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Would you be upset at this or am I expecting too much?

(38 Posts)
MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Tue 02-Oct-12 13:46:48

I am not a needy person at all. I don't normally cry or have many problems or expect people to drop everything for me or arrange things around me.

However the other day I had a crisis; a family member was rushed to hospital and I was really worried, and was feeling very low and tearful. I decided to phone someone who is a good friend, or so I thought. She is quite needy in some ways and I have been there for her many a time and stayed on the phone to her for hours. I have also helped her practically in many ways. As I've been there for her and thought we were good friends I assumed she'd be there for me too.

Anyway, I phoned her, and burst into tears. This is very unlike me, and I don't think she's ever known me to cry before. I started to tell her what had happened and she seemed really bored and said 'Sorry but can I stop you there. I don't mean to be rude but I'm a bit busy at the moment. Don't let it get to you, I'm sure they'll be fine' and basically couldn't wait to put the phone down on me. She hasn't contacted me since.

I feel really disappointed as I thought we were good friends, and obviously I will be shifting her down my friends list quite a bit. I don't want any falling out at all but I won't be bending over backwards to do anything for her again. DH says I expect too much from people. I think perhaps I give a lot to my friendships then wrongly assume that others might do the same. I don't expect everyone to drop everything for me but a bit of time/understanding would be nice.

Am I expecting too much?

nickeldaisical Tue 02-Oct-12 13:50:58

no, you're not expecting too much.

she sounds self-centred, really.

A good friend would try to drop everything on hearing you cry. A good friend wouldn't just fob you off, even if they were busy. they would say "oh, i'm really sorry I can't chat now - I will come round tonight and you can offload" then turn up with wine and pizza.

she doesn't sound like a good friend.

rubyslippers Tue 02-Oct-12 13:55:29

I don't think you are being unreasonable

Expecting sympathy whilst you cry from a friend is not strange or expecting too much

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Tue 02-Oct-12 13:55:57

When I reflect on the friendship she is very self-centred, nickel. Lots of things have to be on her terms and when it suits her. I'm fairly easy going and often go along with things but I'm going to stop that with her. I'll start telling her the nights she suggests aren't convenient, that kind of thing, so she learns I'm not a pushover.

Looking at things, I'd say most of my closest friends are the same as her; very self centred and won't actually do anything for me, it's all about them. I hear about people with lovely friends that are there for them and will do anything for them and I feel quite envious sometimes.

Groovee Tue 02-Oct-12 13:56:06

Oh my goodness she is not a friend. Next time she needs you do the same or don't answer. Hope your family member is ok x

coppertop Tue 02-Oct-12 13:56:49

No, you're not expecting too much.

Even if she'd been incredibly busy when you phoned, she could easily have contacted you since then. Even a text asking how you and/or your relative were would be better than nothing.

I would be taking a giant step back from this one-sided 'friendship'. I suspect you'll hear from her again when she wants something from you.

Hope your family member is okay now.

nickeldaisical Tue 02-Oct-12 14:00:43

in that case, none of them are friends.

it doesn't matter if you hang around with this kind of person, it's fine to have "mates" but i suppose you have to reconcile yourself to the fact that you know they're not real friends.
I don't have that many friends who I could turn to in times of need, even though I know I would help most people. It's worth having a think about if you do have any friends that you can turn to.
It's the best way of finding out who your real friends are.

don't feel envious of others, though, it'll make you feel worse.

and yes, definitely start putting yourself first smile

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Tue 02-Oct-12 14:09:48

Thank you all so much for the replies. I'm glad it's not me expecting too much. I've always been of the 'treat others as you'd like to be treated yourself' school of thought, and it's just so hurtful when so-called friends don't give me the same courtesy.

I'm not sure which of my friends I can rely on in all honesty.

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Tue 02-Oct-12 14:11:12

I'm definitely going to put some boundaries firmly in place with this friend. When she next calls and starts talking I'm going to start cutting her off and saying 'I don't mean to be rude but I'm in the middle of something', and I'm going to be less easy going when she wants to make arrangements with me.

claudedebussy Tue 02-Oct-12 14:18:29

it really hurts when friends don't reciprocate. but now you know.

BethFairbright Tue 02-Oct-12 14:21:24

I'd be much more direct than that.

I'd tell her that you were very hurt by her response and her lack of contact thereafter. Depending on her reaction, re-evaluate the friendship from that point onwards. If she gets defensive or fails to apologise, stop being friends with her. If she apologises and gives reasons for her behaviour that seem reasonable, start afresh but with renewed expectations of one another. She'll respect you far more for dealing with it that way and you'll respect yourself more too.

Don't start playing tit-for-tat games without giving her the opportunity to explain her behaviour. Confront the situation and make a decision.

