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Ansible1's avatar

What is an acceptable level of anger to have toward someone who might be bi-polar when they act out?

Asked by Ansible1 (4831points) August 23rd, 2009

This girl might be bi-polar not really sure at this point but long story short, here’s what happened…
This girl visiting from NYC, let’s call her Sally, was really nice at first, but started to let off a vibe that she wanted my g/f and I to go home, I assume b/c she wanted to hook up with the other guy there. (my g/f drove, we walked to the bars, now we’re back hanging out at a friends apt, everyone else went to sleep) She was nice about it at first, asking things like: “Is it a money thing? you guys can’t afford a cab home?” I explained my g/f was waiting to sober up. A few mins later Sally stood up, commented that she was starting to feel a little buzzed, walked to the bathroom where my g/f was and said “Listen whore, you need to go the f——home!” Argument ensues… Sally comes back and now addresses me: “You need to get your whore and go the f——home!” Argument ensues…

So this was completely out of nowhere, everyone had been getting along the entire night, the girls were actually very fond of her before this happened. Her having mental illness is purely speculation at this point but if that is the case, I would understand that she might not be able to control it but at the same time I’m obviously not happy with her actions. What is an acceptable level of anger to have towards this person? If it turns out there’s nothing wrong with her then I guess she’s just a total bitch.

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41 Answers

rrmkdynuupye's avatar

I’ve generally given it some thought as one of my friends told me she’s bi-polar and I say I’d give the normal anger. if it’s a friend you might try to be a little understanding but if not then I wouldn’t hold back. Now of course myself by my nature I’m not the type of person to go yelling at anyone for pretty much any non-life-or-death reason but if you normally would have yelled back then i say go for it. If she’s bi-polar she will either a) get some help or b) just accept it and let it go when she’s off the mania. at least that’s how I’d hangle if if I was bi-polar.. and that is ALSO something I’ve given thought to.

PerryDolia's avatar

Sounds like alcohol is the predominant factor, not bi-polarism.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

When your life is intertwined with a person who had bi-polar disorder, you learn to accept that you’re going to yelled at occasionally.

Alcohol is a depressant and when bi-polar people drink, the alcohol is likely to trigger a depressive state.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I have a bi-polar internet friend. He can be sweet one day & lash out at me the next. He’s insulted me, embarrassed me & blocked me, only to apologize the next day & be a nice guy. We got into it yesterday & talked on the phone for an hour this morning, getting things sorted out. How long will it last? I don’t know. It’s exhausting to keep up with him. I understand what’s going on with him, but sometimes enough is enough.

Judi's avatar

I have lived with family members who are bi-polar my whole life. One thing I know is that if there are never any consiquences it only gets worse. Rude behavior is rude behavior period. This is not family. Cut her out of your life and don’t look back. You really don’t want to wlingly walk into a relationship like this if you’re not already invested. You and your girlfriend don’t deserve to be treated like that by anyone.

hoiioh's avatar

I used to have a girlfriend who had some kind of chemical imbalance, later determined to be bi-polar disorder. Anyways, she always used to walk all over me but it was never really terrible. She never drank because her mother is an recovered alcoholic, but after her freshman year in college she started to drink and smoke a lot. This, along with her ‘disorder’, made her impossible to deal with. So yes, someone said it before, alcohol absolutely had something to do with it. My advice? Forget her. If they’re not getting help, they’re hopeless.

Darbio16's avatar

use a lot of anger, give them a taste of their own medicine. It may push then into believing that they really are being a dick and get themselves some help.

SheWasAll_'s avatar

My roommate my freshman year of college was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and had to take daily medication. It’s extremly frustrating, but if this “Sally” does in fact have a mental illness, taking any of the frustration out on her is not the way to go. But she more likely is just a bitch. The only time to be angry at bi-polar individual is when they decide to skip their medication for the day for fun. THAT is richter-scale-level-10-anger worthy.

Quagmire's avatar

First offense, let it roll off your back. Next offense, drop her.

And an “acceptable level of anger” should ALWAYS be ZERO. What good is anger? But even if she has a REAL mental disorder, it doesn’t give her a free pass to embarrass you in public. You don’t know what caused the outburst but it shouldn’t matter. Whatever the reason, don’t put up with it forever.

avvooooooo's avatar

That would be a pretty quick mood swing that probably has nothing to do with being bipolar. It probably has to do with you overstaying your welcome after she asked you nicely to leave. Have you considered that you might be a part of the problem? That she’s not “a total bitch” but that your ignoring her asking nicely might have something to do with her getting rightfully mad?

