Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Control freak friend?

(9 Posts)
dumdidumdum Thu 31-Dec-15 09:14:49

I have a friend who is lovely in many ways but i think she is maybe a bit of a control freak and I'm not sure how to deal with it. Examples of behaviour i think are controlling: we never do anything i suggest, if we are out for coffee and she wants cake she insists she buys the cake herself (if it's my turn to get the coffee) yet if the roles are reversed she won't let me pay for my cake, she has a car and I don't so i sometimes get lifts from her yet when I say i don't want a lift she gets stroppy about it.

I know these are all small things and she hasn't always been like this but I've slowly realised that these days it has to be her way or nothing. I think friendship should be a bit of give and take and everything evens out in the end so i think i'd like some insight into whether this is normal behaviour and if not why some people feel the need to have everything go their own way.

Joysmum Thu 31-Dec-15 09:18:07

I don't see that as controlling, I see that as guilt she wants north an the agreed coffee and a wish to want to treat you too.

It would never occur to me this could be seen as controlling. How does it control you? confused

Cabrinha Thu 31-Dec-15 09:26:06

I do the cake thing - or rather, I have to really hold back from doing the cake thing!
I hate other people paying for me - I feel I'm taking the piss, should always pay my own way. I struggle not to. Yet at the same time I love to treat people and am naturally generous. Add in that I earn more than my best friend and my boyfriend, so I'm more inclined to want to treat them too.
I am aware I do it, not least because both of them laugh at my one rule me, another for them... and call me on it.

Being totally honest here, in the past I think part of my generosity has been trying to "buy" friendship. I think they'll like me more if I treat them. I'm over that now, but it was a real thing for me. Didn't make me a bad person. But it wasn't a good thing to do and I've moved on from it now.

Talk to her? Call her on it? As I say, my friends are close enough to say "oh stop being a fucking hypocrite and let me but you a sodding cake you muppet".

dumdidumdum Thu 31-Dec-15 09:38:21

joysmum it feels controlling because one day it's 'no i can't possibly let you pay for my cake i insist on paying for it myself' and then a few weeks later its 'no i can't possibly let you pay for your cake i insist on buying it for you.' It's done with such determination that there is no room for negotiation. On it's own it wouldn't be a problem but it's the build up of me feeling like things are only ever done her way that is starting to be a problem.

Cabrinha i've tried to call her on it but she won't back down.

Joysmum Thu 31-Dec-15 09:45:30

Yes but how is that controlling? It doesn't control you.

Theydontknowweknowtheyknow Thu 31-Dec-15 09:51:21

OP. I have a friend like that and it drives me nuts. She refuses a present for her birthday because she doesn't want to be indebted.

Another take on it is that some people regard giving as actually a nice feeling, it gives one a feeling of generosity and like you said, of being in control. But if you won't accept presents in return it doesn't allow others that nice feeling and is unfair IMO.

Have you asked your friend why she never let's you pay?

Lovewearingjeans Thu 31-Dec-15 10:19:55

I have a friend like this I am struggling with at the moment, and I can see how people on the outside might not see it as a problem, but it is hard when you can't do everything right by them. I have no answers, just to say you aren't the only one!

dumdidumdum Thu 31-Dec-15 10:21:54

Maybe controlling is the wrong word but it removes my option to ever do anything nice for her.

Theydon'tknow I've also had a token birthday gift returned because she didn't want to be indebted yet she will never take petrol money from me and refuses to let me buy her a piece of cake. I've tried asking her why she won't let me pay at the time but maybe i need to bring it up at a more neutral moment.

HPsauciness Thu 31-Dec-15 10:29:27

Honestly? This is the way your friend is, we all have our foibles and our issues, and if she is a good friend in other ways, I would just put up with this and love the rest of her friendship. I don't in general think the role of friends is to change each other, that's one of the nice things about my friends, just that I'm accepted. I wouldn't be happy about you continually mentioning this or bringing it up, it's just not that big of a deal and as others have said, how is it actually affecting you?

If you want to move on a little from the friendship, then just see her less, don't start putting conditions on her changing, it won't work anyway.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: