To be running out of patience with friend(29 Posts)
My friend Alice have known eachother for years. We are close but not exceptionally so . Alice has had a hard life . She has a dysfunctional family upbringing, lost her beloved father , has no contact with mother or siblings. She is very independent of them but very needy of friends and partner . Who is kind and sweet and quiet in herself . She works hard but is disappointed with the way her life has taken her. She works in a dead end job , with low pay and no prospects . She is in a flat share and has very few of us as a group of friends. She says she cannot afford any past times or hobbies, doesn’t holiday or go to cinema/ theatre/ concerts as she can’t afford them . Sometimes she does extra jobs . All of this information is from her and he words .
My aibu here is whether I am a bitch for getting utterly fed up of her moanong and whinging about her life. Despite being so sweet and nice , she is very hard to please and is one of those people who ‘ is never happy’ . What many people consider small issues become huge issues and her mood drops for sometimes days at a time . I try to support, encourage, listen , help but it is met with ‘ poor me’. Now I know and am sensitive to the fact that she has had a hard life . No question but she seems never to try to improve it for herself. Her experiences with men would put the hair standing on the back of your neck . She has little self esteem and allows people to treat her as they wish . More hardship. I am getting so tired and drained from it. I can’t seem to say or do anything that pleases Alice and Alice doesn’t seem to do anything to improve her lot. AIBU to be losing patience. I feel terribly bad but also at the end of my string with her
Any advice how to deal with her please? Torn between feeling sorry for her and feeling sick of her
I am all in favour of a good moan and offloading on friends about shitty stuff but there needs to be more to the relationship than that, a bit of light and shade. Do you get anything positive out of your friendship with her? Does she make you laugh, or give good advice? Do you get anything good out of spending time with her?
I had an Alice in my life. We had been friends since university, and by a combination of very bad luck combined with poor choices Alice is very hard work to be around. She never stopped the woe is me pity party, and it was completely draining. The way I looked at it, socially, people have a duty to be pleasant, and show an interest in other people. A moan is fine, but there is a limit to how much you can expect other people to cope with just monologues of how hard life is. I haven't taken her up on her suggestion to meet for coffee lately. I have enough people in my life (family/step family) that are hard work, and I don't have the emotional space for any more of that. Someone will say bring it up with her. IME that never ends well, as some people, even though we may like them and have a history with them, are spectacularly unaware.
I think what you have to understand is that when someone’s mood is low, what appears to you as a small issue, can be very big to them. So please don’t assume she’s doing it as an ‘always me’ thing.
The only person who can improve Alice’s life is Alice. It might be time to point that out to her.
Some people are utterly resistant to any ideas or suggestions from well meaning friends. If you have the energy to keep seeing her just as her, ‘so what would help?’ She probably could be helped over time but that’s a very one sided friendship.
I'd go low contact just dodge her everytime. I had an Alice and she mentally drained me used to start getting anxiety as soon as I would see her name pop up on my phone, if I was happy and excited she would be quite and then break my happiness down with her woe it's me crap. I started dodging her and don't meet up with her as soon as she calls and starts going on about the woe it's me monologues I just say hey sorry got to run have xyz happening and cut the call. Now she doesn't bother to harras me as much am very happy 😊
Drains and radiators. Some of us are more int he middle I think but this person does sound rather drainlike. Have you tried gently pointing out to Alice that all she does is moan? At least that may give her a chance to turn it around before she loses a friend.
Thanks . I do feel horrible but to give an example... she is due to go to a family occasion over Easter weekend. She has accepted the invitation, both the dress , booked the hotel. She has now started getting upset over meeting new people, having to dance, having to talk to people that she hasn’t met in years. She has no problems socially. She is quiet but has no problems socially . It is like she has to find issues where there are very few and she blows them up out of all proportion , gets upset and dramatic about them and then faux apologises the next day and her mood lifts right back up again . Everything seems to be a drama based on her past , which is understandable to a point but she won’t actually explore counselling or engage in any positive actions that might help her to help herself . It is like she is stuck but almost doesn’t want to become unstuck . Some family and friends and especially her partner treat her like dirt, she allows this, does nothing to stand up and express her own needs, yet comes to me moaning and whining about them . I’m sure I presentas a bad friend but I just don’t know how to deal with her bar hurting her .
"I am getting so tired and drained by it"
It is very sad that she has had such a bad life but she can help being an energy vampire.
I have a cousin who constantly whinges and moans about her lot but comes up with every excuse under the sun when offered advice or help. It's mentally draining.
Some people prefer to wallow in their misery rather than exert some energy trying to improve their lot.
You sound like you have been very helpful but now need to back off as it is starting to affect your happiness. Don't let them suck any more of the joy from your life.
YANBU in running out of patience after a number of years.
