In many cases, it’s assumed one friend will help out another, no questions asked.
But what happens if helping goes against the very real priorities or struggles of one of those friends?
That was the situation faced by one Redditor, who posted her experience on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as TA_Soft_Suspect6669 on the site, shed light on the expected favor right in the post’s title:
“AITA for refusing to go bra shopping with someone?”
OP began by describing the ins and outs of this particular friend dynamic.
“I (20-year-old female) have a friend Asher* who is a MTF (18-year-old) trans woman.”
“Our friend group is pretty much all guys and then Asher and myself – so I do find Asher clings to me a lot and messages me constantly.”
“Which, is fine. Asher explained to me that she hasn’t really had girl friends since she came out.”
Then OP shared what would be some relevant background information.
“I have really really bad anxiety; and am very uncomfortable talking about certain topics that (in my opinion) should be private.”
“I also have bad body anxiety. It takes a lot for me to go clothes shopping in general, even more so with friends because of the pressure to show them what I try on, etc.”
In fact, Asher once saw it for herself.
“Asher and I had already discussed this mildly when she asked me what periods were like while we were out having coffee and I had a panic attack (cause she was asking intimate questions in public).”
“I quickly explained to her that I would be more comfortable typing this conversation but not speaking about it.”
“When we did later discuss it, I went into a bit more detail about my anxieties.”
But apparently memories fade.
“I had made plans with myself to go bra shopping as I desperately needed new bras (big boobs are a curse – let me tell you that!) and FINALLY had enough money to get a couple. (my work suffered with a recent lockdown).”
“As I was leaving – Asher was arriving; apparently to get my housemate (mutual friend) to teach her something. I said goodbye and went to leave, but Asher asked me where I was going.”
“I said I was going to the shops and Asher immediately said she would come with me and reschedule my housemate.”
“I tried to wave her off and said I was fine, but she said ‘It’ll be a girls trip! It’ll be so amazing!’ “
OP attempted diplomacy.
“I said I would love to come back to the house and get her in an hour, that this was just my ‘alone’ time.”
“Asher kept pushing so I said ‘I’m really sorry Asher, but this is private shopping’ (no idea how else to say it!).”
“Asher’s eyes lit up and she said ‘Bra shopping! Yes! I need to learn how to do this! Let’s go! We can share a cubicle!.’ “
Eventually, OP realized she needed to be firmer.
“I shook my head and told her I wasn’t comfortable with that and that I would have enough trouble doing it alone, it would be worse with anyone else, and trailed off cause I wasn’t sure what else to say.”
“Asher’s eyes narrowed and she said ‘It’s cause I’m trans isn’t it?!’ ”
“When I tried to say ‘No’ she bought up the fact that I once went with my cousin Laura (she only knows cause she ran into us with the bags).”
“I tried to explain that I’d known Laura since I was 2, and that was different; and we definitely did not share a cubicle!”
“Asher told me I’d ‘pay’ for my transphobia and left.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most people agreed with OP. They had plenty to say in support of her viewpoint.
“NTA, your friend is insane, and she has no claim on your time. She wants you to respect her trans status, she’s right to expect that, and you do.”
“Now it’s time for her to respect your boundaries and anxiety issues. Her comment about sharing a cubicle, then her reaction, basically amount to a demand that you expose yourself to her.”
“It’s not your fault that she doesn’t have other women friends. She should go make more. What she’s been doing to you would wear on anyone.” — harmonytw
“NTA and I was tempted to say consider getting this person out of your life or go low contact. There were a couple of red flags that popped up whilst reading your post but honestly the part at the end where they said ‘you would pay’ holy sh**.”
“A friend does not threaten you never mind the rest of the boundary crossing behaviour they have already exhibited. Get this individual out of your life ASAP.” — SPJ83
“NTA Even when we’re natural-born-females, shopping for personal undergarments is NOT a group experience. ESPECIALLY in the larger-than-average size ranges.”
“When I am forced to go shopping for bra’s, I don’t even take my lawfully wedded husband of 25 years with me!!”
“Asher needs to learn this. Things like spa day, mani-pedi, lunch with a group, maybe catch a movie….sure, make a day of it together and have fun. But underwear shopping is personal and private.” — Haunting_Sign_177
“NTA – My god talk about not understanding boundaries. OP you are not the arsehole and you are sure as hell not being transphobic in this situation. Anxiety is real and it can be debilitating sometimes, as you’ve clearly mentioned here.”
“Asher needs to take a long hard look at herself and understand that just because she wants to do something and is comfortable with it, doesn’t mean that you have to be automatically” — ExactingRook2822
“NTA. Bra shopping is almost never a two person job or group activity, silly of them to think it was. And no matter what you were planning on doing, you have every right to choose who you want to bring with you, including no one.”
“Now if they had said they wanted your help in bra fitting and selection and could the two of you please schedule an outing for that, that’s a different story, but they clearly just wanted to butt in.” — DigDugDogDun
So if she takes these comments to heart, OP can feel a bit better about keeping bra shopping a solo errand.