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If you realized that your values drastically differed from a friend's values...

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If you realized that your values drastically differed from a friend's values...

Old 05-18-05, 07:08 PM
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If you realized that your values drastically differed from a friend's values...

If you realized that your values drastically differed from a friend's values...

would that keep you from remaining friends with that person? I'm not talking religion here, just basic values like respect for others. If you realized that a long-time friend of yours had absolutely no respect for other people or their feelings, and in fact had begun taking advantage of your time and generosity, would you stay friends with the person?

I'm having a moral dilemma. I am not a religious person, but I have a strong personal moral code, which includes treating both yourself and others with respect. Unfortunately I've come to believe a woman I've been friends with for 15 years has no qualms about who she hurts, so long as she is happy in the moment. I take extreme issue with this, and am questioning the value of keeping her as a friend. I have enough respect for her to talk this out and try to come to some sort of resolution if possible, but can a person with so little respect for anyone else ever change? Probably not, which would mean that I would just have to accept it, which I'm not sure I can do as I find her actions and her treatment of others to be reprehensible.

So religion aside, would you keep someone as a friend if you realized that friend had no problem hurting anyone around if the result was to make herself happy?
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Old 05-18-05, 07:13 PM
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Oh I have some friends like that and it is difficult. I wish you luck with this.
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Old 05-18-05, 07:17 PM
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Kitty, are you still friends with them? If so, how do you separate how they act from the friendship?
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Old 05-18-05, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by WarriorPrincess
Kitty, are you still friends with them? If so, how do you separate how they act from the friendship?
It's hard. It's not so much that they have the exact same issue as your friend does but there are lots of things they do that makes me crazy. I don't want to say anything more on an open forum, please feel free to email me if you want to talk more. I'm always happy to be a sounding board for my fellow otters.

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Old 05-18-05, 07:25 PM
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I think it depends. A heart to heart chat probably won't change her, so even though it's worth trying, you'll probably have to decide if her behavior is something you can live with. You could also decide that she's fun and amusing but no one you would ever count on--more of an amusing companion than a real friend.

How is she hurting people? Is she selfish all the time or just about certain things (I had a friend once who loved other peoples' husbands. If only I'd been wise enough to give her mine . . .).
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Old 05-18-05, 07:52 PM
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How did she get to be a friend without you ever knowing this beforehand?
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Old 05-18-05, 07:52 PM
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ygm, Kitty, thanks!
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Old 05-18-05, 08:03 PM
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Tasha, she uses men. She takes as much as she can from them emotionally, then cheats with another guy, ruining her own relationship (one engagement, one marriage, two other relationships) and usually ruining his (they are usually married, sometimes with kids, and she has kids).

Spainlinx, her behavior wasn't obvious because we were so young at the time we became friends - it is only over the years that her pattern of using men has become obvious. Well, I was pretty naive, too, so that had something to do with it.

It was this last time that kind of brought everything to a head - she divorced her husband for her previous fiance (yes, you read that right) who was married to someone else. Her kids were only a year old - two at the time she finally divorced her husband. After the new boyfriend/former fiance broke up with her, she began dating a superior at work, breaking up his marriage (he also has two kids). I am having a difficult time reconciling this type of behavior with the person I consider my friend. Add to that the fact that she drops all of her female friends the second we say anything she doesn't want to hear, and you see how manipulative she can be. She begs for our help, we spend hours upon end talking things out, trying to help her realize how she is hurting not only the guys but herself too, only to have her ignore all of the advice and go after married guys again. I'm sick of wasting my energy on her, really, especially since my feelings on infidelity are so strongly in opposition to her actions (which she knows but doesn't factor into the equation when deciding who to go to for emotional support). This disrespect for everyone around her, including her children and herself, is what is bothering me so much. That and her callous behavior towards me when she knows my feelings on infidelity.
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Old 05-18-05, 08:25 PM
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Hmm . .. That would be hard to ignore, especially if you know these guys she treats so badly. It would also be hard to turn a blind eye to the way she puts her social life before her kid's emotional security. Maybe she gets a lot of her selfworth out of how guys treat her--on to new men to reaffirm she's still got it. It would bother me too to have a friend do that (my friend from years ago was really more of an aquaintance, and she never committed to relationships, always wanted to be the "other" woman with no strings attached.)
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Old 05-18-05, 08:28 PM
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I smell cat fight!

D
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Old 05-18-05, 08:58 PM
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WP,

Well, I'd begin to avoid her. Let her fall by her own hands. It sounds like she also probably blames those around her for "not caring" when she requires her needs to be met--at whatever the cost apparently.
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Old 05-18-05, 09:37 PM
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Hmm, personally, I'd have problems staying friends with someone like that. At the risk of jumping too quickly to conclusions, it sounds as if your friend may have some insecurity issues? It seems like she uses men to prop up her own self-esteem, which apparently is so low that she is incapable of any empathy even for the people closest to her. Her entire focus is on herself. It may also be that she's simply a drama queen, and she's inviting trouble just for the sake of feeling something; anything. Either way, she's got issues. I'll bet a buck that they came from her childhood.

