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Question
Posted by: Softy | 2003/12/09

Manipulating friend

Hi Doc!
I 'm a 40 year old woman, have many male and female friends but there is one lady friend that I experience as very manipulative. I know her for more than 5 years now but still can't trust her fully and there is actually no real reason for this! I'm trying to find the fault within me and it seems to me that I see her as a threat. She is stunning, I am average. She is thin, I am chubby. She has a husband who adores her, mine cheated on me. She has a balanced life, mine is in shambles quite often. Everything she touches (buisinesses) turns to gold. She and her husband is a team that sticks together, their kids have strong personalities, extreme good manners, excells in sport etc. I have 2 introvert children whom I love very much but I lack in motherhood comparing to her. She always knows best in every aspect of life. I'm just not in her league but she clings to me as one of her best friends!!!

If I dare to share my heart with her she sometimes turns against me and makes me feel guilty! It happened today that I told her I'm going on holiday with a group of friends for 10 days without my children and she was shocked that I can do this to my children this time of year (I'm divorced for a year now), that children are vulnerable and that they are going to feel I dropped them even though they are going to stay with their father and his girlfriend. She really made me feel guilty.!!As she was speaking to me over the phone, I got this deep anger towards her as I've experienced many times before, but I keep my cool as I tell her that I will still make my own decisions. Afterwards I felt hurt and burst into tears. My other friends are always glad for me and do not even think about anything negative.

What must I make of this? Is she the only friend that is really concerned about me and my children or is she just manipulating me? She says she is only objective and see things in perspective and that it is her duty as my close friend to tell me what she thinks........

Sometimes I just want to break off the friendship but I'm afraid that this will confirm my insecurities and that I am in the wrong here, that I just can't stand her as a person.

Please advise me how to handle her.
Thanx!!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dear Softy. Maybe about the holiday issue, she is just expressing (perhaps rather clumsily and tactlessly ) her opinion, which is different from yours, and maybe you are both forgetting that we're all entitled to opinions, but not to impose ours on other people. Your decsion to refresh yourself with a good holiday and let the kids enjoy themselves with their Dad, is perfectly understandable and commendable --- go and enjoy it with a clear conscience.
maybe she is manipulative, though that isn't contained in what you describe --- she sounds as if she has ben enviably Lucky in life so far, and it may well feel very unfair that she manages to succeed even without great effort, where blameless others fail. Is the anger you at times feel for her because of things she has done to hurt you, or because she's so damned successful and happy ( which can be infuriating to those of us less consistently lucky !). ?

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: ec | 2003/12/11

Please do yourself a favour and have a super holiday-your kids are not being left on their own - they'll be with their dad for goodness sake! I don't understand your friends reasoning but that's beside the point-if she makes you unhappy rethink your friendship with her. You deserve to be happy...
Good luck!

Reply to ec
Posted by: Dee | 2003/12/10

Ek dink jy voel maar net "down" omdat niks vir jou uitwerk nie. Sy het en is alles wat jy dalk wou wees maar onthou, jy is jou eie persoon en wie weet, miskien gee sy net voor om so gelukkig en suksesvol te wees. Miskien begeer sy om soos jy vry te kan wees om 10 dae saam met vriende op vakansie te gaan sonder man en kinders.

Miskien is daar 'n goeie man êrens vir jou en dan gaan jy nie meer soos sy wil wees nie want jy het geluk van jou eie gekry. Ek dink die enigste rede hoekom jy so teenoor haar voel is omdat jy ongelukkig is. Moenie worry nie, jou geluk gaan kom. Miskien nog op hierdie vakansie.

Gaan geniet jou vakansie en onthou maar net om gereeld die kinders te bel.

Reply to Dee
Posted by: Truth | 2003/12/10

Others will advise you on your friend. But enjoy your holiday you deserve it. What are you supposed to do whist the kids are at their fathers ...sit at home and mope.?.........i insist you have a good time

Reply to Truth

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