Forum Replies Created
February 1, 2023 at 11:21 am #414841
See below for corrected post without all the errors:
I lost my cousin and close friend a year ago. It was the most devastating loss I’ve dealt with. I’ve been depressed for the last year and while I have my boyfriend and family’s support on this, it bothers me that my friends aren’t really there. I have two friends in particular that I confide in because our friendship has lasted over 20 years now and we’ve always been there for each other since day one. They know the most about me and I them, but when it comes to expressing our feelings, it’s hard not to notice how different we’ve become in recent years.
When I first reached out to them about my cousin, it was the typical “sorry for your loss” and “that sucks” comments, which is fine. I didn’t expect anything more. But when I tried to talk about it throughout the last year, it either becomes a competition over who is actually depressed and whose feelings matter more. One of those friends feels like no one can relate to him because he has it rough. His problems are always worse than yours and mine, but he doesn’t realize that we have more in common with him than he thinks. So anytime I try to talk about it with him, his comments tend to be “what do you have to be sad for? You have a boyfriend to actually love you. You have a house and we don’t. You make more money than us. You’re going to be fine and well off, but my world is crumbling and you can never understand or relate to that feeling.” The other friend is more self-centered and tries to use any conversation to turn it into being about her and her depression. Of course I rather her talk to me because I know how it feels to keep things bottled up, but it just hurts when no one seems to care about what I’m going through without them wanting to dismiss it and make it about them.
Even though I haven’t been ok, I always try to check in with all my friends and make sure they’re ok and if they need to talk, etc. I noticed in the last several months, I’ve been the only one to initiate conversations. After Christmas though, I stopped reaching out and went MIA a little. Then finally someone recognized that and reached out. I let them know I’m not ok and didn’t even say anything. They left me on read. Then I check in to see how they are and suddenly they’re talkative again because it’s about them now and they need me to help/listen to them.
I don’t get it. I truly don’t understand why some people aren’t really there for you when they claim to be your best friend and especially when you’re always there for them. I don’t do things for others just for reciprocation, but honestly, sometimes I wish some friends put in the same effort as me every once in a blue moon. I’m lucky to have my therapist, boyfriend, and family, but I could also really use my friends. I’m not sure what this post is supposed to accomplish. I don’t even think I’m looking for advice here. I just needed to get it off my chest because it bothers me sometimes and I guess I was hoping someone else can relate so we can talk about it here.February 1, 2023 at 11:19 am #414840
I’m sorry for anyone who comes across this post… I typed it up in a different file before pasting it here and now there’s all these coding errors showing up. Feel free to delete and I can try again.February 1, 2023 at 11:10 am #414838
I’m so sorry about that. I hope it didn’t do anything to your account. My computer froze as I tried to click reply, but when my mouse icon unfroze, it selected the report option. Again, I’m so sorry. It was an accident!February 1, 2023 at 10:47 am #414836
You are correct in that observation. I do struggle being true to myself because that almost always involves hurting someone else with no intention. I end up crossing my own boundaries just to make sure their feelings are spared, but then I end up feeling worse for not taking a stand for myself. It’s like a catch 22. I started to work on my self-compassion last year and promised myself I will be true to my feelings and self, even if it means hurting someone else. But my problem seems to be putting myself in situations I shouldn’t put myself in just to be able to make a stand. In this case, it was agreeing to catch up in the first place then informing the person they aren’t a priority or considered a close friend.
“She didn’t act like she was expecting us to be close again nor mentioned it… she also didn’t seem to care about reaching out or talking more in depth about things“- maybe she was aware of how her negativity affected you in the past (causing the friendship to end), so, she limited what she shared with you, the frequency of contact and she did not reveal her expectations to you. – this is a great perspective that I never considered before. I thought it meant she didn’t care to be close again either and just wanted to have a “no hard feelings” acquaintance situation.
“When you mentioned pay attention to others’ expectations, what is a good approach for this?”- let’s talk about reconnecting with F: “Many years later… she reached out to say hi. It was very casual. She asked if I wanted to come over for a drink one night so I did because why not?“- before agreeing to meet her for a drink, you could have found out somehow (perhaps through her social media postings, or you could have asked her deeper questions) if her life circumstances and negativity changed in those many years of no contact. And based on that information, you could have either not reply to her initial hi, or send her a short reply that would indicate your lack of interest in renewing a friendship with her – again, this is something I hadn’t considered before. I could have taken that initial reach out text and used it to let her know why I stopped contact on my end and that I have no intention of rekindling that unless things have changed. I appreciate this advice and insight into the “what should I have done” scenario. I will hold onto this should I find myself in a similar situation again.
Thank you for taking the time to respond kindly to my situation. Since it’s been a while since my last post, no updates regarding F have taken place.December 29, 2022 at 6:26 pm #412844
Thank you for the thoughtful response! I do believe that boundaries are important no matter if you had history with the other party or not, but I also don’t like hurting people. Especially when I’m trying to be true to myself.
It makes me question my moral compass. I don’t feel we need to accept people back into our lives or to be friends with everyone, but I also don’t feel that I did the right thing or handled it the right way because of the guilt I’m feeling.December 29, 2022 at 6:20 pm #412843
Thank you so much for your input and perspective on this. I can understand why she felt this way, but at the same time, she didn’t act like she was expecting us to be close again nor mentioned it. I think I was so surprised that she felt this way because she also didn’t seem to care about reaching out or talking more in depth about things. I guess I never really considered that she might have had old wounds that she felt were being teared open.
When you mentioned pay attention to others’ expectations, what is a good approach for this? Like I mentioned above, she acted like it was a casual hangout as well and didn’t give any hints that she wanted to go back to how we were. Should I start to question someone who asks to spend time together what their intentions are? Is it rude at that point to say no, I’m not interested?
Again, thank you for your insight. Sometimes I don’t always see as clearly as I think I do because I was clearly ignorant to our past and didn’t even consider that those were her intentions. I feel stupid for that.