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If you have a friend who is very self-involved ...

(17 Posts)
LongGrass Sat 30-Jul-16 13:50:53

to the point where you have to hold the phone away during various points in the monologue conversation as she goes on about various aspects of her life. I also know that mostly when we meet or speak she can't wait to mainly talk about herself, even interrupting the few things I do say!
Luckily i don't talk to her much on the phone - once every couple of months. And only see her a few times a year (its enough).

She's not a bad person. She's can be interesting and funny if self-involved. I don't confide too much in her as I don't think she really gets me. But we go back a long way and I have few people in my life I can share that kinda history.

I would also add I don't have many other friends myself. Probably various reasons. Circumstances. Maybe being a bit unconventional (in a good way I hope!). Underconfident in life - though better these days. I would also add I'm middle-aged, have health problems and have less opportunity for new relationships.

I don't quite know what I am asking blush. In some ways I am happy with my own company and can get easily drained by others. But somewhere I feel or wish I should have better friends.

Have you ever tried mentioning it to her?

And, yes, I think we've all had at least one friend like that. grin

LongGrass Sat 30-Jul-16 15:26:43

I did allude to it last time i saw her. She got quite angry "well I listened to you talking about blah blah!" I think if I told her the real truth, sometimes its just a monologue that wears me out, she might find it too difficult to take. Maybe I could be honest. But I think she's one of these people that doesn't like honesty too much maybe... Just the way she is. I might mention it again. Might mean the end of the friendship. But maybe thats a risk worth taking. I don't know!

LongGrass Sat 30-Jul-16 15:29:55

as a result this time i spoke to her she actually asked me how i was properly for a few minutes - it was nice. but only to begin with! Then the next 30 minutes was really about her.

hooliodancer Sat 30-Jul-16 15:36:36

It seems that what you are saying is that this friend is a bit draining and selfish, but you don't have that many friends so don't want to lose her?

I had a friend like that, phone monologues, kicking off if anyone criticised her. It was annoying, but I loved her as a friend- we were very close, spoke a lot, went on holiday together. But I realised I was on eggshells around her all the time. Eventually, I just withdrew. And it is telling that after 20 years of friendship she never asked why! I do sometimes miss the friendship, but actually the care was all one way. She, I realised, had never actually done anything for me, whereas I had done lots for her. I think she has narcissistic tendencies to be honest.

ZBWRDSM Sat 30-Jul-16 15:39:36

If you don't have many friends and health problems and you say you don't confide in her, what do you talk to her about in relation to your life?

Maybe what you see as a self-involved monologue is her trying to keep the chat going with a friend who herself isn't volunteering stuff.

I have a particular relationship with a friend of mine that sounds very like yours - to the point where I was wondering if you were my friend and you were talking about me!!! Your last post reassured me it wasn't me!!!

However, my friend doesn't get out much and has quite a difficult life for various reasons. She doesn't have a great deal to talk about. So when we meet up I end up speaking most of the time and chattering away about the crap I get up to. I try to keep it full of funny anecdotes to cheer her up. That's my way of trying to keep the conversation going and not let it drift into silences or let her get too morose about her life difficulties. I'm not like that with my other friends - it's just a function of our dynamic together.

Maybe you should try opening up to your friend more and confiding in her a bit more - it could change the way you interact.

If you have a shared history and she's interesting I wouldn't cut her off particularly if you have few friends.

LongGrass Sat 30-Jul-16 15:42:01

yes i think you kindof summed it up in first sentence hoolio i think she has narcissistic tendencies, low on the spectrum, but still. ironically she works in social services and thinks she's very clued up on all that kind of thing!!!! so my situation sounds similar to what you say. We had a gap of a few years in our friendship as a result of her being annoying angry lol.

i guess i just have to keep my distance. its a bit eggshelly though like you say. Its kind of hard to explain. I like seeing her in some ways as I'm a bit isolated. but within a short time i realise she is not really truly interested in me at all. Or thats how I feel. its a very strange dynamic.