She sounds extremely draining. Theres enormous pressure on women to be all things to all people, and this includes being a cheerleader for your friends no matter what. Well, it's reasonable to expect to get something enjoyable from a friendship at least some of the time, and if you don't, then you need to ask yourself why you're sticking around. She sounds very stuck indeed. Her constant moaning may be her way of letting off just enough steam to prevent her needing to actually do something to move forward. That's not saying you're obliged to listen to it, but it sounds like a coping mechanism she has developed over time . I wouldn't be able to put up with this for very long either OP
She is such a lovely kind person also though which is why I feel guilty . I find myself doing things to please her even though that don’t suit me but for example... she has asked me to go to an event( that I really haven’t time to go to or have other plans) because it is in memory of her father or will ask me to visit a cousin with her as she feels anxious about hospitals because they remind her of a time she was in hospital when such and such does so I sometimes feel manipulated . Am I making sense? There are other who could go? Her family that she speaks to or a friend or partner . I find it hard to explain except to say that I feel under duress when she asks me to do anything as there is always a guilt quotient attached and I feel I can’t say no . She then has a hang dog expression and gets moody if I suggest another time or ask her to ask someone else . I’m so frustrated as I’ve now also become the shoulder for her to whine about her partner who clearly lives his own life and doesn’t feel too guilty to say no to her . He just says no . Wish I could be like that
Your Alice needs something else to focus on, and be responsible for, could she have a cat or a dog maybe
I agree! My Alice needs something to fill her life . I’m sorry that I allowed myself to get in so deep.to see her behaving like a lap dog for her partner makes me angry and sad at the same time.i can’t understand how she is so needy and demanding and miserable with me but let’s him walk all over her and he ignores her wants and needs and she accepts this , she runs after him, is at his beck and call and then when he bins her off for his friends etc, she smiles and says nothing to him. No sense to me whatsoever
If you think about it your relationship is slightly like the bf and Alice but in your scenario you are Alice and she is the bf..
Just go low contact before it completely eats you away mentally
You have to look at this way, if this was your partner you were talking about, no matter how nice he was, you would have to break up with him wouldn't you? You would get to a point where you'd had enough and would end the relationship. Somehow we feel we can't do that with friends. It doesn't seem "fair" or "right". But this is a friendship that seemingly gives you nothing positive. All it does is drain you.
I fell out with an Alice type. But I realised almost immediately that I felt like a giant weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I felt free! I hadn't realised just how much it was draining me until it stopped. With any other friend I would have tried to resolve the argument but I didn't with this one and I've never regretted it.
You have both for it spot on . Feel like I can’t break away from her but the guilt keeps me there. Me being alice in the context of her relationship makes sense but understanding how and why she reacts so differently to both of us has me baffled !
Some family and friends and especially her partner treat her like dirt, she allows this, does nothing to stand up and express her own needs, yet comes to me moaning and whining about them
Is it possible that this is not true and that she just says that because they aren't manipulated by her the way you are?
It's not healthy for her to be so dependant on you. Just try and reduce the amount you see her. And when you want to see her suggest an inexpensive activity like "come over and let's make dinner together"or "let's workout in the park together". That way you don't need to spend the whole time talking about her issues.
I can see why you say that but no, her family in general do not tolerate the drama and the attention seeking while I know first hand that her partner is quite clear cut in his availability and is determined regarding what they do together and when . In defence of her, she has asked him to do many activities with her that she may have found hard or caused her sad memories regarding her past and he has often refused as he had plans or whatnot . It seems that many close to her will not feed into her demands, I guess and then she seems to hanker after them
Yes I agree it’s totally unhealthy and getting me down. I feel like a mug at times as I will often pick up the family and partner pieces ie I will go with her or do the needful when they simply won’t
It's because they don't pander at her every whim, which you unfortunately seem to get suckered into. Just go low contact honestly you will feel so much better and she might actually start respecting you.
Alice sounds extremely depressed no doubt she is living life so on the edge of her wits end even the smallest thing can tip her over. It sounds as if she’s had a very hard life, if bad things keep happening to you it gets impossible to see the good.
Encourage her to seek help. You say she’s a lovely person. With some help she’s likely to become less draining. Surely having a lovely long term friend is worth investing some time in to help seek help
Have you ever come across a book by Eric Byrnn (sp?) Called The Games People Play? One of the "games" he talk about is called Yes But. He describes someone who comes to you with a problem. You suggest a solution and they say " yes, but ...:. No matter what you suggest, their answer is always "yes, but..."
he goes on to say that what the person wants from you is to acknowledge how immense their problem is.
As you may have guessed, I had just this problem with my mother. By nature, I'm a problem solver, so if when she described something that was bothering her , my first reaction would be to try to help her solve it. Turns out, that sometimes , what she wanted/needed was for me to for simply say " That sounds difficult" or similar.
Maybe give that approach a go? I found it hard to do because, as I said, I'm very much a problem solver
Maybe try saying:
'I feel like you're only asking me because your boyfriend/family have refused'
'Can we talk about something more positive for a bit?'
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