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WillowWillow Posts: 59 Boards Initiate
I find meeting people difficult. I am someone who has zero friends, my best friend is my boyfriend and that is it. I have been let down by every single person I have met in my life (Which I never thought of in that way but its true). So when it comes to meeting someone new I find it hard to interact with them and when there not nice people I am incredibly defensive.
Example: my boyfriend brother girlfriend. Shes met me 3 times and has already told me to my face that the university I went to were rubbish, that where I live is crap and that the job I recently applied for she would of done a much better job at the interview than me.
So I immediately want nothing to do with this person but have to tolerate her cause my boyfriend lives with his brother and she visits. I don't know what I can do cause I used to get on ok with his brother but he obviously agrees with her and has said the same thing that she would of done a better job.
It doesn't make me feel good cause despite all my preparation I didn't think the interview went well but remain hopefully. So I just feel like a failure now.
I thought I was done hanging around these kinds of people who think there so much better than everyone else when they got absolutely nothing going for them and yes that is rude of me to say but I have worked so hard and suffered so much to get where I am and I might not like it now but it is atleast one step in the right direction.
I just don't get why people want to put other people down so much like that. Not even a oh "don't worry, I am sure it was better than you think" or "good luck" just a complete judgemental comment and a somewhat ego boost for them.
But that is just one example, I have been let down by people my whole life, people deciding they don't want to be my friend over something petty or people just not liking me cause of my size or just cause I exist. I have been abused by "friends" and have always been second best to others. I been "his girlfriend" to so so many people rather than a friend.
But I don't think my partner quite gets this. He has friends, old friends, people in his life he cares about I don't think he really quite gets how hard it is for me. To me mistreated by everyone cause thats the reality right. Cause if I wasn't then I might have a friend still.


  • gemmadixgemmadix Posts: 8 Confirmed not a robot
    Hey! @Willow That does sound very upsetting, what she said to you was definitely not very nice. You are definitely not a failure, you have done a brave thing putting yourself out there and applying for that job, and it seems like you have put a lot of work in for it. University is a massive achievement wherever you go as it takes a lot of work. she may be having her own insecurities and pushing them on to you. I can definitely relate to my boyfriend being my only friend though, especially out of university when you see less people, I found the best way was to get out of the house and try to speak to people at work and try to chat to my boyfriends friends as much as I can when we go out. what are his friends like?
  • SonaSona Posts: 30 Boards Initiate
    Hey @Willow

    You're are definitely not a failure! A lot more people experience setbacks than we realise and being honest and humble about it is a way better way to connect with people than putting others down. Also it's not about if you fail, it about how you stand back up and grow from your experiences. I agree with @gemmadix, it might be that she is feeling insecure about her own life and is projecting onto you. It's completely understandable if you don't want to be around someone you chooses to act like that. You might be forced to be cordial with her, but setting boundaries is a good way to let another person know that there is certain behaviour that you won't accept. Would you be interested in that? I know a pretty effective way to set boundaries and am happy to share it with you.

  • WillowWillow Posts: 59 Boards Initiate
    Many thanks for your responses @gemmadix and @Sona.
    Wanted to say that I got the job and am very happy with the outcome. Super excited to start in a month.
    Oh I am sure she is insecure and that is why as she has done basically the same as me as in gone to university, done a masters only I have been more successful in being employed and she unfortunately hasn't however I know she doesn't help herself with getting a job either. She is also more insecure now as the Job I successfully got, She been applying to this company dozens of times and can't get and interview and for me it only took one go. Not that I in anyway expected it to have gone so well. I was very sure I flunked the interview. I try not to talk about it much especially around her as I know it will only upset her but she is making it quite obvious that she is upset.
    As for boundaries as my partner brother and her and now probably going to be hanging around a lot more I think setting boundaries would be a good ideas so any tips would be gratefully appreciated. I am around my partners place every weekend, and she shows up (out the blue) every month for like a week or so.
    It would also be good to know how I can help my partner in anyway. His brother is unemployed and refuses to work and sponges off of my partner. And then cause she comes round for days on end. Bless my partner he has to support/pay for 3 people! I pay my way and give him money whenever I am round to contribute to food, electricity, internet etc. He is only on minimum wage. So it be good maybe to set some boundaries that I can perhaps tell my partner about so that he isn't constantly out of pocket. I don't personally think it is fair for his brother to invite his girlfriend around who then eats the food, uses the heating that my partner pays for. (and has been for 2 years!) I feel like he is being totally take advantage for! I just hate that I am not only surrounded by these kinds of people but I am having to tolerate them.

