General Question

comicalmayhem's avatar

My 'friend' is singling me out as a jerk?

Asked by comicalmayhem (809points) October 23rd, 2011

Excuse my French, but I don’t really know how to put it another way:

Whenever my friends joke around and laugh around him (not even about him), it’s fine, but if I laugh or joke around, he assumes I’m being a d*ck. And then he yells at me and I always tell him to stop freaking out and take a joke once in a while and “everyone else laughed too, why are you singling me out?”. And I’ve talked to him about it many times. It’s never out of context, so I’m not bringing it up out of no where. Last time I talked to him about it, he seemed to think it was 110% my bad. My friends agree that he’s the one being a d*ck, not me.
He’s always an asshole to me for no reason (unless I’m missing something). Always telling me to shut up, go away, excluding me, and again singling me out as an asshole whenever other people are doing the same thing (I’m not influenced by the other people, I’m just being me).

I really don’t know what to do. It’s been like this for about a year on and off. And it’s not like I can just ignore him, because we have the same friends and I’m not willing to give up all my friends just to leave one bad one.

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35 Answers

njnyjobs's avatar

he’s probably jealous of you… even though you guys are in the same circle doesn’t mean that you’re going to be considered a friend. Just stay friendly with him and the rest knowing that you’re not hurting anyone. Don’t take he’s attitude towards you personally or seriously.

zenvelo's avatar

Maybe you should say, “quit being such a dick.” If your friends agree he acts that way, you won’t lose them. For what ever reason, he doesn’t like you, so you won’t be losing much by not socializing with him anymore.

comicalmayhem's avatar

@zenvelo I’ve been trying to ignore him for the past 2 weeks. But I can’t completely ignore him without ignoring all my other friends.

@njnyjobs We used to hang out all the time and be good friends, then I started to make fun of him more, he got pissed, so I stopped. Ever since then, every time I laughed he thought it was an attack.

marinelife's avatar

You can stop being friends with him though. Do not talk to him. Do not single him out for any reason. Just ignore him.

He is not going to change. You have to change your response to him.

janbb's avatar

He is not your friend.

snowberry's avatar

This person sounds like a classic passive aggressive personality. Try googling that, and see what sort of strategies you can come up with. I will also mention that your trying to defend yourself like this makes you out to be the victim, which invites more of the same.

Here’s something that I have learned to say that helps put it in persective for me, even though they might not get the meaning. I say it for my own benefit: “What happened to you just before I walked in the door?”

This politely and clearly states that you are NOT a victim, and after all, it’s not about you anyway! Make it your mantra. If he gets tired of hearing it, maybe he’ll think of a different way to communicate.

downtide's avatar

He’s not your friend, he hates you (and I agree with your friends too, it sounds like he’s a d**k). Ignore him. You can still hang around with your friends, just don’t speak to him or about him at all.

CaptainHarley's avatar

If this guy is your friend, I’d hate to see how your enemies treat you!

Try this: get him alone sometime and ask him what the hell is bothering him so much. Is he jealous of you in some way? Does he see you as some sort of competition? Pin him down and insist on an answer. Then ask him what the two of you can do together to make things better. Be firmly insistent.

Let me know how it works out. : )

comicalmayhem's avatar

@CaptainHarley I asked him earlier today what was bothering him and his answer was “because your eric”. Which didn’t help at all. I told him I don’t want this “because your eric” bullshit. He repeated himself, told me to shut up, then logged off of facebook. (Which he deleted me on earlier, I was only able to talk to him through a group only our close friends are in).

marinelife's avatar

@comicalmayhem Whay are you giving him more chances to victimize you? You should ignore him. You should delete him as a friend on Facebook.

CaptainHarley's avatar


It sounds to me as if he’s jealous of you in some way. Perhaps he sees you as an informal leader of sorts in your group, a position he covets for himself?

comicalmayhem's avatar

@CaptainHarley I don’t think he sees me as the leader. No one’s really the leader and it definitely wouldn’t be me.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Do you date someone he would like to date?

comicalmayhem's avatar

No, we’re both single. And I don’t feel I’m flirting with anyone either.

filmfann's avatar

He doesn’t respect you. He is not your friend. You are a joke to him.

comicalmayhem's avatar

Texting him I asked: Really _. I wanna know why u think being a dick to me is rational.
He replies: Well how bout u ask urself that question and whenu get over yourself u can txt me back

Edit: I’d like to add that I’m in no way full of myself..

nikipedia's avatar

I don’t know man, your friend is telling you that he feels hurt by the mean things you say to him, and somehow he’s the asshole?

For whatever reason, your “jokes” aren’t coming off as jokes to him. Apologize and quit making them.

comicalmayhem's avatar

@nikipedia They’re not jokes about him.. and I’m usually nice to him except when I yell at him for singling me out and excluding me. Not excluding in the way of not inviting me because I can see that as we’re not really friends right now, but in the way that if I’m talking to people and he happens to be talking to them too he’s like “shut up and leave you’re not even part of us”.

