Nothing is worse than walking away from a toxic friendship only to find out that you have just walked away from an entire group of friends. That’s what happens when you meet a social butterfly. With the exception of a couple of bad apples in the group, I bet you really enjoyed the other friends, but now gatherings and generally hanging out, has become super awkward because the friend you decided to dump also has a knack for gossiping about everyone behind their backs and now she’s pissed off at you for dumping her.
And even worse, if the person is the darling of the group, guess who the other friends will flock to and who they’ll avoid. Yeah that’s right…they will flock to the social butterfly good time friend and they’ll avoid you, the angry one that walked away from the drama instead of quietly participating like you’re evidently supposed to. There will be a few good folks that already see through the facade. I’m pretty sure if she’s a gossipy Drama Queen with you, she’s a gossipy Drama Queen with them too, but if they still like her better, then that’s just the way that cookie crumbles. Not many good folks like to rock the boat, so don’t expect a lot of calls from them wondering how ya been.
And while it’s happening to you…awkward.
I am ashamed to admit that I have been inclined to be one of the good folks not rocking the boat under those circumstances sometimes. Yes, there are times in my life I have chosen to believe my Drama Queen friend’s word over the word of the peripheral logical-not-as-much-fun friend. This kind of decision will throw you directly into the Flying Monkey Category and eventually you’re going to get as burned as the last person, but in the meantime, have some fun! Just know that this ride is going to be over soon and probably ending badly.
Either way, whether you’re the person leaving the friend circle or the one staying and pretending not to see the train wreck, it’s just plain awkward for everyone…except maybe the Drama Queen. Usually she’s too busy being a crash victim.
Awkward friend fails are some of the most excruciating growing pains you will ever experience. I am in my fifties and I still get those same cramps!
There are some easy rules to follow if you want to avoid falling into this trap.
- Pick your friends wisely. Know who the person is before you start confiding in them. Watch how they treat and talk about their other friends and take note. If they talk badly about their other friends, they’re talking badly about you too.
- Pick your battles. When you know someone is a Drama Queen/King, why throw fuel on them and light a match? Just make a clean, quiet, non-confrontational egress and never look back. I’d also suggest not discussing your plans with mutual friends either. That always has a way of biting you in the butt later.
- Be nice. Be kind. If you have to enforce a personal boundary, by all means, be firm and do so, but be nice about it. Do not give the DQ any ammunition to use against you later.
- If you follow rules 1-3 you should be able to maintain friendships within the group of other friends and spend your time with people you actually like. But if the bridge gets burned by mistake, then think of it as an adventure and find new friends.
- If you follow Rule #1 exclusively, you’ll never have to worry about the rest of the rules.
Take my advice, please. I can tell you all of these things work, not because I’ve done them like they’re written here, but because I have royally screwed up and done the exact opposite so many times.
I have suffered as a social pariah on so many occasions because I felt being a crusader and calling someone out on their bullshit was so much more important than my future social standing and comfort, that I can tell you everything I will be doing differently from now on. It’s just not worth the unhappiness you’ll experience and the DQ does not deserve that kind of energy from you.
Spend that energy, and your valuable time, with people that know how to treat a friend and friends you genuinely like.