As for what you should do, I guess it depends on how much you have invested in this friendship. My guess is that this is going to turn into some MAJOR drama of some shape or form, in the future. People like this have a way of sucking in people around them. Do you feel you benefit at all from this friendship in terms of personal growth, or that your friendship is at all meaningful to her? If not, cutting ties may be a good idea. In my younger more naive days, I'd be all for trying to be there for someone like this. But I've come to realize sometimes (oftentimes) it's not worth it because it costs you time and emotional energy. Just because you can't save the ship doesn't mean you should go down with it.

Actually your description sounds a LOT like a girl I knew and was friends with up until last year when she basically stabbed me in the back. I immediately said buh-bye. Tread carefully though - if she's anything like my ex-friend, she's exquisitely paranoid and will likely take ANY indication of dissent as a sign that you've betrayed her. At that point, be prepared to be painted as the biggest bitch alive.

Last edited by hahn; 05-18-05 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 05-18-05, 09:46 PM
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Thanks, guys! I'll check back in tomorrow. You're all pretty right on wrt your analysis of her personality. I'll sleep on it.

Last edited by WarriorPrincess; 05-18-05 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 05-18-05, 09:51 PM
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It sounds like someone I know. I'd say that she has such low self-esteem that she has no other choice but to at this way. She sounds co-dependant. And really, there isn't anything you can say or do to change her behavior. If she hasn't gotten the picture already, then she's not going to. The only person who can make her change is herself. Unfortunately it sounds like she's also hurting her kids, which is the worst problem of all. The best advice I can give to you in this situation is to not let her life afect your life.... When you are done talking to her, let it be done... don't dwell on it or you'll stress yourself out. If you have children, don't let her be an influence on them.

I have ended a friendship with someone who was like this as well. She was so overly dramatic and everything was this eveil scheme against her. She was so selfish that I just had to tell her straight up one day to never call me again. She ended up writing me a letter and left it on my door telling me that I was the selfish one.

Good luck!
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Old 05-18-05, 09:54 PM
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Well I would say it is a personal thing. If you can not deal with her values break off the friendship. Some of the people I hang with are not really all that nice toward women. No beatdowns but they don't really care about them. Ruin marriages, kids all over the place that sort of thing. I still hang with them.

I don't see it as reflection on me. I don't support what they do nor care all that much since most of them are so obviously bad that I can not feel sorry for their women. I hang with girls that act the same way.

Thinking about logically it is probably because I want be the bad guy once in awhile. I live through them the things I to nice to do and could never do. I do have other friends that are extremely good, damn near perfect. No where near as fun though.

It all depends on you and how you want to deal with the people around you. If I had kids I would have to stop hanging with badder crowd. I have one friend that killed two guys, went to jail, and is out. Can't hang with him. To much bad karma there for me. I'm not sure I know his true name.
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Old 05-19-05, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Kittydreamer
Oh I have some friends like that and it is difficult. I wish you luck with this.

Kitty, are we still friends? even after the racey photos, the xxx chat, and the $670.93 phone bill. . . i havent heard from you in days.
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Old 05-19-05, 12:56 AM
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I would distance myself from this friend.
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Old 05-19-05, 04:51 AM
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It depends. Is she hot?
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Old 05-19-05, 05:22 AM
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Old 05-19-05, 05:47 AM
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From what you describe, she doesn't invest in her relationships with other people, she spends them. She may still has credit with you. Eventually, you will have to decide that she has reached her credit limit.

It also sounds like she puts you in the position of watching her take up with yet another married man, and you know from experience that it will end up badly for him, but you aren't allowed to say anything to warn the guy. I wouldn't want to be put in that position.
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Old 05-19-05, 06:02 AM
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Definitely talk it out, don't make it seem as an attack, just try to perspectivate from the guys' point of view and see what she has to her "defense".
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Old 05-19-05, 06:43 AM
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My wife had a friend very similar and it got to the point that enough was enough. This girl needs a bunch of years of maturing to get a clue. I think my wife just backed off w/out any direct confrontation. Just quit returning phone calls and turned down requests to get together.
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Old 05-19-05, 07:50 AM
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Why talk? I don't think anyone is going to see the "error of their ways" and change something fundamental about their character.

WP, it sounds like you've already made up your mind to dump her and you're really just looking for validation. Go for it. You have our blessing.
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Old 05-19-05, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
Why talk? I don't think anyone is going to see the "error of their ways" and change something fundamental about their character.

WP, it sounds like you've already made up your mind to dump her and you're really just looking for validation. Go for it. You have our blessing.


I have dumped friends for less. As I get older, I have less and less tolerance for BS.
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Old 05-19-05, 08:38 AM
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15 years is a long time to dump a friend without having a talk first. Seems sort of cruel and cowardly to me. Its not like she was pesonally hurt by her friend.
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