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to be absolutely staggered by my friend's total utter selfishness and re-considering our friendship?!

(281 Posts)
EmmyMaz Thu 17-Jan-13 08:57:53

Friend X's brother has a terminal illness and has not got long to live. Friend X is doing lots of fundraising / campaigning to raise awareness of this illness. I said I would support Friend X with his efforts.

I therefore (very politely) asked a few of my closest friends (including friend Y) if they would be willing to do a couple of very very small things to assist with the awareness-raising campaign. What I asked them to do is something that will literally take 5 or 10 minutes of their time and will not cost them anything financially. I have not asked for their money, just 5 or 10 minutes of their time.

Friend Y responded to me in an email saying "I do not have time for this". When I read her response I was absolutely stunned, I cannot believe she could be so selfish not to spare ten minutes of her time to help a really really important cause and also to help me, her friend.

Also, it is worth adding that Friend Y is not a very busy person, she only works part time and has lots of support with her DD from her Mum who looks after her, so I know for a fact she does have the time! She is always getting her nails done and getting her fake tan done so she is hardly too busy to spare 5 minutes for a really important cause.

I won't bore you with the details, but over the last few years I have spent hours upon hours of my time helping Friend Y with various things. I cannot believe her selfishness and quite frankly do not feel like speaking to her at the moment.

She is normally quite a sweet and kind person (although can be a bit self-absorbed in some ways) and has been there for me though some difficult times, so I am totally shocked by this.

AIBU to be really angered by this and actually to be re-considering our friendship?

MardyArsedMidlander Sat 19-Jan-13 10:14:34

'Some of you sound a bit heartless. Imagine if it were child with cancer and people had that ' hate raising awareness ' attitude.'

When it comes to childhood cancers_ I don't think that 'raising awareness' is the issue. I wouldn't ,for example, give money or time to raise funds to send a seriously ill child abroad for unproven and possibly fraudulent therapies.

KhallDrogo Sat 19-Jan-13 09:16:01

Sorry for your loss molly

LineRunner Fri 18-Jan-13 23:52:38

OP's gone by the looks of it, but I'm with pigletjohn as well.

catloony Fri 18-Jan-13 23:47:59

Sorry OP, i have to say exactly the same as pigletjohn.

thezebrawearspurple Fri 18-Jan-13 23:45:16

I hate gimmicks and would refuse to do something so stupid if somebody asked me. Sending a balloon in the air with a silly message won't help your friends brother or anybody else with his illness. The only point of this is to make people who are doing nothing feel like they are doing something. Pointless for those suffering.

PigletJohn Fri 18-Jan-13 22:54:21

If somebody asked me to release a balloon, for someone I didn't know, I might think

- what good will a balloon do?

- what will this biodegradable ballon cost?

- what's it got to do with me?

- how long will it take me to get this balloon, travel to the release site, and hang around for the ceremony?

I might say "I haven't got time (to argue with you)"


PurpleStorm Fri 18-Jan-13 21:19:01

I don't see how releasing a balloon raises awareness of anything at all, unless there's hundreds of people all doing it together - and that would take longer than 5 or 10 minutes of someone's time.

I wouldn't release a balloon, partly because I don't believe it would increase awareness, and partly because of the environmental implications, and I'd say that to anyone asking me.

OP, if your friend only said "I do not have time for this" and nothing more, then that does sound a bit abrupt, but does she realise it's a cause that you really do care strongly about? She may think that you're just forwarding on charity requests from your acquaintances? Or have her own reasons for not wanting to support that particular charity that you're not aware of. Either way, it's a bit extreme to be shocked, angry, and labelling her as selfish without talking to her about why she's not willing to help out.

Mollydoggerson Fri 18-Jan-13 15:29:21

Attention seeking in a 'I'm the queen of the grievers' way, or 'my feelings are deeper than everyone elses'.

Before I am lambasted for being so heartless, let me say I lost my father 3 weeks ago. We all grieve at some tiimes in our lives, we do not need to emotionally blackmail others to publically support any causes.

darthsillius Thu 17-Jan-13 18:39:14

I agree with hullygully many pages ago.

I'm amused by the fact that someone criticised an awareness campaign as being a little attention seeking, eer surely that's the point??

PureQuintessence Thu 17-Jan-13 18:32:47

Very good point about the Helium. The planets natural Helium supply will be depleted soon, and it is needed for medical purposes. Ridiculous to put it in balloons then.

