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Why are so many people so selfish?

(13 Posts)
ILoatheMickeyMouseClubhouse Sat 01-Oct-11 16:38:26

And why is it so difficult to find proper friends, that aren't just in a friendship for what they can get from you or that don't just act in a completely selfish way all the time as if the world revolves around them?

I have done so many nice things lately for so-called friends, and haven't had so much as a thank you. I am quite an assertive person but I like to think I'm a decent person who treats friends well. But so many just seem to take things for granted. For example one friend had a birthday recently so I organised a lunch for her, and invited some other friends. We all took presents for her and paid for her meal, yet she was totally non-plussed and I didn't even get a thank you for it or for the present. Said friend is also always late when we meet up, always forgets her purse so I buy her a drink etc. And I feel that I'm just being used.

Another friend and I went out last night to a dance class and she realised she had forgotten her purse, so she just said "Oh you'll have to pay for me", which I stupidly did, and she didn't utter a word of thanks, nor did she offer to pay me back.

So many people are just out for themselves and it's really annoying me. It makes me feel like being selfish too but I really don't want to be as I don't think it's a pleasant way to be.

ImperialBlether Sat 01-Oct-11 16:47:06

Your friends really aren't very nice people.

When your friend at the dance class said that, she had an absolute cheek. What did she mean "You'll have to pay for me"? You should have told her you didn't have any other money with you.

As for the other one, the one with the party, I hope that's the last you do for her.

ILoatheMickeyMouseClubhouse Sat 01-Oct-11 16:51:02

I really wish I'd have said that to her ImperialBlether, but me being me I said "yes, no problem", could kick myself really now. And with the other one, absolutely, I'm not doing anything more for her now, will just keep in contact on a very superficial basis but the friendship as such is over.

I find that so many people these days are like that, or aren't nice people and sometimes I think, are my standards too high, or do I just have to accept that people are like that, but then I remind myself that I'd rather have no friends than friends that don't behave like friends.

rookiemater Sat 01-Oct-11 16:53:35

Sorry OP that you are in this situation. If I were you I'd draw back a bit, organise things a little less, be a bit less accomodating. In the situation with the friend, I'd have been a bit stunned at the time, but would have said "Ok you can get next week then".
I don't wait more than half an hour for anybody, just go home next time she is late. If she "forgets" her purse then buy one drink and then say you need to go home as you can't afford to pay for both of you, or even better just don't arrange to meet up, if she is still keen she can do it and you can laughingly say " don't forget your purse"

Also get an assertiveness book and get some stock phrases.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Sat 01-Oct-11 16:55:57

There's a vast difference between 'selfish' and 'self-preservation'.

If one of my friends is in need I'll gladly supply whatever is lacking - but if no gratitude is shown and the needy friend makes repeated demands on my time/money, I will discontinue my association with them without a second thought.

Some people are users - they take but never give. As it sounds very much as if the first friend you've mentioned falls into that category, I suggest you put the lid on any future dealings with them.

Some people can be thick-skinned which is why, in the case of the friend whose dancing class you paid for last night, I'd have no hesitation in asking for repayment the next time I met up with them - or reminding them of their debt while making arrangements for a future outing.

I tend to believe that what goes around comes around, but that doesn't mean that we have to go out of our way to please those who see kindness as weakness.

Ultimately, if any 'friend' or acquaintance of mine behaved 'as if the world revolves around them' I'd be the first to get off the spinning globe.

squeakytoy Sat 01-Oct-11 16:59:11

Yup, you need to be assertive. If your mate pulls that trick again, make sure you have just got the right money in your pocket beforehand (keep your purse hidden), and say "oh, well I cant pay for you, I have only got enough for me... shall I take you home for your purse." In fact, next week, as you meet her, say "you got your purse with you this week missus, its your turn to pay", and say it with a big wide smile. See what she says to that...

TimeForMeIsFree Sat 01-Oct-11 17:00:22

I think you have to learn to be a little bit selfish yourself. Be kinder to yourself rather than your friends and stop being so generous. I know it can be difficult and it goes against the grain of someone who is so kind hearted but, trust me, you will feel so much better for it. And you might find your friends respect you more for it too.

I used to be very much like you and it made me feel the same way as you too. These days I only give if I am happy not to receive anything in return. I look after me first. That doesn't make me a bad person or any less of a kind and caring person, it makes me sensible wink

DontGoCurly Sat 01-Oct-11 17:17:09

I think it'd down to upbringing.

Some parents bring up their kids to be greedy and selfish. Others bring them up to put others first. Neither is right actually.

My Mother brought us up to put everyone else first and we were eaten alive in the real world. It's hard to break the habit. But now I just assume everyone is in the 'put themselves first' camp and try not to be a doormat any more!

Not saying you're a doormat but don't assume everyone is altruistic because most are not.

TimeForMeIsFree Sat 01-Oct-11 18:00:06

I was deprived of love and affection as a child, that made me needy and work hard for it. I would try to buy my mothers love and approval by buying her flowers and gifts with my babysitting money. That's what started it for me.

Learning how to say "No" was the best thing I ever did.

bluelaguna Sat 01-Oct-11 18:19:10

You need to "man up" as my DH would put it.

I have had similar happen to me and I have gone so far as to cut one person out of my life who used me.

Now, I really hold back from other people because there are so many selfish horrible ones. You sound really nice OP and that makes you the perfect target. I am not so nice anymore grin. I will say no and I will not do stuff just because someone has had the cheek to ask me.

bluelaguna Sat 01-Oct-11 18:24:28

Re the purse thing - all you need so say is "no, sorry, I can't".

Alternatively if there is a next time at this dance class, say to "friend" - I paid for the both of us last time, so you pay for the both of us this time.

garlicslutty Sat 01-Oct-11 19:18:03

No, I don't think most people are like that at all. Both the friends you described are users, by the sound of it, and are not friends. What about the other friends who came to the birthday luch? Ae they all users, or decent people?

You said you're assertive but I really think you could do with brushing up your skills.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 02-Oct-11 18:17:01

Sadly this was always my experience of women friends too, I havent got any women friends now, and my sil doesnt like me either.

I just dont fit in somehow.

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