To sometimes think people bring things on themselves / 'make their own beds'.....(19 Posts)
I've got a very good friend who is the kind of person nothing ever seems to go quite right for.
She is 33 and still single (she really wants to meet a man and have a family and gets very down about being single), she can't afford to buy a house and constantly jumps between various rented flats, she always seems to have issues at work, she has now fallen out with one of her good friends and is really upset about that too. Plus to top it all off she has health issues.
I feel like she is always having one drama or another and I always try my best to be there for her and offer her support. Obviously some of her problems are in no way her fault (such as her health issues, which are completely out of her control and I really do sympathise with her about them) however I am starting to feel that in relation to some of her other issues she has, to some extent, 'made her bed......' so to speak.
For example, she is really bad with money and always has been and never has any money. However, a (distant) relative of hers recently died and she inherited about £5,000, but instead of doing the sensible thing and putting (at least some of) it in savings, she spent the lot and now is back to square one and has no money again. She is really unhappy at work and now a new job has come up but she can't take it as she would need a car but can't afford one. Part of me is tempted to lend her a few ££££ for a new car (I could afford it without putting myself out too much) but then the other half of me thinks why should I, when she has just blown the £5k she had inherited. I have lent her money in the past when she has run out.
She has never had a proper relationship and gets really down about this, but I do feel it's because she always goes for really unsuitable men (who are always obviously totally unsuitable, and everyone else can always see it apart from her) and when any decent guys show her attention it's always the same old story of "but I just don't fancy them".......She is very pretty and has had her fair share of attention from decent blokes but is just never interested in them as they are not trendy or quirky enough for her.
Also her jobs always seem to go wrong. Can it really always be the job, or is it fair to assume that sometimes it is her who is the problem?
I don't want to be unsympathetic and as I say I always listen to her and try my best to support her, but her dramas are never-ending and I do wonder if she needs someone to be straight with her and tell her that perhaps she brings some of it on herself.....
What would you do if she were your friend?
I sort of agree with you really. I think some people really struggle with life (myself included) whilst others breeze through. I don't think it's as black and white as you portray it though.
It's a tricky one. I have one sister like this (constant money issues, constant job problems, quite needy but at the same time quite domineering and seemingly lacking in self awareness) and another sister who is the complete opposite (always saves money, is very prudent, very hard on herself, and is so conscientious at work that she has been head-hunted three times even while the economy is flatlining ).
I don't really think you can "tell her'" directly without putting your friendship in jeopardy but maybe you could bring up third party examples of other friends who sabotage themselves? Maybe? And perhaps highlight some of the reasons why you make the (successful) decisions you do.
If she could afford it, I would suggest she go and have some psychotherapy where she would learn that "happiness is a choice" and all that (I'm not sure I believe this entirely myself btw!!) but most therapists are hot on patients taking responsibility for their own choices and challenging their patients (in a constructive way) on why they are repeating the same patterns.
You sound like a really very good friend but I certainly wouldn't lend her any more money I'm afraid. She's old enough to stand on her own two feet financially.
I guess it all comes down to how patient you are feeling with her, whether you feel your friendship can stand any more dramas or whether you feel your friendship is so solid that it can stand some home truths. Difficult to judge from the outside ....
I don't know but I have a freeing who is exactly the same and would love to hear opinions.
She sounds like a nightmare. Definitely don't lend her money!
It sounds like she just isn't taking control of her life but expects someone else to magically give her all she wants. I've had friends like this and they tend to just get worse and worse.
YANBU and yes I completely agree that some people develop a victim mentality very early in life and do not seem to work towards bettering a situation or take any responsibility for their own choices.
I have a friend who is exactly the same as how you described ( right down to the part where she came into some money and spunked it all) but there is no point worrying about it. Yes it can be frustrating at times but they are not going to change and it's really only herself that suffers. Just remind yourself what you get out of your friendship and concentrate on that. Be supportive and listen to her woes but on NO ACCOUNT SHOULD YOU GIVE HER ANY MONEY!
