AIBU to feel this friend is too demanding?(93 Posts)
I've had this particular friend since we were at uni and she is a lovely person, but increasingly I'm finding her difficult to deal with. It's almost as though my liking for her is cancelled out by how much hard work she is.
The thing is that she is single and also not really terribly happy. I have a three year old DS and it seems like all her other friends are married, have kids or both and I do feel for her because I know it's hard when you're at a different stage of life etc, but the thing is she just doesn't seem to acknowledge that. I get invitations to 'do something' with her practically every weekend. She lives in London about a two hour journey away from me and to be fair she is happy to travel to me as much as vice versa, but I don't always want to be doing that either, tbh my weekends are usually spent trying to catch up with everything and recharge my batteries plus occasionally doing something sociable on a more local basis. I'm not the most extravert person in the world and I don't have tons of energy. I usually just can't face the whole rigmarole of meeting up, fine if it's every couple of months (maybe a bit more than that) but she asks me so often I feel guilty about it! I hate having to say no but it's like she doesn't have the same social rulebook that everyone else has, it's like dealing with a (nice) child in a lot of ways.
It just feels like she never considers things from anyone else's perspective and is always (in the nicest possible way) pushing the boundaries. I suggested going to France for a couple of nights, she wanted to go further afield and for longer so now it's four nights in Spain, with me doing all the driving. A couple of other people were going to be coming with us but when she booked the tickets she didn't mention until afterwards that they weren't coming. I think it was a genuine misunderstanding but the fact is, five days with just the two of us sounds like hard work and instead of looking forwards to it I'm quite stressed and resentful.
In some ways I just think that her expectations and what she wants from the friendship are very different to mine, and she is quite frustrating to be around because she seems to want more more more so we end up going out spending money etc when I wasn't planning to. This probably sounds quite petty and I am really fond of her but I'm not sure how much more I can take. It's at the point where I'm thinking about more or less cutting her off.
AIBU here? What should I do?
Learn to say no. She can't make you do all the driving anymore than she can make you spend money. She sounds like hard work, but you also need to be prepared to say what you want, rather than blaming her afterwards.
I think you need to explain to her how you feel, sometimes it's hard to know what the other person wants out of a friendship unless they say something. She may be fully confident that you are happy with what is happening and won't know any difference unless you say something. If she is a friend to you I think she deserves that?
She can, because she doesn't drive herself and the place we are staying you need to drive to. That's why I was quite stressed when she said the other two people weren't coming (after booking the tickets), because the plan was we'd be able to share the driving. I've never driven abroad before and told her from the start that I wasn't comfortable doings so as I get quite anxious, but kind of got talked into things. You're right that I should learn to say no but I'm not used to having to do that so much with someone I do care about. It's never presented in any horrible way it's more "oh I was looking at such and such, we should do that" and ignoring what I had originally expressed a preference for. It's just so difficult because I'm naturally quite accommodating and she's not an overtly pushy person either but it just happens over and over again. Sometimes I do say no but I worry about her feeling rejected as well.
Honestly getting beyond fed up with it though, this holiday things is just classic
Oh bless you, I can be exactly the same as you, but I end up getting irritated well so I think ultimately we need to learn to speak up for ourselves. If you are not happy driving (and I wouldn't blame you if you feel unsure about driving all the way to Spain, I have driven in other countries but that distance would worry me too) then how is it going to be a relaxed trip for you? You sound like a lovely friend but I think you need to be a bit more selfish with her and perhaps when she suggests something say you'll think about it and then try and decide when you have a bit of distance if you are happy with it. In the case of this trip I think you have to address that that distance is out of your comfort zone and perhaps you can both come up with an alternative?
You've never driven abroad and yet you're attempting to single handedly drive you and a friend all the way to Spain and back. That's madness op. Driving in Spain is awful and dangerous. There is no way I would ever take my personal car to Spain - only a hire car. The steering wheel is on the wrong side and it's simply ill advised to take your right hand drive car to certain countries. This friend has no idea what she's asking of you being a non driver. How many days are you taking to get there? Are you going on the shuttle or the ferry? My advice. No don't do it. Pay her any money she can't get back Say you're too nervous and don't do it. This is from someone, who lived in south Germany pre child and drove 10 hrs in a day plus shuttle to do it. I tell you I was not in the mood for doing much the next day. You're not a taxi driver. You're a human being and undertaking such a trip is foolhardy. It should include two overnight stop offs either way. You are a mummy and your safety is paramount to your child. Alternatively go to northern France, somewhere within an hour of the shuttle or ferry, visit a couple of different places and hotels and use the excuse you were going to share the driving with these others. She's a real child and you need to learn to say NO.
I'm not driving to Spain, just driving to where we are staying in Spain, from the airport. it's probably 40 minutes or so but apparently we'll need the car while we're there as well because the villa we're staying in (belonging to some of her family friends) is a bit tucked away. But yes I am stressed and the more I think about this the more angry I'm getting, she's nearly 30 years old and just doesn't have the faintest clue, which is extremely irritating in itself but I keep finding myself being gently pushed into situations I'm not happy about, over and over again. Probably because I'm a bit boring about what I want and feel able to do, but also because she is a selfish child.
