AIBU to be disappointed in my friends?(43 Posts)
Some background on me before I start- only child, single mum. Dad abandoned us, pretty much no other family.
I was ill as a child and didn't go to school regularly for 4 years- as a result never had the chance to make friends.
Given that I don't have family or any childhood friends, my existing friends that I've made in the past few years mean a lot to me. I live alone and I don't have any family in the UK. No boyfriend/partner either.
I am trying to work out if I expect too much from the friends I do have or if their behaviour is actually disappointing.
Please be honest!
So I was very unwell recently. Fever of over 41, taken to AnE by ambulance, in hospital two days and still recovering very slowly. I've had antibiotics for tonsillitis and other infections three times in three months. I've been dealing with some gynaecological issues at the same time as well, So it's safe to say I've been pretty unwell.
1. When I mentioned in the middle of a text chat to two of my friends that I had been sick and still was, they didn't even ask me what has happened. Just continued texting about what they wanted to say and that was it.
2. I had a massive reaction to the medicine I was given originally, while I was already pretty ill with the fever still there. So I had to go back to AnE and then the walk in clinic on the same day. Two of my best friends knew the situation, not one of them volunteered to go with me. I wouldn't have taken them up on it, but there wasn't even a cursory offering.
3. One of my friends who also works in my office hasn't been over to see me even once since I came back to work. In fact, when I jokingly mentioned I hadn't seen him in ages, he said I could come to his desk if I wanted. I agree, I could go over to his, but honestly, if the situation was reversed and he had been sick, I'd definitely go round to check on him and say Hi at his desk when he was finally back to work.
4. My best friend was definitely concerned about me, and did say to tell her if I needed anything. But she's not volunteered to go to the hospital with me even once. And she only texted to ask me how I was for a couple of days. Since then she hasn't called or messaged. Even after she found out about the allergic episode and the second trip to AnE, she hasn't followed up, texted, nothing.
5. And yes, while there were some hollow offers, nobody actually came to visit me when I was sick. I did everything myself- Don't get me wrong, I'm a strong person and I can manage and take care of myself. But sometimes I just think it would be nice to feel loved and cared for a little more.
Feel free to kick me if I'm being too precious here.
You're not being precious. Your "friends" are not genuine friends. Your best friend asked you to tell her if you needed help, but you waited for her to approach you.
I'm sorry to hear you've been ill, can understand why you feel the way you do.
Jesus... They sound really pitiful!
You need to get out and make a concerted effort to find new and better friends
But did you actually ASK for help?
Other than send a text to ask how someone is I don't do anything if my friends are sick. I don't have time to be honest and it's the same when I'm sick too. All my friends are busy working mums.
Is there a chance that you're so independent and competent that they don't get that help or support would be welcome sometimes? It can be quite hard to offer help to someone who looks like they always cope and are proud of that.
How often do you see them normally? Tbh I would only offer to go to the hospital with very close friends, and only if it was possible with work etc. I have done this in the past, but thinking about it it was when I was a carefree grad student. It's hard to make a promise like that when you work and/or have kids. However, I would have thought that a phone call from your best mate would be forthcing, and the person at work who is waiting for you to go to their desk doesn't sound like a friend.
From your other threads you do seem quite anxious about things. I think they're just adults with their own lives & don't want to harass/bother you whilst ill or don't realise it's a big deal to you. Maybe next time ask them to visit or accompany you?
Hope you're better soon OP.
Bin them and get yourself better friends!
Sorry, they are not worthy of the title of 'Friend'!
Get well soon!
see, even a stranger can do better than your 'friends'
I think they're just adults with their own lives & don't want to harass/bother you whilst ill or don't realise it's a big deal to you
How hard would it be to text 'I hear you are ill, hope you recover quickly, I am here if you need me but don't feel you have to respond to this right now'
I agree. I think your friends are busy, preoccupied with their own lives and selfish yes...but not pointedly or knowingly letting you down.
They aren't your family and it's not really their role to step in when you're ill. I mean if a friend does, that's lovely of course...but I'm not sure it occurs to many people to do so.
I'm so sorry, I really do understand where you're coming from. I don't have family either and if it wasn't for dh, I know any I'd be ill on my own, despite having plenty of friends.
It sucks...I hope you feel better soon. Hugs etc.
I'm sorry I am going to disagree. I am also frequently unwell and in hospital and and my friends rarely comment or offer to visit. However I know if I asked them to come they would be there.
Is there any reason you couldn't be direct and ask your friends that you need support??
