Feels like a friend treats me like a spy. Am I being too harsh/overthinking/crazy?

DrezDrez Registered User regular
edited July 2019 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm not going to provide a lot of context, just give the framework because I think my question is pretty answerable without a lot of context. The ultimate question is near the bottom.

I'm nearing 40. The friend in question is mid-40s. I feel stupid even talking about this at this age, but it is what it is.

I've known this friend for 10-12 years now I guess. She's always been a drama-magnet, which I was kind of blind to in the beginning and then eventually just accepted and dealt with on a case by case basis. By "drama magnet," I mean that she tends to have issues with lots of people, years after being friends with them. We ran in a lot of the same social circles (in fact, to her credit, she introduced me to many of her friends and acquaintances which have separately become my friends and acquaintances). Over time, many of these friends and acquaintances dropped her ass from their lives due to the aforementioned drama magnetism. I remained either acquaintances or friends or whatever with them in many cases. In some cases, these people just remained Facebook contacts with me, not real friends, just there in my list.

Over the years, this friend would often make comments like "why are you still friends with this person?" or "oh I saw you liked [That Person's] photo, you know she's a [disparaging comment] right?" or "you wished [Soandso] a happy birthday?! Do you know what he did to me [this one time]?"

Over and over and over.

Now I'm not a fan of victim blaming so I'm typically very concerned when someone puts forth X, Y, and Z situation. Usually nothing serious, but always an anecdote of someone being shitty to her for X, Y, or Z reason. Over and over and over, ad nauseum. But there's a pattern with this friend being the one constant.

I would either deflect or whatever. I'm not going to stop talking to someone or delete someone from social medium that hasn't done anything to me personally.

Anyway, this has now transmuted into the occasional request to what I personally feel is spying. Numerous people that used to be a part of her life have blocked her from social medium. Every few months, this friend will ask me stuff like "I heard Soandso got engaged, did she post anything on FB about it, I think I'm blocked." And she's asked me investigative questions like that for many people.

Today, after blowing off my birthday party 4 months ago after asking me about someone else's private Facebook photos and I was not very responsive (which I feel is the reason she didn't come), she messages me saying that Soandso had a baby and asked me if I could send her a photo of Soandso's baby from Soandso's Facebook.

To me, this is many levels of wrong. Without weighting this down with my reasons, I'm curious if others agree, or what? Am I overthinking?

[wow, I just got the worst sense of deja vu in posting this]

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Playing: Animal Crossing (SW), Murder by Numbers (SW), Skyrim VR (PC)
Drez on

Posts

  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    nah that's kinda fucked.

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  • BlazeFireBlazeFire Registered User regular
    Yes that is crossing a line.

    dispatch.oEncDrezNobodyShadowfireElvenshaeJebus314CambiataNightslyrTemporal ParadoxDoctorArchspool32kimeInquisitor77Rhesus PositiveHappylilElfzepherinXaquinThegreatcowDrake ChambersBrodyMoridin889balerbowerDrovekSkeithArcanisTheImpotentBouwsTSilverWindKwoaru
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    I don't know this person. I've known people exactly like what you're describing though.

    They're not a friend. They're a narcissist without the ability to reflect on or correct their behavior. Friendship is a tool to get what they want most of the time and I'm sure they don't actually even care about the things they're asking for... It's a test to see how loyal you are and keep you engaged in their lives.

    Stop engaging them and I give odds they turn on you and find someone else to latch on to and manipulate.

    In some ways you're lucky. I've known people like this who were much better at becoming the "leader" of a group of friends and staying relevant and thoroughly involved in other's lives while thoroughly fucking over each individual.

    tynicDrezShadowfireCambiataNightslyrschussInquisitor77HappylilElfSmrtnikzepherinHeirMoridin889Man in the MistsSkeithYoutube
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Thanks all.

    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238
    Steam/PSN/Xbox: Drezdar
    Playing: Animal Crossing (SW), Murder by Numbers (SW), Skyrim VR (PC)
    spool32zepherin
  • Redspo0nRedspo0n Registered User regular
    In a previous job, working with homeless youth, we called this kind of behavior Triangulation. It almost always was negative, and even more frequently had a negative outcome.

    At best, your being asked to circumvent someone else's expectation of privacy. If soandso wanted to share said baby pictures with friend, it would be public. (Or, public enough she could see it).

    We regularly had to instruct clients not to engage in the behavior, both as the instigator or the facilitator, because in our situation it was potentially dangerous as 'street justice' came swift and harsh outside of our control. I can only assume it would still carry negative consequences in a friendly, professional enviroment - just less physical retribution.

