I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Friends of Friends

So .... what happens when your friends (who you love and adore for so many reasons) have other close friends which you simply can't stand?

Do you...
- just be grateful you don't need to see those other friends much?
- say something? (not sure what the purpose of that might be....)
- suck it up and pretend to like your friend's friend? Even though you are very bad at pretending to like people, and they can probably see right through it?

....because here's what I'm wondering. I think the whole 'birds of a feather' thing is really true, in so far as we are attracted to certain personality traits and so all our friends have at least a few common threads. Assuming you like your friends for personality traits X,Y,Z...is it that you don't like their other friend(s) because those people are too much like you? Or do they like *different* personality traits in those people to the ones they like in you? Shouldn't it be a simple if you like them, you should probably also like their friends, because theoretically all of you share personality traits, which is what attracted the person in the middle to you and the person you don't like?

Enlighten me.


Claire - Matching Pegs said...

Mostly, when I find that I really don't like someone, it is because they are either....

a) extremely shallow
b) quite drunk
c) bigoted

At social functions with mutual friends, I will just try and avoid all three, but I will NOT stay silent if I am involved in a conversation where casual racism, sexism etc. are thrown about.

There are some gatherings where I will robustly avoid any talk of politics, religion or climate change in order to "keep myself nice".

As adults, we have friends for so many different reasons, not just similar personality traits. Because we have interests in common, values in common, lots of history together or our kids are friends.

Your friends (who have the other friends that you don't like) might just be loyal to old friends, or have a specific interests in common (say sailing) and it might not be due to personality traits in common at all.

I have several friends at my quilting guild who are socially very awkward, but fine when they are "on topic" about sewing. There are certainly topics I avoid with them. I wonder what my other friends would make of them if they met, or, heaven forbid, started them talking about their minor health issues (ad nauseam).

For what it is worth, my advice is...

Minimise your contact with said people that you can not stand, and when you do see them, "pretend". Even if everyone CAN see right through it, it is more polite than forcing your mutual friend's hand, and making them choose.

Danielle said...

No way. Life is too short to be around people you can't stand. I would tell the mutual friend you aren't that fussed on the person, then avoid, avoid, AVOID!

emzeegee & the hungry three said...

Yeah, pretty much I've gone the "say nothing but avoid" tactic...I guess I just find it interesting that the people I adore (for various reasons) themselves adore people who I can't stand! :)


Anthony Hogan said...

I generally tend to pick up when friends aren't mingling well with one another - awkward silences, lots of weather conversation when there's been no remarkable weather, people being eager to leave, pained smiling.. and when later the people refer to one another as acquaintances rather than friends.

I can understand why people try to bring all their friends together. They're people they enjoy spending time with and they want to share that (ok, some people probably want to show off the numbers as well, but I'd generally go with wanting to share what's special about their friends with their friends).

It's cool to try and get all one's friends together now and then, but yeah, people form friendships at different workplaces, educational environments and stages of life etc., so these different people aren't always going to mesh.

With large parties, repeat offences can be forgiven (it's a large party), but consistently, smaller gatherings pairing the same people who don't mix? Hrrm.. they're perhaps oblivious or you're just really really good at hiding it :) ... I mean, after the first time of one friend meeting another, I know I'll kinda get the post-meet reactions from both parties and get an idea if it worked or not and not force it if it didn't. Friends know when I'm awkward with something or someone when I make my "awkward" noise when answering question heh ("Mrrrrmmmmmph").