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Adult bullying/relational aggression

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Adult bullying/relational aggression

Postby luckylly » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:20 pm

I wanted to share some experiences with interpersonal conflict with the members of the forum to get their perspective on this situation. I am having some difficulty with a group of women at the moment. The 4 ofus began asfreinds, moving out of state at the same time. One of the women was particualry charming and charismatic and madeitclear she wanted tobe friends with me. Everything was fine until a few months later when she suggested to myself and my husband that we should ignore and exclude another in the group because she was low life trash, wasugly etc etc. We were shocked and of course I did not engagein this type of behaviour and continued to invite the friend she wanted to exclude along to our get togethers. Very quickly, this woman became quite aggressive towards myself and my husband, making abusive remarks, put downs etc in front of our group of friends. She did this in a joky way, eg. saying my husband was an idiot and felt sorry for our children because they looked like him. This continued for about 9months , until othermembers of the group started making these comments too. Power of subtle prolonged suggestion !!

She cut off all contact with me and I continued to speak to her in company thinking it was all a bit childish and would blow over...but it did not. I did not tell my other friend what she had said about her, as I thought it was all very immatureand she would find it very hurtful .Unknown to me she had been saying that I was being nasty to her and abusive and gradually my friends became a bit frosty towards me. I tried to explain myself to them but they would not believe me, and I could hardly understand why adult women could not see past this type of manipulative behaviour.

18 months on and Iam completely isolated from my group of friends plus other friends who have joined our group. It has become very hostile and aggressive now, - these women are also my neighbours and i see them every day as we have small children and we go the park, library with our children. The expereince has been so stressful I became quite depressed due to the social isolation.

I wondered if nay one had simialr expereinces. I am finding it hard to move on. It is hard to meet other women- and I think I am notin the best place to be a good friend right now anyway !!
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Re: Adult bullying/relational aggression

Postby jasmin » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:05 pm

Hi, luckylly! It sounds like this woman is disturbed... Maybe bullying and excluding people makes her "happy". Did you tell the woman she wanted to exclude at first about it? Maybe you should, maybe she was already being mean to her. If you can't find any neighbors to get along with, maybe you could make friends through some sort of hobby. I know what it's like to be isolated by friends and neighbors... It can really get to you and cause depression, like you said. I'm sorry I didn't reply to your post sooner.
You could try talking to a therapist, if you want.
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Re: Adult bullying/relational aggression

Postby charliesangel » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:42 pm

OMG your story is almost the same as mine.... I live in Spain and have had this going on for a year. Wondering why I was never invited to anything, seeing strange looks on peoples faces and all because someone had been bitching and backstabbing behind my back and lying about what I had said or done. I have never experienced anything like this in my life. There are 2 main culprits here and a few others who say they are not involved but they are.

I have 4 daughters and taught them to stand up to bullying by holding your head high and acting as if you are not afraid. This kind of bullying is different though. It is so subtle...

I confronted one of the women and asked for a chat she was awful to me and said if I go anywhere near her she will call the police. They have been saying I have been bullying them for a long time and yet have continued to go everywhere I go. People are beginning to realise now but its all too late. I feel really let down by the people that knew me as they never defended me and all the new people (expats arriving all the time) were poisoned before they had even met me. I am in an awful situation, people are fed up of hearing about it. I never said a word as my husband told me to rise above it. I think that made them worse as they always saw me having a good time and laughing and thought they werent getting to me. They meet up and slag me off and anyone who is close to me nearly every day.

I thought all this was not getting to me but the last week I have been so upset. I have always been kind and helpful and started coffee mornings for mothers so they could make new friends. I have done so much for the community, Netball Club, Ladies Group, Kid Club and had to stop it all because of my terrible reputation. Its so easy for people to say just ignore them when they are not on the receiving end. I am now moving back to the UK and spending time with my family there. I have lived here for 10 years and all I will have now is bad memories of the place. I fel depressed and let down.
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Re: Adult bullying/relational aggression

Postby lifegetsbetter » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:06 am

With respect sounds to me as if these so called friends are just trying to manipulate and control you. I personally would rise above it and not let it get u down. These so called friends need you more than you need them so be strong and stay focused.
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Re: Adult bullying/relational aggression

