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I Am Not Calling My "Friend" Am I Being Realistic?
January 17, 2007
9:47 pm
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gracenotes
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Last Sunday I called a friend who I am used to talking with almost every day. We have ongoing chats about what happens day by day, almost every day.

Last Sunday I called and wanted to ask her if she wanted to go to brunch, and talk about some other things. When she answered the phone it was a cheery hello, when I said who it was, she was like "oh" with the enthusiasm of a lead balloon and she said "I'll call you back." I certainly felt bad.

Oh, well, I have posted a little about this before. Its so nice in theory to have a best friend who lives nearby but, the healthier I get, the more difficulty I have seeing how she is always creating these patterns in her life to be everyone else's responsibility and how she never gets on with her own life. She is taking on grandmother responsibilities and enabling mom and dad to skirt their responsibilities for example. The grandchild has so many emotional problems and I just don't agree with having child spend most of the weekend sitting in front of a computer at grandma's while mom and dad are out playing. That really bothers me. She was also outright rude in her dealings with a mutual friend.

I gave my 200% over the holidays to help her out with things as she was having some physical problems, and although I did this because I genuinely wanted to, I think I expected, well, a little more than a brief thanks.

It feels empty. This is the time of week I would call, but I don't think I am going to call. I think it is her turn to call. The nice thing about this week, though, is that I making more effort to connect with other people and I find that there is so much more respect going on with these new and old friends compared to what exists between myself and this friend.

What does it say for someone's character if they cannot even bother to pick up the phone and call and say I'm sorry I didn't call you sooner? My other friends would do this. I am getting better at letting go, but nothing much replaces a friendship that has lasted about 15 years. When you get older and have people, even pets, in your life for over a decade, nothing really replaces them.

Any comments? Am I being too judgmental here?

January 17, 2007
11:45 pm
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Loralei
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"Familiarity breeds contempt." I don't know who said that, but it sounds like you may be experiencing a tad of that. Your relationship with your friend is in a rut and are taking each other for granted. This doesn't keep a friendship fresh and enjoyable. It sounds more like an obligation for both of you.

I think it's great that you are connecting with some other people. You have been focusing too much on that one friend and that's not healthy for either of you. Unless she is asking you for advice, then don't concern yourself with her problems. If she's not happy to hear from you, that should tell you that it's time to back off. You seem to have become too dependent on your daily fix of talking with her. It has become a habit more than anything else.

Of course, those friends we've had forever are the very ones we depend on when we need a helping hand. But that doesn't mean you have to be a part of each other's daily life. Develop other friendships and cut down on your contact with your friend. That alone should help to keep that friendship intact. Oh, and no one owes anyone an apology for not calling sooner. Being friends is not an obligation to entertain someone who doesn't have a life of their own. I've had friends and relatives who would call and talk my ear off and I couldn't get off the phone. Even though I loved them, I really didn't want to talk to them that often. Just find more friends so you can spread yourself a little thinner. They'll all appreciate you more that way.

January 18, 2007
2:17 am
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turnabout
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Could she have been expecting a call from someone else and was disappointed you weren't them? Her perfunctory "Call you back" makes me think this is a possibility.

I don't want to make excuses for her, but I guess I'm saying you don't really know why she responded that way.

Nonetheless, following Loralei's lead, there's another old saying I like. "Always leave them wanting more."

January 18, 2007
10:56 am
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gracenotes
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Loralei and turnabout,

Thank you both for your responses. Yes, she could have been expecting a call from someone else. That I will never know.

It is true of this friendship that I have been making an ongoing effort to cut down my contact with her and spread myself out to other people and situations. I think that things got out of balance over the holidays because she had some physical problems, I had more time as I was off of work and school, and I stepped in to help her out, and old patterns started right up again. Sometimes she is kind of just someone to call when I need to chat. And, yes, she is a person I could call if I needed a helping hand. Exactly, and she would do the same, if I needed someone to check in one my house or pets if I were away or had surgery.

We do take each other for granted I think and I have wanted to elevate this friendship a little, meaning, instead of just dropping in and hanging out, sometimes us being the mutual dumping ground for negative emotions, and her's cycle the same year after year, I have wanted to get more into going places, i.e. out to eat and concerts and present more of my best when around her.

Maybe I will just let this be for awhile, and if there's some kind of social activity I'd like her to be a part of, I will give her a call. I am really seeking others' points of views anyway, here on this board, and with my other friends and she also might be sensing that I am pulling away in various way. But, a long-term friend is really a gift.

