When someone tries to triangulate

Justmehere

Sponsor
I head up a volunteer team offline. A friend's sister has asked to be on the team. Initially I added them to the team. 4 weeks in a row they contacted me with an angry raised voice. 3rd time I took them off the team. 4th time I tried to explain the angry outburst needed to be under better control to be on the team, but we never got that far. She started to make all kinds of accusations that I had told her she couldn't do all kinds of things I never said. She became so fiery and adversarial that I was about to say something stupid and instead, I just hung up the phone. I texted her and told her that I am very sorry but I can't talk today.

It was a few days after a massively triggery funeral and my symptoms were too high. I figured that hanging up was the best of a lot of bad options.

Now this person is going around at various events telling all the other volunteers on my team she and I had a disagreement - which sure fine - but then trying to triangulate everyone into it. So far people are contacting me indicating that she's coming across as a nutty loose cannon.

i'll keep running into her and running into hearing about her. Not sure how to respond right now. i'm thinking of offering to sit down with her at a public location with the boundary that I'm leaving if she raises her voice. The goal of the conversation would be for me to lay out very clearly for her why she's not on the team and what would have to change for her to be on it, and outline some other groups and organizations that she could get involved in as well if our team continues to not be the right fit. I'm not sure if I should deal with the accusation she's making with others or not.

I'm not sure if I should even meet at all / it just doesn't work to simply ignore her.
 
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brat17

MyPTSD Pro
It sounds like it is something that you really don't want to address with her and for good reason. In my experience, it has benefitted me when I have not contributed further, such as commenting on things when she's blabbering these stories to others. Its so temping to explain to others rather than brush it off, but those comments can set that triangulation in motion.

From how she sounds, it seems that any further communication with her might just give her more venom to spew. I know I try to protect my inner peace in these situations.
 

grief

Sponsor
it sounds like everyone around you is fully aware of what is going on. if someone asks you about it tell them the truth. but i would not bother to confront her because it is not likely she will adjust her behavior. and will instead lash out at you for having the audaciy of setting a boundary with her. leave her off the team and do not provide any more attention to her.
 

Friday

Moderator
it just doesn't work to simply ignore her.
Work in what way?

Very little short of shooting her is going to get her to STFU. She can’t even mind her manners when you’re her boss, running around being obnoxious is what got her fired in the first place; that she’s continuing to do so, is just par for her course. It’s clearly just who she is.

Trying to please/placate the angry obnoxious person? Is a waste of time energy.

So if by “work” you mean to make HER somehow happy/compliant? Forget about it. Fawning only works on people who are superior to you in some way, or hold power over you. She’s not. Although it can seem like it via problems caused, she’s really outside the circle now, and before was junior to you.

If by “work” you mean to stop harassing your team, and attempting to interfere & undermine you... by bending over backwards for someone who hasn’t even bothered to apologize, much less seek you out and ask/beg for your expertise help moving forward, by laying out a nifty series of action plans for her to follow to get to where she claims to want, so she doesn’t have to do it herself? ((Where’s the eye spinning Emojii when you need it?!?)) Again... Nope.

But if by “work” you mean to mitigate the damage she’s causing by spending your energy on your teammates who are actually doing their job, instead of the malcontent asshole who isn’t even on the team anymore? Yes. Spend your time and energy on people who have earned -and are continuing to earn- your time and energy. Not the trolls.
 

NoWhereKnowWhere

MyPTSD Pro
I agree with what everyone else has said here and would just like to add that if you do decide to contact her definitely don’t do it face to face. If she’s spreading lies now you’re best to just cover your arse and only have written communication from now on email/text what have you. There’s a reason dick heads like to call you and shout down the phone when you send an email. I think you’re handling it very well as is.
 

Justmehere

Sponsor
Yeah, you are probably right that little good will come of meeting with her.

I haven't actually gotten to the point of telling her why's she off the team. I wonder if owe her this explanation. I tried to tell her -- but never got to the point of saying anything -- and she went off in a rant claiming I stopped her from being involved in a third party project with another organization. I had actually given her to contact info to get involved and have no idea how it got twisted into I'm her evil blocked. I texted her point blank that nope she's an adult, she can do what she wants about any other organization's efforts. But just the fact she thinks that... or says it, trying to eff around.

She's going to everyone else trying to get on our team mentioning we had a disagreement but a simple disagreement isn't why I've taken her off. It's that I have no space to deal with her angry outbursts.

Maybe I could send her an email to explain that and call it day -- she won't. She'll continue to create chaos and I hope she at least continues to demonstrate to everyone else why I didn't add her to the team. Some are giving me pushback today that I need to add her. She's one of the most chaotic angry push-pull people I've ever met.

ugh.
 

desiderata310

Moderator
I think this is a place where you can simply tell your volunteers that you appreciate their concern but you do not discuss the status of other volunteers. You can even thank them for being so enthusiastic about supporting the org. And leave it. If pressed simply be a wall and say the same thing
 

Justmehere

Sponsor
I think this is a place where you can simply tell your volunteers that you appreciate their concern but you do not discuss the status of other volunteers. You can even thank them for being so enthusiastic about supporting the org. And leave it. If pressed simply be a wall and say the same thing
Yeah, this is good input and good to read. This been the best approach with all the folks she's ranting with on the team. Doing otherwise would just fuel the gossip -- and rewards her behavior with more drama.

I'm getting better at not explaining my decisions. This is a very good one to not get into with other volunteers.
 

Friday

Moderator
I think this is a place where you can simply tell your volunteers that you appreciate their concern but you do not discuss the status of other volunteers. You can even thank them for being so enthusiastic about supporting the org. And leave it. If pressed simply be a wall and say the same thing
Agreed... with one caveat.

You might want to have a meeting with your team where you explain that both legally and personally, there is zero tolerance for bullying and/or hostile work environments. You don’t need to go into the details to both CYA legally, and give your team an avenue to seek assistance if they’re being harassed by a former volunteer on/off-site.
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
Since the concern is about an attempt to triangulate members, and triangulation takes a villain, victim, and rescuer, the main point is not participate in any of those roles, but knowing you can not control what roles others take. The key is not buying into. Bad behavior should not be rewarded, as you stated I think.
 
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