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Feeling more distant to friend group

  • 19-08-2023 9:44pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1

    I have a group of friends who I have been friends with since school and I don't feel as close to them as I used to. We are all in our early thirties. One of these friends is starting to get to me lately.

    I am gay and he keeps calling me a f****t every now and then and I try to just laugh it off and then ignore him. He has also made digs at me in the past making jokes about me being stupid and again I laugh it off even though it feels a bit ****. He once told me with a few drinks on him that he can be a bit of a bully to people. I was kind of taken back by this and didn't know what to say and just said I didn't really notice it that much. I guess I didn't feel the need to point it out considering we were enjoying our night.

    He also seems to be very competitive with me, I'm trying to get fitter in the gym and he is in the same boat, he keeps asking me how much I'm lifting, which is fine but I know its just to show off how much he is lifting. He called me one time and he were planning a few drinks and he had asked me I had gone to the gym and I said I was too tired, then he bragged and said "oh man, I was up at 9 in the morning and I've already gone." I just laughed it off and then changed the conversation. The last few nights I've been out with him I haven't really been as chatty with him and it felt a bit awkward like there was an elephant in the room. I have not seen him in a few weeks and I have been away. He had text me when I was on holidays and said "be safe f****t". It kind of pissed me off so I ignored him for a while. I don't know if it was just his way of looking out for me or if he was just doing it to annoy me. We have been trying to meet up for a while but I feel like we are asking each other to meet up even though we both don't want to.

    My other friend can be quite harsh with me as well can be quite self-centered. Although he hasn't been as bad lately, there have been times where he has put me down. He made a comment that I'm always in the gym and that he would expect me to jacked by now. It kind of hurt because I was and still am trying to get fitter. A few months ago we met up as he was home visiting and greeted one of friends and said "hey man, you look great" and then he looked at me and said "you look alright". I tried to just get on with the night and enjoy it as best as I could.

    I'm finding the situation quite difficult to navigate because I don't know if I'm being too sensitive and its just lads being lads or if they are just toxic mates. I have another group of friends who I would not be close with but I never feel on edge or anxious around them. I understand jealousy can happen in friendships but I feel they are too harsh if they are just jealous of me for some reason. It can be very hit and miss because sometimes I go out with these mates and we have the best time then other times I get some of these comments. I dont know whether to distance myself from them as much as I can or to talk to them. Right now I dont even feel the want to fix it but I don't know if it's me avoiding confrontation. The older I'm getting the less I want to deal with this type of s**t and it's constantly playing on my mind. Lately, I feel I'm competing with them in certain areas of my life and I think it's causing me more stress.

    Anyone been in a situation like this? Would really appreciate some advice!


  • Registered Users Posts: 458 ✭✭ottolwinner

    Sounds like he is having his own issues in his sexual preferences. Maybe slagging you is his way of offsetting his own issues with himself. I’m sure not as simple at that but might be something. He might also not be accepting of who he is himself.

    I live by a simple philosophy. If it takes more energy that it gives you to hold a friendship or relationship. Then question why you do it to yourself. Then once you realise that, make a decision to continue torturing yourself with those types of friendships/relationships or put no energy into them and see so they fizzle out or find a more natural level.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,697 ✭✭✭✭mrcheez

    Yeah I was with a similar group of "lad" friends like that 7 or 8 years ago.. and just gradually saw less of them and started hanging out with more positive people, or those that would be more supportive.

    He definitely has issues with his own sexuality as otherwise he wouldn't be constantly making derogatory remarks.

    I wouldn't bother trying to reason with the guy saying that you don't like when he makes those remarks, he'd probably just start laughing.

    I generally try to avoid negative people these days and it pays off. Still occasionally WhatsApp those guys, but wouldn't hang out bar perhaps meeting once or twice a year, and when I do it's usually not a fun night out and I wish I was somewhere else or with another group of friends.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,598 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    It's called growing up and growing apart. Very few school friendships last right through life. It doesn't sound like an equitable reciprocal friendship. Move on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 925 ✭✭✭TheadoreT

    The advice seems patently obvious here. Spend more time with the ones who make you feel good and less with those who don't.

    Where's the conflict here? It's doesn't have to be dramatic, you can still be normal/friendly when you see them around but just drift from actual meet ups/planning .