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Thu 17-Jan-13 16:34:31

I wouldn't do it because helium is a very limited resource that is wasted on balloons, regardless of how important the issue is.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 17-Jan-13 16:34:08

Baglady. No not just you, but i think some on here would object to the notion of showing concern for some wanky reason. To busy being consumed by their own pretentious wankery!

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 17-Jan-13 16:30:18

Don't be ridiculous apocalypse hmm

oldebaglady Thu 17-Jan-13 16:29:51

really does noone else think the OP should be a little concerned about the friend, a response like "I don't have time for this" to me would indicate that something was going on, not necessarily in terms of physical time, and I'ld reply showing concern like "you sound stressed, is everything okay?"
- just me then??

ApocalypseThen Thu 17-Jan-13 16:28:02

So we should all be doing sentimental and pointless things every time anyone is about to die? Well, I'd describe that as ambitious, but I fear it's acutally impossible, nobody has that many balloons, fun runs, facebook updates, candles, flowers and books of condolence.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 17-Jan-13 16:25:08

The point at which someone is about to die isn't the time to objecting to things which you consider to be "sentimental" and "pointless".

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 16:18:44

Can't stand empty platitudes. Find them quite rude as it goes. Much prefer straight talking

But then my friends are neither delicate flowers or Hyacinrh Bucket

ApocalypseThen Thu 17-Jan-13 16:17:44

Thats exactly the sentimental pointless stuff that a lot of us object to!

And also, the emotional blackmail.

HeyHoHereWeGo Thu 17-Jan-13 16:14:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 17-Jan-13 16:02:20

I think the key is her tone of voice when she said she didn't have time and none of us were there, so we don't know.

I wouldn't release a balloon because it's dangerous for birds etc I fail to see how a balloon release helps anyone raise awareness that couldn't be raised just as easily by doing something that doesn't risk killing birds etc. The awareness comes from the 'event' being publicised, not the actual balloons themselves, so why not do something else instead?

If there was something I could do to help your friend x (even if I don't know her) or her brother, I'd do it in a heart beat. Raising money to promote awareness - that would depend, everyone has limited time and money to support various charities and sometimes you (sadly) have to make choices about which ones you are going to spend your time and money supporting.

THERhubarb Thu 17-Jan-13 15:59:47

Anyways, the point of the OP's original thread has kinda been lost.

Her friend could have answered her email a little more sensitively. The OP feels that this is an issue close to her heart, she knows the guy in question and she just wanted to do something to help. The psychology of that, whilst interesting, is probably best left for another thread.

The OP also needs to realise that not everyone shares her emotions or passion and rather than second guessing her friend's reluctance to join in, she could just ask her.

And yes some people who devote their lives to charity and doing good are just self promoting, annoying bastards who only really care about their reputation as a do-gooder.

Others play the system and remain cynical.

Others give in private and stay out of the limelight.

Others actively hate charitable doings and think they probably do more harm than good and are just there to keep people in jobs.

One thing we all have in common is the ability to judge our fellow countrymen and look down our noses at them whilst claiming they are doing the same and honestly not seeing the hypocrisy there.

I include myself in that too.

AllYoursBabooshka Thu 17-Jan-13 15:59:35

It's just a pleasantry KhallDrogo, most people would pick up on that

Are you lot always as blunt as a bag of wet mice when talking to your friends?

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 17-Jan-13 15:59:20

Im really shocked at some of the responses on here. Someone is about to die and his loved ones left devastated! Some of the reasons for not bothering to go to all the trouble of releasing a balloon are pathetic.

scarletforya Thu 17-Jan-13 15:55:19

merlincat wink moi, a minx? <aw shucks>

THERhubarb Thu 17-Jan-13 15:39:40

HeyHoHereWeGo I agree. You have to see through them. Charities are big business. Having said that there are some issues that need awareness raised of them, such as the symptoms of breast cancer, how to prevent cot death and so on. If people didn't bang on about them then we'd largely ignore the warnings about not putting your baby to sleep on its stomach and perhaps more babies would have suffered cot death.

Natural disasters and famines also need to be discussed and talked about if people are to receive any aid.

Human rights atrocities need to be highlighted.

Luckily in this country we are free to turn off the TV, ignore FB statuses, avoid people in the street and pack our own bags at the supermarket. There is nothing forcing people to contribute or get involved. Many choose to do so in their own way, in private and I think more people should respect that and not judge just because someone has ignored their status or refused an email request. Public events are not everyone's cup of tea and it certainly doesn't make them bad people.

And you have to remain cynical about a lot of these big charities, including the cancer ones. If every illness was cured, if famine was a thing of the past and if corruption didn't exist, a lot of people would be out of a job.

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