Am I attracting the wrong people or am I just ungrateful?
August 17, 2016 9:44 AM   Subscribe

I've been wanting friends for years... now I have them and I can't stand them. Is it me or them?

Illness and other matters kept me a loner for many years. I very much wanted to have a friend or two that I could go out with to eat or to a show once or twice every couple weeks, but I didn't have any. Over the past year I started developing friendships with certain women and at first I'd really enjoy hanging out with them, but then I'd start to make excuses as to why I couldn't when they began to become what I deemed as way too clingy or obsessive over matters that I didn't concern myself with. I will explain my view of the following friends and perhaps some of you will help me realize the appropriate attitude I should have towards this issue. Perhaps I'm asking for too much. I must say that most of my friends growing up were guys and I never had this issue with them.. however I did often have the problem of them wanting more than friendship, so I really wanted to get some girlfriends. I honestly don't know if this behavior from girlfriends is just to be expected.

Friend #1: Feels that any man she has even a slight attraction to who exchanges more than two sentences with her somehow owes her something. She LOVES to go to the theater and movies with me. I don't because she likes to engage with me during them... which has occasionally bothered other patrons around us... not to mention myself. I hint that she should pipe down. It helps... but not entirely. I can't bring any male friend around her unless he's very overweight or something because she will try to get me to put in a good word for her and put me in a weird position. Then if it doesn't work out she tries to pretend it wasn't her idea and she starts to pretend that it was mine. She will try to keep me on the phone for ages over some guy she spent 20 minutes with back in January who "still" hasn't asked her out. I'm like- dude it's fucking August now. What's it going to take for you to get that he was just being friendly and flirty? This has happened more than once with more than one guy. I'm thinking- he spoke to you for a few minutes MONTHS AGO he doesn't owe you jack shit. Move the fuck on. If you dated a man for a couple of years and then broke up THEN I will console you for over an our on the phone, but for this??? I've got more important things to do.

Friend #2: She's a lawyer. At first I thought she was cool because she rarely talked about men (which was refreshing after friend #1) but after a while it became clear this was only because she was pretty darn sure she was meant to be with a particular male tv star- to the point where she stalks him. She tells me about encounters with him and shows me pictures of the two of them where he was obviously not happy to be there. (Turns out his publicist has rules on pics, but she often ignores those rules so I guess that's why he often looks miserable in them.) In the stories she tells me it seems obvious to me he's not interested in her at all, but she refuses to see it that way. She now wants me to join her in her stalking efforts. She knows where he lives and knows he walks his dog around the area and she wants me to go with her early in the morning and just "happen" to be there walking around with her. She also wants me to go to signings and events with him and devises schemes where I would help her be at the right place and time to meet him again. She still texts me, but I've avoided her for a few weeks now.

Friend #3: She already has a man who's she's been with for 2 years. She talks about him a lot, but that's fine by me since it's real relationship and not just some dude she met for a few seconds a year ago. Again- liked her a lot at first. But then she got really clingy. We worked together on a project that recently ended and I'm not exaggerating when I say I could barely take a piss in the bathroom without this woman wanting to tag along. It felt like she was attached to my hip. Even others at work who wanted to talk to me started to get a dissapointed look when they would try to tell me something and she would suddenly pop up beside me. When I'd try to schedule something during lunch it was difficult because she'd immediately pop up beside me wondering what we were doing for lunch- Again. I'd explain I'd have plans to run some errands and she'd invite herself to do the errands with me. Towards the end I had to devise plans to have her distracted so that I could slip away and have a few minutes to myself. After two days of managing to avoid having lunch with her she loudly said from way across the office "It's been forever since we've hung out. I misssss yoouuuuu!" It was pretty embarrassing. I mean, it was only two lousy days of not having lunch together. I don't miss someone after only two days. Sheesh. On this day after work we spent hours together and she seemed to hint at wanting to spend the night at my place. Not being able to think of an excuse on the spot, I made up a fake friend-with-benefits situation to make it seem like I wouldn't be going home that night and would instead be at a hotel. So now I probably seem in our circle of people like some girl who just sleeps with certain friends in hotels.

These are all otherwise nice people! And I'm not perfect. I'm aware there are probably things about me that may annoy others as well. But I also wonder if I'm just attracting an obsessive type somehow and if so, how am I doing that? Or perhaps I'm just asking too much and being ungrateful for having these women in my life?
posted by manderin to Human Relations (28 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
What age range are we talking? Because they all sound nuts! Also, this is not entirely uncommon in my experience in LA. Other places this sort of thing never really happened. Are you in LA? Because I know all 3 of these types, especially #2! A few of those. Unbelievable. It really put me off people for a while.
posted by jbenben at 9:51 AM on August 17, 2016 [8 favorites]

But I also wonder if I'm just attracting an obsessive type somehow

Sure seems like it.

and if so, how am I doing that?


