It's odd how this post came to mind. From time-to-time, I would gaze into the clouds and contemplate. Listening to all of my podcasts will do this...I digress. But quickly, let's take a detour. Have you ever thought about a past encounter and wish you would respond a certain type of way? ...yeah, you can say that's what happened the other day.
Granted we all have friends from different areas of life. Not all of our friends come from one place...like school....let's be honest. And then we all have at least one friend who intermingles her friends from one instance with you or other friends from another instance. Joining friends with friends. It doesn't always work, but when it does, it's an awesome bond. But like I said...it doesn't always work.
She or he could be difficult, or they could just have a vibe we just don't click with. And that's fine! But it's when that person tries you. It's when your kindness is taken for granted and you are viewed as a person who is either a dumb-dumb or someone who can be tested. The problem with that is they come for the wrong people a good percentage of the time when they do this.
I particularly remember a friend I met while studying in Buenos Aires the summer before my senior year. Our friendship grew on the fact that we didn't have that many funds to lavish as much as the other students, funny conversations and our love for alfajores. We met up my final year in university a number of times and a couple of times I was able to meet one of her friends. To be fair, before meeting the friend I was given a heads up about her attitude...but, (oh yes my dear reader, there is always a but of some sort) if I was able to look past that, I would be able to get along just well. I have to say because my study-abroad friend has such a great heart, I did see past the extended friend's attitude. And while I had to force myself to do so, there were a number of times I had to weigh the option of either keeping a smile on my face or letting it be known that today just isn't the day I will tolerate foolery. Because let's be honest, sometimes we can have our off days. So you can say a balance is called to this dilemma. Here are four simple ways I think can help you out.
1. Call out the foolery
But in a subtle way. And no, I'm not talking about being passive aggressive about their attitude (that's another post for another day). Let the friend-of-the-friend know that you can see their attitude, but you won't tolerate it. Or in other words, say no to whatever it is they have said or proposed, and enunciate on that. Nope. Nah. Uh-uh. Something along the lines of "I do not appreciate that" works majority of the time or even a question of "What about me makes you think it's okay to say that to me?" Surely, it may be hard to say this with even the slightest hint of respect, it still shows that you are a person who has limits and you are not afraid to set that from the start. So don't be afraid or timid to set it!
A quick example- there was one instance where I had just met a person and to "break the ice" so to speak, she thought it was okay to identify me with a racial slur. Let's just say I wasn't having it. Absolutely not. I stopped her dead in her tracks and asked her what about me told her it was okay to talk to me in that manner. People come from different walks of life and feel that in some instances it is okay to act some type of way and if you are not with it, call out the foolery and let it be known that it's not something you vibe with, especially if it was directed towards you.
2. Kill them with kindness
I remember meeting this one friend of my friend and holding a smile for the sake of my friend (I know, it sounds like a he-said-she-said situation, but stay with me...). She didn't say something rude or daunting, but she was being passive-aggressive. It was clear she was having an off day and that she needed to let it out. My inner me thought "why are you here then?....bye". But then I had to realize that sometimes the best thing to do was kill her with kindness and not allow the negative vibe of others be imprinted on me, and I realized this through the mutual friend. So I decided to kill with kindness, be engaging and remain friendly. But I'll be honest- when she would continue the passive-aggressive remarks, I would ignore them and act like she didn't say anything. That person can be moody all the way over there. BOOP!
3. Find a similarity!
Another technique I tend to do is get to know the other person by finding something that we have in common. Are you two Libras? Scorpios? Do you read the horoscope for fun? Do you like sports? Speak another language? Study the same topic? Ask questions, and see where their attitude lights up! It's better to find something that you two can bond on so that you too can give in some perspective and opinions on whatever the adored topic is.
5. Exit the conversation
If all else fails, excuse yourself from the interaction and leave. My mother always told me that if I don't like a certain setting that I had different expectations for, I can always come home. If this person is continuously unpleasant and is giving off the vibe of just doing "too-Too-TOO much", make apparent that you are leaving. Don't do it with an attitude and don't do it passive-aggressively and don't be unpleasant. Just go. Some people think that looking at their watch is a good way of presenting the fact that you are leaving and other people will just throw up the duce-sign and walk out. Either way, just go. Your time is too precious to be wasted in bad company. The mutual friend will understand.
There are so many ways to speak to and cope with a moody and unpleasant friend-of-a-friend. Either way of dealing with them, it's important to never alter your values for the sake of them or the friend that you have. Stay true to yourself and keep. it. moving. Drake always said...find you some new friends.....something along those lines anyway.
How have you dealt with the attitude of a friend-of-a-friend?