    As for being friends with his friends, they have like a discord chat group but I haven't been invited in and I personally don't want to ask to be in as I would much rather be wanted in than me forcing my way in?
  • enorth1enorth1 Posts: 68 Boards Initiate
    Hi @Willow

    Firstly, huge congratulations about the new job! That is so exciting! Wishing you the best of luck. :)

    I can imagine it being a tricky environment if you got a job that your brother's girlfriend is aiming for. It is very kind of you to consider her feelings about this though, and you come across to me as very thoughtful for this. She shouldn't completely take away from your wonderful achievement however, and I hope you still feel able to enjoy your news.

    In terms of helping your boyfriend set boundaries, I know @Sona previously said she has some techniques, which I'm sure will be great help for your specific situation, and I look forward to reading them. In my own experience, putting boundaries in place can sometimes feel uncomfortable at first, especially if the people around you aren't used to the change, but ultimately I've found it's such an empowering feeling to take control of your own life, and I always feel proud for looking after my needs. I've found having support around me to remind me why I'm doing it really helps. I can see that you are a wonderful support to your boyfriend, so I'm sure he will really appreciate having someone there if he has feelings about placing the boundaries that he wants to talk through.

    Lastly, I understand where you are coming from about not wanting to ask to join the discord. If you feel comfortable to do so, then perhaps by opening up a general conversation with your boyfriend about wanting to get to know his friends without feeling like you're forcing your way in, he might be able to help come up with ideas to bring you together.

  • SonaSona Posts: 30 Boards Initiate
    Congrats on getting the job @Willow! So the technique is called the Five Part Healthy Boundary Process Statement (HBPS) (Duntley-Matos, 2020) or "PEACE"

    Positive shared experience you have with the other person
    Express your least abrasive feeling (sad, concerned, confused, hurt, etc.) refrain from "but," "however," "although." State facts starting with "when."
    Acknowledge the reasons for your feelings in a positive/validating framing of the relationship starting with "because"...
    Collaborate and ask an open ended reciprocally validating question for a shared solution.
    Empathize by "actively listening" and ensuring you understand the speaker's intended message from their perspective"

    Oh and one thing I would say with this method is don't bring up peoples patterns (example: you always come over and take our food) as that might lead to people shutting down and not listening to anything else you say, I recommend writing down what you want to say first and practise and tweak until it's to your liking. This method might seem to 'passive' when you're first trying it out, but essentially it's a good way to 'kill them with kindness'. Let me know how you get on and I'm happy to help if you need it.
  • WillowWillow Posts: 59 Boards Initiate
    Hi @enorth1 and @Sona
    Thanks for the advice.

    It's great about about job. My only concern about it now is I had to put in my notice so I can start the day they asked for but I received no contract. I got a email of them offering me a job and me accepting and I filled in a new started form but no official contract.

    As for this girl she was not very happy about it. I kept it to a minimum as I can flaunt it later. Especially on my start date. I think I have also caused a slight rift within my partners friendship group. My partner is so happy for me that I got this job and isn't bother by what his unemployed mates think but they seem pretty peed off that I got a job in an industry they can only dream of being in. "Video game".

