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Peer Pressure and Bullying Social pressure can take many different forms, including intimidation, bullying and even physical attacks. If you feel you could be a victim or perpetrator (who wishes to stop) of bullying, talk about it here.

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graphitesine Offline
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(Peer Pressure) How do I tell my friend I don't want to hang out with her? - January 30th 2019, 02:43 AM

So I have two friends, I'll call Martha and Stacy. Martha's really nice and I've been friends with her for a few years. However, she's often at my house due to her parents (kind of a long story, she's just at my house multiple times a week for ~4 hours). And Stacy, who I've been friends with for two years. Stacy has had a lot of toxic and unhealthy friendships in the past, which has led to her acting really rude and extremely condescending. This especially manifests when she wants to hang out. For background, I'm very, very, very introverted and I am completely fine with the social time I get at school. It's enough for me. But Stacy is very extroverted and wants to hang out after school a lot. Between Martha, my introvert-ness, and as a family thing where I get migraines very easily if I'm stressed out (see: around people a lot) I don't want to hang out or go to her house. Whenever I say no, though, she presses the subject. "Why not?" and if I say, "I just don't want to." she says, "Well, why not?" and if I say, "I just don't feel like hanging out today, I want to be by myself." She accuses me of lying, or.. "Just give me a real reason and I'll leave you alone!" If I say I want to be alone, she might also bring up Martha and say "Martha's always around you." (Not in a jealous way, in a "you want to be alone but she's always there so that can't be it." way) Which she doesn't understand contributes to me wanting to be alone. I've just said "My mom said no" multiple times but there's always a "why?" and I have to make up something like I have to babysit or she's gonna be out of the house but I hate lying and I can only do that so many times.

Also, just not being friends with her is nooot gonna work at all. For one, I just... don't want to. I understand that her rudeness and condescending behavior can be toxic, and I will not defend that. But if I have a problem, she'll listen and make me feel better by making me laugh. After school, I can text her all day no problem and it's fun and we make inside jokes and help each other with schoolwork. And two, even if I diiiiid want to, there's no way I could cut her out. We have the same bus to and from school. Out of 7 classes, we have 6 together in which we're partners in many. As well, Martha's both our friend and she has classes with us too. I can't just ask her to drop that friendship, especially because it's just the three of us banded together in our school. I just wanna know how I can make her lay off it when it comes to hanging out after school?
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Re: (Peer Pressure) How do I tell my friend I don't want to hang out with her? - February 2nd 2019, 12:38 AM

Hey Madison,

I'm sorry to hear that you're dealing with this right now. It definitely sounds like a tricky situation. I'm also quite introverted and can relate to not wanting to hang out too much after school - school can be really draining and sometimes you just want to come home and crash! That's completely understandable and okay!

In a situation like this, where you've tried a variety of approaches and you still aren't being heard, I might try being honest with her. It's clear from what you've written here that you value your friendship with her, and so you could tell her something like: "Stacy, I really value you as a friend and I enjoy hanging out with you; I'm just really introverted and I feel really tired after school, so I just need time by myself to recharge." I think that would be totally okay to say to her. You can also tell her directly that you really don't appreciate her pressing the subject because it feels like she is disrespecting you and your needs, and saying that the reasons you've given her aren't valid.

If you tell her you want to be alone and she brings up Martha, you can either reiterate that you don't appreciate her pressing the subject, or you can simply say, "Martha isn't here right now and I just really need some alone time. My spending time with Martha doesn't mean that I value our friendship any less." If she keeps pushing, you have a right to tell her to stop, that you've already given her an answer and you aren't going to talk about this anymore.

I also want to say that you don't owe her an explanation, and you have a right not to answer her question directly if you don't want to. You don't have to justify your need for alone time to her.

I hope this helps a bit! I wish you all the best!


Last edited by Recommencer; February 4th 2019 at 05:35 PM.
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Re: (Peer Pressure) How do I tell my friend I don't want to hang out with her? - February 17th 2019, 01:40 PM

Apologies for the rather delayed response.

If this is still an on-going problem I think it's best if you just be straight with her. Based on what you've said, her behaviour is as if she's been ditched by a few other people that she's just expecting it from you as well. She constantly thinks you're making up stories that you don't want to hang out with her, likely because this was what other friends had done to her, so again, she has come to expect the same treatment from you too. You need to emphasise the fact you understand this, but her behaviour is not acceptable. I recognise that it's a difficult conversation to have, but in order for your friendship with her to improve, you're going to have to communicate with her.

She clearly thinks you just don't want to spend time with her, despite this not being the case. She doesn't understand that it's genuinely not in your nature to spend time with people all the time and that you need to let your 'people battery' recharge, so-to-speak. Yes, your friend Martha comes over a lot each week and for a few hours at a time, but there are specific reasons for that, and it's something Martha is best explaining to her, rather than you.

If she is a decent friend, she will recognise that in between your time spent being around people at school, your family, and Martha coming over a lot, you need some time alone. It does not however, mean you're abandoning her in any way, just that you have genuine reasons not to want to hang out with her all the time. Whether she believes it or not is up to her. There's not much you can do if you've truthfully explained and she refuses to accept what you say, that's on her.

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Re: (Peer Pressure) How do I tell my friend I don't want to hang out with her? - March 2nd 2019, 05:45 PM

Hiya, just wondered if you had looked at it from Stacey’s point of view... one of her best mates always refuses to hang out with her without giving a reason, however she is still hanging out with another close friend/Martha. Obviously I don’t know any of you, so cannot know how you all feel but if I were Stacy I would feel left out and jealous, and worried that my friend didn’t like me anymore. Maybe that’s why she asks so much...because she’s hoping you’ll one day say yes. If you really don’t want to then you need to explain to her why, preferably in person but definitely by text-if that’s easier. I’m guessing the aggression is because of the jealous and hurt and she doesn’t know how else to express these feelings- especially if she has had some bad experience with other friends, she might be worried something similar may happen to you. Speak to her ASAP and let her know how you feel. All the best x

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