Over 'friend' in our group?(25 Posts)
This is more of a collective are we being unreasonable although the others obviously don't know I'm posting.
Group of 6 of us mums from school: a couple of us knew each other vaguely but when our eldest kids started pre-school we all became quite close pretty quickly and formed a really good friendship group. This was 6 years ago now.
2 years ago friend A's husband left her which was horrendous for her. We all came to her aid, helping with kids, going round, calling in. But since then it has been non stop drama and angst. The rest of us have also suffered bad times, there has been another marriage breakdown, death of close family members, pregnancies, a miscarriage and throughout all of these she has not been there for any of the rest of us.
She pleads for our advice and help constantly but never acts on it, never returns any offers of help or hospitality and its wearing us all down.
2 of the others have had enough, we all used to meet almost every week now there's just excuses from some and we all just cobble together when we can.
What do we do? There is another day we could meet up when she works but it feels underhand. She just takes, takes, takes and NEVER gives anything back despite the rest of us having miserable, hard times. We're human at the end of the day. When we do meet up and we're not talking about her she gets this 'dead' look on her face and then finally interrupts it back to her and I mean every time.
Has anyone been through anything like this before? What did you do?
If you are feeling brave one of you could talk to her about how you feel unsupported and as if she just takes. It may be that someone asks for her help and then it would arise naturally.
I'm a coward though so I think I would organise times to meet when she was busy, but not lie about why. I'd just say it was the best time for the rest of us - which it may be.
Is anyone in the group willing to have an honest word with her about her lack of consideration for others? I think you owe her a chance to mend her ways before you distance yourself. Think of all the threads on here when someone is devastated because they've been ditched for no apparent reason. Don't do that to her.
Rather than freeze her out, just stop 'give give giving'.
You can't be a door matt unless you're willing to lie down and let her wipe her feet on you.
Yes very similar situation about 6 years ago. The friendship group had formed through DD's nursery and primary school friends. There were 5 of us. The friend behaving like A didn't actually have any specific difficulties, she claimed to have a lot of mental health problems, I mean really serious ones like Messiah complex and severe schitzophrenia (apologies for spelling). I treated her DD like my own, was there for her literally in the middle of the night when she phoned crying that she was going to kill herself or the DC. It was incredibly draining. As time went by we began to notice that she was putting all sorts of bizarre statuses on FB that were clearly aimed at us, that we were "shit friends" who "talked about her behind her back" etc. None of this was true. She began to form another friend group and was suddenly going out clubbing and drinking all the time (despite supposedly being on very strong meds which prohibited this).
In the meanwhile both my parents and my FIL died suddenly within 3 months of each other. She was so unpleasant to me, it was as if she was jealous that I had a "real" heartache that she couldn't "top". She also used to look "dead eyed" if all the focus wasn't on her.
I'm afraid I ended up distancing myself from her. As our DDs got older, they drifted apart and when her name came up on my phone I declined to answer (at one point she was phoning me an average of 6 times a day).
AFAIK she's doing absolutely fine now, has a decent job and everything (she always claimed she was too ill to work but when all the DLA changes came in was miraculously able).
Sometimes you just have to be cruel to be kind, these people aren't "friends", they're parasites.
I know I've thought that before about threads on here where people think it's for no reason, and I'm almost positive my friend would not realise the reason for it as she is so self absorbed. Im sure she just thinks we're all a lot stronger than she is and that she needs/deserves more help.
The practical stuff we have done for her has died down now but yes I suppose we're emotional doormats, what do you do though when someone's always crying to you. She won't go for counselling despite admitting she needs it and has said she'd never take anti depressants.
magzmarsh interesting to read a similar situation. Funnily enough this friend has also started to hang out with another couple of mums and go on nights out with them. Could be that she ends up more with them in the end.
I'd sour the milk a little.
If she has a 'woe is me' event take the more bracing 'what are you going to do about this situation to fix it?' response instead of the 'Poor you, we all feel bad for you, how can we help?' attitude. Stop offering help or make yourselves unavailable if you don't feel like helping her.
If someone in the group needs meals made or a child picked up from school and someone can do Wednesday, and someone can do Friday, ask this friend 'Which days can you do?', put her on the spot a little.