    But onto bounderies, so things kind of took a turn for the worse. While my boyfriends brother girlfriend was here. The brother was nothing but rude, disrespectful especially towards me and constantly made me move rooms to work in so that he can socialise. (Despite it being my boyfriends flat). Obviously to show off in front of his girlfriend. However cause of this and him stealing from my partner, my partner had enough and basically cut him off of luxuries, like tabacoo. Which I feel this goes without saying is addictive. So

    So now things are very awkward as right now I am super ill and just sat in the living room chilling out and trying to relax, but he is in the next room (kitchen) and has been for nearly an hour like doing nothing as far as I am concerned. It's awkward cause he has been avoiding me (and my partner) so I feel a little uncomfortable like I don't feel like I done anything wrong. I think he feels I have influenced or brainwashed his brother into hating him, which I supported my partner but I haven't in my opinion said anything to influence a decision that is down to him and his brother at the end of the day. I might of given advice but always said for him to do what's best for him. So I would like a glass of water right now but don't feel comfortable getting up (in my ill state) and go into the kitchen to get one when I know the brother been avoiding me.

  • SonaSona Posts: 30 Boards Initiate
    Ohh @Willow, I'm so sorry that you're going through this. I hope you feel better soon. It must be so hard to have to stay somewhere that's not your safe space. Do you also live with your bf and his brother?

    Sounds life your bf's unemployed friends are projecting their own insecurities onto you getting successfully into their industry. Sometimes it's easier for people to blame others for their 'shortcomings' instead of confronting their own vulnerabilities. In that situation, there might not be much you can do to get them to warm up to you, as they are actually dealing with not liking themselves. So your best bet is to just be yourself instead of dimming your own light to please others.

    I'm so happy that you have your bf's support though. It sounds like his brother has gotten used to leaning on him for money/support and now that his priorities have shifted to you, his brother is struggling to deal with that. Do you think that might be the case? If so, I think your bf might have to have a conversation with his brother about it.

  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    Just hopping in to say bless your heart! That is so much to process all at once, and the fact that this is an ongoing huge problem with your boyfriend's brother and his girlfriend must make it simply exhausting. Especially because, as you say, it's your boyfriend's house and so why should you not feel comfortable to be yourself there. Let alone when you're not feeling well. I can't even begin to imagine how drained you are, and I reckon sometimes these difficult and uncomfortable situations are only all the more difficult to work around when it's your partner's family and not your own because in some ways you aren't as 'free' to respond as you would to anyone else who is treating you with such disrespect.

    You deserve to know that you are an awesome person and that having been to uni is so cool, truly. That's defo not a chance that everyone gets so the fact that she can try to make you feel terrible about it just reinforces that she is not very cool herself! I know you must be so shattered from this all, particularly as it's clear you're making huge efforts to be boundaried and to create a more happy living space for you guys. Glad about your boyfriend being right behind you on this, but I know that doesn't take away from how utterly confusing and disorienting it is to be around such negative people. I know this is a pretty huge, and tough question to consider but what do you reckon is making them both act in this way? (this is a big one, so feel no pressure to reply to it, just know that I'm here sending love and hugs hoping that things will improve for you both). <3<3<3 xxxx
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  • WillowWillow Posts: 59 Boards Initiate
    Hi @Sona and @AislingDM thanks for your support and advice. Just to clarify I don't live with my partner, I leave just over an hour away from him. The normal routine is I would come down after work and stay with him on the weekend as he can't drive at the minute and I personally find it easier and less stressful for the both of us (I don't mind the driving). However whenever either of us get time off we spend it with eachother around one of our homes (not like constantly we are comfortable doing our own thing) but more of a stay with one another just to spend time.

    His brother I feel doesn't like me. He seems to make my life ten times more difficult especially when my partner is at work. I work from home 3 days a week and if I am working at my partners who kindly sets up a space at his desk so I can work comfortably, his brother will not tell me and then just invite people round and socialise right in front of me where I am trying to work. Like if he gave me any warning I could of gone to my mums who lives 20 minutes away and worked there. He is so rude to me like whenever I say anything he gets pissed off with me like just now he was sorting out my partners pc, who he shouldn't of been touching, but I made a suggestion and he got frustrated with me and it was a harmful suggestion like try it in safe mode.

    I think his brother is struggling with the fact that I treat my partner nicely and I shown him how he should be treated and my partner agrees with me that he sees how horribly and disrespectful his brother been treating him all these years and how much his brother steals money from him!

