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Would anyone mind critiquing this message for me please?

(41 Posts)
Froney Mon 13-Jul-20 12:32:33

I have a friend of about 15 years standing, I consider her to be my best friend, and I think (or thought) she considered me to be one of hers.

Over the last 5 years I've had several awful things happen to me (dh dying, both parents dying, cancer scare) and she's been there for me. She's had awful stuff happen too - ever since I've known her she's had one particular issue that will never be resolved and I've done my utmost to help her with it. Over the last two years, this issue has been compounded for her by some health issues that are causing her a lot of stress, but which no one can find an answer for. Before lockdown we saw each other at least once a week, more often if there was anything going on with which either of us needed help. We texted/spoke most days.

At the beginning of lockdown we were in touch as often as usual and I was doing errands for her as she was worried to go out. But gradually, contact has lessened between us and I don't know why. I don't want to pressure her - she owes me nothing - and when she does text me she says nice things like she misses me etc. I reply, and then - nothing. I haven't heard from her for 10 days now (mine was the last message to her) and I feel terribly sad sad. So I'm thinking of sending this message to her. Is it over the top? Does it sound as if I'm pressuring her or making demands? Any suggestions? Thank you very much for reading:

I don't know how to say this without sounding completely up myself, or without seeming very self obsessed, or without sounding as if I'm making demands or criticising (which is the absolute last thing I want to do as I know that you have so much on your plate) but have I offended you in some way? I have this awful feeling that I might have become your "Sarah" and I'm not getting the hint!

I think of you as my closest friend, and the friend I admire and like the most, but I just feel there's a distance growing and I don't know why. Is it because of all the R stuff that I keep going on about? Or is it because I always have some issue/drama to moan about? I'm really sorry if I've been so wrapped up in all my shit that I've not been a good friend. I want to help you, I want to be there for you in any way I can, and I'm really very sorry if I haven't been.

Sometimes when we're together I want to ask you questions about you and your life and your feelings (eg about D and your relationship and how you really feel etc) but I don't like to in case it seems I'm crossing lines or being intrusive. I know that I have a tendency to be what I consider interested, but what many people consider nosy so sometimes I feel awkward saying stuff.

I also know that I go on and on about R but unfortunately for you, you're the only person I can do it to! The whole situation with him has completely fucked me up - I've never met anyone like him or J before - and I know I shouldn't have got involved (and desperately wish I hadn't). I have blocked them now and am really trying to put it all behind me, I promise.

I feel that even in this message I've made it all about me, which hasn't been my intention at all. I honestly think you're one of the most amazing people I know. You deal with all your issues with wisdom and intelligence and resilience and insight and grace and humour. You're brave and beautiful and kind and I can't tell you how much I admire you. If I have pissed you off in any way then please know it has been completely unintentional, and whatever happens going forward, I will always want to/try to be on your side, whatever the situation.

I'm not sending this in an attempt to change the way things are between us. I only want from you what you're happy to give, so please please don't feel anything needs to happen differently. It's just that in the last two or three months contact between us has lessened and I'm worried it's because of something I've done. If I have done something then I apologise. If I haven't done anything, then - good, I'm glad!

OP’s posts: |
growinggreyer Mon 13-Jul-20 12:37:31

Oh God, do not send that message. If she is struggling with something then let her come to you when she is ready. Lockdown has affected us all in different ways. I'm hoping reality will return in the Autumn and we can get back to our lives.

Rainbowshine Mon 13-Jul-20 12:41:05

Dear me you’re offloading a whole load onto her there! Yes it’s all about you so it would really put me off replying as I would think you’re just wanting a one way conversation.

How about something simple like “Hi I haven’t heard from you for a while, are you ok?”

lovemenot Mon 13-Jul-20 12:41:25

Call her. Ask her if she is ok. Simple. Lockdown has hit different people in different ways. Maybe she is struggling.

Suewiththeredford Mon 13-Jul-20 12:43:26

Bleurgh!!! Don’t send that!

Rainbowshine Mon 13-Jul-20 12:44:31

I also know that I go on and on about R but unfortunately for you, you're the only person I can do it to!

I think that you need to consider if you’re treating your friend as an unpaid counsellor. That’s not fair on her and also not the right support for you. Find a better place to get that support, has your work got an employee assistance helpline or can you find a local relationship counsellor instead?

Nandakanda Mon 13-Jul-20 12:46:10

Why don't you give her a ring? She's probably busy/preoccupied.

Nonnymum Mon 13-Jul-20 12:47:12

I agree with PPs don't send it. It could just be that like many of us lockdown has made her depressed and very anxious. That email won't help in any way.
Why don't you phone her to have a chat or text to ask her if she is OK. Also perhaps you meet up for for a walk, outside chat.
You could be making much more of an issue than there actually is. Your message could just put her off even more.

Bluntness100 Mon 13-Jul-20 12:47:32

Eh, just ask her if she fancies meeting up and then don’t go on about your personal issues if she says yes, and ask her about her stuff.

Your message is all about how you offloaded on her but justifying why you never asked about her.

Froney Mon 13-Jul-20 12:47:55

I've called a couple of times and texted asking if she's ok. But I don't want to keep contacting her if she doesn't want me to, so I thought I'd send a message as a last ditch attempt.

But I won't send it if people think it's too much or too self absorbed sad.

