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May 28, 2008 5:49 PM   Subscribe

How can I gain a friend's trust?

I have a certain friend that I like a lot (as a friend), and I would like to become closer friends. She has said that she doesn't dislike me at all, but she does not trust me. I asked her why, but she would not go into detail. All she has mentioned is that she doesn't know me well enough.

Well, I find her comments quite strange. We've known each other for two years, I have NEVER did anything to screw her over. I have never talked behind her back, flirted with her boyfriends, stolen from her...or done anything else shady to her.

Now, she's one of those people who have like over 200 friends on myspace, she makes new friends wherever she goes, will catch rides from strangers, and sleep over at peoples apartments that she barely knows. It seems like she doesn't have trust issues with other people, even if she barely knows them. As for people she do know, she trusts some people who I consider to be very shady.

Yet she doesn't trust me. I don't get it.

I would like to get to the root of her distrust. Obviously she's going by some criteria that I'm not aware of. What can cause someone to distrust a person, even though that person has never did anything bad to them? Is there anything that I can do?
posted by sixcolors to Human Relations (46 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
What are the genders here?
posted by Maias at 5:52 PM on May 28, 2008


We are both females. What's up?
posted by sixcolors at 5:55 PM on May 28, 2008


I'm guessing "trust" is a codeword for "I don't really want to be closer friends than we already are, but am not forthright enough to say so".
posted by -harlequin- at 5:57 PM on May 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


There was no mention of us being closer friends. This comment came after conversation we and our friends had about who we trust and did not trust.
posted by sixcolors at 6:01 PM on May 28, 2008


Trying to define and resolve someone else's trust issues is just an endless waste of time. It would be a much better use of your time to figure out why you care enough to post it to askme.
posted by 517 at 6:05 PM on May 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


Are mutual friends (or perhaps your enemies that are her friends) gossiping about you behind your back? If she's heard stories about you (whether they're true or not) that cast you in an untrustworthy light, then that might explain it.

Malicious gossip is hard to overcome.
posted by muddgirl at 6:07 PM on May 28, 2008


Are mutual friends (or perhaps your enemies that are her friends) gossiping about you behind your back? If she's heard stories about you (whether they're true or not) that cast you in an untrustworthy light, then that might explain it.

Malicious gossip is hard to overcome.


I would not be surprised. We have a few gossips in our crowd...however what they say tend to be true, they seldomly spread false rumors. Again, I have not done anything to bad to her or anyone else, I don't think I have any strikes against me.
posted by sixcolors at 6:12 PM on May 28, 2008


Perhaps there is no "real" reason. Perhaps her reasoning is skewed. If she tends to trust people she doesn't even know or trust people you would consider shady then maybe she just has poor judgement.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 6:16 PM on May 28, 2008


The problem with trust is that's it's often born of need. I trust my parents because when I was a tiny person unable to fend for myself, they saw to my needs. I trust my best friend because when I had no else to be honest and real with in High School, he allowed me to be honest and real without judging me or shunning me. And so on.

For this person to trust you, she is going to have to put some trust in you and have it justified. But with so many other friends, why would she put her trust in you for any reason?

You can always display your trust-worthiness by being trust-worthy, but you can't make someone need to trust you.

If you want to be closer friends, then show her you care. You could just be totally honest and say "Hey, you're awesome and I want to spend more time with you", but very few people seem to deal directly and honestly with others, so even if you try this, she may find it odd. Invite her when you do fun stuff. But her small gifts at appropriate intervals. Tell her about books, movies, articles and what-not that you feel she would enjoy. Listen carefully to her and try to anticipate the ways you can bring value to her life. Bring your problems to her in an undemanding way so she has a chance to connect with you.

Always be prepared for the fact that she doesn't care for a friendship with you in the same way you do. Don't be pushy.
posted by chudmonkey at 6:17 PM on May 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


What can cause someone to distrust a person


malicious gossip [edited on-preview]
Mis-heard gossip
mis-understood gossip
gossip without context
Something bad you did to someone else

Something that someone thinks you did to someone else
Stereotypes of you, or of your character
Having known someone else earlier who untrustworthy and resembles you in some way
You display different faces to different people.

It could be anything, and it need not be rational. If she won't tell you, I'd say that chances are against you learning what (if anything) it is.

You may be in for the long haul - ie [continue to] be an upstanding person, such that people generally say only good things about you, be a good friend to her regardless, and keep it up for a few more years.
posted by -harlequin- at 6:18 PM on May 28, 2008


I think 517 is right. It could be absolutely anything. Maybe it's the way you say the word "seriously," or maybe you look kinda like someone who did screw her over. She's just as likely to not be consciously aware of why she doesn't trust you.

I say either drop the issue and let things be what they are or talk to her in explicit terms about it. Tell her you want to be closer, etc.
posted by cmoj at 6:19 PM on May 28, 2008


Do you gossip about others with her? No one trusts a gossip who says, "but I never tell anyone YOUR secrets, honest...."
posted by availablelight at 6:28 PM on May 28, 2008


The problem with trust is that's it's often born of need. I trust my parents because when I was a tiny person unable to fend for myself, they saw to my needs. I trust my best friend because when I had no else to be honest and real with in High School, he allowed me to be honest and real without judging me or shunning me. And so on.

I have been taking this into consideration lately. I do notice that her closest friends sacrafice a LOT for her. I am talking about people paying her rent on occasion, driving all the way to Denver (she's moved within past year and half, but is moving back)to pick her up when she visits here, paying for her plane tickets, cook meals for her, and a few has even had friend sex with her. I'm not doing any of that (except for the cooking)...I'm broke and I'm not into having friend sex (especially in this group). Hopefully this isn't the reason. Not that I don't want to sacrafice, it's that I CAN'T do those things (the financial stuff). She doesn't strike me as one of those people who expect people to do tons of things for her, people just volunteer, but who knows.
posted by sixcolors at 6:31 PM on May 28, 2008


My question would be why do you want to be friends with someone who doesn't trust you? This sounds like some sort of bullshit test on your "friend's" part, and it won't do you any good to jump through her hoops.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 6:32 PM on May 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whoa! Wait a cotton picking minute here! I just read your most recent reply! RUN! RUN! RUN! Why would you need to "sacrifice" in order to be a better friend to this person? And I think you are completely wrong when you say that she doesn't expect people to do things for her - she obviously does and is waiting for you to ante up in order to be in her inner circle - where you get the dubious honor of paying her bills and driving her ass around....wait...why do you want to be her friend?
posted by The Light Fantastic at 6:34 PM on May 28, 2008 [5 favorites]


You know, I think the best way to go about reaching your stated goal (of becoming closer friends with her) is just to casually arrange one-on-one time with her, doing something that you both enjoy. Trust is mostly founded on friendship. I don't really trust acquaintances.

Also, it's possible to have lots of "friends" and no trustworthy friends. Perhaps she's suspicious of you because she's been screwed over by that distinction in the past.
posted by muddgirl at 6:35 PM on May 28, 2008


Something that someone thinks you did to someone else
Stereotypes of you, or of your character
Having known someone else earlier who untrustworthy and resembles you in some way
You display different faces to different people.


God knows...

There was one thing she kind of frowned on...I would speak negatively about my family. But, I have other friends who speak negatively about their families. I don't think it's that.

Do you gossip about others with her? No one trusts a gossip who says, "but I never tell anyone YOUR secrets, honest...."

Nope, I don't trust gossipers, so I don't do it. She's not a big gossip either. In fact, she sometimes tells other people to cool it on the gossip.
posted by sixcolors at 6:39 PM on May 28, 2008


I do notice that her closest friends sacrafice a LOT for her. I am talking about people paying her rent on occasion, driving all the way to Denver (she's moved within past year and half, but is moving back)to pick her up when she visits here, paying for her plane tickets, cook meals for her, and a few has even had friend sex with her.