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Tue 02-Oct-12 14:23:25

Hmmm, I'm really not good at confrontation tbh BethFairbright, much as I would like to be. Any confrontations of that vein that I've had in the past have ended up with the other person getting in a huff and never talking to me again. Our kids are friends, we live quite near each other, it'd just make it awkward. I'd rather just let it drift a bit.

BethFairbright Tue 02-Oct-12 14:34:31

Maybe that's partly the problem then Mrs. Mangel. I can't respect people who are bad at confrontation and so I don't choose them as friends. If I was a bit unscrupulous though, I might abuse their dislike of confrontation and walk all over them. If they started being passive-aggressive and playing games, I'd probably just drop them eventually, or keep the friendship at a very superficial level.

How about you try behaving differently and seeing whether that makes for better friendships with people who respect you and know where they stand with you?

putthelimeinthecoconut Tue 02-Oct-12 14:35:59

No you're definitely not expecting too much! How horrible. I can be a bit rubbish when people cry, mainly because I feel helpless and don't know what to do but I would never behave like that and if I was genuinely too busy to talk there and then I would definitely have rang or sent a text later on to check if you were ok.
I think you should seriously consider whether you want someone like that in your life and certainly not be so available if she has problems. I have had something like this with a couple of my friends recently, having split with my boyfriend I dropped it into conversation but it was totally ignored, haven't heard from them since! It hurt and it's made me view the friendships in a different way.
I think when you're a strong person who doesn't talk about your problems much people can forget that sometimes you need support too!

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Tue 02-Oct-12 14:37:33

I wasn't planning on being passive aggressive, just giving her less priority than I have done in the past. :-)

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Tue 02-Oct-12 14:39:04

putthelimeinthecoconut, that is a very good point. In general I am quite a strong person and don't really feel like I'm very needy. I think perhaps it takes people by surprise if I'm in need of support.

Adversecamber Tue 02-Oct-12 14:43:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Firawla Tue 02-Oct-12 14:47:58

that's awful of her, if she was really a good friend no way would she behave like that. if you do still want to keep her as a friend personally i would just tell her straight that you were really upset with the way she behaved, she what she says..
hope your relative is okay now thanks brew

putthelimeinthecoconut Tue 02-Oct-12 14:57:01

I'm the same, I usually deal with things on my own if I can. I actually find it quite hard open up to other people so it's hard to ask for help. I do wonder if that makes me more sensitive to responses and I think if the friend in question is quite a naturally emotional person they might not realise how big a deal it is. Not that that excuses being a bad friend of course.

HumilityYetStrength Wed 03-Oct-12 00:41:25


But why compromise on your own principles by responding in any way in kind? You need to be yourself - although you can step away a bit - and see if she will let you see her own true colours.

Don't forget though - people are really complicated, and she might have felt inadequate to help her strong, normally confident friend. Or just have had indigestion and not been brave enough to apoogise afterwards. If you want to know, you'll have to give it time.

Meanwhile, your true friends are not those you thought were like you, or funny, or pretty, but those who show they care.

Smeghead Wed 03-Oct-12 01:05:02

If you were my friend then I would straight away ask if you wanted me to come round.
I am disgusted that she would take and take and take and then be so horrible the one time you needed her. She is no friend. Sorry sad

And I am bloody pissed off at your DH too. Just because you are one of natures copers doesnt mean that you should never ask sometimes.

Hugs xx

piprabbit Wed 03-Oct-12 01:11:20

It is possible that the friend genuinely wasn't in a position to talk at that moment. If she had apologised for being busy and promised to call back asap (and she kept that promise), there wouldn't be a problem.

But she really doesn't sound as if she cares.

Thumbwitch Wed 03-Oct-12 01:21:32

Wow, what an utterly unfeeling response from her! shock

Unfortunately there are a fairly large number of people for whom misery is one-way traffic - they're happy to offload as much as they can on others but have no capacity to listen to anyone else's problems. Not a friend, really - more of an emotional leech.

So sorry you had that experience with her and yes, I would have been upset too. I'd give her a fairly wide berth from now on, and I'd be loath to listen to her woes next time she has a problem.

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Wed 03-Oct-12 09:52:51

Thanks everyone

I've been thinking about this overnight, and I think I am going to pull back from the friendship a bit. I'll still socialise with her, but I think next time she phones up wanting to talk for hours I won't be as accommodating, and nor will I be doing her any practical favours.

I think, in general, she is a very self centred person, and I don't think talking to her would achieve anything. I'd rather just back off a little, and at least I know now to keep things fairly superficial as she's shown her true colours.

schobe Wed 03-Oct-12 09:57:25

Do you really get a lot out of socialising with her?

I would struggle to forgive that kind of response tbh and would tell her so and stop hanging out with her. God maybe I'm a bit black and white about these things, but with friends like that....

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