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If a friend treats you badly- what to do?(22 Posts)
I am reaching the end of my tether with an old friend. I am in danger of over reacting and need some keep-cool strategies. We had words some months ago - what should have been supportive chats turned into criticisms of each other - but I made a huge effort to make up- sent a card etc and to all intents and purposes it's behind us. Except I can tell it isn't. I've carried on behaving as normal- keeping up the contact ( we live sone distance apart) but she is behaving in a very off hand manner. She's cancelled a meeting we had planned, and when I call her she is often busy or on her way out,(genuinely) and promises to call back- you'd assume the same day from her tone of voice, but no, it's days later.
I feel she is pushing me away or even using controlling passive-aggressive behaviour. I don't want a show down, but neither do I want to behave like a mug who is ready to talk to her when she calls.
I did. We were supposed to meet and I had to re-arrange- but she refused saying the day I offered isn't convenient for her any more- and didn't suggest another. I work and have kids- she doesn't.
She's obviously still got a chip on her shoulder. If you really want to keep the friendship alive then you're probably going to have to be the one to force the issue, meet up and lay your cards on the table.
But then the stubborn part of me thinks that you've done your part, now time for her to do hers. I'd personally leave the ball in her court and stop chasing her. If she values your friendship as much as you do, she will be in touch. If not, meh.
If I'm ever in a situation like this (luckily not) I like to think I'd apply the same standards I'd have when it comes to romantic relationships, and if it was a partner treating me this way, there's no way I'd still be chasing him. Ignoring cards/apologies, dodging calls and meeting up, not treating you with any priority, holding onto grudges etc.
Yes Leave that is exactly how I feel. I know she will call sometime- but when it suits her and not exactly rushing to do so. I think her behaviour is passive aggressive. I suppose I am unsure of how to react when she does call - I could of course be " busy" myself though that would appear very obvious. I suppose the best response is to talk as normal, ( even though I will feel annoyed) but then hold back from making any more moves and let her do some running.
How much do you value the friendship and for what reasons? I posted about a similar thing a few months ago. MNers advised me to let friend do the running. It was really hard as I'm not usually like that - I tend to forgive & forget & always make first move. It was really hard, but I waited until friend got back in touch with me. I received a nice text & cautiously resumed the friendship. It has been on a more even keel since then and I feel less of a mug. Hope this helps! Good luck & let us know how you get on!
I do value the friendship as it's a long one ( I know that's not a reason for keeping it going in itself) but TBH I don't much " like" where she is now in her life (won't go into the long details) and it has made me see her in a different light.
Over the years I think I have made more of the running- despite having more ties and commitments. For instance she lives in a big city so I'd tend to shop etc and use it as an opportunity to see her too. But I could probably count on one hand the number of times over 20 years she has offered to come and visit me, and when she has she has always had to dash home for something which really she could have missed.
I suppose I am always left with the feeling that she gives me the dregs of her time , despite her saying recently that she had always put in 50% to the friendship- it's not how I see it, and I've just had enough now.
If this was a boyfriend rather than a friend you'd be quite entitled to dump them. I think sometimes friendships drag on way past their natural end. Leave her be, consign her to the Christmas card list and make some new friends...
She's obviously not over your argument and has dropped you. Best to let it go for now and if she comes back
wanting something you can decide whether you want to go back there.
It may be that you might be distant for a while and then renew your friendship when your lives are more on the same page. If not, it's always nice to have Xmas cards .
Yes, she is pushing you away, by the sounds of it.
Why are you still chasing her?
I wouldn't call her behaviour "controlling": she is entitled to call you when it's convenient for her, or not at all if that's what she chooses.
Likewise, you only need to contact her when it's convenient for you. And once you've put a ball in her court, leave it there; don't lob another one over.
I read another thread a few days ago where a MNer wanted to drop a friend, and she was told to do exactly what your friend is doing to you.
Saying she is too busy, not making concrete plans to meet, always on the way out when you call, and not returning calls when she says.
This is the advice the MNer was given to drop the friend in a non-confrontational way.
Perhaps the friendship you had had limped on for long enough, and the row just was the last straw.
It sounds horrible to be 'dumped' like this, however it sounds like the friendship had run its course. Perhaps it isn't worth fighting for, and maybe dropping the friendship would be best for both of you.
