Treacherous Friend

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2013
Treacherous Friend
12
Mon, 11-25-2013 - 12:01pm

So I have, still have a group of artist friends online. Mostly twitter. Before anyone laughs I know many have become bffs (setting themselves up for instant rappot when if they meet in real life) or (including myself) got lasting opportunities which is a 'real life event'. Like with any online drama I consider this an extended reality vs non-real.

The situation: Essentially I have a male friend with whom I had trusted enough to share my online (but locked) personal diary. He's very charismatic but occasionally he shared my personal entries without my permission. I suspected this but it seemed mostly with his inner group so it was okay--we are all mutual friends now...except him, who defriended me because... After 2.5 years this fairly famous popular artist, whom I met in person.... Lemme reword this. Can you imagine going to an niche industry networking conference, getting an famous artists autograph, she follows me by lurking on me & my friends twitter feed, she 'poaches' my friend with whom I trusted affectionately  (told him only sexual jokes and character assassinated everything I posted), I complained & he defriended me on several social networks, it changed him enough so my friend joined her and they both began to character assassinate me. Finally through a third party intervention he(my friend) sorta snaps outta it. She still continues. Both are married and their spouses are annoyed but let the rapport continue. I was singled out (scapegoated) and even though he kinda apologized (the third party was influential promoter my friend respects--so i dont know if it's true remorse). Obviously I took him off my diary. He never refriended me back on twitter.

It's pointed out in these groups that everyone online is bouyantly 'transparent' (ie exposing their feelings online) and that quieter people like me are evil and secrative. I call bullshit. Seems they are simply more extroverted (and cruel) vs introverted.  They both have some friends with locked twitter accounts after all. To boot,  he emailed her some of my private locked diary and emails (regarding her); I didnt get her emails. 3 months later this is still raw for me though I keep quiet. Our online friends are so intertwined now. Some are good people in the arts field. Dont know what to do with him...plead to be refirended, drop him off twtter but essentially lurk b/c he relates to so many of our other mutual friends now. Still feeling traumatized and dont know.

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Avatar for lizmvr
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2001
Mon, 11-25-2013 - 12:25pm

Ok, I'm not sure why anyone would want to be part of a group that considers that person "evil and secretive." If there are good people there that don't share that view, why not just be friends with them. You don't have to "lurk" and be a fake friend to a friend of a friend. Just be polite, whether it's in real life or online, and don't get into any further conversation. You certainly shouldn't be sharing your deepest thoughts and emotions with relative strangers, again online or in real life, and you can see the consequences of doing such and talking negatively about others, in writing especially, with your so-called friend sharing these with the person about whom you negatively wrote. There's a reason that people are not supposed to gossip, and you found it.

You made a mistake by trusting this guy, but now that you see his true colors, learn from it and put more efforts into finding a good friend before you start sharing too much. Don't focus so much on him anymore but on what you've learned about how you need to act and communicate to show value to true friendships rather than being involved with a community of acquaintances that aren't really close to you, but to whom you share things that should be reserved for close friends.

Liz


Clinical Research Associate


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http://www.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2013
Mon, 11-25-2013 - 2:09pm
I think 'transparency' in their case usually means open only for those who are socially sophisticated at status games. Honestly, I was accused of being old, a lower quality artist, a wasps nest etc through the clever positioning of metaphorical 'subtweets' (urban slang) which eludes accountability. I'd post a flower "hey look at this" and a negative subtweet from the famous artist followed within 10 min. Thankfully, a small group understood so I wasn't alone...just the most targeted. So after getting upset and slowly backing away, 3 months later (today) I suddenly wake up in the middle of the night crying and angry and realize I'm still traumatized. I think both this guy and myself have approval issues which is why we connected in the first place, but hey that's not an excuse. Thank you for reminding me that it's simply better to refocus my energy on quality people than try to reconnect.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 11-26-2013 - 11:21am

I think it would be best to try to disconnect from your male friend and the female artist--if you follow mutual people I suppose you can't do that totally but I'd block them both from your personal stuff.  And I just can't imagine exposing a lot of personal info on twitter.  I say a lot of personal stuff here (on different boards) cause people don't know who I am, and also on a private board of maybe 10-15 people who I have "known" on line (and met some of them IRL) for years--but I can say that when one of those people on the private board started a very hurtful rant against someone in the group, she was eliminated from the group.  I would disassociate myself from a negative group and only have professional interactions if you need them for work.  If all this is stressing you out a lot, maybe you should see  a therapist.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2013
Wed, 11-27-2013 - 3:59pm
Well I'm slowly and seriously considering my next step. For the record, there are quite a few others online, male or otherwise, acquaintance or no, who wouldnt think of behaving disrespectfully. I simply chose a loose canon...so now I know. Just still very disappointed and shaken. It did go well for awhile though and maybe that's the furthest this connection runs. Also, regarding the sense of 'gossip' I most certainly DONT think informing people via email with names involved that this situation involving so-and-so is hurting me. No apologies on that. Also, yes there are 'real' and 'deep' friendships that can be formed online. None of this digital dualism for me (a mixed race identity to boot). It may different connection, yes, but no less part of human interaction. There is plenty of online dialogue about this if you want links. I sometimes think of those disabled unable to leave the house except a nurse, but form close relationships online. And finally, yes, I've seen very expensive specified therapists who were...somewhat helpful...but hynposis and self-hypnosis (by professionals) has tremendously helped me change my inner dialogue and neediness. Highly recommend it.
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 12-01-2013 - 10:08pm

