I am a part of a lovely circle of friends that at its core is good and strong and free of toxicity.
If you graduate out a bit in the social circles, we have a couple of friends that kind of move in and out of the friend group that are prone to dramatics (openly untreated depression because they say no therapist understands them, say things like “I don’t know why anyone even wants to be my friend, I’m a terrible person”, have chosen particular diets but never bring their type of dishes to potlucks so they passive aggressively make comments about having nothing to eat OR the host will make a special dish and at the last minute flake. Probably due to the depression(s), their homes are also at various levels of hoarding/uncleanliness-literal bags of garbage in corners, filthy litter boxes, etc. offers of “are you doing ok? Do you need help with anything” aka reaching out are met with indignation and weeks of “can you believe they insulted me that way!”.
These folks also smoke a lot of weed. Inside their homes and outside at other people’s homes (although if you ask them not to at your home because of piss test concerns from secondary they will begrudgingly stop). I am terribly allergic to almost all kinds of pot. I can be around the liquid form in vapes for whatever reason, but raw burning weed gives me a full body migraine that can last for days.
However not inviting these people to my home for gatherings would be…..well I don’t have the spoons to deal with the fallout. But when I don’t go to their house often enough for one of their parties, i inevitably get a message or text “why don’t you ever come over? Did I make you mad? I feel like you’re mad at me? It’s because I’m a terrible person isn’t it? It’s a wonder I have any friends at all” and literally I want to chuck my phone into the river from frustration.
Because I’m not going to be THAT PERSON and go to someone else’s house and demand they not smoke pot. But I also can’t be in bed for two days to protect someone else’s feelings. And as an addendum, my spouse does have a piss test issue so I worry about it showing up if they get checked at random.
Not a Narc, just got bad genes
(They/them for anonymity)
Though your subject line was “MaryJane allergy,” this is not a weed question, this is a Geek Social Fallacies question.
You don’t like these people. It’s okay. Not everyone likes everyone. We don’t need a laundry list of their mental health concerns or judgy thoughts about their housekeeping or even allergies to try to find an objective reason for all of it, just own it and admit it to yourself: They’re eating crackers on the bedsheets of your mind.
Perversely, admitting to yourself that you don’t like someone can make it easier to get along with them when you do have to see them in social situations. Often, you can say a basic “hello” and make small talk for a couple minutes and then walk away to talk to people you like more without beating yourself up or recounting their faults in your head. Over time the dislike remains, but the dread and emotional investment toll goes way, way down.
Anyway, you’ve chosen…for now…to invite them to stuff at your house for the sake of social harmony. Hosts get to make the rules and it is absolutely okay to say “Reminder, my house is a ‘no smoking of anything house,’ even in the yard or garage or on the porch, thanks” as part of the invitation, and it is okay to remind people if they forget the house rules. If they act weird or grudging about that then a) that’s just fine, let them die mad about it b) if being without weed for a few hours is so unenjoyable to them, they don’t have to come!
Different friends have different rules for their houses, it’s the same thing as “Would you mind taking your shoes off” in a shoes-off house or “Hey, the cats are barricaded in the office, don’t open that door please.”
- “Let the vegetarians at the pizza first so that all the cheese-only slices don’t get scooped up before they can eat”
- “Watch the potty mouth around the little kids please.”
- “The booze that’s on the counter is the stuff that’s cool to open, please ask before taking anything out of the cabinet.”
- “This closet has the beach towels, please don’t take our nice towels down to the shore.”
- “Felix is in recovery so we’re keeping everything booze-free.”
- “Lucien is deathly allergic to peanuts, please keep that in mind if you bring anything.”
- “Our house really isn’t childproofed, nobody under 10 please.”
- “Here are labels and sharpies – can you write down what’s in your dish?”
PARTY RULES ARE FINE. You aren’t mean for having them. They help people know what they are in for and how to have fun. Making it clear up front cuts way down on how many little awkward negotiations you’ll have to do at the event. Own the fact that your house is not a weed house and make it loud and clear to your social circle, without apology or regret!
Also, your allergy is a very good reason to stop going to their parties that you dread, but you don’t have to explain beyond “Sorry, can’t make this one, thanks!” You’re allowed to manage both your own risk tolerance and your own social calendar.
If the people push back, asking if you hate them because you skipped a thing, what if you just said “That’s not it at all. You may not know this or remember, but I’m really allergic to pot smoke. It’s not personal, I just tend to avoid spaces where I’m going to be exposed to it.”
And if they have a bunch of feelings about that they want to tell you, it’s okay to interrupt: “Hey, let me interrupt you – it’s really not personal. I don’t care if you smoke weed, I want you to have fun at your own party in your own house and not worry about taking care of me around this. I just can’t risk being flat on my back for 2 days with a migraine after every fun party! I’ll just see you at [other smoke-free event] when I see you.”
If they keep pushing after that, they are 100% the ones making it weird, and you can be like “You are being really weird about this, please stop” or “I’m not mad at you but if you won’t let this drop I will be.” (“I have no idea how to respond to that, what would you like me to say right now?” is also a classic for a reason). Turn the tables of awkward and set yourself free!
I hope you eventually give yourself permission to hang out with only your actual friends in much, much smaller groups. Where is the pressure to include certain people despite your deep dislike really coming from? I hope you’re able to sort it out.