This is a very revelatory passage. It sounds like her statement that she doesn't trust you is a very pointed attempt to manipulate you into doing things for her financially and/or sexually.
posted by jayder at 6:43 PM on May 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


There are different kinds of trust. There are a lot of people I trust to not lie, not gossip, not actively harm me; but for a close friend, I'd like to be able to trust her to tell me uncomfortable truths, to defend me when I'm not there, and to understand me well enough not to quash my dreams or ideas with doubt.

These skills are not something everyone possesses - in fact I'm not very good at any of them. They're not just a list of bad things you don't do, but positive things that require time, attention, and skill, and it takes a long time to learn them if you don't learn from childhood.

I think some families are better at this kind of thing, actually, and I didn't learn these things from my own parents; it's been amazing to me to meet people whom I _could_ trust in this way. The fact that I don't trust them more has a lot to do with my own back story, not my history with them -- but there are plenty of folks out there who are this way trustable, and plenty who are not, and it can take a little while to discern which are which.

What I mean is: she may not trust you because of her own history, or she may not trust you because she needs to trust you for different reasons. All the other things people are writing here are worth considering: she may believe things about you which are not true, or you may remind her, subconsciously, of someone who broke her trust.
posted by amtho at 6:44 PM on May 28, 2008


You want to get to the bottom of her mistrust - cool. But even if someone here magically guessed the exact reason why she said she doesn't trust you, you'd never know it.

I'll be honest/creepy here, sixcolors, and say that I have a lot of regard for you, because based on your posting history here, we seem to be very similar people with similar ideals and interests. I would be driven insane by someone telling me they didn't trust me and then not elaborating, so I see what your concern is here. But you aren't going to find your answer this way. You can either just keep on being the kind of friend that you want to be and hoping for the best, or you can confront this person and say "You'll totally see how trustworthy I am, just let me know if there's anything I can do for you."

But in my experience, most friendships don't start with one person trying really hard to be the other person's friend. Some decent romances start this way, but at least in those circumstances you can forgive the desperate party for being horny. I truly believe you're wasting your energies trying to be better friends with someone who isn't reciprocating. Friendship is a rather organic phenomenon; you can't force it.
posted by chudmonkey at 6:50 PM on May 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm a bit like your friend - I have trust issues, but to the outside world it could seem like I don't. I have about 500+ friends on Facebook, but they're not all "friends" in the literal sense; most are acquaintances or people I've met in different circumstances. I'm pretty open about things that others may consider personal - my family issues, my depression, etc. I don't see much point in holding that back (but I don't make a habit of spilling it out unless I'm prompted to). I'd also sleep over in friends' homes if I had to.

However, due to a lot of fake and broken friendships ever since I was in primary school, and being discriminated and bullied from a very young age, I am very particular with who I trust. It takes years for me to fully trust someone - to know that I can rely on them fully, to take them at their word, to confide the most sensitive of things to them and know that they won't take them badly. To be fully and completely me, basically.

The group of people that I can completely trust is very very small, and that trust is earned through a LOT of relationship ups&downs. I can pretty much only think of 4 people that I'd trust fully to that level - my sister, my boyfriend, and two best friends of mine. I have other close friends but I wouldn't trust them completely with everything. I have plenty of other friends, but again I wouldn't necessarily trust them. I've known my parents longer than anybody and I don't trust them much (due to various issues).

It's not about you, most of the time. Your friend likely went through a lot of trust issues in her past and is just being very cautious and particular. Honestly, if I were your friend, your (what seems to me as) constant badgering of "trust me!!" would turn me off and make me trust you less - because to me, I'd be wondering what motive you had for me to trust you so badly. The people I put on my Trust List didn't ask for my trust; they earned it.

