SweetiePie is an artist and animal lover who enjoys sharing her passion for painting with others in the online community.
My Friend Makes Me Feel Inferior—What Should I Do?
Have you ever had a friend that made you feel inferior? Yes, it is a choice to allow this person's comments to make you feel inferior, but sometimes we more sensitive types are simply not as resilient when it comes to critical and sarcastic remarks. Some thrive off of it; some do not.
Years ago, I had a friend who always said things that made me feel inferior. However, because I had been friends with this person for a very long time, I have tried to accept certain things that she said and tried not to let these comments hurt me.
Even when I worked out and lost quite a bit of weight, she still would make comments about how my body was not as toned and shapely as hers. She had the figure of a supermodel and was able to fit into all of those cute and trendy clothes at the mall, so I always felt a little self-conscious when we went clothes shopping together.
Has anyone ever had a friend that made comments that caused them to feel inferior? How do you deal with such a friend when her constant remarks become hurtful? Is there a point when you should end the friendship if it is becoming hurtful and bridging on toxic? This article will discuss some of the strategies people can use when dealing with a friend's hurtful comments.
Her Mean Comments Are Not Personal
Some people are more blunt and often make comments that can be construed as hurtful by others. Growing up, I had a very nurturing mother who was always careful not to say things that would upset me, as she knew I was a slightly sensitive child.
Critical Friends Were Often Raised by Critical Parents
However, some people who have parents that feel they must make tough comments to help their kids rise to each challenge. I am glad that my mom was not this kind of parent, but a child with a more blunt and direct personality may enjoy this type of parenting. It is always interesting to realize a person's home environment and personality type both go into shaping their personality.
In some friendships, it can be difficult if one person is sensitive and more tactful when the other person is more direct. It all has to do with personality and the way people interact with one another. If one person is more sensitive then she needs to let her girlfriend know certain comments hurt her.
For instance, let us say two friends are trying on swimsuits, and one makes a comment about how the red one with white polka dots makes her look chubby. Some honesty in all friendships is good, such as one friend is trying to help the other friend pick out a swimming suit that is flattering for her body type.
This friend is not being mean on purpose, and she probably just feels she has to make comments about people's body shapes and attire because she learned that behavior from her mother or other relatives. My friend, for instance, later complained that her mom could make harsh comments about people's attire and body shapes, which helped me to not be hurt by some of her more critical comments about my body type.
Strategies for Dealing With Critical Friends
So we should learn how to deal with these hurtful situations in a tactful and productive way.
Change the Subject
For instance, you can say, "Thanks for trying to help me pick out a suit; maybe we can both look for ones that look good on me?" This comment shifts the attention away from feeling upset and focuses the attention on finding an appropriate bathing suit, which helps to reduce the drama in the friendship.
However, if your friend continues to make hurtful comments when you are trying on clothes and says nothing looks good on you, then you need to make some ground rules about future social outings. For example, you can tell your friend, "I enjoy many things that our friendship has to offer, but I feel uncomfortable clothes shopping with you because_______," and you fill in the blank.
Establish Ground Rules
After this, you will continue to be positive and constructive by simply making it known that some activities are better to do on your own. This same scenario can be applied to any situation where your friend is making a hurtful comment, and you are not able to deal with it. For example, maybe you go on skiing trips, and she makes fun of your ability, so it is better just to establish some ground rules and let her know there are certain activities you will not be attending.
What to Do When Her Comments Cross the Line
If her comments continue to cross the line, then you need to consider whether it is healthy to continue the friendship. With my one friend, she continued to make hurtful comments in almost every situation, which made it hard to want to be around her. I am not perfect myself, and I know I said and did things that irritated her, but all friends must ask themselves when does the friendship stop being mutually supportive and becomes toxic?
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Ask Yourself if It's Worth Continuing to Spend Time With the Person
With your family, you have to put up with certain differences because you are related, but your friends should be a refuge where you can just be yourself. Hurtful comments do not make your friends bad people, but this might be an indication that the friendship has hit a roadblock that cannot be surpassed. Sensitive people like myself do not tease and joke around with each other a lot, but we can be funny and witty in different ways that some people may not understand.
