My friend drugged someone
February 25, 2015 8:33 AM   Subscribe

My friend gave another friend a pot brownie without his knowledge or consent (he is foreign & naive & terrified because he thinks he's going to get deported). I am furious at the friend who did this, and am struggling to maintain social graces in public. I have to see him in class, and I want to punch him. What can I do to feel and act normally in public?

So I have two friends who have a bit of a bromance going on. They are both in my academic program & I have class with them. The one friend (Brad) is foreign and a bit naive, and there is a huge stigma against drugs where he's from, to the point where he is terrified of getting deported & jailed. Other friend (Eddy) gave Brad a pot brownie without telling him (and obviously without his consent). Brad freaked out once he figured it out. Eddy thinks the whole thing is hilarious and not a big deal. Brad is "over it" now and not taking action, still has his bromance with Eddy to a large degree.

This info came from a mutual friend (who Brad called when he was freaking out thinking he would get deported). I am hesitant to verify the story with Brad or Eddy. Brad would be really embarrassed and freak out newly. Eddy has a history of lying and I wouldn't believe him.

So a bit more history on Eddy: He almost died this summer and hasn't been the same since. As another mutual friend put it "I used to like him, and now he's an asshole." I don't want to condemn him for his struggles, but he is really tough to be around in general. He's done a bunch of other things I don't like (for ex: a girl he was dating sent him a nude selfie in Snapchat and HE SHOWED IT TO MY BOYFRIEND right in front of me while laughing at the girl, flirts heavily with a few girls in our program who have boyfriends/fiancees and are not interested in flirting back, tried to light up at a party I had where he knew several people weren't okay with it, tipping 5% "because he's cheap")

We're in the same social circle, my bf enjoys his company, I have class with him, and I will be forced to see his multiple times a week for the foreseeable future.

My boyfriend says to forget about it, but I can't. I tried. But I had to see and interact wih Eddy last night in class, and it was seriously detracting from my ability to focus. Feel free to comment on how mad at Eddy I should or should not be, but what I really need help with is sorting out my feelings & what I should or shouldn't do to be able to function normally in front of Eddy.
posted by Chaussette Fantoche to Human Relations (46 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It sounds like Eddy is a total asshole on multiple levels, and not someone I would have any interest in being friends with. I would be civil but distant when I see him in person, but not invite him to things or make any gestures of friendship. I don't think there's any point in being "mad" at him, in the sense that yelling at him or making a scene isn't going to solve anything (and probably wouldn't be particularly appreciated by Brad). I do think cutting ties is probably best/safest for you and will hopefully keep you out of the crosshairs next time he acts out.

Side note, I would also be really wary of a boyfriend who is tacitly accepting of this type of behavior -- not necessarily the pot thing, but sharing nude photos without consent and sexually harassing women in your program. Your boyfriend obviously cannot control his friend, but if he's acting like this behavior is in any way acceptable and just fine with remaining friends with someone who acts this way, it would raise a LOT of red flags for me. Just something to consider.
posted by rainbowbrite at 8:41 AM on February 25, 2015 [45 favorites]

I think under those conditions, a simple, one-time statement, delivered direct to his face when you are in a mixed group of people (preferably people who don't know about what happened), would suffice:

"Dude, I heard about what you did to Brad. NOT. COOL."

And then - just leave it at that. If you can, walk away.

This not only a) lets Eddie know that you know about what happened and think he's a douche, but also b) leaves him to try to explain himself to them, so he can also see them react like he just farted when he tells them how hysterical it all is. And - c) you've taken the high road by just saying something once, clearly and politely but FIRMLY, and then leaving it with a mic drop.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:41 AM on February 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

You are under no obligation to be friends with Eddy, because he's a dick and he's dangerous.

This is not the last time you are going to have to deal with horrible people as a grownup. Demote him to a person you are occasionally forced to interact with, feel free to be as formal and frosty as you'd like as long as you aren't preventing anybody from getting their work done.

You are judged by the company you keep, and your job prospects in the future could be affected by it too. You should judge your boyfriend by the company HE keeps and what kind of behavior he thinks is okay.

There is seriously nothing wrong with disengaging from this person as much as humanly possible. Time will dial down the distraction you're suffering from the anger, but just try to focus on the important things and relegate him to your periphery in every possible way.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:42 AM on February 25, 2015 [30 favorites]

Brad is the one who was wronged by Eddy, and since Brad seems to have forgiven him for this violation, I think that you should as well. Since you heard about this second hand, there might be other circumstances surrounding the drugging that might mitigate how shitty of a thing it was to do (there probably weren't, but you know, it's possible).

Eddy sounds like a crappy person, and I would be wary around him, and counsel your other friends who might fall prey to him to be wary as well. If he does other shitty things around you (sharing snapchat nudes, harassing women), call him out about them at the time.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:44 AM on February 25, 2015 [6 favorites]

I don't think you should have to socialize with people who make your life worse, especially when those people aren't even your friends or family.

This semester will be over eventually, and just because you have class with someone doesn't mean you have to talk much with them.