Or perhaps I'm just asking too much and being ungrateful for having these women in my life?

Maybe it's because you're coming off as desperate for a friend, to the point where you are willing to put up with frankly nutso behavior.

Illness and other matters kept me a loner for many years. I very much wanted to have a friend or two that I could go out with to eat or to a show once or twice every couple weeks, but I didn't have any.

I don't know how you're meeting these women or what kinds of friendly overtures you're making to them, but it seems very possible that you are either passively accepting offers of friendship from people you don't necessarily know and like, or else you are approaching people for friendship in such a way as to weird out the relatively normal, non-clingy ones.

If this is true, it's absolutely something you can fix and not, like, a major personality issue. You're just out of practice.

It could also be coincidence, but all three of these peoples' behavior is way outside the norm, so that seems less likely.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:52 AM on August 17, 2016 [21 favorites]

Also, if you are putting out that "I usually hang out just with men, women are too much drama" vibe, you're not going to be drawing in too many self-respecting women.
posted by praemunire at 9:58 AM on August 17, 2016 [62 favorites]

Your three friends sound exhausting, but have you tried setting boundaries with them? Such as, let's not talk about men for a while, or hey friend, I need some time by myself to unwind?

Also, I understand why they're exhausting, but do you actually like them? Aside from them being warm bodies and nice, are these relationships otherwise fulfilling?
posted by umwhat at 10:02 AM on August 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

It sounds to me like you are averse to being honest with these friends about what's bothering you. It doesn't need to be a heated confrontation. It's about setting boundaries. My best friends have all called me on my shit from time to time. If their reactions are to end the friendship, well, good riddance. But if you want to try with these women (maybe you don't at this point), stop making excuses and stand up for yourself. There is nothing wrong, uncaring or unfriendly about needing your alone time or wanting to talk about something besides men.

Again: my best friends have told me I was too obsessed with a guy and they didn't want to hear about it anymore. They've told me my moodiness was beyond annoying. They've told me they thought I was taking advantage of them or being cheap. They've told me I wasn't making enough of an effort to plan outings. They've told me it really grated on them that I was always running late. It stung to hear these things, but I was an adult and could take it, and listened.
posted by Pearl928 at 10:09 AM on August 17, 2016 [16 favorites]

You allowed yourself to fall in with some weirdos because you were desperate for friendship and unluckily landed on a few people who have clearly been ditched by all the sane people in their lives. You need to manage your way out of these friendships.

#1 and #2 may be relatively easy. Just ghost. Don't return phone calls and outright refuse to engage in activities that you don't want to engage in. "Want to go to this movie meetup with famous guy?" No, and I've got to go, bye. *click*

Your #3 is going to be trickier because it's a work setting. You may need to go "mean" on her. If she sticks her nose in a conversation, go silent and give her a hard stare. Say, "this is not a public conversation." Don't bring her in to the circle. If you want to maintain a friendship, you might say, "I'm way more introverted than you may think. I just don't want to hang out everyday - can we just do a weekly lunch date every Tuesday and do different things other days?"

Then take a break from friend finding. Focus on you. One kind of sad thing about adult friendships is that they tend to be more casual. I have a huge collection of casual friends in my life - I am lucky and I adore them. But it took years before a few emerged as deeper friendships. And I have to work to maintain them. Just know that you have to kind of slow your roll as an adult but don't give up on socializing. And don't let emotional vampires get their claws into you! It's a hard lesson.
posted by amanda at 10:09 AM on August 17, 2016 [7 favorites]

One thing about having friends is that you need to be honest with them.

It is perfectly OK to say things like:

"It really bothers me when you talk at the movies,"


"Could we not talk about Misha Collins for a second?"


"I need some space."

If your friends can't deal with this stuff, they're not good friends.

Now, maybe some of these issues are bigger than asking for what you need. In that case, yeah, it's perfectly OK to let someone slide out of your social circle because they turn out to be batshit insane. I would probably be doing this with the celebrity stalking one, because that's not OK and it's beyond just asking her not to talk about it or involve you. There are other friends to be made. You don't have to stay friends with someone who is contemplating criminal behavior.

