Help with a potentially toxic relationship
I could use some help on how to talk with someone who seems like a nice person but is extremely self-centered. Let’s call her Marcia. We met through a mutual friend and hit it off. We have daughters the same age, similar political beliefs, and same sense of humor. But whenever we make plans, it always has to be a place of Marcia’s choosing. We started hiking together and there is a nice trail about 5 minutes from her house, 15 minutes from mine. I like the trail and like having a friend to hike with. But when I have occasionally asked if we could go to another trail that is right in the middle of our houses, she’s acted very put out, saying it was confusing trying to figure out how to get there. (It’s not – it’s a well-known spot very easy to find). We tried jogging too, and she has a favorite place she always likes to go, so we went there several times. After jogging there numerous times I asked if we could switch things up and try some new spots. (I’m new to the area and want to explore, also it feels confining to always go to the same place.) She took this like an affront. In my experience, friends ask each other “What do YOU want to do?” and they compromise. On good days I feel like she must just be unaware of how she’s coming off (though I don’t know how you could be unaware of this!) On bad days I feel like she’s selfish and controlling. Is it worth trying to change things or is this a toxic relationship I should leave? Since our daughters are friends I don’t want to lose this family from our lives, but it’s now really bothering me.