Why was your g/f driving if she also had to “wait to sober up?”

In addition, alcohol is involved. That makes things get ugly faster than they might otherwise.

Ansible1's avatar

The argument between her and my g/f was that she had no right to kick her out of an apartment that she didn’t live in. The argument between her and I was that she was calling my g/f a whore. She never straight out asked us to leave, like I said she was letting off a vibe that she wanted us to go. My g/f drove there sober, we walked to the bars, she got drunk, and was going to wait to get sober to drive home. And as far as overstaying our welcome, the person who’s apartment it was has told my g/f many times to feel free to stay as long as you like especially if you’re not right to drive.

avvooooooo's avatar

@Ansible1 You said yourself that she was nicely asking you to go. If she was staying there, especially if she was sleeping in a public-type area, she had a right to ask you to go. It might not be her apartment, but if you’d outlasted everyone else (“everyone else went to sleep”) then it was probably time for you to go. Perhaps better planning/more common sense would have prevented a conflict.

Getting mad because someone is ignoring you asking them to leave is not indicative of bipolar. Its indicative of people who probably should have left when everyone else went to bed.

Judi's avatar

It sounds like they had just as much right to be there as the screamer did.

hug_of_war's avatar

I find it disturbing to think someone might have a mental disorder because of one incident where maybe the person didn’t react well but she surely had a good reason to be upset.

avvooooooo's avatar

@hug_of_war Exactly! @Ansible1 seems to think that there was nothing he was doing to contribute to the situation and that being rightfully upset is a sign of a mental disorder when he was probably being deliberately obtuse and intrusive as well as intoxicated. And this means someone else has a mental disorder? It doesn’t add up.

rrmkdynuupye's avatar

i assumed this theoretical disorder was something she had told him. This girl might be bi-polar not really sure at this point but long story short, here’s what happened but now rereading that your’e right it is a bit presumtuous to call her bi-polar based on that. even if she was being a dick that doesn’t mean she was bi-polar

Judi's avatar

Just means she is probably a self centered B/-@h

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

You have to keep things straight, they are the ones you know will act out, it’s on them and you don’t have to tailor your responses any differently than for a non bi-polar person. What you will do is not take what they say and do so deeply to heart.

Ansible1's avatar

@avvooooooo Knowing that somone is not sober enough to drive and you try to force them to leave? That doesn’t add up.

Judi's avatar

Especially when it’s not even their home.

avvooooooo's avatar

@Ansible1 Was she supposed to be sleeping somewhere like the couch you were sitting on? She asked about the alternates, as you said, like taking a cab since you were both apparently too drunk to drive, before getting mad. That doesn’t make her unreasonable. If everyone else has gone to bed and you’re still there, maybe you should think about if you were there too late. If she was trying to go to bed (the assumption that she was trying to hook up with someone I’ll take with the same block of salt as your assumption that she’s bipolar because she got pissed off) and you basically wouldn’t let her, then its your fault. Especially if there was some way you could let her go to bed (i.e. a cab) and you just weren’t using it.

Ansible1's avatar

@avvooooooo Yes she was going to sleep on the couch but I was not sitting on it, however she didn’t want us to leave so she could go to sleep. If she was wanting to go to sleep why would she try and kick out only me and my g/f but wanted the guy to stay?
I’m not assuming she is bi-polar I merely presented it as a possibility, and not just because she got pissed off, but b/c it was a sudden change of attitude

avvooooooo's avatar

@Ansible1 It is not unreasonable to want people to leave when you’re trying to go to bed. Its not unreasonable to get mean when nice just isn’t working. Its not a symptom of being bipolar to get pissed off when people are being assholes. It probably wasn’t a “sudden” change, but a decision that some people are just not getting it when she tried to be nice. You were probably pissing her off for quite some time. She, more than likely, is not mentally ill.

If everyone else had gone to bed, odds are she was heading that way too. You don’t know that she was planning on the guy staying through the night, she might have wanted him there until after you left so she could have some backup if you continued to be an asshole and not leave even when she asked nicely. You make an awful lot of assumptions and consider them to be the only possibility with very little facts to back them up.

