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Every friendship I have is based upon me making the effort, AIBU to get upset by this?

(128 Posts)
obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 08:33:23

Every friendship that I have is conditional upon me making the bulk of the effort, ie making arrangements, and making contact. Even commenting on Facebook photos and statuses. There have been a few occasions where I've stopped initiating contact in each of those ways and in every single time I've just never heard from the friend again.

It's happening again now with a schoolfriend, whom I've known for around 20 years. She seems to make an effort for lots of other people but not for me. It's always me making contact and suggesting meeting up. I've done her a variety of favours and helped her out a lot but she barely says thanks yet if anyone else does her a favour or she spends time with them she tags them on Facebook and thanks them profusely (yes I know Facebook isn't the be all and end all but she uses it a lot). She takes me for granted. So I've decided to back off a little and see if she makes any effort. Not heard a bean for 3 weeks now, so looks like that friendship will go down the pan too.

AIBU to be highly fed up with it all?

Fishandjam Thu 14-Feb-13 11:09:47

I definitely don't keep a score of who I've done good turns to. Just like I don't give a toss who remembers my birthday or not (as I'm totally bone at remembering other people's!) I offer to help out because I feel that's the kind thing to do; if it gets returned, great, if not, no biggie. Don't like the idea that ulterior motives are being ascribed to it though!

And the memory of being one of the unpopular ones at (horrid, cliquey, all-girls) school is bloody hard to shake off, even at nearly 40.

Ooooh Fish I was also one of the unpopulars at an all-girls school <fist bump>

To this day most of my friends are men.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 11:43:57

Fish - can I clarify it for you somehow?

I am friendly with a good few of the nursery mums at school. I have known this lot for two years and I'm fond of them all. I don't drive and often get offered lifts by any one of them. I think they are all very kind.

Another mum I've met twice, briefly, as a friend of one of the above, saw me standing at the bus stop waiting to get the bus round to school - I waved to her. 5 mins later she screeches to a halt beside me having dropped her own kids off at school, and come back to get me! I graciously accept, make chit chat, then bid her cheerio.
Next I get a friends request on fb...which I accept as we have lots of mutuals. She messages me offering to pick me up tomorrow. I feel prickly and decline.

A social night a week or so later, she plants herself firmly next to me and conversationally fixates on the breakdown of her marriage a year ago. She doesn't care that I'm not interested and didn't ask.

There are kind people, and there are needy people. Cailin and I know the difference. Trust us. x

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 12:11:02

Oh gosh no pictish I wouldn't do anything like that. People that act like that make me shudder! There is one mum at my DCs school that tries to foist herself onto anyone and everyone, offering favours, everything from taking their child to brownies each week to free gym day passes at the gym she goes too. I can tell people feel uneasy with her but she is so pushy and so full on that people accept and probably regret it afterwards

In my case, I end up being asked to do favours. I don't tend to offer to do many things these days, purely because I didn't want to get thought of as a needy saddo.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 12:29:58

I didn't think you would OP - that's the more extreme end of my reasoning.

I am also wary of kind, favour doing people, simply because I haven't the time (or inclination) to invest in a relationship of swapsies. Even if the person does not expect a damn thing in return, I am not one of life's takers, and I would always feel a debt was owed.

Therefore, I prefer the company of the self sufficient.

ChestyLeRoux Thu 14-Feb-13 12:36:06

I agree with pictish thats who Im on about.I have many of times ended up with these stalker type friends.

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 12:37:21

I think the people I class as friends are probably in the category of life's takers.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 12:39:51

Well then OP you have answered your own dilemma. Ditch the takers, and save yourself for those who share your values. It may only be two or three people, but they are worth their weight in gold.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 12:40:42

Chesty - I used to, but I see them coming a mile off now and bodyswerve neatly.

ChestyLeRoux Thu 14-Feb-13 12:53:06

Yeah I do now.Before I used to be polite and laid back,and next thing Im trying to avoid their barrage of texts or trying to corner me.Then if you do make an excuse they blank you for small periods of time.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 13:03:57

Obtuse, the reason you're attracting people like that is probably because they know they can take from you. If you just refuse to do favours they'll soon learn you're not a mug and move onto someone else.

