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Author Topic: "Friends tell each other these things"  (Read 5598 times)

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"Friends tell each other these things"
« on: July 03, 2014, 01:44:08 AM »
So the other night, I went out with a friend to watch the local fireworks. While we were out, we ran into one of his co-workers, who ended up joining us for the duration of the event.
Now, I was very careful what I said, but I did make polite conversation with this person. She saw me taking pictures and asked if I was into "photo taking". I said I enjoyed it, and showed her just a couple of interesting shots I'd taken recently (I'm not one of those who subjects people to their entire vacation's worth of pics).

Well, this lady was talking to my friend today, and asked him if I was "Retarded or touched". Seriously, I'm quite sure she used the R word. Now, I will never see this person again, so I can't tell her off- she was nice as pie to my face, but apparently it was all an act. My friend told me today that she loves to do that- be nice enough to somebody, then rip them to shreds behind their back, like a typical high school coward mean girl. Gee, I wish he had told me that last night, before we ended up grouped together, I wouldn't have said a mother-loving thing. Although I suppose that would get me branded an anti social female dog. (Although that's better than being called the R word!)
And my friend can't say anything to her either, not even a polite "My friend was just trying to be nice to you, don't say that about her!", as it could cause him problems at work.

Given those circumstances, I was kind of annoyed that he told me, because there's not a thing we can do about it. I can't give her the punch in the face that she deserves (I HATE two faced backstabbing people like that), and he can't tell her to knock it off either.
In general, I really hate it when people tell me things like that when there's either nothing that can be done, or it's too late to do anything. Like the time my sister only told me about the way a group of boys at the pool had been trash talking me after we got home (If she had said something at the pool, I could have notified a lifeguard), or the time this friend and I were on the subway, and only after we got off, he told me that another passenger had cursed at me under his breath when I asked if I could sit down. (If he had said something on the train, I cou ifld have possibly notified transit staff of that passenger's sucky behavior)

So bottom line is- if there's not a bleeding thing I can do about it, don't tell me "Oh so-and-so called you fat/the B-word/the R word behind your back".All it does is frustrate the E-Hell out of me. My friend insists that I shouldn't be upset, because "friends tell each other these things, you should know"
So do "friends tell each other these things", or do friends sometimes need to know when to keep things to themselves?


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Re: "Friends tell each other these things"
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 01:53:01 AM »
Friends absolutely need to keep some things to themselves! It may be true, but there's no need for you to know! It was neither kind nor necessary to tell you.
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice


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Re: "Friends tell each other these things"
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 01:56:46 AM »
The friend reporting to you "the news" knows that it will make you feel bad. I view the reporter of the news as worse than the two-faced backstabber you showed your photos to.  I think a real friend would not tell you such things.


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Re: "Friends tell each other these things"
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 02:05:24 AM »
I think these sorts of things are only necessary for a friend to reveal if you're going to be seeing Mean Person again on a regular basis, and are under the mistaken impression that things are great between you. For example, I think it's ok to give a friend the "heads up" that the person they think is lovely is, in fact trash-talking you behind their back. 

In this case, however, it was completely unnecessary for your friend to tell you what their co-worker said.


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Re: "Friends tell each other these things"
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 02:14:33 AM »
I totally agree with LifeonPluto's post - friend should not have mentioned that comment.

And I would be very careful of what I said when friend is about as it appears she repeats what she hears to others without considering anyone's feelings.  Wouldn't surprise me if she embellishes 'just a little' too so create some extra drama in the telling.

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Re: "Friends tell each other these things"
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 04:10:36 AM »
Two things -

You could say to your friend the next time she starts to tell you something you do not want/need to hear regarding someone else's bad opinion of you : "I don't want to know what she/he said, you probably don't realize it but those kind of comments really get under my skin and upset me. In the future, if someone I'm never going to see again says something unkind about me, just don't tell me. Thanks! Anyway about that movie we saw.."

