My friends are all hanging out with him but he treats me like dirt
I live in a dorm on a floor that has many great people on it, some of whom are best friends of mine. I have developed strong relationships with these people that are extremely important to me. However, there is a boy who I find rather obnoxious. He seems to have a distaste for me. I have tried being warm and friendly to him, saying hello, and even going out to do things with him, but after a few months I have given up on his bad attitude and decided to accept that we will never be friends.
I feel truly uncomfortable and unaccepted in his presence and cannot deal with the way he patronizes me in conversation and blatantly excludes me from certain activities. I often leave the room when he comes in and try to avoid situations that include him. Unfortunately, he has recently become a huge part of the social life on our floor and has befriended many of my best friends in big ways. They have been spending a great deal of time with him, genuinely enjoy his company, and are excited about their new friendships with him. Because I can’t be around him, I miss out on so many experiences with my floor and can feel my friends slipping away.
I feel like he is taking over a life that I have built for myself here. Furthermore, I feel insecure and terrible about the fact that I am the only person he has such a hard time being nice to. To everyone else he is open and kind, but I get the short end of the stick. I want desperately to be able to maintain my friendships and enjoy college life, and it feels like he is standing in my way and changing the atmosphere on my floor in a way that is only negative to me. He also has been bringing his friend around a lot who seems to equally dislike me. I don’t understand and I’m angry and annoyed at this person for deconstructing my social life. The worst part is, I don’t think he even notices or cares how miserable he makes me. It feels as though he has this power to make me feel incredibly uncomfortable by doing very little. I feel so trapped. If I keep avoiding him and hating him, I exclude myself. But if I choose to hang out around him, he makes me feel like crap. How can I deal with this? Why does he drive me so nuts? Please help, Cary.
Stuck Under His Thumb
I suggest you use your Mental Photoshop to erase this man from the picture, the way the Soviets used to do.
When you are in a group, do not look at him or speak to him. Speak to others. Concentrate on your friends. Don’t make a big show of it. Just act as if he isn’t there. Bring your field of awareness into yourself and your friends, the people you like and are drawn to. You don’t have to leave. Be there but do not speak to him or look at him. Focus only on your friends. Remove him from the picture.
Here are some examples of how to do this.
Now, eliminating him completely from your awareness may be hard at first — like what happens when someone says, “Don’t think about the elephant.” But if you keep at it, you may begin to enjoy it.
If, however, after a month or so you find you cannot eliminate him from your conscious world then it is remotely possible that you actually have some kind of crush on him. This is a clichéd thing in the movies but it happens in real life, too. It wouldn’t be the first time that a person was attracted to somebody she couldn’t stand. Sometimes it turns out that we don’t care about the person himself but he represents something. So it gets complicated.
But start with just eliminating him from all your pictures. That’s the simplest solution.
Remember: You are Stalin. Your dorm is the Soviet Union. And he is someone who unfortunately did not live up to expectations.
- Send me a letter! Ask for advice! Letter writers please note: By sending a letter to email@example.com, you are giving Salon permission to publish it. Once you submit it, it may not be possible to rescind it. So be sure.
More Related Stories
- I'm not achieving my dreams!
- The most popular Tumblr porn
- Slave descendants seek equal rights from Cherokee Nation
- Snapchat is secretly storing your photos
- Peace Corps to allow gay couples to volunteer together
- Facebook's hate speech problem
- Rand Paul: Congress should apologize to Apple, not the other way around
- When my home was destroyed
- Okla. mother's tearful reunion with her 8-year-old son
- New campaign compares gun control to anti-LGBT discrimination
- Study: Salt Lake City is gay parenting capital of the U.S.
- You are less beautiful than you think
- "Ghetto" tour lets you gawk at New York's poor
- Teen activist to meet with Abercrombie CEO
- Watch: Family emerges from storm shelter after tornado
- Okla. tornado survivor reunited with dog trapped in rubble live on camera
- My miscarriages made me question being pro-choice
- Why I tried to be a punk
- I'm terrified of the cicada onslaught
- Limbaugh: No one willing to impeach the first black president
- SAT's right answers are all wrong
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11