How to tell a friend he is going a tad too far...

  • paduk

    Posts: 58

    Sep 05, 2011 8:59 PM GMT
    I have known this guy for 5 years almost and recently we have become very close, spending a lot of time together.
    I have now started to notice some aspects of his personality that I don't particularly like such as bitching about people very frequently (even close friends), snide remarks, dwell on the negative and dig out in people personality to find faults.
    As I mentioned we are spending a lot of time together, now it is as if he is using me as his anger punchball, sometime I have the feeling that is deliberately starting an argument for the sake of it and to vent his anger.
    He is a verbal bully and he likes it.
    Generally I tend not to take attacks personally but he knows very private aspects of my life and deliberately use them against me, twice in front of other people, and I am not dealing very well with this.
    I have told him once the way I feel but he has told that I am being too sensitive and said the problem is mine.
    Now I have noticed that he does this also with other friends...once he told me that somebody complained about the way he was treating her and, his words, he said to me " I just told her she was projecting even though it was not true, but, you know, it is a good technique to switch the problem on the other part". It feels he just want to win arguments without attempting to solve the issue.
    He is extremely argumentative and I really don't know how to explain to him that on certain occasions he is just being a dick.
    I know he is a cool guy and just very wounded but I am his friend not his therapist and I think there is a limit to the amount of shit you can/must put up with in a friendship.
    How could I tell him firmly that I can't tolerate this behaviuor anymore? I don't want to lose is friendship but sometime it feels too much...




  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 05, 2011 9:16 PM GMT
    Tell him.

    I don´t get it. Just be FIRM. Do not allow him options. If he says it´s your issue, that you are over sensitive etc shut him down. People never do this to me - they learn when to hold their crap. You need to set your intention and stick to it. Don´t hesitate, don´t allow doubt. He WILL NOT behave this way to you any more. If your intention is strong enough he will conform to it.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Sep 05, 2011 9:28 PM GMT
    "As I mentioned we are spending a lot of time together, now it is as if he is using me as his anger punchball, sometime I have the feeling that is deliberately starting an argument for the sake of it and to vent his anger.
    He is a verbal bully and he likes it."
    Tell him this. Listen to Lostboy.
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    Sep 05, 2011 9:31 PM GMT
    Lostboy for the win on this thread.

    You need to set your boundaries. Tell him. And, enforce your boundaries by removing yourself from the conversation and/or his presence.

    This is one of those, "My friend, my brother, I love you very much, and what I have to say is something which you may not want to hear, but you need to hear." type conversations.
  • paduk

    Posts: 58

    Sep 05, 2011 9:38 PM GMT
    Thanks.
    I think I need to learn something about being assertive.
    The first time I tried to talk to him I was not very convinced about what I was saying but the more I spend time with him the more my impressions are reinforced.
    Damn self doubt ...

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    Sep 05, 2011 11:47 PM GMT
    I had a friend like this.. I told him too, he wouldnt listen... his verbal abuse got worse, to the point where it was seriuosly abusive, so I broke off contact.....Somebody who cannot respect your feelings is not your friend... Dont let them use your sensitivity as an excuse.. they're disrespecting YOU
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 05, 2011 11:51 PM GMT
    Or give him this rule: you can say something nasty about someone else (or me) as long as it's followed up by something equally hurtful about yourself. Or every one jab must be followed by two praises.
  • sonnet129

    Posts: 116

    Sep 06, 2011 12:01 AM GMT
    From your pic I was going to tag this up to youthful inexperience, but after finishing reading I have to confess that I have a straight friend that is very much like this.
    We have a very strange relationship. Suffice it to say we made an intense intellectual and sexual connection the first day we met (at a gay pride day, no less!). We are very much bonded, but he sends me abusive and even homophobic texts constantly. I've broken off contact with him a few times, but he keeps coming back. He's very charming and attractive, this is one reason I get pulled in, but he's also intelligent and well-connected. Anyway, we once made a truce on abusive language. I agreed not to tease him about his sexuality and he agreed not to use homophobic language towards me. However , he hasn't been keeping up with his side of the agreement.
    One good thing is that we no longer live in the same city. Actually, his presence there was one reason among many I moved away.
    Don't know if this helped, but I wanted to get across that I knew where you're coming from.
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    Sep 06, 2011 12:15 AM GMT
    I could not be friends with someone like this. Someone who is admittedly a manipulator, an agitator, and likes to pick fights? Seriously? Why?