    As for the brother and his girlfriend, I think there both horribly negative towards me because I am successful and there not. She's more pissed with me cause she's gone to uni and done a masters same as me and hasn't gotten anywhere with it. I really sympathise as it was a struggle with me however I worked hard to get where I am whereas I know both of them are lazy and don't do anything to help themselves and take advantage of other people's support.

    I am sick and tired not being able to sit quietly and work in peace. I come to my partners for peace as where I live I have incredibly noisey disrespectful neighbours who stomp about, blare there music out etc.
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    Thank you so much for making your living situation even clearer, it makes a lot of sense that you'd feel even more boxed out when you don't 'technically' live at your partner's house, because then it leaves you in this awkward spot of standing up for yourself, and him, yet being treated like you're not entitled to your own opinion and thoughts! It must make being in, what should be a happy place, really challenging, especially if the brother can become agitated from even simpler suggestions/points, like you said with the PC example!

    You deserve to have your own warm space where you can work, relax and just be freely without worrying about the next time the brother is going to get angry/upset or disrupt the peace that you very much deserve. And I think it's really clear that you're giving your partner the love he deserves and sometimes, as you've said, others become really resentful about that sort of thing because it means they can't 'get away' with mistreatment anymore. You sound so caring, your partner is really lucky to have you looking out for him.

    I couldn't agree more about how people can become frustrated and project that onto others when their life doesn't go according to their plan, as you've said about the girlfriend. But that's so not cool, you shouldn't have to bear the burden of her resentment, just because you have done well for yourself after working so hard! I wonder, would you want to live just you and your partner? <3 xxx
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  • WillowWillow Posts: 59 Boards Initiate
    edited April 2022
    Hi @AislingDM
    Thanks for your kind words.

    It's really difficult and I feel like his brother just avoids me completely now after my partner stood up to him and said it was fair and acceptable. It isn't the outcome I wanted would be nice if we all just got along but now it is no longer an issue as I left my job and will now be working in an office all the time.

    I would love it if me and my partner lived together. All his friends and family keeping saying when are we going to move in which I think is sweet. But unfortunately I can't seem to not necessarily convince him but see how much easier and happier he would be if he moved out of this toxic place he currently lives in. I don't pressure it as I completely understand why as his brother soley relys on him to pay bills, put food on the table that if my partner left he would be homeless and without money. We both have jobs that are not very close by to one another I managed to get a really good job that's an hour and half away from his job so we could always move somewhere in the middle and commute but he can't drive unfortunately and he doesn't have money left over to pay for lessons at the moment. I believe when he gets his next level card which is in 6 months he will be a lot more employable so its just waiting till then and seeing what happens but will always have the burden of his brother as he doesn't seem like he wants to sort his life out anytime soon.

    An incident that happened on Thursday. It was my last day at my toxic job I was in for a 1year and a half. When I got home I rang my partner to tell him about my last day and it was only going ti be like a 20 minute phone call cause I then had to pick up my brother from a train station and drive down to see my partner. Anyway I wasn't on the phone for 10 minutes till he said, I am on "discord" (meaning he was on a group call with his mates). I got a bit upset and when I put down the phone I lost it and broke down so badly. I felt hurt cause I just wanted to be excited about leaving this job and starting my new one and was celebrating that he basically told me he was too busy to talk to me and that his friends are more important at the moment. I get it, I was going down to see him, (took 2 hours hours drive down) but I was excited then and it was only going to be brief cause I would be busy driving and that he could have 2 hours talking to them as well as he already spent hours talking to them as he finished work early he didn't have like 10 minutes for me.

    I don't have any friends so felt really triggered as I heard that phrase all my life. I just feel like everything is more important to him and I am at the bottom of the list sometimes cause I was the last thing to enter into his life.
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    That is no worries at all! <3

    Yes, I completely get that point, like you're left wondering, why couldn't things simply have worked out in a much more positive and constructive way? and I think that's an especially difficult place to be left in when you know you tried as hard as you could to resolve things as peacefully as possible. :( Glad to hear you've been able to move on from a job that was causing so much stress (both the toxicity and the knock-on effects of trying to work from home peacefully!) x

    That must be so frustrating for you, it's a real catch-22 situation right? Like it's clear your partner cares so deeply for his brother and so would never want to 'leave him' but of course, as you say, both your partner and you are entitled to peace, quiet and just happiness without having to be anxious about how you carry yourself in your own home. And I know that is only made worse by all the other worries, like not being able to live close to one another because of money, job locations and learning to drive being so very pricey. Huge fingers crossed for the future looking up for you both so that you can finally relax! Do you reckon that dream situation of living mid-way between each job might be a reality after a year or so?

