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Author Topic: Dealing with overly-sensitive friends (genuine update post #86)  (Read 34435 times)

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princessdolly

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Re: Dealing with overly-sensitive (Special Snowflake) friends (update #5)
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2012, 07:11:34 AM »
I knew someone like this in high school and it got to the point where I loathed her. She was part of our group of friends but I was often in classes alone with her. When anyone disagreed with her she would move about ten feet away and stand facing away from us, sulking.

None of us would play her little game and we just laughed our bottoms off everytime she did it. That slowly broke her out of that habit.  >:D

She also insisted that we all had to stand next to the door of her next class at least ten minutes before it started so that she wouldn't be late. It took one minute to get from one end of the school to the other. She said this was so she wouldn't have a mark on her record and so she could get into Uni (yeah, cos the teacher stands at the door with a stopwatch  ::)).

We told her that by her logic that meant that those of us in different classes wouldn't get into Uni but she hemmed and hawwed so we told her to just go by herself then. She did, sulked and got no sympathy. After that she let us stand between classes.

She dragged me into every fight with her boyfriend (including lying in the street screaming and crying when he walked away from an arguement) and then told everyone that I was a fairweather friend because I spent time with my BFF rather than helping her revise for exams.  >:(

She completely burned out and had to leave Uni (training to be a teacher, like that was ever going to happen), after looking down on me for not even applying (I knew I couldn't handle it, one more essay and I was going to take hostages  ;)).

In summary : Run, keep running and never look back.

Touchy was acting like a complete drama-queen.

Teenyweeny

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Re: Dealing with overly-sensitive (Special Snowflake) friends (update #5)
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2012, 09:06:13 AM »
I seriously don't get why someone who is physically capable of carrying 4 bottles of wine would be unwilling to do so, unless they were being asked to carry them for a long distance, or unless they had their hands full with other things.

What's wrong with taking wine into a hotel room? Even if you *were* planning on drinking it? DOES.NOT.COMPUTE.



Roe

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Re: Dealing with overly-sensitive (Special Snowflake) friends (update #5)
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2012, 09:10:03 AM »
What if Touchy just didn't want to?  She has a right to say no.

Everyone is saying that it wasn't a big deal but to her, obviously, it was.  People on here have aversions to all sorts of odds things that I don't often understand and sometimes, I admit, I'll do an internal eye-roll but you know....everyone is entitled to how they feel.  Even if it doesn't make sense.

Point is, Touchy didn't want to do it. OP should've respected that.

diesel_darlin

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Re: Dealing with overly-sensitive (Special Snowflake) friends (update #5)
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2012, 09:15:41 AM »
I agree with Roe. While Touchy did hem and haw about it, she did let it be known she didn't want to schlep the wine to the room.

I have very little patience with people who act like this, so in the interest of peace and vacation harmony, I would have taken the wine up myself. One of the other ladies could have circled back to get me with the car.

Jones

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Re: Dealing with overly-sensitive (Special Snowflake) friends (update #5)
« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2012, 09:19:43 AM »
I think, if she didn't want to do this, she should have straight up said no. Instead she gave 'reasons' not to do the task, then said "Oh, OK, that's a good solution" when her friends gave her solutions. Notice in the update she also refused to carry her own water bottle. This gal seems to have issues with carrying stuff?

OP, I don't know what to tell you. Personally, I can see being friendly/polite to her in a group setting, but not seeking her out for activities one-on-one. I wouldn't do the withdraw out of this one incident, but from what you've updated, it seems to be an ongoing "it's all about me" attitude that isn't going to change.
A real desire to believe all the good you can of others and to make others as comfortable as you can will solve most of the problems. CS Lewis

girlysprite

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Re: Dealing with overly-sensitive (Special Snowflake) friends (update #5)
« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2012, 09:24:49 AM »
Well, reactions don't have to change much based on whether it is understandable behavior or not. Of course, when she feels really uneasy at certain actions, you can step in and do it yourself.

