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Cutting Off A Narcissistic Friend Of Two Decades

Discussion in 'Friends & Neighbours' started by Laks09, Oct 21, 2021.

  1. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    As the subject says, I have been thinking about completely cutting off a person I was once close to.
    A brief background about myself. I am a very social person and have a lot of friends. My inner circle is very small though. I have very few close friends and I don't let too many people into my tight group. Some of them don't even know each other. Over the years, I have got immense support from my close friends. Some people have surprised me by being there for me when I didn't expect them. Some whom I expected more from have not met my expectations but regardless I maintain a relationship with them. Some people have instantly connected with me and moved into my inner circle. In the last 5/6 years, I have made my outer group also smaller.

    During the course of the last several years, I understood that one of the person's in my inner circle was being rather mean and competitive and comparative. In my mind, because we shared a close friendship so many years ago, I kept making excuses for her behaviors - she has a hard married life, her SIL abuses her, her husband is a typical MCP(even comments on other women's skirt lengths for example), she is lonely but is portraying as being busy for making herself feel better, she sounds like a bully but her self esteem is very low etc. A few years ago, someone mentioned this Narcissism on IL. I watched the videos and read the articles. She is a classic example of that. She has to put my child down for her to feel better about her kid. She has to put me down to feel better about herself. She made the kids hate each other. She is constantly wanting to one up everyone around her - who has the better friends, whose husband is better employed, whose child is in a premier college program.

    I did pull back eventually because I realized there is no changing her. Honestly, it was draining me. We do have common friends so there is information sharing and unavoidable meetings. Even while walking outside sometimes I bump into her and she has found out something about me or DH and has to question me(taking into custody and questioning is what I say). I feel drained. I have told the person who is sharing info to please not do so. She stalks my DD's social media via her children's accounts and talks to me about my daughter's social life in college. She stalks her on linked in and makes it a point to question me endlessly about her internships or other achievements. She stalks my DH via common friends and comments on his career improvements. I am exhausted trying to be polite. I have also been harsh and told her "I don't know" or "No idea" in a very stern voice and walked away. We did have a falling out also a while ago but somehow we stayed in each other's radar because of our other friends. She knows I'm pissed and avoiding her but the relentless questioning when we inadvertently bump into each other hasn't stopped. How do I make it STOP?
    I want to completely cease all contact at this point. How do I avoid all contact even in social settings and during walks? How do I do it? The MIL is good to me and always talks to me when I see her outside. The hubbies are friends too but mine has also minimized contact in a effort to make this stop.
     
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  2. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    There seem to be two parts to the issue.
    One is dealing with the relentless and shameless questioning when you bump into her. This is a tough one. I have a similar problem with one person who thankfully has always been only an acquaintance. Yet, it is stressful. Once I bumped into her at the Indian grocery store. I saw the gleam and anticipation form in her eyes as she first saw me and then snaked her way through the narrow aisle and other shoppers to corner me. A small store, her loud-enough questions. I gave a few roundabout replies. "It was for the best." "It is not my story to tell." She smiled in a knowing way and said, "Come on, tell me the real reason." I have often thought of starting a thread here on how to deflect such queries.

    Anyway, I haven't found an effective way of dealing with it. Short of walking away abruptly and hence rudely, I don't see what we can do.

    This is the second part - your understandable desire to cut her off completely. I've found that with people who we bump into, or with whom we have family connections, or the whatsapp friend who simply won't slow down the interactions, a full cessation of contact is tough to achieve and like any success, harder to maintain. : ) It is better to figure out a "cruise mode" or "back burner mode" for these relationships. Meditation or mindfulness helps a lot with this. You acknowledge the annoyance without getting swept away in the annoyance. You simply say a chosen word, and move on mentally. My chosen word, no apologies, is rhymes-with-rich. The idea is to acknowledge the unpleasant briefly without going into why is she like this, I wish she wouldn't say that, why do I put up with this.

    TL;DR: Rather than cutting off all contact, a more sustainable method is to develop ways of reacting that minimize the duration and intensity of our stress on seeing her in person or social media. Eventually, such people also get it that they are not having the usual impact, and tend to reduce their questions.
     
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  3. anika987

    anika987 Finest Post Winner

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    Definitely maintain a distance laks..she is not worth..sadly,sometimes peoplepush their frustration and insecurities on others and they turn toxic..people like them are not worth having around.

    Does she live next to you? or close by..then maintain a contact with distance and speak limitedly..

    Else you can cut her off slowly and completely...

    I cut off one ex friend of few years and life has never been better..:)

    P.S:It is so funny I am giving you advice..it is like a sishya advising her guru :) You know I always look upto you..
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
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  4. Vedhavalli

    Vedhavalli Finest Post Winner

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    If you think she ais narcissistic, they may not have any control over what they do. Treat them like someone with mental illness and be empathetic. Also watch how you are talking, sometimes your level of patience will wear out & they may smear mud on you with common friends.
    Narcissistic person always twist, turn, lying, denying the facts, false praise, fake sweet talk. If you try to hide info or say don't know they turn into fbi drill with questions till you give answers.
    For your daughter linkedin you can block her or her children from viewing, for social media you can hide them from chat or seeing timeliness, stories status.
    Try going to walk in a different time or go to a near by park rather going for walk on neighborhood.
    Avoiding them is the key. Nothing else works...
     
