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How to deal with difficult friend


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Hi all

I have a situation with a close friend of mine and although I know how to approach it, I'm not sure it's the best thing to do.

My friend and I have been close friends for about 9 years now. I have an anxiety and depression problem and anger management too. When we are together, he seems to make it his goal to try and annoy me as much as possible by saying things that he know will rile me up.

I, unfortunately, struggle incredibly hard to keep my cool and, innevitably, end up telling him to take a hike. His aims to annoy me are malicious and extremely unpleasant. After I've lost my temper, I retract into silence and don't talk for a while, mostly because I'm angry at myself for letting him win. Then I get the "oh, you're in a bad mood now" comment from him, which, of course, irrates me even more.

I don't know what to do. He is a close friend and I don't want to lose the friendship, but I am at the point where I feel like telling him that if he doesn't stop this, I can no longer be his friend.

He is a very lonely person and literally has only 2 friends, myself and my partner. I feel like I cannot drop him and leave him alone, because he has no one else. Not even his sister wants to spend time with him.

I am at my wits end.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks guys.

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Hello marijack. This is a tough situation, I am sorry this is happening. It may just be an alpha male situation and even if it is not his intention to annoy or make you angry he is trying to maintain an alpha level over you. Or if the alpha male thing does not fit how you know him then it could be maybe he is jealous of something in your life. This draws from personal experience where I was a total jerk to one of my friend’s for years because he had everything I am unable to attain, good job, girlfriend, a social life, and I deep down resented him for it and turned into a jerk when we would hang out. I would eventually realize how big of a jerk I was and calm down but only after he lost a lot of the things I was jealous of. He has rebounded better than ever but we are not really friends anymore maybe because of how big a jerk I was. So maybe your friend does not yet realize what he is doing that hurts you so much.

So is your friend a big alpha male personality type or is there some part of your life he may be jealous of?

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Hi Spitfire

Thanks so much for your reply.

Basic history here. We are both gay, me being a woman and he, a man. He has been my best friend for a long time. I'm thinking it's not the alpha male syndrome :). But I do believe he is incredibly jealous of the things we do and the places we go. I believe he is so jealous that he will stop at nothing to bring me down and when I do go down he relishes it. It's a very sad state to be in and I feel so sorry for him. But I cannot keep allowing this to happen as it's now affecting my work and my studies.

He hasn't been in a relationship for many many years and is totally afraid of commitment. I believe he has some type of mental disorder as he is a compulsive liar and over-exaggerates everything he talks about to the point that I can't believe anything he says anymore. This causes a lot of tension in my relationship with him and I'm not sure what to do as I certainly don't want to hurt his feelings.

But I definitely think jealousy plays a major part in this.

Thanks again!

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Hi IrmaJean

Thanks for your reply.

I have tried so many times to not let anything he says affect me, basically trying to put up a boundary. But it's like a fire stirs inside and eventually I blow up. I can't stand blowing up because then I get angry at myself for letting it get to me and, quite honestly, I don't see why I should even be pushed to that point by a friend. I can understand that siblings try to irritate each other sometimes, especially when they're young, but I don't expect it from a good friend.

But, I have decided what I need to do. I'm going to have to sit down and talk to him. Tell him that I don't see why he feels the need to try and upset me so much and that if he feels he cannot stop, then I'll have to start keeping my distance from him because I don't like the person I am when I'm around him when he tries these things. I'll also tell him that if he doesn't know why he does it or how to stop, I will help him but I cannot continue being his best friend if he continues with these antics.

Anyway, thanks again.

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  • 6 months later...

I had a friend who used to try to make fun of me and generally manipulate like this all the time.

It's not really your friend, it's you. If you cannot deal with something as petty as "oh your angry now?" then you need to reconsider how you deal with people.

Look him in the fucking eyes next time he says some comment, say he makes fun at you for being fired at a job, just say "what, you think that's funny? you know what you can go fuck yourself. It's no wonder why nobody likes you, if you don't stop being such a pathetic little asshole I will find someone more mature then you."

You need to direct ALL your anger at HIM, he KNOWS you are directing your anger at yourself, and THIS is where he manipulates you, you are insecure for getting angry, and he is manipulating you, you are angry at yourself for letting him do this.

You need to stand up to him, and direct your anger at him, when he says something disrespectful, look him in the eyes for about 5 seconds and think about what he just said, and just say "are you fucking with me?". This simple act will show you are confronting him and then he will stop

i.e learn how to confront people, don't leave your friend or you may never learn it, consider this a trial to make yourself a stronger person.

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