OP’s posts: |
NoSquirrels Mon 13-Jul-20 12:47:55

I feel that even in this message I've made it all about me, which hasn't been my intention at all

There you go - you know the problem. Don't send it. Good to have offloaded it on here, but don't send it to her.

Try to reset. Sometimes people can't have intense and big feelings' conversations when they're not up to it. Give her a ring and ask how she is - if it all feels surface then that's fine. I get the sense you crave intimacy and deep conversations and perhaps that's just not on the cards with her right now. Be light of touch, be interested in what she wants to share. Take her lead.

SonsofMitches Mon 13-Jul-20 12:49:00

Oh no don't send that!

Sillymee Mon 13-Jul-20 12:49:12

It’s good that you have wrote it down and got it off your chest, but I wouldn’t send it. If she’s struggling to even reply to little messages, something big and deep like that might completely
Throw her. Just keep it short and sweet, ‘hey hope
Your doing okay! Lockdown has been a nightmare hasn’t it, here if you need anything at all, like you always are for me!’ Short, sweet,
Reminding her your there for her and reminding her your appreciative that she’s been there
For you too xx

Froney Mon 13-Jul-20 12:49:15

I do ask her about her, honestly I do, and we talk about some of her issues. Other issues she has i skirt around a bit as I feel intrusive pressing her on them.

OP’s posts: |
NoSquirrels Mon 13-Jul-20 12:49:19

Send her a card in the post with a very short sweet message about how you're looking forward to seeing her soon. She'll come back when she's ready.

Collidascope Mon 13-Jul-20 12:52:13

I haven't been in touch with my friends or family as much recently, for the simple reason that none of us have anything to say because we're all just in the house all the time.

I'd be pretty uncomfortable recieving that message because none of us speak to each other like that. It's hard to say without knowing the dynamics of your relationship whether you should send it, but I suspect a lot of people would find it a bit much. Perhaps your friend wouldn't though. Hard to say.

Froney Mon 13-Jul-20 12:52:23

Thank you all for taking time to reply. I won't send then but will maybe post a card as Squirrels suggests.

OP’s posts: |
Russell19 Mon 13-Jul-20 12:55:03

No,that's way too much. Sorry OP.

Fanthorpe Mon 13-Jul-20 12:59:28

And let her know you’re leaving it to her to contact you when she’s ready.

Apolloanddaphne Mon 13-Jul-20 13:03:16

I would text ' Hi, I haven't heard from you in a while. Hope all is okay with you? I know things are tough at the moment. I will still be here when you want to chat. Take care. X'

user1456324865563 Mon 13-Jul-20 13:05:24

I agree it's good you got that out of your head, but that is not a message to send to someone. It reads like all the anxieties you have internally about how she might respond or interpret you, and anxieties you had already, you've tried to put into the message either to get her to reassure you or just to protect yourself from a reaction ( "if I explain I have no malicious intent she won't get angry at me even if I've phrased it badly..." ).

Which depending on your life experiences might be entirely understandable, but it's not an effective way to communicate and isn't really conducive to healthy, happy relationships.

As other posters have pointed out, the only parts of that message suitable/relevant to your friend could be condensed into one or two lines. The rest is you trying to process stuff or shield yourself from any painful/scary reactions.

I wonder if it might help you more generally to work on your assertiveness and how you communicate? If you Google "cci assertiveness" there are some good resources. I think if you read the descriptions of passive communication you would realise why I thought of it reading your post.

I'm not sure you're self absorbed so much as deploying a not-very-effective communication/relational style.

nolovelost Mon 13-Jul-20 13:06:10

@Froney it sounds like it's something as simple as she's not ready to mix yet and feeling low about it. I doubt you've done anything wrong. Leave her to it for a bit.

You could maybe do what another poster has suggested and send a card saying something like I miss you, thinking of you and can't wait to see you again. Don't ask questions or expect anything back, they'll be less pressure for her to respond back to you if you keep it simple. Don't send that message, if she is feeling low, it'll be a bit overwhelming for her I think.

I'm in a similar situation to her and sometimes feel like I can't be bothered with people, especially when they're going on about lock down easing and going out etc. Try not to take it personally, leave it a little bit longer to get in touch.

Sharkerr Mon 13-Jul-20 13:07:15

So glad you’ve not sent that!

You said the last message was from you and you’ve already asked if she’s okay, right?

Then for goodness sake, leave it! And don’t ring her, if she’s not up to replying to a message then escalating contact by ringing her when she hasn’t actually responded yet comes across very full on. I’d feel quite annoyed if a friend did that to me.

It’s down to her and she’ll be in touch when she’s ready. Give it a few weeks then if she’s not been in touch maybe send a light message, something funny you’ve seen, with a ‘how’s things?’ or ‘hope you’re okay!’

If you can’t tolerate the idea of a few weeks going by without contact I’d kinda be thinking maybe this friendship is a little codependent/not too healthy...

hamstersarse Mon 13-Jul-20 13:08:15

Definitely do not send

Just ask her how she is doing!

Sharkerr Mon 13-Jul-20 13:08:43

God no, don’t post a card.

She knows you have been in touch. She knows you’re keen to talk.

Sending a card will just look really strange. If she is feeling a bit put upon and like the friendship is a bit intense the last thing you want to do is send a bloody card lol.

She might be fine and not even thinking about you. It’s not all about you, you know?

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