With friends like her, who needs enemies?
She was your best-friend-forever; your reliable sidekick, your discerning sounding board; your confidante during your times of intimate heartbreak and confusion. And then, unexpectedly, she unfairly, irrationally flew off the handle at you. She slighted you for a man. She short-changed you to bolster her own agenda.
Her behavior was surprising and it wounded you greatly. She didn’t apologize, she instead acted as if nothing ever happened and your relationship was unaffected. You tried to tell her how she hurt you, but she made light of it or she guilefully shifted the blame onto you.
Girl, it’s time to tell your self-absorbed BFF bye-bye.
With friends like her, who needs enemies.
Shannon and I quickly became close friends. She was attractive, engaging and witty. Sitting amid her friends at a bar or a table, she was and seemingly the center of attention. I thought of her as the “social director.” When I joined` her and her friends at a bar, she would pat her hand on a stool, and say, “Here, Nancy, you sit here.” I felt like I was her new best friend.
I arrived early one night to save bar stools for Shannon and her good friend, Geena. The restaurant was packed with happy hour enthusiasts. Sitting at the bar, I put my Brahmin clutch and a glass of ice water in front of two empty stools, pretending my wingwomen were alive and present.
Thirsty customers standing behind me asked me, “Are these seats taken?”
“Yes,” I chirped.
The bartender glared at me, leaned his surly face over the bar and he snarled, “Ya can’t save stools with people waiting to be seated!”
I relinquished my two empty seats to a couple hovering behind me and I relocated to two empty bar stools at the end of the bar. Sitting on one stool, I placed my purse in front of the unoccupied stool, marking my territory. A crusty old man sitting two seats down barked at me, “What’s wrong with you? You can’t save chairs! People are waiting to sit down!”
Geena arrived just in time to claim the empty stool. Ten minutes later Shannon is standing behind me, her hand on her hip, her eyes narrowed, glaring at me wild-eyed.
“Why didn’t you save me a seat!” she demanded.
Her indignant aura knocked me backwards.
“I tried to for thirty minutes,” I exclaimed. “The bartender made me give it up and the old man at the bar growled at me.”
Shannon hurled razors at me with her eyes.
“Here, take my seat,” I insisted. I hopped off my stool and I motioned for her to sit down.
“No!” she retorted. “I’m not going to take your stool. I’ll just go home.”
“Don’t go home,” I pleaded.”
I was frustrated that Shannon refused to acknowledge that I worked hard to save her a stool. “Please! Take my seat. I don’t mind. I can stand behind you until another chair opens up.”
Shannon arched her eyebrow, put her fake Gucci purse on the bar, and she slid onto my bar stool next to Geena.
Ten minutes later a bar stool opened beside Shannon, and I quickly sat down.
I sat next to Shannon at the bar the rest of the evening, her back turned to me while she engaged Geena in a lively conversation. Every once in a while, Shannon would turn and look at me with a half-smile, allowing me to be a part of her privy conversation.
Shannon acted as if nothing had happened. I was bewildered and wounded.
Shannon quit calling me. I called her on occasion to invite her to this or that. She always declined, and I began seeing her at happy hour sitting at the bar, huddled in a conversation with our mutual friend, Farrah. Shannon flashed me her ex-girlfriend smile. It was obvious that I was history and Farrah was Shannon’s newest, greatest BFF.
When I first met Shannon, she told me she had “fired” her previous girlfriends because they had negative attitudes.
I wondered: Had she fired me because I didn’t save her a bar stool?
She wanted to be the “main attraction.”
Six months passed and I was invited to have drinks with girlfriends. I arrived, I sat beside my girlfriend Janice, and I put my purse on the empty bar stool next to me to save it for our next arriving girlfriend—and in walked Shannon.
Shannon walked up to me, forced a synthetic smile and said, “Do you mind if I sit in the middle?”
What the crap? Shannon wanted me to give her my stool so she could sit between me and Janice.
My Woman Within leaned over and whispered in my ear, “She wants to sit in the middle so she can control the conversation.”
Some friends come into our lives for a reason, for a season, or a lifetime.
Glaring signs it’s time to let go of a friend:
Misunderstandings between friends is normal—but when a person values a friendship they will honestly and mutually strive to work through a squabble. But if your “friend” consistently does the following, she’s truly not your friend.
- Hogs the conversation: Your conversations revolve around her. You feel like she never listens to you. When you try to share your thoughts, your feelings or your point of view, she shifts the conversation to her opinions, accomplishments and concerns, shutting down a give-and-take conversation.
- One-sided: You do all the calling, inviting and driving. You acknowledge her birthday but she’s overlooks you. You seem to always pick up her tab. She’s the first girlfriend you call to go to an exclusive party or event. You invite her everywhere but you discover that she excluded you from a get-together with mutual friends.
- Lying: She exaggerates the truth to create false self-esteem. She manipulates circumstances to her advantage. She creates smoke screens to mask her hurtful behavior. Oops! She forgot to tell you she had drinks with your new romantic interest.
- Demeaning comments: She pokes fun at you in front of friends. Her remarks sting—but you tell yourself you’re overacting. She acts like she only kidding, when it truth it’s verbal abuse disguised as jokes.
- Uses you: She’s your friend because you have access to people in high places, exclusive parties and events and business connection. She invites you to her parties and events because her real BFF can't go.
- Blaming: She doesn’t take responsibility for her outbursts, manipulation or disrespect. When you confront her for her hurtful behavior, she tries to make you feel like the bad guy.
- Controlling: She needs to control every situation: where you go, what you talk about and the friends you invite to join you. She wants you to take your car to a bar or party because she doesn’t want to drive drunk. If you don’t agree, she will simply opt out.
Take a note in you iPhone: Anyone who wounds your spirit and causes you doubt your attractiveness, likeability, intelligence and abilities is unworthy of your time, loyalty and friendship.
Do you experience self-doubt and conflict in your relationships? Nancy can help you re-program your faulty mental filters. Read God, Please Fix Me! Trilogy A Breakthrough in Self-Esteem, Relationship Understanding and Personal Healing for Women by Nancy Nichols
For More dating insight sign up for Nancy's Newsletters.