Author Topic: I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X  (Read 4655 times)

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JeseC

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I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X
« on: January 26, 2013, 03:23:02 PM »
How exactly does one go about indicating that one does not wish to be at any events with a certain other person - someone with whom you have several mutual friends?  It's a circumstance I've unfortunately been in before (thankfully a while ago).  Due to the situation I was in I felt I had to go true no-contact with a certain individual.  Unfortunately the particular situation was not public knowledge, and we had many mutual friends that typically did things together as a group.  My solution at the time was to basically stop spending time with any of them.  Obviously this wasn't desirable, but was there a better way to handle this?

pearls n purls

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Re: I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 03:35:25 PM »
Unless you can't be in the same room as the other person due to a serious issue (restraining order, the person in stalking you, a physical threat to you or a family member, etc.), I don't think there is much you can do.

If you just dislike the person, I don't think it's right to put your mutual friends in the middle.

Why can't you be in the same room as the other person?   

The only option I can think of is that when talking about an upcoming event is to ask who is coming. 

TurtleDove

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Re: I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2013, 03:45:46 PM »
I agree with pearls n purls - the details make a difference.  Personally, unless it is a restraining order worthy issue, I think it looks bad to declare "I refuse to be in the same room as X."  I get that I have a thicker skin than most, but to me this comes across as SS, expecting people to choose sides, making things that are not about you, well, about you.  Let the other person be a jerk if she needs to be, but don't make yourself out to be overly dramatic at the outset.

JeseC

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Re: I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2013, 03:51:28 PM »
I agree with pearls n purls - the details make a difference.  Personally, unless it is a restraining order worthy issue, I think it looks bad to declare "I refuse to be in the same room as X."  I get that I have a thicker skin than most, but to me this comes across as SS, expecting people to choose sides, making things that are not about you, well, about you.  Let the other person be a jerk if she needs to be, but don't make yourself out to be overly dramatic at the outset.

It would have been a restraining order issue, except X was extremely good at playing the part.  Suffice to say there was no evidence of anything and he was more than polite in public.  I didn't really want to say "I don't want to be with X because he does these things" because.  That's actually why I just dropped the group of friends - I didn't want to be the person "forcing people to take sides" at the time.  In retrospect I think the situation more than called for it, but I'm still not sure how it could have been handled.

TurtleDove

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Re: I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2013, 03:54:19 PM »
If he's more than polite in public, and you don't want to get into the story with people, then I think you should either happily attend or happily not attend and assume he will be more than polite in public.  Any other plan makes you look bad, IMHO.

baconsmom

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Re: I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2013, 03:55:15 PM »
I've just been in this situation. I had a falling out with a friend, the details of which were personal, and therefore it wasn't common knowledge. He acted a fool at a couple of gatherings that had been arranged before the fight, and then he declared to mutual friends that he wouldn't accept any invitations if I were going to be there.

Our friends basically said, "Ok, then I guess we won't invite you" for the simple reason that he'd made a huge, dramatic deal out of it and I hadn't.

Point being, you need to take the high road. Decline invitations if you think you must, but at larger parties and things, why bother? You can simply keep yourself to yourself and not worry about the other person. The only reason to say "I can't be in a room with so-and-so" is if there are legal issues involved.
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JeseC

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Re: I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2013, 04:02:18 PM »
It was at the point where I did not trust this individual to not follow me out and cause physical harm.  He had made rather a big production in private of how many weapons he owned.  I really did not feel physically safe in his presence, nor would I be able to comfortably interact with my other friends if he was around, for fear of accidentally letting something slip that he could use.  Unfortunately he was playing the poor scorned suitor in public and already making me look bad for being so "cold-hearted" and not giving him another chance.  We had a major issue at one point when he managed to get a hold of my new number that I had been keeping from him, through an unknowing mutual acquaintance.  Unfortunately the system I was in did not record what incoming calls there were.

TurtleDove

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Re: I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2013, 04:05:53 PM »
With the update I even more strongly believe you should either 1) happily not go; or 2) happily go.  If you are truly fearful, don't go.  But don't perpetuate the drama by preemptively saying, "it's him or me."  Because based on what you've said they are not going to choose you.

Allyson

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Re: I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2013, 04:07:41 PM »
I think that with close friends, you can tell them as much or little as you want, to give them a heads-up that sometimes you'll want to see them and if they could make an effort to see you in non-X related circumstances, that would be great. If a good friend of mine told me this, and the other person was only acquaintance-level, I'd choose my friend most of the time. If both people were the same 'closeness' to me, I would still invite them both to bigger gatherings, but make sure to see my friend separately as well.