LongGrass Sat 30-Jul-16 15:47:51

I'm not morose ZB. I'm quite a chatty person IRL and I do have a life even if its not very conventional. Said friend just interrupts and even talks over me. Never had this issue with anyone else in past or present! But I just think our recent chat probably highlighted my lack of true friendships sad.

Ragwort Sat 30-Jul-16 15:50:48

My mother is like that grin - she just never stops talking !! I now say in a firm but 'jokey' way - 'my turn to speak now' or 'can I possibly get a word in'.

But from your other comments maybe it is time to try and make some new friendships or get involved in different activities?

FramptonRose Sat 30-Jul-16 16:22:49

I have an friend like that.
She is very self involved, constantly talks about herself. Very annoying, it took me about a year to find out how bad she was.
I made a decision to distance myself from her, not easy as we have children at the same school.
She is not a horrible person but hard work and I find her quite draining, she is one of these people that is so desperate for you to know what an amazing husband/children/job she has. The reality is her marriage isn't as painted with roses as she would have you believe, her children have turned out to be quite sly and she works horrendous hours for very little money.
I always think it is her way of trying to tell herself her life is perfect, the thing is no ones life is perfect and we all have arguments/children drive us mad and work can be crap. You don't have to put on this big front.
People see through it and you just become annoying.
I have found since I backed away from the relationship, making myself busy (to be fair I actually am busy most of the time) she doesn't irritate me as much.

emsyj Sat 30-Jul-16 16:27:35

Sometimes I think you have to let a person go in order to make room for someone new in your life. In the past when I have ditched a crap friend, a new and nicer one has cropped up somehow.
Many years ago, when I was in my early 20s, I had a 'friend' like the one you describe. She would dictate when we met up, where we went, what we did, what we ordered in restaurants/bars/cafes. She never asked about me or my life, I used to dread hearing from her although at first it didn't happen too often (we met at a summer job in our mutual home town and I had just finished uni, she was just starting, so she was away all term for the first few years). When she moved back home after uni, she said how nice it would be and we could meet up more often!!! I decided at that point that I had to just cut her out as I couldn't face seeing her every couple of weeks (her suggestion).
I would ditch her and scope around for other friends. Self-absorbed friends are just a drain.

Lorelei76 Sat 30-Jul-16 16:42:18

what do you think she is like underneath it all?

I have a friend who is quite hyper and talks 100 miles an hour. Tbh I met her through work and she asked me to go out one weekend and I didn't actually like her (!) but she wanted to take me out to thank me because she felt I'd done her a big favour in a tough situation.

so i went and I got the sense her heart was in the right place, but she talked non stop about herself.

one day I pointed it out, she was quite upset and asked other friends and they said "yep, you talk about yourself so much it's hard to get a word in".

We're still really good friends and she's learned to stop and take a breath! grin

so is it worth raising again with this person? You may instinctively know the answer to that.

LongGrass Sat 30-Jul-16 20:23:07

Thanks for your messages everyone, it was nice.

As I said I did raise it with her last time I saw her but she got somewhat angry. Underneath it all I would say she is rather self-involved and defensive, rather than a well-meaning chatterbox.

I think the thing is just to distance myself more. I don't think she really wants to be "friends". Sortof likes to keep tabs on me, if that makes sense.

Surprised myself this afternoon by suddenly feeling a bit tearful. These are the kind of friends I have. Its a bit sad really. But c'est la vie.

It was good to post my thoughts here. Thanks again.

LongGrass Sat 30-Jul-16 20:23:55


You'll make more friends! smile

You mention "unconventional" - any chance you can meet people through that sphere/hobby/lifestyle?

BTW, there's a Mumsnet expression: "People are either radiators or drains". And you said it yourself; she can be very draining. So, even if she's not "evil" her effect on your life is not good for you. If you deemphasise her impact, and find better friends (the first one being YOU! smile ), you'll feel better about yourself.

LongGrass Sun 31-Jul-16 13:51:50

Thanks Preemptive smile

crazyhead Sun 31-Jul-16 16:45:00

Is she kind in other ways or just selfish? Is she unhappy/always like this or ebbs and flows?

Personally I'd just do a couple of small 'you' things lolled an evening class where you get to chat to people and focus on new stuff, just so you are a bit less invested.

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