Your boyfriend doesn't get to decide for you what you should or should not "forget about." It's his right to be friends with cheap assholes who disrespect women if he wants to. It's your right not to.

Tell your boyfriend you won't be socializing with Eddy anymore, then follow through. You don't have to make a huge dramatic deal about it, there's no reason for this to turn into a fight -- make it clear that this isn't about your boyfriend, it's about your problems with how Eddy treats people. Stop going to events with Eddy. Find other things to do and better people to hang out with. I guarantee you it'll improve your quality of life.

If your boyfriend is a huge jerk about this, that's a good piece of information to have.

Several of my husband's college friends are patronizing assholes. I stopped going to their hangouts (which at this point only happen once or twice a year, as we're in our 30s) years ago. I have not regretted this even once. I'm sure his friends think I'm stuck up and/or cold but I could not possibly care less what they think because they're awful people.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 8:44 AM on February 25, 2015 [15 favorites]

Wow. What an ass. He sounds like a complete jerkface and I fully support you in being angry, thinking he's a jerkface, etc. Drugging someone against their will, sharing pictures that were meant for you only - those are asshole moves and I wouldn't trust the guy AT ALL.

That said.

Ok, so you need to be civil. There's a difference between civil and friendly, and I hope your boyfriend supports you in civil and isn't pushing for friendly. Your boyfriend is welcome to hang out with Eddy. You don't have to join them.

What I do when I need to deal with people I loathe: take six or seven steps back, and deal with them the same way I would deal with an alien lifeform. Remove myself and my brain from the situation and meet the bare minimum of polite discourse. You're going to need some hardcore boundaries with this jerk. There are some Captain Awkward posts about this sort of thing, let me see if I can find them. I'll post a new comment if I do.
posted by RogueTech at 8:46 AM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

What Eddy did was disrespectful in the extreme, and in my opinion if you care about Brad you have every right to be angry at Eddy. If I was in your position, I would go professional-demeanor with Eddy henceforth. Treat Eddy like a toxic coworker who hasn't acted far enough out of line to get fired yet. For me that would mean minimizing direct conversation without bending over backward to avoid him, being terse when I could and polite when I couldn't, and not including him in your social life. Spend some extra time with Brad; he may have let this slide because he feels that Eddy is his only good friend.

On an unrelated note: Did your boyfriend think Eddy's behavior re: the nude photos was amusing or acceptable?
posted by Urban Winter at 8:47 AM on February 25, 2015

I think some of this is misplaced anxiety and anger at your boyfriend, and that's why it's unexpectedly intense. Dumping your boyfriend would help, or at least fully acknowledging the fact that he and this guy both think sleazy, cruel behavior is okay, and you are pissed and creeped out.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:47 AM on February 25, 2015 [26 favorites]

I was just about to say what internet fraud detective squad said.

Not that there's anything you could do about it, but did Eddy receive a head injury on the occasion when he almost died this summer?
posted by tel3path at 8:49 AM on February 25, 2015 [6 favorites]

Also, Eddie isn't your friend. You don't like him and think he's a shitty person. There's a certain amount of comfort that comes from accepting that you just plain dislike someone.

It also makes you feel less powerless if you feel free to tell them when they do stupid shit. I suspect another source of your anger is that you feel like people would choose this asshole over you, and so you can't say anything. Reframe it in your mind as you choosing to keep Eddie open to you to use as a professional contact. You're making the choice to put your career first. Good for you.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:51 AM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

It sounds like you have someone in your social circle who is setting off your warning bells. A lot of the examples you list circle around Eddy not respecting other people's personal boundaries and that is a very bad characteristic to have.

I would start by having a Come-to-Jesus talk with your boyfriend. Don't frame it as "You should be mad at Eddy on Brad's behalf." Instead, I think you should say something along the lines of: "Eddy's behavior makes me really uncomfortable, to the point where it's distracting me while I'm in class. It's not okay to share nude photos of people without their consent, or to show you nude photos in front of me without my consent, or to drug people without their consent. I need to know that you take these kinds of violations seriously, and if you don't, we have a problem."

If he doesn't realize the magnitude of Eddy's problems after you put it that way, well, I would think long and hard about whether he's the right person for you.

After that, I would not socialize with Eddy and I would avoid any one on one interactions with him. If he does anything that involves this kind of boundary-testing in front of you, it would be great if you could summon up the courage to say loudly, so that other people can hear: "That's really inappropriate and upsetting." If he's testing to see what kind of boundaries he can cross in your social circle, it's really important that he not get any kind of tacit approval (silence, laughter) that suggests this kind of behavior is okay.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 8:57 AM on February 25, 2015 [8 favorites]

So a bit more history on Eddy: He almost died this summer and hasn't been the same since. As another mutual friend put it "I used to like him, and now he's an asshole." I don't want to condemn him for his struggles, but he is really tough to be around in general.

This is actually kind of a tragic case, in my opinion.