It is OK if you meet up when she is at work, although it would be kinder to meet at other times too. She is capable of organizing meet ups too to suit her own convenience too if she wants to see you all more frequently.
Some people do find conversation about other people boring. That is their problem, not yours. If she get bored enough she'll have to take up blogging or vlogging to get her monologue fix. If you are having a conversation where other people are having a reasonable share and she gets a 'dead look', so what? Not your problem.
In my experience these people bleed you dry and then move on to some other unsuspecting person/group. If you're lucky, this is what will happen with her and you won't have the dilemma of how to get round seeing each other without inviting her all the time.
Forgive me, but I'm on a roll here remembering stuff. One of her other classic behaviours was to make everyone feel absolutely awful for not including in her in something or other, that's not the same as "excluding" by the way, but things she had absolutely NO interest in or she couldn't possibly have attended we were berated and called all sorts of names for not inviting her. She on the other hand could do as she damn well pleased.
Sorry, it's bringing back a lot of crappy memories, you cannot win with these people, it will always be all about them, they never take anyone else into consideration.
""what do you do though when someone's always crying to you. She won't go for counselling despite admitting she needs it and has said she'd never take anti depressants.""
You be honest with her, then if things don't improve, lessen contact.
I'm glad that I had honest friends that told me that my anger (from being Widowed) was consuming me and they were starting to tiptoe around me.
Magz, she sounds as though she had real issues and personally if anyone told me that they were going to kill their children, I'd phone the Crisis team.
Believe me Birds we did everything we could. Drove her to our city's NHS residential mental health facility at 4 in the morning several times. She undoubtedly had issues but they weren't necessarily the ones she was claiming to have.
i agree you have to stop pandering to her. i think moving the meet ups to when she can't come is underhand, but the occasional one might be nice for you all. just to have a break.
I would suggest someone telling her directly. When I was a lot younger I was a bit self-absorbed and probably bored the arse off people around me because it was all about me, all the time, and when the conversation drifted off to other things I was bored and tried to steer it back to me. I was deeply insecure and only when I got counselling to sort that out did my self-absorption finally go.
I'm a good friend now, and have some lovely friendships where I put the effort in as much as my friends do.
So it might be worth giving her a chance to realise, but if she continues on despite being told, then at least you've tried.
It seems a pity to lose the friendship group because of one person. If you want to keep it, your choice is either to confront her with her behaviour as tactfully as possible to give her a chance to repair it; to tell her you've all had enough anyway and don't want her in the group; or to arrange meet-ups behind her back or when you know that she can't come. I guess you should probably at least try the first option so that you know you've given her a chance to sort this out before you move to anything more drastic.
post a message thread/whatsapp thing and blase through something like 'planning to do this on X day- anyone else fancy joining?' if she replies she's at work say something like 'do you want to sort another date for something else too and whoever can go will do' shove the ball back into her court.
not everyone can do everything all the time, as long as you don't exclusively do things when she's at work she can't moan can she?
Why don't you just talk to her about it? Like grown ups.
Moving we've said (separately and together) we think she needs counselling, she agrees but never sorts it.
I suppose you just think how can anyone be that selfish but I suppose some people are.
How would you word an intervention conversation (if just one person did it?)
So when you're talking and she interrupts/changes the subject to her just go "hmm" nod turn to the person who was speaking before and say "what were you saying about xxx"
She can't divert the conversation if you don't let her.
I had an emotional vampire friend who sounded like this. It didn't end well with us, but I can't tell you how good it feels for it to have ended.
I tried being nice, I tried sympathising, I tried being perplexed that she never took advice but asked over and over again, I tried being blunt and I tried being angry. Nothing changed until I caught her out in the middle of a massive lot of lies. She lost a few friends over that incident.
If you want a cowards way out I'd suggest not organising things yourself and if asked say oh, sorry, hadn't realised you weren't invited but offer no means to redress it
Emotional vampire sums her up perfectly.
I'm angry at her for spoiling our group. It was so nice and worked brilliantly but now she's just a dark cloud of doom over everyone.
love that 'dark cloud of doom'.
well don't let her. take your group back. if she switches the convo back to her, switch it back. when she's not getting the attention she wants she'll either change strategy (hopefully for the better) or piss off and leech of her other group.
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