If you are friends with someone who likes to joke around a lot and their teasing is beginning to hurt, begin to ask yourself whether this is the type of friendship that helps to bring out the best in you. I once had a friend who always told mean-spirited jokes, and after a while, I just did not find these funny. When I stood up to her jokes, she said I was sensitive and did not know how to laugh, but I told her jokes bordering on personal swipes are no laughing matter.
Spend Some Time Apart
So when your friend likes to joke and make blunt comments, then she might feel more comfortable spending time with people that give her the freedom to do that. Do not get into dramatic confrontations, but let your friends know that you need time off to do things for yourself for a while. Take some time to do things you might not be able to do with that friend or spend time with other friends that make you feel more comfortable with.
You do not have to end the friendship, but sometimes it is better to bow out if it is becoming hurtful and mutually disrespectful. Just try to remember that many things people say and do are not personal, but that we each react differently to different events and scenarios.
For instance, I had a friend who got very upset when people used pornographic language around, but her friends did not care and sometimes used that banter among themselves. We each have a different threshold, and we have to learn what makes us feel comfortable and the happiest. She learned eventually that whereas that group may be having a merry old time, she was happier to go on social outings by herself and reconnect with some old long-lost friends from school.
Friendship Does Not Equal Happiness
To be truly happy, you must be secure with yourself and not always thinking about friends' opinions. It does take time, but you can work on self-confidence so your friends' comments do not hurt anymore. Make sure you take time out for yourself to read self-esteem-building books or to just work on a hobby.
Maintain the Friendships That Are Meaningful and Fulfilling
Friendship is a gem worth cherishing, but maintaining any and all friendships is not the end-all and be-all to our happiness. Even with the best of friendships, we have to be happy with ourselves first and then think about friendships second. This was an especially hard lesson for me to learn because I always felt like I needed someone's approval to be happy, but I finally learned I only need my own approval.
If I am making good decisions that will make my life productive and happy, then I am doing the best I can for myself. Many people will come and go out of your life, so you must love yourself first and learn to be happy spending solitary time working on hobbies and goals.
Focus on Friendships That Bring Out the Best in You
Friendships can augment our lives and we should see them as wonderful people who bring additional happiness, but remember these people are not responsible for our happiness. Any friendship that makes a person feel less than is not worth wasting a person's time or self-esteem on. Try to pursue friendships that bring out the best in yourself and the best in your friends.
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on July 06, 2018:
The best advice I could give to you is to spend this time in your life doing more things on your own that you enjoy. When we are young we are often friends with people because we go to school with them and meet them in social settings, but later in life we might find that we do not have so much in common with them. I am not saying completely cut off the friendship, but maybe take some time away. Take up a new hobby, join a hiking club, or take a cooking class. I learned over the years there are a lot of people in the world, and not all friendships are meant to last forever. You could still be casual friends with her without spending as much time with her.
alice on June 17, 2018:
One of my closest friends always makes herself seem better than me; she will act like I'm dumb or bad at something, tell people that I'm not good at secrets etc, or make out that I have anger issues/tell me to calm down when it's relevant etc. I am really struggling because I am not a confrontational type and we've been friends for so long and many of our activities eg, school, church are together. I am not sure what to do, because if I bring it up, she will probably b*tch behind my back, or act like I need to calm down, even if I say it calmly. Any ideas?
Amy on February 15, 2018:
I have a friend who's daughter has a crush on my husband. That's fine I'm ok with it I trust my husband. But my friend always brings it up & makes a joke of it. It actually makes me & my husband feel awkward now as she does not seem to just drop it. She even suggested that he go out on a bike ride with her. I think if she's my friend surely she wouldn't encourage that sort of behaviour. She copies me quite a bit to. My husband thinks it's best we keep them at arms length & don't tell them anything that's going on in our lives. It makes me so mad to think that she can call herself a friend when she just encourages poor behaviour. I've often thought to myself. God if my hubby did have a fling or something more serious with her daughter ( not that he would I trust him but just saying) would my friend condone it or condemn it. Makes me think she would condone it. How should I deal with it when she says her daughter thinks my hubby is hot.
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on October 08, 2017:
I think I would just start by being honest about how your friend's comments are hurtful. The next time she makes a comment like this, just politely point out "this comment is not helpful and it hurts me". Some people might think this is overly sensitive, but I think if she is at all a friend, maybe she will reflect and change her comments in the future.