Eddy is likely to be suffering from brain damage which has reduced his ability to control bad behavior. He'll probably improve over the next couple of years, but who knows how much.
posted by jamjam at 8:58 AM on February 25, 2015 [9 favorites]

For the specific case of Brad/Eddy, it seems like Brad is mostly okay with it now and can deal, so let him be a grownup and find his own comfort level.

For your own sake, I'd honestly freeze out Eddy abruptly and completely but not dramatically, make it explicit if he ever asks, then ignore him as best you can. I would also break up with your BF. Do you really want to be dating someone who is comfortable with a person who shows nude selfies without consent? Who drugs people? Who, frankly, sounds like he's gearing up for a fine career in drug-assisted party rape? Just by his lack of outrage about all this, your boyfriend is revealing his character. DTMFA, for your own safety and sanity.

I agree that there might be some brain damage issues going on, but that really just makes things worse. Eddy might have some organic reason for his terribleness; your BF has no such excuse for condoning it. Talking with him is also a risk. This is not something he should need education on. Trust me, you deserve and can find a guy who is also a decent person, without trying to make this shithead into one.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 9:01 AM on February 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

While Eddie doesn't sound like anyone I'd want to hang around with, I don't see why you can't just be in class with him. His flirting with other women is their problem, not yours. Showing a nude photo to your boyfriend is for your BF to deal with. Brad's problem is Brad's. You can disapprove of Eddie and not want to talk to him, but unless you're on group projects with him, I don't see why you have to deal with him at all. Why let him take up space in your head--your focus in class is within your control--you can hate Eddie with the passion of a 1000 firey suns and still pay attention in the classroom.
You can tell your BF what you don't like, but you can't really control what he does. I don't think having more discussions about what an asshole Eddie is will have any real results. Personally, I'd dump him.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:03 AM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

When I have to deal with people that are infuriating me these are the things I do:

1) Keep everything as surface-level as possible.
2) Try to ground myself -- good sleep, eat, be aware of the times I will have to see them.
3) Imagine everyone as the 4 year old they were once and be kind.

Being kind does not mean you accept this behaviour, long-term. I just mean in that moment you have to be around them, try to give them a pass for being a flawed human being. For me I visualize them as much younger.
posted by warriorqueen at 9:03 AM on February 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

I personally would not want to associate with the person, based on the behaviors that you observed. There is no need to socialize or interact, or even let Eddy into your world.

This info came from a mutual friend (who Brad called when he was freaking out thinking he would get deported). I am hesitant to verify the story with Brad or Eddy.

The one challenge here is that this sounds like a partial gossip situation - at the end of the day, you don't know the details, or even how this happened.

So if you do decide to not interact with the guy anymore, I would suggest also asking other people to just not tell you about the things that he is doing.

Spending time on your studies and people that you like would probably be a better off than any of this.
posted by Wolfster at 9:10 AM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Am I the only one who thinks that if the story is true, that Eddy assaulted Brad by giving him drugs, because if you intentionally dose someone without their consent, that's assault.

Just because it was pot and not GHB or Acid doesn't automatically downgrade this crime to 'boys will be boys.'

Now to the OP

I get that you're young and that you don't have much experience with dealing with dangerous assholes, so let Gramy Bunny school you.

Eddy should be avoided. You can be passing polite to him in class, but moving forward icy and removed is a good way to be to him. If he speaks to you simply say, "Eddy, you've been doing some shitty things lately. I'd rather not be your friend anymore. I'm not looking for drama, so let's just be cool with each other in public."

Now your BF. It sounds like some really misguided 'bro-code' bullshit is happening. I would be deeply uncomfortable being with someone who would not only look at someone's naked picture on another dude's phone, but who would NOT immediately say to the douche, "Dude, that's not cool. You should be more respectful."

Now Brad. I recommend that you speak to him and tell him that he was assaulted by Eddy and that Eddy should not be trusted. Offer to take him to the police to file a complaint. Because if Eddy would dose his own friend, who is vulnerable, imagine what that kind of asshole would to to any other vulnerable person.

Tl/DR: Eddy assaulted Brad. Drop Eddy like a bad habit. Drop anyone who doesn't drop Eddy like a bad habit.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:13 AM on February 25, 2015 [7 favorites]

My boyfriend does NOT think Eddy's behavior is acceptable. He was MORE outraged than I was about the drugging Brad thing, but didn't want to get involved. He sees Eddy much less than I do, and usually in social settings that are with my friends circle.

