need advice on setting boundaries w/ a friend

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OK, so I don't usually post personal dilemmas like this on here, but with this one, the friend in question is so polarizing that my other friends either hate her and give me heck for even BEING her friend, or think she's amazing and don't understand why I even have an issue.

My high school reunion is coming up, and for some reason, I'm psyched about going and seeing some people I haven't seen in a long time. There is this woman, C, who I was REALLY close with for 2 years, like a sister. Then she and I and another really close friend, N, had some huge stupid fight about something I can't remember, and C and I didn't talk for years. About 3 years ago, she found me on facebook and we started talking again. One thing about me is I don't hold grudges - I look at the person she is now and I don't really care about what happened in the past, so we are close again and talk often and have gotten together a couple of times (she lives in the states now.) She is going to the reunion.

I have another friend, M, who I am still pretty good friends with, and who used to be close with N, but can't stand her now. And I have a friend, S, who I had a complicated up and down friendship with in high school, and with whom I still don't see eye-to-eye with politically or on a lot of issues, but with whom I am still on friendly terms and in touch. And there's a whole list of people like that, with the common denominator being that whatever history there is, I am not holding grudges and am just excited to see them and how they turned out, and that they and N have some kind of issues.

In the past, I had a lot of drama and so did N - we were friends because of all the drama we went through together - but I don't do that any more, and her life is still one big soap opera.

N originally wasn't going to the reunion, but now she says she is, and she wants us to go together, i.e. leave and go together in the cab or whatever, sit together and hang out all night. She is excited about that, and I'm not. I feel like if I do that, the whole weekend will be coloured by her issues/drama with people and she will try to drag me into old stuff she hasn't let go of, or will expect me to go along with it. I want to go as a mature person in my own right and not as the duo we were back in the day. Obviously, I'll talk to her/take pics etc. but I want to see the people I don't see all the time too. C and M have both asked me to go with them too, and I was considering it, as well as going with my other friend, J, or as a group as all four of us us (they know each other fairly well, but aren't friends.)

So... how do I break this to N, knowing it will cause HUGE drama, but if I don't, there'll be drama at the event that will ruin it for me?

I don't want to stop being friends with N. I've already had that conversation many times with others. We have good boundaries in our relationship generally and with those in place, our friendship is working for me and when it doesn't, I have the tools to set it right. But this situation is different for me - I guess I see the reunion as a sign of how far I have come, and how I've ditched anything negative from the past and have the happy memories, and she sees it as a way to re-hash everything from the past, good and bad.
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Sorry I got a little lost in the alphabet soup. But if I'm understanding it all, I think you can simply say you'll meet her there. Look for her once you arrive at the event, talk for 10-15 mins, then say you want to go say Hi to So And So, and excuse yourself.

What sort of drama could that cause?
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How do you feel about a white lie - such as telling N that you had already agreed to go with X & Y? Would you be able to get away with that or would she find out?

Otherwise, be straightforward and just say that you are making arrangements to go with X&Y (truth). She is obviously a drama queen and they need audiences - so she will quit carrying on if you don't allow yourself to get into a fight with her. Just stay calm and resolute. She'll get over her mad.
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Yeesh.

It's hard to return to a(n) historical scenario with people who are still living it.

What about attending by yourself, telling the group you want to go with, as well as N., that you'll see them all there? That way you'd have more independence. Would you miss having the chance to spend more time with the group you do like, or does that seem like an acceptable trade for avoiding N.'s continued rehashing of grudges?
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Last edited by ninja dog; 02-10-2012 at 08:01 PM.
Sorry I got a little lost in the alphabet soup. But if I'm understanding it all, I think you can simply say you'll meet her there. Look for her once you arrive at the event, talk for 10-15 mins, then say you want to go say Hi to So And So, and excuse yourself.

What sort of drama could that cause?
Originally Posted by PhoenixThNuBlak
LOL @ alphabet soup - sorry.

