Do you have issues with your no-longer-best girlfriend? Is your coworker driving you crazy? Megan Carpentier is here to give you the life advice that you don’t want to hear, told in the way you absolutely need to hear it.
There’s been some drama in my group of friends, and I’m not sure what I should do. I have a couple of close friends that I’ve known for ages, we all moved to [redacted] after graduation to take jobs in the same industry, which is a pretty small circle where we live, so most of the people around our age all socialize together after work. But most of them are a couple years older than the three of us and they’re pretty cliquey, so it can be hard to really feel like a part of the group or get invited to the non-networking social events, but for the last few months, they’ve been inviting me. I thought it was because they liked me and they’d like my friends, too, so I always invited them along and it seemed to go okay. But last time, my friend “Sue” was having a good-natured disagreement about some stupid television show with one of the dudes in the group, and he got all huffy that someone her age and in her lower-level job would dare disagree with him (like, wtf, right?), and this other girl there whose party it was was all like, who are you to dare to disagree with him, you’re just here because your friend is important. And then I guess I realized that even their non-networky parties are all about work and they don’t really like me and just had me around because of who I worked for and all that jazz. And my close friend was really hurt and doesn’t want me to hang out with them anymore, but I’m not sure I can do that without coming across like a total bitch. How do I deal with this?
Well, I think it’s pretty clear who your actual friends are, and they aren’t the cliquey ones who are cozying up to you for your job. Plus, honestly, the type of dickbags who would get all pretentious and shit over someone’s job or age because of a disagreement about Glee don’t actually sound like a ton of fun to hang out with even when they aren’t trying to win arguments by virtue of who cuts their paychecks. Hell, if they think you’re a total bitch, that could counterintuitively pay dividends, as being an asshole seems to be the social currency in that group.
That said, do they really have any power over your actual career path? If so, it might be worth sucking up a networking-only event every couple of months (as long as you give the stinkeye to the people who fucked with your friend), just to put on a nice face. In the mean time, you just tell them how busy you are and get busy finding a wider circle of friends where you guys live, just outside the business you work in.
Recently, two friends of mine broke up — although, if I’m honest about it, the guy was my friend (and part of my group of friends) and the girl was just our friend because she was his girlfriend. It wasn’t a terrible break-up, though the guy was really hurt because they’d been together for a while, but it seemed like a straight situation in which she’d go back to whatever her pre-existing group of friends was and he’d keep us in the break-up. But she totally keeps coming around to, like, parties and stuff and acting like we’re her friends still. How do we make her go away?
Well, you could be a huge ass, which would probably work eventually. But if it wasn’t a bad break-up and they’re on good terms — or even if they’re not totally chill yet — why are you so keen to stop being friends with her? She might, goodness knows, have the silly idea that you were her friend when you acted like her friend because of who she is as an individual, and not just being friendly because you’re friends with her boyfriend. She might be one of those people who gets really deep into a relationship and doesn’t have a lot of friends anymore outside of the social circle she hung out with as part of a couple. She might be totally cool, or actually worth being friends with — or she might be intensely lonely and sad about the fact that the end of her romantic relationship means the additional loss of so many people she thought she was friends with.
So you could actually talk to her like she’s an individual person you might actually like and see if she’s worth being friends with on her own merits (something you apparently didn’t think of doing before), or you could tell her that her ex-boyfriend got you in the break-up (a shit move) or you could just ignore her and make passive-aggressive comments about her and generally be an ass until you hurt her feelings enough that she doesn’t come around anymore.
I mean, I know you’re pretty well planning on doing the latter, but hopefully you’ll now feel slightly guiltier about it.
If you have a problem with a friend, relative, coworker, or other person in your life, email Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a problem with your boyfriend, you should probably just try talking to him.