Also if you come across as strong and independant people think you are coping. You need to be direct.
Some people genuinely don't like being around sick people because they don't know what the hell to do.
I think expecting people to act in a certain way in a situation and then when the person doesn't just makes you feel upset.
I have no real family, so consider my friends my family. However when I am in hospital I do not expect my closest to drop everything to sit by me.
I am not trying to be harsh but I do think you could have been more honest and direct which your friends.
You sound pretty needy, to be honest. You're a grownup now and shouldn't need friends to be constantly asking how you are. That's a parent thing really.
I hear you. That's really sad. They are not close friends otherwise they would try to help. There is a chance If you feel able, why not ask them for help.
I'm really sorry. I think everyone feels vulnerable when they are ill. I had an operation 2 weeks ago and hardly any friends remembered, and I was quite hurt by that. I'm off work for at least 6 weeks and I'm not mobile so I have a lot of time to sit around and feel sad they can't even be bothered to send a text. I wonder if I'm being sensitive too and they don't want to bother me … even though I am doing nothing but sit around so I have loads of time to check my phone.
I don't think you sound needy. I think you sound like a single person who lives alone surrounded by friends who aren't and don't. You needed something it won't have occurred to them to offer.
Same planet, different worlds. x
I don't think you are precious, but i think you expect more from these friendships than other.
You say your best friend didn't offer to go to hospital with you, but she did offer her help, which you obviously didn't take up. People don't usually ask twice - she probably assumed you were okay.
Also, people have jobs, which makes it difficult to go to hospitals. I know I have to rearrange my working week for my hospital visits, and I wouldn't expect others to do that for me.
If someone I knew was ill, I wouldn't bombard them with daily texts, but maybe message them once, or twice a week, but nothing more. Often you don't hear that people are ill until they are better.
I guess you would like a bit of tlc, as you are feeling under the weather.
Hope,you feel well soon.
I've had an illness/disability for 14 years. Don't expect people to care because they aren't really that bothered unless it's something serious. I lost all my friends when I first became ill, they weren't interested at all. I've since lost other friends who didn't get why I said no to doing some stuff, even when I said I was trying not to do too much because it was having an adverse affect on my health.
I think YANBU for wanting them to contact you to see if you are ok but your best friend told you to ask if you needed anything, so you should have said. I honestly don't think I'd offer to go to the hospital with someone unless it was to get potentially bad news and they wanted me there. I think with the rest, they will probably think its usual illness and that you are recovering, it doesn't sound life threatening so to their mind it isn't a big deal. Obviously to you it is. People are pretty wrapped up in their lives and you shouldn't expect too much of them. I've learned this many times over!
Some of the friends aren't obviously that great friends, perhaps the depth of those friendships does amount to a coffee at work rather than them really becoming involved with your life out of work to any great extent.
But your best friend did offer to help, and texted you for a few days. I think if you wanted her help you needed to ask at that point, although asking someone to come to hospital is a big ask if they are working/have kids, perhaps you could have asked her to visit/bring food etc. People do text offers of help when things go wrong, but you do have to specifically then follow that up if you genuinely need anything.
It is hard though, I was the perfect friend when I was single, and would always have time for people, on the phone, popping stuff over to them, come with them to hospital, but now I am working/have children, it's much harder, and I've also noticed my friends have really struggled to do much 'friend stuff' during hard times I've been in, although lately, as their children get older, it is much better. Mind you, my most flaky friend in terms of contact doesn't have children, so it's not always that.
It is disappointing, and I have felt that disappointment myself, but I also think that having great friends with the time and energy to devote themselves to you isn't that common in this life stage- although I do try.
Well, I think it is both....
1. When I mentioned in the middle of a text chat to two of my friends - they sounds awful, I am afriad I would need to tell them how hurt I felt, tell them separately, if you wish to
2. I had a massive reaction to the medicine ...Two of my best friends knew the situation, not one of them volunteered to go with me -
again, they sound pretty thoughtless, are they mums and pre - occupied with kids, or in the middle of complex relationships ect?
I think you probably need to get some better friends, maybe look into friends who value friendship as much as you do, perhaps other singles who are not preoccupied with their families or whatever
3. One of my friends who also works in my office hasn't been over to see me even once since I came back to work.
- to be honest he doesn't sound much of a friend, either he is so insecure you have not been to see him or is not bothered. Basically, you can choose to go and see him and see if the friendship is worth anything, it's true, you could go to see him, but maybe you needed to see a bit of kindness.