First off, he is no friend to you. He may have been at one point, but it seems like it died some time ago. He has chosen to be blatantly disrespectful to you in a number of ways, and shows no intention of stopping. Block him (and his female cohort) from everything that you can. I don't even understand why you would want to invite such a toxic person back into your life. 

As for the rest of the online group, I would attempt to disassociate from those who call you old, or evil and secretive, or however they like to characterize those who don't go along with their agenda. Can you modify your various social media accounts so that your feeds are seen only by a group of people that you trust? 

Is there some reason why you need to remain part of this larger group, such as for professional networking? Ultimately you may need to leave this online group altogether if you are not able to limit his views of your comments, or the more outspoken members continue to criticize you, or if you continue to be upset by reading his comments. It may be possible to remain in more private contact with a small number of members so you don't feel isolated, while still protecting yourself from the cruelty and drama of your ex-friend and other members.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Mon, 12-02-2013 - 12:12pm

People you meet on the internet are NOT "friends".....they're strangers, they owe you nothing, not even the truth.  Sharing personal and/or  confidential information with someone you do NOT KNOW is really risky, if not hazardous.....as you now know.  If you enjoy people with the same interests,then why not look for that type of person in REAL LIFE?  If you had a real LIVE friend that spread gossip about you, I would hope you'd drop them like a hot potato........and you should do the same with this person.  End of story. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Mon, 12-02-2013 - 12:12pm

People you meet on the internet are NOT "friends".....they're strangers, they owe you nothing, not even the truth.  Sharing personal and/or  confidential information with someone you do NOT KNOW is really risky, if not hazardous.....as you now know.  If you enjoy people with the same interests,then why not look for that type of person in REAL LIFE?  If you had a real LIVE friend that spread gossip about you, I would hope you'd drop them like a hot potato........and you should do the same with this person.  End of story. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2013
Mon, 12-02-2013 - 6:47pm
I understand what you all saying but no, this artistic area is a small town....no black and white cut-offs, though likely a distancing. Yes it saddens me, the female artist still on top of my friend who I cant trust anymore. Disrespect needs to be handled. No easy solutions...as in most complex interwoven life examples. Just like 'real life'. All interrelations can only be interpreted within the context of people involved in the situation. All of this has happened online AND in real life for me. I've met and formed deep personal bonds online, others not...each individual situation is very different and deserves that respect. It's always a risk to divulge personal information. Along with deeply rewarding online relationships (mostly with other women) I've had lovers who cheated on me or others who needed to divulge everything I just told them personally...to everyone in the room! I take it as it comes.
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Thu, 12-05-2013 - 12:49pm

In real life sometimes we need to distance ourselves from those people who are bad for us. You find ways to avoid the toxic people while remaining friends with the good people. And the good people will "get it", they see how the toxic people act (and have treated you) and will understand why you choose to limit your involvement.

Online it sometimes becomes more complicated but it is possible to change your settings so your communications are with a select group. You have to decide if it is worth it to remain part of the larger group. I don't see much professional benefit in it---the people who disparge you now are not likely to promote you or your art.

I get that the high drama comes with the territory, but I know successful working artists who don't buy into it at all so its not necessary or present in all artistic communities. There's also something to be said for screening would-be friends and lovers more carefully before divulging personal information. You can often tell who can be trusted. If you choose to share with the indiscreet then you are also choosing to allow your personal information to be spread.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2013
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 1:42pm

"REPEAT"

It's BEEN Done. I've already changed my settings, cleaned house...remained tepidly in contact in the right context etc. Most of what's going on is on 'open' online places and to be honest...it's being handled now. I'm refocsing without totally stepping out of the room and while still annoyed...I AM RESILIENT. HELLO (thank go for my gay bros for assising me.) If everyone else here plans to cut their bothersome others off do so, I in my context have taken it as far as I need and want to....let the rest fall into place. Yeah, and it's too bad some in the circle feel there needs to be a kind of 'alpha' artist drama.

What I've talked about re past real life treacherousness has happened in the past and to be honest..even if I'm totally careful..an I AM totally more private....sometimes bad things happen. That is life and a deep conversation I've had with many many therapists and or buddhist mediational setttings. Even if you think you got it, new challenges will "always" arrive...and handling that challenge compassionately but firmly is what leads to character building and spiritual growth. 

No black and white 'splittist'. I feel I've made GOOD choices, though like I said there are still annoying elements and that's life.

That being said, I know y'all have my best interest at heart.....

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