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Histroinic friend

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Histroinic friend

Postby Oakly4 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:23 am

Me and my close friend have been friends for years, we are both adults in our thirties now. Her personality changed from shy and somewhat introverted in high school, to extroverted and promiscuous in college. I thought it was a phase, until it began to impinge upon my life, my relationships and my friends. Boundaries are constantly being broken, for instance, inappropriate sexual behavior with people I'm close with including family members and friends, and flirtatious behavior with boyfriends. Her relationships are spontaneous and short-termed and often shallow. Her relationship with me is unhealthy as well as she needs my constant approval and attention. She also admires my personality and takes aspects of who I am, pretending somehow that they are hers. Its very strange and hard to explain. This situation has been draining on me for years, as I am always there when I'm needed, but also a victim in that I feel I have to share every aspect of my life with this person when it comes to their constant attention seeking. Often times in large groups of people I get frustrated with her behavior, because although most people probably can't tell, I can tell how fake she is in her personality, intellect, humor and other aspects. She was never like this when we were younger, and I wonder if this is even a disorder or just a personality flaw.I also don't know how to go about dealing with this anymore, sometimes I would like to give up, but we've known each other for about sixteen years and it is not easy. I'm soon to be married, and I'm just curious if anyone has had an experience where their marriage life was affected because of their histrionic friend.
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Re: Histroinic friend

Postby lietome » Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:29 pm

From how you described her it sounds very likely that she has HPD. Even if these actions were just from personality flaws, her behavior is tiring and unacceptable. I'm surprised you've dealt with her for so long. You could try confronting her about her actions, giving specific examples, and how they emotionally drain you, but she'll likely just become defensive or try to divert your attention elsewhere. If you feel you can no longer tolerate her actions, you should remove her from your life. I would suggest slowly distancing yourself from her, to ease both of you out of the relationship. No, it wont be easy, but it is ultimately for the best.
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Re: Histroinic friend

Postby Breathingroom » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:18 pm

Well Oakly..I am not sure I have read a post on this forum yet that could be my exact words! I truly could have written every word that you said.

You know, most people on this forum have had an HPD relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend. In my situation and your situation, it is a friendship. We don't live with the person or are married to them ,so it takes us longer to realize something is really wrong. I think that is why you have been friends with this girl for so long and in my particular case, my friendship lasted nearly the same amount of time. Go back and look at my other posts. It will educate you on my story. I also know that personality disorders generally do not manifest themselves until mid-20's and they usually get worse as people age. That is why she was probably shy and reserved when you first met her.

I know exactly how you feel when it comes to a draining friendship. My friend, Ginger, would call sometimes 12-14x/day and then get mad if I could not put everything down to talk to her. I am a mother of 3 kids, have a great husband and cherish the time we have as a family. She would call and just make such a nuisance of herself knowing we have people over, are having dinner, etc. She has even been known to come by the house and look in the windows if I did not answer the phone.

I was always a devoted friend to her even though I knew she had some "insecurity" problems or something. I thought it was interesting that you posted that your friend basically was trying to take on characteristics of you. Mine did the same thing. I have always been a "good" girl- never getting into alot of trouble, have never slept around, and have always kept myself in church and had a relationship with God. When I met Ginger, I knew she had had a wilder past, but she slowly started turning into me. She began to dress like me, wear her hair like me, get involved in church and even had the same tastes and interests. Now that I look back that is the facade that she hid behind. She wanted and still does want people to think she is just this little wonderful, christian girl who would never hurt a flea!

As you will read in my other posts, she began to seduce my husband behind my back. Of course she blameshifted the whole thing on him and she did nothing wrong. Other guy friends of ours would always say she was a flirt with them in front of their wives-but HPDs have such an incredible need for affirmation because they are so empty on the inside, that they will do ANYTHING for supply. I, like you, could see thru the "fake", especially now that I am out of the friendship. She tells people what they want to hear in the form of flattery so others will think they are the most wonderful person in the world.

My advice to you, Oakly, is to get away from her. I wish a million times over that I had stepped away from my friendship years ago. Of course with what happened, I am away from it now, and can now truly see the dysfunction. I feel that I wasted years of my life while my kids were little putting up with the drama and craziness that she brought into my family. Nobody has the right to do that to me! I am mad and would love to save you from the turmoil. You mentioned you are about to get married-keep her far away, Oakly. Marriage is hard enough. I know it may be hard to get away from her, but I would slowly start putting an arms-length distance between you. It is not worth it, trust me....
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Re: Histrionic friend

Postby living in lalaland » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:32 am

Although I haven't been friends w/an HPD for as long as you, I'd still say to distance yourself as much as possible...

Mine is a close neighbor who belongs to the same social group, and though I've learned how to avoid and ignore her, we still share a few acquaintances, mostly men - who probably sense something's not quite right with her, yet still don't see or know her as I do. I've noticed that she does many of the same things as your friend - competing for attention, especially with men, and seeking approval, most interestingly from me. It's so exhausting, and I don't know what others notice, that I just can't and won't deal with her anymore - and I don't even have the energy to list all the things she does here.

So I really do understand your predicament as a friend, but please consider taking care of yourself first!
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Re: Histroinic friend

Postby jane2008 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:22 am

I totally agree with the other posters. I had a histrionic friend too, you can read my other posts. She was very complimentary to me, very supportive, but I slowly started seeing weird things...tons of confrontations with everyone in her life. It took me years to really see it and stop making excuses for her, but I finally realized how damaging and toxic she could be. I am too nice, and I kept thinking I was being judgmental of her going through a rough time, so on and on it went.