Cheryl on October 06, 2017:
GREAT information here. I'm an older woman & I have a best friend who can be very cutting & critical. I was upset about something just the other night, with tears in my eyes, & my friend said.."nobody died, you're not buddy-buddy with B, you don't see B outside of your choir..it is what it is". To me that felt as though she was criticizing my emotions. I was sharing some family photos I had on my c-phone. She pointed to a cousin & said "she needs to lose weight". All I said in return was.."she was bigger a while ago". Then we got onto about some of my cousins being diabetic. My friend commented that my Mom was on the heavy side..how old was she when diagnosed, etc.etc. My friend has seen just ONE photo of my Mom, yet she said what she said. Yes, Mom was on the heavy side, but there was very little she could do because of her health issues. When someone talks about my Mom, they're crossing a line. I went on to mention a note I received from Mom's friend after she died (when Mom died). It was lovely, etc.etc. My friend said..it' s not healthy for people to go on & on after someone has died years ago. I'll glance at my parents' picture, & think of them briefly, but that's about it". In return I said...I don't go on & on..but I discovered the note, & I likely won't read it again". Tell me, what right did my friend have to say that to me!!????
I'd like to sit down with her & let her know how she makes me feel at times, but I don't know how to go about it without causing confrontation. I could point out that her son isn't perfect by any stretch...living years with a woman, having children (they have a 2 1/2 yr old & another on the way), yet he's not married. My friend doesn't even know her granddaughter's last name!! I would never hurt anyone that way, but my friend needs to realise that she's not perfect.
Again, I don't know how to talk to her about things.
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on September 18, 2013:
Well I would probably take a slightly more restrained approach to this, and this is why I wrote this article several years ago for us more sensitive types. Actually after many years I have learned you do not need to tell people everything, and they often know what they are doing and saying that hurts others. It might be best just to walk away and not have much to say to a friend like this. That might sound abrupt, but confrontations do not always make the world better, and people who are sensitive do not always feel empowered by this. Yes telling some people stuff is a good thing, but as time goes by it is better to learn to pick and choose your battles. I just say walk away from friendships that make you feel bad because there is more important stuff in the world.
Grated on September 17, 2013:
Regardless if someone is so called 'blunt' or not, it's all about respect. If someone is saying things that have a negative affect on you, tell her. Let her know that her comments really hurt your feelings and that you don't know if she's trying to be backhanded.
If she hits you with that 'you're just being too sensitive' crap, let her know, yes honey, welcome to planet earth! Some of us ARE sensitive. If she acts like she could care less, time to move on. Sociopaths:We all know one. Can't live with em, can't throw em from a cliff. Woo woo woo! ;)
Canuck57 on March 24, 2013:
I do not believe that anyone can "make" you feel bad, or alter your emotional state unless you "let it". Too often in our culture we like to blame everyone else for everything, for how we feel, or for things that happen in our lives...when this isn't always true. We are in control of ourselves, and there isn't anything anyone can say to us that will "make" us feel bad unless we allow it to happen.
This might be a bitter pill for most people to swallow for sure, and for some it does take practice. But the world would be a much better place if we stopped trying to make people behave in ways each of us feel is appropriate (which never works), and just accept people for what and who they are...and NEVER let them "make" you feel bad.
The best way to get back at a bully is to show them that whatever they say and do does not affect you...and that is the ultimate victory. It has worked for me all my life, and it is the "BEST" way to deal with those things that bother each of us.
Teach everyone to live this way, to help those who cannot help themselves, to help the less fortunate, and suddenly there is world peace....go figure :-).
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on March 17, 2013:
My thinking on this is after the age of thirty I learned I can either be offended by the weird comments so-called friends make, or I can choose not to be offended. It does not mean that I agree with their way of doing things, but I no longer have time to worry about it. I just move on and focus on people I enjoy being around.
