Good friend annoying me, am I being unsupportive?(12 Posts)
just wanted to let off steam and ask for advice.
I have been friends with M for about 3/4 years now. we speak everyday either by phone/text/msn.
She suffers from PND/depression, and has done for the whole time that I have known her. I suffered briefly from PND after DS was born and this was the main reason we got talking.
I find being her friend very draining, I am there for her whenever she wants me, long chat on phone, visits for coffee that span hours. I get frustrated because her DP is lazy and unsupportive and undermined her at every turn and lowers here self confidence, she is well aware of this and keeps saying, I am going to leave/sort him out etc etc.
It seems 95% of our conversations are about her and her problems, when she does ask me how I am and I may have a problem, she will quickly turn it around to talking about herself and her kids.
I know she has it hard as her children pick up on relationship with DP and run riot, but it is becoming very tiring, I had a situation a few days ago when I was worried about something serious and halfway through me explaining it, she went offline on msn without even saying a goodbye. I just feel this is a one-sided friendship, I am a very cheerful person, but think she is beginning to drag me down.
My DH is lovely and supportive and helpful, and my DS is very well behaved, I feel she tried to make me feel guilty that I have a good life.
I would appreciate any views.
i had a friend like that. she would only contact me if she wanted something or had nothing better to do. i found she text dp more than me and this really got to me in the end i finnished the friendship as i found on dp's phone that she said i annoyed her cos i spoke about the fact i was pregnant. she has 2 kids and thats all she spoke about or the latest man. i just sent her a text saying i had enough and when she wanted to be a proper friend then let me know needless to say i havent heard from her in a few months
It doesn't sound like this relationship is very healthy for you, maybe you should gradually distance yourself. I think most people have had or have friends they find 'hard work' I know I have in the past and have managed to shake them off (sounds very selfish but it can be really draining and destructive).
Just my opinion
I think it's a difficult position for you, it's not really a proper friendship because it's so one-sided, but on the other hand it wouldn't help her PND/depression at all if she feels that you've dumped her, and I think that you would feel guilty about that as you sound very caring.
Do you have other friends that you see regularly? Perhaps you could meet as a group so that you're not always one to one with her. Can you put a time limit on your meetings, tell her you'd love to meet up but you have to leave by x time as you have a previous arrangement/errand to run, or say you can only chat on the phone for a short time as you're in the middle of something. When you meet up perhaps you could go for a walk/play with the kids in the park with her as some exercise may help her depression a little.
I'd cut the visits/calls to as often as you feel you can handle without it dragging you down, no more. If after an hour you've had enough, GO! It's draining being a friend to someone like this so I think there's only so much of it anyone can take tbh. You do have to consider the effect on you and if it's negative, cut the contact down a bit and spend time with people who make you feel good.
Also I think that it would be good for you to protect yourself a bit from her negativity. Spend more time with friends that are happy and fun to keep your spirits up. Perhaps don't tell her about your problems as it's not helpful to be always given the impression that your problems are nothing compared to someone elses, get advice from people that you know will be sympathetic and supportive (Mumsnet perhaps?).
thanks for your advice.
The visits are very rare, its the phone calls and msn that it is mainly.
I do care about her, she has at least 3 friends that have dropped her in the last year.
I do find it difficult to end the phone conversations, and I like to keep msn on as I have other friends who I like to chat to.
I think the time limit is a good idea, I must admit while I phone I have open door and run doorbell just to get away
You could try refusing to be her doormat, if you really want to stay in touch with her.
When you've had enough droning on msn or phone either change the subject or say "sorry I have to go now". If you get a depressing pointless text just ignore it. I would guess she will either get stroppy about it - in which you can tell her how she makes you feel - or stop doing it. It isn't actually good for her anyway to keep going on and on about how awful her life is - bran's idea of time limits or meeting in the park would be good for both of you.
Does she have any other friends?
If you set your msn status to "away" after you've said you have to go, she won't know if you are still there talking to others - if she still tries to chat you don't have to reply.
lol at ringing the doorbell - if that's the only way you can escape, do that! (I sympathise, I am bad at getting off too, I've been known to sit rolling my eyes at others in the room while someone bangs on about something pointless on the other end. And they never have any probs terminating the conversation themselves!)
Don't think your being unsupportive at all, seems like you have been very supportive.
It can be difficult being friends with someone with depression, I have a few friends that suffer myself. It can be draining, but luckily I can switch off, which I know other people are unable to do.
You have to think of yourself first, and it definately seems to be having a negative effect on you. Perhaps phase the friendship out, definately see less of her, as for msn, cant you tell your other friends that when it says away try and see if your actually there, I often click mine to away when I am busy. I have tried clicking busy but just get messages "Oh what you doing, busy doing what".
FWIW I have done the doorbell thing myself.
just a thought u can block her from MSN and only talk to her when u want to.
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