I think jamjam raised a really good point -- Eddy always sent off a few red flags, but after the incident he's setting off alarm bells. It's easier for my bf to see as a temporary personality change because he only sees Eddy every few weeks, whereas I see Eddy 2-3x a week in class. My classes are small and interactive, so not talking to him in class is unfortunately not possible.
posted by Chaussette Fantoche at 9:15 AM on February 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

even if the reason is head injury or trauma related, the fact of the matter is that eddy sounds like a missing stair. these guys keep getting people to violate because their friends excuse their behavior. were i you, i would stop being friends with him, warn other people (especially women) about him, and reexamine your relationship if your boyfriend keeps accepting eddy's bad behavior and/or pressuring you to make nice.
posted by nadawi at 9:16 AM on February 25, 2015 [13 favorites]

Eddie sounds like a bag of dicks, and I'm also giving your boyfriend the sideeye, as well. Would they urge you to let it go if roofies and rape were involved? He/by seem to be cool about giving people controlled substances without their consent.
posted by SillyShepherd at 9:19 AM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Rarely do I read these and know for sure what the poster should do, but I do this time: you should dump your boyfriend. Seriously, he sounds like a major league asshole.
posted by norm at 9:22 AM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

you should dump your boyfriend. Seriously, he sounds like a major league asshole.

I'm going to shut up after this, but please stop insulting my boyfriend.

I'm sorry if my post made it seem like my boyfriend APPROVED of Eddy's behavior, but I assure you he does not. We already had a long discussion about this, and bf's advice to "forget about it" was advice on how to deal with Eddy in class. Bf has an ability to condemn someone and still act normally around them (he says he just labels someone as "going to hell") that I do not, and he was trying to share his strategy for dealing with awful people.
posted by Chaussette Fantoche at 9:34 AM on February 25, 2015 [13 favorites]

My classes are small and interactive, so not talking to him in class is unfortunately not possible.

If you think talking to the instructor might help, I would try doing that. I'd keep any interaction you absolutely need to have with Eddy strictly work or material focused; if he tries to derail back to gossip or socializing, keep very calm but keep saying things like "I'd really like to focus on the work" and move back to the subject at hand. If he freaks out and starts drama, that's then on him and maybe he'll do you the favor of drawing the ire of the instructor.

Stop acknowledging him in any way outside of when you have to for class, and when you do, don't let him use that as an excuse to be social or dramatic at you. If he starts some kind of "hey bitch, I thought we were cool" crap, just ignore him. When you have to be around him, make sure it's sufficiently public. Ie, if you're in a quiet corner of the library and he comes up to "talk to" you, get up and leave and go somewhere that there are a lot of people around, so that if he starts a scene, you have witnesses. You really need to just freeze him out completely. Don't ever be the one to start a confrontation, don't tell him you're freezing him out and don't let him draw you into an argument about it, but treat him exactly like what he is: a dangerous psycho.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 9:35 AM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Are you in a university setting? If so, please contact your Dean of Students. Now.

This is (illegal, predatory, harmful, disrespectful, terrorizing, assault -- take your pick, add some) behavior that needs to be addressed by people in positions of power and/or medical expertise. It sounds like it may continue with other targets and other behaviors; it needs to stop. This is over your head -- it is too big of a job for friends. Please pursue this. You can almost certainly be anonymous. But Brad deserves to be safe, as do all of Eddy's targets.

I think you're getting a good buffet of choices here on how to handle yourself.
posted by Dashy at 9:36 AM on February 25, 2015 [12 favorites]

Also, as The Master and Margarita mix said: if you don't feel up to Dean of Students, please at least tell your professor, who will be as shocked as me and will likely call Dean of Students him/herself, as I almost did on instinct after reading your story. But please -- this is not something to be handled within 'friends' or colleagues, which may be why you're wondering (with good reason) how to handle yourself. It's beyond social cues. Please reach out.
posted by Dashy at 9:42 AM on February 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

i'm sure your boyfriend has a lot of really awesome qualities. i'm not going to insult him, but i am going to encourage you to keep your eyes open. guys are often not in as much danger from the eddys of the world (although, not always safe, as his drugging of brad shows) and as such they tend to encourage everyone to just get along, and that he's sure eddy's not really harmful, and "yeah maybe eddy is an asshole sometimes but i enjoy his company" type stuff. this can be dangerous - not just to you, but to other people who respect you and your boyfriend - "oh, they think he's cool. i'm sure he's harmless" - and that's how dudes like eddy find victims. he shares intimate pictures without permission for the purpose of mockery, he harasses women who don't appreciate his attentions, and he's at least once drugged someone without their consent. eddy is dangerous and your boyfriend needs to understand that and respect your boundaries with eddy. people who give eddy a pass just adds to a culture where the eddys are protected and their victims are shamed into silence.

good luck and be safe. the eddys of the world also react badly when someone publicly notices their bullshit.
posted by nadawi at 9:47 AM on February 25, 2015 [8 favorites]

Contact Student Affairs folk, a school therapist, a Dean, anything. Assaults in universities go severely under-reported. Eddy is actually a danger to the campus if this continues, flat out.

