Monday, 3 December 2012

The Takers - Toxic friendships

Hello Readers,

I hope that you are well and succeeding in your TOTT goals.

Following my previous post about the lessons that I have learned during Michaelmas 2012, I would like to use this post to go into more detail about lesson two; Be upfront (to the correct people) about your goals and lesson 4; Be observant of behaviour. I do hope that you are able to gain something valuable from this post. I will be using fictitious scenarios.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicImagine this scenario:

You have found someone who presents themselves as similar to you. This person is ambitious, feminine (or so you thought) and friendly. You share conversations with this person over coffee, drinks or even dinner. This person seems like a lovely human being and you would like to see a friendship develop with this person.

This person finds out that you have some experience in an industry they are interested in and asks for your help. You do not write down a point for point plan on how to get into this industry but you do mention a society club or group that might be helpful to this person. They want to join the groups but expect you to hold their hand and be in attendance when they do.

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As your "friendship" develops you notice that this person seems rather fascinated with the (monetary) backgrounds of the people that they have encountered and mentions the background of a person every time you discuss a person. You chalk this down to the possibility that this is the first time this person has encountered people of that calibre.

While your friendship grows you both exchange what you consider to be tiny details about what you are currently up to and your personal life. You attend an event with said person and discover (through a mutual friend) that this person has been telling people about the details you shared. Yes, you viewed those details as being tiny however; you did not expect the information to be repeated to a completely unrelated person. You also discover that this person took it upon themselves to contact the person(s) you discussed (if such discussions took place) and act as your representative without your permission.
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Now that you are privy to the way in which said person is choosing to operate, you decide to be cautious. You receive word from this person that some of their new found friends share similar backgrounds or interests to you and you casually say something along the lines of, "it would be lovely to meet those people". All of a sudden this person becomes territorial and defensive and refuses to invite you to any events where those people will be in attendance and even goes so far as to withhold the names of the people. You are aware that the sudden switch in behaviour is unusual so where do you go from here???


Questions to consider from this scenario:
Who is benefiting from your name constantly being on this person's lips? Who is benefiting from this person choosing to withhold information that is not at all valuable (such as a name or making an introduction)? Who is benefiting from you taking the time to listen to their troubles or to give advice concerning personal matters?

The answer is - He/She is benefiting. He/She is crude and tasteless. This person appears to gain power from withholding information or this person does not deem you worthy of their time but is happy to use your time. This person might even view you as a rival and could be tainting your reputation. 
Why oh why do you want to be around someone like that?

Readers, if you are experiencing a "friendship" of this kind stop what you are doing right now and do not continue to make investments into this toxic friendship. You are welcome to applaud the shrewdness of this person. They managed to get what they want out of you but the manner by which they went about it is not one for the history books.

Think of the saying "Cui Bono".
The Sojourner Passport Blog goes into more detail about "Cui Bono" and my dear readers you would be wise to take note.
"Cui Bono" is a motto for life not for christmas.

~ Lady Tott ~

*image 1 - istock, image 2 - hellobeautiful, image 3 - madame noire

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