From the article: Verbal Abuse in Friendship
Was your friend verbally abusive to you? How did you handle it and when did you realize it was verbal abuse? Share Your Story
"We're sisters" she said.
- Names have been changed to protect their identities: My best friend: Kayla Best friend 2, Kayla’s support: Jayden Best friend 3, my support: Anna Problem friend: Ella Liar ‘friend’: Jordan Kayla’s mom: Britanny Jayden’s mom: Tania Kayla and I have been together since we were babies. As little kids, we were equally dominant, but the older we got, the more she began to take over. Kayla would constantly belittle me and tell my secrets to others. She would act like my greatest protector and friend one moment, but then become angry and hateful the next. I was and am so confused by this, and I usually don't know what to do. In elementary school, she usually just acted as the on again, off again friend, but as we had virtually grown up together, it made it doubly hard. The thing was, when she called us sisters, it made sense to me, even when she was screaming at me, beating on me, and convincing my other friends to jump, poke, and hurt me.
- —Guest forgottenchild
My "Friend" Was Verbally Abusive
- I used to get on great with one of my friends but now she's different. She tells me to "shut up" nearly all the time and even once called me a b*tch. When I try to have a decent conversation, we ALWAYS have to talk about what she wants to talk about and I never get a choice. Maybe it's because we don't have much in common. She isn't just verbally abusive to me. She makes fun of my best guy friend and spreads rumours about him. Every day we are out, we walk past his house and she shouts rude words at his door. He told me once he can hear her but just ignores her. She is so cruel to him.
- —Guest Gemini98
Still feeling the self doubt & anxiety
- My friend went travelling in 2008. On her return she had told me that there were times when she had been bullied and racially abused. She was noticeably very angry and resentful towards people and would openly name call. We lived together for a while. I got engaged. She was my bridesmaid. I found out she had ripped apart what I was doing to friends whilst we were planning the wedding. Finally she told one of our guy mate's new gf that I wasn't to be trusted. I had tried to talk through our fallouts and help her. She told me she was anxious and depressed. I tried to modify my behaviour to help alleviate this. Nothing worked. I had to end the friendship. I feel guilty and anxious and its left me feeling whether there were elements of truth in what she said about me. That I was false, I excluded her from things and that if I did invite her to do stuff I didn't really want her there. I still think about her and what happened every day. How do you ever rationalise or get over this ?
If It Hurts, It's Real
- We were friends from age 13 to 18. From the beginning, she attempted to modify the way I presented myself with others (the makeup and clothes I wore, my social decisions, etc.). When she felt I said something "embarrassing" to her or "for myself" around others, she would make a huge deal in attempt to change who I was. Please note, she was a VERY insecure person who carried much anxiety with her. Around junior and senior year of high school, she began to verbally and emotionally abuse me (more noticeably, at least) around her so called new "friends" and call me out as if I had done something "stupid". She began to notice I was moving towards other friends (who actually DID care about me) and made scenes when I left her (she has a severe fear of being alone). When I finally took action to end our friendship, she threw an absolute FIT. A very insecure, inappropriately-worded tantrum. Her true colors came out much worse than I had anticipated. I encourage you to step up to these leeches.
- —Guest Katelyn
- I've been plagued with being the scapegoat in every group of friends I've ever had - my entire life. I have a group of four particular friends I've managed to stay close to since middle school. We've been there for the birth's of our children, marriages, & even divorces. I would do anything for my friends but deep down inside, I'm not so sure they really like me. We've all had fights with each other, some lasting a few days to a couple of months. But for some reason, if *I* ever have a disagreement with any four of them, they ALL ostracize me - yet if one of them gets into a disagreement with another, everyone, other than the person they fought with, still talks to them. None of them ever come to see me, yet they will go visit each other. If I ever speak up, one of them in particular throws it back in my face & tells me that they don't have time for my invitations to come visit. I try to be there for them & I try to keep us close, but I don't think they want to be close to me.
- —Guest Porsche Young
Can't Leave Her Behind
- We met in middle school and became good friends. She never treated me badly then, but she did do it to our other friends. She always needed someone to use as her punching bag. By the time we were sophomores in high school, our once large friend group had been reduced to four people. During high school, she only treated me poorly a couple times. However, graduation time came around and we ended up going to the same college and rooming together. That's when I became the punching bag. At least once a week, she will get angry with me for a reason I won't know. She'll talk down to me, call me "obnoxious", "awkward", "stupid", or just won't speak to me at all. However, during this time I also learned that she'd been hiding depressing and self-harm from me, our old friends, and her family. I'm one of her only friends and don't want to abandon her, despite how she treats me. If I go, it'll only make her hate herself more. I'm trying to stay strong, but I'm growing to hate me too.
- —Guest Becca Bear
- I met someone in law school and we became very good friends. She was always supportive. However 6 months later, I started noticing she kept criticizing me. Kept telling me I was being inappropriate, then called me a narcissist. She would also blame me whenever things went wrong. One time she had my keys and I was locked out of my apt, she kept me waiting five hours, when she finally showed up she was mad I kept calling her and said "couldn't you have waited until the next morning?!". She would also accuse me of doing things and when i asked when and what they were she would claim she didn't remember. She would also tell her friends confidential things about me and justify it by claiming she can trust them, and it's for my own good. At the end...I confronted her about it and she freaked and told me I was being demanding. I finally emailed her (because I couldn't bear seeing her in person) that I'm through with her and our friendship is over. That was five months ago. Not a word since.