Cole on March 15, 2013:
I was really interested in your comment about how we choose to let others make us feel inferior because I think some people (who call themselves our "friends") actually go out of their way to make us feel inferior. I personally had such a "friend" and, like you, I thought that I was being overly sensitive to her comments. Then I realized that I had numerous other friends who are prettier, smarter, more successful, etc. than me and I never felt inferior around any of THEM, I only felt inferior around HER. My advice, I think when it comes to dealing with "friends" who make you feel bad about yourself, it is worth looking at the friendship and seeing how it compares to the other friendships you have. Because sometimes, it is the other person ;)
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on August 13, 2012:
It is good to stand up for yourself, but I do not think I would go out of my way to be overly blunt with others just because they do the same. It is not really my style, but to each his own.
michael on August 13, 2012:
i agree some people taking insulting someone and using were friends as an excuse ,its usually losers that do this who are jealous ,i dropped some truth bombs on someone who does this type of stuff and they didn't like it in fact to see them cower was kind of revolting because u just made them feel like crap but some people wanna dish it but can't take it
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on June 25, 2012:
That is great your brother is tough and efficient in the business world, but such precision and lack of emotion is not conducive to building relationships with family or friends. Wow, I call my mother and sister every day, and I think talking to family once a week is very little.
I am sorry your brother poked fun of you wanting to stay home with your baby, but just keep in mind that even today women do more than men in all spheres in life, especially after they have kids. So your brother might be the expert businessman, but if he ever had kids the majority of childcare would fall on the mother. This is changing a bit and I am seeing more dads taking on childcare duties, but a lot of men have a far way to go. I have always believed if a woman has kids she has the right to take a few years off and raise them if this would make things easier. If working and childcare are within your budget that is great, but a lot of people cannot afford all this. Also, sometimes you can pay more tax at the end of the year with a two family income, kids, and childcare expenses, and end up saving money if one parent works and the other stays home with the kids.
So honestly you are not letting your brother down, but I think he might want to open his eyes to how there are many different types of people in this world. There is nothing wrong with sensitivity, and I think more people could use some of it. Especially since in the business world right not we have a lot of mega-wealthy business people saying they do not want to pay more tax, but then the majority of tax burdens are falling on the middle and working class. Having empathy and compassion are important things, and I admire business people like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates who do lots for charity, well still making a great living.
Mona11 on June 22, 2012:
I came across ur page after a hurtful exchange with my brother. Im a first time mom and my baby is 8 months old. Ive been on maternity leave & thinking of leaving work as it is just too much to handle these days. Imsure though that my only brother disapproves; he's a big shot banker & he thinks i'm a loser / not doing anything becos im choosing to SAH & look after my baby full time. If only he knew how hard it is to parent a new baby... I've not slept 3 hours in a row for over 10 months... & yet every time my mom, bro & I get together to talk, he makes this comment about how i've got "nothing better to do than call him weekly"... I was so hurt today again... I feel like im letting him down terribly but im so mind-numbingly tired all the time. I know my brother loves me & he wants me to toughen up... But im just a sensitive soul & i cant stop feeling im letting him down. Its hard to deal withcos its family... Your article gave me some solace. Thank you xxx
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on June 11, 2012:
Sometimes we have to move away from friendships that are hurtful. A real friend will like every aspect of who you are, and will denigrate you. A real friend will tell you how you looks great in that dress, and mean it will all her heart. I have come to learn this, and I have also come to learn sometimes you have to be your own best friend.
atalia on June 11, 2012:
well .. i have a friends u always insulted me abt my body ..i had lost weight and she used to pass sarcastic comments on how small my boobs were,since then i have put some of the weight back on but now she tells me indirectly that she has bigger boobs ... i want to tell that i don't care .She constantly compares herself to me ...i want to get her to stop ...they are her insecurities not mine.I want to do it in a nice way.It really pisses me off, coz im sick of the sarcasm and i don't want to stoop to her level ... any advice would be nice
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on May 29, 2012:
Sometimes you just have to be your own best friend.
ALI DAR GHOST RIDER on May 29, 2012:
I want the real girlfriend
real life partner
base on truth
cooldevan on April 23, 2012:
*Excuse me,i forget an important thing related to Mrs.Carol.Hai,Mrs.Carol,basically i am movie addict,i used to relate the interested things in the movies to real life,even adopts some techniques from nice movies to get a solution in real life.
*On reading urs,i just remembered the woman in the movie "Titanic"(BEST ROMANTIC MOVIE EVER ve to be watched by all atleast one time in life).WHAT Woman?WHat Woman?U may ask.The woman who gives the Royal Suite to Jack(Hero) to attend the royal party.In the overall movie,i liked her character the most.To that movie fans,Please don't mistake me,i do love the acting,storyline in the movie.Her way of movement with people is nice.Even her character lasts for only 10-15 minutes,i was attracted to that character mainly due to the acting,i.e as a bridge between poor and royal.Finally she(the character) survives the disaster which shows God won't leave good people-to suffer,definitely He will help people in one or the other way,.