It's not about how long you know them or whether they've screwed you over. I have friends who I've known for ages and who have done nothing bad to me which I still won't trust completely. Quite a number of times my 4-some have done things that have affected me badly, and yes my trust did break with them for a while. What repaired it (a slooooooooow process) was how they reacted and reflected on their actions; how they endeavoured to make sure they learnt from their mistake and didn't do it again.

I find your judgement of who she trusts rather shady, myself. It seems to me that you're being very presumptuous of her - how would you know how "shady" those friends are? Maybe they have done something really big to earn your friend's trust. The people she stays over with on short notice - maybe she isn't that worried about personal safety (I've stayed in strangers' homes before thanks to Couchsurfing). Again, just because she has 200 friends on MySpace doesn't mean she necessarily trusts them all. I make new friends wherever I go too, but again that doesn't mean they all have my trust - they get some aspects of trust (I trust that you'll show up at the cafe when we agreed to) but not all (I trust that you won't laugh at me when I tell you about my deepest fears).

If you want to earn her trust, stop begging for it, and stop putting down her friendship style. How and why people trust others is a very hidden and complex science, and thinking you're somehow more worthy of this trust then others is rather counter-productive.
posted by divabat at 6:51 PM on May 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hmm, in between writing that long comment and posting it, a few more insights have surfaced. I wouldn't necessarily suggest that the only way to gain her trust is to sacrifice; rather, it could be that she's never really sure if you're trustable until you do something that she thinks of as big, and then in her mind she could be thinking "oh! If they're willing to do that for me than they must be trustworthy!".

It's not the greatest logical argument in the world, and can cause a bit of trouble (for instance, if you can't afford to do anything grand). But if she's had issues with trusting people in the past, this type of "sacrifice" may be her wall: as long as there isn't major proof, she doesn't have to break down her walls and risk being vulnerable.
posted by divabat at 6:56 PM on May 28, 2008


Another thing I forgot to mention. My mother thinks it is because we had a crush on the same guy. BUT I never mentioned that I had a crush on him. And I didn't know she had a crush on him until somewhat recently.

I also had a bigger crush on another mutual friend of ours. I have done everything in my power to conceal this though, for many reasons, I don't think anyone knew it. Though she denied it (people always asked her about it), I strongly suspect she had a crush on this girl too.

This girl claims she can read people well, she could have picked up on it. Maybe she was scared that I would swipe her man AND her woman, lol. I don't think the guy is interested in either one of us, and the girl is straight. But I guess some people may get competitive regardless.
posted by sixcolors at 7:00 PM on May 28, 2008


I find your judgement of who she trusts rather shady, myself. It seems to me that you're being very presumptuous of her - how would you know how "shady" those friends are? Maybe they have done something really big to earn your friend's trust.

I understand where you are coming from. Like you and my friend, I have trust issues also. I try to be very sensitive on how I come across to people. I severely distrust people who I KNOW that they trash talk people behind their backs, use people, or suddenly ditches their friends. I do not do those things, but some of her friends DO. I find it very very upsetting that she would trust some of those people before me.
posted by sixcolors at 7:12 PM on May 28, 2008


There are some people in this world that on first sight, I find very difficult to trust. That's because they look like someone who was partially responsible for my PTSD. No fault of theirs, of course, but it does make it extremely difficult for us to form a friendship.

It could be something like that.
posted by ysabet at 7:25 PM on May 28, 2008


I am talking about people paying her rent on occasion, driving all the way to Denver (she's moved within past year and half, but is moving back)to pick her up when she visits here, paying for her plane tickets, cook meals for her, and a few has even had friend sex with her.

what? those things have nothing to do with trust. i wouldn't trust anyone more (or less) if they paid my rent, drove me long places, cooked me food, or had sex with me. i'm with The Light Fantastic: i think she's waiting for you to ante up as some warped test to see how much you'd be willing to give her. what has she done for these people that they're paying for her rent, for petessake?? and why would you want to be friends with someone who clearly expects these things in order for you to get into the inner circle?
posted by violetk at 7:51 PM on May 28, 2008


There was no mention of us being closer friends. This comment came after conversation we and our friends had about who we trust and did not trust.

