Needing a confidence boost

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soccer23

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Needing a confidence boost
« on: February 03, 2020, 06:37:49 PM »
Okay everyone. I have been doing so well with my boundaries within my family and I recently discovered that my friendships are an exact image of my mother who has BPD and sister who has NPD. This friend and I met in grad school and we have had a lot of ups and down and now we work at the same place (their is one room in-between our offices). I have noticed the toxic behaviors and I have been trying to distance myself as much as possible. However due to this the guilt trips are becoming impossible to avoid. Over the weekend I was hanging out with other friends and at work today you could cut the tension with a knife. We are planning on going to Applebee's this week and I really don't want to however I know we need to talk. However as most of you know when you talk to someone with a personality about their behaviors it always gets twisted around to make you seem crazy. Any advice/confidence boosts/words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Needing a confidence boost
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2020, 04:31:52 AM »
I would use this as an opportunity to practise good communication and medium chill. First I would find out what upset the friend and what the expectations and demands are. Then I would try to state what I want and what I am willing to do. Only I statements. And if the friend then tries to push my boundaries I would use medium chill.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: February 04, 2020, 04:33:30 AM by notrightinthehead »

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Blueberry Pancakes

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Re: Needing a confidence boost
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2020, 04:33:32 PM »
I also think medium chill would be a great approach or grey rock. It seems to be sort of common for us to realize we have friendships that mirror the same dynamics we experienced growing up. You have awareness of this friend's behaviors which is a very good thing working in your favor. With that, you will know best how to protect yourself emotionally and mentally when you are with her.   
I assume the tension is thick because you did not reach out to her over the weekend? Now perhaps she senses you are pulling back and wants your attention. If she asks you what is wrong, I suggest not disclosing your actual thoughts. The less you reveal about what you really think, the better you will likely be in the long run. Do not give her any ammunition. There likely will be no meeting of the minds, no mutual understanding, and likely no change in her behaviors. Do not give away your power by revealing your cards. If she questions you directly, just shrug.  Using non-committal responses such as "hmm, I never noticed", "oh, really", "I will think about that" or "I've been so busy" will go a long way. You do not need to feel guilty about having boundaries with this friend. You do not owe her an explanation. I do believe you owe it to yourself to do what is needed for your own emotional well being and no need to explain or get anyone else to agree. You can just quietly and resolutely go about it.   

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soccer23

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Re: Needing a confidence boost
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2020, 05:12:06 PM »
When she counters me in my office I try not to give her anything, I tell her that I am working on myself and trying to become independent however her comeback is "oaky but I don't want you to be lonely so we need to talk". I try my hardest to keep communication to very little because soon after I share my feelings she uses them to make me become the abuser and I get confused again. She knows when I am using grey stone because it is my go to approach for anyone I come across with personality disorders. I do like the "Ill think about it" approach. I did write a letter and thought about communicating with her that way,

Thoughts?

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Blueberry Pancakes

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Re: Needing a confidence boost
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2020, 12:39:45 PM »
When she counters me in my office I try not to give her anything, I tell her that I am working on myself and trying to become independent however her comeback is "oaky but I don't want you to be lonely so we need to talk".
 
 
I tend to think her saying she does not want you to be lonely might be an attempt to hook you in closer to her. She might be trying to turn what she needs from you (such as your attention, your time, your energy, etc.) into something to make you think you need her for. In reality if you did feel lonely, you would seek her out. Also, you do not need her to tell you what you need. It seems to me you have identified some potentially manipulative behaviors and are taking good steps to advocate for your own needs. I think you are on a good track. When we defend our boundaries by setting limits with our time with people, not sharing our intimate thoughts, etc., people tend to keep pushing back. It takes various forms, but this might be what you are experiencing with her. My thoughts are to stay the course you are on.
If she says she wants to spend time with you so you are not lonely and you get that sinking feeling in your gut, just respond with "that is so great of you to be concerned, you are so sweet. I am working on some deadlines now, but let's get together soon" and let it go at that. If you manage to throw in a compliment about how sweet, thoughtful or kind she is that is great too because it seems to make them back off.  Maybe each time she suggests getting together you have a deadline, or have errands to run on lunch hour, or have to call your cousin you have not spoken to in a while so you simply cannot meet her now. Eventually, she will likely back off without having a confrontation or giving her a dialog she can twist and use to confuse. As for writing a letter, do what feels right to you but my personal opinion is not to document anything. Let it be verbal only where there leaves no trace. No explaining, no reasoning, no justifying. Become Casper the ghost (if you know that cartoon) and just fade away from her.