* So,on comparing her with you while reading,I like you.I hope ur husband is on ur side and is treating you greatly.So,Why worrying?,u will overcome all the problems in life with having him beside you.BE HAPPY AND LIVE LONG,EVER LASTING SUPER LIFE WITH SWEET MEMORIES!!!
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on April 22, 2012:
Sorry I have to delete comments with swear words and overt talk. If someone acts the way your friend did, she is not your friend. Please do not confront this person, it is just best to move on.
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on April 12, 2012:
You did the best thing Carol. This former friend seems really micromanaging, and over silly stuff like breakfasts to boot. My goodness, life is short, and I think people need to stop trying to control others and things so much. Perhaps the need to be in control in certain situations has to do with this woman's insecurity, and she feels more powerful when she tries to assert things over others.
Carol on April 10, 2012:
Hi Kate! Thank you so much for your response. I think you and Sweetiepie are very insightful regarding my situation and human nature in general! I so appreciate your taking the time to comment on my post. I want you and Sweetiepie to know that I have severed all ties to this woman. The relationship was not in my, best interest. The final revaluation came two weeks ago when she again undermined me with a mutual friend. I had told our mutual friend, in the Dr.'s presence, that I would bring her over breakfast and coffee for her after her nightshift, and let her take a break from a community fundraiser, as a thank you for her efforts. The Dr. took over the conversation saying "No you won't!!!!!!!!, What we'll do is come over and man the post while you go have breakfast at the IHOP." I told my husband how she constantly overrules me, and he said, "She's not the boss of you, do what you want!" So I got our mutual friend the breakfast we had discussed, and headed over to the fundraiser, and low and behold, who was there with the exact same breakfast in hand for her, a half an hour ahead of the time I said I would be there! I can't understand and just don't want to try anymore.
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on April 06, 2012:
This person does not sound like a friend if he is willing to poke fun at you while recording a video. What you need to do is not allow this person to make any videos of you, and to find new friends.
R on April 05, 2012:
Hey, this helped me through, where my friend was recording a video, but he insulted me about 4 times about my personality, the things I do, and my name.. I'm still not sure what to do though...
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on April 03, 2012:
Personally, those are the type of friends you should not really worry about making time for. I used to be hurt when one friend seemed way too busy to ever talk to me when she was going hot and heavy with a boyfriend, but later she wanted to talk to me all the time when he was out of state. I say find friends who do not put you on the back burner when their boyfriend is around, but who always seem to be free when he is not around.
Jeanie on April 02, 2012:
Need advice concerning friends who blow u off constantly for their boyfriend
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on April 02, 2012:
That is very helpful advice, Kate! With all the people out there in the world, there is actually very little need to spend time mourning a defunct friendship.
Kate on April 02, 2012:
Hi Carol, not sure if you will ever read this (your last comment was a while ago!) but after reading about your situation I just wanted to reply. This frienemy seems like a real 'bore'!! the way I see it there are certain dynamics going on which have nothing to do with you. One is that she is a 'bully' a strong character who does not tolerate people who she can not control (you). She probably feels very insecure although she covers it up well and her biggest 'nemesis' is you because she knows that you have figured her out. The other friends are being controlled by her too they are perhaps not as perceptive as you are. Often when women get together there is a scapegoat and unfortunately as you have stood up to her it is you :-( my advice from an outside perspective is to: not spend anymore time thinking about this women... if your husband wants to socialise with them let him do so but make it clear that you do not want to go to her house or want her at yours. If your friends make a fuss about this then see them separately (as couples, or one-two-one) if they are your real friends they will respect your wishes. Go and get new friends too! and openly do things with them, that perhaps her and her husband will not get invited too!!
At the moment it sounds as though she is being manipulating and controlling and there is no reason why you should be bothering with her. There are sooo many other people out there to be friends with. Do not feel any loyalty to her, she obviously doesn't feel any towards you any more. Stand your ground, be assertive and feel sorry for her... she is loosing out on an amazingly tolerant, loving friend!!
