My friend is acting odd
Ok, so i have this friend at work. I will call her h. We've been friends for 5 years. We have always gotten along, and work well together. There has always been innocent flirting, but we are both flirty people. It has never ventured into anything even remotely inappropriate, never been sexual in nature, or suggestive. We talk about things, and come to each other for advice with our marriages. Its nice to have a similarly aged woman i can run things by when i am not understanding what my wofe might be upset about.
I want to take a second to describe my marriage. I am so very much in love with my wife. She is smart, compassionate and beautiful. She is also always DTF,which may sound dumb, but an active sexlife is important in a marriage. I talked about her at work alot, from funny things she says to how lucky i am that i have her. ANd i am.
As for myself, i am usually described as a "nice guy". I go out of my way to help people with whatever, and that includes people i am not fond of here. For my friends though, i dote on them, and really go out of my to try and make sure they know they are loved. Life is short, i try to always be positive in advice. "You got this, you are tough, you are smart," things like that. Male and female friends alike i am generally the same.
Now onto my friend. h, and I have always gotten o well until recently. Well, about a year ago a similar situation started, but ended quickly. The situation is she has been telling me that co workers and colleagues are talking about me and how i am with her. I am this way with everyone, so i am confused why they are singling her out. Calling "her man". A year ago, she broyght this up to ke and i kept my dostance, didnt stop by her desk, didnt engage her in public, just kind of hung back, and after two days she told me she wanted me around and didnt care what people said because we are just friends.
Things were fine until about 2 weeks ago, when shr started telling me these things again. She says she is upset they are taljing about us, so i again pull back and tell her to message me if she needs anything. She tells me no, just to keep coming around and the peopme around her are just jealous. In fact she asks me to do more thatbwould bring me to her desk. She also begs me not to say anything to these co workers and threatens to stop talkjng to me altogether if i do.
I feel like she is making this all up, but i cant figure out why. Maybe i did or said something that led her to believe my feelings are anymore than friendship, but she is not telling me if i did.
Please help, i am ready to stop talking to her but then i lose a friend. I dont want to quit my job but of she is telling the truth then i just might...please help.
I am not going to completely disregard Annika's feedback, because perhaps that user has noticed something I haven't, or has witnessed a lot of things like this in their time. It is feedback, and worth giving consideration, and who knows? Maybe they are on to something that you will find helpful. ...But that said, I read your post and feel like if you are being honest in what you say, then nothing suggests you were leading your friend on or being overly flirty with her, or that you don't love your wife.
I get that about wanting to go above and beyond for your closest friends. I am similar in that regard. I try to be optimistic as much as I can, and try to really listen to people and offer them good advice when they tell me things. Can't say I do that for people I dislike. But it sounds like you are like this with most people. Would you describe your closeness to this particular female coworker to be greater than with some of your other coworkers?
Sometimes you become really close to someone of the opposite sex, and even if it seems more like a "brother/sister" thing to you, to others it might be hard to distinguish that you aren't more than friends.
What bothers me is H's insistence that you don't speak to anyone else about these rumors, or else she will "Stop talking to you." That seems childish to me. I can get that she doesn't want this brought up, but it's weird because apparently lots of other people already believe this so it's not like some big secret between the two of you. It's not like you couldn't somehow find out others' thoughts by asking indirect questions about your friendship with H. And her threatening and telling you what to do... That doesn't sound reasonable at all!
Might not be a bad idea to put some distance between yourself and H, enough for things to be healthy and to not create a suspicion in your workplace. In the meantime maybe you can get to the bottom of who thinks what, and who said this or that about you. I would just try not to lose your job over some drama, especially when you aren't even sure if it's existent or the product of paranoia.
Thank you both for responding. Although i am a little taken aback by the first response.
I am being up front and honest about everything here, because i am looking for answers. As Ive said i talk about my wife alot at work, to h and all of my other friends. I really dont feel like i am leading anyone on. I do for h what i do for any friend, and co worker. In fact as i stated earlier, i do things even for co workers i do not like. I have offered my coat while on a smoke break to one of the women (m) who h is telling me is talking about me.
As far as my marriage, my wife knows h. Knows i am friends with her, k ows about each and everytime something has come up. I tell her everything, as she does me, as far as i know anyways, and she feels that h has some sort of mental problen and is just messing with me for her own enjoyment. I dont want to believe this. So i came here to see if anyone else had an i sight on why my friend is acting strange.
I am also not sure how you think i am not taking responsiblity for my actions...when h first said something a year ago, as i said i apologized if she thought i was being anything other than a friend and told her i would back off and not be so present as to squash the rumors. She was insistant that i not do this and asked me to do more things for her. And then everything was fine for a year.
