I have an acquaintance that I thought was a friend. Our children go to school together and we have a standing play date on Saturday mornings.
But every time the play date ends I walk away feeling horrible. Her tone and her body language are extremely condescending. So much so that I spend the remaining part of the afternoon in self-doubt and sometimes tears.
Apparently, her behavior is bullying, and it’s time for me to do something about it.
Yesterday I made the commitment to end this torture. It was difficult, as I’m not sure she has many friends. I begin feeling guilty at the thought of “dumping her”. But this is the same problem that people fall into when dealing with a mean partner or spouse. It scares me, also, that I will have to see her every day when dropping off and picking up Daughter.
The way I see it, I have two choices. I could tell her that being with her makes me feel ugly inside. I fear this will be met with more condescension.
My second choice is to stop seeing her.
Saying, “I feel yukky inside when I’m around you.”
My mini flowchart starts like this:
1. I tell her that being with her is not a positive experience.
2. I tell her which parts of her behavior make me feel this way.
Then it might conclude like this…
3A. She says that she doesn’t realize that she does it, and she appreciates the feedback. She commits to making a change.
4A. We continue our play dates with a sense of peace.
Or it could go this way…
3B. She rolls her eyes and condescendingly tells me that that’s ridiculous.
4B. I inform her I can’t see her anymore. I walk away.
I am quite disturbed that there is no certain route in this flowchart. As a control freak myself, it’s difficult going into a situation without knowing the outcome. This option is a clear jump out of my comfort zone.
Saying, “I can’t see you anymore.”
I can completely avoid the uncertainty in the above situation if I merely tell her that I’m starting a new diet and exercise plan that will take me away from our Saturday morning play dates. The problem with this, is that if I don’t lose weight over the next month while she sees me every day at school, the jig is up.
Furthermore, why should I have a jig at all? Lying and avoiding her is easier initially, but could get hairy down the road.
So what shall I do?
While I make that decision, I’m going to avoid today’s play date. A simple, “Something’s come up so I can’t meet today” should suffice. This won’t work long-term, as it will add more stress and anxiety for me.
I know I should tell her. I should tell her today. It will free me up for the rest of the week. But I’m scared.
Have you been in this situation? Will you share your outcome?
And just in case you’re wondering, she “doesn’t read blogs,” as she’s told me a number of times while rolling her eyes. So I’m not concerned that she’ll read this. Although if she does, it might be good.