Birds are brill, but sometimes – just sometimes – there's one who rocks the boat. Here's what to do.
We adore our BFFs. There for us through thick and thin, they unerringly have our backs, just like we have theirs. But we all know one – Bridget Jones called them jellyfish (“talking to her is like swimming in a sea and being stung repeatedly by an enormous jellyfish”) who blithely behaves like a confidence trickster as she scores an A+ in artifice. Crushing your self-worth at every turn, she diminishes your achievements, subtly sneers at your accomplishments and makes you the butt of all her jokes. It’s no hassle to this fraudster to lie and scheme to get her way, and she’ll leave no stone unturned if she wants to take you down.
The best response to a miss representation? Block and move on because she’s clearly hurting and you can’t fix things. Taking the high road is way better than getting bogged down in bitching and back-biting. Those are her moves, and you’re so much more than that. But how can you call her out in the first place? You’ll know her by these five classic cons.
You ask her to a party but she says she can’t as she’s got family commitments, then you see her tweeting about her wild night out. WTF!? She tells you one thing, then she tells someone else another version of the story, never thinking you’ll compare notes. “I have this friend – well, she’s more of a frenemy,” laughs Jenny, 25, “and she’s constantly tangling herself up in what we call her tissue of lies and her web of deceit. It’s gas! Like, no one really cares if she doesn’t want to do whatever it is we’re doing, she can just say so, but the lengths she goes to is hilarious. She can’t remember what she’s said to whom, so she can never keep her stories straight, either.” Sounds funny, sure, but it also makes Jenny wonder what else her pal isn’t being honest about, and it’s all leading to a big lack of trust in the group.
You and your crew have a WhatsApp that pings on the reg with updates, screen shots – “Can you believe so and so just said that!?” – and weekend plans. Problem: It’s gotten very, very quiet of late. So why’s that? It’s not because no one’s nattering, it’s because she’s started a new chat group, and you’re not on the list…
Are you gradually finding that you’re living more and more of your nights out via your mates’ Snapchats or social media feeds? It happened to Ali, 23. “I suppose I’d been gradually growing apart from my longtime best mate, Emma, for a while,” she says. “We were just into different stuff, I was working, she wasn’t… and there was definitely a distance growing, but I suppose I felt it’d be okay.” Emma clearly didn’t, and as the crew’s Queen Bee, started to leave Ali out of nights out and weekend brunches. “I was pretty shocked,” Ali exclaims. “I felt like I’d been punched in the chest at first, seeing all my mates having the LOLs on Snapchat and me like a mug watching Netflix, with no clue. It was horrible, I felt totally ganged up on.”
“I met Claire at work,” explains Aifric, 28. “We got on brilliantly, we were the only two on our floor who were the same age and into the same things, so we started hanging out at lunchtimes and then for afterwork drinks. I reckoned she’d get on really well with my other mates, so I started to invite her to parties and drinks – you know, regular weekend stuff.” That’s when the rot set in. “Look, I’m not a kid or super-jealous, but I did start to notice after a while that she and my long-term best mate, Sarah, were getting on really well. Not a problem in itself, until I discovered they’d started meeting up behind my back and leaving me out of plans.” For Aifric, it wasn’t the fact they were bonding that was the issue. “It was sneaky,” she points out. “Claire did it on the QT, like she didn’t want me to know, that’s what I found so unsettling.” The upshot was that Aifric was sidelined, and the other two became BFFs.
When the female con artist is at her worst, she’s a man-stealing harpie. “Olivia had always been one of those girls who showed off in front of the lads,” muses Fiona, 32, “and yeah, she had done a bit of boyfriend stealing, but I really thought that was just clueless teenage stuff.” Um, no. “Another friend warned me she had her sights set on Cian, my then-fella, but I laughed it off. I really wished I’d listened, because it turned out to be true,” she says ruefully. Sure, it takes two to tango, and Cian’s not off the hook as a willing participant, but Fiona wishes there was something she could have done differently. “I just wonder if I’d had a chat with her, maybe talked around the topic, told her how much he meant to me, that it might have made her think twice about the impact of her actions.”
This article first appeared in STELLAR’s August issue. Our March issue is on shelves now!
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