    Don't think for a minute that you're exempt from his bitching. I'm sure when he's with other friends you're the topic of his tirades. This guy needs to get over himself and grow up. I wouldn't put up with shit like this for another minute. He's what I'd call someone with "bad character" and I don't think that's fixable.
  • paduk

    Posts: 58

    Sep 06, 2011 8:00 AM GMT
    I am sure I am not exempt from his bitching, actually I am pretty sure, at least with a couple of other friends, he did bitch about me.
    The fact is that I have found myself often enough in this pattern to realize that I have to change.
    With strangers and with my ex I have never ever had any problems in speaking up my mind more or less firmly but with (some) friends this appears to be very hard and I can't understand why.
    I just can't deal with this type of person yet it has been/is so present in my life.

    Why do I want to be friend with this type of people?
    I honestly don't know, I have thought about it a lot recently.
    It could be I am a masochist, I am afraid to be alone, it is an ego trip to show that I am strong and can face any bullying behaviour or I am passive about life events.
    Don't really know.
    Sorry guys this is becoming a bit of a over self indulgent topic.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 06, 2011 8:26 AM GMT
    Simple. Call that dude out on his nonsense and beat him at his own game. Problem solved. If he can dish it out then surely he must be able to take it back in or at least you'll find out when you give him back a dose of his own medicine. Once he experiences it and realizes how he acts he might change his attitude.

    If not then that's your cue to end the friendship.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 06, 2011 8:48 AM GMT
    Global_Citizen saidI could not be friends with someone like this. Someone who is admittedly a manipulator, an agitator, and likes to pick fights? Seriously? Why?


    Simple, one-word answer: Codependency.
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    Sep 06, 2011 9:04 AM GMT
    I am no psychologist, but your friend sounds extremely manipulative and , dare I say, somewhat psychopathic. Instead of trying to accommodate his destructive personality, concentrate on putting some distance between the two of you. Then increase it.
  • paduk

    Posts: 58

    Sep 06, 2011 11:34 AM GMT
    MuslNorganLikr said
    Global_Citizen saidI could not be friends with someone like this. Someone who is admittedly a manipulator, an agitator, and likes to pick fights? Seriously? Why?


    Simple, one-word answer: Codependency.


    I am afraid you are right.

    I am reading something right now about it, it is a good point.
    I can recognize some aspects of my personality and I think I have taken it to an extreme with some of my friends.
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    Sep 06, 2011 11:52 AM GMT
    I have a suggestion. Google "Antisocial Personality Disorder" and read about it.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Sep 06, 2011 12:06 PM GMT
    Why do you want to be a friend to this kind of jerk... let me ask you this... how is he a friend to YOU? Is he supportive, concerned, helpful? It sounds like you are a prop to his vindictive behavior.. and even worse,
    what does it say about you if you tolerate this kind of abuse?

    Now I'm not trying to be a critic of yours in any way, all I want you to do is really think about your "friendship" with this guy. Sometimes we all need to review all friendships we question. I've had some. Don't you deserve a friend who can respect, trust and support? How is he a "cool" guy in any way if he's being snide to you?

    I'd do what some above have said, I'd tell him, but use examples of how he has treated other people, don't focus on you. Express it in a way that is non confrontational, but I have to tell you, I think your friendship may be
    adversely affected or over. If he continues to treat you in a condescending
    manner, it should be.
  • paduk

    Posts: 58

    Sep 06, 2011 12:32 PM GMT
    dcm6321 saidI have a suggestion. Google "Antisocial Personality Disorder" and read about it.


    Thanks. Reading a lot of interesting things at the moment about this topic and it is a bit hard not to get lost.
  • TheAlchemixt

    Posts: 2294

    Sep 06, 2011 12:37 PM GMT
    I used to have a best friend like that , he was always very negative about other people. The best decision I made was to cut him out of my life. He is still the same way today. I ran into him the other day and he would still talk so negative about people.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 06, 2011 12:41 PM GMT
    I had a friend just like this as well, he would start arguments with people, belittle certain individuals when we were in a group, tease people etc. It's obvious that he's massively insecure and needs to feel superior in order to feel safe.

    Be firm with him, and give him an ultimatum. The thing is, the way he behaves is an ingrained habit in his personality. It will be massively hard for him to change...have you spoken to him about therapy of some sort?

