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How do you deal with friends who criticise everything?
August 1, 2005
6:21 am
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Regret
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i am having problems with a girlfriend I love very much. Ok, I must admit that in the last couple of months, we have not been so great because I am still hurt from something she did. Anyway, she has to criticise everything especially, every item of clothing I wear. Once, she was sitting with another friend when i entered the room wearing crop jeans and a shirt. She says " very nice but I think it is too tight and the shoes are not appropirate" and the second one responded " well, I don't think it is too tight. These are supposed to be tight on you and the shoes are perfect." I sent her flowers once when she was hurting and at the end, she lashed at me for bringing someone else to her place without telling her. When i later explained to her that I only intended to drop the plant and not come in, she calmed down. No apologies. She made a joke later saying "oh, my smart friend...i should have known you always have something up your sleeve". Today, she just walked into the office with her boyfriend and said "oh, you look very nice apart from the shoes that do not match" I guess she did not notice the necklace i have on, matches with the shoes i am wearing. I could cite more examples of her behaviour but i wouldn't bore you all with tsuch negativity. I am fed up with her and would like to tell her to go to hell but I know she would end up hurt, depressed etc. How can i stop her from ruining my days with her thoughtless comments?

August 1, 2005
9:36 am
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SanJoe
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Hey Regret,

Why are you more concerned with taking care of her feelings than your own? Your priority should be to take care of yourself first. She obviously doesn't care about your feelings, so why should you care about hers? All of this is easy to say, you just need to practice it. Don't you think you are worth not being stepped on like this?

San Joe

August 1, 2005
9:51 am
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Regret
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San Joe,
Thanks for responding. You are right and in a previous post, I mentioned how i wasn't going to let anyone walk on me again but well. . .I neeed to begin looking out for my own interest and this is just what i am about to do.

Thanks

Regret

August 1, 2005
10:02 am
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CAMER
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tell h er how you feel...being around negative people just brings you down, and you don't need that. Tell her how you feel, and don't put up with her behavior, thats what we call "setting
boundaries"....then see if she changes her bad attitude.

August 1, 2005
10:16 am
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Regret
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CAMER,
Shall I tell her the next time she does something or should I just tell her out of the blue. For instance, she will be away from here for a while. Shall I write her an email telling her how i feel or just wait till another opportunity brings it up?

Thanks, Regret

August 1, 2005
12:42 pm
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CODA_Mom
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How do you deal with "friends" who criticize everything?

You relabel them as acquaintances and begin looking for new friends.

Don't underestimate the power of words. They can be more hurtful than physical slaps because they wound the soul. Sounds as if she has already affected your outlook, it is time to set the boundary and kick her out of your space (figuratively speaking).

You might want to try talking with her or emailing her, but even more importantly, try to figure out what attracted you to a "friend" like her to begin with.

Guard your heart, regret, don't give your allegiances freely away to just anyone, especially someone who has no respect for you. You are worth more than what she is giving you credit for.

Blessings to you,

CM

August 1, 2005
1:01 pm
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sdesigns
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I think Coda Mom hit the nail on the head. Thank you, Coda Mom. I recently experienced what you are going thru and I decided enough was enough. I had been friends with this person for nearly 20 years. I got tired of her criticizing everything about tme, her always being late as though my time was not valuable, her not coming thru on things when I always did, etc. I realized that this friendship wasn't satisfying for me but causing me a lot of stress, anxiety, and negative feelings, so I just let her go. Let her find someone to pick apart and disrespect. I wasn't getting anything positive out of having a friendship w/ her anymore. And the funny thing is, although I agonized over breaking off this long term friendship, I don't miss her one tiny bit.

August 1, 2005
2:15 pm
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kathygy
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I surround myself with people that love and support me and nurture me. I would never keep a friendship with someone who criticizes me. Its important for me to feel good after seeing or talking to a friend not worse! She is bringing you down. You try to set boundaries on her but I'm not so sure she'll remember to respect them. You may be better off without dealing with this so called friend.

love,
kathy

August 2, 2005
3:24 am
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Regret
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Hei all,

Thanks a bunch for your advice. Today is the day I make the final decision- SHE IS NOT MY FRIEND. Yesterday, she passed by and asked if i would pick up some stuff of hers and keep while she was on holiday. I said yes and she was to call me and let me know when to pick them up from her place. She said she would even if she found an alternative. Anyway, she did not and I know she is away by now. In the past, I would have sat here wondering if the tone of my words sounded unconvincing etc. Today, I take it for what it was- she needed me, she came by; she didn't need me anymore, she couldn't be bothered to call.
But the best part of this is that I was stubborn enough to refuse to move in with her and another friend. I feel sorry for the other friend who has to deal with her now that they are housemates but that is her cup of tea.

