Back to feeling hurt by my PD friend

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countrygirl

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Back to feeling hurt by my PD friend
« on: December 20, 2019, 07:48:38 AM »
Hello,

Well, just when I thought things were on an even keel with my PD friend...  For quite a while now, things have been smooth, but then the following happens.

Yesterday, right after finishing wrapping her presents for our gift exchange, I called my friend.  I saw her earlier this week, and we agreed to get together on Monday.  For as long as I've known her, we've spent time together before Christmas and exchanged presents.  Well, when I spoke with her yesterday, she suddenly announced that a colleague from her former job had texted and suggested getting together for coffee.   Then she said that this person couldn't give her a date yet because this person's husband is a surfer who has to surf every day, so she's dependent upon his schedule.  (Seems  if someone has to do something every day that you do when they will be doing it!  However, I guess she means he has to go if the surf conditions are right, and he can't know that ahead of time?)  At any rate, I am now supposed to be on hold about our gift exchange, depending upon when the husband of this person will be surfing!  (And this colleague is someone she hasn't been in contact with for a year and a half.)

I hate to repeat this one more time, but a physical condition leaves me pretty much housebound, so I was really looking forward to this time with my friend.  We always make a day of it, having lunch, renting a film and talking.  As usual, I spent a lot of time choosing her presents, and worked hard at wrapping them, which is not an easy thing for me to do.  Then to have her so cavalierly dismiss our exchange really hurts.  In fact, I was so nonplussed  yesterday that I was unable to say anything to her at the time.  All I could choke out was, "That's nice."

About a year ago, on one of my rare outings, we happened to be in the vicinity of her former job.  We planned to have lunch, and she said she didn't want to go to a restaurant in that part of town, because she didn't want to run into anyone from work.  Since there were only two other people in her office, I assume the surfer's wife was one of these people.  So it is really surprising that I am not being put on the back burner for this colleague.

We are hosting a holiday meal on Weds., and she will be there.  I now dread having to be around her, because of how hurt I feel.  Also, I guess if the husband isn't hitting the waves on Mon., we will have our exchange, and now I dread that even more than the meal, because I will be alone with her, and I will not feel at ease.  As a friend with whom I spoke yesterday said,  "It's that feeling in your gut that things just aren't right."  Yes, that's it exactly.  My friend claims to care so much about me, but clearly she sees no problem with putting our plans on hold like this.   

Since I don't feel good about her behavior, she will know that something is wrong.  Her pattern is always to force me to say what's wrong, and then she blows up at me when I tell her what it is.  So I don't want to tell her about this and have a blowup during the holidays, right when I was really starting to get into the spirit of the season, but I can't behave as if nothing has happened. 

If anyone has any suggestions for how to handle this, I'd greatly appreciate hearing them.
 

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clara

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Re: Back to feeling hurt by my PD friend
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2019, 12:21:51 PM »
This looks like a "bigger fish to fry" situation to me, countrygirl.  I get that impression because you say she hasn't seen this woman in over a year.  So, to your friend, this woman is potentially bringing something new to the table (a lot can happen during that time) and your friend is eager to see if she can benefit.  You, on the other hand, are a known quantity.  She knows exactly what the two of you will do when you get together (since you've established a pattern) so the possibility of something new and different in her life outweighs anything you have to bring to the table.  Your feelings about the matter don't concern her, since she expects all interactions to focus on her.  She doesn't care if you're hurt by it because she can't really take your hurt seriously.  Despite the way things can sometimes appear, you exist to be her friend, not the other way around.  She doesn't believe you have the right to expectations, so doesn't give them.  So, in my opinion (and experience), when it comes to dealing with NPDs, have no expectations.  They say they want to get together, but don't expect it to happen until it actually happens.  Don't ever change  your plans to accommodate them.  If they flake out, make them do the rescheduling.  Don't give them the ammunition to ruin things for you, because so much of the time they'll do exactly that. 

Actually, I think if I was in your situation, I would behave as if nothing had happened.  I'd short circuit the response she thinks she's going to get from you, because I wouldn't want her to have the satisfaction of knowing how her behavior has affected you.  It wouldn't be like telling her you were okay with what she did, but rather telling her that, as far as you're concerned, it doesn't really matter.  You don't expect anything better from her, since basically she's just being who she is.  She already knows you're not okay with it, since you've had confrontations about it in the past.  She just doesn't care.  So you have to teach yourself not to care, either.  Just regard the good times you have together as those rare moments when things come together, and then leave it at that.  It may happen again, or it may not.  What makes it hard is because it's not in our nature to be like that--we're not PDs, but any relationship with a PD is automatically unbalanced, and can never be fully balanced.  They can't change, but you can.  Don't let her ruin anything for you, countrygirl.  Don't give her that power. 