    In all likelihood, he isn't going to change. This is a massive part of who he is. You don't need him to be your friend. Be strong, man. Sure, losing a friendship is a terrible thing, but you've got to look out for yourself first. And if you continue to be his friend without showing him any consequences for his behaviour, you're just enabling him and reinforcing that negative aspect of his personality.
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    Sep 06, 2011 12:46 PM GMT
    Hate to say it dude. But, he is not going to change. Time to either accept him "as is" or cut your losses and move on.
  • paduk

    Posts: 58

    Sep 06, 2011 12:50 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidWhy do you want to be a friend to this kind of jerk... let me ask you this... how is he a friend to YOU? Is he supportive, concerned, helpful? It sounds like you are a prop to his vindictive behavior.. and even worse,
    what does it say about you if you tolerate this kind of abuse?

    Now I'm not trying to be a critic of yours in any way, all I want you to do is really think about your "friendship" with this guy. Sometimes we all need to review all friendships we question. I've had some. Don't you deserve a friend who can respect, trust and support? How is he a "cool" guy in any way if he's being snide to you?

    I'd do what some above have said, I'd tell him, but use examples of how he has treated other people, don't focus on you. Express it in a way that is non confrontational, but I have to tell you, I think your friendship may be
    adversely affected or over. If he continues to treat you in a condescending
    manner, it should be.


    This is what I have been asking myself since I have written on the forum.
    I have been going through all my very close friendships and I would say a third has been of this type therefore I must break the habit.
    The fact is that before spending so much time with him I have always found a way to justify his behaviour, I have put myself in his shoes and I know he has got a tough life, but lately I have realized that, being a grown up 40 years old man, this behaviour is no longer justifiable.




  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 06, 2011 1:15 PM GMT
    He's acting like that at 40?
    Stop having anything to do with him and start working on the reasons why you'd associate with someone so nasty.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 06, 2011 1:16 PM GMT
    I used to hang around with people like that, but not anymore once i called them out on their shit. When you tell him how you feel being emotionally abused when youre around him and he attacks you, its best to cut him off permanently.
    Everyone has had a tough time; That doesnt justify their behavior, or use that as an excuse to reiterate how they THINK theyve been treated before.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 06, 2011 10:57 PM GMT
    paduk said
    I have been going through all my very close friendships and I would say a third has been of this type therefore I must break the habit.
    The fact is that before spending so much time with him I have always found a way to justify his behaviour, I have put myself in his shoes and I know he has got a tough life, but lately I have realized that, being a grown up 40 years old man, this behaviour is no longer justifiable.

    No one can get in your head and figure out why you might feel such an attachment to someone like this. But I can tell you about my own experiences with friends like this and friends of a better kind.

    I've found myself in friendships with people like this before, but as soon as I recognized it and recognized that it was a trait that wasn't going to change, I took steps to end those friendships.

    I'm very selective about my friendships. Those I count as my closest friends now are people who are mature (which you friend clearly is not, even though he's 40) and with maturity comes someone who is considerate, supportive, respectful, and kind. Why bother having friends who are otherwise?

    Why bother having "friends" that cause you so much drama and consternation? Trust me, you don't need a friend like that. You're better off without such a "friend". I don't say that lightly or with a sense of detachment. I say that as someone who's made the painful decision to end a friendship with such a person (on more than one occasion), and realized after it was done that it was definitely the right thing to do.
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    Sep 06, 2011 11:11 PM GMT
    paduk said
    HndsmKansan saidWhy do you want to be a friend to this kind of jerk... let me ask you this... how is he a friend to YOU? Is he supportive, concerned, helpful? It sounds like you are a prop to his vindictive behavior.. and even worse,
    what does it say about you if you tolerate this kind of abuse?

    Now I'm not trying to be a critic of yours in any way, all I want you to do is really think about your "friendship" with this guy. Sometimes we all need to review all friendships we question. I've had some. Don't you deserve a friend who can respect, trust and support? How is he a "cool" guy in any way if he's being snide to you?

    I'd do what some above have said, I'd tell him, but use examples of how he has treated other people, don't focus on you. Express it in a way that is non confrontational, but I have to tell you, I think your friendship may be
    adversely affected or over. If he continues to treat you in a condescending
    manner, it should be.


    This is what I have been asking myself since I have written on the forum.
    I have been going through all my very close friendships and I would say a third has been of this type therefore I must break the habit.
    The fact is that before spending so much time with him I have always found a way to justify his behaviour, I have put myself in his shoes and I know he has got a tough life, but lately I have realized that, being a grown up 40 years old man, this behaviour is no longer justifiable.

    Once you start standing up for your own rights, i.e. the right not to be verbally abused, you will feel much better about yourself.