Source: Work with many people who do sexual/unconsensual assault work and advocacy in universities.
posted by yueliang at 9:49 AM on February 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

This info came from a mutual friend
Does this friend see the problems with Eddy as well? Since they heard it from Brad directly, they should be the ones reporting the brownie incident and you could offer to go with them. The nude pic and the way he flirts with girls should also be in the report.
posted by soelo at 9:52 AM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

If you end up talking to officials about this as others have suggested, I would caution you to stick to discussing only those events that you have directly witnessed. You have enough reason to express concern without bringing the pot brownie episode into it, as AFAICT you currently only have through second-hand information; and as Ruthless Bunny points out could be considered a very serious matter. And I think of you try to make the basis of your claim "so and so said Eddy did ..." rather than "Eddy did ... to/in_front of me" you will unnecessarily weaken your case.
posted by achrise at 9:54 AM on February 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

[Periodic gentle reminder: do not use the edit function to significantly change or add content in your comment after it's been posted. If you need to follow up on a thought, just post a new comment.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:07 AM on February 25, 2015

I think under those conditions, a simple, one-time statement, delivered direct to his face when you are in a mixed group of people (preferably people who don't know about what happened), would suffice:

"Dude, I heard about what you did to Brad. NOT. COOL."

And then - just leave it at that. If you can, walk away.

Didn't read all the responses. You have every right and duty to tell Eddy that what he's done is wrong and the reason you won't be treating him as a friend in the future.

Doesn't matter if Brad "forgives," whatever that means, you're a human too, with responsibilities.
posted by JimN2TAW at 12:28 PM on February 25, 2015

If you want to not be friends with someone in your social circle being a dick, that is totally fine and you get to make that choice on your own behalf. But it is weird and inappropriate and patronizing to drop a friend over their treatment of someone who has chosen to remain friends with them.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:25 PM on February 25, 2015

Can you stand to listen to an Old Guy tell you about something he regrets? I'm guessing you're young, probably a college student?

One thing I really, really regret from those years is that I wasn't a LOT more picky about the friends I had and the people I hung around with. No, I didn't hang out with the "wrong" crowd and end up in prison or something like that. But just on general principles, I didn't choose my friends - my friends were simply the people I ended up randomly being with. As a result I used to put up with a LOT of completely asshole behavior from my "friends" that - were it to happen today - I would tell them to GTFO of my life. I was young and didn't have much in the line of 'boundaries' - in truth, I didn't even know what 'boundaries' were, back then. And I wonder at how much richer my life could have been, had I sought out friends of a higher caliber.

If your friends are young, it's not uncommon for them to make mistakes, and it's not a bad policy to forgive them those mistakes if they learn from them. But this Eddy guy sounds like a repeat offender.

*sigh* And I can just imagine the other people in your crowd tacitly approving his asshole behavior with "well, yeah, he's a jerk, but he almost died last year!" Like that's an excuse for anything. I had more than one friend back in that time who took advantage of some circumstance to explain and justify any jerk move they made. I suspect that if Eddy had any kind of near-death epiphany, it was that he could take advantage of the non-judgemental natures of his peer group.
posted by doctor tough love at 1:28 PM on February 25, 2015 [12 favorites]

Look, you can stick with your boyfriend, that's your choice. But you have to let the boyfriend know that YOU have a boundary and it involves spending time with this asshole. You won't do it. Your boyfriend SHOULD NOT be making you do it, even passively. If he wants to spend time with the guy, that's on his dime and his time, not yours.

If he doesn't get this then, well, maybe you do have to consider that choice. But if you truly like him, then I hope he's mature enough to know that you want nothing further to do with Bag 'o' Dicks Eddy, respect that choice, and making seeing (and tacitly supporting) Brad his own choice.

I went through a very slightly analogous situation in college -- there was a loudmouth partyin' bro (call him Jim Bob) who would get massively drunk and try to finagle everyone into a situation where he was entertained, and I thought, entertaining. There was an incident where Jim Bob fell down the stairs in the dorm and threw up all over the landing and himself. At some point young me marveled to someone else how I wished I could be outgoing and fun like Jim Bob, and the person I was talking with put his hand on my shoulder and said to trust him -- don't be like Jim Bob, he's an asshole and actually we all were getting to the point we can't stand him. I had mistaken aggressive, desperate neediness as the outline of what anyone needed to be "fun". I don't remember much about that guy since he was basically no longer welcome in our circle and I came to understand why. I think he was expelled, but it was a long time ago.

Eddy sounds a bit like Jim Bob to me -- he's willing to cross boundaries, so he seems fun and outgoing and maybe gets people to party and do stuff, but there's a point where that becomes disrespectful of others and Eddy is well past it. Because your boyfriend and others are decent, you don't want to seem like you're intervening or preventing him from being himself, but that's the problem.
posted by dhartung at 1:48 PM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Eddy is a criminal. Stop associating with him and advise Brad to do the same.
posted by a3matrix at 1:56 PM on February 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

Was your boyfriend at your party, the one where Eddie started using despite the discomfort of you and your friends? Why didn't your boyfriend, when presented an opportunity to look at Eddie's nude girlfriend on the phone, say to Eddie, "I'm not interested in seeing her like that!"

What I'm saying is that your boyfriend had at least one, and probably more, chances to speak up against nonsense like this, but chose not to. What if these three transgressions were against your, or boyfriend's family member, maybe one that was vulnerable? Would that change how your boyfriend approaches such matters?

