AIBU in NOT answering the phone?(21 Posts)
I am feeling a bit mean but ...I have a friend who is very hard work. I don't mean that in a horrible way but she can make my heart sink at times.
I struggle massively with socialisation and can feel overwhelmed very quickly....I suspect I am on the autistic spectrum as it's always been an issue. My DS is autistic and recently started a special school along with another child from the same town. His Mum has latched on to me and I do mean "latched on". She phones me daily.....up to six calls at a time if I don't answer (I don't always have my phone on me) and I come back to loads of missed calls. ...all one after the other and made multiple times.
The other thing is that when she phones she talks for up to an hour and it's never anything urgent but just chit chat. She tells me all about family problems....regardless if I know the people involved or not.
I have a feeling she is isolated a little bit but she seems to have lots of friends and family around her too. I got her involved in our local support group and also try and give her time by going for coffee etc. It's fine face to face but over the phone is a nightmare as I can't get a word in edgeways and find it hard to get away from the call.
So all in all I have given myself a policy of only answering one call a day from her. And occasionally I don't do even that.
But I am feeling very mean.
She also wants me to take DS over to their house (she doesn't drive so can't get here) but DS doesn't want to go because he struggles in other environments so I am having to refuse that as well at the moment which is making me feel worse.
You are not mean . Anyone would find that too much.
How likely is she to get the hint? Or are you going to tell her?
If ds doesn't want to go, say what you said on here. Personally, I would be fine with that
OMG, I think we have the same friend.
The only way I cope is to manager her. I only answer when I am ready (she often calls at meal times) and I actually set time aside to call her as I know each call will be over an hour.
no, you aren't .
What you are basically asking for is 'permission' (iyswim) to put your child above her child in your priorities and yourself above her in your priorities at what is a difficult time.
You absolutely can do that.
You should do that.
You are making time for her, which is good and nice and thoughtful, but you aren't letting her be the thief of all of your time and there is nothing wrong with that.
It is ok to be assertive. It is ok to say you find constant phone calls overwhelming. It is ok to say you are too busy to talk. It is ok to put your child first and not put him into an environment you know he will struggle in in order to please someone else.
YANBU. I don't think I could even face one call like that a day, maybe one a week and even then I'd have to cut it short. But I'm only sociable on my own terms and couldn't cope with being talked at for an hour.
Thank you, I can get thinhs very wrong sometimes and I just needed to check this.
I often miss her call deliberately and then call her back when I can spare that hour. FWIW I know she has a significant mental health issue so I know her life isn't easy.
Spoke to her for nearly an hour this morning and have had three genuinely missed calls since then. Phone was upstairs and on charge
which stops me wasting time gaming when there is housework to do
She sounds horrendous! I have lots of friends and none of them behave like that-I would find it claustrophobic and incredibly irritating.
Can't you say you're having difficulties making/receiving phone calls so can only text. Then just reply to the odd text.
I don't speak to anyone on the phone for an hour except friends who have emigrated!! Ignore every phone call and tell her you're busy. This is not normal behaviour.
People on this thread are a lot more understanding than I'd be - that would drive me demented!
You are being very understanding OP, but she should be understanding of you and your needs too. Have you told her that you find the constant calls overwhelming? Can you agree to speaking a couple of times a week, and you will call her?
I just can't see her getting the hint without tackling this head-on.
I had a friend like this, she'd call for at least an hour a day about nothing, with missed calls left, right and centre. I was new to the area and had just had my first baby so was grateful to begin with.
I just started not picking up the phone and would try to drop it down to twice a week. Drove me mad.
I had a problem like this with a friend once. She used to call me about 8pm, usually on Sundays but weeknights as well,, and just talk about nothing for an hour and a half.
I particularly like my Sunday evenings to unwind and relax so eventually I just told her 'don't call me in the evening as I'm unlikely to answer (phone is on silent/upstairs/in the toilet - take your pick).
Instead I gave her a set time to call me - either Saturday afternoons or Wednesday/Friday before 7pm. Giving her a set time to call you might make things easier?
It sounds like she isn't even interested in what you have to say, which is no reflection on you, just that she is using you for her own talking therapy. The situation is immensely unfair on you.
I wouldn't feel bad about missing her calls, or deliberately not picking up. You don't owe her all of your time, that isn't friendship.
I have to jump in with my mother when she is talking at me, and just say "I have to get on with things, have a good day" and I hang up. My mother uses me for her own talking therapy. But I am not here to just make her feel better, and you aren't either.
It's ok for you to say you don't have the headspace to devote to her, and that you need all your energy for your own family. Your feelings are perfectly valid.
She is indeed overwhelming
Yesterday I answered a call from her and said we might pop in today. I was busy all day yesterday but am free today.
Since 8.30am I have had a text and three calls. All were ignored as I am not even dressed yet and am still trying to sort out DS.
I know I am a wimp but I can't tell her she is overwhelming. She is vulnerable and I can't add to her problems.
Anyway I am just venting now. I will phone her back in a bit....or text to say we will pop in at some point this morning. Will make sure I have somewhere to be after the visit as got caught out before, ended up agreeing to take her and the kids shopping...a nightmare I never wish to repeat.
I have had this. We are being too nice for our own good. When l missed a call say one Tues morning l would text saying " sorry l missed your call. Tied up all day today so l will call you tomorrow evening at 8. Chat then" That gave me 2 free days. When she called she never knew when to go. I had to be almost rude by standing up walking towards the door and saying " hey it was great to see you. You must call again next week. " l would end up saying things l wouldn't dream of saying to another person. But l have to admit in the end l had to cut off as my own mental health was getting affected. I was jumping when the phone rang. Making up elaborate reasons to be out off the house so she couldn't call around. You cannot put your own peace and your children's life on the line for this person. If you are good at direct talk say it if not pull away gradually.
I'd set my phone to auto reject her calls and feign innocence. She'll probably take offence but what can you do. You can't tolerate that level of invasion. It's her own fault.
you are adding to her problems though. you are dodging her calls and making excuses. do you think she doesn't know that? The only difference is that you are avoiding a difficult conversation.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think you are responsible for meeting her very high emotional needs, but you are fooling yourself if you think that this way you are sparing her anything.
I understand that you don't want to have that very hard conversation, but this isn't kinder.
It would be kinder to explain to her that she is overwhelming.
She then can understand why you are doing what you are doing and choose whether or not to change in order to have better relationships.
atm she knows what you are doing but not why.
meant to say - if that's what you want - avoiding being honest with her because it's too awkward/embarrassing/whatever, that's fine. many people would rather chew off their own leg than have a difficult conversation, but it's ok to tell someone that while you do enjoy their company, they need to back off and that you are not there to simply meet their needs, you matter too.
atm it sounds like she simply isn't understanding that.
I'd bear in mind that ASD runs in families and just as you suspect you may be undiagnosed ......so may she be ....... Not seeing she's crossing social boundries is certainly an Aspie trait in her.
This sounds awful and so demanding. You need to tell her, my brother has times when he does similar and he doesn't realise he's being overwhelming. Once I tell him he then understands why his calls go unanswered and changes his behaviour.
There will be no end to it if you carry on, by answering occasionally you are giving her the signal that you are fine with it. Plus like other posters have said, she'll be anxious wondering why you're ignoring her so much so telling her is kinder.
I am absolutely certain she is on the spectrum yes. This is why I a, trying to be very patient with her as I know she finds things hard....as do I.
Aww difficult one OP. How did today go? Did you go round?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.