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Hazy111

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Re: Back to feeling hurt by my PD friend
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2019, 01:01:40 PM »
All the above advice correct.. You seem to accept the excuse given to you by your "friend"  is true. It may be it may not. But either way if your friend is PD as you describe , you are not her "friend" you are always "narcissistic supply" , nothing more, nothing less. If something more attractive to her has turned up, then you can be rescheduled, your feelings dont register. Her feelings count.

I always think of cats in moments like these, primitive animals, that narcissists resemble so much. We think they love us, like us, but they really dont care about us either way, theyll move next door regardless if they they think theyre onto a better thing!

So i know its hard but why bother putting yourself through it all. They dont change. Move on.

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countrygirl

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Re: Back to feeling hurt by my PD friend
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2019, 01:46:22 PM »
Hi Clara and HazyIII,

I really appreciate your replies.  I have been feeling really down about this, and your replies helped me get some perspective.

Clara, your replies are always so lucid.  As I've told you before, my spirit always lifts when I read what you have to say.  As usual, I think your analysis is right on.  This new person is simply more interesting to her than I am.  And she doesn't care about hurting me.  I also think it's a good idea if I act as nonchalant about this as possible.  In truth, I am NOT nonchalant, I do feel wounded.  But I will make every effort to enjoy the holiday as much as possible.

HazyIII, I'm glad you agree with Clara's interpretation and advice.  And of course your are very correct about "narcissistic supply."  When will I get this through my thick head?  Because things had been going well between us for a while, I forgot what she's really like.  Foolishly, I thought we are turned a corner. 


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countrygirl

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Re: Back to feeling hurt by my PD friend
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2019, 03:39:45 PM »
Well, I am not proud of myself.  Not long after I replied here, my friend called me.  I did end up speaking openly to her, and of course she became incensed at me, even though I limited myself to saying how I felt, speaking from a position of vulnerability, not accusation.  I am just disgusted with myself for opening up like this.  I guess all I can do is vow to work harder next time, and I'm sure I won't have long to wait. 

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clara

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Re: Back to feeling hurt by my PD friend
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2019, 11:53:14 AM »
Learning how to not respond to button pushing (and I'll bet she pushed a few buttons to get your response since she already knew you would be upset about what she was doing) is really hard, and some people are just better at it than others.  I think one of the best methods is to employ something some of them do--strategic silence.  When your button gets pushed, remain quiet for awhile, maybe even for a long while, and let them continue.  It forces them to show their hand--that they're deliberately trying to make you responsible for their bad behavior.  They'll ratchet it up until they get what they want.  Yeah, narc supply.  Attention is attention, negative or positive.  And trying to reason with them is mostly a lost cause.  Asking them to put themselves in your place, how would they feel if you did to them what they do to you etc. is pointless because they can't do it.  They can't imagine it.   They can't imagine a world of not just doing what they want, of having to consider other people's feelings.   So it really is up to you to put those feelings aside.  Not dismiss them, because you feel what you feel, but to not let them take control because they're there only because of your friend.  And she knows it.  Making you feel bad is part of her power.  And yes, she'll be back around and she'll likely try to continue the conversation.  My advice would be to not participate.  Tell her you've said what you have to say, and aren't interesting in continuing the conversation because nothing happens.  So I'm really not interested in having this discussion, sorry.  Then don't have it.  You don't owe her an explanation, let alone an entire discussion over a matter that she caused.  She won't take ownership of this issue, so neither should you. 

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Hazy111

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Re: Back to feeling hurt by my PD friend
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2019, 12:58:54 PM »
 :yeahthat:

"Strategic silence" , i like it. It reminds me of advice i read 30 years ago "polite indifference". Dont feed their addiction. Theyre addicts and theyre addicted to "narc supply".

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countrygirl

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Re: Back to feeling hurt by my PD friend
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2019, 10:29:08 AM »
Thank you so much, Clara and HazyIII,

Clara, I think you could write a book about PDS and how to deal with them.  I was blown away when I read what you had to say about her pushing my buttons because she already knew I would be upset.  I immediately realized that this is exactly what she did.  In fact, this IS her pattern:  She shifts blame, and she knew I would be very vulnerable at the time. 

