So I have this friend I've known for years with whom I've hung out and rode motorcycles with. There is a group of us that hangs out and regularly gives eachother crap, just being funny. It seems that I get picked on more than anyone else in this group and especially by this one friend. He constantly does things that he thinks are funny that seem to target/embarass me and even another meeker guy in the group. He especially loves to bring up embarassing things to new people we all meet at the bar and functions. I seem to get singled out more than everyone else (maybe because I'm short, have little education and don't make as much as them?). My ex girlfriend used to say how mean spirited and immature they were and especially this friend, and now I'm finally starting to see it. When I call him out though they all team up to call me over sensitive and such, and say they're just trying to help me. But it's gotten to the point where being around them and especially this one friend makes me feel like sh*t about myself when I'm trying to make improvements. Even some of my non-biker friends that know him and them say they're immature ass*oles.
I seem to have blown up on him on Facebook and don't know if I'm being immature about this or it was the right thing to do. I have steadily avoided going to their weekly hangout now for a month. Also they give me crap when I hang out with people they don't seem to like, like I'm some sort of traitor or something. I feel more and more isolated, but they're some of the only folks I know in the new city I live in. Any advice on frenemies/bullies? Oh I'm 5'4 and he's about 6'4'' so he's physically intimidating as well.
Thanks for following up. Always good to hear of personal growth like this. Keep affirming this mindset to yourself, and be ready to defend it. I've found that when you're not accustomed to standing up for yourself you might not hit a good balance at first. Sometimes you might over defend and look like an over reacting idiot, and sometimes you won't be assertive enough. If you keep practicing you'll become more comfortable and intentional.
Thank you. It seems I've been given the cold shoulder by a few of the folks in that group. I couldn't care less. Have been reestablishing negelected friendships with other folks and have been having a blast. It seems that I'm not the only one that saw this dude as a mean-spirited prick, but I try not to bring it up unless some other folks in the know ask. Don't want to gossip, just move on. This was a huge step out of character for me and I really appreciate all my fellow dudes giving me a hand. I won't be a pushover ever again.
Definitely sounds like there is some bullying going on. No one has to put up with bullying. I'd recommend finding some new friends. If any sort of physical violence is done to you, you can always seek out the police.
Thanks. He actually came up a apologized to me at the local bar last weekend. i accepted, but I will keep my distance as well. Having a lot of fun with different folks that i sought out.
Glad to hear the group noticed when you left. Enjoy the new group!
Congratulations Bobby! Your friends need to see you'll be a friend, but not a pushover. YOu can even keep the guy as a 'friend. But you're a little bit wiser now!
Man that must have felt good. Good for you.
By challenging him, successfully, his social standing has been reduced in the eyes of your social group. And, in the same stroke, yours has improved.
Consequently, the next move is yours.
So, I ask you, are you willing to remain amicable? There's no *inherent* reason you must end your friendship...but it's YOUR choice, not his, at this point. You are in the superior position, especially after his apology.
Seize the moment. Remain in control.
We remain friendly but not like we were before. I won't myself the chance of falling back into being a frequent target of his. I keep him and most of the group at arms distance. Helped I got rid of my Facebook account so I can do as I please without any of them being up in my business.
Bullying is a social dynamic between people who seek outward for acknowledgement, and they do it in different ways. The bully finds acknowledgement by pushing others down (look at how great I am, I am number one, muahaha), while the victim just takes it. Bullies don't bully people who stand up for themselves.
In my youth, I had frienemies who were the most wonderful friends when we were two. And when we were three, they competed about who was best at bullying me. This made it difficult to part with them - because on the one had, I knew these were fabulous people. On the other hand, I was tormented by their bullying. I clinged on to them for security, staying with people I knew. And the bully/victim balance would keep my insecurity alive.
As years passed, this had enormous consequences for my life, however. Only ten years after the bullying had ended, did I understand exactly what an impact this had had on my life. Had I known then what I know now, I would never have allowed it to happen. Basically, I see only two ways of dealing with frienemies: You either stand up for yourself and gain their respect, or you leave in self defence. Yet, even when you leave, you still need to find your acknowledgement within and learn to stand up for yourself.