But when she sulks - ignore her. Nothing you say will probably change her mind and change her act. Yes, it is difficult, but you'll get used to it. She may get angry for you not being supportive enough, but think deeply about whether this may be a dealbreaker for you or not. Do you want to support her through the PA bouts yo maintain the friendship? 
When she annoys you, clearly say so: 'No, when you correct someone in public, they don't know it's a joke. Don't expect someone to know the special meaning behind what you say. I do not like what you did there. (put emphasis on 'did' instead of 'you). Don't let the discussions drag on for too long, and just repeat 'I don't like what you did there' if needed. Just let her sulk and stew.

Consistency is important. if you get dragged into a discussion, people forget what it was about, or what was wrong. In the short term it leaves you feeling worse, in the long term they just don't learn.

CakeBeret

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Re: Dealing with overly-sensitive (Special Snowflake) friends (update #5)
« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2012, 10:32:30 AM »
I have to say, I identify with Touchy somewhat. I have social anxiety, and trying to do something for which I don't have a "script" in my head is terrifying. Yes, I am scared of people noticing me (even if what I'm doing seems normal) and judging me or making catty comments. A large part of the reason I am this way is because I was bullied when I was younger for doing things that normally people wouldn't notice or care about. I personally wouldn't have had a problem with carrying the wine, but there are other, seemingly normal things that would've made me react similarly.

So part of my answer stems from that. If Touchy doesn't want to do something, why push her? If she doesn't want to carry the wine upstairs, why can't you respect that and someone else do it. I can tell you that that sort of anxiety can be crippling, and if your closest friends won't stop pushing you to just do it, that makes it worse.

The whining and pouting and carrying on are a whole 'nother issue, and I won't defend her there. :) I do think, though, if you cut her some slack that it might make things easier for both you and Touchy.
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Firecat

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Re: Dealing with overly-sensitive (Special Snowflake) friends (update #5)
« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2012, 01:33:32 PM »
What if Touchy just didn't want to?  She has a right to say no.

Everyone is saying that it wasn't a big deal but to her, obviously, it was.  People on here have aversions to all sorts of odds things that I don't often understand and sometimes, I admit, I'll do an internal eye-roll but you know....everyone is entitled to how they feel.  Even if it doesn't make sense.

Point is, Touchy didn't want to do it. OP should've respected that.

I can see this. And yet, for me, it would be something of an internal calculation based on "level of inconvenience/trouble to me" and "level of inconvenience for everyone else."

Touchy was going back to the hotel and up to the room anyway, and no one else was. The others' concern about the wine being ruined by being in the hot car is perfectly valid.

Touchy was capable of carrying the wine, which was in a bag and further concealed by the sweater (which addresses her stated concern of wanting it "hidden.") And really, I simply can't wrap my brain about thinking that someone carrying a tote bag into a hotel in which they happen to be staying is at all strange, or even something that's going to be noticed by anyone else.

So, really, in my opinion, the concerns that Touchy actually expressed were pretty much invalid, and the favor the others were asking is really pretty minimal, and boils down to "please carry this item - which isn't especially heavy or large, and one of which is also yours - to a place you (and at the moment, only you) - are going anyway."

And I'll admit, I'd be pretty irritated at someone who called themselves my friend and yet refused to do such a minimal favor, which wasn't asking her to do anything of which she was physically incapable or to go out of her way at all. So if Touchy is entitled to "not want to," I'd be entitled to be annoyed at her for it, and to be rethinking how much of a "friend" she actually is. Or at least, that's how I see the situation.

rose red

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Re: Dealing with overly-sensitive (Special Snowflake) friends (update #5)
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2012, 01:34:13 PM »
I'm not sure what advice you want because when posters show sympathy for Touchy or have theories, they get shot down. 