Flamboyanza on March 15, 2012:
I have a friend I do not want to lose because she is very good actually. We have grown up together but became friends after a long time. I know she likes me. But she does not find it easy to make friends. When we were friends newly I used to wonder why she has less friends, she was so good to me. But as time passed she would boast about her college, her parents comparing things with mine. She would make fun of my dialect and sometimes she'd ask me to stop being friends with others.
I certainly understood she has insecurity complexions and tried to ignore them because otherwise she was very good.During arguments I was unable to stop myself from saying things exactly the way she said. But I do not want to stoop low to her level to brag about whose parents, whose college, whose dialect and whose religion is better.
I do not want to give up on her. Sometimes I think she realises her mistakes but she is very proud and she won't say a sorry. She is unable to stop herself from making such derogatory comments. Is there any way I can help her? I want her to have friends, who will appreciate her and i think eventually she'll stop saying things like this. I suspect her upbringing is also responsible and she is sensitive so I cannot even tell her everything directly.
Anonymous on March 09, 2012:
This was a good article. It would definitely help those out who need some form of realization with their friends.
I'm a guy and I had quite a few friends who made me feel inferior. Whenever I was in a group, my opinion would never matter and when I had an idea, it got ignored. Sure, I used to be very sensitive, but I've gotten past my sensitivity a lot since last year, when I made a big decision to ditch my friends before they did to me. I took months to myself to figure out which friends to keep and when someone new comes around that has the most respect and loyalty to you to the point that he/she will not intentionally hurt your feelings, he/she will be your friend for life. I have 3 very good, close friends who do not make me feel inferior, and what I like best, is the straight-up honesty that gets taken into account if there's some form of conflict. I learned to always make the right decision when I could. Quality over quantity and having no friends is better than having bad friends, but it's always good to have experience, rather than regret.
Be yourself, and never let anyone take you for granted.
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on March 02, 2012:
You are a good person Carol, I would not worry about those who are rude to you. Let them live with their mean comments, because they are the ones missing out. Maybe you should start writing here on Hubpages, you can meet some interesting online friends. We might not all get together in person, but there is a sense of camaraderie you can have with those you interact with in the cyber world.
Carol on February 29, 2012:
Sweetiepie, you are very wise indeed. I know that,like you, I am very sensitive. I know that what you say is true. I'm much better off following a different course. I guess what really got me was this yoyo effect of bring me into to her, then her tossing me away. She's an educated person in mind, but, does not have an educated heart. I can understand it, but I do see this is some sort of insecurity on her part, this constantly belittling of others, is a way to boast herself up. I am stepping away. Those that enjoy my company I'm sure will seek me out. Sweetie, I appreciate your kindness and support!
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on February 27, 2012:
I learned in my late twenties you cannot rely on a group dynamic to guarantee your happiness in life. I think now is the time to maybe step away, and do things on your own, or with new friends. Sometimes it hurts my feelings when I know I am not part of a group dynamic, but I have learned over time I am just not the type that gravitates to such set-ups. I truly believe more in one on one friendships, and spending more time on contemplative pursuits. I also learned a real friend will never make you feel bad in any situation, and I had to learn that when a so-called friend or two would make little comments that were geared towards making herself seem superior. What I do regret is for pointing any of that out to former friends because I learned people who do such things really do not care. I guess what you have to decide is are these group activities really this inspiring, or would you like to start on a new journey? A more meditative one, one that is more about focusing on what you like as a person. In group dynamics my opinions would be not be valued and lost in the sea of voices, whereas when I focus on a hobby like writing or painting, I feel I am enriching myself.
Carol on February 25, 2012:
Thanks Sweetiepie for the comment. I'm 57 years old and we chum with a group of 5 couples, our husbands being great friends with each other. Every other combination within the group works. I think my personality initially worked with this dr. I am quiet in nature, she loves control and being in charge. I let it happen. It was incidious. Over time I began to realize how bossy/bullying she was. She lacks emotional empathy. I use to be able to be myself, then I realized, little be little she was eroding who I was. Then it was no holes be bared power over. She treats her poor husband like this as well. It's hard to watch. Now that I've asserted myself in a kind yet firm way, she has called all out war on me. She excludes us when she can, holding group activites on days/evenings/weekends that she knows i and my husband can't attend. I don't discuss her with the other women in the group hoping they can see her true nature, but now one of the women, who is my dear friend had started doing and saying similar things to me, in a teasing way, I guess to get closer to the frienemy. We have all been friends for 20 years. We have raised our children together. We have travelled the world together. Why are women dynamics like this? My gut feeling is that the frienemy is priming the group for her soon to be retirement, so she can feel like she is pack leader This is the first time in my life I've ever been bullied.