If your boyfriend is afraid of the repercussions of speaking up, Eddie is not a safe person for him to be around. As it is, Eddie puts himself and everyone around him at risk, and you have every right to be concerned about that, given that your boyfriend is willing to put up with that. Your boyfriend opens himself, and maybe you, to any trouble Eddie sweeps you all up in.

Just some food for thought.
posted by SillyShepherd at 2:52 PM on February 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

It needs to be made clear to BF that "just ignore it" DOESN'T stop it.....and that yes, Eddy may well be "going to hell", but being passive and allowing him to continue to harm others is just as bad.
posted by brujita at 2:54 PM on February 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

I actually think most of the above responses are counter-productive. You're asking how you can get through a semester of classes when you know this jerk is also going to be there, and everybody's piling on telling you how evil he is and how you shouldn't tolerate him and should stir up drama with the school admins. No, that is most definitely not how to get the most out of your education this semester.

Part of your issue is that you feel that you're forced to interact with him, so it's important to undo that sense of obligation. Who says you're obliged to talk with him? Mutual friends might pull you into shared social events, so let them know. If the professor ever splits the class into groups, I'd have a speech ready for him about how you need to change groups.
Talk to your BF and others of your friend who also know Eddy, and tell them that you won't be hanging out with Eddy any more, so if they like Eddy, they should get their fix (of asinine humor) when you're not around. It would be great if your BF was totally with you on this decision and said "absolutely, he acted like a jerk and I don't want to talk to him either if you can't stand him", but I'm not going to tell you that BF's tolerance of Eddy in small doses means that he's equally guilty.
I'm concerned about Brad; from your desciption, he's been taken advantage of, and probably will be again, but if your goal is to come out of this unscathed, you don't stir up drama by attempting to pit them against each other or take sides, so you've got to let Brad make his own decisions. I'd use EmpressC's line, in front of both of them, and I'd be a bit more explicit - not "I heard what you did" but "I head that you gave him drugged food". Now Brad knows he'd still have friends if he ever got tired of dealing with Eddy, and if Eddy notices you're backing off he'll know why. But leave it at that. If you want to "act normally in public" you need to let this be someone else's problem. Other people are recommending that acting normally in public isn't the morally responsible choice, you should be angrier than that. I'll only say that you're allowed to be angrier than that if you want to, but that you are not obligated, and it's perfectly reasonable to let this be somebody else's fight, while you just deal with Eddy as little as possible.

Maybe after this semester, when you're done being in classes with him, you can take some action. In the meantime, you're not superman, or the fist of god, and "allowing him to continue to harm others" is really not something that you have control over, other than warning people you like to stay out of his way.
posted by aimedwander at 2:59 PM on February 25, 2015 [7 favorites]

Ok, I'm home from work, I've had some ice cream, and I've calmed down a bit. I do get really angry when I hear about people being drugged against their will - I had it happen to me, and I have male and female friends that have had it happen to them. So I'll try to give you the Calm RogueTech answer now.

It's really, really hard to be the first person in the group to stand up and say, "Dude, your bullshit is bullshit". It's doubly hard if you are in some sort of perceived weaker position, such as being younger or female and dealing with stuff that really has to do with the ugly dynamics of social reality - you hear a lot about "boys will be boys" and that's a crappy thing, and standing up to it takes a lot more energy than you may have right now. So option 1 is the "Name the Behavior and Call It Out" option, and no one will blame you if you are NOT up for it. However, if you decide you are up for it, here's some of those Captain Awkward articles I mentioned:

Classic #1: My friends group has a case of the creepy dude

Classic #2: I don't want to choose sides

Ok, so option 2 is just deal until the end of the semester. You may not want to get confrontational, you may not feel safe getting confrontational, you just want to put your head down and get through and hopefully never see this dude again. I get it. I so get it. I was in a college math class that was all small group all semester (it was a really bizarre class, I should have dropped it and taken the I, but that's another topic). I went to one of my groupmate's rooms to work on some stuff for class and he assaulted me. I was young, I was scared, and I had no idea what to do. There were some complicating factors that added to me not wanting to involve college administration - for instance, he was on the campus security force - so I just stayed in the class and didn't talk to the teacher and just gritted my teeth and got through it. I won't lie - the first couple classes, I couldn't decide if I wanted to cry or throw up in the middle of class or scream or hit him. I didn't do any of them. What I did do is keep it so incredibly polite, so icy calm and sedate, that he had no way to sink any hooks in. My now-boss has a phrase that sort of encapsulates the concept - "Malicious obedience". I had to get through class, so I gave what I needed to and exactly no more. I held this thought in my head - I was ice, I was so far above giving a shit about him and his opinion that he was a speck on the ground and I was a bird floating free in the sky. It's not a GREAT way to deal with it. But it's A way to deal with it.

That said, a visit to a campus counselor might not be a bad idea. They can give you some help with how to deal with this, and maybe also help you develop some ideas for how to handle specific situations. One of the things I found useful in therapy was roleplaying specific situations that might come up, so that I didn't have to try to figure out how to react in the moment - I'd already practiced a reaction and it would be easier in the moment to react as I wanted instead of freezing up or stuttering.