Nthing showbiz_liz's advice that you are supposed to actually like your friends. You don't have to passively accept any old person just because they're willing to hang out with you.
posted by Sara C. at 10:10 AM on August 17, 2016 [5 favorites]

These are all otherwise nice people!

Very few people are 100% evil or intolerable. Serial killers are nice to somebody. Rapists and child molesters are often pillars of their community. You're not obligated to be/stay friends with someone just because they aren't actively participating in genocide in your presence, you know? You can have higher standards than that.

If you have the time and resources, this is the sort of thing that therapy is really great for. It feels like you are maybe a little rusty with introspection/interpersonal skills, along with boundaries and knowing when and how to remove yourself from a bad situation. I think it would be really helpful to work with a professional to improve your people-radar.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:10 AM on August 17, 2016 [19 favorites]

It seems like part of what you like about these women is that they were initially friendly to you at a time when you needed friends. Learning to tell the difference between healthy friendliness and people who have issues is something that gets easier with practice. I would encourage you to set whatever boundaries you need to set with these women, and keep looking for friends with whom you are more deeply compatible.
posted by mai at 10:11 AM on August 17, 2016 [15 favorites]

Just ask yourself about each person, "Do I enjoy her company?" If the answer is no, end it! If the answer is "yes, but..." then set some boundaries. (Without lying... #3 could be telling another friend right now about this crazy friend who is so desperate for attention that she's lying about her sex life.) What's "normal" is not important; what you want from your relationships is important.
posted by metasarah at 10:23 AM on August 17, 2016 [4 favorites]

When they invite you out is your response "Fuck yeah!"? If not move on.
posted by Cosine at 10:47 AM on August 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

I think it sounds like you are accepting friends who come along rather than seeking out people you actually like. Everyone has friends like these three women, but they are not usually best friends because as you say they have some quirks that make them difficult to tolerate.

Think of three women who you admire, who seem like your type of person, then invite that person to do something with you. Or, if that person talks about doing something fun (concert) say "Mind if I tag along?" Almost all of my good friends are people that I reached out to and actively built a friendship with, instead of just letting the friendship happen to me.
posted by tk at 10:48 AM on August 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: To answer some inquiries I will mention that #1 I started sort of ghosting her back in June by making it seem like I was simply too busy to ever meet up. I didn't respond to 90% of her texts since then. Though she did have a birthday party recently and I promised I would show up for a few minutes, which I did do though I didn't want to. I will say that she has LOTS of friends. I wouldn't be able to fill a party the way she could. So I don't really understand why she's so insistent on hanging out with me specifically. The fact that she has so many friends made me wonder if I was just being ungrateful to know her... but the truth is I do find her very draining.

#2 I haven't responded to at all since last week of May even though she has kept trying to contact me. But I may have to deal with her again because she's a student in a class that I wanted to restart taking. To get away from her I told her that I would be spending the summer upstate where phone connection was shotty. Truth is I've been around the whole time. Just yesterday I received an email from her saying she can't wait for me to get back from 'upstate.' I didn't respond.

#3 She's in her 40's unlike the other 2 who are in their 30's. We only started hanging out this month and it will be a bit easier to ghost her now that we're not required to work together on our project anymore. Which makes me think maybe we can make it work now that she's not going to have a chance to be around me so often. But I hate the fact that I felt I had to lie to her about not going home that night just to get to go to my place without her. This means she asks me about my "boy-toy" sometimes and then it's like- more lies just to cover that lie. I know it was stupid of me to tell her that, but I was on the spot and trying to come up with something quickly and that was what I came up with for some reason.

I should mention that there was a time in my life where I would just tell people what I felt and be honest... that resulted in complete alienation. So I thought I shouldn't do that anymore. And as I looked around me most people aren't completely honest with others anyway. They just do the fade-out or ghost. And yes I grew up not having a lot of social contact due to illness and strict family expectations so I know I could probably learn things about social-ness. In the past I've been told I'm too independent and too mysterious. I do like my privacy at times. So I thought- hey maybe I come off like someone who doesn't want to engage with people? So I switched gears and really put myself out there and now instead of no friends I'm getting really clingy and obsessive types. It all seems like a very complicated science that I should've mastered in childhood, but now don't have enough time to master (now that I'm in my 30's)
posted by manderin at 11:19 AM on August 17, 2016

It all seems like a very complicated science that I should've mastered in childhood, but now don't have enough time to master (now that I'm in my 30's)

This is totally a thing that therapy can help with, but especially group therapy. It helped me!
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:22 AM on August 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

I will suggest you not look for "friends." Instead, look for opportunities to do things you are into that could include other people. In other words, pursue hobbies in a social way. If friendships blossom out of genuine mutual interest, awesome! But people looking for "friends" with no basis for the connection beyond that tend to be inherently desperate people with empty lives. Even if they are not, it seems to foster weirdness.

