Confronting a friend when they make you uncomfortable can feel super awkward. No one likes to be called out for unsavory behavior, and calling it out puts you in an intense position.
In a healthy friendship, these moments of transparency and conflict can ultimately lead to closer communication and more understanding. But in a friendship fraught with tension or insecurity, it can explode.
AITA for telling my friend to stop using my life to get petty clout and to live her fantasy somewhere else?
I (17f) have eight older brothers. Without getting into too much detail, there's a few adoptions and half-siblings in the mix, but I'm close to all of them and while my life can be crazy sometimes, I wouldn't trade them for the world. It's also relevant that I don't have either of my parents in my life and haven't since I was 11. The issue involves my close friend, (17f) who I've known since we were 4.
For about a year now, she's been consistently posting on social media about her 'best friends suuuuuuper hot older brothers' and 'the terrible tale of how she ended up in a love triangle with her best friend's brothers' and it's seriously annoying. She's never really had anything to do with my brothers, they know her as 'my little sister's friend' and nothing more so I really don't get where this is all coming from.
Over the last few weeks, however, it's gotten so much worse. She'll actively tell stories to people at our school about the 'steamy romance that is her life' and it's bringing me a lot of unwanted attention. I've tried to talk to her about it but she always says that she'd never do anything to hurt me and she's just 'living her life' which doesn't even make sense?
I've mentioned it so many times that I've started to avoid hanging out with her because I know my brothers will come into it and I'll have to ask her to knock it off again. Everything came to a head yesterday. We went out with some friends and 4 of my brothers dropped us both off.
When we got inside half of the girls in the group immediately started talking to my best friend about the 'good-looking guys in the car' and whether those were the hot men she was talking about. I snapped and yelled 'Those are my brothers and I swear to God (friends name) if you don't stop using my life to get petty clout I'm cutting you off. Quit living your fantasy through me, do it somewhere else.'
I then left, which I feel like was really harsh and probably could've waited until we were in private. She called me later to tell me she wanted space from our friendship because I was become jealous, needy, and controlling ever since she got close with my brothers, which isn't even remotely true.
All of my brothers so far have told me to just stop being friends with her, but she's been really important in my life for a long time and I don't want to ruin what we have, but at the same time, I don't want to keep letting her use my life for her fantasy. AITA?
NTA - duckling, this girl is NOT your friend. Listen to your brothers, they sound like they’ve got your back and can see the situation with better perspective.
Real friends listen when you ask them not to make you uncomfortable. Real friends generally don’t drool openly about your direct family members. And real friends definitely don’t sulk and name call when they get called out on their nonsense.
Girl. She's fetishising your brothers. F**king run. NTA.
NTA. But your friend really needs addressing, this sounds like the start of something potentially dangerously delusional and could easily escalate to stalker/creeper/accusation territory.
What did I just read? She has some weird wattpad dream and fetishizing your brothers. It's gross and beyond inappropriate. Cut her off - I know this hurts you, but you'll be okay. You'll find other friends who won't use you like this. NTA.
Cut her off and publicly call her out for lying. This is not some harmless fantasy. She is walking around, publicly claiming that one or few of your brothers, who are adults, are interested in an underaged girl. She might not think about how it can damage their reputation, but for other adults it would be a worrying sign. NTA.
Hi everyone, I have a small update for those who'd like to hear it, and I'd also like to say thank you to all the people who gave advice and opinions. So the first thing I did was have a proper talk with my brothers about everything that's been going on.
I showed them the post and all the comments I received, and they took a minute to read them before speaking. One of my brothers 'Sam', assured me they had never been flirty, romantically interested or sexual with my friend at any point in time. There was never a time when any of them were alone with her for more than a minute.
Not gonna lie, that made everything so much easier, I was terrified one of them was going to admit to having done something with her. We also talked about her recent behaviors, I told them about what she'd been saying and then Sam spoke up.
He said that in the past, they had heard my friend intentionally telling people strange things about me in order to make it seem like I wasn't a person who you'd want to be friends with. (They'd overheard these conversations at my house when I wasn't around or doing something and she was waiting for me.)
Things like 'She's too clingy' or 'She's controlling' to even telling people I'd slept with one of my brothers. It hurt. A lot. So you guys were right, she has been isolating me from people.
After our talk, I needed to get some air so I went for a walk. My friend ended up calling me and I answered. I know, stupid, but I was hurt and wanted to know if she really had done those things. The conversation went like this:
HER: 'Listen, (my name) we've been friends for a long time and I don't want to hurt you but this friendship has become really toxic.'
ME: Are you serious? I know what you've been saying about me. You're a liar and a creep and the only toxic thing in this friendship is you.