I think you should either just accept Touchy's annoying habits and don't make her do things she's uncomfortable with (You don't have to do favors for her either.  Ignore the sulking that follow), or let the friendship go.

shhh its me

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Re: Dealing with overly-sensitive (Special Snowflake) friends (update #5)
« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2012, 01:44:00 PM »
  I would give your friend different advice but since you're the one asking.  You can change the basic person she is , she is easily made uncomfortable.  When she says anything like " I don't know that would be weird, I don't know if I;d like that , I'm not sure about doing" stop she is not opening a debate she is saying "No"  let her no stand.   You are comfortable just saying "no" she isn't you can't "fix" her; In moments of non conflict you can gently say " you know touchy you can just say No , I will take that for an answer" NOTE you have to actually take no for an answer.   You have three choices either continue as thing are , try to understand her commutation style and adapt or get some distance.  Now if you want to be annoyed because she says "no" all the time to simple things that's a differnet story , but if I told my friends "no" and they all even pleasantly repeatedly told me why I needed to do something anyway I'd be annoyed too.  What I am hearing is that unless her "no" satisfied you(as a group) "no" would not be accepted , I think many people would have feelings about that.

gramma dishes

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Re: Dealing with overly-sensitive (Special Snowflake) friends (update #5)
« Reply #40 on: March 26, 2012, 01:45:03 PM »
...    I think I am just going to decline to go on trips with her anymore (particularly when she doesn't have the common courtesy to clean all the crumbs and nastiness out of her car/remove things from the trunk space so we can fit luggage  ::) ) but remain friendly when we see each other out places or at social gatherings with mutual friends.

You know, I probably shouldn't say this, but you're coming across (probably only to me) as being a little judgmental.  If her car doesn't meet your standards, then perhaps one of the others in your group should drive.  Throughout your posts it seems you have very little respect for her.  Maybe she deserves that, maybe not.  But it kind of bothers me.

Fleur-de-Lis

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Re: Dealing with overly-sensitive (Special Snowflake) friends (update #5)
« Reply #41 on: March 26, 2012, 01:53:47 PM »
If Touchy is not made to be the "errand girl" a majority of the time, and it generally falls out that if someone is in a position to facilitate an empirically sensible situation, whomever is in that position will do so, then I have to say I would let my friendship with Touchy fade at least to the extent of learning her anxiety triggers and not including her if I had any anticipation that I was going to trigger a moment of anxiety by asking her to do something empirically reasonable and - in this case - generally inconsequential. 

If Touchy can't handle carrying 4 bottles of wine in public, don't go wine tasting with Touchy. Extrapolate as circumstances require. 
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Bijou

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Re: Dealing with overly-sensitive (Special Snowflake) friends (update #5)
« Reply #42 on: March 26, 2012, 01:54:49 PM »

My friend is very self-conscious. The thing is though, she has a completely different view of herself. I heard her tell Blondie [about some random tangent, not about this incident...or she may have been thinking of it, I don't know] "You know, I'm really brave. People don't think I'm brave, but I am".


What do you mean? Of course she is brave. She is doing something that unsettles HER. Who are you to decide what is appropriate to consider "brave behavior"? If she was so overwhelmed in the two instances you related to us (asking a policewoman for directions, and carrying wine bottles to the hotel room), you have no idea what OTHER things she may have steeled herself to do.

She sounds like a very anxiety-ridden person. Poor kid!

Quote

But I don't really like the idea of just rolling over and accepting it either, because like I said, in her mind her "feelings" trumps what everyone else thinks. She will go out of her way to tell us how we offended her and read us the riot act but if someone mentions "Well, you seem to be taking this a bit too personally, no one meant for you to get your feelings hurt" she keeps going on and on. I just wish I had something to say. :/

Just say, "I'm sorry. I hope you can understand that I didn't mean to hurt you."

Short of suggesting that she seems to have a lot of anxiety about things that everyone else finds completely normal, and that you worry for her and wish she didn't have to carry that anxiety around, and would she consider counseling, there is nothing you can do to "fix" her.

So I think you do have to "roll over and accept it." Accept HER the way she is. That doesn't mean that you have to consider it your responsibility to make her happy. But you're only going to be hitting your head against the wall if you try even the tiniest bit to change her, etc.