Did it come out of the blue, or had you asked her? Did she say it directly to you or as an aside? Were there other people around? Are you close with others in your circle of friends as she is, or are you more of an outsider?

To be honest, your friendship circle sounds like Drama Central. And your friend sounds like she thrives on it. And her telling you she distrusts you sounds like a manipulative way of pulling you into her orbit and cultivating more drama. Seriously, how did she expect you to react? The way you are reacting - by obsessing. She's staked her place in the forefront of your thoughts.

This girl claims she can read people well

This statement translates to a lot of things. An actually ability to read people well is generally not one of them.
posted by granted at 7:54 PM on May 28, 2008 [5 favorites]


Perhaps there is no "real" reason. Perhaps her reasoning is skewed.

I've found this tends be true very often of people. It is easier to try to align what they do with what I think and then either accept it (or not) and roll with it.
posted by P.o.B. at 8:04 PM on May 28, 2008


Yeah, I agree with her reasoning might not actually make any sense whatsoever. Is she one of those people who might say stuff just to sound mysterious or street smart or something? She doesn't sound like she's worth the trouble to be friends with.
posted by Nattie at 8:37 PM on May 28, 2008


I am talking about people paying her rent on occasion, driving all the way to Denver (she's moved within past year and half, but is moving back)to pick her up when she visits here, paying for her plane tickets, cook meals for her, and a few has even had friend sex with her.

Why would you want to friends with someone like that?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:41 PM on May 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


Actually, is she just trying to get you to bend over backwards and work extra hard to be her friend? If she's going to tell you that, well, I wouldn't trust her either, it seems like maybe she figured out it might bother you when she said that. It seems like she said that so you'd be extra nice to her, so watch out for her trying to walk over you.

That's just what I think because really she was just being kind of rude to your face and had you wondering what you should do to make it better?
posted by citron at 9:04 PM on May 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seriously I think she is messing with your head. Because you know you haven't done anything to deserve not being trusted. So who cares what she says. Also it was pretty rude to say it in front of a bunch of people.

I guess you guys are all younger than me and she is probably not aware of how she treats people.. but anyway, my recommendation would be to say "oh well, that's her problem" if she claims to not trust you. Also get ready to say "no" if she tries to get you to do that stuff like pay bills for her.
posted by citron at 9:09 PM on May 28, 2008


I severely distrust people who I KNOW that they trash talk people behind their backs, use people, or suddenly ditches their friends. I do not do those things, but some of her friends DO. I find it very very upsetting that she would trust some of those people before me.

Some things to consider:

1) It seems like you think that you're better than alot of your friend's friends. Being judgmental (especially when you're bad at hiding it) can be a reason for people to distrust you.

2) There is no universally agreed upon set of criterion for gaining someone's trust. If your friend's talk trash behind people's backs, use people, or ditch their friends, that doesn't mean that they can't be rightfully considered trustworthy in your friend's eyes. They might treat other people like shit, but treat your friend awesomely.
posted by 23skidoo at 10:22 PM on May 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Some people need a high volume of friends because they churn through them. If people are doing all those things for her, then eventually they get sick of being friends with a taker. At that point she needs to recruit more people to take care of her.

Maybe what she meant was "sixcolors, you have too much self respect to pay my rent, drive to Denver for me, and cook my meals. I don't want to be closer because you won't do my bidding."

I don't think you want to be closer. I think you want to know what she thinks is wrong with you. Nothing is wrong with you. You just aren't the patsy she needs.
posted by 26.2 at 10:35 PM on May 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


Someone once noted, and I think it's true, that friendship is forged by hardship. To an extent this includes the already-mentioned helping her out when she is in need, but it's really about shared hardship - having a rough time together, being in the same boat, and pulling through together.