- —Guest NobleKnight
- We had been friends and college roommates for about a year and gotten along great. Then suddenly everything became my fault. I couldn't even say anything to her without something or another being my fault. When I confronted her about it, suddenly the fact that I felt like she was attacking me (even though several other people had also noticed her attacking me) was my fault. Things were fine between us for about six month after that. Then they got worse than before. When we graduated from college, she got a job right away, and then she started making comments about how she couldn't be friends with any of the younger people in our neighborhood because none of them had "real" jobs. I had been looking for a job and unable to find what she considered a "real" job, but she said she was willing to continue being my friend because we were friends before she got her "real" job. Jabs at my intelligence, overall character, and many other things continued. I started to believe I was a dumb jerk.
- —Guest Hurting on the Inside
- About 3 years ago, I made friends with someone who was new to my area. I saw signs of impending trouble, but I always give the benefit of the doubt. So, I was kind and opened up to this person, who was very drawn to me right from the start. The first time this relationship became troublesome, she was very negative in her speech...blaming me for things which had nothing to do with me at all. I had shared things very personal with her, and she held it over my head like a threat. I should have walked away then. As it was when she called me 6 months later, she said she could not even remember why we had stopped talking. At that point I felt sorry for her, knowing I was dealing with a mentally ill person. Again, against my better judgment I resumed friendship. After 2 more 'episodes', each one increasing in severity, I ended the relationship. I cannot help her, I feel compassion but it was about self-preservation at that time. The anxiety I felt is gone now, and I feel free.
I have a friend who does this
- MY friend blames me for everything that goes on if things do not go here way she snaps if I do not do something as soon as she wants it done she will fight with me.. I have tryed to talk to her when she was mad and was physically hit on serval occassions but we used to be so close and she use to be like my soul sister .. now its like I am not important.. and I do not know what to do!
- —Guest Hated101
Perhaps It's About Women
- I have a male friend, and we toyed with the idea of dating at one point, but the chemistry wasn't there. We live in different states and normally talk on the phone on a daily basis. Recently, I had some job interviews in his region, and he offered to let me stay at his apartment. I gratefully accepted, and I did not stay as a freeloader. Unfortunately, he has said some really rude things to me. One day I was typing an e-mail to a friend, he asked what I was doing, and I told him. He said, "Did you tell her I have absolutely no interest in your huge a**? None whatsoever." (To put this in perspective, I am 5'9" tall, and my "huge a** is size 5/6.) He has made several comments about my "huge" bum and makes other cutting comments about my personality, and no he is not being cute or sarcastic. I got mad one day and said calmly, "Try saying something nice." He told me he didn't want me to get a big head. His negative comments are killing the friendship.
- —Guest Kathleen
BEING YOUR OWN 'FRIEND'
- I confronted a 'friend' for verbal abuse-calmly, lovingly, directly. It was tough-but necessary-LET 'them' know you RESPECT YOURSELF-then 'disengage' (refuse to worry about what 'happens' next) GO ON WITH YOUR LIFE-but keep an 'open door' to restoration. If they repent and make amends, well enough-just remember the change in behavior may be just temporary-be prepared to exit the relationship permanently. YOU must be willing to treat yourself EXACTLY the way you expect someone else to treat you---WELL. (NOTE: I also 'cancelled' her 'assignment' of me as GROUP DESIGNATED DRIVER to her daughter-in-law to be's WEDDING SHOWER DINNER. I have serious marital and health problems and was definitely not 'on board' for anymore STRESS. Take CARE OF YOURSELF! YOU CAN DO IT! It is SO much HARDER to be ABUSED and USED than it is to BE ALONE. Believe it and act on it-you really have no other option to regain mental and spiritual health, and maybe even physical health as well. Best Wishes!
- —Guest A Friend to Myself (finally)
How i feel
- This exact thing is happening to me i dont know how many friends i have or if i even have any but i hang around 2 that give me the worst ****** and **** i am afraid to let go brcause i dont know what happens next this is been going on for 2 yrs nothing physical just verbal every day at least 5 times i know i need to end it but where do i go? What next?
- —Guest Zinn
Older Friend is Verbally Abusive
- I have an older friend who is close to my mom's age. I liked her at first because I didn't have a good relationship with my mom, and she acted like she cared about me almost as a daughter. But she's really very abusive with her words. She grits her teeth and makes these comments about me. She indirectly calls me a b*tch. We were at the bookstore and saw that book, Why Men Marry Bitches, and she shook her head and said, "You know. Like you." She thinks she's justified in saying these things because she is older.
- —Guest MargaretZ
Quiet Tone But Abusive Words
- I had a friend that was verbally abusive. At first it started with little digs. Like, I'm a writer for a small newspaper in town, and when she'd introduce me she'd say "sewing girl" because I also do alterations occasionally on the side. But my full time job is writer. She said she'd always wanted to be a writer, so maybe that's why. Then, she got mean. Her little digs got worse and worse. Finally when I confessed that I was writing a novel, she said to me, "You realize your writing isn't very good, though. Right?" I think what surprised me about being friends with her is her tone. She never raised her voice. I thought for her to be verbally abusive she had to be loud. But she was quiet. The things she kept saying though... they hurt. She was so jealous and mean and yet she'd say things in this quiet tone like she cared. At least, that what I thought at the beginning. I realize now it was just manipulation. It was hard to break up with her too. I finally did, but it was hard.