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Potential toxic friend?


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Old 9th April 2019, 8:10 AM   #1
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Potential toxic friend?

Hello,

I just wanted to gain a second opinion on a friend/acquaintance. I am at graduate school doing a postgraduate masters degree. I befriended a classmate who is about 12 years older than me and from Spain. We got along fine and it was nice to have a friend of a different culture who was older than me and had experienced life that bit more than me.

We often meet for coffee to destress from the intense degree we are doing. She suffers from low self esteem and admits she doesn’t feel good enough. However after meeting for coffee last week, she texts me to say I look
tired and that my body language shows it. I then joked saying I do feel a bit pale with the lack of sun, she replied “yes, you do look pale and should change your foundation as your skin isn’t glowing, I hope I haven’t offended you”

I was slightly taken by surprise, does this suggest genuine concern or plain rudeness and criticism?

My partner seems to think she is jealous of me, I often get higher grades than her and I slightly popular among classmates, I recently got asked to join a group of students who are very bright, to do a group project. She knew about this, I also deal with issues much more calmly where she admits she “would blow things by being aggressive”

I am wondering wether to back off from this person, in my friendships we do not attempt to tear each other down. Any advice/second opinions would be greatly welcomed.

Thank you
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Old 9th April 2019, 8:25 AM   #2
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Back off. She's jealous. How rude of her to say something like that to you when she barely knows you. Good thing it wasn't me I would pick her apart and insult her about everything I found unattractive about her. You did the right thing by ignoring it; but she is not your friend.
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Old 9th April 2019, 9:53 AM   #3
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I think that it's entirely possible that it came from a place of genuine interest/concern...but, only she knows for sure.
I would consider asking her, in person, why she did not tell you face-to-face. You might gain more insight from just watching how she responds/reacts.

If the relationship has been otherwise mutually supportive and rewarding, I wouldn't just toss it all out on account of either just a 'misread' from your side, or one mistake, from hers.
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Old 9th April 2019, 10:47 AM   #4
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It is very weird to message someone just to tell them that they don't look good and that they should change their makeup. I can see why you felt offended but she may not have intended it that way. Maybe since she is older she felt like she was giving you some motherly or big sisterly advice. If this is the first time she has made this kind of comment perhaps give her a pass but if she keeps it up then you will have to end the friendship as that is not a friend.
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Old 9th April 2019, 10:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by anika99 View Post
It is very weird to message someone just to tell them that they don't look good and that they should change their makeup.
I have a friend like this. She would make very critical and borderline offensive comments and likes to give uninvited “advice” to others. I think it’s partly due to her lack of filters and partly due to her getting wrapped in her narrow world. She has also suffered from very low self esteem. We as her friends have tried very hard to make her see how inappropriate such behaviors are. She has improved a bit over time; but I’m afraid this is what she is at the core.

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Old 9th April 2019, 12:47 PM   #6
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[OP],
I think you kinda distance yourself. Going by what your thread, with the low self esteem and not feeling good enough. Then seeing that you seem to be making progress, there might be some kind of jealousy and need to "knock you down a peg" or "put you in your place". Tread carefully because this is typically the beginning of something very toxic. Remember to keep being you and put very little stock into what she says about you.

Last edited by LoveShack.org Moderator; 9th April 2019 at 3:58 PM..
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Old 9th April 2019, 1:06 PM   #7
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"toxic"? the first sign of abuse is confusion, which may sound strange, but is not when you consider the mixed signals of friendship and a verbal attack that form your experience


So if you feel confused, and you seem to be, well, you have a choice, be less available or stay hurt


Less available ("I just need time to myself") will be harder for her to check you on, while any objection you honestly give will just fuel her apparent narcissism.


Narcissism? She already warned you of her temper, and notably, has you miserably entrapped.
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Old 9th April 2019, 1:07 PM   #8
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To add, if she’s anything like my friend, I don’t think she’s necessarily jealous of you. If you ask/confront her, she will most likely tell you she pointed this out just for you to improve. Individuals like her have this craving to feel they’re doing something great for others, due to their very low self esteem.
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Old 9th April 2019, 1:11 PM   #9
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Thank you everyone, very insightful and helpful advice
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Old 9th April 2019, 2:28 PM   #10
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She herself has told you she's aggressive. In this case, I think it's bluntness or lack of tact. I doubt she means she doesn't like you by it or anything truly nasty. She just hasn't very honed social skills.
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Old 9th April 2019, 11:34 PM   #11
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You didn't ask for an opinion or advice on your appearance, therefore she shouldn't be giving one. It's one thing to say "You look tired", it's another to say something derogatory about your makeup, or the way you're dressed, or the way you have your hair. Is she immaculately groomed, made up to perfection, looking like a supermodel? No? Then she should STFU.
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Old 10th April 2019, 9:03 AM   #12
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She herself has told you she's aggressive. In this case, I think it's bluntness or lack of tact. I doubt she means she doesn't like you by it or anything truly nasty. She just hasn't very honed social skills.
I agree. The friend in this situation just sounds a bit blunt and direct to the point of overstepping the mark. There's not enough information to judge her as toxic or unhealthy in my opinion. to her I'd react by bluntly and directly asserting my boundaries. Like "if I want advice on what make up to wear, I'll ask you for it." If she reacts in fairly normal hands up, "okay, okay..." way and any conflict gets ironed out fairly easily then she's probably just a direct person who likes to calls a spade a spade. If she gets really angry and upset about having her own direct to the point of rude attitude put back to her then that might be more of a warning sign of something unhealthy enough to start distancing yourself from her.
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Old 10th April 2019, 5:47 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by MsJayne View Post
You didn't ask for an opinion or advice
The problem or challenge here is that sometimes we do not know that we actually can BENEFIT from receiving an opinion or some advice on <this or that>.

One of my former teachers was very fond of telling me, "You do not know what you do not know" -- from which I learned that I do need to be more open to receiving unsolicited feedback -
- even if it sometimes also feels like non-constructive criticism. FIRST I need to really think about or meditate upon it, and THEN decide how I want to respond or react, and think and feel about it.
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Old 10th April 2019, 8:58 PM   #14
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The problem or challenge here is that sometimes we do not know that we actually can BENEFIT from receiving an opinion or some advice on <this or that>.
Yes, true, but I think when it comes to some things, like someones appearance, there's unspoken rules. Eg: I have a girlfriend who had her hair cut a few moths ago, and it looked truly awful, added ten years to her, etc. Even though she asked me what I thought I refrained from saying, "That haircut accentuates your double chin and the colour makes you look washed out" , instead I said , "I think your old style suited you much better, but it's very neat."
I don't think it's ever OK to just out of the blue criticise someone else's appearance when you're a casual acquaintance.
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Old 10th April 2019, 9:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by MsJayne View Post
...when you're a casual acquaintance.
I agree. It didn't sound to me as though OP's was just a casual acquaintanceship, though.
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