Read up on assertiveness and learn to say No. All this pressure and hassle because of 1 person, plus you have a young DC too? I don't even know where you get the energy or inclination to deal with this woman, I couldn't be bothered with it all thats for sure
Oh phew. Silly me. In that case as you're in a villa no major mad cites to drive in., it shouldn't be too bad. Ok it's not ideal. I understand your apprehension. Tell her she needs to help you remember to be on the rhs. So she needs to be alert and not chat away endlessly. The worst time for forgetting to drive I. The right. is when you turn around as you've gone wrong way. Get yourself a piece of paper and stick it on the dash to read when you start off about remembering to be on the right. Avoid driving in cities. You may find you enjoy yourself and not go out much if the villa has a pool?
Stuff that. Tell her you've reconsidered and don't feel up to doing the driving. How about travelling by train or bus instead - so you can relax too?
Apart from the Spain and driving thing though, AIBU? I feel a bit mean because she's such a sweet person but I'm starting to dislike her. All very contradictory
Sorry but you're still not actually saying no, you can call her a selfish child but until you actually stand up for yourself you're being equally childish for agreeing to things and then moaning about them.
Maybe, but I haven't really had much call to say no to her this afternoon. I did already agree with you on that. I don't think it's necessarily childish anyway, just unassertive.
I do think it's childish to be constantly making fairly big requests of someone though and not picking up on signals. I'd already told her I wasn't happy with driving abroad for example, which is (one reason) why we were going to have a few other people with us, so that at least it would be shared. I found out after she booked the tickets that these people would not be coming. How could I say no after the fact? Would be more than a little awkward wouldn't it? I suppose I could back out and lose the ticket money as well as the friendship (which may not be the worst thing that could happen).
Yes it is awkward but you told her you didn't want to drive therefore she's the awkward one.
Has much time passed since you booked the flights and found out the other friends weren't coming?
I actually would back out - she has essentially conned you into a holiday just the two of you, when you thought it was a group holiday. She sounds way too intense asking to hang out every single weekend when you are childless and live 2 hours away, nevermind when you have a 3yo to consider!
Tell her you're not comfortable doing all the driving and it's stressing you out too much so you won't enjoy yourself and you're going to cancel.
How could I say no after the fact?
You say 'Oh no, so who else is going to drive then? You need to find someone else to share it with or I won't be able to come'.
You're dreading this holiday. You won't enjoy it. Save your money and your free time for something you really want to do. Are you perfectly sure that it was a "misunderstanding" by the way? I'm wondering whether she knew that you'd pull out if it were just the two of you, so kept you in the dark about the others' cancellations.
She needs to accept that friendships evolve and people's circumstances change, but she won't do that whilst you're pandering to her. You sound lovely but a bit soft when it comes to her. I admit that there's something kinda special about university friendships though.
She sounds like a child who you have to take care of, and you already have one!
Seriously, start gently cutting her off. Say you're busy and stick to it.
You should be enjoying some of the most valuable years of your child's life, not babysitting an adult who can't take social hints...
She does sound difficult and thoughtless however you need to take some responsibility here.
If you didn't want to go to Spain or to go for 5 nights you only needed to say 'no'.
If you don't want to go out and spend money you only need to say 'no'.
It sounds like you find that very difficult and I sympathise but you need to practice standing your ground.
You can't really complain that she's not reading your signals when the clearest signal would be just to state your position.
Perhaps use this holiday to start asserting yourself? By the end of 5 days she'll either have amended her behaviour or be happy to see the back or you. Win win.
I agree with Chipped - she cannot make you do things, you are agreeing to do them. It's yourself you need to get cross with - you can't control her behaviour, only your own response to it. Read up on assertiveness and start saying no.
I would start by cancelling the holiday. You had no idea you were going to be the sole driver when you agreed to go, and you didn't in fact want to go for five days, or to Spain anyway - it is in fact in part your fault for agreeing to do stuff you didn't want to in the first place, but you could immediately improve things by saying it's not happening.
But there's no point stoking up your sense of your own victimisation by getting a chorus of YANBUs on here. The only way this situation will change is if you change the terms, either by starting to say no and changing the terms of the friendship, or by ending it, if you can't be assertive within it.
Your friend is calling on you every weekend because her other friends are saying no they are busy with their families. Start to say no and cancel your trip. Tell her you are not able to drive and were not told there would be no other drivers. She doesn't sound nice, she sounds thoughtless.
Some people really do struggle with empathy and it sounds like your friend is one of them.
I agree with others who have said it is time to up the assertiveness. In your mind make it happen that you are going to cut back to the 4-6 times per year that will work for you and then make it happen. Your life has changed dramatically giving you new priorities and she is not in the same stage as you. This may affect your friendship but hopefully once you are through the early childhood year or maybe if she develops a different set of priorities with new activities/relationship/family commitments it might eventually get back on track.
If you go on that trip you will be kicking yourself forever.
I know you think it's too late but it isn't .
She's an 'asker' they ask for everything making everyone uncomfortable but the surprising truth is that if you just say no they aren't bothered ,they expect it .
Take a stand op , you'll sleep better tonight.
I couldn't bare having something like that hanging over me .
On the one hand, you never say no to her for fear of seeming mean and rejecting her. But on the other hand, you're on the verge of cutting her out of your life altogether.
I don't blame you as she sounds way too high maintenance, but you must see that cutting her out completing is the ultimate in rejection.
If you do actually like her, and feel it's a friendship you could maintain in smaller doses, then you have to start saying 'no'.
It's ok to say no. And besides - if she starts to withdraw from you as a result of you saying no (unlikely), then all good.
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