Recently, she told me that one of her siblings had told her that two of their brothers were "master manipulators."  Well, she is too.   

I am definitely going to employ "strategic silence," which is the opposite of what I usually try to do:  Talk everything through.  But you are correct that she will never accept responsibility for her behavior, and that she is incapable of putting herself in my shoes.

One thing she said yesterday was that I could be so "dark" that she found it difficult to listen to me!  Like everyone else, I have "dark" times, but no one, even in my abusive family of origin, has ever said that I was dark, nor have any of my other friends.  I told her that considering I suffer from chronic pain and am mostly housebound (after having been very active and athletic in my younger years), I think I do an okay job.  Sorry if she finds my condition hard to take.  Ha, ha.   I love life, and continue to have a very active social life, and continue my work.
When I told her this, she said I was "being defensive." And you can see how much what she said DID get to me, since here I am telling you that I'm not "dark"!  If only I had employed "strategic silence" then, but as I said before, I will have ample opportunity to deal with her again.  Right now, I just want to get through the holidays without any more "scenes."

I've also heard that term, Hazy111, of "polite indifference."   And, yes, I am sick of feeding her addiction.  She is a recovering alcoholic; I am not judging, because I realize that it is a disease; but I do think she has an addictive personality.  It runs in her family.  And I, for my part, don't do well with people like her because I think it "triggers" my trying to make things okay with a very difficult person.
 
At any rate, thank you both.  I am going to print your reply, Clara, and read it until it sinks in.   For the moment, I am swearing not to engage with her again over the holidays.  Speaking of the holidays, I hope both of you have very happy ones.

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cookiecat

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Re: Back to feeling hurt by my PD friend
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2020, 01:21:41 PM »
Just catching up on the forum, I totally agree countrygirl, claraís input is always spot on.  Her first reply described my ex-friend (narc) to a T. 

I know itís too late for this advice (and maybe itís petty, lol) but I would also stop putting so much thought into gifts for her.  I am very much like you, a giver, I take pride in finding thoughtful gifts etc... but I realized it was making me lowkey angry that I did that for someone with all (or even some) of the characteristics Clara described.    For a few certain people who are on the spectrum of narc behaviors, Iíve stopped knocking myself out.  Iíll still give a gift, but I wonít spend as much money or energy on it, and Iím okay with that now.  For people who truly care about me and we have a reciprocal friendship (I donít mean monetary here), I still take the time with them to look for thoughtful things, but Iím no longer angry at myself for doing things for people who would never in a million years reciprocate with that type of energy or thoughtfulness.  This probably goes against the ďgive to give not give to receiveĒ philosophy, but when dealing with narc-behaviored people, I think the rules change to keep your sanity and integrity.   

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clara

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Re: Back to feeling hurt by my PD friend
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2020, 12:12:28 PM »
Well, sometimes I wish I'd take my own advice!  A few weeks ago a narc (but not NPD) former coworker sent a "friend" request to me on fb.  We were already fb "friends" from years ago, not long after I left my job, so I thought it was odd to make a second request unless she unfriended me at some point, or deleted then reopened her account (since you can't send a friend request to someone you're already friends with).  Anyway, there she was and naturally I accepted the request, figuring it was no big deal but I should've known...  Now she's wanting to get together, and since I've always been nice and polite to her (we socialized in the past with other co-workers and she's tolerable in a group setting) I can't find a reason to not agree to a get-together without feeling like I'm being a hypocrite.  I really don't want to see her in a one-on-one setting and so far haven't replied to her suggestion but I know I need to say something because I think it's rude to blow her off, but then I think why oh why didn't I just ignore that friend request and let her take the hint?!  Stepped into it, didn't I?!

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Hazy111

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Re: Back to feeling hurt by my PD friend
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2020, 01:53:29 PM »
We all do it Clara.

Bumped into an old "friend?? co worker" from years back before Xmas. Hes definitely PD but got  chatting for ages, catching up there were the odd red flags that popped up during the conversation.
Anyway at the end he asked for my mobile number but i genuinely didnt have my phone with me. I dodged a bullet there. I did agree to meet up after Xmas.  Conversation  went ok for an hour or so but it suddenly took  a turn for the worse,  he suddenly he stood up and walked off. 

Too be honest i was grateful. What was i thinking.   :stars: