Social Question

stardust's avatar

I need advice on how to deal with an obsessive person.

Asked by stardust (10544points) January 25th, 2011

I know these questions about obsessive friends are asked to death and for that reason I’ve put off asking this question. However, I’m at my wits end and I’d really appreciate some thoughts on how to move forward with this situation. I’ll be as concise as possible. Please bear with me :-)

There’s a girl I know through unusual circumstances – we both met while unwell. That’s the only thing we have in common.
She’s extremely obsessive and it took me a while to confront her about it as I was worried about upsetting her, etc.

I’ve had energy draining friends before and I’ve managed to walk away from the friendships. This is a little different.

She turns up at a lot of the places I visit with other friends. If I tell her I can’t meet because I’ve plans, she’ll be there or arrive. (We have some mutual friends on facebook as we’re from the same town so she sometimes gets her information re our plans there.)
I started a new course in September, which she knew I was doing. When I went to enrol, she was there to enrol on the same course. It’s all becoming a bit single white female for me.

It’s a very small class so I’ve tried very hard to be diplomatic. I cannot bear drama either.
I can get 10–15 calls per day from this person.
I’ve asked her not to call me like this as I find it invasive and she reacts in an overly confrontational manner – usually shouting at me.
It’s all become too much. I feel I’m doing the right things, but as our next semester is starting up next week, I’m very worried about having to ride out the storm. She can be quite aggressive and unpredictable and I’m looking for advice about how to stay strong through that.
We’re both in our mid twenties. I’d imagine this all sounds very high school.

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23 Answers

janbb's avatar

Wow – it doesn’t sound “high school” – it sounds like a real problem. You may have to tell her you can’t be friends with her at all and that you will get a restraining order if she continues to harass you. I f you can, I would try to get out of the course you are both enrolled. This sounds like a very difficult situation, I feel for you.

marinelife's avatar

I agree with janbb. It sounds like she is seriously escalating.

You need to cut off all contact with her immediately. Tell her that you are no longer friends and to stop calling you.

If she continues to show up where you are, get a restraining order.

I would get out of the class also.

I think you should take down your Facebook profile. It is jsut a stalking opportunity.

Tell any mutual friends that you do not want them to talk to her about you.

stardust's avatar

@janbb Thank you for reading through all the details. Much appreciated. It’s really bothering me. I’ve put everything into getting onto this course. I’m so passionate about it and I will not give it up due to her behaviour. I do know that she isn’t overly interested in the course, which is even more worrying as to her motivations for enrolling on it.
I agree that it’s becoming increasingly worrying.
I will remove my facebook page now.
I’ve just moved towns and she decided to move to the same town.
It’s so upsetting.
I’m glad I posted this as it’s validating my feelings. My friends are aware of the situation and have expressed concern about it, as have my family. Thanks.

WasCy's avatar

This is beyond any “silly high school crush” thing. Whether it’s “far beyond” or “dangerous” is only for you to judge. I think the advice you’ve gotten so far is good.

The only other thing I might suggest is that you do offer to meet her some day in a social-but-not-too-private venue, where you both have time and won’t be interrupted, and I’d ask her point-blank, “What is it that you expect out of this ‘relationship’? Because it is flat not working for me.”

bunnygrl's avatar

God honey this sounds like a proper nightmare! ok, what @marinelife said above, also you need to get help from an independent person, maybe a councellor at school? This will also help if you do need to get something like a restaining order. Write everything down. Times etc of phone calls etc. Everything. Keep a copy of what you wrote for us in your question. It will be good to have a record, you can use it to show how it’s affecting your life. Get help honey, you can’t deal with this alone. She sounds unhinged. Take care of you ok? sending mountains of hugs your way sweetheart, xx

marinelife's avatar

@stardust Consider moving again, but don’t tell anyone where you live.

john65pennington's avatar

Seems like that you have come to the point of a Restraining Order. To prevent her from any communication with you. Some people just never know when to quit or take a hint(if you know what I mean). You have tried it the nice way, now seek legal assistance for your sanity. A Restraining Order will prevent her from talking, meeting or any other type contact with you. Its a shame it has to come to this, but this is what Restraining Orders are for. For each violation of the order, she can be sent to jail for ten days. This law is much better today, than it use to be. Concerning the phone calls: try to record one of her angry conversations to you. Call the police and make a police report for harrassing phone calls. She can also be arrested for this offense. If you want peace of mind, you are going to have to take some action against this person.

By the way, she is not interested in you for romantic reasons, is she?

stardust's avatar

@all Thank you for the replies. I realise I need to deal with this much more effectively than I have been. I want to put myself first and I really don’t know how far she’d go. She’s arrived to my house before when I explicitly told her not to call. The list goes on and on :/ I’m going to take action. I’m so appreciative of you all reading this.

Jude's avatar

Single White Female, is right. Yikes.

I would go with the restraining order route, if she continues.

I agree with john, she may have feelings for you. This girl needs help.

syz's avatar

1) Minimize the amount of personal information available about you on social networking sites.
2) Change your phone number.
3) Contact the school authorities immediately.

stardust's avatar

@john65pennington A couple of friends questioned this before, but it’s not something I really considered. Having said that, it’s possible I suppose. She has very negative things to say about my other friends – that possessive attitude of nobody else is good enough for you.
I’ve just deleted my facebook profile now. I’ve blocked her number from my phone and if she calls my landline, she won’t get me.

Scooby's avatar

Sounds like a control freak, I worked with a guy like this a few years ago. The more I tried to avoid him he made more of an effort to seek me out…. Why he latched on to me? I don’t know. He also seemed to get a kick out me being uncomfortable around him… asking me questions all the time about my family & friends just trying to get in, all the time.. He was a very obnoxious bloke, always bragging about his unfaithfulness to his wife & boasting how he got away with it, he really made me sick….. In the end I just had to confront him, he started turning up wherever I was too, I later found out he was getting information on me through mutual acquaintances, on face book as well! :-/
I had to end it, so I did…. He was left in no doubt about my feelings towards him, he became very hostile towards me over the next couple of months, then it all went quiet!? I can only assume he found another friend / victim :-/

You need to nip it in the bud, ASAP. Before it goes too far……Good luck.. Keep us informed.

Ohh you already did, well done…...

lemming's avatar

I had a friend like that too, and she followed me to art school even though she couldn’t draw or paint at all. I’m guessing, hoping, that she will eventually get bored of the subject she didn’t choose herself or at the very leased she won’t be able for it so she will eventually drop out. Don’t feel you have to be nice to her, that will keep her coming back. If she really is following you you should tell your friends, and then you can, well, blank her out.

nebule's avatar

I think you’ve got enough great advice already, just wanted to say I hope you manage to get this sorted as soon as possible without too much trauma…it sounds awul and definitely serious xx

MilkyWay's avatar

like maybe evryone has said . . . avoid her and try to talk to the authorities , you know, someone that can stop her.
hope all goes well. XX

answerjill's avatar

I’m sorry to hear that you are dealing with this difficult situation. While I agree with the restraining order idea, I think that you might want to work with your school first. It sounds like you are both students at the same institution, right? I would get in touch with the dean’s office and/or some other official office and let them know that you are having problems with another student. In college, I was being stalked by another student and I had to get the dean’s office involved.

Blueroses's avatar

Talk to your phone provider first thing. Mine allows number changes with no fee which helps a lot when you have a stalker. If you have mutual facebook friends, you’ll have to ask the others to block this crazy girl too, or at least to hide your activities from her.
It seems so unfair that you have to change your life because of another’s actions when you’ve done nothing wrong, but you have to recover your peace of mind somehow. Wishing you the best of luck.

Kardamom's avatar

All of the other answers are spot on. You have to limit or eliminate all contact from this person. You may have to get a restraining order and I think it is important that you let the school know what has been going on (even if she has broken no laws, simply to give them a warning). Do you know her parents? If so, maybe you could contact them and let them know what has been going on and have them try to talk to her to leave you alone. Talk to your employers, if you work, to let them know about this person and to not let her into your place of work (and have your co-workers tell you immediately if she tries to call or contact you at work). Let all of your other friends know that she has been stalking you ask them to cut off all contact with her too (and let you know immediately if she has been asking questions or attempting to contact you).

BarnacleBill's avatar

If you both met when you were unwell, it sounds like you have become well, and she is not well. That being said, another thing you might want to consider is contacting the doctor that treated you, as well as the facility, and let them know that you are being stalked by a person that you met while under their care. List all of the behaviors that she has exhibited, as you have done here. While they cannot discuss her with you because of HIPPA regulations, if she is still checking in that doctor, perhaps this can throw up some red flags.

Do not assume that because she’s female that she is any less of a danger to you than if she was male and stalking you.

Judi's avatar

You said you met when you were both “ill”.
If you mean to say she has a history of mental health hospitalization that may be important for authorities to know, although it could backfire if you have to divulge your medical history as well.

wundayatta's avatar

It does indeed sound like she’s having an episode. Do her parents know what she’s doing? Someone should tell them, just in case they can convince her to see her psychologist or get hospitalized. Also, the school should be informed. They have a responsibility here, too, although I’m not sure what the extent of that responsibility is. I’m assuming they must keep you safe from other students at the very least.

stardust's avatar

@wundayatta From what I gather, it seems she’s very manipulative of those around her, parents included (myself included for a while)
Thanks alot for all of the encouragement. I’ve begun to take the steps to hopefully nip this in the bud for good.

ninjacolin's avatar

Hey, @stardust. I really hope this situation plays out positively for you. It’s pretty scary.

Just some commentary: It occurs to me that it must be different not having an action-hero imagination. I would imagine myself confronting a dude about this pretty directly and I don’t see this as the kind of situation where flight would serve me better than fight. A stalker can chase you to the ends of the earth if they want, but they can’t chase on broken legs.

Not that it should necessarily come to fisticuffs. You’ve described this person as a whiner. Or in your words, she shouted at you. Jesus christ.. What could she possibly have said that wouldn’t warrant you shouting back? I would expect her to be in tears by the time you were done with her.

sigh.. but I realize the harsh reality that someone doesn’t act like this without having a “reason” for acting like this. Who knows what that reason is, whether it be a crush or just a deep hatred for everyone else in the world besides you.. in either case, she doesn’t have the social skills to have a normal friendship with you.

Now this is where I normally err on the side of optimism, so take this all with a grain of salt or maybe just don’t take it at all but.. The socially inept simply lack education about how to treat the people they like, such as yourself, as well as how to understand and treat others, like all your friends. Worse, she probably doesn’t fully understand herself and how she ought to fit in to society.

Everyone is born inept. Sharing emotional information is how we grow sympathy. Ultimately, my confrontational side wants this person to learn new ways to treat people. What you’re choosing to do is run from her. But that doesn’t seem to solve the real issue. The real issue is that this person is socially inept and to run away is to leave her as she is: A threat, if not for you then for someone else. To give her new ideas on how to behave socially that no one else has ever given her.. that’s what I would call an offensive strategy and the closest thing to a real cure.

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