If she was planning on sleeping in a “public” place where you were hanging out at, she had the right to ask you to leave. Period.

avengerscion's avatar

If ‘Sally’ was drinking or having a bad day, then her actions, although a bit extreme, are understandable. I don’t think from your discription that ‘Sally’ is bi-polar. I’ve known a bi-polar girl, and it was not pretty. More to the tune of extremely happy or cryingly upset. There was not much in between. Unfortunatley, I could not handle the extremese of this person and simply let whatever happened go – from there, I made excuses not to hand out with her. Too much for me…

Ansible1's avatar

So I’ve attained some interesting pieces of information regarding Sally, from someone who lived with her in NYC for over a year. Apparently she has a history of these sudden mood changes, and on two occasions resorted to physical violence when she slapped her roomate in the face. They said that it would happen when she was sober, and got even worse if alcohol was involved. This person also has strong suspicions that some sort of mental illness is the cause, and also revealed that Sally’s mother is bi-polar.

cwilbur's avatar

People are responsible for their own behavior. Being bipolar is a reason for bad behavior, but not an excuse—if she cannot control her behavior because of chemical imbalances, then she is responsible for seeking therapy for it and following up so that she can control her behavior.

I don’t think it’s a reason for anger, but it’s definitely a reason to say, “Sorry, Sally, you don’t behave appropriately when we go out with you, so we’re going to be declining any future invitations until we know you can behave appropriately.”

avvooooooo's avatar

@Ansible1 But you still refuse to take responsibilty for you role in the situation and how your actions influeced her behavior. You try and shove all the blame off on her by speculating about a disorder you know nothing about without looking at what you did that was wrong and out of line. And you did do something that was wrong.

Again, getting pissed off is not a symptom of bipolar. If, during these incidents, people kept pushing her and pushing her and she finally got tired of being nice and pitched a fit (as happened the other night), that is normal. Its not a “sudden mood change.” Its getting fed up with being nice because being nice isn’t working with thick people who just won’t get the hint. Again, you’re making assumptions (like the one about her wanting to hook up with that guy) without sufficient information to make them. If this person who is giving you this information is similarly immature and, like you, denies having any responsibilty for the situation even when she was doing something to piss this girl off, she’s not a good “backup.” She’s just someone else who refuses to take responsibilty for her part in the problem and who would rather blame the girl than take responsibilty for her own actions.

wundayatta's avatar

All the Monday-morning quarterbacking aside, it seems to me that you are asking what you should do in the future of your relationship with this girl. You are quite angry with her, and seem to think that she may be mentally ill, and she is insensitive and selfish (wanting to kick you out while drunk so she can fuck this guy).

Personally, I believe in gathering more information before you tee off on her. However, I don’t think it will be helpful to tee off on her at all. Your options are to talk to her, and let her know how her behavior made you feel (and think, perhaps). Or you can avoid her. Or you can pick a fight with her.

You pick a fight if you are a vengeful person. I don’t think revenge is helpful to you, and certainly not to her. It’s not like it will teach her any lesson.

I don’t know how often you are around her, so I don’t know how much effort it would be to avoid her. However, when I really dislike a person, I just drop them and avoid them. I don’t feel a need to do anything else.

If you want to salvage a relationship, then you’ve got to talk. This may be difficult given the bad feelings between you. You could call her directly and ask to meet to discuss what happened. You could email her. You could ask another friend to intervene. Direct is best, though.

You then have to listen to her side of the story, and ask her about her explanations for her actions. Try to understand them. Try not to get defensive. You’re just after information. Then, if she asks, you can tell her your side of the story. If she doesn’t ask, it probably means she is either selfish or she doesn’t care.

If she does ask, then you may want to consider confessing to all your dark thoughts—the ones about her being selfish and not caring about your welfare, because she it appears to you she only thinks about her own. You gotta air out the dirty laundry.

If you don’t feel like doing this, then it sounds to me like the relationship is over. Let her deal with her bipolarity if, indeed, she is bipolar. It’s not your responsibility. Your responsibility is to act honestly, not deviously. Your responsibility is to give her clear feedback about her impact on you, should she ask. Also you should tell her what you are going to do, based on her behavior and explanation (or lack thereof). The best thing anyone can do for anyone else, whether they are bipolar or not, is to be clear in your actions, so they can understand the consequences of their behavior.