Postby wildncrazy » Mon May 09, 2011 9:51 am

I often hear stories like this. Women can be EXTREMELY vicious to eachother in an all female enviroment. Its much easier in mixed groups because take it from me, blokes HATE bitchyness in women and tend to stick up for the victim. Blokes are just as bad in all male enviroments but women tend to dislike males bullying males as well. Its soo typical of a bully to attack you for refusing to "join the pack" Its what they rely on. In her cowardly eyes you were a threat! You show great courage refusing to be a bully yourself. I wouldn't let it get to you. If you fell in a pit full of rats, would you go it alone or try and make friends with your new "companions"?? Hard to deal with I know but thats what seperates the horses from the donkeys

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Re: Adult bullying/relational aggression

Postby StellaB » Thu May 19, 2011 7:53 pm

This is exactly what has been happening to me.
I had it happen with my best friend turning on me and isolating me from everything. I didn't know what was going on at first, and she kept making out as though it was me not wanting to hang out with her. She kept trying to start fights with me out of no where and I'd address it maturely asking what was going on and she'd say it was all in my head. But then I'd be left out of everything and all our friends had a changed attitude towards me. Some just stopped talking to me completely.
I do know though what is going on with this girl as she has major problems. She was brought up as a witness and is gay but has never come out. She tried to hit on me and when I rejected her (in a kind way) everything changed. She was always controlling and weird, I realize this more so now I'm away from the friendship. She didn't want me to hang out with other girls, she would get in the way of my dating. She even told me once she would be really upset if I ever found someone as it would take me away from her.
I went away for a couple of months and it's when she took the opportunity to bad mouth me to everyone we knew.
I came back and had not one friend to hang out with. I'd email or call people and just get snarky comments or no reply at all.
I kept thinking it would pass and all resolve itself but it's over a yr later and just keeps getting worse, any new friend I make these girls recruit and they then have a changed attitude towards me. They put me down in passive agressive ways, making out their concerned for me, that I'm insecure and that I can't find a boyfriend... on and on. When it's mostly they're talking negatively to everyone that has made things this way.
I don't understand any of it. I've been such a good friend. I've helped everyone through rough times and whenever anything bad happens to me, it seems they get some joy out of it. Then if I'm doing well they gossip about me and try to bring me down, I just can't win.
I've also had a guy I met harassing me the past three yrs to top it off. I met him at a bar one night where he hit on me and he had a girlfriend at the time. He added me to Facebook after and I accepted but finding him so cute and having a girlfriend I thought I'd just get a crush and get hurt so deleted him.
Apparently my meeting him coincided with his girlfriend getting emails from someone saying he was cheating though and he has been blaming me ever since. We keep ending up in the same places so he's taken it as far as telling everyone he knows I'm stalking him. I get called names as I'm walking down the street. He ducks down on patios as I go by, but also has tried to approach me on several different occasions, and when I ignore him he goes to great lengths to make a spectacle of me again every time I'm out pointing me out to people then hiding. This guy has a slew of people believing I'm stalking him and I can't get most of my "friends" to even believe he's done any of it.
I feel incredibly isolated and depressed right now...I have one friend who believes me but have no idea what to do about any of this. Just is a bit much to handle and just seems to keep spreading. I'm completely lost, I've even considered leaving the city, but then feel as though they all have just completely victimized me if I do.
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Re: Adult bullying/relational aggression

Postby Lindas » Mon May 13, 2013 2:18 pm

It's happening to me at work. It's a pretty textbook case of relational aggression. The ring leader is polite to my face, but influences, or attempts to influence people behing my back. Unfortunately for me, she has some influence over my boss. Most recently, she tried to recruit someone against me in an email, referring to me by names that I don't think they would allow to be printed in this forum, and also saying that she wants to punch me in the face, shoot me, and will "one way or another eliminate me from" the company. Naturally, I've reported it, but she's still here. I've also filed a copy of the email with the lawyer who wrote my will, in case anything happens to me. Any suggestions?
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Re: Adult bullying/relational aggression

Postby nrtazi » Fri May 24, 2013 10:00 am

Maybe you are getting to stuck on the issue of that person and you are missing the big picture

Consider that your current situation might not be related to that woman at all
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