Thank you all. You have made me realise that striking her off my friends' list is not wrong.

Regards,
Regret

August 2, 2005
11:45 am
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eve
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It helps a lot to realize that this is about her, not you.

Some years ago I had a coworker who would every time when I came back from a vacation to work say "oh, you don't look relaxed or tanned at all - did you have bad weather?". It used to ruin my day, and get rid of my sunny still-a-bit-on-the-beach mindset in a minute (my mind switched to - oh gosh, I must look awful, and I thought that this nice tan looks quite cute, how silly of me...). Until I realized, that he did that with everybody. Propably even with himself. He wasn't able to see something beautiful, or happy, and look it in the face. He always was a miser and found something to fret and nag about everywhere. After I realized this, I was no longer troubled by his negative comments.

August 2, 2005
11:49 am
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nysflyboy
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Just be glad she was just a 'friend' and not your wife. I married someone who is just as you describe (as you can tell from my posts of woe). I can offer this advice from the land of hell - run far and fast from anyone who ever treats you like that. I intend to once I clear up my current situation (either things get a LOT better or Im done)

August 2, 2005
12:06 pm
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Regret
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Thanks guys! I am sorry for what you are going through Nysflyboy. The diff between her and your wife is that your wife is a perfectionist whilst this one is not. Yet, when someone criticise something about her, she gets mad. I don't mean to badmouth her but my conclusion is that although she is a good person, she wants the world to revolve around her and have little respect for others. She is with this guy and she went out with friends one night but before they arrived, called to tell them not to pay the guy any attention because she did not consider him as a boyfriend. They were just having a sex story. When she mentioned it to me, i told her i did not see the fun side of it and by belittling the guy, she just belittled herself. hell broke loose and she didn't talk to me for almost a month. Whew, i really think i am better off without her and know what, i don't even feel i have lost a friend. Guess she wasn't one all along.

Thanks all of you for listening!

August 2, 2005
12:51 pm
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addicts wife
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((((regret))))
I live with some of these people in my life. The ones I havent "gotten rid of" are family.
The ones I have distanced myselffrom or entirely cut off were "friends" notreal friends. and IF they were, they certainly acted like catty/bratty/petty mean friends like in elementary school who liked ot be mean and bullyish, ya' know??? I didnt like it then, and well, recess has been over for a longtime now, so I HAD to detach.
It can be difficult , at first, but its not impossible.

Make your bundaries, and stand by them, that will give you stabiltiy and the confidence to not waver, and to stand by your convictions.

It is sooo not aout you or your shoes either, She sounds like shes got some insecurities of her own for HERSELF to figure out and work through.

It can be done dipomatically, and without causing yourselfto be mean too. It is possible to stand up for yourself without resorting to the same behavior that upsets us so. ((to do so would upset me more because i allowed myself to act the same way that hurts me))

since she is so inconsiderate of your feelings, time, etc, I would really start to fade her out.
Did you say you work withher?? tht can be harder, but if your still keepingyour pleasant demeaner, and not allowing her to use you as a door mat, it may go smoothly and you may soon feel quite good about yourself and your new found boundaries.