So…. watcha wanna do? ;-)

Ansible1's avatar

Thanks @daloon good advice. I completely agree with the gathering information thing, which is why I wanted to make sure I talked to this person who had experience living with her. Also I find it interesting that the next morning when Sally gave her side of the story to our friend who’s apartment it was, her version was quite different. She said when she went into the bathroom she acted very concerned toward my g/f : “are you sure you’re ok? do you need anything?” She mentioned nothing about calling her a whore, or screaming at me. I’m not interested in friendship with her, I’m not going be an out right dick to her, but also not going to go out of my way to be friendly.

@avvooooooo I stand by the fact that we had permission from the apartment owner to stay as long as we wanted. My sufficient information to make the assumption about them hooking up is that they have hooked up in the past. You have said alot of “might have“s and “probably“s for someone who was not in this situation. and by the way, we did end up leaving and they did end up hooking up

avvooooooo's avatar


1) Everyone had gone to bed, presumably because it was late
2) You were essentially preventing her from going to bed and/or whatever horizontal-type activities that she chose to pursue because you were in the space where she would do so
3) You had a way to leave and chose not to take it because you didn’t feel like it
4) She asked you nicely to let her become horizontal in the semi-public place that you were also in
5) You refused to leave
6) She asked several more times for you to leave what, for that night, could be considered “her” space since she was sleeping there with the full acknowledgment and permission, not to mention invitation, of the apartment owner
7) You refused to leave
8) After asking nicely several times, by your own admission, she went off on you
9) You refuse to admit that you did anything wrong, putting it all on her when you had a huge part of the events leading up to the conflict by, in effect, invading what would commonly be considered “her” space, at least for the late night hours for the time that she was staying there.

Instead of looking at what may or may not wrong with her, you need to take ownership and look at what might be wrong with your own behavior. If you took an honest look at your behavior instead of abdicating all responsibility for the conflict, then you might have a different perspective that sounds more like the version of events that this girl told the apartment owner. Assuming that she is either a) bipolar or b) a total bitch without bothering to look at your own actions… How very immature.

Ansible1's avatar

@avvooooooo I appreciate you expressing your point of view, but I feel like you’ve completely disregarded some things I have said. In my original post I said she: started to let off a vibe and in my first response I clarified: She never straight out asked us to leave…. I cringe everytime you’ve said “she asked you nicely to leave and you refused” That never hapened So you can’t say I “refused” to leave when I was never asked.

One minute we’re talking about funny family guy episodes, and the next minute she gets up and goes off on my girlfriend. You don’t consider this “a sudden change of mood?”

avvooooooo's avatar

@Ansible1 “asking things like” means that she was hinting, asking nicely. Your own posts show that she was trying to move you out the door before she got fed up, pissed off, and pitched a fit.

Bipolar mood swings are rarely instantaneous. I still think you’re trying to find something to blame in her rather than taking responsibility for your part in this.

Ansible1's avatar

So by your reasoning if hinting is the same as asking nicely, and if she had not been giving me any hints to leave, I could have asked her nicely: “hey, do you mind going over to the guys place? my g/f and I would like some alone time.” and if she refuses to leave…

- She’s preventing me from doing whatever horizontal-type activities that I chose to pursue because she was in the space where I would do so
– She had a way to leave but chose not to take it because she didn’t feel like it
– I asked her nicely to let me become horizontal in a semi-public place that she was also in
– She refused to leave
– I ask again nicely: “you know, you guys could have your own space at his place, it’s right down the street, why don’t you go over there?”
– She refused to leave
– And still after asking again nicely, she refuses to leave, now I can get angry, I can yell at her call her a whore and tell her to get the f——k out and this is normal behavior, true?

avvooooooo's avatar

@Ansible1 FYI, she was the one staying there. You asking her to leave is not the same as her asking you to leave. You were, by the time that everyone had gone to bed, in essence in her space. Its like you were crawled into her bed with her, whatever she was doing there.

You’re the one in the wrong here. Continuing to argue the point is not going to change the facts.