Is there anything in her past perhaps that makes her behave like this do you think?
You sound like a great friend, I wouldn't lend her money though, just try and steer her in the right direction on things?
I agree with you. Obviously sometimes horrible things happen to people and it's really not their fault at all.
But,with almost every difficult time I've had,I have always been able to see how my own behaviour could have contributed to it. Not always at the time it's happening but afterwards.
Oh and DO NOT GIVE HER MONEY!
Support her emotionally but not financially.
I have a friend like this and it came to light recently that she has been an alcoholic for years - no one realised.
While its undoubtedly true that some people have more shit happen than others, it's also equally true that you can take two individuals, deal them the same set of circumstances and they can handle it in totally different ways. Within certain parameters, we all have responsibility for how we shape our lives, the decisions we make, how we relate to others etc
Unfortunately some people do take on that victim mentality early on, it becomes their comfort zone and self perpetuates.
If someone is constantly having problems in any job, relationship and other areas of their life then you need to ask why.
DON'T LEND HER MONEY
Yes, sone people are their own worst enemies, lurching from one piss poor choice to the next.
But they don't do it thinking hmm, what's the WORST choice I could possibly make, yup, I'll do that. They either lack awareness, or can't visualise outcomes, or just live in the today. Its a real problem for them and they suffer for it.
My parents are likd this and it deeply frustrating as they go from cock up to cock up and never ever learn from their mistakes. Wasting money when they have it, having no food, being bailed out, buying fags instead of loo roll, and then get money and do they learn? Do they save? No. Theyspend it all on crap and where are they now? No food and no coal.It makes you want to scream.
These people will never learn. Take it from one who's got a pair of 60 year olds whove never changed!
Thanks all. Glad everyone agrees not to lend her money - thought I was maybe being a bad friend for not offering....
No definitely not!
You are being a good friend by not enabling her behaviour further.
I agree with above posters in that you definitely shouldn't lend her any cash.
I think that some people just don't fully consider the outcomes of their actions. Obviously there are some things which happen which are totally put of anyone's hands, but other things can be controlled tp an extent.
I think rhat some people do improve with age, and figure out that they do have control of their lives, but I do know of women in their forties and fifties who make the wrong choices too often.
You sound a good friend. I don't think that telling her outright that she makes unfortunate decisions will go down well, but you could talk her through her choices and point her in the right direction.
Just be her friend and try not to judge too hard. You're right we make our beds to some extent but who's to say what choices should be made at a given time? Bad with money rarely ends well but try to have some patience otherwise. I have single friends I've wanted to throttle for not putting themselves in a position for the marriage and children they say they want, but it's not like it's always happily ever after, and ultimately they have to make their own decisions.
There are loads of people like that - I think many, many people are like that in phases, but there are plenty of people who are like that all the time - everyone knows at least one. If you enjoy her company and she isn't solely about wallowing in her own partly self created misfortune then support her (no need to lend money) and be her friend, doesn't make her a bad friend as long as she isn't a disproportionate misery.
With some people (including somebody I know) it is about a mix of low self esteem and being overly Romantic/ idealistic - thinking that anything other than the best looking/ most interesting/ coolest etc. man is "settling" and not letting herself admit she might like Mr Normal, but simultaneously not really thinking she deserves to be with Mr Ideal and so being overly simpering and adoring if he is interested in her... and the same with jobs - if she is happy in a job she won't admit it is the right job for her because it is not prestigious/ as well paid as she'd like, so she'll leave a job with a slightly above average salary and pleasant conditions to do one she's not suited to but thinks is "better" - and then be desperately miserable, leave that job after a year, temp, be miserable, find her way to something she is actually happy in but not allow herself to be happy because its "only" XYZ not a "career" and repeat the cycle. No harm in doing it once, or even twice, but when the cycle keeps repeating, on both the partner and the job front...
Is there anything she is good at?
Maybe you could praise her up a bit for that
and direct her to a good therapist Until she grasps what her errors are she won't change. Poor girl.
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