought was take your kids with you.  When she actually asked me to babysit, she wouldn't return on the arranged time.  She was constantly wanting me to do things for her.  I felt used.  She started getting upset and would stop speaking to me , when I declined to help or she pulled out the guilt trip.  This was the final straw.  My teens were riding the school bus, to the stop by her house because it was the closest stop to my house.  Therefore, I would pick them up, at her house.  She started complaining about it.  So I directed the kids, to wait at the bus stop for me.  However, I had an undiagnosed thyroid problem and I would fall asleep in the middle of the day and not wake up to the alarm.   In fact, I couldn't stay awake for more than 4 hours.  Therefore, one day my kids walked to her house to call me but I was at the bus stop.  The kids told me they had only been there for 2 minutes and my F was ugly to me and wouldn't speak to me.  I tried to be friendly after that happened but she refused to speak to me so I accepted it and took action by ending the friendship.     

  

About a year ago, my cousin/friend and I slowly restarted our relationship.  I have been cautious about investing my feelings, knowing her history.  This time, things were different, since she has moved about 2 hours away .  I thought, she couldn't use me like she had in the past.  It's easy to say, no too far.  However, she has been using my 19-20yr old  children to transport her young daughter for visitation via the train.   

  

Here is where things get confusing.  My son had recently returned from a weekend visit with my F. The following week, for some strange reason, she showed up on a Saturday 10/8 to pick her daughter up.  There was a long, crazy, and make-no-sense-to-me story about why she was there and that my son was going to leave with her to help with something.  However, I had planned a garage sale the following weekend and I had to empty out a storage building.  When my son left, both of them knew that I needed his help, and I was assured he would return.  I'm not physically healthy enough so I needed his help.  I realized that my F had suddenly quit calling.  We had not spoken for the last week or so.  Anyway, my son was supposed to return on Sun. but she had a bunch of reasons why he didn't get there until Wed. 10/12.  This is when things started turning bad again.   

  

"Something is rotten in Denmark".  My son returned on 10/12, after some resistance and strange behavior over the phone by my F.  She acted like I wasn't having a garage sale, couldn't make up my mind and it was going to rain.  I had to defend my position.  When I picked my son him up, from the train, he said that he had moved in with my F.  I warned him about being used. 

  

My son helped with the garage sale and he went to his aunts house, to help her out on Sat. evening but was to return on Sunday and finish up.  On Sunday, my cousin's husband called, for my son and that man never calls my house.  Unknown to me, my F arranged to pick my son up from the train stop.  I called my son around 11:30 and asked when he was coming back.  He said, he was going to get on the train around noon.  I'm like what?  She has so interjected herself into the middle of my relationship with my 20 year old son.  When I called to speak to him that evening, she was ugly, defensive and argumentative about what happened.  How in the heck would she know, she wasn't here.  She chastised me and said, you know he's grown and can do what he wants. Duh!!!  It's not about that.  I'm like, where did that come from?  I suspect she is up to no good.  Why is she putting this wedge in place?  So she can play my son? 

  

I didn't really speak to her after that.  F went to Vegas (paid for by another friend of hers) the last week of Oct.  I think I've spoken to her twice since then and I called my son on his birthday.  Today, F, hubby and my son show up, unannounced.  She came in and visited, while my son piddled with his vehicle.  She told me she was going to buy a vehicle from her X because hers is falling apart and her hubbys has been overheating.  After about 30 minutes my son asked about the title for the van, which another one of my cousins just GAVE to him, on 10/1.  I asked if he was taking it with him.  He said, yes.  I said, I don't advise that because it's not insured, tagged and the title is not in your name.  Before I was done speaking to my son, F had jumped up grabbed her purse and left my house without saying a word.  I couldn't not believe her behavior.  B comes to mind. 

  

I sat there a minute and said, you have to say something about the boundary violation.  I looked out and she was blah blahing to her hubby.  I'm sure telling her version of the events.  I stepped outside and said I need to speak to you.  I told her I was not going to tolerate being treated like that.  Running out of my house without saying  a word, good buy or kiss my tail.  She said, I haven't left yet.  I'm like yes you have.  When the bull kept coming out of her mouth and trying to put it on me, I got blunt.  She said, she didn't understand why I was yelling at her.  I was loud and assertive.  I said, because you deserve it.  She said, I don't have to take this.  I said, I don't either.  I said, for that matter, I don't appreciate the sneaky deceitful behavior.  She played dumb.  I said, I don't need sneaky deceitful people in my life.  She said, fine bye and gave me the talk to the hand business.  I looked over at her husband and said, why didn't she pick up the phone and say she was coming over today and picking up the van.  He shrugged.  Of course, he was set to drive off in my son's van aka his new work truck.   