I have a "friend" who totally blew me offwhen I reached out to her in the middle of a big crisis, and I havent spoken to her for about 2 to 3 months now. Ive stopped myself from emailing her, I figure my silence and absence is speaking lounder and better than my typos.((LOL))
But it did really hurt me. But i cant say I was all that surprized. She was a great friend whe nSHE needed ME, adn for the past 3 years shes been blowing me off, not calling, cancelling plans, not coming to see my new place, or my new-new place, didnt bother tocome meet my step son, etc. And when she did "bother " in the past she was always late, with a thousand excuses but never an apology.
So, even though it really hurts& irritates me, she is not my friend.and probably never was. But Im am proud of myselffor that realization, becasue even as little as a year ago I would have sent repeated emails, rationalized and made excuses for her behavior and would have just swallowed the total disregard for Me and my feelings /emotions and I would have put ALL the work into making things "Better."
She is still on my Buddy list though, So I still know when shes online ignoring me... I should probably take her off now..I think I will. Not sure If I'll block her emails , dont think I'll bother withthat, its not like shes going to email me after almost 3 months.
"Oh well"
(((hugs))) t oyou all who have gone through this too.
AW

August 2, 2005
1:14 pm
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tracylyn
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Oh how I can relate.

I have a sister this way. Nothing I do is right, she critisizes everything that's good in my life. If I have good news about anything, she finds something to critisize about it. She also always has to "one up" me.

For a while I thought maybe I was just being overly sensitive but then I've had other family members ask what's up with her and I. I tell them I don't know.

One of my sister's says it's because she's jealous of my life. I hate that because she could have made all the same choices in life that I have. She's just so unhappy with hers that she puts mine down. It's like everything we do is a competition.

I've gone thru peroids where I just don't talk to her because she is so negative. My other sisters husband thinks I should confront her and say something back when she does this but I've done that before and it only makes things worse because she doesn't acknowledge that she does this. Sometimes I just kill her with kindness and she doesn't know how to take it.

What I decided to do is ignore her insults. I know it's not about me but about her own self esteem. When she spits out her negative comments I just keep on talking and don't even acknowledge them. Seems to be working for now....

t

August 2, 2005
5:05 pm
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glittered when he walked
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Ras,

How do you think functional people handle people who are not supportive and/or are dysfunctional?

If she's hurt your feelings, should you share that with her or should you not? If you hurt her feelings, would you want to know or not?

August 2, 2005
5:08 pm
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glittered when he walked
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oops, change previous address from "Ras" to "Regret" My apologies to rasputin.

August 2, 2005
5:45 pm
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lollipop3
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Hi Regret,

Have you ever considered the word....So?

The reason I ask is because this is a technique my sister uses with her co-workers who are less than complimentary.

Example: Your shoes don't match..

Response: So

Example: Those pants are too tight..

Respone: So

When she told me this, I thought it was great and it pretty much leaves them speechless.

Lolli

August 3, 2005
2:22 am
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Regret
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Hi All,
Thanks for the wonderful responses. Some had me roaring with laughter (Lolli's)but I have learnt a lot. Addictswife, we are both researchers and we tend to use the same computer lab etc but we don't work together. Lolli, I bet I am practicing how to say "So" with so much style and class that it would kill - not just this person but any others.

I will not go down the confrontational line with her because it won't help. I know she has issues and is quite unhappy etc and this is the main reason why I stayed friends with her all this while but it is time to think of me. At the begining of our friendship, she tried to split me and the other friend up. She always said negative things about her until I got fed up once and cross checked with her. We sorted things out and realised who she was.

I have not been an angel here because I realise that there were times i should have spoken back to her especially when it was about other people and i didn't.I did not want to hurt her because once, she said a colleague's husband was stupid and we had a fight over that and she said i had really hurt her. This was however no reason to stay mum whilst she dissed others. Silence means consent and I realise how much i must have condoned her behaviour.

Jealousy cannot be ruled out because a number of people have mentioned this. Once she mentioned that me and my boyfriend pretend to be so in love. When I asked her why she thought we were pretending, she replied, "well, i don't know". I could go on and on but it isn't impt. The good thing is she is NOT my friend and that is good riddance.

I thank you all for your comments. I must say that this board is teaching me a lot on life. Thanks and blessings to y'all.

Regret

August 3, 2005
5:08 pm
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lollipop3
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Regret,

I'm glad I made you laugh. I understand oh so well how you feel. I have similar friends, not so much that criticize, but fair weather friends. Always there when they need you and never there when you need them.

I just posted last week in my thread "not sure how to handle this" with the same problem.

I know what I should do but I really am not up to a dramatic confrontation so up until this point I've been taking the easy way out....

I'm in hiding!!!!

Take care,

Lolli

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