Kardamom's avatar

I’m going to give you a slightly different perspective, coming from a female. One of my former friends and I used to be pretty close, and we shared quite a few friends in common and we had lots of common interests. But over the years, even though we mostly agreed on most things and all of us would laugh and joke together, I found out that she had kind of a mean sense of humor. So even though we might all be talking about the same subject, when she finally chimed in (trying to make a joke) it often came across as quite mean. It wasn’t even directed at me, but I found out that she had a bit of a racist streak and a bit of a homophobic streak. It was very subtle, but it started to creep in more and more. And then she started to complain and bitch about stuff more frequently, rather than to just talk.

You’ve admitted that you used to make fun of him, and then he got pissed and then you stopped. I’m getting the feeling that whatever you used to make fun of him about, really hurt his feelings, or embarrassed him or made him feel like shit, but because you guys are males, most males are not going to just come right out and say that to another male, because then he would look weak or like a wussie or even gay.

So I’m guessing that you insulted him time after time, until he finally got pissed off, but he really didn’t tell you specifically what you said (could have been one thing or multiple things) so you’re just guessing at this point. He’s not likely to tell you, because he’s probably hoping that you can figure it out yourself. Deep down, you probably know exactly what you said to him that made him so angry, but maybe because you didn’t mean to insult him, or whatever you said is “no big deal” to you, you aren’t fessing up to it.

You could ask one of the other friends to find out. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. Guys generally don’t work like this, but with females, one of the others could easily go to the hurt person and ask them what happened. You could try this method.

Unlike the others on this thread, I don’t think this guy is jealous of you at all. You said or did something (once or multiple times) that really made him angry or hurt his feelings, and what’s worse is that you probably didn’t even realize it.

Unfortunately, I think you frienship is shot. So your best bet would be to sit down with him, maybe with another friend as a witness and say something like, “Hey Mike, I get the feeling that I’ve said or done something to make you really angry. I know I tend to joke around a lot, but I really didn’t mean to offend you and I’m afraid I’m not sure exactly what I said. I wish you would just come right out and tell me so that I can apologize. But if you can’t, all I can do is wish you well and hope that you can stop telling me to shut up in front of everyone. Unfortunately we have a lot of friends in common, so you’re either going to have to tell me what I did, or you’re just going to have to know that I’m going to be around and deal with it. You don’t have to be around when all of us get together. No one’s forcing you. But I’m not dropping my friends because of you. Now just tell me what I did, so I can apologize!”

If you have the above conversation, with a witness, then this fellow will either have to tell you what you did, or decide that he’s not going to hang out with the group anymore.

Now for you, even though I don’t believe that you meant to insult this fellow, I believe that you did, big time. Try to think back about all of the things that you used to say when you were joking around with him. Did he seem to be especially sensitive about any particular topics? Is there a possibility that he’s gay or bisexual and maybe you made some veiled homophobic remarks? (Note: most young guys in our culture do, it’s an awful habit that needs to stop). Is there a possibility that a young lady that your friend liked, had a crush on you, and somehow you mentioned her name in an unflattering way? Is there a possibility that your friend is not gifted in some way (math, video games, getting girls, coming up with zingy one liners) if he’s not and you inadvertently pointed out that he’s an “idiot” or a “douche” or a “faggot” or something like that, those things could really be upsetting for him, especially if he’s struggling.

I don’t know what you might have said, but you probably know the kinds of things that you joked about with him, so try to remember, and have a lot of compassion, because sometimes even slightly insulting remarks can really sting, depending upon the perspective of the person being insulted. Sometimes, once the damage is done, it cannot be undone.

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comicalmayhem's avatar

@Kardamom I’ve joked about some things that were about him directly in the past, but they’re no different than what any other friend has joked about. And I haven’t done it differently either with a mean tone. Which is why I’m confused he’s singling me out.

Pandora's avatar

I agree with @njnyjobs. This sounds like a jealous person. Either he is jealous of your friendship with your other friends because he expects you to be the only person to always have his back or he is jealous of how they treat you and he thinks himself better than you.
Either way. I would just avoid any personal contact with him unless forced in a group situations. Doesn’t mean you have to associate with him when you are in a group.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@comicalmayhem Maybe he’s singling you out because, when he asked you to stop, you’re the one who told him he should just take a joke. He doesn’t come off very good in this story, no, but neither do you. It’s probably best you two part ways.

comicalmayhem's avatar

@Aethelflaed We told each other both to stop and we agreed that if he stopped being an asshole and singling me out, I wouldn’t tell him to stop being an asshole and singling me out. Which makes sense if you think about it. And he still thinks it’s 110% my bad that I’m telling him to stop freaking out.
I’m not willing to part ways if it means leaving all my other friends.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@comicalmayhem Well, you sound like you were being an asshole, and not just because you called him an asshole for singling you out. You say you aren’t saying anything worse than anyone else, but maybe he sees it another way, and your refusal to examine your behavior critically is probably why he’s so upset. And you don’t have to physically leave him and all the other friends, just stop making conversation with him, and definitely stop teasing him.