  

My son is susposed to come over next Friday, wonder how that is going to sit with them.  I fear they are drivng a wedge between my son and I so F can get what she wants.  I really fear that they are going to use my son and his vehicle.  They live in the country and vehicles git driven in the ground real quick.  My son is leaving for the Navy in the Spring, I wonder if they are going to try and talk him out of his 'free" vehicle.  I'm sure by then, he is going to owe them something.  God, I hope he keeps his guard up and uses his head. 

  

What do y'all think?  I'm sure I didn't handle this well.  I know I had to do something because I was starting feeling the same rotten way I did the first time, I ended the relationship.  Any advise?  Do you think I need to totaly end this relationship?  I'm sure it's toxic and I can't handle it. 

  

Texmess 

 
November 12, 2005, 10:23 pm CST

Ending Toxic Friendships

Texmess, 

  

Yes, you need to end this relationship completely. F is quite toxic and obviously has major issues. As for your son, the best you can do there is sit down with him and talk to him about what is going on with F. Don't start taking F's inventory with him, just ask him why he feels the need to be there. Let him know that you have to end the relationship with F for your own sanity and that you'd appreciate it if he would come over to your home without her from now on. If he needs a ride, provide him with one, but don't give her any reason to come to your home. 

  

Also, try to arrange some sort of visitation schedule (so to speak) with your son so that you can be assured of seeing him regularly. Once he gets ensnared with F, she may brainwash him into not seeing you at all and that would be a shame. 

 
November 14, 2005, 1:02 pm CST

Ending Toxic Friendships

Hi, I'm so happy that I have found this board. I have been going back and forth about what to do with this friend I have. I really need some advice.  This girl and I have been friends for probally 9 yrs now.  Most of the time we have spent fighting. If it wasn't for the fact that she married my cousin, I would cut off all ties, but I want to be able to say Hi when I see her at Family gatherings.  She has done a lot of shitty things to me.  She is the type of person that can have all the friends in the world but you cannot have another friend. She will ruin it for you.  Like on her 21st she invited all our friends except me. I was soo upset. I had just seen her 3 wks prior. Which got me and our mutual friend in a fight, since she didn't stick up for me. But that is what she wanted and she got us to not be friends anymore.  This 21st party was going to be a big deal since I was married with a son, I never really went out.  I was really upset, We didn't talkj for probally a year.  

Well now here we are a few years later and she is still trying to out do me, rub in my face that I don't go out and party. I know nothing about kids. I now have 2 she has 1. And so on. Well my Hubby and I just bought a new house a few months back. We now live about 30 miles away. We had made plans for her and her husband to come over,  My hubby and I cleaned went shopping bought food, No Call No nothing they didn't show. I called her  she said they forgot.   A few weeks go by and we do the same thing, Not at all thinking they are going to do it a gain. This time my husband prepares the meat, lites the grill and so on, They don't show or call, We had to have our parents over to eat with us. She sends me an email saying she forgot that she is really sorry.  Wants to come over this weekend. NO WAY.. Not doing this again. 

  

I feel like she just doesn't respect us at all.  Everyone in my family doesn't understand why I'm still frineds with her. I guess I'm just holding on to a pieace of my past.  

I don't know how to sever the ties? I have tried to talk to her about it but she turns it around to being my fault some how.  It's just more stressful being her friend.  

  

 
November 14, 2005, 1:38 pm CST

Boomerang

Shellyn, 

  

Thanks!  I did talk to my son and told him not to speak about our conversation.  My son and I have an unspoken connection.  We just understand what each other is thinking, even when others in the room don't get it.  I told him to listen and watch out what he says.  F came to his room and asked who he was talking to.  Hmmm, more control?  I think someone picked up the phone line.  I really don't care but he doesn't need to have them bugging him about what I said.   

  

I did tell him I felt they were after his van and that they would double team him.  I told him how jealous F was over the van.  I also told him I felt he was currently in the honeymoon stage of being over there and that they are doing a lot of nice things right now, (just like his father did in a child custody fight).  He realized that too.  I told him, when the honeymoon ends, they will start billing you for all kinds of things.  They will rack up a bill and offer to take the van, to pay off the debt.  I let him know, if he feels the bill is going to cost him his van, that he could move back home.  I gave him an out. 

