To be hurt by friend always cancelling plans?(31 Posts)
I have a good friend. We were once best friends - mutual bridesmaids, helped each other out with childcare, counselled each other through bereavements etc. I was excited when she moved closer to me, but now I barely see her.
On the rare occasions I do it's all normal and lovely but I feel totally bottom of the pile as she is forever cancelling arrangements we've made and double booking me. I feel like I do all the running and if I wait and see if she contacts me then it'll be when she wants a favour and I have to decide whether to agree and feel like a mug or refuse on principle, and feel petty and mean. It is often the kind of favour like reading a job application or talking through a problem she's having so hard to refuse only on the basis that it's not convenient this time.
She's made new local friends which is lovely, but I do notice that she seems to have time for them so it's not only that she's too busy.
Tomorrow she was supposed to be coming with her family to a barbecue at mine. It was quite a big deal to me as some mutual friends who live far away are coming and it was going to be a reunion. But she's cancelled again on the basis her mum is coming over "and she can't sack her off". But she's sacking me off so now I have far too much expensive food and have to explain to the other friends that she's not coming.
I'm supposed to be meeting her for coffee this morning instead, assuming that doesn't get cancelled too. Should I say anything? I sort of feel like there's no point guilting her into coming to the barbecue but why, when she'd accepted the invitation, didn't she say to her mum "sorry, we have plans that day"? As a one off I'd understand but it's all the time.
I could just accept that the friendship has run its course and fob her off if she ever rings to ask for a favour, but since it's all fine and lovely when we do see her I am wondering if a heart to heart might be worth a shot? What would I say though? I sort of feel I've done something to offend her and make her relegate me to acquaintance, but I don't know what. We did have a disagreement a couple of years ago when I felt she was taking advantage of an arrangement we'd made but I thought we'd put it behind us - she's not frosty or anything when we do meet and she sends lovely emails and texts.
Oh dear. I'd keep her as a friend but not make any plans with her in the future unless she instigates them.
It's sad when people you think are friends double book or put you second best to others, however experience tells me you can't change them so you just have to expect less and concentrate on your other friends and family who are more reliable.
We did have a disagreement a couple of years ago when I felt she was taking advantage of an arrangement we'd made but I thought we'd put it behind us
It sounds like she's not put this behind her. What happened, if you don't mind my asking?
Some people are like that. They are selfish in that they do not mean to hurt you but are incapable of thinking of how their change of plans affect others.
I would avoid tackling her about it because she will either a) change for a short period of time then go back to her normal selfish self. Or b) take offence, you'll fall out and you'll feel bad about it for ages (because you seem like a nice person who hates conflict).
So my advice would be to phase her out, not completely but to a stage where you speak to her amicably once or twice a year (so you have no argument to ruminate over) but where she doesn't affect you or your life and she doesn't make you feel bad about yourself.
So simply cancel this coffee saying that something has come up and can you meet up next week instead. Then let her do the running only getting in touch every now and again. Be light about it but don't lend your strength to people who make you feel worthless.
She's not much of a friend if she keeps doing this and you can't bring up that you're a bit upset. Can you phrase it as, 'I miss the quality time, can we make a plan for (whenever) that is set in stone?' Tell her you're upset about her cancelling the bbq. Either, as a friend she'll apologise genuinely and you can move forward or she'll strop and you'll know to stop making the effort.
Can you not extend the invite to include her mum also? Your friend does sound flakey but if you have been friends for a long time and you value the friendship maybe she is just trying to create a new life and support system for herself following a move and is getting the balance a bit wrong.
If you think the friendship is no longer working you can take the risk and call her out on it this morning as you have nothing to loose anyway if she takes it badly.
It's your call only you can decide if this is a friendship you want to nurture or one that you would prefer to let go.
You understandably sound hurt, so it may be worth having a heart to heart before you give up on her. You should let her know how you feel at least for your own benifit.
I had a heart to heart years ago with a close friend who kept taking the piss in the same way.
The problem was she was always striving to make new friends, So I was point out that she also needed to nurture the old friendships or she would be on a never ending friend conveyor belt. She just hadn't realized what she was doing. She did calm down and rarely cancels now.
Could it be that, given that you are such old and good friends, she has let things slip into a situation where she feels she doesnt really have to make any sort of effort or have any consideration for you? She is taking you for granted and I do think you could tell her how you feel. If it causes a blow-up then such is life - you are not happy right now anyway.
Tbh I think its run its course, she sounds as flaky as hell, I would try and forget her and move on.
To solve your immediate problem with the barbecue tomorrow, I agree with Chilli about extending the invitation to her mum too.
In the long run though, I guess I'd just stop making arrangements to meet up and see how she reacts to that.
Playing devils advocate here, has anything changed in her life, ie had children, has here mum been ill etc, sometimes that can change priorities.
I'm only asking because a friend of mine was mean to me yesterday (2 others commented on her) and the only thing I can think of is I turned down and invite to go to her house two days before l have an operation (I have a baby and cant walk after op so lots to arrange!)