I am close to another co worker. Ill call him r. R amd i have also been friends for 5 years. His sense of humour and mine are similar and we can joke around about almost anything. When he had a rough time when his wife left him a few years back, and wad left with nothing i organized a fund raiser. It was dumb and didnt raise much, but i let our boss take the credit, and only my boss amd i know how much work i put in on the bake sale. H amd r are my to closest friemds at work and i have hung out with both outside of work. Only with h it was with our spouses as well. R likes h, but has said a few times he does not trust h.
As far as the flirting, perhaps we have a different definition of flirting.
There are no suggestibe things said, nothing sexual, nothing inappropiate. the most imappropiate thing that was ever said was said by her, and it was not even about me but a different co worker she says is hot.
This co worker also comes to her desk, but not for work related reasons, just to chat. She has told me that he constantly tells her how pretty she is when he is there, amd it pisses her off because nobody makes jokes about this guy only me, and she just wants us to be able to be friends.
I have tried to feel out these co workwrs while respecting her wishes of not telling them she said something to me. I dont know what she is sayimg to them either because i dont sit with them, but sometimes i wonder if its not her saying to them the things she is saying they are saying...does that even make sense?
I dont know. I wish it was like it was before the last two weeks where i had a friend i could talk to, if that makes me selfish so be it, but like my constant advice to her about giving her husbamd time to unserstand the things she tells me he doesnt, her advice to me has been priceless.
But since this started a couple weeks ago i stopped coming around, i stopped talking to her except when she talks to me, and avoid her area unless i absolutly have to, and even then i get to hear,
"when you came back to fix my computer m said you prob changed the setting before so id have to ask you to fix it and you could be close to me."
Which of course is BS. Today i stayed away all day, until around 3 she started asking me for help with this, help with that. I helped woth everything that didnt involve me going to her desk, and told her to ask someone else for "moving this box i cant move" but even the stuff i helped with she said "i told m you helped me and m said its because you love me"
I have asked her to stop telling me these things, because i take pride in my job and thinking people i have respected are talking crap on me stresses me out. She apologizes but then does it again...never asks if i am upset just "dont say anything please"
I am goimg to continue avoiding her, but it sucks because i dont understand why she is doing this. I also reached out to another friend who is hiring at her company, per my wofe's advice and in may i should be able to labd a better job. But again i cant wrap my head around why.
Idk, thanks agaon for reaponding. Please let me k ow if any of this additional info helps anyone figure out wtf is going on.
Also annika, i am not sure how yoy arrived at some of your conclusions, if you knew me you would see i always take responsiblity for my mistakes or actions, its the way i was raised and suuuuucked growing up because i got grounded alot when i could have easily lied and not been punished.
Its why ive been up front with my wife too. I could have not told her, but we talk about everything amd have beem together 15 years and married for 13. We have beautiful kids (12, and 9.) Btw my wife is the instigator in most situations and our sex life is on point and more active than any couple i know. Amf i think alot of what makes it so great is because she is definitly my soulmate. I knew the second i met her and she called me a "fucking moron"that i had met my match. We spend nights talking about things even when we dont agree, and honestly she has always made me want to be better. The way i am with my friends is one of the things she loves most about me.
I do have low self esteem, but pretty much everyone i know does. I do not seek attention, i avoid it. Because my social anxiety makes me uncomfortable in the spotlight...which is why her telling me that peopme are sayimg stuff makes me so uneasy. H knows about my anxiety.
Anyways again thanks for your input. However off base i feel it is, but i will think about what yoy said.
I'd like to suggest that H is being passive-aggressive with you.
She also has a need to show your co-workers that you are her minion.
This is not a good relationship now.
Is it time to transfer into another dept or look for another job? Talk it over with your wife.
It sounds like you are realizing your need to be a people- pleaser. This will backfire, big time, and it sounds like it has just started with H and all the office drama.
Suisedqq are you saying you kind of agree with my wife? That she is just messing with me for her own enjoyment.
Not that it makes me blameless, as a people pleaser i mean.
As far as that goes i am pushing 40 and have always been that way, never had an issue before. I wonder, if this is the start of this situation repeating itself again amd again, which would suck, because i dont know how else to be with people.
I know i rub peopme the wrong way and i generally avoid those people, but i do lome being the person people can count on. My grandfather was that, and we were close.
Yes, your wife may be right.
You have a wonderful, caring personality, and if you learn to be more discerning, you will be sure that whomever you "help" really needs and deserves your attention.
In the meantime, try to temper your need to please with this particular person. Just learning to say "I'm not able to do that " might be needed.
I know I’m a little late to the party, but I would like to make a few observations or perhaps they are affirmations.
