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Women exclude 'trauma dumping' woman from professional group, she finds out, emails them.

Women exclude 'trauma dumping' woman from professional group, she finds out, emails them.

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Maintaining a healthy group dynamic can be very tricky, a lot of personalities merging in one space means there are plenty of opportunities for petty grievances and irreconcilable differences.

Ideally, a group is able to make space for everyone's quirks and differences. But in reality, there are times when one person is souring the batch so badly a united front forms against them.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for excluding another woman from a group meet-up.

She wrote:

WIBTA if I excluded another woman from our informal women's group?

I need some perspective on this. I'm 30s (F) along with a group of 6 women started meeting about 2 times a month to talk about our careers, politics, and feminism. While we began to discuss our careers, we've also become friends who debate whether or not we could 'have it all' and how to balance ambition and family.

A while back, our friend brought an acquaintance 'Mandy' to join and if I'm honest - I became very annoyed by her. Mandy works at a dysfunctional job, supports her deadbeat boyfriend who treats her like a piggy bank, and seems to always be taken advantage of by her family, coworkers, and friends.

Despite our constant encouragement, coaching, and job recommendations Mandy can't seem to set boundaries and advocate for herself or take our suggestion of therapy seriously. When one of us moderates the discussion to move on, Mandy will get teary-eyed, baby voiced, and apologize for 'being a burden.'

It became a herculean effort for me to not snap at her when she did that. A month ago, I sent out a group e-mail saying I can't make the group anymore due to time constraints and that I wish everyone the best. I am the first woman to decide to leave the group.

One friend 'Kate' reached out and in private I told her that it got to a point where I dread going and having to hear Mandy talk about how depressed she is and how nothing in her life is going well. Kate listened to me and confided that she also felt like she lacked compassion and was a 'bad feminist' for not being able to hold space for Mandy.

We made plans to hang out and when we did Kate showed up with everyone from the women's group except for Mandy. We've been meeting again, and to my understanding everyone just white-lied about obligations to Mandy. Yesterday, I received a group e-mail from 'Mandy' talking about how upset she was that the group disbanded and how she felt like she lost her only support system.

Am I the a**hole for excluding Mandy from our informal women's group?

Edit: Not sure where the idea that we're an emotional support group stems from, but we're not a women's emotional support group. Our meetings are generally geared around navigating our professional careers and financial investments as women. None of us are licensed therapists.

A link to intersectional feminist literature and a guide on mega backdoor ROTH IRA for those of you interested.

The internet shared all of their most pressing thoughts.

shecalledpestcontrol wrote:

Honestly I’d say NTA. Mandy clearly couldn’t handle the nature of the group. She was treating it as a therapy session by the sounds of things, and the fact that it was her “only suppprt system” shows she clearly got comfortable in complaining to you all without having to do any self reflection. Mandy was unable to mold to the group and so you took the initiative to move away and everyone followed. You’re right.

TrueJack*ssWhisperer wrote:

NTA.

'A group of 6 women started meeting about two times a month to talk about our careers, politics, and feminism.'

This isn't a therapy session for Mandy. You're within your rights to exclude her and go back to the original purpose of the group

ReleaseRecent1705 wrote:

NTA. I'm so unbelievably confused by all the people claiming op is a bad feminist or abandoned the support group. There is no support group. There is no feminist movement on their end. It's a group of like-minded individuals getting together regularly to discuss their lives and careers. And sometimes, shock, the fact that they're women and their lives as women.

Mandy refuses to be helped or help herself. She's emotionally draining. Even her own friend, the one that invited her, doesn't want her there anymore. You can't keep helping someone that's drowning when they're refusing to stand up. Yeah, it sucks you couldn't tell her she's exhausting to her face but...idk I've done the exact same thing. Reddit saw the word feminism and went into a roid rage.

erie85 wrote:

NTA. I identify more with Mandy than with OP. Realizing that I was just a walking ball of negativity to the point that my relationships were being affected and people didn't like hanging out with me anymore was a wake up call I hope Mandy takes. It's a burden to be the recipient of negativity and it is only healthy to disassociate from a situation you can't help and is weighing you down.

Clear_Imagination657 wrote:

NTA. Because it seems that she needs a different type of group...you all are there to equally share and I myself wouldn't like being part of a group that seems to be for one person to come and dump all their issues all the time and tries to make everyone feel guilty for moving the conversation away from the one person's constant complaining...she needs more of like an emotional support group...

Clearly, OP and the group aren't TAs, but it does sound like Mandy needs to find some serious support.

Sources: Reddit
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