Auntie SparkNotes: I Don't Want to Engage With These Evil Twins
I'm in kind of a weird situation. There are these twin sisters in my year who are basically like the leaders of a small army of friends (it's legit like that), and are the top rankers in school academically. Three years ago, I was their friend until I performed better than them in an exam and they just kind of froze me out. I was okay with it since they were kind of mean and not great friends anyway.
The next year when my older sister was standing for student council elections, they basically went around telling people not to vote for her; long story short, I yelled at them very publicly and for the next two years they would shoot me poisonous looks 24/7.
One of my friends is part of their gang, and last year she would tell me about how they used to say that they wanted to be friends with me again, but they might cry if they tried to talk to me (?????). Which brings us to this year: I have a class with them and, again, long story short, they got one of their friends to apologize to me across the class. He yelled it out while the teacher was talking and they pretended like they couldn't hear anything. I just said "okay" and continued my work; I feel like if they really wanted to speak to me, they could do it themselves? I honestly don't know what to do. There's only about a year and a half of school left and I don't want to leave with bad relationships, but I also don't really want to have anything to do with them at all. Please help!
In that case, darling, I have good news: Not only are you not required to have anything to do with these girls, but having nothing to do with them is exactly the right call—and your decision not to reinvolve yourself in their toxic business is a danged impressive bit of emotional intelligence, you savvy thing.
Because on that front, your instincts are spot on. If they really wanted to make amends, they could indeed talk to you directly! Whereas if they wanted to manipulate the situation and stir up drama by publicly attempting to paint you as a big meanie who won't be friends with them, they would do… well, exactly what they did. Getting their friend to apologize to you for them in this incredibly performative way? Playing victim to your mutual friends after you called them out for their cruel behavior? That's not contrition; it's a power play.
The good news is, you handled it perfectly by acknowledging but not engaging—and in the (unfortunately likely) event that they take another run at you, that approach will continue to serve you. The best way to deal with someone who wants to draw you into a conflict is to be relentlessly neutral, which works especially well considering that you don't have a bad relationship with these girls, but rather that you have no relationship with them at all. You washed your hands of all this nonsense two years ago! And the more they harp on it without any response from you, the more transparent their attempts to instigate some kind of beef become… and the worse they'll look as they're driven increasingly crazy by their total inability to make you care about their opinions. Which isn't the point of all this, but let's be real, it's gotta be a nice bonus—and the fact that they're still endeavoring so publicly to get a rise out of you suggests that they're already awfully salty about it, so well-played. Keep going. You got this.
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