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How do you handle grownups having temper tantrums?


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My truck had a low tire, so Friend and I stopped by the shop.   Friend took a very heavy handed approach arranging to leave the truck (with no backup vehicle and semi-stranding us) and having repairs done - which annoyed me because Friend was leaving today and I would have to make these arrangements work - with no input.

I got snippy because I was annoyed but I asked Friend 3 times to leave it be, I was fine.  Friend kept pushing and picking and I kept saying leave it be.  Friend stomps off in the mall (and I couldn't keep up because my hip is still shot).  Finally I had to holler for Friend to stop which embarrassed me and pissed Friend off. 

Friend said "Go get a cab, a bus, whatever the eff you're doing and leave me alone." So I did.  I was just leaving the mall when Friend came out, and I had the cab stop for Friend. 

I've been ignoring Friend ever since, because this isn't the first time Friend has pulled this crap.  Friend has left me at the store before (only 2 blocks from my house, but still humiliating and frustrating), Friend has threatened to leave me 6 hours from my house.  Friend consistently tells me to get out, go away, eff off, whatever Friend feels like saying.

I believe Friend is being defensive because Friend is aware he's being a jerk, but I'm tired of being lashed out at.  I called Friend out on his behavior this morning and Friend no longer wants to be friends.  Ha, if only it was that simple.

I tried the I feel statements.  I tried telling friend I would no longer go with him places in the same vehicle, since I couldn't trust him not to get pissed off and leave me (and every single person who knows us both said that was over-reacting and I was being an ass, despite how often it happens or is threatened.)  I tried talking to friend like I would my kids if they were acting like that in public. It's been happening for over 5 years, and I don't see anything changing.

I told friend that if he didn't want to be friends anymore, that was fine.  But I'm not asking for that, I'm not helping, and nor am I going to allow myself to be treated like that any more.

What am I missing?  How could I have handled that better?  how do you handle grownup temper tantrums?

84 Replies (last)

((Runey))

Sounds like this Friend is a power/control freak and I think you did the right thing by sticking up for yourself and setting some limits. 

Stick to your position of still wanting to be friends but not accepting his negative behavior.  Do not waver.  Once he sees that you are serious about not accepting his behavior he will either want to talk it out with you and make nice or he will drop your friendship.

I have been on both sides of this equation.  It hurts no matter what and it may take a long time for the friendship to heal, if it does.  Sometimes the friendship goes away forever and you realize once that person is out of your life how much happier you are because you don't have to deal with them and their drama.

Good luck. 

I am curious as to what you think you are getting out of this relationship? Don't you think that you are deserving of a mutual relationship where both people appreciate, respect, and value the other persons feelings? The only thing you are "missing" is having written this person off. Life is too dang short. It sounds like this person has surpassed the 3 strikes rule a long time ago...Just sayin'.

If it were me, I would cut and run.  Honestly, I've never heard of a friend who threatens to leave another friend stranded.  It's not very "friendly." Have you tried If/then statements.  If you do xyz, then I will do xyz.  I would also make sure you are prepared to follow through. 

Terr, that's an intense question...

I think everyone knows that no one would put up with that kind of behavior from a friend.  It's pretty personal, so substitute friend for sibling or parent or spouse or child.  That answers why I can't just cut my losses and walk.

Well, this sounds familiar! The "not wanting to be friends anymore" thing is just another power and control thing.... as is the storming off...... as is the telling you to leave and then coming out after you and expecting you to stop for him....  as is the heavy handed approach to dealing with others.... etc, etc, etc......

1) Some friends are just total jerks and will never change.  Be careful that you don't continue in a cycle of abuse, be it mental, emotional, physical, etc. 

2) However, it sounds like you want to make this friendship last.....  In my case, I did a lot of research, demanded blood tests, and saved my friendship.   Low testosterone makes a very, very, very mean friend.  Now a good endocrinologist and good meds makes a happier, calmer, less "rage-filled," "overreacting," and a generally much nicer person. 

3) If this is not an option or a possible concern, then you are right to have defended yourself, set boundries, and stood your ground.  You are right on - you should not be treated that way (in public or behind closed doors).  You couldn't have handled it any better. 

Original Post by runesplendor:

I tried the I feel statements.  I tried telling friend I would no longer go with him places in the same vehicle, since I couldn't trust him not to get pissed off and leave me (and every single person who knows us both said that was over-reacting and I was being an ass, despite how often it happens or is threatened.) 

I'm confused about this part - other mutual friends felt that you were in the wrong?

My so called 'friend' threatened to leave me stranded alone...with nothing when we were in SOUTH CAROLINA. We live in Massachusetts. He also threatened to crash into a giant oil truck because he was pissed off that we were lost in SC and that I didn't know the way (I have never been to SC either before). I remember getting out of the car at the gas station as quick as I could and begging someone to help me from this lunatic. He was insane and I was an idiot not to see it before we left.

 

He pretended I was a pissed of emotional gf of his (eww no thank you) and that he would take care of it. No-one helped me. No-one wanted to help me. That scared me too.

