Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
problem with a close friend (long, sorry)(19 Posts)
Hi, everyone - I'm new here and love how much wisdom and support is on offer; I hope I can borrow some right now
This might seem a bit trivial and not that important in comparison with some of the truly terrible situations a lot of people face but it's upset me and I'd like some opinions.
Setting the scene a bit: I only have 3 close friends - (I'm generally quite introverted and don't open up to people that much) but they are really good, can phone at 3am to cry sort of friends. I work with one of them and we have a colleague who we both weren't that keen on but got on with ok as it's a small team etc. Now, this friend of mine has become really friendly with this colleague lately, going out every weekend, talking non-stop at work etc. We've stopped spending any time together because she's always either out with her "new" friend or is doing family stuff, which is obviously fine. (I dislike clubbing and don't drink so tended to ask her for brunch, coffee, etc)
I suggested one day that the 3 of us should go out for dinner after work: they both nodded non-commitally and a few hours later my friend texts me saying tat she and this colleague are going out for dinner and I can join them "if I want"! This sort of thing has happened more than once and I'm upset at being left out for someone who she agreed only a few months ago was unpleasant to say the least!
I want to tell her that I feel upset and betrayed. I want to tell her that she ditches me as soon as someone more exciting comes along (yes, this isn't the 1st time), I want to tell her that she is being dishonest by befriending someone we both disliked and now is apparently great.
I've read this back and I sound like a drama queen. But I am so upset, I feel like I've lost a friend and said friend doesn't care.
Hang on- it sounds to me like they agreed that it would be nice to go out and planned it, including you?
Not sure what the problem is? Did you want them to only have any contact with each other via you?
Giraffeski - thank you for replying.
Not exactly - the evening out was my idea, they discussed between them and I was told I could come "if I wanted". This has happened before. The dynamic between us 3 at the moment is very much them vs me.
And of course they can be in contact without my involvement - this isn't about the contact, really. This is about the fact that my very good friend has effectively replaced me with someone we both disliked a few short months ago.
She has form. She is a fair weather friend. Time to turn on the breezy, friendly, pleasant attitude that makes working together bearable while accepting that you are not as important to your friend as she is to you. Been there and it's crap.
OP, you have good reasons to feel left out, and your friend does sound dishonest. I've been there myself: agreeing with a close friend that such and such a person is annoying, or not being impressed by her comments/behaviours, then giving this so-called person a second chance, then having my close friend being closer to her than to me.
I don't have many words of wisdom to add apart from saying that it happens a lot. It's infuriating but there's not much you can do as it can be interpreted the wrong way if you complain to your friend about it.
I'd behave as if nothing had happened. If your friend has chosen to be best friends with this other person, it's her choice, and it doesn't reflect very well on her character, as she doesn't seem very reliable in her judgements and opinions.
Your friend is clearly showing you another side of her, and you should be aware that this friend might not be such a great a person as she once might have been.
Be prepare to disengage from her if she keeps putting her new friend first.
Dont say anything to her, pretend as nothing is bothering you.
It is not worth it. She is a bit two faced, and you want calm work environment, not drama.
agreeing with a close friend that such and such a person is annoying, or not being impressed by her comments/behaviours, then giving this so-called person a second chance, then having my close friend being closer to her than to me. This is EXACTLY it. (if only I had thought to phrase it this concisely in my OP!)Thank you for understanding.
Finola1step - I envy people who can do this easily. I have never been able to but maybe it is high time to learn...
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
She doesn't sound like a very good friend if she has a habit of 'replacing' you with others she finds more exciting. I think that's just how some people are though, you have to take them or leave them for what they are and decide how much value they really bring to your life.
Then again, since your conversation she's obviously found that she has something in common with this girl and enjoys her company. It does happen and has happened to me. A friend of mine I've known for years met a girl online and they're now joined at the hip 24/7! I barely speak to her these days, but I still try to attend important events bdays etc.
I would probably join them on a night out and see how things go. It could be that the you vs them situation is more a reflection of your own thoughts than theirs!
She probably hasn't included you up to this point because she thought you wouldn't want to join them. this is true and she is correct in thinking I don't want to go out with them save for the odd dinner or coffee (they spend time clubbing which isn't my thing). My problem is with the fact that I don't seem to exist to my friend now as she is busy with new ones. I have asked her out for brunch, coffee etc many times and she always has a reason to refuse. Although I do take your point about her simply changing her mind about this colleague - didn't occur to me!
She doesn't sound like a very good friend if she has a habit of 'replacing' you with others she finds more exciting. I think that's just how some people are though, you have to take them or leave them for what they are and decide how much value they really bring to your life. That;s just it - as I don't have many close friends as it is...well, I don't know if I can afford to lose one, if that makes sense?