HER: I've literally never lied to you in my life, so I don't know what you think I've said or done but you're wrong. It's not my fault people don't want to be you're friend because you're weirdly possessive.
ME: You literally told people you were dating my brothers, that's gross and really messed up.
HER: This is what I mean, you aren't acting like yourself anymore. I feel like ever since we got older, you've started to become obsessed with attention. I don't like this version of you, it isn't my best friend.
I hung up after that and now I feel like s**t. She was my best friend, I have no idea what to do next because she hasn't stopped blowing up my phone since the call. I want to block her but I just can't do it. I feel like an absolute failure. So yeah, that's where I'm at right now. I don't have a clue what I'm going to do next, I want to tell her parents but what would I even say?
'Your daughter's fetishizing my brothers?' I have literally no evidence whatsoever and I don't know what she's told them about me. Who knows. Any advice would be appreciated, since my brain isn't working right now and all I've been doing is crying.
Friend: 'This friendship has become really toxic. I don't like you. You are the problem.'
OP: **hangs up**
Friend: **keeps calling and calling and calling and calling**
The Projection is strong in this friend.
With a friend like this you don’t need enemies. Sometimes cutting ties is best no matter how long you’ve known someone.
Oh man this one was like a punch to the gut. My dude, when I read this part: “This is what I mean, you aren’t acting like yourself anymore. I feel like ever since we got older, you’ve started to become obsessed with attention.
I don’t like this version of you, it isn’t my best friend” I got the most intense flashbacks to when I was being emotionally and psychologically abused and manipulated by someone who used to be my best friend. This sounds almost exactly like the s**t she said to me back then when I was finally done with her and cut her out of my life.
She was someone who would gaslight me every chance she got, would play the victim anytime someone called her out, she couldn’t stand to NOT be the center of attention 24/7. When I started making friends at uni, away from her influence, she ramped up the emotional abuse and guilt tripping.
And when I started seeing my partner (still going strong 7 years later) she tried everything she could to convince me to break up with them, messaging their family members to say they were abusing me, trying to convince me they were gay because their favourite colour was pink, etc. and so much more f**ked up s**. Cutting her out of my life was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
My sister at the time was also being abused by her boyfriend at the time, and this former friend of mind would drag me into the middle of things and made everything so much worse that I felt unsafe in my own home (because he lived with us). People like this do not care about you. If it wasn’t for the fact that OP and her ‘friend’ are 10 years younger, I’d believe that this was the same person as my former abuser.
OP if you’re reading this, cut this girl out for good. It’s going to be hard and sometimes you’ll feel guilty (when you absolutely shouldn’t). But in the end, your life and relationships with others will be so much better for cutting out toxic people like this. Otherwise, they’ll just continue to poison you.
And now, a whole month after the original debacle, the OP jumped on with yet another update.
So hi, me again. I don't actually know if anyone's still interested in what's happening but I thought I'd update just for those who've followed me.
Long story short, I took your advice. I called my (ex) friend and told her the following.
'I don't want you in my life anymore.' And that was it. I know some people told me to set her reputation om fire because why not, but I feel like that would do more harm than good. And if she ever does grow up, I'm sure she doesn't want this whole drama fest to be tied to her forever.
The first few days after that phone call were hectic. I couldn't stop crying, which made me feel pathetic, and I overall just felt lost. I haven't really made friends at school, most people think of me as a weirdo who dropped her best friend of ten years because she was jealous of her own brothers. So I guess lunch in the bathrooms from now on.
I also got calls from my ex-friend's sister, who called me some names and ranted about my brothers 'loved ex-friend so much and that I was such a cow for separating them', so I guess she's sticking to her story. So yeah. That's kind of it. I'm just spending time with myself and my bed.
I don't know if I'll update again, but for now that's it. Thanks again everyone.
Commenters jumped on to respond to the final update.
I’m so sad she has to eat lunch in the bathroom by herself.
I'm really surprised that the brothers aren't setting the record straight, not just for their sister's sake but for their own. Best friend is so deluded, I'd be champing at the bit to reject her narrative if I were them.
I don't think setting the record straight means going to the high school with a banner emblazoned 'I did not date best friend.' But starting a dialogue with the best friend's parents may be prudent.
Honestly, I don't even know the right recourse in this situation. I just know if someone used me to bully my sibling like this, I wouldn't be able to sit idly by.
I've dealt with a few pathological liars in my life. They really don't think they're lying, especially when they are teenagers. The ex-best friend will either cringe about those times eventually, surround herself with yes people or become that weird acquaintance nobody truly wants around.
OP is better without any of these (except the cringing version, knowing people that can recognize past mistakes is often great).
Clearly, OP is far better off being far away from this friend. Hopefully, she's able to heal and make some honest healthy friends moving forward.