 

But this was about 6 years ago.

Friendship is based on mutual caring, trust and love.  If any of those items are missing from the equation, then I would say it's not much of a friendship any more.

People change, be it friends/lovers/spouses/parent-child.  Not every relationship stands the test of time.  (I know several "kids" my age that have nothing to do with their parents and vice versa.)

Sometimes we have to take a step back, reevalute, and ask if this is a positive or negative relationship for us to be in now.  Do a pro/con list if need be.  The answer will come as long as you are honest with yourself and as long as you don't make excuses for Friend's behavior.

^5 to Kallie!

Limits are a vital part of any relationship. Without limits, one person will usually terrorize (possible exaggeration, but no other word comes to mind) the other. You have to set your limits (like you did) and if your friend has a problem with them, that's just that, I guess. It's never good to hang around a person who doesn't respect your limits (YOU).

I'm also stuck at the same place AG is. Do your other friends have the entire story?

Original Post by kotov_syndrome:

I'm also stuck at the same place AG is. Do your other friends have the entire story?

For all intents and purposes, they do.  These would be the same people who know about my issues, so they generally think that I'm being hyper sensitive and over emotional. 

Original Post by runesplendor:

My truck had a low tire, so Friend and I stopped by the shop.   Friend took a very heavy handed approach arranging to leave the truck (with no backup vehicle and semi-stranding us) and having repairs done - which annoyed me because Friend was leaving today and I would have to make these arrangements work - with no input.

Sounds like this guy isn't exactly a friend...everyone seems to agree on that.

But I'm confused... Your friend takes you to the shop because your car isn't working...and you let them do all the talking and negotiating? So now you're stranded without a car?

To be a devils advocate...why did you let them do that? It's your car, the shop has to listen to you....not your friend. 

People are jerks, but we also have to look at ourselves to see what contributions are made to the situation.

Original Post by runesplendor:

Original Post by kotov_syndrome:

I'm also stuck at the same place AG is. Do your other friends have the entire story?

For all intents and purposes, they do.  These would be the same people who know about my issues, so they generally think that I'm being hyper sensitive and over emotional. 

 Undecided

Original Post by rachd:


To be a devils advocate...why did you let them do that? It's your car, the shop has to listen to you....not your friend. 

People are jerks, but we also have to look at ourselves to see what contributions are made to the situation.

Because this person isn't exactly a friend, but I don't want to get further into it.  There's enough of a connection that them talking to the guy wouldn't be unreasonable.

Original Post by rachd:

But I'm confused... Your friend takes you to the shop because your car isn't working...and you let them do all the talking and negotiating?

 Yeah - that's what I was thinking - OP, is there any more background to this?

Why was your friend, with an apparent history of not treating you very well, speaking for you in regards to your property?

Why is cutting off contact with this person not "that simple"?

 

My friends don't treat me in the manner you described.

Not with regard to my car repairs, and not with regard to traveling places together.

If you had healthy boundaries, yours wouldn't treat you that way either.

You either need new boundaries that you consistently uphold, or you need new friends.

Original Post by santonacci:

Original Post by rachd:

But I'm confused... Your friend takes you to the shop because your car isn't working...and you let them do all the talking and negotiating?

 Yeah - that's what I was thinking - OP, is there any more background to this?

Why was your friend, with an apparent history of not treating you very well, speaking for you in regards to your property?

Why is cutting off contact with this person not "that simple"?

 

I really really really didn't want to get further into this because then the next thing is a hue and cry about how controlling he is and abusive, etc.  But I guess I'm just muddling the thing worse by not saying.

It wasn't a friend, it was my husband.  He's a controlling jerk for sure, but he's not abusive.

Well, husbands and wives need healthy boundaries too.

*hugs*

Original Post by runesplendor:

Original Post by rachd:


To be a devils advocate...why did you let them do that? It's your car, the shop has to listen to you....not your friend. 

People are jerks, but we also have to look at ourselves to see what contributions are made to the situation.

Because this person isn't exactly a friend, but I don't want to get further into it.  There's enough of a connection that them talking to the guy wouldn't be unreasonable.

 Fair enough, but doesn't negate the fact that maybe you should learn to stand up for yourself?

Original Post by runesplendor:

Original Post by santonacci:

Original Post by rachd:

But I'm confused... Your friend takes you to the shop because your car isn't working...and you let them do all the talking and negotiating?

 Yeah - that's what I was thinking - OP, is there any more background to this?

Why was your friend, with an apparent history of not treating you very well, speaking for you in regards to your property?

Why is cutting off contact with this person not "that simple"?

 

I really really really didn't want to get further into this because then the next thing is a hue and cry about how controlling he is and abusive, etc.  But I guess I'm just muddling the thing worse by not saying.

It wasn't a friend, it was my husband.  He's a controlling jerk for sure, but he's not abusive.

 Oh...well....ummmmm....don't know what to say then. Sounds like he treated you like ****.

84 Replies (last)
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