AIBU to feel a bit hurt(18 Posts)
OK, maybe I'm over reacting. I have a friend of many years standing who has had a particularly tough time of late. She lost her job a year ago but has always been pretty fragile. When her 30th birthday fell after a particularly bad break up she was upset that she had no one to organise anything special for her so I volunteered to arrange something. It went really well and she seemed very grateful. In the intervening years she has asked me to drop everything and rush over on a number of occasions because she was ill, upset etc and I have always done what I could to help. She even jokes that I'm like one of the emergency services. She had her 40th recently and I asked if she wanted to do anything. She said she would think about it. I later found that she invited a mutual friend to go out for cocktails with her. I was a bit hurt but, at the end of the day, she should be able to spend her birthday however she wants. Last week she asked if I would like to go to a concert with her. She was quite upfront that she had the ticket because someone else had had to back out. Then I found out that she had already asked another friend who wasn't free. I just feel that I'm the first person she calls on when she needs something but bottom of the list when it's something fun. DP said it's clear she doesn't think our friendship is that close, except when it suits her, and I should drop her but, as I said, she has always been emotionally fragile and I have known her a long time. On the other hand, it makes me feel pretty s* that she feels that way about me and I'm not the most confident person at the best of times. I would just like to know if I'm being a bit precious about this. My instinct at the moment is to tell her to get lost next time she asks for my help but I don't know if that's just because I am feeling hurt.
You know exactly what she thinks of you and how you stand in this friendship . You say it makes you feel pretty shit .... but your sticking point for leaving this friendship is HER feelings ! Why prioritise her feelings over yours ? You're only assuming what her feelings would be anyway .YANBU .. drop her and start treating your own feelings with respect .
I would be hurt too.
I would also distance myself. practice some lines you can use eg "Sorry but I have a lot on my plate at the moment, hope you manage to sort it" kind of thing
Some people don't appreciate valuable things that come to them easily. You see it all the time when people devalue skills they possess that they have a natural knack for but wildly over-value things that they find difficult.
So it is with friends, sometimes.
The thing is, how does this affect you? I think it's having a bit of an impact on your self-esteem. You like her, are emotionally available and generous, and seem not to hierarchise your relationships. She isn't quite like this - and the fact that she is implicitly placing less value on you because you are emotionally generous is beginning to have an effect on your feelings of self-worth.
I think you need to put less energy into this friendship. Consciously start building other relationships.
Obviously, it's not worth falling out with her - it's not worth that. However, you're beginning to feel miserable. That is your emotions telling you that it's beginning to erode you a little. Listen to your emotions. Untangle yourself from her a bit.
You might want to think whether your emotions are telling you to stop being quite so emotionally giving, too. It might well be that all is fine - you just need to find people who appreciate this positive aspect of your personality for what it is, and who reciprocate in kind. Or it might be that you are changing and are entering a phase in your life where you want to be less giving, or to give more choosingly/sparingly.
It might be that, deep down, this is not a beneficial trait for you, or is no longer working for you. Maybe you feel that you are not a worthwhile person in your own right, and that people won't like you unless you are extra kind all the time. Or perhaps you have a habit of giving (at cost to you) that built up in your childhood. Perhaps you have just changed.
It might be any of these things, or it might be nothing at all. However, when something is making you miserable, it's always worth taking the time to really think about what is causing it, not ignore it, and to think about whether you feel like practising with new ways of living, interacting with people, etc. Change can be fun. We're not set in stone, and it does make life interesting.
As I read on some mindfulness thing the other day, there is a huge line between being useful and being used. She has crossed the line. You will always be her 999 but not important enough to be her fun partner. Sadly, I agree with your dp. You need equal friendships not one way friendships. Time to move on.
I'd feel hurt too. She's being very hurtful towards you, and that's not okay.
I'd definitely pull back from this relationship. Don't be available when she calls. Don't solve her problems for her, or come to her rescue. Let one of the other people she seems to rank above you on the friendship scale step up. My guess, is that few or none will.
I don't understand why she needed/wanted/expected someone to organise a 30th party for her. That seems incredibly entitled. If she wants a party, she needs to organise one herself; it is/was HER birthday after all.
I think you really need to have a chat and tell her how you feel.
Depending on her answer you should be able to tell if it is just her being a bit unthinking or if she is just using you.
Hmm, could she be using 'fragility' to get people do things for her?
No need for a fall out, just distance yourself and be less available.
Stop dropping things for her and next she needs help, be very busy with work/home.
I had a friend just like this. We had been friends from nursery. She was exactly like your friend always calling me when things had gone belly up but I was last on the list when it came to fun things.
I finally distanced myself when I needed support through a crappy time and she wasn't there for me. We haven't spoken in a very long time now and honestly I don't miss her or her dramas.
She may subconsciously feel that you are the reliable friend she doesn't need to work at keeping, while she has to 'buy' other people's friendship. Try suggesting you do more fun stuff together, say you need a bit of 'light'. If she steps up, great. If not, well there you go.
Stop doing so much for her. She seems quite nasty.
It's hard, but maybe because she knows she can count on your friendship she's trying to put effort into her others so you're not always her first port of call?
just distance yourself and be less available
^^ This. If you've not good enough for the fun stuff why would you be there for the rough? Friendship is supposed to be about all of it.
Thank you all for taking so much care over your replies. I really do appreciate the advice. I think I had a pretty clear idea of what I should do but I was worried that I was too close to the situation.
The thing i have noticed is that personality types come into it too. There are friends i like to party with and friends with whom i enjoy deeper conversations. She sounds like she has thoughtlessly segregated her life as such.
It seems like she's using you for her needs, like she says, she views you as an emergency service, very telling, not as a good friend. Your bottom of the pile when anything fun comes up. Coukd you talk to her about how you feel. Or if not, wrote her an e mail, and leave it up to her.
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