Also, about your friend at work. I think if someone goes up to a coworker to say derogatory remarks about a close friend of theirs, the coworker is perfectly fine to say it is not appropriate. Your friend said she didn't want to cause problems at work but the mean coworker was going out of their way to be impolite it seems. She could have just said she was your friend and she didn't want to hear negative things about you, in a professional way, and left it at that.


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Re: "Friends tell each other these things"
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 05:27:35 AM »
Agreed--you did not need to know what she said.

Also, "mean girl" sounds a bit "touched" herself. Why in the world would she ask if you were "retarded or touched" just because you showed her a few pictures?


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Re: "Friends tell each other these things"
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2014, 07:26:39 AM »
I had a friend tell me that a bunch of mutual friends were making fun of me behind my back every chance they got, but she couldn't tell me which ones because it was a "secret group".

I asked her why she would tell me that? She told me that she wanted me to be "on my guard". Against whom? All my friends? Should I wonder if the friend I am talking to is just getting dirt to dish and trash with the others later? I told her that her telling me that when I had no possible means to figure out who they were and had no means to do anything about it was just painful, pointless and frustrating. I wasn't going to stop being friends with people because of paranoia, I'm not going to stop being myself because people may be making fun of me, but knowing people are being cruel behind my back and friends to my face is sad.

I think she understood, but I told her the criteria for telling me things like this is that it has to fulfill two requirements: (1) it has to be necessary (2) it has to be something I can actually do something about. Otherwise, she should just keep it to herself.


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Re: "Friends tell each other these things"
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2014, 08:12:38 AM »
I think you need to pick and choose what you share and how much.  Telling you about the "mean girl" served no purpose at all whatsoever other than to hurt your feelings and make you angry.  Better left unsaid.  Telling you about the guy cursing at you on the bus is no biggie in my mind.  I would probably say something to my friend about it and we would talk about "some people," etc.  One is pretty benign, although I don't think I would share everything the bus-guy said if he unloaded a string of ugly words.  It's one thing to say, "He called you a B, he was rude," and another, "He called you a this and that, and then he went on to say this about your pants and ugly toes..."  One is just a rude guy making an ugly comment, the other is very hurtful.

I think your friend should have warned you in advance about co-worker if she knew he would be there.  "Co-worker tends to do this, do that, just so you know; just be careful around this person."  Given that the friend didn't know you would bump into coworker, there wasn't much that could be accomplished after the fact, and sharing these nuggets with you served no purpose. 

I'm thinking what he could have said was something like, "You remember Joe?  I didn't think to warn you about him because I didn't expect to run into him, but he's kind of a back-stabber, and he'll be nice to your face and then rip you to shreds behind your back.  If we ever bump into him again, I just want to warn you, he is not to be trusted."  No need to expand on what he said about you, and if it does slip that he talked about you, then say "Nothing horrible," or "I don't remember exactly what he said," but don't expand on it further.  Does that make sense?

I had this happen to me -- so-and-so said this or told me that, and it really destroyed any relations with these people.  Of course in my situation, I was with an abusive spouse, and to this day I have no idea if these people actually said these things.  It was like I was being monitored and people would go to the Ex and "return and report" my every word and flaw and they hated me, even though I thought we were getting along really great and having a good time.  It could be my Ex twisting everything around, like he tended to do, but in any case, it only hurt me when he spewed these things.

I guess now you know to avoid Coworker, but given the fact you will probably never see this person again, sharing with you the awful things he said was not useful at all.  Some things are pretty benign and okay to share, like the stranger on the subway.  You do need to be careful on how much, in any situation or how you put it, like is it constructive to change behaviors that don't mix well in a certain group, without saying, "Everyone thought you were a ..... and said .... about you". 