    We would instruct (friend) to talk to the person directly, and either they would tell them what they wanted to know, or refuse to tell them - and then they'd have their answer about the situation either way. Answer, or 'None of your business' by way of silence. "Sometimes people just don't want to talk to you".

    Removes yourself from involvement in her battles too.

    "Hey, want a Skull Servent? He's Evil."
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    tynicDrezdispatch.oCambiataNightslyrEncMoridin889Man in the Mists
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I generally feel like "I wonder what X is doing now" is okay. I draw the line at the kind of passive aggression you're describing... in fact I've caught myself doing it a few times and ended up having to step waaaaaaaaaaaay back in order to break the cycle. For me it's an incredibly obsessive behavior brought on by a whole lot of hurt, but that's no excuse for her to let it continue once she knows it's there.

    Depending on how likely you think she is to stalk you to the ends of the earth, it might be worth calling her out on it. Something along the lines of "hey this thing you're doing is pretty obsessive, it's really unhealthy." Or just that you're not doing any of the things you know are creepy because they're creepy.

    But that's only worth it if you want to keep her in your life. If you're just done with her, that's okay too.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    DrezSmrtnik
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    I generally feel like "I wonder what X is doing now" is okay. I draw the line at the kind of passive aggression you're describing... in fact I've caught myself doing it a few times and ended up having to step waaaaaaaaaaaay back in order to break the cycle. For me it's an incredibly obsessive behavior brought on by a whole lot of hurt, but that's no excuse for her to let it continue once she knows it's there.

    Depending on how likely you think she is to stalk you to the ends of the earth, it might be worth calling her out on it. Something along the lines of "hey this thing you're doing is pretty obsessive, it's really unhealthy." Or just that you're not doing any of the things you know are creepy because they're creepy.

    But that's only worth it if you want to keep her in your life. If you're just done with her, that's okay too.

    Thanks. I agree.

    I did call her out on it before I even posted here, to be honest. I told her I don’t want to engage in this kind of “gossip” and that I felt uncomfortable by these repeated requests. Maybe gossip was a bad word to use, but ultimately I just don’t feel right about this kind of thing. I don’t want to report on someone else’s life activity.

    There’s also the less important (to me) fact that she only seems to contact me lately to get info about people she’s burned bridges with. Like, I dunno, how about calling me or texting me to say hi and ask me how I’m doing, or just about anything else? Doesn’t even have to be about me.

    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238
    Steam/PSN/Xbox: Drezdar
    Playing: Animal Crossing (SW), Murder by Numbers (SW), Skyrim VR (PC)
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Redspo0n wrote: »
    In a previous job, working with homeless youth, we called this kind of behavior Triangulation. It almost always was negative, and even more frequently had a negative outcome.

    At best, your being asked to circumvent someone else's expectation of privacy. If soandso wanted to share said baby pictures with friend, it would be public. (Or, public enough she could see it).

    We regularly had to instruct clients not to engage in the behavior, both as the instigator or the facilitator, because in our situation it was potentially dangerous as 'street justice' came swift and harsh outside of our control. I can only assume it would still carry negative consequences in a friendly, professional enviroment - just less physical retribution.

    We would instruct (friend) to talk to the person directly, and either they would tell them what they wanted to know, or refuse to tell them - and then they'd have their answer about the situation either way. Answer, or 'None of your business' by way of silence. "Sometimes people just don't want to talk to you".

    Removes yourself from involvement in her battles too.

    Agree 100% and I never heard that term used in this context. Thank you.

    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238
    Steam/PSN/Xbox: Drezdar
    Playing: Animal Crossing (SW), Murder by Numbers (SW), Skyrim VR (PC)
    dispatch.ospool32
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    The fact that she's only contacting you for that makes me think she just takes your relationship for granted. Aside from telling her you don't feel comfortable with what she's asking, have you pointed out to her that this sort of thing is the only time she ever talks to you?

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Drez
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I feel like people have covered the behavior being plenty over the line. I Just wanted to also add, if you have to drop a friend because of behavior like this, you might be hesitating because of guilt. If they feel bad to be around and their actions make you uncomfortable consistently, just remember that you aren't obligated to any level of friendship and to try to forgive yourself for distancing the connection.

    ElvenshaeDrezShadowfiretynicSmrtnikzepherinFryEncJaysonFourMan in the MistsNightslyrKristmas Kthulhu
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    The fact that she's only contacting you for that makes me think she just takes your relationship for granted. Aside from telling her you don't feel comfortable with what she's asking, have you pointed out to her that this sort of thing is the only time she ever talks to you?