Good luck.
posted by RogueTech at 7:35 PM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Okay so I realize that this is a totally different context—take from my comment only what you feel is relevant to your situation—but I am a stripper and here is how I deal with Strip Club Eddy.

By Strip Club Eddy, I mean someone who thinks it's funny to violate another person's expressed boundaries, shows photos of naked girls to his friends without the girls' consent (WTF), disregards signals from women that they aren't interested, disrespects the club workers by not tipping, etc.

I don't engage Eddy when I see him. If he tries to speak to me, I do the "slight eyebrow raise with a deliberate slight smile and a brief nod," i.e. acknowledgement without engagement, and keep walking. If he approaches me, I excuse myself. If I am unable to excuse myself (which rarely happens at a club but may happen in the classroom), I sit in silence. If addressed, I give the shortest possible answers.

Then I go back to the dressing room and vent to my coworkers. I allow myself that outlet.

I tell my coworkers everything that I had wanted to say to his misogynistic face. I am snarky, I am nasty, I swear, I wish aloud the specific ways in which I hope karma will kick his ass.

Very important: I have given myself permission to be petty. I hate his hair, I hate his clothes, I hate his smile. (I would hate none of these things if they were transplanted onto someone else.)

"Don't be angry" doesn't work for me because Eddy's behavior warrants anger. I am angry as hell. I just make specific choices about when and how to display the anger. It's not a perfect fix, but it gets me through the day.

Do you have a trusted friend to whom you can vent? Maybe a female friend in your classes who feels similarly about Eddy? And explain to her the situation and that this venting is specifically for coping, so you doesn't come off as randomly gossip-y, sensitive, or nasty. If you like, invent physical signals so that you can "vent" while in class together. For example, playing with your earring means "oh hey look at the misogynist being misogynistic again," etc.

(I am extraordinarily lucky to work with a fantastic group of girls whom I trust implicitly, which is hard to find in a regular workplace, never mind a strip club.)

As we all know, there are idiots and assholes and idiotic assholes everywhere. Unless you are a significant other, family member, super-close friend, or therapist, you probably can't affect much positive change in the person's behavior, and will probably affect negative change in your own life by trying.

So we endure—but not silently. The people in my life who matter know exactly what I think of that schmuck.

FYI, in case you're wondering, Strip Club Eddy is more likely to come into the club at night, come in with a group than alone, get obnoxiously drunk, and be inappropriately grabby. Oh, and as I mentioned earlier, less likely to spend money on the dancers.
posted by Peppermint Snowflake at 8:06 PM on February 25, 2015 [10 favorites]

You seriously need to re-evaluate your friendship with your "naive foreign friend". You are young you haven't learned this the hard way yet- Whoever someone spends significant time with by choice is a LOT like that individual themselves whether you realize it or not. If Brad spends that much time with Eddy then on a certain level Brad is a hell of a lot like him. Birds of a feather flock together. So if you don't trust Eddy do not make the mistake of trusting Brad either. No matter what mask he puts on in front of you or the world Brad is not as sweet as you think he is. As someone who's tried to save many a "poor and naive" friend from a new best bud that was trouble, please take my word on this.

This also goes for your boyfriend as well if he spends a lot of time with Eddy. (Which isn't made clear in your question if he does or not). You may think this isn't a question about your boyfriend, or Brad, and rather about Eddy. You are wrong. It's an important lesson that bears repeating: Who a person spends significant time with tells you a great deal about who THAT person really is.

Brad (and your bf?) doesn't think it's a big deal that this guy spreads around nude pics about his girlfriend and laughs at her for trusting him and your boyfriend thinks this and other abhorrent behavior is no big deal and that Eddy is "cool". That should tell you something. Seriously. Stop feeling sorry for "poor" Brad. It may be difficult for you to imagine this, but it is very likely that he laughs at all of Eddy's insults/jokes about you when you're not around to hear it. Since Eddy is apparently insulting everybody around him I doubt you have been spared and Brad's certainly not hating on Eddy for his behavior towards him or others.

" I had to see and interact wih Eddy last night in class.." That's an illusion. You don't actually have to interact with him at all. Just a few days ago, I sent a calm and matter of fact email to a "friend" telling them that I will not be interacting with them anymore because I didn't approve of their behavior. It was a low-drama email where I sincerely wished him all the best, but explained that I was not interested in any real interaction beyond saying hi to one another when we crossed paths. This is not a route I am necessarily suggesting for you, but I'm just using it as an example. You do have a choice and it's important to admit that so that you can take responsibility for your actions and decisions. You don't have to interact with Eddy. You can just tell him that you feel bad about what happened to him this summer, but you don't like the way he's been acting and would rather keep your distance. But if for whatever reason you CHOOSE to interact with him then all you can do is try to limit your interactions. Always have an excuse ready. Always have your cell phone at hand to take that 'important call' that you need privacy for. Always be 'too busy' to chat. If it were me, I'd just cut this dirtbag and anyone that calls him a close friend out of my life.
posted by rancher at 3:10 AM on February 26, 2015 [5 favorites]