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on February 24, 2012:
Since I am the introverted type who only has a few friends, I might ask you: Is spending time with this social group worth it if you keep having to run into this person? Maybe you can make new friends outside of this group, and focus on hobbies. I really do not have a large or active social group these days, but I know the few friends I have now will never demean me.
Carol on February 24, 2012:
Hello. I had a friend who is a doctor, and she loved making fun of me for being at home mom. I had four children in five years. I remember meeting a friend of hers, and after I asked my "friend" if this woman was a doctor as well. My frienemy, rolling her eyes, (such a STUPID QUESTION) said,"No, she's not a doctor. She's married to a doctor. She's nothing but an "at home" mom." This was the third time she had made such a comment. We are not friends anymore. However, we travel in the same social group. It makes it so hard because we are in group situations together. She pretends to be my friend in front of others, but she always puts in little digs in the guise of sarcastic humor about me in front of my other friends, trying to make me look stupid. I can't comprehend why people act this way.
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on January 30, 2012:
I am sorry to hear about your sibling treating you rudely. It is harder when it is a family member, but I suppose as an adult at least you have the option to have some distance, and maybe only go to certain events.
victoria from Hamilton On. on January 29, 2012:
SweetiePie,Thanks for writing on this topic.You are absolutely right in your assessment that it's best never to bother confronting.Those who are insensitive to others will never see your point and will usually grab their purse and leave in a huff.They cannot argue or discuss the subject logically.
My experience has been with a sibling,which makes it very complicated to enjoy outings which include all of us. Outside of these outings,I try to stay away from her.
It's too bad but that's how it is.Some people just don't get the responsibility thing.
Good hub!Thanks again.
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on January 09, 2012:
What I learned a few years ago is never confront the person who makes you feel inferior in a friendship. They will never see it that way, and it is just best to move on. If I could do it again I would move on and never have a conversation with anyone about things they said that hurt my feelings. I stayed in friendships and allowed myself to feel that way. I know these former friends are good people, but I have learned like the posters above that not all good people can be friends. You have to be friends with the right people, not just good people.
Jean on January 08, 2012:
I was usually always the person that allowed myself to feel inferior to others because I was afraid of standing up for myself and losing the friendship or relationship because I adopted this behavior I found myself often times in a quagmire with people who consistently struck at me thinking i would not fight back. I finally recently decided to speak up and I ended a friendship of many years after that person attempted to make me feel inferior. I basically told them straight off that they do not have my permission and will never have my permission to make me feel inferior and that was that.
Sometimes people are just toxic to us, it doesn't mean they are bad people per say, it just means they are not good for us and I believe if their personalities are such that make us feel inferior or hurt most of the time than it is safe to say they are not good for us. When we can accept this than maybe we can truly feel a sense a self worth because dealing with other's superiority complexes can sometimes suck the life out you.
Julia on January 01, 2012:
That is a very good point that some people were making, that it is not worth it trying to argue with people who put us down or trying to change them or help them understand us better, since such people are insensitive and probably a bit selfish and don't care anyway. So who needs friends who are superficial and don't really care about us but care more about building up themselves at our expense? Ive read that people who put others down are often projecting their own incompetence onto someone they see as more competent, attractive, intelligent, nicer or in some other way better than themselves.
I also used to try to keep such people and explain myself to them but they never changed, so what is the point? I also was bullied as a teen, so I later felt I think that holding onto friends was really important. You guys are right in saying the best way is to just cut them loose before they leave any emotional pain or scars on us. And that is the best revenge I think, since if we leave them we have in fact won since they had underestimated us and we are not around to be their doormats any more.
I really appreciate this article! Ive dealt with the same kind of thing for a long time, but Im getting stronger now as I understand it better and Ive been changing my approach to it.
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 22, 2011:
Thanks for sharing your insights Cristy!
Christy Stewart from Virginia on November 20, 2011:
Thank you for exploring the unknown territory of female friendships. It is as difficult to make good friends as it is to keep them.