Fish - to answer your question, yes I'd rather not bother than have "friends" who aren't really friends. There's just no point in chasing after people who have no interest. It's better to let that kind of people go and work on cultivating real friendships with people who are genuinely interested.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 13:04:45

Point being, the overt givers sometimes turn out to be the ultimate takers.

reallyyummymummy Thu 14-Feb-13 13:21:32

I am surprised how many people are something like me and also the way "popular" people view friendship.

I wish I could have an easy going attitude about friendship but nowadays my automatic default is that if they are interested let them come to me. I don't ask people for coffee anymore - fed up of people pretence of it all.

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 13:47:53

I find I also get my fair share of women being generally nasty to me and doing things that belong in a playground, which doesn't do my confidence a lot of good. Last summer a friend invited me on a night out, and she brought along another friend that I hadn't met before. Anyway, her other friend kept taking the mickey out of me all night, asking me questions about myself and then when I replied she'd repeat things I said in a mocking tone, and both would collapse into peals of laughter. They also both had a lot of private in-jokes it seemed as they would both say something very random and then again collapse with laughter. I felt like I'd only been invited so that they could be catty.

Then another time I got invite to a hen weekend. I only knew about half the women that went and was room sharing with two women that I had not met before but that knew each other very well, and they too were very bitchy to me, doing pathetic things like hiding my make up bag and making nasty comments.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 13:53:00

That is seriously nasty behaviour obtuse, unusually so. I've never experienced anything like that. I think it was more than likely bad luck that you ended up with such bitches, but out of interest did you object at all to how you were treated? In the first instance you describe I would ask the friend to stop mocking me and if she did it again I would walk out. In the second instance I would never ever share a room with women I didn't know - far too awkward.

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 14:00:21

Yeah I walked out after about an hour and a half, phoned my DH and he collected me. My friend sent me a text and said I was oversensitive but I ignored her and haven't seen her since.

On the hen weekend I just grinned and beared it but definitely wouldn't share with someone I don't know again. I think it was probably bad luck like you say.

Pandemoniaa Thu 14-Feb-13 14:04:15

It's very nasty behaviour, obtuse. How did you meet these unpleasant so-called friends?

obtuseone Thu 14-Feb-13 14:05:37

Friend one I knew from school, although to be fair she did treat me that way at school too. She was only mates with me when she chose to be and then other times would just turn on me, and if ever anyone said anything horrible to me she'd side with them and join in. So I should have known better really.

The other ones I met via a friend on the hen weekend.

Pandemoniaa Thu 14-Feb-13 14:08:04

Certainly she's no friend really, is she? Which is why I'd suggest making new friends who don't come with unpleasant baggage from way back.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Thu 14-Feb-13 14:14:34

i think you need to seriously rethink your deinition of 'friend'. These people sound horrible, I wouldn't have put up with it for more than two minutes.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 14:19:16

Obtuse - I am extremely picky about who I'm friends with. I meet a lot of people but I only have about 5 good friends, collected from down the years. I have a few other friends that I am in contact with sporadically but for various reasons I don't consider them close friends, just people I care about and like to keep in contact with. I "broke up with" my best friend of ten years when I was about 23 because of her behaviour. My point is, I am very selective, and I don't put up with any shit.

I am "popular" and I do make friends easily but that doesn't mean I have hordes of people around me at all times. I have pretty high standards in what I expect from real friends - otherwise I just consider a person an acquaintance and leave it at that level.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 14:21:03

My point is, there are plenty of people you will meet in life who might want to be friends with you, but the important thing is whether you want to be friends with them. You should accept "friendship" from someone who doesn't really care about you, or someone who uses you to big themselves up and make themselves feel better.

Fishandjam Thu 14-Feb-13 14:22:22

I get it pictish - I hope I would not behave like that. How embarrassing and frankly creepy! I might offer help once or twice, and then leave it (whether or not accepted) on the basis that the recipient knows where I am if they need anything in the future.

Hehe dreaming, girls-only schools are grim aren't they! Socially at least, if not academically.

Fishandjam Thu 14-Feb-13 14:25:01

OP, those people sound vile. Better to be friendless than put up with that kind of shite.

CailinDana Thu 14-Feb-13 14:26:31

Sorry that should say "you shouldn't accept friendship..."

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