Another concern: Is this a one off event or has this individual done this to others? Drugging someone against their will/without their knowledge is a criminal act. If this individual has done this to others I would be reporting this and have that individual removed from campus at a minimum.
posted by a3matrix at 7:18 AM on February 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

i don't think reporting someone who drugs people without consent, harasses women, and uses nude pictures for mockery and male bonding is stirring up drama. let's say you find out in a month that eddy has combined all his terrible traits together and rapes someone. will you feel good or bad about how you choose to deal with your knowledge of his current criminal boundary issues?
posted by nadawi at 8:56 AM on February 26, 2015 [5 favorites]

Lots of good advice here, folks.

I've talked to some more people and a couple people already knew, a couple didn't (and were shocked & upset). I think there's a general consensus to avoid socializing with him (he's made some of the other girls uncomfortable with general rude & sexist remarks). It is unfortunate if brain damage is influencing his behavior, but I can't feel too bad about it because he always had these traits.

I also got more insight into Brad's feelings -- he is upset and hasn't forgiven Eddy, but feels like he won't have any friends if he does something. He's had someone tell him he should be mad and it's okay to stop being friends. The rest of us are working on including him more directly. I don't think it's fair to judge Brad for being friends with Eddy -- he's fooled a bunch of people into feeling like they had close friendships, I think it goes along with not having boundaries.

There were a couple comments that it's wrong or patronizing to be mad at Eddy about what he's done to someone else -- to be blunt, I think it's the right thing. If we only judge people by what they do to us, that's a very selfish world, and a world where a lot of people get to do shitty things. Making positive change in the world is based on not being tolerant of shitty things happening to other people. The only good that comes in this world is when people who are more fortunate look towards helping others and preventing shit people from doing more shit things, especially to vulnerable populations. That's why drugging another person against their consent is criminal, because it's an antisocial act that puts people in danger. I generally choose to avoid criminals because of their lack of concern for other humans. Just because Eddy isn't in legal trouble, doesn't mean he isn't criminal and deserve to get treated like one by the people who know what he's done.
posted by Chaussette Fantoche at 6:33 PM on February 27, 2015

I don't think it's fair to judge Brad for being friends with Eddy

Really, one of the things that bothered me the most about your story is that it doesn't feel like Brad and Eddy are evenly matched in power and status, and that makes it creepier that Eddy is targeting him for abuse. Not that Brad is dumb, but it does sound like he's maybe a little naive, and certainly perceives himself to be in a precarious legal position with regard to residency (however true that might actually be), and may not have all the cultural experience necessary to understand that Eddy is not a great person to trust.

I think that the rest of you making more of an effort to reach out to him directly is probably the most productive thing you can do on an individual level to improve the situation.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:11 AM on February 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

"I also got more insight into Brad's feelings -- he is upset and hasn't forgiven Eddy, but feels like he won't have any friends if he does something."

Yeah, well Brad is likely going to tell you that if you take him aside and ask him about this directly... Just like he's likely going to tell Eddy he agrees with him if Eddy takes him aside and complains about you.

Yes- it's possible that Brad is genuine and I'm not knocking that, but from what you've written in this thread it's obvious to me that you listen to much to what people are telling you vs what people are actually doing. I have been in this situation you've described several times in my life and I really can't stress enough, that if Brad is too cowardly to stop being friends with someone he claims to dislike...but obviously doesn't say to this person's face that he dislikes them. Then he is also very likely to be too cowardly to stick up for you the way you are sticking up for him. Yes much of this can be attributed to him feeling far from home, but it's still no excuse for patting your pal on the back when that friend goes around making women like you and others that he is connecting with daily feel uncomfortable. There is also no guarantee he's being honest with you since at the very least he's admitting to being dishonest in his friendship with Eddy. So either way he's not sticking up for the right people and he's definitely being two faced here, the only question is who is getting the false face? Without getting into much detail I've been through this before and very often when a cowardly guy like this is presented with a nice girl who is saying she will accept him as he is, and a deuchbag like Eddy who is saying he will accept him as long as he acts a certain way- This guy will tend to try to please Eddy more, because subconsciously he feels that this way he can please everybody. Eddy will accept him, but so will the nice girl because she's...nice. And will see him as a victim instead of being bad like Eddy. Sometimes not wanting to be the bad guy IS exactly what makes you the bad guy and cowardly people don't realize this. They will gladly throw a nice girl like you under the bus if it means that Eddy will still like him and you will still feel sorry for him which means no one ends up kicking them to the curb.

I'm saying this to recommend that you support Brad the way you want. I think it's a good thing, but please keep your eyes open for signs that he may be supporting or encouraging Eddy while you're not there to see it. If you see signs like this, just cross Brad off your list of potential cool people to be around, same as Eddy.
posted by rancher at 12:09 AM on March 13, 2015

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