Another most annoying thing is when certain people were talking about you, but they won't share who and they won't share what was said, which leaves you paranoid on the who's and the what's and why say anything at all?  Why bother unless you're going to say specifically, So-and-so talks behind your back and you need to stay away from them.  It's a fine line between knowing and not knowing and which is better?  Do you want to keep being friendly with someone, oblivious to the horrible things they say about you or would you rather know?  I guess it makes a difference most if you will ever see this person again, and I think I would want to know who to stay away from or keep at arm's length, but I don't know that it's necessary to share every detail on what was said specifically.


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Re: "Friends tell each other these things"
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2014, 08:56:43 AM »
Friends tell each other these things? No, no they don't. This is not a friend, this is a person who delights in passing on useless, hurtful information that serves no purpose, except to wound feelings and indulge in gossip. I wouldn't have much time for any of them, who needs it?

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Re: "Friends tell each other these things"
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2014, 09:18:18 AM »
Count me in with everyone who says that telling you was hurtful, pointless and worse....disingenuous at best as far as the motive for "being honest and saying that friends tell each other these things".

I'm not sure I would have let this so-called friend off the hook too easily.  In fact I know I would have downright angry and asked him what kind of bleepity bleep game he thought she was playing saying such pointless and nasty things about some idiotic stranger whose opinion you have no investment in.


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Re: "Friends tell each other these things"
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2014, 09:20:19 AM »
Something what I like to remember is

What other people think about me is none of my business.

This is supposed to apply to all people in your life, but it is easier to put into practice with strangers and distance acquaintances.


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Re: "Friends tell each other these things"
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2014, 09:30:28 AM »
I have mixed feelings about this one to be honest. On one hand, I will always be grateful to a friend who warned me ten years ago that someone was spreading untrue and malicious rumours about me behind my back. Yes the damage was already done, but at least it meant I knew what was going on and was able to limit the fallout as much as possible and cut the nasty person out of my life (her reaction to the cut confirmed that what I had been told was true).

On the other hand, much as I love my other half, I do wish he'd not told me his mother had said I was too old for him after she first met me. Of course, this has preyed on my mind since and I wonder what she meant by it, especially since the age difference between us isn't really that big. I'm hoping she's thinking that me being in my late thirties means she's not going to get any grandchildren (not from us she isn't, neither of us want children), not that she thinks I'm a miserable old sod. :P


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Re: "Friends tell each other these things"
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2014, 09:41:01 AM »
I think one should default to not telling a friend hurtful things someone else has said.

There may be exceptions to this, as others have mentioned. For example, if you're likely to see that person again, it's good to know how they truly are, as opposed to how they acted around you, so you can modify your own behavior to protect yourself.

Another reason would be if you did something wrong, but at the time you were oblivious to it, so you might need to be more careful in the future. Like, "Um, did you realize you just cut that person off back there? Yeah, it looked like he was yelling at you from his car." Or even, "You know, sometimes I hear people say that what you're wearing isn't appropriate for work. As your friend I thought you should know so you could think about changing that."

I know there are some people whose conversational style is to give exact quotes and descriptions--as well as people who demand to know these things--whereas other people are more comfortable with a summary. "He called you X and Y and said your shoes were ugly" vs. "He seemed kind of angry at you." I think it's better to start with the summary (if you feel you really need to say something at all) and only go into specifics if the person really insists.

With your friend, I think you can decide on what you want, and then ask him to abide by that. "Next time something like that happens, I want you to tell me in the moment, when I can do something about it." Tell your friend he can send you a text if the person is standing right there, or use some kind of "code" to draw you away. Like, "Oh, I forgot, I need to ask you about something. Excuse us a minute, Betty."

Or if you'd rather not know at all, you could say, "I don't really know why you told me that. I can't do anything about it now and I'll never see that person again, so now I just feel bad. I wish you wouldn't pass on mean things people say about me."


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Re: "Friends tell each other these things"
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2014, 10:13:58 AM »
Before anyone complains, this was a rant despite the last paragraph.
There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. ~ Mark Twain

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