But she isn't a close friend now, is she? Maybe she was but the relationship has changed.
The bright and breezy thing is so hard but, doable. I had to do this 10 years ago. I was part if a group of 4 friends, all working together.
Friend A was the oldest, had been there longest.
Friend B was me, second longest.
Friend C then joined the workplace.
Friend D joined.
Lots of going out, supporting each other through rough times etc. Until Friend D gets married.
She has a v small wedding, family only. She then invites Friend C to the wedding. And Friend A to the lunch and drinks afterwards. I was not invited at all - her right to choose. I found out on the day, by mistake. They had decided to keep it from me. I felt dreadful and rather embarrassed. It hurt and it made me question the friendships as a whole. I am still friends with Friend C. She was the one who thought it was crap too.
Am FB friends with Friend D after a long period of silence. I am very light and breezy - I simply don't trust her as a friend, she is an acquaintance. Which is fine.
You can smile and nod, laugh at jokes and funny stories. Stop asking your friend to meet up for brunch etc. it's just not on her radar right now. But you don't have to be the fall back friend.
Oh and I don't have loads of friends. But the friends I do have, are lovely. I'd have have 2 good friends than a dozen fair weather friends any day.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Finola1step - thank you for sharing that. Sounds an awful situation to go through. If it was me, I wouldn't speak to friend D and probably A and B either but I do recognise that this would be rather extreme in "normal people" terms. The way you're dealing with it sounds great and I am taking your words about not being the fall-back friend on board.
some people are a bit flighty when it comes to friendships and are able to make friends and dump friends at the drop of a hat. They just don't emotionally invest in friendships - your friend sounds like this, whereas you're very loyal. that's a great perspective - I guess I'm expecting people to invest as much as I do, although I realise that I have no right to demand this from anyone. It just makes me sad, this whole situation.
Wrt to the situation I described, I carried on working with all three women for another 3 or 4 months before moving jobs (had already been looking so the wedding incident didn't cause me to leave). All three then left at various points in the next two years and we all seemed to go our separate ways. Friend A isn't in touch with any of us. I stayed in touch with Friend C. Friend D contacted me through fb last year.
It was really tough at the time. But it was over 10 years ago. I learnt an awful lot from it though. I suppose I was quite naive in thinking that the four of us in the group were all equally good friends and we all cared about each other.
Good luck for refocusing your friendship with your friend at work. You can still be friendly but I think you should invest your time and energies into your other friendships.
Oh Im sorry you're experiencing this. Its really hurftul I know, a similar thing happened to me . A very clsoe friend of mine quite clearly decided out of the blue ( again she has form for it with others) that she wanted to drop me and started inviting all our mutual friends round without me, engineering social situations to leave me out. I was devastated but as others have said, I try and see it as a good thing now, I am not wasting my time on her and have space to meet more like minded people. I too am very sensitive, invest a lot in friendships and have recently found out ( and I am not young!) for the first time how naive Ive been to assume everyone else is the same. Good friends are to me like family but for a lot of people they are just there to add fun and if someone else comes along who is novel they move on or , as in my case, it can be more calculating. I try to accept that this is true but it still feels very sad if you are the type of person who loves having close friendships. Sounds like you have 2 people you can count on which is fab and maybe make some other friends who you purposefully see as people to have fun with, they may develop into something more but don't invest too much until they do. And, as hard as it may seem try to keep it light and breezy with your 'friend' as you don't want the atmosphere and problems I have because I was too upset to speak, feel free to PM me if you need to offload. I really have been there
I agree with Finola too. Sometimes you consider people really good and loyal friends but later something happens that makes you realise they're not that loyal to you after all. It's not that they're bad or good people, it's just the way human relations work. Friendship is a very subtle dance of circumstances, personality and behaviours. It's really hard to keep it up and going all the time.
What makes me weary of people who change their perceptions of people so quickly - as your friend did -, and become friends with people they didn't like so much once, is that they can also change the perceptions of you equally quickly. So if once they consider you a good, nice person who they felt they could trust, maybe that judgement could change as quickly in the opposite direction.
As Finola said, try to behave in a cordial, friendly manner to both of them, as if nothing had happened, just because you're involved with them too in a work situation.
If you didn't have to see them at work every day, you could afford to have the "emotional" conversation with your close friend. But given the situation, I wouldn't go there myself either.
Thank you all for your advice - I have decided to just act as if everything's ok because we work in the same office every single day and an atmosphere will not be helpful at all. I do expect my friends to be as invested as I am and that's unreasonable.
And yes, nerofriend - I am wary of how quickly her opinion changed which, as valid as it may be, rings alarm bells for me, especially when combined with how she's treating me.
Thank you all very much - this has helped immensely.
Join the discussion
Please login first.