I've been in the situation your'e in, and my friend was trying to do what is called in dating circles , the 'slow fade'.
It's very painful to be on the receiving end and for me, I'd have preferred to be told whatever her reasons were.
So I agree that it does sound as if the friendship has run it's course.
Let it go. You may find that after some time she's ready to try to build some bridges. By then you may not be interested in rebuilding the friendship anyway.
I'd agree 100% with all of that except I thought we were over our row. She phoned to say she appreciated the card etc I sent and for a few weeks she was pretty much back to how we were- I was very conscious not to run after her and made sure I took it in turns to call etc- one call from me for every one from her etc. and didn't chase if she was out and had to leave a message etc on her phone. But since those first few weeks when we seemed normal she has back pedalled- rings me when she has another appt to go to, so the chat has to be short etc. I have to admit that even before our row- for years and years- she has sometimes not returned calls very promptly. I've acccepted that but now it seems more meaningful. ie If you call someone at say 10am and they say they have to go out but will call you later, you expect they mean that day or the next- not 4 days later and you still haven't had a call.
You've realised that the friendship was uneven ie you did more of the running. You are 20 years in and that premise is now set in concrete - she won't take kindly to you changing it. Step right back - if you want a friendship with her, but don't want it on the same terms it has always been, you'll have to give the friendship (or her) space to adjust. If she doesn't adjust then you know your answer. You don't want the friendship on the terms it has been on, and if she doesn't respond, then she doesn't want to adjust, she wants the friendship how it was.
I have lost my oldest friend because of an awakening on my part and her unwillingness to adjust. It's painful, no question. I also took steps (or held back) to address an inequality in another old friendship and she has responded well, we are on a much more equal footing. I didn't specifically address the difficulties with the friendship that has adjusted, though I did address things with my oldest friend. Maybe that determined the outcome?
It takes time to get over big rows, and clearly she isn't over it yet. Don't pressure her or she'll just get annoyed with you... whereas if you leave it for a bit she may start thinking 'Actually I'd quite like to see MrsJimmyChoo again.'
Thanks. All very good advice. So another one now- ask the audience! So if and when she calls would you behave a) as normal- warm and friendly b) slightly cool and in a rush maybe c) ask why it has taken her so long to call back and if anything is up?
How do you want to behave?
If you are happy when she calls and feel warm towards her, then do that.
If you are unhappy to have her as a friend now, then beg off the call or don't pick up.
If you want to have a confrontation and have something specific you hope to achieve with it, then do that.
There's no formula. How do you feel about her? What do you want?
I think you need to sit and think about that conversation you both had.
Sounds as though you've said something that she's taken huge offence to and you've then carried on afterwards as though everything is ok and normal. I would think that you have really offended her and hurt her so she's backing away from you - possibly seeing any double standards in your friendship after that discussion.
Mole- have you read the thread? Yes we had a row, but we made up- or so I thought. I apologised- and so did she. There were words from each of us at the time- not totally one-sided.
I don't know what you mean by double standards in the friendship.
I've done what I can to make amends. I want to be friends and thought she did too. Now it looks as if that was not the case in which case although inbetween the row and now we have had several " normal" phone chats that were quite long, some of which were inititated by her.
If she were a man and this was dating, I'd say she was giving mixed messages and I no longer knew where I stood. I want her as a friend but I have some self respect and don't want to be at her beck and call, just as and when she feels like being a friend. That's all.
I'm in a similar-ish situation with a friend of mine. We go back a long way, but her life has changed a lot in the past few years. I've gradually become more aware that there are things about her that I really don't like - she's become increasingly self-centred, prone to making snippy remarks about my (almost grown-up) DCs - we've always had different approaches to parenting but I've never criticised hers). A couple of 'last straws' ( a realisation that it tended to be me making the running in suggesting get-togethers, even though my life was massively busier than hers, and then a catty email remark from her about a life-change I was planning) led to me deciding to let it drop and wait to hear from her. I haven't (heard from her) and I think the friendship has run its course. No point wasting any emotional energy fretting - just let it go and get on with your life.
Let her contact you and when she does sound positive and cheerful and resolve to yourself to show no malice. Whatever, was said has upset her and she can't get passed it yet so let her be and once she is over it I'm sure she'll be in touch.
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