I had a friend like this, 90% of the time the thing we made plans for would be her idea, and 100% of the time she always cancelled.
The final straw was when I was 7 months pregnant and had travelled 45 mins away to this amazing restaurant to have dinner with her at 8pm. Id been there 5 minutes before I got a text explaining she was cancelling as she was so tired.
Never even replied to her and I no longer see her, people like this just arent worth the time, so much happier now I'm not being constantly let down and feeling second best. Do yourself a favour and don't bother making plans with he again, invest your time on newer friendships.
I would normally invite her mum as well but actually it's her mum and a friend if her mum's and this is meant to be a big catch up with our old friends who we rarely see. There'll be ranting about politics and extended families and in jokes etc. Having her mum and friend there would ruin the dynamic for our other friends (though I might suggest they call in)
On what happened before, she was in a difficult place and I offered a big regular childcare favour. I didn't want anything in return but I did make my parameters clear and stuck to them. I think she thought I was being unreasonably rigid and I thought she was being unreasonably demanding. We brought the arrangement to a close and went back to doing ad hoc favours for each other that seemed to work well. She now has this arrangement with one of her new friends instead and it works well for them and I'm happier to use holiday club etc. Happy days I thought.
Have things changed in her life? Well yes, they have in both of our lives. We've been friends since uni days and now we have families, jobs, elderly parents Tec. We could be supporting each other through them. Our kids ars the same age except she has an extra one in the middle. I do make allowances for that!
How awful buddy, not they are not friends at all, op she does not sound like much of a friend now anyway. She sounds a user and flaky, only comes to you when she wants something, tbf, that would be a dealbreaker, I would feel that much less of her.
I feel you are grieving the friend she was, and miss that, not the friend she is now. I suspect if you were to meet her for the first time and see how she is like now, you would not want her as a friend.
Friendships should enhance your life not make you feel rubbish about yourself ....and some friendships are lifelong others fade away as people change as they go through life. I think you don't need to sack her off but just recast her from old close friend to friend I see now and again . She clearly isn't fulfilling your current expectations of her so modify those expectations (and obviously with that the priority you give her) some friendships both ebb and flow. My closest friend and I both recast the other because things changed in our lives and we grew a bit apart (no row or anything) but then gradually we have grown very close again some years later so that's why I think changing status is better as things can change again later on.
I agree with PP cancel coffee today say you are busy and can meet up in the next couple of weeks for coffe.
She cancels, yet you let her make another date and time.. You need to be more assertive.
Cancel, nicely, if need be give an excuse...you are busy preparing for the BBQ perhaps?
If she's a good enough friend, I'd suggest talking to her - tell her just how many times she's cancelled you for crappy reasons, and the consequences (too much food, late notice made you feel crap, like you're at the bottom of her list of priorities) and see what she says. Her reaction will tell you how she feels.
Hugs - it sounds a horrible situation, and it's always sad when good friendships wither.
Thanks everyone. I didn't cancel coffee and it was nice but I didn't really raise how I was feeling, except to say to stop by if she possibly could as I have loads of meat. She said she'd pop by in the evening, which isn't really that helpful as the others will have gone but hey ho.
There've been a range of views, for which I'm grateful. I think I'm going to go with the reclassify in my head as a friend I see from time to time option and try and concentrate more on other friendships.
The more I think about it the more I think she's probably not harbouring a grudge about our disagreement. There have been other people that she has let slide out of her life - sometimes with a reason but sometimes not and she hasn't generally borne them ill will - I think she just takes on too much and doesn't always have very strong loyalties.
I'm painting a very negative picture because this isn't an attractive side of her but she does have lovely qualities. She's very generous-hearted. I think that's why she can end up taking advantage weird as it sounds - she'd do the same for other people and not think too much about it.
OP I could have written this. I have a friend who has been one of my closest for around 20years now, for the last 4 of them I feel increasingly that I am bottom of the pile. She never ever prioritises seeing me but will continuously see her DHs friends and their DWs, she never has a free weekend to see me and DH (both of our DH get on very well whenever they see each other), she's always booked up weeks in advance but can always squeeze in a random dinner with other people. I still bother with her because when we do see each other we have such a nice time and she calls me atleast 3/4times a week for a 10-15min catch up but I never ever ask to see her anymore because I can't be bothered with how it makes me feel, I have lots of friends who do bother with me.
Actions speak louder than words. Only meet if she instigates. Be busy if she needs a favour.
I have a 'friend' who has been far too busy to meet up with me, did instigate a few times. Now I don't bother.... Nor does she.
Now read about her demanding childcare arrangements... Is she a user?
Same here OP. A friend that will cancel last minute every time. I've seen her once since October last year. I now accept that it's how she is, and if we are friends that's just how it will be.
Equally,I don't go out of my way to make plans with her or travel to see her. We meet half way and I normally make it so that we are meeting somewhere that's convenient for me. She has kids, her life changed. She was always bad at meeting up, but she got worse afterwards. It's a shame because we were really close. But she's just not reliable enough for me to count on anymore. It's a shame, but I eventually got over it and stopped taking it personally.
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