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Best Mate being unsympathetic.

16 replies

crystaltips · 08/04/2003 17:19

How do I cope with my best mate always trying to outdo my woes ?
Just recently whenever I see her I feel that she is not listening to me. You know what it's like - whenever friends get together you compare notes and have a laugh and a moan at the same time. However, more recently this friend seems so absorbed in her problems ( which are no more significant than any one elses problems ) that when we all get together she talks over everyone else.
If my kids are sick - hers are in casualty.
if my DH is driving me mad - she's on the verge of divorce.
If we have money problems - she's nearly bankrupt

I know I should be sympathetic and understanding as I really value her friendship - but I feel that things are rather onesided at the moment.

Any ideas as to how I deal with this sensitively. If I say anything at the moment I am sure I might offend as it'supsetting me a bit.

OP posts:

fairy · 08/04/2003 19:29

You have just described my MIL!!!!!


snickers · 08/04/2003 19:40

Oooh - I have had a friend like this for years! I even didn't see her for a long period of time, because I just thought "I can't be bothered with the mememememememe conversation anymore!" Then I saw her again, and remembered why I liked her - cause she DOES make me laugh, even if she is ALWAYS having a trauma! Once she talked about herself for 35 minutes (I timed it) before asking how I was!

My take is this. Some people are born to traumas. They will find one even if they don't have one. It is probably self destructuve behaviour, but I am not their therapist. If she brings any sort of value into your life, then just nod and smile and say there there dear, but use your other, better friends for discussing your problems with. Friends often have to be put into categories (I wonder sometimes what sort I am in?!). As with everything ask yourself "if it doesn't bring value to my life, get rid of it" - harsh but true. So if this friend is cool apart from the outdoing thing - then perhaps put up with it?

Likewise another friend who is the BEST laugh and we get on FAMOUSLY, but I always have to do the keeping in touch cause she is always soooooo busy, and being so brilliant means she has a gazillion friends to keep in touch with. As long as you are OK with how to "handle" your different types of friends, then hey ho! If it bothers you too much, then move on.

Oh right! I'm the friend that blethers on and on and on and on and on.......


Meanmum · 08/04/2003 19:53

I'm with Snickers. I think we have different friends/relationships that give us different things. Some of my friends are there to listen to me and others I am there to listen to them. Some are for a laugh, others for serious discussions, some for nights out others for coffees and so on.

My take on this is this friend sees you as the one she needs to moan to. Do you have any others you can moan to. NO point moaning to her if she wants to outdo you all the time.

I understand what you are going through as I have had friends like this in the past too. Some I have kept and some I thought too much hassle. Those I have kept give I feel I can give value to by listening to them (and generally offering far to much advice which is way wrong and shouldn't be listened to.


crystaltips · 08/04/2003 20:31

This pal is the person that I tell 99.99% of your life to.
Other pals are the "laughing", "moaning", "partying" and "shopping" pals.
If I ditch this one ( which I don't want to do ) then I really AM starting from scratch.

I just wish she would see everyone elses point of view for once ... when I look back on it all - from her viewpoint she has the worst life over and above everyone else.
Sorry to moan but it gets rather tiring after a while.

OP posts:

crystaltips · 08/04/2003 20:36

I think that should read 99.99% of MY life to ...
Cant keep up with everyone elses life :0

OP posts:

crystaltips · 08/04/2003 20:36

And even that should have read .....

OP posts:

crystaltips · 08/04/2003 20:37

why do I bother ?????

OP posts:

Meanmum · 08/04/2003 20:45

You're in a rock and a hard place. From your original mail it doesn't sound like she will listen to you or take away from the conversation you need to have with her that it isn't her it's her child rearing that is a problem.

The only thing I can say is if you do have a conversation with her about her handling of her son in situations like this intersperse a lot of positive comments. One thing we teach our managers when they have to talk with staff is that a dignified conversation should not be one where you blame someone else for the issue at hand, agree with the individual and say it is your manager's request that they be spoken with etc. It should be honest and to the point with an opportunity for the other person to have their say.


Clarinet60 · 08/04/2003 21:32

My main interest in this is that some of you have mentioned dropping friends who no longer bring value to your life, and vice versa. How do you do this? It seems to be a bit of a taboo subject. It's OK to finish with a boyfriend, but how do you 'finish with' a friend without making an enemy of her? It's something that I have been pondering over for years. It's OK when things just naturally fizzle out, but most of us have friends who hang on and on, despite it being obvious that you are mismatched. Any thoughts?


crystaltips · 08/04/2003 21:35

I agree with you - and it does get trickier as girlfriends seem to share more of your most private secrets and emotions.
Make an enemy of these people and I think that I might be putting my neck on the line !!

OP posts:

crystaltips · 08/04/2003 21:39

NOT that I want to end this freindship.

OP posts:

Clarinet60 · 08/04/2003 21:45

I know, crystaltips. I was just going off point a bit because it's so interesting. You're right about them knowing your secrets. Eeeeeek!!!!


breeze · 09/04/2003 09:08

I have 2 best friends so to speak, they both have different functions (IYKWIM) one I can tell everything to and will give me sound advice and the other who I used to start telling it to and would somehow turn the conversation round to herself, this used to drive me nuts, we have been friends for 17 years and I have just had to accept that she is this way as I don't want to lose her friendship, when we get together we have such a laugh, we have all the memories of school and single life together, we did go through a rough patch when I got married because before I met DH it was "men ha don't need them".

As you have said you don't want to lose her friendship, but it is nice to know you are not alone having friends that drive you nuts.


Metrobaby · 09/04/2003 12:18

Maybe when she starts moaning it's her way of saying to you 'Hey - I understand - been there,done that' sort of thing. My guess is that she prob doesn't realise she is trying to out-do you in this way - esp as you have had a good relationship


monkey · 09/04/2003 13:35

This seems to be such a common trait. My mu had a colleague like this. I remember her vividly moaning about him. I think she resorted to sarcasm, but they he wasn't her best mate. it must be very frustrating.

Sorry, don't really know what to suggest, other than making a jokey comment about it (maybe she's toatlly unaware she does it?) and see if it makes her more conscious & make an effort no to do the woe-one-upmanship thing


monkey · 10/04/2003 12:03

Or maybe she's one of these people who's totally rubbish at offering sympathy, so her woe one-upmanship is maybe her really crap way of showing empathy? Just trying to give her the benefit of the doubt?

Maybe she really does have the worst life?!

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