    Oh, that must have been so gutting for you :( I can't imagine how demoralising it was to be so excited about the future and proud of yourself for making it through such a horrid job only to be met with your partner not making time for you, even though you weren't even asking for a lot. You deserve to be heard by the people who love you, and that's especially true when it's positive and exciting news that others can share in! It must have been even more disheartening to hear those words when you've had that stuff reinforced to you throughout your life. Being made to feel underappreciated in a relationship is the absolute worse and I wonder if you feel able to say anything to him about how this makes you feel so low? no pressure ofc <3 xx
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  • WillowWillow Posts: 59 Boards Initiate
    Thanks for the support @AislingDM!

    I feel things are looking better however also feel as if I am also trapped in my own mind a little bit.
    Yes I do think me and my partner could live easily half way to each of our jobs and commute a little, it is more him being able to drive first though as he would need this in order to then do that. I feel hopefully this might happen in a years time but I also feel like I am going around and around in circles. I definately want this more than he does I feel.

    As for the big Catch 22 i.e him not feeling like he can just leave is also playing a big part if not a massive part in us being able to move in together and because this is a big reason why he doesn't feel like he can just move out he is putting off the driving. Cause even if he does learn to drive and get a car he still has the problem of his brother.

    I am also very pissed off with his brother who is unemployed and therefore should be putting something towards the bills seeing as his unemployment doesn't cover it all of it (not even half of there bills). He has just kept every penny and up and gone to see his girlfriend for a week who also lives like 2 hours away. Leaving my partner unfortunately struggling for the month. I just so annoyed that he takes advantage of my partners money and doesn't contribute to anything at all! My partner said that hes given up helping him and that he wont buy him food and etc (seeing as he kept his money) and I know i shouldn't be encouraging it however I feel something drastic like cutting his internet off or not buying him food for him should set a precedent that he can't just keep taking advantage of my partners money and should be helping whereever he can! I don't care that he has a girlfriend he can't afford to travel to see her whenever he likes he has responbilites to paying the bill and money towards food first.

    I spoke to my partner about the way he spoke to me on the phone the other week and we sorted it! I think he doesn't realise or understand that I have no friends and that when I am excited about something or have news hes is the only one I can tell and him saying that he doesn't have time for me is hard for me to hear but I think he knows he did something wrong and wasn't thinking.

  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    I'm really glad to hear that some things are looking up in terms of the positive convo with your partner about how you didn't appreciate your excitement being dismissed. I'm really happy you have someone who is so receptive to your pain and is able to understand where he has made mistakes @Willow =)

    Going back to the living situation though, it must be extremely frustrating to have a thorough plan all worked out (about how you might be able to live together) and there are things still holding back your ideal situation. I know so much of it centres on your partner's brother being a drain on his progress. It's like there are so many wonderful things that your partner could achieve, like moving in with you and gaining further independence from learning to drive, yet his brother makes this impossible. Anyone experiencing that on a daily basis is certain to become demotivated and stop even imagining how he could be happier. It's no wonder you're so sad for his situation, and that's before we even think about how the situation affects you directly!

    Watching the person you love being taken advantage of must feel so demoralising and hurtful, because you care so deeply for your partner, it's no wonder that you want him to thrive and not be held back by anything/anyone. I think this must be even more challenging given that the person holding your partner back is his brother, having that family element always make tough situations more confusing, because people expect you to always go above and beyond for family, no matter how they have made you feel. It sounds like a huge burden weighing on both you and your partner :(

    I know you mentioned his brother not having a job, and hence, not helping with bills/groceries, and I was just wondering if you wanted to explain more about why he isn't in work at the minute? (no need to answer this one if you don't feel comfortable to) xxx
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