I have been on both sides of that equation, including isolation due to illness. Relationships go better when the relationship is ABOUT something -- we met in college and have that in common, we are both gamers, we are both movie aficionados, we both volunteer at this place, etc. Just hanging with someone to hang with someone tends to become this space where you need to know about and approve of ALL of me, even the weird ass shit that I wouldn't dream of telling most people.

I just like people and will just hang with people because I am social, and that often goes weird places and sometimes has me wondering why these people are burdening me with this information and now do I need to wonder if I should call the cops in order to not be charged as an accessory should they ultimately get arrested? So, as I have gotten older, I have gotten pickier about relating to people based on a shared interest, mutual goal, etc. Because otherwise everyone acts like I am Jesus Christ or something and can accept and understand anything and everything and it goes weird places.

So, maybe, like me, you are just super friendly and do not need a "reason" to befriend someone and this is where it goes. The solution is to do like "normal" people and bond over mutual interests. It helps shut this stuff down. It is partly just situational, but once it gets started, it is nigh impossible to stop. I mean, it is partly situational in that it seems to bring this out in people, but it also attracts people desperate for acceptance, so it skews things for two reasons.
posted by Michele in California at 11:34 AM on August 17, 2016 [5 favorites]

I started sort of ghosting her back in June by making it seem like I was simply too busy to ever meet up.

Don't do this shit. Just say what your problem is with her/establish boundaries. If your problem is that you don't like her as a person and don't enjoy spending time with her, stop pretending you like her and just straight up decline invitations, don't say you'll come to her party, etc. Ghosting on someone because they talk in the movies or are sorta boy-crazy or whatever is middle school behavior.

Likewise, stop lying to people. Stop pretending you're out of town, lying about relationships, etc.

Either be honest with your friends because you like them but wish they would give you a second to go to the bathroom/stop talking in the movies/etc. or stop saying you'll hang out with them and properly don't be their friend anymore.

Note that even if you go about all of this in a more direct and less shitty manner, if you want to take that class that Celebrity Stalking Lawyer also takes, you are going to have to be around her and probably behave in a friendly manner. This is why it's always better to just be direct with people rather than lying about things in order to pretend that you still like them/want to be friends. A person who you dropped a friendship with will probably not like you, but at least they know where they stand and aren't going to be sidling up to you all the time.
posted by Sara C. at 11:36 AM on August 17, 2016 [15 favorites]

If your ghosting is not mutual, you're not actually communicating that you have a problem. (And also not giving them a chance to correct it.)

If I feel that my friend cannot tell me honestly when something is bothering them, I would not consider this person a friend. Yes, I want my friends to be sympathetic, but I also want them to help me grow as a person.

When I think of the good friends I've met, I've met most of them in larger groups and only hung out with them one on one after getting to know them somewhat well already. So someone wanting to get lunch with me or watch a movie with me alone, right away, would be a yellow flag that this person is needy. So I would maybe try finding people who are okay with taking longer to escalate on the friendship path.
posted by ethidda at 11:45 AM on August 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think I recognize a bit of myself in this question. I have realized that I have some pretty big weaknesses in my friendship skills (trying to work on it though!). In particular I am bad at contacting people first, planning outings, starting conversations, etc., even though I like doing stuff with friends when they get the ball rolling first. In general I just suck at initializing.

As a result of this weakness, a lot of my friendships have been with people who LOVE initializing, because these are the people who don't mind my weakness and are OK with doing all that extra work. You know who really loves initializing though? Clingy, needy people. I have had to end several long-term friendships because the clinging just got to be too much.

If this sounds at all familiar to you, I think the key to building better friendships might be to put more work into carrying your end of the relationship. That way you will attract people who you can have a more balanced friendship with. These friendships will be more work for you since doing your half of the initializing is real work (especially if it does not come naturally), but they will be better friendships in the long run.
posted by insoluble uncertainty at 12:22 PM on August 17, 2016 [12 favorites]

You suggest that you think women are more prone to drama (I know you didn't use that word, just going off of "too clingy or obsessive over matters that I didn't concern myself with.") But you must realize that inventing a fictitious lover to get out of socializing is pretty dramatic. You could have said "I'm tired and just not feeling very social tonight, sorry." Is it possible that you think of women as a bit OTT and attract other women who are a bit (or a lot) OTT because you yourself can be that way? Or that, because you think of potential female friends this way, you're inadvertently overlooking women around you who might be a little more reserved, quieter, or less obviously fun or into the same things as you at the start?

