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Kokoro's avatar

How to handle "dramatic" friends?

Asked by Kokoro (1424points) July 27th, 2012

When I mean “dramatic” here’s what I mean (not sure what the word is)

Let’s say, I have a friend named *Michael that is friends with *Stacy. Stacy and I used to be close friends until I distanced myself because she let me down too often. An anquaintance says, “Oh, I love Stacy!” and Michael says, “Me too!” but gestures a look at me that suggests my silence has a purpose and says, “I’m not saying anything about that.” I don’t want to bring up the fall out Stacy and I had because that’s my business and past, I don’t want to spread that I have anything against her. However, I just kept silent and moved on.

Another example is that there is another girl I don’t associate myself with just for my own personal morals. I don’t know her, I don’t have anything against her personally, but I’m not going to go out of my way to be friends with her. Michael says to a friend, “OH, only girls say bad things about her. Everyone else is jealous.”

Another thing, I told him my thoughts about this girl that he’s crazy about. Said she doesn’t seem to be that into him, but he keeps saying we’re all wrong and he’s gonna prove me wrong. So I’m wondering to myself, “Why even ask my opinion?”

Small things like this irritate me. How do I talk to him about it? Or am I overreacting?

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7 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

You are the one who seems to be—I don’t want to say “overly”, but let’s say “overtly”—demonstrative in your feelings, or at least that’s how I read this tiny snippet into your life.

Bear with me.

Michael has his opinions of people – we all do. But he seems to have to couch his opinions about others in careful language around you, because you have (clearly) expressed your own opinions about those people to him. And your opinions are different from his. (For thoughtful people, it’s hard to have congruent opinions about anything with anyone else, because no one thinks quite like anyone else; if you give up thinking, it’s very simple to figuratively click “share opinion” with any number of people. Obviously, you haven’t done that.)

But because Michael knows that your opinions are different from his own, he seems to feel a need to justify and defend his thoughts against the weight (in his mind) of your own. He could simply not care, I suppose; but that’s his problem. You can’t solve his problems.

You can’t “handle” him on this. You can give up expressing your opinions (which is sometimes a very wise thing to do with our friends and relations, after all), or you can express them more diplomatically, or… maybe… you could learn to detach a bit more and simply “not have” so many opinions. That’s actually a good place to be, if you can get there. Or you could continue to have your opinions, whether expressed or not, and simply accept his opinions (or argue with him, as you seem to be doing in a friendly way, since he is still your friend, after all) and not try to change his mind, but just accept him as he is. That’s a good place to be, too.

Bellatrix's avatar

He is who he is. I imagine he is quite happy with who he is. The problem is yours. Why should he change to suit you? If you don’t like him, don’t hang out with him.

Ponderer983's avatar

Drop em. That’s what I do!

laurenkem's avatar

@Kokoro Let Michael believe whatever he wants regarding this girl. If you’ve tried to tell him what your honest, straightforward observations are and he still prefers to believe otherwise, well, then that’s his choice. You’ve done your job. You told a friend what you think is going on. The rest is up to him.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Michael, Stacy, et al – just keep quiet as you did; if they want to talk that’s their business, don’t make it yours if you don’t want to. Just nod, shrug, and move on to the re-engage with the next subject.

Michael & other girl – an opinion is like advice; they ask, you give, end of story. It’s not (or shouldn’t be) any concern of yours wether or not he agrees, is torn, or disagrees to the extent he feels the need to prove you wrong. Maybe he just asked out of curiosity or because he knew what you thought and just needed to hear it to gain the extra motivation necessary to act (or any number of other reasons). Should you talk to him about disregarding your opinion, if it bothers you that much, sure – but I’d just let it go, you said your piece if he didn’t like it that’s on him, not your issue; everyone can’t agree on everything.

Stuff like that can be irritating but unlike their responses, opinions, or choices of conversation, the extent you let it get to you and your input are under your control – focus on those – express yourself to the extent you feel comfortable, here what they have to say, and move on.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What this question seems to be really about is interpersonal relations or how to get along with people. That’s a subject which has plagued humans since the dawn of time.

I believe the answer lies in being the best human you can for yourself. “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” (Hamlet by W. Shakespeare) Be true to yourself, and you can’t be untrue to others.

As for these specific instances you mention, I would state plainly that you don’t want to get involved in other peoples’ affairs, and then I would mind my own business.

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