My friend is rude and clingy, but she’s making me the bad guy. Help!
She’s playing the blame game, says our elder — but you don’t have to join in.
Recently my friend and I have been getting into a lot of arguments. I’ve been getting annoyed by every little thing she does. I don’t know why but it just seems like she’s being really rude and clingy. She commented under a post that I always start the arguments. So I confronted her about it and it ended with her telling me I’ve been treating her like crap. I apologized for how I made her feel but she is still making it as if I’m always the bad guy. She also always tells me she’s always right and doesn’t feel the need to apologize because she’s always right. I’ve apologized and she didn’t respond. I don’t know what to do anymore. Her vibe is very negative and it’s getting to me. I’m under so much pressure because of school and work and her negativity on top of everything is really taking a toll on me. What should I do?
Apparently, your friend has some anger issues, and is playing the ‘blame game’ by holding you responsible for her emotions. I don’t know her, but I can speak generally about people who get caught up in their anger and righteousness. They are very hard to deal with because they really don’t understand the real cause of their emotional disturbances.
I will go into the dynamics of what I think is causing her upset, only because it is affecting you in a negative way. I am not a therapist, but I can show you that none of her ‘stuff’ is your responsibility. In my experience, anger comes from a desire to control either the situation, the people involved or one’s self. What those people do to justify their anger is to take on the role of a victim and blame everyone else for their upset. They blame others, family, institutions, government, and or strangers for the way they interact with them.
Let’s look at anger. Each of us has expectations of other people. Some of these expectations are irrational. For example, “You should always treat me with respect”, might be one of the rules for other people’s behavior. If they don’t always do that, the person gets hurt, upset and angry. The trouble with that rule, or expectation that is set up in the mind, is that no one can always do anything. That rule calls for perfection. A trap is set up in the mind when anyone is seen to have broken that “rule”, and anger arises. We are all human and sometimes fail. We sabotage a relationship every time we expect perfection!
Your friend uses her anger and upset in order to control and manipulate you so as to make you the bad guy. That way she justifies her position as the ‘wronged’ person and doesn’t need to apologize for her behavior. Unfortunately, she is not going to change. So, it is up to you to see how this relationship can work out. Sadly, some people act like black holes in the universe. They tend to suck your energy in the same way that black holes swallow the light sources that get too close to them out in space.
To leave their orbit, you have to move, physically or otherwise, out of their gravitational pull. It will require a change in your mindset that will give you the protection that you need. The first thing that you need to do is set some personal boundaries to protect yourself. Do some research on the internet. See http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/personalboundaries.html.
You are 100 percent in charge of your thoughts and emotions. No one can make you happy or angry. You are the ruler in your universe and responsible for all the actions and reactions in your life. Nobody can upset you without your consent. For example, if someone told you to “Cheer up”, whose choice is it? Maybe you do and maybe you don’t.
All emotions, both positive and negative, give you a choice on how to respond. A couple of thousand years ago, the philosopher Epictetus said, “It is not the events in life that trouble us, but only our reactions to them.” That is a statement of absolute power because only you are in control of your attitude. You are never the victim of anyone’s thoughts, behavior or judgments about you. It is like the old saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
The next thing that you need to keep in mind is a great rule: Never take anything personally! It is never about you. It is really about the other person. In a movie theater many different things are projected onto the screen. Sometimes a comedy, sometimes, a war story, sometimes a love story, etc. The screen doesn’t care what is projected on it. Please realize we are all screens that others are projecting their thoughts and opinions on us, none of which is real.
Once you realize that she is playing the right/wrong game and using the ‘blaming’ manipulation on you, then you can choose to not participate in that game. This will relieve you from having to respond, apologize or feel bad. Let her know that there is no value for you in arguing and that she is entitled to her opinion, but you are not buying what she is selling anymore.
Letter #: 451971