Gossip Girl

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I’ve written about this particular “friend” before and her burning need to gossip.  Tasha is known for being a busybody.  She attended the same junior high as both my husband and Eliza.  He said she was the same way then, too.  He felt she was a person that I needed to feed with a long handled spoon. 

In a way I don’t want to cut her off because she does have good qualities.  But here lately, her bad qualities are overwhelming her good ones.  For starters she viewed attending the funeral as a social event–a reunion of sorts.  Tasha stated that she wanted to be “cute” for the service as she never knew who would be there!  On the otherhand, she was very supportive in the aftermath of his death (she was the one in the photo with me on the post Be There).  Not to mention she has a wicked sense of humor and a fair sense of fashion.  When she is not being controlled by the green-eyed monster, she gives good advice and is a great listener.

I try to ignore her malignancy as much as possible.  When she gets to gabbing about others I change the subject or remain quiet.  I wish she would grow up.  However, I know Tasha is suffering from insecurity.   It makes her feel superior for a little while when she is slandering others.  Yet she hates when others do the same to her.  Tasha was complaining about a woman we both know spreading rumors about her!  I wanted to point out that it hurts when the shoe is on the other foot, but she can’t accept constuctive criticism.

She is highly competitive with all of her friends (not just me because I have heard all about them as I’m sure they have heard all about me!) and is very consumed by people who have “more” than her.  I rarely tell her about my accomplishments because I know that she can’t handle hearing such news. 

One day I was combing Jazmine’s hair when she called.  When she inquired about what I was doing, she responded Don’t you mean brushing?!  It was a snide comment that I didn’t play into.  No, I’m combing it.  Her hair has grown quite a bit since the last time you saw her, I patiently explained.  Sometimes she amuses me with her lack of decorum!

She also gets pretty annoyed with me because I do not divulge every detail of my life.  She is very free in her speech and talks about many things including her sex (blush!) life.  I’m not that way with any of my friends!  She often says I hate when people act like they can’t share details.  I know that the “people” she is referring to means me because she thinks that I am too secretive.  But I am very careful about what I say to her knowing that everyone in town would be privvy to the information a few hours later.  I keep the conversation on general terms with her–kids, recipes, shopping, movies, careers–nothing too revealing.

I am pretty good with managing money which I suppose gives her the impression that I have more than I do.  In in my present circumstances she is envious of me!  Who in their right mind would be jealous of a widow?!  She always makes comments that she wishes she could be like me and buy whatever she wants.  When she visits, she surveys the house and starts talking about how she to wants to buy a home and all of the other things she needs to get for her apartment that we already have.  A few times she has even bought her friends with her to show off our house!

I always feel like I am on “display” when she is around.  I can feel her studying and watching my every move.   And she has an opinion about everything!  To be honest I feel sorry for her because she is obviously hurting and unhappy with herself.  But she is too immature to seek another avenue to release her insecurities.  I don’t know how to build her self worth even though I try.  I am not willing to sacrifice my sanity for the sake of  friendship.  But I would like to attempt before ditching her completely.  So how do you help save a friend from this disease of the mouth?

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10 responses »

  1. This is a really hard thing. You have also written this very well. It’s very articulate.

    If it were me I’d make a list of the “good” and the “bad” and the “advantages” and disadvantages” of this “friendship.” If it’s worth it to you to not be able to be yourself with her. If you always feel you are on some kind of “display,” how can that work? You can’t ever just be you. On the other hand, if she gives you what you need from her, you’ll have to go on the way you have been.

    Only you know the answer to this M. I know you’ll do the right thing. You are a very good friend.

  2. Oh, Morocco, I have had people like these in my life. I tend to put them on my secondary friends list and keep a very distant relationship with them. I have a few very close friends that I share my secrets with, and the rest are just people that I have meaningless conversations with. You’ll figure it out. Sometimes you have to just trust your instinct…

  3. I agree with you both. I know that she could never be anything more than a casual friend, however, she wants to one of my “top” friends. Tasha gets totally offended that I will allow her complete access to my world. It is as if she doesn’t know that that her gossipy nature is not appealing.

    Her “boyfriend” which is her son’s father, is a married man. Obviously she has to have a very poor self-worth to want to be with a man who is not completely available. That is another troublesome spot for me in our so-called friendship because I take the instituition of marriage very seriously. And she just doesn’t understand why I don’t want to hear any details or mention of her married boyfriend!!! I don’t like being judgemental about what she does, however, I am not going to condone her actions either. This has created a strain on the relationship as well.

    I’m starting to think she is a friend better off left in high school (where I met her) because she has not really matured much over the span of time.

  4. Morocco..you have your hands full! I agree with what Joy and Stacy said. In similiar situations, I have tried “educating” my “friend” to what “friendship” means! It is amazing how we all have different definitions OR we have the same definitions. I would inject “little” statements with my friend in a “nice” way to make her understand what it meant to be a “good friend”, in my opinion. It takes time…took me 3 months of patience…but, she got it! Not everyone does, though! Just know in your heart,,,you are being what you believe a friend should be! She is lucky to have you! *(*

  5. Doraz (Luisa) is right in that not all people “get it.” She has to get it or there will always be that “wall.” Is there no way she’ll “settle” for a relationship that is “casual?” Who needs the term “best friends” when we are grown up??

  6. Doraz, crazy just seems to flock to me! I’ve been “wrorking” her for quite some time now which is why I am contemplating letting go. Sometimes we outgrow our friends and you can’t save those who don’t want saving. I suspect if I abandoned the friendship that she would still have the same mentality. Several of her other friends have opted out and it seems that it has only made her more bitter.

    Joy, she will have to accept this because I am not willing to give her more. As long as she remains the way she is, I can’t totally trust her.

  7. If you know in your heart that you did everything possible to help your friend, time for you to let go before she “drags” you into “her” world. It is similar to how people feel in divorce situations, all of them have different endings. No two are equal.

  8. i had a friend like this. everything was a competition. she once came over to my house where a bunch of my friends were gathered. we were having a good time. it was the first time she’d been introduced to that group of friends. she sat in the corner and texted all night. then she came up to me and told me she had counted all the contacts in her phone and she had 65! i just looked at her. what is wrong with you? everything’s a competition. you don’t even know what she’s going to mention next, “oh, i like your boots, i got mine at blah blah blah in LA.” lady, i don’t even know what that means. i tried talking to her about it, it went in one ear and out the other. everything was drama with her. every single thing, every inquiry. i never told her how much money i made. she asked ALL THE TIME. i knew i made more than she did, but i didn’t want it to be a competition. cars, shoes, bags, what we watched on tv. it was all up for competition.

    we finally “broke up”. and i feel a lot better. every time something would happen to her in her personal life, i would think “oh. okay, NOW she’s going to plant her feet on earth in reality.” that would last for a week, then she was back to talking about NOTHING.

    it was exhausting being around her because she never stopped talking. about NOTHING. she would talk during movies. she would NOT stop talking!

    whew. keep doing what you’re doing.

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