How to stop dwelling on this friendship?(48 Posts)
AIBU to ask for your advice. Have NC for this because I feel silly about it.
I have/ had a friend and neighbour. Our kids go to school together and are friends. We were introduced by a mutual close friend.
We used to get on really well, invite each other to lots of playdates/ evenings out etc. We weren't friends for a terribly long time - a year or two- but I felt we got on well and had lots to talk about.
We had a couple of misunderstandings last year. One where she asked me a favour, and I couldn't help but tried to help a bit (rather than just saying no I can't, as I should have done). She misunderstood and then asked for more than I had said i was able to do again and it was a bit messy. There was then another related misunderstanding where she thought I was withdrawing an offer to help when I wasn't at all. Silly and petty and caused by texting rather than speaking.
There was then another issue between the children which perhaps foolishly we discussed. It led to a disagreement where she actually walked off in a huff (actually did this twice) because she felt I had spoken to her child rudely (on the second occasion). Unfortunately I didn't deal with this brilliantly and ended up crying when we discussed it. This was actually because I was having a bad day with DS having a fever after his jabs and getting ready to go on holiday the next day, but it all came out as a jumble of me saying I had social anxiety etc, which I do but it wasn't relevant.
Anyway, we speak quite amicably when we see each other now, and no problem as such, but I just feel so sad about it all. I get on with all the other mums at school but this is the one i really liked. She is perfectly pleasant but doesn't really initiate getting together any more.
I don't know why but I dwell on it so much. I think this is part of my social anxiety tbh as it is not logical. I have plenty of friends, both local and more longstanding. But I felt I had a connection with this person, and conversation was always so animated and interesting. But maybe she is just a charming sort of person who everyone will like to be around?
So as not to drip feed, I was already a bit hurt before a this came up because said friend went away for a trip with mutual friend and didn't invite me. They tried not to mention it in front of me, but they went with a third friend (who I don't click with - she is quite a scary queen bee) and that friend put it all over fb.
How can I just forget it, carry on being pleasant but not close, and appreciate the things I have? I have a great job and wonderful kids as well as other friends and family in my life. I always have a sneaking feeling all these other relationships are some how less "valid" but why should I think that?
It might not help that I have had relationship problems for a while, but we have come to an amicable arrangement re split now.
you don't need to feel silly. It's painful when a friend drops you and can make you feel like the worst person in the world if someone decides they don't want your friendship.
All you can do is find new friends who do appreciate you and whom you enjoy spending time with.
Sympathies and empathies
I think its probably harder because you have to see the person too, so you can't really put it out of your mind.
With time hopefully it will get easier.
It is so difficult to get on with things when you are neighbours and your kids go to school together, so don't feel too bad about it. I think part of the problem is imagining people are out laughing together in an idyllic way, not helped at all by Facebook!
I reckon if you really want to get the friendship (NOT that fake appearance thing) back it is worth one more message such as a light invitation for coffee or something, but if no response back right off, remain light, friendly and breezy and find some activities to meet other new friends.
I feel for you. You feel about 12 but I've had similar experiences. It hurts!
plus you sound really nice, so its not you its them
I might try that plant. Thanks for the advice. Undoubtedly you are right re imagining all sorts.
Thanks fanjo for saying such lovely things.
Quite often with these really 'attractive' personalities all that effusive friendliness masks deeper issues. It sounds like she was easy to take offence, to misunderstand and had no compunction at all about hurting your feelings with the secret trip. I think you do need to put it to bed now and tell yourself, for it is true, that things end for a reason and you may have just saved yourself a whole load of other hurt. Smile, be pleasant, but take comfort in your family and long-standing friends. I wouldn't be surprised if this person goes through friends rather more quickly than others.
perhaps you just have/had different expectations of the friendship and different parenting techniques.
You say she's still being perfectly pleasant to you, I guess if she's decided you're not really 'her type' you can't ask for much more than that.
Yanbu to feel hurt but I think there is no point in dwelling on it. What's happened has happened. It seems as if there was fault on both parts. Try to move on and chalk it up to experience. Don't blame yourself.
Thanks mutton and wicked. It really helps just putting it on here.
mutton alot of what you say reflects my feelings/ suspicions about things. It is very much what my kids' dad would say (he can give sensible advice even if we have had problems and are splitting up!).
wicked I do agree she has every right to decide I am not her type. I think it's the way it all happened that makes me feel sad about it as much as anything. Like a regret for the potential friendship.
I knew a person like this. She is warm, charming and very engaging. She dropped me quite suddenly and I was somewhat stunned. I then found out she had previous on doing this with other people I know. And was married to a social-climber husband who preferred her to cultivate friendships with a different kind of person.