    I almost did in this morning’s conversation but in the end I just didn’t want to get into any drama or confrontation with her. When I told her this morning that I felt this was gossipy and made me uncomfortable, she sent a refutational response and I just didn’t want to get into a debate.

    She also texted me at 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday which was also a bit odd and not really an ideal time for a heart-to-heart IMO.

    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238
    Steam/PSN/Xbox: Drezdar
    Playing: Animal Crossing (SW), Murder by Numbers (SW), Skyrim VR (PC)
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    I feel like people have covered the behavior being plenty over the line. I Just wanted to also add, if you have to drop a friend because of behavior like this, you might be hesitating because of guilt. If they feel bad to be around and their actions make you uncomfortable consistently, just remember that you aren't obligated to any level of friendship and to try to forgive yourself for distancing the connection.

    Thanks.

    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238
    Steam/PSN/Xbox: Drezdar
    Playing: Animal Crossing (SW), Murder by Numbers (SW), Skyrim VR (PC)
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    It probably goes without saying that whatever you say or don't say... you know.. don't send the pictures. >>

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    DrezElvenshaeRhesus PositiveSmrtnikzepherinEncShadowfirenever dieNightslyr
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Oh no, definitely not.

    I run everything through the golden rule, in a sense. If I’ve blocked a person from my social media, would I want a mutual friend to send this person photos from my social media? Of my new baby?

    No? No. Just the whole concept is weird to me.

    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238
    Steam/PSN/Xbox: Drezdar
    Playing: Animal Crossing (SW), Murder by Numbers (SW), Skyrim VR (PC)
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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    I feel like people have covered the behavior being plenty over the line. I Just wanted to also add, if you have to drop a friend because of behavior like this, you might be hesitating because of guilt. If they feel bad to be around and their actions make you uncomfortable consistently, just remember that you aren't obligated to any level of friendship and to try to forgive yourself for distancing the connection.
    Sometimes shared experience and nostalgia is a double edged sword when someone moves from edgy to narcissistic. And you feel obligated to still be friends with them. I get it, I felt the same way about someone who I knew. I just stopped talking to them. Responding in monosyllabic way, and pretty much just ignoring their requests for stuff.

    "Hey you wanna go out?" "can't."
    "Why not?" "Busy."
    Even if they push, what are you so busy with, or common dude you never go out anymore. Ignore it.
    Figuratively ignore them, and set their rings and texts to silent. If they show up at your house, Be outraged, "I told you I was busy, go home."

    It's exhausting being the only friend of a narcissist. Like 40 minute phone calls that are just draining. At a certain point I just stopped responding.

    DrezEncceresJaysonFourdispatch.o
  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    edited July 2019
    How terrifying would it be if your next conversation was " So I saw your post on the Pa forums"

    edit: and ya never ever give her the pictures, there's reasons she doesn't have them.

    WiseManTobes on
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  • GMaster7GMaster7 Chili Dog Enthusiast Registered User regular
    How terrifying would it be if your next conversation was " So I saw your post on the Pa forums"

    edit: and ya never ever give her the pictures, there's reasons she doesn't have them.

    I have to assume that this would be equal parts terrifying and liberating - in that order, because sheer terror would give way to a sense of relief. It has to be exhausting to deal with a person like this on a regular basis, and having her shut you out would take away your agency to continue satisfying or denying her weird whims.

    PSN: SKI2000G | Steam: GMaster7 | Battle.net: GMaster7#1842 | Twitch: twitch.tv/SKI2000G
    DrezShadowfire
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Drez wrote: »
    Oh no, definitely not.

    I run everything through the golden rule, in a sense. If I’ve blocked a person from my social media, would I want a mutual friend to send this person photos from my social media? Of my new baby?

    No? No. Just the whole concept is weird to me.

    Yeah it's not even like, a Golden Rule thing. It's a matter of consent. I don't post photos of people on the internet without explicitly asking them if it's OK first. If they say no, well they're in the photo so I'm not gonna post it no matter how much I might want to (and honestly, I really don't, because it's fucking social media, so I haven't asked to post photos of anyone in years).

    That's the difference with narcissists. The idea that their own feelings have no bearing on the decision, or rather, that anything other than their own feelings has some bearing on the decision, is unfathomable. So trying to "negotiate" around that issue is a giant waste of time because everything will circle back to how they feel, and no amount of rational discussion will get them off that fucking hill.

    Your problem is that you think of this person as a normal friend with normal empathy and some concept of boundaries. None of those things exist - everything is subsumed under this giant filter of "how does this make ME feel?"

    tynic
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I think we can probably stop short of dehumanizing this person.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    NightslyrJaysonFourzepherin
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