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jca's avatar

Tell him in front of the rest of the group that you would like to stop the joking and name calling, and you would like it if you could both agree on no more negative behavior. If you stop and he continues, then I would try to see the rest of your friends without him – in other words, on nights he’s not there. That way you don’t have to give them up but you can avoid him.

You can’t change the past but you can change the future.

Kardamom's avatar

I’m going to have to agree with @Aethelflaed It sounds like you were a jerk to him. And now, part of the problem is that you can’t even see that. Just because all of the other guys laughed and joked about the same subjects, does not by any means mean that the way you presented your jokes was the same. People pick up on subtle differences.

Like I said in my post above (which you should really read again and try to sit down and address some of those possibilities)

I had a former friend that used to laugh and joke with all of us, about the same subjects, but her presentation came off as really mean and relentless after awhile. There is a pretty good possibility that your joking around with this guy went too far, but either you can’t recognize that, or you’re not willing to admit it.

Can you give us some examples of the things that you said to this fellow?

Even if the guy himself is also a jerk, that doesn’t mean that you were not a jerk too. Since everybody in the group said similar things (according to you) and this guy is only upset with you, then you must have said or done something in a manner that was very offensive to him.

Your only way to figure it out it to sit down with yourself and recall what you said to him and how it may have been different. You should also ask some of the other guys in the group. They probably know what you said, and why this guy is so upset with you.

You may not ever be able to make amends with this guy, but whatever you learn about what caused this rift, should give you some food for thought about how to treat people better, and avoid these kinds of situations in the future. Sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it, that can really hurt other people.

jca's avatar

Yes, as @Kardamom said, examples would be good.

snowberry's avatar

My husband used to do this to me…be angry at me and when I asked, he’d say “YOU know! Figure it out!” It’s classic passive aggressive behavior. In my case, I never could figure it out. It turns out he was angry at the world and blaming it on me! (How convenient!)

As for you, @comicalmayhem, you might have actually insulted this guy as the other posters have mentioned, but resolving your conflict with him will take some finesse. Be sure you appologize, and try some of their advice.

comicalmayhem's avatar

I’ve critically examined my behavior before and it’s no different than the other guys. And the other guys agree. It’s only that one ‘friend’ that thinks I’m being a jerk.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@comicalmayhem Ok, but there’s context. Like, someone who I know, personally, is a gay ally can make some gay jokes (perhaps about lesbian hairstyles?) without me taking offense, whereas people I don’t know, or people I do know but don’t consider to be real allies cannot. And, more importantly, he set a boundary in asking you to stop. He is not required to set the same boundary with all people in order for this request for respect to be considered valid. And what you responded with was ‘no, I won’t respect your boundary-setting, and I’ll add on a new boundary violation of (attempting to) remove your right to set boundaries until you stop setting this boundary”. It doesn’t matter what all these other kids are saying, he has every right to ask you to stop it, and you need to respect that request. Is it really so horrible to have to stop teasing this guy?

jca's avatar

Everyone is different. Maybe the other guys think what you’re saying is not offensive, but this person feels differently. So examine your behavior from that perspective, and respect his wishes to not make fun of him. Start from scratch. Maybe in time you guys can be friends again.

Kardamom's avatar

I find it almost impossible that you and the other guys said exactly the same words in exactly the same context in exactly the same tone of voice. If that were true, you and all of your friends would be clones. You say that you’ve critically examined your behavior. That is unlikely. So far, what you have done is get mad and say that you didn’t say or do anything different than anyone else. Most people, don’t want to admit that what they’ve said or done could have potentially hurt someone, especially if that someone is kind of a jerk too.

Plus, you haven’t given us any examples of what you said and did, to go by. So all we can do is guess at what you might have said. That’s not helpful for you or for us, if you really want to get to the bottom of this situation.

If this guy is such a jerk, and all of the other friends agree with you, that you haven’t done anything wrong, then why are they all still friends with him too. In your scenario, it sounds like everyone would just drop this guy like a hot potato, yet they haven’t.

You also seem to be unwilling to sit down with this fellow (with another friend as a witness) and ask him (in front of the witness) what you said and did to offend him. If you have a witness who is one of the other friends that this fellow supposedly likes (even though you said that all the guys said the same jokey things) then the fellow is going to have to come up with some sort of an explanation or else he’s going to come across as a liar in front of the witness.

You can sit down with him by yourself a million times and he’ll probably keep saying the same thing “Because you’re Eric!” but if you have a witness, who is a party to this whole situation, he’s likely to give you the real answer, or risk looking like a fool in front of the witness (who theoretically knows the truth).

P.S. You said that the other guys claim that you didn’t say or do anything different towards this fellow, I’m guessing that they know exactly what you said and did, but they don’t want to risk pissing you off by reminding you, or they just don’t give a crap.

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