Derailing Conversation

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chowder

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Derailing Conversation
« on: December 28, 2019, 09:51:56 AM »
So over the holidays I visited a friend, who asked to bring along one of her friends that I had met once before.  I said of course, it would be a pleasure to see both of them.   We met at a particular restaurant.

During the dinner, my friend asked my position politically - which she knows is opposite from hers.  I tried to deflect, and made a lighthearted joke...and the conversation went in another direction.

Then my friend pointedly said, "Well, we never did get an answer to my question.  How do you feel about such-and-such?"

Again trying to keep things from getting awkward,  I cited a couple of things that I agreed with and a couple of things that I didn't agree with.

Well - this opened their flood gates to get loud with me, "Well, did you know that --" and they both got aggressive, with negativity about my views.  They got in my face and yelled, "They don't want you to know this, but we know, and I'm *telling* you it's true!"  I sat there stunned, and felt ambushed.  This went on for a half-hour.   :stars:

A couple of things they said were contradictory, which I asked them about.  Their responses didn't make sense to me.  But I just let it go, as it's not my style to go toe-to-toe on things, especially in the political arena.  I just was amazed at what was spewing forth.
They continued yelling their negativity - totally unsolicited by me.  I did not ask for their opinions on the matters they were bringing up.

Thankfully the time came that I had to leave for another engagement.   They apologized for ganging up on me.  I made light of it, again, so as not to make things uncomfortable at the moment and in public.

Meanwhile, I had to really decompress from this when I got back home.  My friend sent an apology text message, claiming she "only wanted to know where I stood with things after all this time."   I'm thinking, "No, you just wanted an opportunity to open the door to spew forth your views, and it was totally inappropriate."   I hadn't seen this friend in two years, and her friend was someone I had only met once before.

I have vowed to never have dinner with the two of them again -- and a one-on-one dinner with my friend again, well, the jury's still out on that.  And shame on them for not recognizing that I was trying to deflect and not get into this.  She still doesn't know "where I stand" because I was purposely guarded in my responses, knowing where they stood, and the fact that we're out in public.

I'm not ready to accept her apology yet, if at all...it just feels wrong on so many levels.  I feel set up and put on the spot.   Sure, we can disagree on things, and it's not even the two-on-one that is troublesome....it's the way it was done, and the yelling and level of hatred and extremism is not something I want to be around.

So what would you call this behavior?   Any thoughts?   Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 28, 2019, 09:53:50 AM by chowder »

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clara

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Re: Derailing Conversation
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2019, 12:22:01 PM »
NPDs seem especially fond of doing this, but non-PDs do it as well.  I know with NPDs it's driven by the desire to be proven right all of the time, about everything.  They can't stand it if you don't agree with them on something, if you refuse to see how correct their interpretations always are.  They'll keep bringing it up until they beat you into submitting to their viewpoint.  They need to win, no matter what.  What you think doesn't really matter to them, they don't even hear it.  And this habit of coming around to a topic you thought was over and done with is one I'm familiar with in NPDs.  It's never at an end until you agree.  Never.  But in non-PDs, I'm not really sure.  I think for a lot of non-PD narcs, they're driven by the same impulse as the NPD--to prove to themselves they're right, but in non-narcs it seems a weird type of insecurity.  It's as if, if they can succeed in convincing you, they're at the same time convincing themselves, as well.  They need  you to be "in the fold" in order to feel secure around you.  As long as you're not aligning with them, they can't deal effectively with you. 

If I was you, I would be MC with this friend.  If she pulled this stunt once, she'll pull it again, and I would be surprised if an apology from her is forthcoming, or if it is, if it's sincere.  She's shown you can't trust her to be considerate of you.  She probably  has no awareness of why she's behaving this way, so it's not your responsibility to try to figure her out.  I'd let her make the next move and then tell her how uncomfortable and disrespected you felt at your last encounter, then gauge her response.  Most likely she'll try to put your hurt feelings back on you, and if that's the case that seems good evidence that she's never going to change. 

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Bloomie

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Re: Derailing Conversation
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2019, 12:24:38 PM »
chowder - I call this behavior mobbing and rude. You handled it all so well and showed such grace under fire, but never should've been in that position.

I would need a good long time to process this as well before I could reengage with them.

Is this unusual behavior for your friend? Is the person she brought with her someone she is especially impressed by and may have been trying to align with? So hurtful to have treated you this way!
« Last Edit: December 28, 2019, 12:28:15 PM by Bloomie »
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸

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Hazy111

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Re: Derailing Conversation
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2019, 01:28:48 PM »
Chowder, so they didnt respect your boundaries and they bullied and "gaslighted" you, some "forced teaming" with the friend , with a bit of projection thrown in, no doubt.  Hmmmm.... whatever could it be?

Clara, i have to disagree, i see it mentioned a fair bit on this forum. Giving the benefit of the doubt to abusive people. Its their standing in front of you in plain sight. Non PDs dont do this, because they dont rely on primitive behaviors like PD people do when triggered. PD is a wide spectrum and depending on their mood, situation they will or wont manifest it.

Non Pds dont manifest it because they arent PD, it isnt in their arsenal.   You say in non narcs its a weird kind of insecurity. PDs are insecure by the basis of their childhood trauma. They are insecurely attached, have arrested development, all part of PD . 

Chowder, trust your instincts and you wont go wrong.

Once you see it you cant un see it. Its far more common than people want to admit.

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chowder

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Re: Derailing Conversation
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2019, 02:22:04 PM »
Thank you so much Clara, Bloomie and Hazy for your responses and insight.   Your comments are very helpful, and I'm sure I will re-read them as time goes on.

In answer to the questions, I initially thought it was unusual behavior for this friend -- though our previous meetings were pretty much one-on-one lunches, etc.   This time, I came away thinking this was a side of her that I had not seen....but it's definitely a side of her.  So it's not unusual, considering her comfort level to align with the other person - it was an interaction between the two of them that seemed very familiar to them and between them.  They see each other once a week and have been ruminating about this particular situation for years.  Which friend's negativity came first, the chicken or the egg, I can't tell, but they do feed off each other on a regular basis.

And yes, this friend has to always be right.  In retrospect, that trait has always been there but mostly didn't affect me - her stating her opinions on child-rearing, for example (she doesn't have children, but she always knows better.)  I would just let it go.  Why argue about it?  Child-rearing is so very complicated, as we can all vouch, but I don't have to convince her.   

This time was much more directly engaging, and I'm slowly becoming grateful for the many lessons in it as we peel away the layers....

Thank you again!     

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Derailing Conversation
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2019, 02:33:15 PM »
Sounds like you were bullied by two rude people. Do they really think that by yelling at you in a public place they can change your political views? You handled it the best way you could and you were kind to make light of it when you left.
I would however, tell my friend - if I wanted to give her a chance to remain my friend - that I did not appreciate the yelling and the putting me on the spot.

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chowder

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Re: Derailing Conversation
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2019, 05:28:09 PM »
Hi, Notright - I agree, they were totally rude, in pursuit of getting their points across - of which there was no shortage.

Thanks for your support!