The drama it could cause is that if I don't go joined @ the hip w/her, I fear that she will assume I'm mad at her/I think I'm better than her/I'm holding a grudge because of x y and z and have a meltdown and try to make my life miserable. We don't live in the same city, so I don't normally have to put up with this from her (if we did, it would probably be different.)
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











How do you feel about a white lie - such as telling N that you had already agreed to go with X & Y? Would you be able to get away with that or would she find out?

Otherwise, be straightforward and just say that you are making arrangements to go with X&Y (truth). She is obviously a drama queen and they need audiences - so she will quit carrying on if you don't allow yourself to get into a fight with her. Just stay calm and resolute. She'll get over her mad.
Originally Posted by curlypearl
Nope, that would make her mad.

My plan is just to be honest and say that I want to go w/other people I don't get to spend as much time with or communicate with as much as her and I want the reunion to be about connecting with lots of people, not the ones I'm already really connected to. But I know her and I know she'll read into that - she is really adamant that we should go together.

I know she always resented how I have always been blessed to have a lot of different circles of friends. In high school, I was accepted into the music/drama/dance group, the politics/debate group, the pretty/popular group, the geek/smart group, the "brown girls" etc. and she was more locked into the "brown girls" only, and would always complain about how the other groups weren't my real friends, or I thought I was better than the "brown girls" for being friends with the other groups and so on.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











Yeesh.

It's hard to return to a(n) historical scenario with people who are still living it.

What about attending by yourself, telling the group you want to go with, as well as N., that you'll see them all there? That way you'd have more independence. Would you miss having the chance to spend more time with the group you do like, or does that seem like an acceptable trade for avoiding N.'s continued and rehashing of grudges?
Originally Posted by ninja dog
I was leaning toward that, but I would miss not spending more time especially with C. I really, really care for her and we're close now, and I haven't really expressed how much so to N to avoid drama and because it's none of her business. I feel like she will realize how close C and I are when she is there and have a hissy fit, if her past behaviour (recent past) is any indication. One month ago, she gave her boyfriend an ultimatum: it's me or your kids, and you can never see them unless I'm there (yes, really) and saw nothing wrong with that. So that's what I'm up against. She must always be your sole focus of attention or she loses it. So I have only been in one-on-one situations with her for at least a couple of years now. There's no way to do that at a reunion full of people.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











Ride alone to and from and circulate among all the friends you want to catch up with. Explain to N that you don't want a girlfriend date for the reunion, you want to be free to flit about and be drama-free.

I went to my 10 year reunion with a friend and it was like being anchored to a chair. She wanted to sit at a table and not move or mingle or talk to anyone else. Basically she wanted to people watch and make fun of everyone with a really vicious catty attitude. I told her to go ahead and make fun of me once I was out on the dance floor; I'd be having fun.

I went to my 20th HS reunion by myself and had a blast. No negativity there at all. And guess who didn't show?

Refuse to get caught up in the drama by saying, "I can't wait to see you and everyone else there!!!!!"
curlypearl likes this.
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Ummmmm..............are you sure N. is someone you want to continue being friends with? She sounds very challenging.

I know old friends often get a pass. I think we all tolerate more from those we've known since forever.
curlypearl likes this.
I guess I don't understand why you need to 'go with' someone. It's not a junior high school dance. I think you should go on your own (tell your friends that your little one's been teething and you want the flexibility of being able to go home if he's having a bad night, if you want an excuse). Talk to whomever you want while there. If you need more time to catch up with X, Y or Z try to make plans with them outside of reunion and don't tell drama friend.

Sounds like your drama friend will cause issues either way, so you might as well just get it over with.
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I've dealt with drama queens, if you have to give them some answer they don't want to hear, there's no way you can stop the storm that will come. These people look for reasons to be upset and are very good at finding it. Even if you did go with her, she'd probably find another reason to be upset. The only effective way I've learned to deal with them, is to just put them on ignore until they cool down.
curlypearl likes this.
I'd either meet up with all of them there or go with J, she seems neutral.

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