4. My best friend was definitely concerned about me, and did say to tell her if I needed anything. But she's not volunteered to go to the hospital with me even once. -
Well she did say to tell her if you needed anything, and you did not tell her, so maybe she assumed you did not need anything. Tell her how grateful for her kind offer and all you really need right now is a chat/ a coffee/a text or two/ someone to pop over, whatever it is you would like
5. And yes, while there were some hollow offers, nobody actually came to visit me when I was sick. -
Well do you know they were hollow? Did you ask for anything? People who are ill do not always want to be disturbed. Maybe you needed to tell them you would like company someone to get some shopping in, etc.
You are not previous but maybe you need to take people up on their offers, work out who your true friends are and make some new friends who see friendship in the same way you do.
sorry ... You are not precious but maybe you need to take people up on their offers,
PS not all mums will always be precoccuied with kids etc but they do take up a lot of time. My friend had breast cancer but lived an hour and a half away by car. It was impossible to go and see her easily so in the end she came to stay with us when she was able to.
I wanted to help but it was hard to know what to do. I offered to send her a hamper but she said she would not be able to lift it. I felt very helpless. We talked by phone and I think that helped her.
Please do tell people what would help and then if they still cannot do it, and for no obvious reason you will at least know where you stand.
I totally understand where you're coming from. I don't think you are being precious at all. I recently lost a very old friend after several events similar to those you describe. It hurt and a family death/hospital stay with not even a single text was the final push for me to end the friendship. My Mum said something that has stuck with me"The sooner you realise that not everyone has the same heart you do, the less you will be hurt." Still hurts like hell though.
Thanks everyone, there's some great insight on here.
I think the takeaway is that in some things I'm BU and in others, my friends are actually pretty selfish.
To clarify, none of my friends are parents or frankly, particularly busy with work.
I suppose I will try and take my best friend up on her offers in future, but there's a strange contradiction inside me- I want to be cared for and I still don't want to impose! So I'm always confused about whether to accept these offers or not.
Besides my relationship with her is pretty complex as well. Sometimes I feel that she remembers me only when she's in trouble or when her other best friend isn't available.
Firstly you do need to take people up in offers.
Tbh, if a friend texted me they were unwell, of course I would ask if there are ok.
However I have been in a text conversation with people and missed something they have said.
I wouldn't offer to visit. Even before DC. I would have wanted risk getting ill and tbh I would have thought they would want to be left alone. I wouldn't text a lot. I would be leaving them to get better.
I would expect my friends to let me know if they needed help. I would with them and no one would feel bad if they were unable to help.
As for the visiting the desk. You wanted to see him, you were back at work. You should have gone to see him. I find it a bit odd you say waiting for people to approach you.
It all comes down to how you feel about the friendships in general. I have friends that would come to me at 2am, if I asked. Some I wouldn't ask, they are friends but not very close. I know some people who just aren't that type. They are pleasant and I like them but they aren't the type to turn up with a present because you had a bad day.
I don't really get on with my dbro. But, if I called him and said I needed him. He is always there and I am for him.
If you think they are not good friends in general, I think this situation has put a magnifying glass over it.
I find work friendships very difficult. Because while you get on in the setting of work, I am not sure if a friendship would develop if we didn't work together or if we would stay in touch if one of us left.
It sounds like in their effort to not interfere, they are actually being thoughtless. I hope your child was looked after by someone while you were so ill. Did that person offer to help?
Sorry to hear you've had a run of ill health.
I want to be gentle saying this and you did ask for posters to be honest.
Are you always ill? I just wondered that because sometimes people get a bit immune/fed up with someone who is forever got something wrong with them and sympathy fatigue sets in. Perhaps they think you are crying wolf and it just washes over them in the "oh Nicebucket's always got something wrong with her" type way. (I don't wish this to sound harsh, I'm just putting my opinion out there).
As for the workmate, why should he come over to your desk? That does sound so precious, if I'd just got in from being ill, I would wander over and ask him how things are and the conversation would evolve from that. You just can't sit there thinking of yourself and waiting for attention, life is not like that. (sorry sorry this is coming out wrong, just my brusque honesty coming out!)
Sometimes with people you just have to give them a little push to do the right thing as they might lead busy lives etc and life does just go on. You say your best friend did text for a couple of days asking how you were, but then stopped. What did you answer to those texts? If you reassured her you were OK, you can't expect her to be a mind reader and she did, after all, tell you to let her know if you need anything, and you didn't.
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