While I don't advise trying to bring on hardship (going camping together in bear-infested woods or something :), something like a roadtrip without a plan, just for the hell of what you find on the way, might be in that direction - just let the usual roadtrip stuff happen: "OMG - this isn't the right town and we don't have a map for this area!", "I'm really busting... there's got to be a rest-stop soon in this 2000-mile desert, right?!", "Shit! I think I just locked the keys in the car!", and so on. Just don't be the only other person, because then any mishap becomes all too easily your fault :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 2:11 AM on May 29, 2008


Way late to the party here, but jeez. This woman sets off all my "Queen Bee" alarms simultaneously. Sense of entitlement? Check. Air of aloofness and inscrutability? Check. Blithely drops potentially hurtful bombs and then sits back and watches you squirm? Check. Views entirely unreasonable demands on her friends as reasonable and worth it because she is just so darn awesome? Check. Lots of superficial relationships? Check. Sexually manipulative? Check. Casts a wide social net to up the chances of drawing in minions to do her bidding? Check, check and double check.

This woman sounds like poison. Were I you, I'd count my blessings that she had deemed me an unworthy suitor. And make no mistake, every interpersonal relationship with this type of person is a seduction. You, up until this point, have been operating from the premise that an acquaintanceship of this length ought to have evolved into a more intimate, close relationship. Often times, that's true. But, in my experience, this sort of person keeps their distance until they know that you will capitulate to them completely. They're not interested in parity in friendship. To them, you're their "good friend" only if you're willing to let down your healthy boundaries and do whatever they want. Sorry, but I don't have "friend sex" with my closest friends and I surely don't expect my closest friends to pay my way, inconvenience themselves for the sake of my comfort, or finance my life. This woman is manipulative. You've managed so far to stay out of that. Keep doing whatever you're doing that sends the message to her that you are not minion material, and don't let her get inside your head with all this "well, darling, you're just the bees knees, but...weeeelllll, it's just that.....I don't trust you. You know?" total crappola.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 6:51 AM on May 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


I advise you to move on.

Not sure why you are obsesssed about this but I would let it go for the following reasons:
1. The person in question is not worthy of being your friend
2. The trust comment was made to take a poke at you, possibly to manipulate you
3. She is a user and her friends all have to do her favors
4. You have fallen for her "game" hook line and sinker, who CARES if she doesn't trust you? It sounds like you shouldn't trust HER.
posted by zia at 7:01 AM on May 29, 2008


Or just read what TryTheTilapia said.
posted by zia at 7:03 AM on May 29, 2008


TryTheTilapia, she doesn't demand that people do these things for her, they volunteer. They do it because they think she's that awesome, I think she's awesome too (with this issue aside). That's why I don't want to give up on her just yet. She is the most charismatic person I've ever known in my life, many people would agree.

I guess this is one of my weaknesses, I'm really attracted to people both charismatic and dominant personalities. I've been burned by these types really bad in the past.

I will take what you said into consideration, because I don't want to be burned again. But, I think this is a more of case of her being lazy and her friends enabling her, than her being manipulative. She rarely asks for people to do stuff. To think about it...now I'm curious about what drives our friends to go out their way to suit her needs. But I guess that is a whole other issue.
posted by sixcolors at 8:14 AM on May 29, 2008


Oh, no. No. No. No. That's the gift of the true snake, sixcolors. They convince you that you really want to do all of these things for them because they are so awesome and charismatic. They wouldn't be very good at manipulating if you felt manipulated, now would they? No, a true master of the form knows what everybody knows - people tend to do what they do because they want to do it. So, a real pro like this chick convinces you that what you really want to do is her bidding. You came here with this question as if there is something wrong with you that you need to figure out. That works to her advantage. You are knocked off balance and assume you've done something wrong. You have done nothing wrong, you know it, have reiterated that here innumerable times, and you still, for some reason, believe that the problem lies with you. Now you are vulnerable. So, when she decides to "give you a chance" and trust you, you will be grateful and try your very best to earn that trust. Man, this woman is good.