  

Right now, he is working for F's DH.  It sounds like a "company town" situation already.  I did let him know how I felt about transferring the title and we are going to leave it in my other cousin's name for now.  You can't take claim of something that doesn't belong to the victim.  It's best that way because they can't twist it into mom has the title and is controlling you little boy.  I warned him about mechanic's liens, so if they pay for any parts or do any work, they might pull that stunt. 

  

I know I sound terribly suspicious and paranoid about this, but I've been bitten by F before.  She will be sicky sweet, have something to offer, loyal devoted friend to your face, while she has her hand in your purse and a knife in your back.  She is possession grabby.  She is bold enough to ask for your stuff. :)  I'm not kidding. 

  

Thanks Y'all 

 
November 14, 2005, 2:25 pm CST

No Show Toxic Guest

Hey!  Your toxic friend is a mean one.  She plays a lot of alcoholic games.  Sad to say, but I bet she sat around and snickered about you going to all that trouble.  Most likely she has a mutual friend she is also playing, which she uses to hear about your hurt feelings by proxy.  It's sick, like a power trip because you just played her puppet.  I bet, she likes to watch people fight and she is the instigator. 

  

All the things you describe tells me that she is very passive aggressive.  The thing about passive aggressive is that you can't confront them directly.  They have designed it that way.  They can simply play dumb or put it on you and make you look like you are picking the fight.  I feel you need to guard yourself against  her because she will want you back, to play with you some more.  Like my TF did.  She will trick you back into believing she is a true friend and may pull a guilt trip about you not paying attention to her and ditching a long good relationship.  Yea, for her.   That is what my TF has done.  When she comes for you, just decline any contact and say that you have something to do right now.  That will be true because the "something" is you are ending a toxic friendship for your sake.   

  

My TF is also a relative.  Trust me, if you distance yourself from your TF, she will run right up to you, at the next family outing and play super friendly.  Put on a public display.  Just be nice and excuse yourself or wonder off as fast as you can.  It's some crazy thing they do.  They have to show the world they are the nice bigger person, to keep the facade up, so they feel better about themselves and to make you look like the bad one, when you reject them.  Oh poor TF victim.  Something about these types that play the I love you hate you game.  You know,  you could plan a counter attack and approach her first on your terms.  Get you a little script prepared on "how is this and that" and "I hope all is well..." and "Oh  excuse me, I was on my way to the restroom".  Head strait for her the minute you arrive, at the encounter destination, and get it over with fast.  Throw her off her game. :)  Remember, a car ride seems to cause a trip to the bathroom.:0   I've planned that for my future encounter, with the TF relative that I'm pulling off of my back right now.  I'm going to meet her head on. 

  

I hope you can let her go and count your blessings.  Now go out there and find some good friends. TexMess 

 
November 14, 2005, 2:32 pm CST

Ending Toxic Friendships

Quote From: shelleyn05

Farmerchik, 

  

You can be happy in this life. It's about the choices you make and what you're willing to accept in this life. Your boyfriend keeps the "other woman" simply because he can. If this bothers you, you have to be willing to walk away.  

  

You deserve to have all the emotional energy your boyfriend has to give. You deserve not to compete with someone else for his affections. If you are unhappy with this behavior and he's unwilling to negotiate a solution you can both be excited about, then it's time for you to walk. There's only so much you can do. If you let this continue, you will never be happy. 

  

  

After 2 divorces and a lot of pain over relationships being trashed, I discovered my criteria was to WATCH WHAT PEOPLE DO!  NOT WHAT THEY SAY!  My family relationships and friendships are now stable.  I quit playing the victim to those about me.  It Works!!! 

 
November 14, 2005, 2:35 pm CST

No Show Toxic Guest

Quote From: my2boys

Hi, I'm so happy that I have found this board. I have been going back and forth about what to do with this friend I have. I really need some advice.  This girl and I have been friends for probally 9 yrs now.  Most of the time we have spent fighting. If it wasn't for the fact that she married my cousin, I would cut off all ties, but I want to be able to say Hi when I see her at Family gatherings.  She has done a lot of shitty things to me.  She is the type of person that can have all the friends in the world but you cannot have another friend. She will ruin it for you.  Like on her 21st she invited all our friends except me. I was soo upset. I had just seen her 3 wks prior. Which got me and our mutual friend in a fight, since she didn't stick up for me. But that is what she wanted and she got us to not be friends anymore.  This 21st party was going to be a big deal since I was married with a son, I never really went out.  I was really upset, We didn't talkj for probally a year.  

