One of my friends is hanging out with my manipulative ex-friend group. What do?

  • 1 Replies


  • New Member
  • *
  • 1
Hey everyone, this is my first post and the first time i've written anything on the internet about my experiences with manipulation/gaslighting.

A couple of years ago, at age 18 i believe, i broke off with a very close knit friend group.
One of these people had been friends since the beginning of high school, and i considered my best friend.
This group was problematic to say the least. We started out by coming together and chilling, and soon cannabis was involved. This started at age 16 if i'm not mistaken, and it became the basis upon which everything we did together for the coming years would be done.

Amongst some members of the group, other drugs were used also, less innocuous stuff.
Within a pretty short amount of time things turned from a purely stress-reducing once-in-a-blue-moon thing we did to every weekend, and at times daily thing. There is one individual in the group who i see as actually narcisist, but others did definitely fill alot of traits.

At first there was a girl in our group who at one point never showed up again and was called a "slut" as well as being accused of "just being there for the weed" She didn't give the impression of being after free cannabis at all mind you, and she had gotten a boyfriend recently. I believe that was where the first true crack in the group field started, and i believe that was also the first true manipulation on the part of the rest of the group. (i think that girl knew something i didn't and got out at the right time)
After months and months of gaslighting and self-doubt (my grades dwindling, like my mood) i happened per chance to stumble upon the meaning of gaslighting, and it all clicked into place. Then and there i decided i couldn't continue my friendship anymore. I tried to just be friends with my best friend for a while, but he kept insisting on inviting the others.

Now for my question:
An autistic friend of mine (i'm autistic as well), 17 years old himself (contrast: i am now 21 and i was one of the youngest) is being invited by the circle, and experimenting with some drugs (nothing dangerous yet) The problem here is that one of these guys is a very extroverted and popular guy in this town, and no-one it seems is more than 3 links separated from him, and thus the group.

I don't want him to make the same mistakes i did, to fall in the trap that is gaslighting, but i don't know how to.
I'm afraid that if i tell him what happened he won't trust me and ask for the other side of the story (normally a good idea, but autistic people are like sitting ducks in the path of a narcicist!)
I'm afraid that if i just demand he stop talking with those people he just won't, because i'm not giving any explaination and i'd seem like a dick.
I'm afraid that if i say nothing and just let him do his thing he'll get sucked in to something that could ruin his life.

How do i tell him? How do i get him to avoid them?


Spring Butterfly

  • Spring Butterfly
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 17210
  • You can be free and heal ❤️‍🩹
    • One Key to Better Boundaries
How do i tell him? How do i get him to avoid them?
  welcome to Out of the FOG and it's good you're in a better place as far as these friends go.

How do i tell him?
Often when we try to warn others away from toxic people it can be viewed as a form of triangulation so you are right to be concerned how you approach the matter. This is sort of an out-of-the-box way to look at it but there is this link from the toolbox how to talk to children about a PD relative. I don't mean to imply your friend is a child but the link outlines a way to communicate in a neutral way to others about the behavior of others

You might also read what you can about boundaries, it sounds like you may have developed some good boundaries. It might be good to share with this young person the need for boundaries and being a separate individual choosing ones own thoughts and feelings.

I'm not sure where you are as far as being away from drugs and self-medicating but you can also share your perspective and Lessons Learned from that experience. Perhaps sharing other ways you may have developed to self-soothe and self-care that are not related to drugs.

How do i get him to avoid them?
These links provide some insight because in reality we can't control what others do and don't do.

Most of all if your friend chooses to get involved with these people and the drug scene you can remain available and neutral for when they may need support in the future.
Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
my Empowered Growth,Gentle Boundaries,Emotional Healing blog