She is a snake. Trust me. Snakes can be interesting and entertaining and charming and fun to be around. You don't have to give up on her in that capacity - drinks? Fine. Concert? Fine. Night out with the girls? Fine. Just beware. Before too long, she'll be dropping little hints that she needs something - a trip to Denver, say. Or maybe she can't cover her electric one month. Or maybe she could spend the night? Or, I'm sorry, I seem to be without any cash...can you spot me this? Let me ask you a question - with the people that you really trust and love and care for, do you experience this sort of nagging doubt? Do you walk away from interactions with them wondering if they meant something more with a comment, say? Or wonder why they consistently do something that makes you feel a little crappy? Or look at their other friends and sort of wonder what the hell is up with all these people just rolling over and doing whatever "Nancy" wants? I don't. I know my real friends and I know people I can be friendly with but could never, ever trust with my whole self. Your instincts are there to warn you away from people like this. Trust them.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 8:41 AM on May 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


She doesn't sound that "awesome." She sounds needy, selfish, and incapable of self-sufficiency. She might be fun or funny, or have a magnetic personality, but that doesn't make her good friend material. She reminds me of people I knew in high school that basically turned out to be losers because they never learned not to sponge off friends and flirt to get ahead.
Friends that don't constantly need you to provide them food, shelter, money, and sex, and appreciate you for your personality, are probably the best kind.
posted by fructose at 9:52 AM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess this is one of my weaknesses, I'm really attracted to people both charismatic and dominant manipulative personalities. I've been burned by these types really bad in the past.

FTFY. Really "charismatic" people are actually often skilled manipulators (and in my experience, usually drug/alcohol addicts who learn to say/do anything others want in order to further their addiction). Genuine people don't need to be charming or dominant.
posted by desjardins at 11:55 AM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


They do it because they think she's that awesome, I think she's awesome too (with this issue aside)…But, I think this is a more of case of her being lazy and her friends enabling her, than her being manipulative.

people who are truly "awesome" aren't so lazy that, as adults, they can't even support themselves, instead allowing their friends to pay their rent and their bills. people who are awesome would have more respect for themselves and their friends than to allow this kind of one-sidedness. people who are "awesome" don't make comments to your face and in front of your mutual friends about how untrustworthy they find you without any reason to back it up.

i'm with TryTheTilapia. this girl sounds awful. there's nothing that you've written about her that makes her sound as awesome as you insist she is.
posted by violetk at 12:49 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Really "charismatic" people are actually often skilled manipulators (and in my experience, usually drug/alcohol addicts who learn to say/do anything others want in order to further their addiction). Genuine people don't need to be charming or dominant.

I want to add to this that manipulativeness doesn't necessarily imply calculated, intentional maliciousness. She's not Montgomery Burns. She probably doesn't have a secret control room where she plots her next move on a chessboard populated with figurines of her friends, cackling, "I am the puppeteer! Dance for me, my pretties!" It's likely she's not even conscious of what she's doing. She's just developed a dysfunctional way of getting what she wants. There are a lot of possible reasons for this - does she have an alcoholic parent, by any chance? - but the point is, she's dysfunctional and you don't want to get pulled into her vortex. Trust me. One day it might come crashing down around her, or it might not (especially given her army of enablers), but you'll go down before she does. You need to DETACH and gain some perspective, because, seriously, this situation is not healthy and you sound like the exact sort of person who's most vulnerable to it.
posted by granted at 8:38 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


She trusts people she has just met enough to literally place her life in their hands by sleeping over at their house and also trusts people of shady reputation and character, and yet doesn't trust someone she's known for two years who has never done anything to her?

She's a whackjob. Move on.
posted by katyggls at 8:52 AM on May 30, 2008


We became quite close over the summer. I made an extra effort showing interest in her life, especially one on one. I think she feared that I some how judged her, and when she found out that I didn't...she started opening up.
posted by sixcolors at 5:37 PM on November 3, 2008


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