But if it's someone who *isn't* close, I think unfortunately it's overall better to not say anything. You might be absolutely completely in the right, but an acquaintance isn't going to know who to believe, and it puts them in a really awkward situation of 'choosing' when they are effectively 'choosing blind'. Sometimes putting other people in the middle is inevitable, but I don't think this is usually one of these situations.

baconsmom

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Re: I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2013, 04:08:20 PM »
Have you contacted the police and asked what you need to prove stallking? I would.

And I would tell my friends I was being stalked. That's not drama; that's a legal situation where you're in danger. I would not go to things, and I would tell them why.
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delabela

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Re: I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2013, 04:28:05 PM »
If it's just that you don't like someone, then I agree that the onus is on you to either not go or go and avoid the person. In that kind of situation you would only look like you're trying to stir up drama if you discuss the situation with your friends.

However, this strikes me as different - if there is an actual threat of physical violence, it seems to me that you could perhaps take a trustworthy friend aside and explain the situation, and perhaps that person can give you a heads up about whether the other person would be at specific events (and they might take the hint that this person shouldn't be at every event). I guess it depends on how close you are to these friends, but I think it could be appropriate to lay out the situation in a straight-forward way.

Of course, you could also do the inviting for some get togethers, then you control who is there and who isn't. 

Cami

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Re: I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2013, 05:34:31 PM »
I've just been in this situation. I had a falling out with a friend, the details of which were personal, and therefore it wasn't common knowledge. He acted a fool at a couple of gatherings that had been arranged before the fight, and then he declared to mutual friends that he wouldn't accept any invitations if I were going to be there.

Our friends basically said, "Ok, then I guess we won't invite you" for the simple reason that he'd made a huge, dramatic deal out of it and I hadn't.

Point being, you need to take the high road. Decline invitations if you think you must, but at larger parties and things, why bother? You can simply keep yourself to yourself and not worry about the other person. The only reason to say "I can't be in a room with so-and-so" is if there are legal issues involved.
I disagree entirely. Unfortunately, there are situations in which the law will/can not become involved but which are seriously detrimental to one's well-being. It's not that black and white in real life.

JeseC

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Re: I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2013, 05:45:00 PM »
Have you contacted the police and asked what you need to prove stallking? I would.

And I would tell my friends I was being stalked. That's not drama; that's a legal situation where you're in danger. I would not go to things, and I would tell them why.

I had, actually.  Suffice to say the legal stuff where I lived back then was insane.  And I'd have had to stop interacting with him at all, including in public, before I could bring legal stuff in.  (Thankfully this was a few years ago, and I now live a few states away.)

The troubles I'd had were two-fold.  One, most of the stuff we did wan't really formal, so self-invites or bringing along group members that weren't initially invited was the norm.  Most of us wouldn't even have thought in terms of a formal invite, just putting the word out to the group that hey, we're doing such-and-such.

Two, there was a lot of harassment that went on in public, it was just stuff that people wouldn't recognize if they didn't know the background.  He'd be incredibly adoring in public - which would have been uncomfortable but not a problem if he hadn't gone creepy possessive I-can't-live-without-you in private.  A guy talking about how great he thinks you are takes on a totally different tone after that...

I swear I seem to attract these creeps.  Some vibe I give off or something.  Sometimes it feels like they're the biggest experts in how to use manners to get away with this stuff.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 05:47:24 PM by JeseC »

Jocelyn

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Re: I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2013, 11:20:53 PM »
I think it's OK to say to mutual friends, 'Do I impress you as being the sort of person who would take an irrational and totally unjustified dislike to someone?' Give them a second to think about that, then, 'I have to ask you to remember that though I prefer not to discuss those reasons, I DO have reasons for not being willing to socialize with X. Please respect my decision, and do not invite me to any occasion you've invited him to attend.'

Because no matter how X is acting...how innocent, how wounded, whatever... your friends need to think about what they know about your character, and to entertain the possibility that there ARE good reasons for your decision.

magician5

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Re: I'm sorry, but I can't be in the same room as X
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2013, 02:50:03 AM »
You are asking for something that you can't really get: a way to avoid this person completely without putting your friends in the middle.

It isn't fair that you can't get what you want, but life isn't fair (I don't have to tell you).

Begin by not accepting any invitations to events where he might be. Surely some of your friends will ask why, outside the moment of issuing an invitation, and you can tell them individually. The word will get around soon. Then they can decide which events you will feel safe at.

I'm looking for some analogy to make a comparison - if you were one of those people who couldn't safely be in a room where peanuts were being served, surely your friends could choose to invite you if their event were peanut-free or not invite you if there would be nuts, and take no offense at your need to stay away from the nuts.

And it may work to get together with your friends at events you organize, so you can decide who to invite and who to exclude.
There is no 'way to peace.' Peace is the way.