Someone above suggested that your neediness could be causing you to accept friends you don't really like all that much. It could also be the case that you've managed to outwardly compensate for your neediness/loneliness so well that you come off as super confident. That kind of confidence can attract people who lack it themselves, making them latch on to you.

It could also just be bad luck or a lack of experience with setting boundaries.

Either way, this kind of behavior is not "just to be expected" and you don't have to deal with it. Unless you like them so much otherwise that it's worth it, which doesn't seem to be the case. I think you should attempt to kindly talk to them first. Tell them you really don't want to discuss the same guy problem anymore, or that you feel uncomfortable talking during shows so let's talk after. If they then continue with the behavior, they're not respecting you and you can decide whether to move on from the friendship or, if it's even possible, just cut back on the time you spend with them.

It is actually really hard to make friends as an adult. Maybe not for everyone but there are tons of articles about this. (And AskMe questions.) You may be picking the wrong people, but sometimes, even if you do everything "right" it doesn't happen easily.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 12:36 PM on August 17, 2016 [6 favorites]

#2 sounds like she's on her way to a restraining order. That is delusional stalker behavior, and you absolutely should not enable it in any way. If you want to be her friend, the best thing you can do for her is suggest she get counseling ASAP.

But with #1 and #3, it may be that your personalities clash more than that they're nuts or bad people. Frankly I'd probably find them annoying as hell too, but #3 may just be a kind of loud, demonstrative person who is a bad fit for you. She sounds like she's in crazy friend-love, she's like an over-enthusiastic puppy who whimpers when you're away, and if you're not feeling it too I feel bad for her. (And yeah, it may be that she wants to jump your bones. I can't say.) So if you're going to friend-dump her, try to be gentle. She is obviously way more into you than you're into her, and she could get really hurt here.

#1 and #3 sound like they may be salvageable friendships, but frankly I doubt it. You're not bad for being annoyed by them. They sound annoying! But #2 needs professional help, stat.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:24 PM on August 17, 2016 [4 favorites]

All of these people are clearly intense or extreme to one extent or another. The fact that you see them as crazy and obsessed with ridiculous things means they're probably not the friends for you. Besides #2 (who sounds like she is bothering someone else), they could easily both just be people who are not your people.

I had a friend who acted like #1 for a couple of years. She had gone through a really horrible (like, Lifetime movie-worthy) breakup, and her sense of herself regarding relationships was way off. She'd get obsessed with someone she flirted with or with someone famous and agonize about them for ages. I had to set boundaries to keep our conversations from getting boring, and I pointed out gently when she was hurting herself with irrational fantasies. But it was something she had to get through.

All this to say, they might not be awful people. But if your reaction to conversation with someone is "sheesh, is this all you think about?" then this is probably not a good friend for you. Please stop lying to them and sneaking around--you can be honest (no, I'm doing some other stuff at lunch; no, I need to spend some time on my own at lunch today) without being hurtful (I really just need a break from you!). Do not think that the only way to avoid insulting people with honesty is to lie to them, or that the only way to stand up for yourself is by sneaking around. If that's true in a relationship, again, that person is not a good friend for you.
posted by gideonfrog at 2:29 PM on August 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

You're not attracting them -- you're tolerating them. You need to set some boundaries and/or stop hanging out with people who bug you. I know it's not easy, but the alternative is that you get more of the annoying behavior and you feel stuck in the relationship. I have no idea how to make it okay to be friends with 2 and 3. If you'd like to hang out with Friend 1, you're going to have to speak up, and it'll take the form of asking a favor.

You set a boundary for yourself, not for her. When you tell her about it, talk about yourself. "I don't enjoy chatting during a movie; it's hard to follow the film if I'm talking with someone." Implied: "I will go to a movie with you if we can chat before and after, but not during." She might oblige you without further explanation. You might need to say outright, "Would you be willing to not chat with me while we watch?" Notice, you're not telling her she's wrong. The worst that might happen is you'll have to say, "Let's not go to the movies together, because I need to watch without chatting.