I still like her a lot--at a distance. Just kick myself that I didn't spot the signs that she was tiring of me before she dropped me so abruptly as I could have eased out gently, saving my pride and feelings.
A good friend would have been able to talk things through with you and give you the benefit of the doubt instead of jumping to negative conclusions.
Oh, in her defence I should mention that she did have a really horrible near-death experience during this time - about 10 months before the "secret trip". I did try to be really supportive about this though as afaik I was the only friend who offered to have, and had, her kids during this time.
There was fault on my part, which was not being clear about where I stood on certain things. I don't think I was actually unkind to her DD, although probably should have kept the kids apart more during the issues that had (they are ok now!) and not discussed between us but left to the school.
The mutual friend is a very gentle type who is kind to everyone BTW.
I think I just feel hurt that she thought I was an ok person to strop with etc. as I can't imagine her being that way with someone she respected more or thought was " cool".
there really isn't any point dwelling on her motivation (I can talk, I do exactly that). She won't tell you the truth if you ask her, people don't like confrontation so just take the easy way out. So best to accept you might never know.
Promising someone favours and not being clear about what you are prepared to do, can be seen by the other party that your just 'flaky' and not to be trusted.
I'm not critising you, I'm just putting a different perspective on it.
Are you slightly insecure, or feel unable to be honest?
Tbh you never know where you stand with people who can't be assertive/clear when they need to be.
I'd just learn from it and see how things go for now.
Perhaps it's come over as a 'strop', because of the lack of communication between you?
She might be thinking that if she tries to sort it out, she won't get straight answers.
I don't find Facebook helps with these things like you say. She went out with others then it's been splashed all over Facebook. This has happened to me recently, makes you feel really rubbish.
Maybe hide her on Facebook mite help.
I have a great job and wonderful kids as well as other friends and family in my life. I always have a sneaking feeling all these other relationships are some how less "valid" but why should I think that?
You are unconsciously doing the Groucho Marx club thing (GM said he wouldn't have wanted to be in a club that accepted someone like him as a member). Even though you have lots of other good friendships/family, you are dwelling on the one friendship rejection, precisely because the fact of the rejection makes you feel as if that was the significant relationship. (I do exactly the same with comments on a piece of writing - I ignore that positive comments and hone in on the criticism.)
I agree with a pp that, if the friendship is important to you, it's worth issuing one more invitation, and - if that gets you the brush-off - retreating into a breezy casual nodding acquaintance and enjoying your other friends. It may be that this is nothing at all to do with you - she may be someone who picks up and drops people, she may be having an odd reaction to her near-death experience, she may be over-committed in her friendships. Don't take it personally.
Thank you all for your advice - I am taking all in so thank you.
Just wanted to say, one thing I am definitely not is flaky. I always do something if I have said I will. When I say she "misunderstood" what I was prepared to do, I am being a bit generous, as I don't think there was really anything ambiguous in what I said. However, I should have just stuck to "no" and not tried to help a bit (as what k offered wasn't what she wanted) but I did actually tell her in person, not by text on this occasion, what I could offer.
I don't have any issues being honest.
I do have faults like anyone but I am definitely not flaky.
I am very guilty of GM syndrome though - you have absolutely got me heavy.
Maybe she's really struggling after her experience? I would be like you though OP it's not nice and I've had it happen to me before so do understand.
When I say she "misunderstood" what I was prepared to do, I am being a bit generous, as *I don't think there was really anything ambiguous in what I said*
There was fault on my part, which was not being clear about where I stood on certain things
In the nicest possible way, if you were as ambiguous with her as you have been on this thread, I can kinda see where she's coming from .
What I meant by not being clear was that I should have just said "no I can't help" rather than trying to help a bit. But I didn't actually change my mind at all. What happened was, I said I can help from x time, and she came back with a request for help from y time (which was 45 mins earlier). It's a bit more complicated than that because her requests when through a third person (what I said to her didn't) but I'm trying not to give all of the details so as not to be too identifying.
I think people are unfair saying there is something wrong with this other person, I don't see what she has done wrong at all. You had some misunderstandings and argued. She back off from close friendship and is still perfectly nice to you. Thats all completely normal, she hasn't done anything wrong.
Not to be mean, but you do sound a little needy. So she went away with another friend, there was no reason for her to invite you necessarily, so being all hurt about it and calling it a "secret trip" etc is quite unreasonable. I think you are letting your relationship troubles cloud your vision about this friendship.
I had a friend like this who seemed to go cold on me because our daughters stopped being close friends. Shame as we had a lot in common and could chat for hours. I almost saw her a sister
But they've moved now so that's the end of that.
She also went on what seemed like a 'secret trip' to me. It was horrible as I knew the 2 of them were planning something and when I asked the other she denied it. They went away with the kids so I heard about it through my daughter who also felt quite excluded.
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