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on September 10, 2011:
It is hard to get over a friendship that has often been controlling. I realized now I used to put up with a lot of ridiculous things people said just so they would remain my friend. I learned along the way sometimes it is just nice to spend time by yourself, and not worry about people who really do not care about you anyway.
crackers10 from DreamWorld on September 09, 2011:
I really liked the hub! I had this problem with a friend a bit ago,and I still have issues with it today. It's very hard to get over things like this. Voted up!
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on August 12, 2011:
Good points Janet!
Thank you for reading my article about friendship Igenira.
Ingenira on August 11, 2011:
Well said, SweetiePie.
Jplanet on August 08, 2011:
Sometimes when we're upset we say hurtful words to our friends but never mean them. In the heat of the moment we all do this. But the only difference is that a real friend will always be able to see the pain in our eyes and understand us, while everyone else believes the smile on our face.
There's a saying: " A simple friend thinks the friendship over when you have an argument. A real friend knows that it's not a friendship until after you've had a fight."
Thanks! Love this aritcle and keep reading it over and over!:)
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on August 08, 2011:
My past experiences taught me to be more careful about who I consider my friends. I had friends who told me things before about how they did not think we could be friends if we did not see eye-to-eye on an issue, and I would end up telling that friend I did not want to lose their friendship. Now if someone said that today, I would probably just say you are right, and leave it at that. If I had a friend in my current life where there were just too many awkward situations, or comments that made me feel bad, I would probably just step back and give that person space. The regret I have with past friendships is that I just did not walk away and leave it at that.
Jplanet on August 07, 2011:
I had a friend who didn't allow me to be myself. I always had to be careful at what i said. She actually use to threaten the friendship if i didn't act according to her. Her exact words would go something like this: (oh my, well if that's the way you act then its a (sign) we can't be friends!) It was like walking on eggshells, and to keep the relationship i was forced to never say anything negative or disagree. I think though after looking at the situation closer i realized that she had all the sympotoms of someone with Narsistic personality disorder. I agree with with all of these comments here. I enjoyed reading.
Thanks for sharing!
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on June 17, 2011:
If you are in a friendship that seems to critical, perhaps it is best to part ways when you start feeling that way.
MasarLamaki on June 15, 2011:
I agree with your last comment! I think if there is one great lesson I have learned, it is not to waste my time disagreeing with anyone. You will never convince them and only make yourself upset.
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on May 06, 2011:
I learned these things about so-called friends over time. One friend could say whatever she wanted about my appearance and behavior, and I was supposed to take it as her wanting to help me out. When I pointed out a few things that she did that were hurtful later on, I was way out of line apparently. If I could have done things differently I never would have pointed anything out to a person that said things that were hurtful to me. Honestly, I would have just not bothered as they do not care anyway.
Fluffy77 from Enterprise, OR on May 06, 2011:
Love your advise here, I have been put in this position more than once now. With family as well as friends alike, I'm bookmarking this page. Thanks again!
graceomalley on February 20, 2011:
I have so much in my life to deal with I have low toleration for insensitive friends. When I was younger I stuck with friends alot more out of loyalty, even if they were unkind. Some of it was just practical - as a young person i could use energy working through things, bearing with someone who brought me down, being above it, ect. These days, as a mom of two very active kids, struggling with serious health problems myself, i just can't give energy to negative friends. It would literally be taking from my kids. One result of this is I have a life full of friends who are loyal to me, who are not mean people, who help me in my life rather than hinder me. Sometimes I wish I had gotten smarter about friends earlier. I have realized there are quite a few callous types out there who befriend sensitive souls - maybe they enjoy the upper hand, maybe they just like a sweet friend. Who knows, but I no longer play into it.
Omega on February 19, 2011:
Hi, I think some people say such comments to make others feel bad about their selves. Actually I think hurting others make some people feel good about themselves!
SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on February 18, 2011:
I know I have a tendency to become overly sensitive at times, but I think that because when I was younger I was bullied and teased in school, so even as an adult sometimes I am not the best with putting up with mild humor and sarcasm from friends. I try to be resilient and such, but some friends I learned were really just not friends at all. Thanks for your comment!
Aya Katz from The Ozarks on February 17, 2011:
SweetiePie, that's good advice. I don't consider myself overly sensitive, but I never liked the style of communication where people say something derogatory and then follow it up with "It was just a joke." We need friends who don't make life harder than it already is.