Any advice on dealing with a toxic studio-mate? I became friendly with another woman when she came to our studio. It seemed we had some common interests. It turns out that she has some personality issues that make it difficult for me to remain friendly with her, but I encounter her at our studio a lot. She has turned out to be pathologically competitive, sneaky and gossipy, and seems obsessively proprietary about our mutual teacher, weirdly so, even more than is typical. She is a compulsive talker and bragger, and talks over the teacher during every workshop, and usually parks herself next to me. At comps, I like to go off by myself when I'm on deck to stretch and warm myself up. Lately, if she's not on the floor herself, she follows me and plants herself next to me and prattles on about this or that while I'm trying to get my head together.... At our last competition, I had waited all day to dance. Her last round was just before mine. There were maybe two heats in between, so my teacher came off the floor and found me in the on deck area. So he had a few minutes to rest and for us to connect a bit before going on the floor. Instead of graciously going back to our studio's table and cheering for me, as I had been doing for her for the past hour, this person stood there next to us and proceeded to deconstruct her heats, speculating about how she did, asking our teacher for feedback. I just stared at her. I didn't want to risk losing my own composure before going on the floor, but I was really angry. Teacher skillfully edged himself between us and effectively turned his back on her so we could have a moment to chat. She got a kind of surprised look on her face and harrumphed off to join the group, but it wouldn't surprise me if she pulled the same stunt next time. I am beginning to avoid the idea of competing because her presence and lack of social skills makes it stressful. I have stopped getting together with her outside of the studio because all she wants to talk about is "the studio," meaning our teacher and his personal life, which she is fixated on. She gossips and I don't dare tell her anything I wouldn't want everyone else to know. The problem is, I feel sorry for her because I know she's lonely--but I know why she is lonely!!