There was no end to her constant drama (always calling for favours, always sick with life-threatening issues, accusing someone of abuse or stalking or having it out for her, inappropriate flirtatious behaviour, battling with everyone then writing them out of her life, etc). She fits all the symptoms, I could go on for hours about the wacky things she's done.

What struck me about your story is that you're getting married. If she is histrionic, it could spell disaster. I'm not exaggerating. My ex friend had three or four stories of women who "hated her" because she had hit on their boyfriends or husbands. Of course she never had anything to do with it, and at first I believed her as she is very pretty. But I realized that she was inappropriately flirtatious with friends' boyfriends and it all started to make sense. I even saw her make up a flirtation one night that never even happened.

One night, she flounced around in a slinky negligee in front of my husband (he's awesome, I totally trust him and he was like what the heck???) when she stayed over at my house when we'd been drinking. Stupid me, I made excuses for her "that's just how she is." Pffft. If I knew then what I know now I guess. But I walked away from her last year and have never looked back. So, in your case if you do remain friends with her keep a lookout when she's around your hubby as that is what they do best - attention grab then act innocent.

The other thing you may see is that she will do something at your wedding. She may have a sudden meltdown or attention grabbing incident to take the focus off of you. God forbid you should outshine a histrionic, they just can't stand it.

It took me a long time to realize that my friend was very self-centred. She didn't care about me, or being a nuisance to me, or even ruining my life...it was all about her crazy drama and getting me to give her more and more attention. If your friend is histrionic, and it sounds like she has the tendencies...do what's best for you and try not to worry too much about the length of your friendship, or hurting her feelings.
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Re: Histroinic friend

Postby jane2008 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:22 am

I totally agree with the other posters. I had a histrionic friend too, you can read my other posts. She was very complimentary to me, very supportive, but I slowly started seeing weird things...tons of confrontations with everyone in her life. It took me years to really see it and stop making excuses for her, but I finally realized how damaging and toxic she could be. I am too nice, and I kept thinking I was being judgmental of her going through a rough time, so on and on it went.

There was no end to her constant drama (always calling for favours, always sick with life-threatening issues, accusing someone of abuse or stalking or having it out for her, inappropriate flirtatious behaviour, battling with everyone then writing them out of her life, etc). She fits all the symptoms, I could go on for hours about the wacky things she's done.

What struck me about your story is that you're getting married. If she is histrionic, it could spell disaster. I'm not exaggerating. My ex friend had three or four stories of women who "hated her" because she had hit on their boyfriends or husbands. Of course she never had anything to do with it, and at first I believed her as she is very pretty. But I realized that she was inappropriately flirtatious with friends' boyfriends and it all started to make sense. I even saw her make up a flirtation one night that never even happened.

One night, she flounced around in a slinky negligee in front of my husband (he's awesome, I totally trust him and he was like what the heck???) when she stayed over at my house when we'd been drinking. Stupid me, I made excuses for her "that's just how she is." Pffft. If I knew then what I know now I guess. But I walked away from her last year and have never looked back. So, in your case if you do remain friends with her keep a lookout when she's around your hubby as that is what they do best - attention grab then act innocent.

The other thing you may see is that she will do something at your wedding. She may have a sudden meltdown or attention grabbing incident to take the focus off of you. God forbid you should outshine a histrionic, they just can't stand it.

It took me a long time to realize that my friend was very self-centred. She didn't care about me, or being a nuisance to me, or even ruining my life...it was all about her crazy drama and getting me to give her more and more attention. If your friend is histrionic, and it sounds like she has the tendencies...do what's best for you and try not to worry too much about the length of your friendship, or hurting her feelings.
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Re: Histroinic friend

Postby MeELC » Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:52 pm

I completely understand all of you.
I also have a friend who, while she has never been diagnosed, to my knowledge, shows every symptom of HPD.
I now live very far away from her, and only see her about twice a year (about all I can handle) but I don’t have the courage to cut all ties because she has never done anything to me directly, she really loves me, and I’ve known her since I was 3.
Her and I are exact opposites. It does not seem like she has any passions in life, while I am completely absorbed by music and politics. She always needs people’s attention and approval, while I prefer to be solitary. Also, she considers me to be her best, closest friend, who would never judge her and would always be by her side, yet, as I said, we only see each other twice a year, barely ever talk in between (like maybe a short msn conversation like twice or three times a year) and when I do see her, I have nothing to talk about.
Also, she is bound to violent mood swings, being happy and laughing a minute and then crying or complaining about everything the next. This irritates me because I have a limited range of emotions myself and tend to be very even-tempered. People that are overly exuberant bug me.
Since she was little, she’s always made up things or exaggerated things to attract attention/pity/praise. She also blames everyone but herself for the bad things that happen in her life. (There are lots!).
She is also very promiscuous and has been emotionally or sexually involved with most of the single (and some taken) men that came into her life.
She even had a child with a neighbor who happened to be in a relationship at the time. It wasn’t an accident, she did it on purpose. The guy has mental health and addiction issues (she always picks men with some kind of problem, it seems) and when he dumped her and decided to go to rehab and therapy to get a better life for himself, she cut him out of her and the child’s life and badmouths him every occasion she gets. Now granted, he is hardly the father of the year but still… At least he’s trying!

I find her extremely tiring and I don’t know how to initiate a conversation on the topic with her. But yeah, I understand what you’re going through in a big way!

She also does the “surprise visits” to a couple of people and harasses them on the phone. (Thankfully she does not do it to me.)
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