Well now here we are a few years later and she is still trying to out do me, rub in my face that I don't go out and party. I know nothing about kids. I now have 2 she has 1. And so on. Well my Hubby and I just bought a new house a few months back. We now live about 30 miles away. We had made plans for her and her husband to come over,  My hubby and I cleaned went shopping bought food, No Call No nothing they didn't show. I called her  she said they forgot.   A few weeks go by and we do the same thing, Not at all thinking they are going to do it a gain. This time my husband prepares the meat, lites the grill and so on, They don't show or call, We had to have our parents over to eat with us. She sends me an email saying she forgot that she is really sorry.  Wants to come over this weekend. NO WAY.. Not doing this again. 

  

I feel like she just doesn't respect us at all.  Everyone in my family doesn't understand why I'm still frineds with her. I guess I'm just holding on to a pieace of my past.  

I don't know how to sever the ties? I have tried to talk to her about it but she turns it around to being my fault some how.  It's just more stressful being her friend.  

  

my2, 

Please read what I wrote.  I don't seem to know how to operate this forum.  Good Luck, TexMess  

 
November 14, 2005, 2:40 pm CST

Ending Toxic Relationship

Quote From: shelleyn05

Farmerchik, 

  

The first step here is to acknowledge that you and he do not have a great relationship. If you did, there would be a lot more respect flowing from him to you in terms of dumping the "other woman." Make no mistake, she is the other woman regardless of whether he is doing anything physical with her. If nothing else, there's an unhealthy emotional relationship going on. 

  

You ask "Where do I go from here?" The answer is that you go forward either with him or alone. Those are the only options. If he refuses to get rid of her and it bothers you, then you need to get rid of him. If you don't want to get rid of him, you're going to have to live with his disrespect. 


Remember - you teach people how to treat you. You've taught him that it's ok for him to keep this woman in his life. If that's ok with you, so be it. Quit complaining. If it's not ok with you, you have to be willing to walk away from him. 

  

Best of luck. 

  

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR OWN LIFE!  Toxic is toxic, be it something we ingest or people who use other people in destructive ways.  This gal deserve to play "Tar Baby" with a certified loser!!  Use this experience as your move forward with your life. 

 
November 14, 2005, 3:34 pm CST

Friendship

This is my little story and I am posting it here for anyone else who has the same problem and needs encouragement.  

  

I was best friends for a girl for nearly eight years. We did everything together. People even called us 'twins' because we were together so much. She had many problems such as borderline anorexia and depression. She was on the verge of suicide. I did my best to help her and I even invited her to church with me. She would have none of it. She had very low self-esteem and always tried to bring me down by insulting me or any other means. It got to the point though, where I would start to become depressed. I started thinking like her. Suicidal thoughts began to enter my head. It took me a long time to realize that, 'Hey, I can't save the world and I am only hurting myself by staying friends with her.' It's hard to end a friendship like that and I still think about her a lot, but be careful that you don't let them start to suck you down. Sometimes it's better to just let go of the friendship. 

 
November 14, 2005, 3:56 pm CST

Do I have a toxic friend?

I've known this friend for about 15 yrs. She was really fun and a great friend. She recently went through a bad divorce and her personality has changed tremendously. Although I've been as supportive as I can, I'm starting to feel that she's overly needy.  She calls any time of night or day  wanting to vent about her ex-husband, sometimes crying hysterically.  She's been divorced for about 2 yrs. and I feel she should have gotten over it by now.  She's a beautiful girl and can get any guy she wants, but she's become a very bitter person with no trust in men and very high standards that most men don't have, so she blows off any possible new b/f or hubbys. About five years ago she introduced me to another friend of hers. The other friend and I hit it off so well, we've become good friends. The other girl and I have gone out without our mutual friend and we have discussed her needy ways and bitterness, and we both agree that it takes a toll on us emotionally to be at the beck and call of our divorced friend.  Our divorced friend doesn't like that we've become friends.  She now avoids our get togethers at all costs, or agrees to get together but then calls at the last minute with some terrible drama that will prevent her from showing up, and we're left wondering WTF!  She's making herself the victim, she's very defensive, and she turns it around on us every time.  I'm ready to throw in the towel, but she can be a really good friend  and fun friend when she's in better moods.  Any advise? hang in there or let it go?
 
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