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,033 ✭✭✭Daisy78

    Friends are meant to build you up not drag you down. This nonsense of passing off derogatory remarks as “banter” is a red flag, an excuse for engaging in bad behavior without needing to be answerable for it. You could have a conversation with him but from what you have written it doesn’t sound like he has the emotional intelligence to engage in meaningful conversation. On balance it doesn’t appear that you are getting enough from this friendship group to invest in it any further. Your time might be better spent seeking out people you connect with and who are capable of behaving in a mature respectful manner. The fact that you have thought enough about this to post here tells you all you need to know.

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  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,849 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx

    Life is far too short, OP, to be wasting time with people who ultimately make you feel bad. Leave them to sort out their own issues, and not at your expense.

    Have a look at the topc of 'drains and radiators' - there are some good articles online.

    Drains drain the life out of you, radiators are positive forces. Which would you prefer to surround yourself with?

    We can all get trapped in a comfort zone for want of a better description, when it comes to friends. But sometimes it's time to let a friendship - or what was once a friendship - go for good. That time has well and truly come, in your situation, in my opinion.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,832 ✭✭✭✭cj maxx

    To the point this is it exactly. We make friends with people in our teens twenties etc . But we grow up , move on etc . If your friend isn’t being a friend, move on . As for calling you a fa###t , just dump him he’s not your friend .

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,404 ✭✭✭✭road_high

    Cut this idiot loose- delete/block his number. Initiate no contact or anything like that. Life’s way too short to be wasting energy good bad or indifferent

  • Registered Users Posts: 279 ✭✭89897

    This guy sounds like an idiot and not to sound too obvious but have you said to him you're not happy with him calling you that?

    I also cant stand this passing off horrible behavior as banter. Its a massive sign of someones maturity and decency. Its totally normal to grow out of friends as we mature and move on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 774 ✭✭✭Jafin

    If you want to keep this friend then you need to talk to him and tell him it makes you feel uncomfortable when he uses language like that directed at you. The thing is, if we're very close to people sometimes it makes them feel like they have "permission" to use words that are normally derogatory towards us in the gay community because they don't "mean it in a harmful way." For some friends this is absolutely fine, for others it's not. For example when I was in college in my early/mid twenties one of my straight male friends would use that word directed at me. At the time I genuinely, hand on my heart did not care one iota because I knew there was zero malice behind it. In fact one of our other friends, who is lesbian, was with us when he said it once and she looked at him in complete and utter shock so I explained to her that I didn't care and it was just banter between us. Now I'm almost in my mid thirties, he stopped using that word a long long time ago, but if he used it now I would ask him to stop because I no longer feel comfortable with it. I'm assuming he just grew up and realised it wasn't a cool thing to do. At the end of the day it's a word and we ascribe meaning to it. If it makes you uncomfortable then that needs to be communicated to him. If he stops using it, great. If he doesn't stop then I think that's a clear sign you need to cut him loose.

    Don't worry yourself thinking you might be being too sensitive - your feelings are your feelings and they're completely valid.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 281 ✭✭Bobby_Bolivia

    • Sometimes men find it hard to give compliments. I wouldn't read too much into your friend telling you "you look alright" instead of telling you you look phenomenal. Sometimes men are a bit insecure/awkward around showing genuine affection for other men or giving them sincere compliments. The majority of my friendships consist of 90 percent pisstaking/putting each other down, it seems that the more friendly you are with someone the more you do it.
    • As for the guy calling you that - I wouldn't necessarily think he is doing it out of malice. Him texting you on holiday saying stay safe was a genuine text IMO but he was probably afraid he was being overly sincere so he said that word on top. I don't think he should be saying it regardless and it's something you need to raise with him. Perhaps with the gym he was just concerned that you were giving up something that was good for you, so told you about himself to show that you have to be a bit more dedicated to see good results. I have a friend that talks a lot about the gym and how much he wants to improve, but finds reason not to go and I end up being disappointed with him when I hear him making excuses. I just don't talk about it with him anymore now because I find his excuses annoying and he probably finds me annoying for "aggressively encouraging" him to go more. We probably want different things out of our fitness journeys and that's fine too.

    Those two points being said, sometimes you just grow apart from people. I haven't spoken to my best friend from ages 16-21 for years now. I have one friend from school who I keep in touch with and that is only a few times a year. Another really close friend I met years later I only see a handful of times a year despite the fact he is going out with a family member of mine - he loves the sesh and I don't really drink anymore so we don't have much in common these days.

    If people aren't making you happy or aren't showing behaviours that you want in your life then don't be afraid to start cutting them loose.