And don't think of it as her thinking her feelings are more important than yours. (Everybody thinks that--look at you, for example. You thought your feelings of having an easy drop off were more important than her *obviously and clearly expressed anxiety and discomfort.*)

Think of it as her having more fears than you do, and greater anxiety. It's a bit like OCD. You, as the nonsufferer, don't give in to it and cater to it particularly, but you also don't try to make it worse.

And as with OCD, she knows on some level that her anxiety isn't reasonable, and that's why she didn't be assertive about it. But the psychic pain, and the anxiety, were quite real.

Nobody likes being "called out on" the very things that make them really ANXIOUS. It's not that she's conceited. It's that she has so much anxiety, and does not *feel safe.*

And I also think that you ought to be able to trust your friends not to peer-pressure you. And her "assault" or "diatribe" at dinner was an indicator to you that you absolutely should not press her to go beyond her comfort zone. For her, that WAS a lot of pressure.

Thanks for posting this, TootsNYC.  For some reason it really touched me.
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alkira6

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Re: Dealing with overly-sensitive (Special Snowflake) friends (update #5)
« Reply #43 on: March 26, 2012, 02:08:26 PM »
...    I think I am just going to decline to go on trips with her anymore (particularly when she doesn't have the common courtesy to clean all the crumbs and nastiness out of her car/remove things from the trunk space so we can fit luggage  ::) ) but remain friendly when we see each other out places or at social gatherings with mutual friends.

You know, I probably shouldn't say this, but you're coming across (probably only to me) as being a little judgmental.  If her car doesn't meet your standards, then perhaps one of the others in your group should drive.  Throughout your posts it seems you have very little respect for her.  Maybe she deserves that, maybe not.  But it kind of bothers me.

See, it comes off to me as being frustrated with a person who doesn't even have the basic courtesy to be prepared when hosting(driving). What kind of respect does it show to your friends if you can't even minimally prepare your own car for a trip with friends?

buvezdevin

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Re: Dealing with overly-sensitive (Special Snowflake) friends (update #5)
« Reply #44 on: March 26, 2012, 02:14:49 PM »
...    I think I am just going to decline to go on trips with her anymore (particularly when she doesn't have the common courtesy to clean all the crumbs and nastiness out of her car/remove things from the trunk space so we can fit luggage  ::) ) but remain friendly when we see each other out places or at social gatherings with mutual friends.

You know, I probably shouldn't say this, but you're coming across (probably only to me) as being a little judgmental.  If her car doesn't meet your standards, then perhaps one of the others in your group should drive.  Throughout your posts it seems you have very little respect for her.  Maybe she deserves that, maybe not.  But it kind of bothers me.

I am back and forth on my impression of the nature of Touchy's behavior due to shifting reads on the scope of those, and OP's assessments of same.

I would not expect any friend giving transport to a group to have their car "detailed" and crumb free.

I would expect any friend giving transport to a group to have removed significant trash from the car, and to have removed any items not needed for the trip which would otherwise limit the space available for people and luggage.

I can't tell on which end of the spectrum Touchy did or didn't ready her car for this trip.

It doesn't really matter in terms of what I would suggest to OP, but I mention it because it may indicate that OP is so frustrated and "over" some of Touchy's behavior that minor irritants may be jumbled up with bigger ones in the OP's experience.  Once someone is at the saturation point, and fed up with a general situation, the magnitude of things which additionally annoy can be lost in the volume of total things which annoy.

For OP, as it does sound as though you have a cumulative annoyance with Touchy in general, I agree it would be best for you, and probably her, that you avoid travel together or other activities which would put you in close contact for an extended period of time.  See if your frustration diminishes with some distance, and you can enjoy her company when you see her in groups or for short periods.  If she notices, and objects or emphatically sulks that you won't travel with her or ask her on trips, you may choose to then discuss why, or see it as reason to distance yourself more.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
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