WIBU to give up on my friend(13 Posts)
Aaahhh long story but I'll try and keep it short.
I have this friend of about 6 years or so. In the whole time I've known her she has always been a bit 'one-sided' but I wasn't really bothered at first as she was good fun to be around.
As time has gone I've come to realise that no matter what is going on in my life and things I'm going through, she dominates every single conversation with her life stuff. We've both recently split from our respective partners: mine was a case of we just weren't compatible (he was a sh!t). Hers was a case of her partner left her for someone else (another sh!t).
Every time I see her all she talks about is her ex which dominates around 90% of our conversations or her dating catastrophes since he has left.
I sound like a total b***h but it's seriously dragging me down. We had a night out (a very rare thing for me) a few weeks back. She talked about her ex most of the night and I just dutifully listened. We recently met up for her birthday and went to a cafe as she had her kids with her. Again all the conversation steered towards her ex. Explaining how much she still loves him and how he knows he's making a mistake with his current gf. Didn't bother to ask how I have been since me and my ex split - she never does. Didn't bother to ask how my holiday was recently. Didn't bother to ask how I was doing after going back to work a couple of weeks ago (been on mat leave for 12 months). In fact she never bothers to ask anything about my life, its all about hers and whats happening.
I see her probably once every couple of months on average as I am an extremely busy person most of the time. Every time I see her, I feel like I am obligated to be her personal sounding board. The other thing which does my head in is she's clearly a smart person, yet she never takes sound advice so I feel like whenever I do see her 1) she is telling me the same old stuff she has already told me the previous times I've seen her and 2) I am yet again giving her the same old advice which seems to equate to: your ex isn't your problem anymore, give yourself time to heal.
Even if the situation was different and it wasn't 'her ex' she was talking about, it would be something else in her life and that something else would dominate the conversation. Aaarrrggghhhhhh!!!!!!
On another note, she only seems to want me around when she's got no one else or her other friends are too skint to go out. I feel like I'm being used. I have spoke to her about this before, she apologised but then nothing has changed.
Anyone got any advice how to deal with this? I try to keep conversation light-hearted and steer it away but she just makes every conversation all about her again and I'm getting a bit fed up.
Would a lighthearted " so enough about you, let's talk about me for a while" help?
I would dump her wimpily. Be busy at every suggested meet up. If pressed maybe say you have too much on your plate to support her at the moment.
I think you need to be a bit tougher on her and kinder on yourself TBH.... You are right, she is using you as a sounding board - which isnt very nice in the best of circumstances, but considering you are dealing with the aftermath of a split, then it is very selfish indeed.
I would do as stealth suggests and try to say things like - "Well I know what you mean as my STBXH did blah blah blah" and turn the conversation round to you? Some people arent very good at not hogging the limelight so you have to force it if youve had enough of what they are saying.
Having said that, its not a very natural way to have a conversation so if it was me I would just cut down on my contact with her.... Tbh - I dont know her, but she sounds like the kind of person that you wont see for dust when she gets a new BF, unless its to brag about how amazing he is.
'She's got no one else or her friends are to skint to go out'
Bet they aren't really.
They probably don't give her the airtime you kindly do.
Has she always been similar? If so I'd cool off if not I'd probably brave an honest chat....
Easier said than done
People like this don't change.
I had exactly the same situation - friend of 30 years standing and at some point during those 30 years it just became all about her. We had a big bust up when she did not even bother to ask after a family member who was terminally ill - and had in fact passed away.
I saw her a couple of times after the bust up but nothing had changed - it was still her talking about herself for the entire time. So I didn't bother again and have not missed the monologues.
Could you start any night out/meet up with "Let's not talk about our exes at all today. It only brings us down. And there's so much going on in my life that I'd like to tell you about..."
If she misses either of the massive hints in that then just steer her back: "remember we're not going to talk about our exes today" or "do you know I still haven't had chance to tel you about X" as appropriate
Oracle - I tried this when we met in the cafe. I mentioned something along the lines of I couldn't believe how time has flown, I'm in the process of looking at primary schools for my oldest DC. As soon as I said it she said, "That's nothing, I'm looking into high schools for my middle DC!" so I just made a brief comment about how quickly time goes and that was the end of that conversation .
I feel like she has to out-trump every body no matter what the topic is.
In fact every time we have been in the vicinity of new faces i.e. people we have met on nights out etc she tell them straight off the bat how one her exes beat her up so badly (It's a true story, one of her exes did beat the daylights out of her) but she tells this to everyone she meets, strangers even and now she throws in "and my most recent partner left me for someone else and got her pregnant even though we've got a baby ourselves".
I feel like a cow and yes I get that she's hurt but she tells anyone who cares to listen these stories of woe and posts all her dirty laundry all over FB too. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. I'm not an attention-seeking sort of person, i prefer to deal with my own stuff privately and I just find her behaviour needy and a bit cringey if I'm honest. She's late 30's and I just find it desperate. Oh I'm going to hell.....
She's always been this way. I remember years ago I suffered a MC (very early stages of pregnancy) I told her and I was clearly upset. She just said 'Oh honey....' and that was it, the conversation turned to something else cos that's the way she steered it.
I'd certainly cool things then
It's not a friendship really IMO
I've distanced myself massively over the past couple of years, I've had to as she was too full on. I kind of just want to let her go but not sure if that would be hurtful. I feel deflated when she contacts me and its usually when she's got no one else.
" I feel like I'm being used."
Because you are being used. You need to distance yourself completely. And frankly you shouldn't be worrying that this will be hurtful. For it to be hurtful, she'd have to care about you as a friend. I dare say she'll find it inconvenient, having to find somebody new willing to listen to her drone on; but hurtful? No, she lacks the depth for that.
Is there a polite way of letting a friend go? God I feel awful for even asking this. I don't normally ditch friends. Is there some sort of etiquette to this?
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