2."You talk about this guy a lot, but I feel like our conversations about him aren't making things better for you. Could we talk about other things?" Later: "Do you mind if we change the subject?" The next time: "Sorry, I need to go."
posted by wryly at 4:37 PM on August 17, 2016 [4 favorites]

"You allowed yourself to fall in with some weirdos because you were desperate for friendship and unluckily landed on a few people who have clearly been ditched by all the sane people in their lives. You need to manage your way out of these friendships. "

Yup. These people are clingy basically because their behavior drove people away just like they're driving you away.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:40 PM on August 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

You sound like my mother. She's really, really nice and puts up with people everyone else hates because she feels bad for them.
posted by GiveUpNed at 7:39 PM on August 17, 2016 [4 favorites]

There's a lot of really good advice here about getting rid of the crazy friends/improving your relationship with said crazy friends (and yes, they do sound a little more weird than is normal.) I think that's been sufficiently covered, but I do have a few thoughts on how you could go about making better friends in the future.

The best way to make friends is to show a personal interest in others. Yes, you have been through some really hard times, and yes, you need friends very badly, and that's all completely valid. But if you are giving off any "needy" vibes, people will tend to be pushed away by that. Maybe try just being interested in other people for their own sake. For instance, at work, can you ask people how their week has been, and really listen to the answer? Try to pick up little details about them, like the kid who's in little league or the dog who's sick. Then the next day, you can ask them how the game went, or how the dog is. Try to do this with no strings attached - don't try so hard to make friends, just try to put a smile on someone's face or make someone else feel heard or validated. You'd be surprised how many people around you are also lonely. You might find that friendships develop without you trying.
posted by quiet_musings at 11:32 PM on August 17, 2016

Dude, you have to be honest with people and set boundaries. When you don't, you're encouraging the behavior that drives you nuts. You say you stopped being honest in the past because it resulted in you're not being honest now so that people who you don't want to be around won't alienate you? Just be honest. If these women then alienate you, so what, you don't seem to like them or want to be around them anyway. And if they don't alienate you but instead listen to what you say and take it on board, you might actually start to see aspects of them that you like. Being honest with friends, when what you want is genuine friendships, not superficial ones, is never the wrong thing to do.

Also, if these women suck as much as they sound like they do then you sound like you'll be happier without them. If they are multifaceted as people often are, you might find yourself liking them better if they know you better. When you tolerate the clinginess and the boytalk and all that, then they're going to think that's what you're interested in, or like. If there's more to them you won't necessarily see it if you're not like "let us never speak of men again, let me tell you about blahblahblah interesting thing" or "well it is time for me to go home now because I am tired I will see you later". Normal people will understand this stuff without getting mad.
posted by Polychrome at 4:58 AM on August 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

There's a balance between respecting other people's privacy, and offering enough information to get good advice. I would ask you to weigh this. If you're "on the beam" here, great. If not, it is something to work on.
posted by Baeria at 8:06 AM on August 19, 2016

Response by poster: "Ghosting on someone because they talk in the movies or are sorta boy-crazy or whatever is middle school behavior."

This is funny to me because 99% of metafilter always suggests ghosting as a method to get rid of unwanted people so most adults are I guess still in middle school. As already stated, she already knows my feelings on these matters to a degree and it made little difference I used to be in the 1% that directly said things honestly to people. What resulted was always big blowouts of drama, circles of friends wondering why I'm being "cold" or even vengeful behavior as the person getting the direct response rarely appreciates it. So I started doing what most people do and ghosted her instead. It's resulted in no drama at all unlike my previous more direct methods. Ghosting her isnt' the problem as it has succeeded in getting her out of my life virtually drama-free. She still texts me but those are ignored so not an issue. My question was more along how to not attract such people in the first place or whether this just stuff that everyone deals with. I'm glad to hear that it's not me that's being intolerant in these cases because after a life-time of being told I was too impatient with people and didn't let people in, I really wasn't sure if it was just my own bias. Perhaps I went from one extreme to the other. From shutting people out by being too direct and establishing too many bounderies, to trying to fix that issue by going to the opposite extreme and letting in all the crazies? In the beginning I always believe these are awesome, normal people. It's only after several weeks that the other weird side of them starts to show itself to me. #3's clingyness started after 5 weeks of almost daily work interraction. Before that everything seemed normal and fine to me. Perhaps some sort of social therapy as suggested would be helpful in helping me develop my social radar more keenly so that I can see what kind of behavior they will have several weeks ahead of time. Perhaps there are little signs in the beginning that I'm not quite picking up on.
posted by manderin at 7:17 AM on August 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

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