I believe you have identified you primary concerns in this drama and that is your wife and your reputation. Good for you! Your wife needs no characterization, but your reputation may need some definition. Assuming what you have shared is true (and I have no reason to believe otherwise), why would you change a thing? Rise above the drama and continue to be the person you have defined. Being professional and being friendly do not need to be mutually exclusive. However, when the drama exposes itself (and it will) and your reputation is challenged, confront it. Why do you need to find a new job, a new friend(s), or compromise your job effectiveness? You can run from corporate theater, but you can seldom hide from human judgment and flawed reasoning.
Again, assuming you are the adult in the room and your wife is the most important thing in your life, carry on.
So no one asked but i stopped being available for my friend and we are no lomger friends. She asked me to do one thing 2 weeks ago, get her a coffee, and after i did even though no one was around, somehow "everyone says you're in love with me" so i told her that i didnt wamt to hear about people talking about me, and that i am not going to do stuff for awhile so people dont talk, and she stopped talking to me all together. It makes me sad because i thought we were friends but i guess not...oh well.
Good for you. People like her are users and when they can't get any reaction, they move on to another "victim" Someone else in the office will be targeted. That's what she considers as a "friend."
It will be interesting to watch, huh?
SUSIEDQQ may be right or maybe your friend is protecting you and your reputation by removing herself voluntarily. Now that would be a great friend. Remember I suggested being a friend and maintaining professional boundaries do not need to be separate behaviors. Be guarded. How's your wife?
My wife is sick. So ive been busy taking care of her, But about this she said she feels bad, because ahe knows i have been friends with this woman for a long time and she didnt think she would act like she is...
When i removed myself from the situation everything got weird. She acts hurt, but then still is definitly talking crap on me. I know this because i will be in a situation where i am with her and she will say something about someone, and then ill hear that person thinks i said it.
Friday a man who habitually sexualy harrasses women, would not leave my friend alone. In the past when he would come around i would go to her desk and ask her a question about a file, which would make the man leave. I did not go to her desk on friday and she got mad at me. I remided her that this was the way she seemed to want things, and she didnt have anything to say. It seems to me she wants me to do all of the things i would do for a friend but then not be my friend. She wants me to be there for her, but has no intrest in being there as a friend for me.
She is making comments about what i dont do anymore, but the things she thinks i should do are the same that she seemed to have a problem with. Idk what to think.
I'm sorry your wife is ill but it appears she has a good husband.
Way back when, I suggested when drama presents itself in the workplace, confront it. You may be doing that now, but the theater seems to continue. Perhaps you can, precisely, ask your friend what it is she we like from you that would not lead to rumors or your reputation being compromised. Whatever the two of you agree with, these behaviors must be measurable so you can confront her when they don't accomplish the goal. In other words, be specific and measured in what will result in your friendship with her continuing and what that friendship will look like. Short of that, no one will be surprised when and why you part ways (whatever that may look like).
It has been a rough week. However the new development is that one of the women that she has told me has been talking crap on me approached me yesterday. We talk for a couple minutes and while I still honored my promise not to discuss anything that my friend H had brought up to me, I am starting to see a whole new side of this entire thing.
The woman I'll call her m, said that h had told her that I had said something about her on Tuesday, but the problem was she had actually heard H say the thing that h had said that I had said about her to someone else.
She proceeded to tell me that for the last few months H has been telling people that I've been telling her how pretty she was and special she was and how much I like her. I had never said any of those things. However h had told me that someone else at work had said those things about about her. Also said that h had been saying that I was acting like I was her man, which is pretty much what h had told me everyone else had been saying to her about me, still following me?
When m had asked her why she thought I was not coming around anymore h told her that I admitted I had feelings for her and she shot me down. Again this had never happened.
What game is she playing here? H message me today and told me that m was mad at her for no reason and not talking to her and asked if I had said anything 2 m and reminded me that if I did she would stop talking to me all together. I did not respond. A little while later she messaged me again amd said onlybthatbshe misses her best friend.
I feel bad because as I have said she has been a friend for a long time, and I hate to see her upset, but I don't understand what's going on and why she is playing both sides against the middle as it were.
I dont know understand any of it...any ideas here?
Yes, re-read my post from 8-23 with this addition. You may need to break the confidentiality agreement with "H". If all conversations with her are appropriate, confidentiality should not be an issue. She should understand. Remember, friendship with "H" can continue provided you can measure or track any inappropriate rumors. If "H's" friendship is real and genuine, she'll want to rein in the rumors also. Good luck!
I think npw she does t want me to say anything to these people because she is making it all up.
They arent saying these things she is...what i dont understand is why. Why create a problem, or an issue and pretend like it bothers you if it doesnt.