Ansible1's avatar

We could have stayed there if we wanted, like I said in my previous post, the apartment owner has said many times stay as long as you want, especially if you’re not right to drive. I think the resident of the apartment overrides a guest’s wishes for a late night booty call.

avvooooooo's avatar

@Ansible1 You’re still not getting it. As an invited guest, she trumps you. If she asked you, in whatever way, to leave and there was a way that you could do so without drunk driving (i.e. the cab that she mentioned) the considerate and responsible thing would be to take it. She was specifically invited to stay in that space. It became hers more than yours. No matter what she wanted to do in it, it was more hers than yours. What she wanted to do there was irrelevant.

If everyone else had gone to bed, it was time for you to leave. Period.

Ansible1's avatar

@avvooooooo No I see what you’re saying, but she is an invited guest, and I am an invited guest. Yes the difference is that she was invited to stay in that space specifically (which i was not in). If she trumps me, the resident still trumps her. If the resident gives both parties permission to stay, neither party has the right to tell the other to leave.

“If everyone else else had gone to bed, it was time for you to leave.” Again you’re disregarding my statement: we had permission – “stay as long as you want especially if you’re not right to drive”

I also find it interesting that you find it irrelevant that someone who lived with her for over a year, and has the same suspicions of mental illness and was a victim of physical violence from her, they must also be in the wrong and must have provoked this violence…knowing that bi-polarism is in her immediate family.

avvooooooo's avatar

@Ansible1 If you were at anyone’s house and everyone had gone to bed, it would be time for you to leave. Cabs were available. I’m not even going to get into the irresponsibility and immaturity that allowed both you and your girlfriend to still be too drunk to drive at a point where everyone else had gone to bed, but that’s pretty simple. Just because she was there and up (because you were preventing her from following everyone to bed with your presence) doesn’t mean that its appropriate for you to stay all night. The rules change when there’s an invited guest who’s supposed to be sleeping (or whatever) in the same general area that your drunk and irresponsible selves were occupying. She was invited to stay and have that space. You were invited to come, and eventually leave and leave that space to her for her to sleep (or whatever) in. She had every right to ask you to leave when she is trying to end the night and you are, in essence, invading her space. Its not that hard of a concept to grasp. She was right, you were wrong. You can object and pick apart arguments and make statements about her whorishness and wanting to “hook up” and bring in her old roommate all you want and it will still not change the fact that you were in the wrong. If you were being the same stubborn ass that you are here, no wonder she went off on you.

I don’t know the roommate. But, as I’ve said, if this person is one who denies responsibly and choses to ignore their role in situations as you do, I can see where they would get that. This girl might just be someone who bottles things up until she just can’t take it any more and goes off. That’s not being bipolar. What you seem to identify as “bipolar cycling” in a very short amount of time is rare at best. You, and the former roommate, need to take a good look at what mental disorders (and how/when bipolar mood swings happen) are before you start accusing people of having them.

You were wrong. Even if she went off on you and called you every name under the sun, you should accept ownership in her feeling the need to go off. I know you’re probably not a big enough person, but you might do well to apologize for being an ass who wouldn’t leave when it was past time for you to get out of her space.

Ansible1's avatar

@avvooooooo Apparently you are unable to continue a debate without trying to insult me. You are the immature one. Earlier I said that I appreciate you giving your point of view. I take it back.

Judi's avatar

They were ALL invited to stay there. I’m not sure why she doesn’t get it, unless she has done the same sort of thing and is trying to justify it?

avvooooooo's avatar

@Judi I have nothing to justify. However, I appreciate the distinction of someone invited to stay the night and someone who is invited to stay and hang out and leave when the night is over (meaning everyone goes to bed and people not staying there go home). I appreciate that when you’re trying to go to bed and there’s someone sitting on/in/around your bed or where you’re sleeping that its kind of difficult. I appreciate the fact that alcohol was involved in this situation and that asking nicely may very well have been missed/ignored by someone who was so wrapped up in his “right” to be where he was that this girl’s rights to end the night were either unwittingly or willfully ignored. I appreciate the fact that blame is being passed without reflecting on actions that contributed. There are a lot of things that I get that Ansible isn’t and doesn’t.

One of my pet peeves is people “diagnosing” people with things that they know nothing about and for no good reason other than one incident and the back up opinion of someone (also ignorant) they went to seeking to be backed up.

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