January 18, 2007
2:29 pm
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soprano2
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I have been through this every time I have moved from one state to another.

I find myself calling, visiting, calling again, sending cards, calling again. The friendships always get so onesided when I leave.

I end up feeling hurt and frustrated. Then mad and then I start questioning what is wrong with me???????

About six months ago, I decided to stop. I figured if these people were not adding to my life, then why should I keep giving part of my life to them?

And you know what? I felt so much better. I realized that there was nothing really wrong with me.

I am glad that I have gotten a chance to be friends with all of these people, but perhaps they are not what I need in my life right now.

Another thought for you--if you are on the road to recovery, maybe she is having problems accepting that. For instance, if you are unwilling to get involved with her drama the way you used to--she is going to see that difference. It doesn't make your recovery wrong--it just means that lives change, people change, and friendships change.

Who knows, she may even be jealous of your growth but is unwilling to admit that she needs to change herself.

Just a coulple ideas.

s2

January 18, 2007
4:46 pm
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gracenotes
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soprano,

That's such a big part of all of this -- I don't want to be part of her drama anymore. Thanks for reminding of that part of it. Two weeks ago I dropped in to say hi, and she went on and on about her son's girlfriend and how she needs to be fixed. Instead of joining in, I simply detached, listening to what she had to say, and said something like, well, this is something she (son's girlfriend) will need to work out in her own good time, but right now she is drinking, so nothing much will change until she decides to do something about her drinking. Its not that my friend was offended, I was offended having to listen to this anger that had nothing to do with me. This is just an example.

Since I may be relocating this fall, it is really important that I do not let this friendship stand in the way of my personal goals either. I really care about my friend, but I have my boundaries, and maybe my possible relocating is also putting a strain on the friendship. Maybe I am contributing to this too, but I have assured her that I will be around many weekends. I would not be moving that far away.

I'm letting things be. I think I will learn something from this.

January 22, 2007
10:34 pm
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gracenotes
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Still haven't heard from my friend. Today, something came up at school that was a little annoying, and I decided to call another friend to talk about it. Guess what? She gave me some great feedback, did not get all emotionally involved, and I was able to put things in perspective. We also made plans to do something fun together in the very near future. I think I am going to call this friend more often. She's a healthy person.

Just a little thing today that made a big difference! Doing something different.

January 23, 2007
1:29 am
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2rain
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Sometime, I feel like I put a load on my friends. Then I feel like they kind of hide when they see me. Like here come that sad story. This site is really a good out let for your problems. Maybe these women are your real friends.

January 23, 2007
2:02 pm
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gracenotes
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2rain,

I get what you are saying. Its good to keep good boundaries with friends, balance fun stuff with talking about stuff. Thanks for a reminder.

January 23, 2007
2:07 pm
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JPSC
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Playing "hard to get" holds true with friends too. Sometimes friends just need a break from each other (that's everyone for that matter). The closer people are sometimes the more often it seems that sometimes you need a time out. Not a "labeled" time out so to speak but just a couple days off. Both parties need to miss each other, then when u get together again and chit chat, it's something new. On of my best friends in the world and I got in a big argument about nothing, then it escalated to an even bigger argument, when it was all said and done I realized that there was something going on in their life that they couldn't put a finger on, so I left them alone to work it out. When some time passed and things cooled off, we were good friends again. Don't forget friendships and relationships evolve and change all the time, so don't always expect it to be the same. We all grow and change and sometimes our friends can't keep up with us, and sometimes we can't keep up with them.

January 23, 2007
2:54 pm
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bluegirl
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Hi Gracenotes

Reading about your situation brought back painful memories. I spent 30, thats right 30 years in a friendship very similar to yours. GET OUT and quick. Once i broke that tie i felt a huge weight off my shoulders. I had to stand alone for awhile friendless but wow you should see the quality people i attracted once i let go of this woman. She was self centered, non stop talker of toxic negative conversation and i did almost all of the calling. I went over to her house to see if she was ok ...I brought her coffee..I was always so worried about her...i thought because we talked daily we were such amzing friends..well, real friends give back and treat you with respect and do not just depend on you ..the bring joy to your life and fun. I would definitley let this one go...the faster the better..yes it is scary to think of being alone but sounds like you are alone anyway in this friendship.

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