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  5. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I feel like I need to have things to say that cuts the conversation but doesn’t give her the satisfaction of knowing I’m pissed. I feel like even the negative reactions are egging her on. Does that make sense?
    Thank you for the mindfulness reminder. I should practice more of that in my life. I’m trying but not hard enough seems like. I’m going to see how the next interaction goes with this information and see if it helps me at all. I didn’t think about it in those terms. Thanks a lot for the tip!
     
  6. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I think that’s the problem. She seems like a type A person stifled and especially doesn’t like successful women or women who have spouses who support them through their careers or businesses or even small things. Earlier when she undermined others, I would wonder in private if that woman truly is like that. Later, I realized that it isn’t the others but rather her.

    Unfortunately very close by. I have to find ways of not reacting to the questions and snide remarks. It got really annoying because the last few times she did that with my child and even if the kid is an adult, she’s my child and I shouldn’t be having such people in her life.

    Good for you! That’s the best to do!
    I never understood the term ex friend but now I really want her in my exes list! My ex-friend G sounds so good right now!!!

    Actually thanks for the tips! I am going to call her my ex friend from now on! That’s going to make a difference in my mind.
     
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  7. anika987

    anika987 Finest Post Winner

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    Good luck laks! I think from what you wrote..it sounds she is just not worth your time and energy.
    Do not worry if you will miss her or feel guilty later..you won't regret it! :)
     
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  8. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Vedhavalli - I did try a lot. It finally started affecting me. It is very impactful on my DD who is extremely sensitive. She is relentless right now. You know the frog in hot water story? It’s sort of like that. Initially things weren’t too bad. I don’t know if it is the hormones or if it gets worse with age but right now she’s a big bully. A huge huge bully. Everything from clothes to weight to money spent is discussed. I like to own some branded stuff and DD also gets things from me. In parties she humiliates us for our “expensive” taste and the poor man who has to spend on all those bling. It’s really too much yaar. Otherwise, my usual tactic of small talk and walk off would have worked.
    Everyone is pushed to the limit right now. People are just tolerating her. She still gets invited because everyone else doesn’t have the child involved. In my case, it’s relentless. She’s horrible right now. I’ve even told the others not to talk to me about her because I’m the one in the firing line.

    This is exactly how I feel.

    We have blocked the family out as much as we can. But in linked in when someone comments on your status it’s visible to their friends it seems. I have no idea how she does the linked in things. On other social media sites, I made my DD remove her kids and block them everywhere. Apparently there is a snap chat map where you can see where your friends are. That’s how she found out about our vacation. She called me to know if we were vacationing there. Left a vm and send texts on WhatsApp and regular. DD took the other kid out from that app too. It’s exhausting Vedhavalli. I’m so tired of making sure there is no leak, especially with a college going kid who is active in so many social media sites. It feels like being stalked by a stalker.

    I kind of feel like avoiding is the best thing to do right now. I have so much of stress with one of my kids that I can’t deal with this at all. I thought she may be more understanding of my situation and at least out of empathy stop the comparison and other things but it’s actually a lot worse now than even a few years ago.
     
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  9. Sweety82

    Sweety82 Gold IL'ite

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    I am also sailing in the same boat. This person has been in my friends circle for more than a decade and i struggled to cut her off. Because when she finds that i have something successful, she couldnt bear that which found out later. So, i nowadays responding her when she calls, but not sharing her anything and i dont call her. Though she is good, because of this attitude i coudnt continue this. So, for you, it is better to even cut this person though she is good at other things..
     
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  10. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @Laks09,

    All of us dealt with at least one narcissist in our lives. That is a situation where someone doesn't understand the difference between self-love and self-obsession. Generally, people who are narcissist are the ones who have a low self-esteem and they create an artificial barrier to build their self-esteem by putting others down. They are the ones who have no creativity and borrow the creativity of others. They need to stalk others to take a leaf out of their lives.

    I would recommend the following steps to overcome the situation:

    1) Remove all of the excuses you had built for her inside your mind about all her sufferings and the reasons why she had become like that. More you justify her actions, you create a conflict in your mind to feel bad for her while simultaneously unable to tolerate her social behavior.

    2) Refuse to recognize her actions such as stalking and letting anyone in your family down through her speeches and internally, you think she needs help. You are empowering her when you try and ignore her because she would think that she was successful in her attempts to put your family down. As long as you know the value of yourself and your family members, there is no need for anyone else to recognize that.

    3) No physical boundary can help when the narcissist abuse is emotional. Make the boundaries in your mind for her thoughts and expressions and discard them as useless. If possible, keep smiling at her attitude in order to make her understand her scheme is not producing desired results for her.

    4) Keep your family informed of her narcissist tendencies and let them know how you are handling it. Ask them to feel free to do whatever they feel like doing in social media and if possible, ask them to increase their intensity of positivity in their social media.

    Viswa
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
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