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Confront or Move on?

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  • #40500
    Hopeful
    Participant

    It’s been since Monday that my friend yelled at me like she did. She has called to talk to me on the phone several times but there is a weird vibe. It’s like she is ignoring what happened and I am not wanting to bring it up because I am almost 100% sure she will yell again and somehow try to convince me to feel sorry for her and I have no real reason to be hurt.

    I haven’t talked to her much so I have let myself reflect on our friendship. She has money, a very nice house, cars and she can buy pretty much anything she wants. I’m happy for her for this since she grew up in poverty and no one caring. I on the other hand live paycheck to paycheck and struggle. Live in a small house, drive an old car and do not have the nicest of things. I cannot complain because I am very grateful for what I do have, I have my health, my kids and compassion towards others. Well she always makes these comments when she is mad at someone that has less than her. She’ll say something like “They wish they were me and had a big house, nice car and can buy whatever they want but no they have nothing and no money.” She’s never directly said those things about me (not that I know of) but it still stings because I am in the same place financially as the people she is talking about.

    She has OCD like crazy so when I was there this past weekend I got up at 6:30 to start cleaning because I thought it would be nice and so we could start our day sooner instead of spending all morning cleaning up or her leaving and yelling at her husband to do it. So I got up did 4 loads of laundry, swept all the floors, Windex-ed her tables, cleaned and put away all the dishes and cut potatoes so that I could cook dinner. She gets up around 9:00 am and see’s all that I’ve done and instead of being grateful she found more stuff for “us” to do. So we spent until 3:00 in the afternoon cleaning. Cleaning out her boys toy boxes and organizing them to a level of perfection I didn’t know existed. Afterwards she would lock the doors so none of our kids could go in there and mess anything up. I kept asking her if we were done so we could go out and she would ignore me and find more. I guess I just look at is as if my friend was visiting first off all she wouldn’t have to lift a finger and if she did surprise me and have a whole bunch cleaned I would be very very grateful and not ask for anything else.

    I guess I’m just scared. With the relationship with my mom going downhill, the divorce and now the only friendship I really have in a mess I don’t know if I should try to make things better or realize that I might just need to move on. Is it better to talk to her or slowly move on?

    #40503
    Matt
    Participant

    Hopeful,

    What is preventing you from getting more nourishing friends? Her actions surprised and disgusted me when I first read them, but as I found peace, I see her suffering. What does she have that she has built for herself, from her self? Does she have anything that she can draw upon to grow her feeling of self reliance, self confidence? She has money and cars and a house and so on, but those are material, transient, dissatisfying.

    Perhaps you are afraid to confront her because you don’t like conflict. It is easier to feed her than tell her to find her own food. Said differently, if you let her walk over you, you are doing a disservice to her and to you. Confronting her is not just about you, it is about helping her awaken to her pain, her suffering.

    For instance, when she says “people without money are just jealous.” Perhaps you could notice how you suffer less even though you have less money. Then it would be a simple thing to say “you have more money than me, but seem far less happy”. What a wrench that would throw! She might tantrum and wail and lament, but that is just the poison leeching out of her. “Look, simple words from a friend are enough to send you into a rage. Where’s your money now! How do the cars and the big house help you now!” By simply nodding along and letting her tread in icky waters, being afraid to tell her what you see, think and feel, you aren’t being a good friend either. Do you think she needs clean laundry more than a clear mind? More than a wake up to her pain? The way her using friends and family as a toilet to dump her stress endlessly is harming her and her relationships?

    Compassion is co-suffering. Allowing our experiences to become painful for the sake of the healing of others. Sometimes this means putting distance between us, sometimes it means saying the hard truths, and sometimes it means just nodding and hugging. Wisdom comes from looking inside and being courageous enough, discerning enough to try different approaches when one doesn’t work.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #40545
    Hopeful
    Participant

    I totally understand what you are saying. I agree 100% I guess I just know how I’ve said things in the past for instance she has treated me bad off and on for years and I confront (it has never gotten this bad) and she always uses the excuse that she has it so much harder than I do. She’s not like me. Things bother her more than they do me. I feel she’s wrong since I have to be on anti depressants and anxiety medication at the moment but I don’t throw my anger around towards everyone. I guess I just know she’s full of excuses because the truth is if she changed she would have more work to do. She stays at home now and sleeps all day so for her to change would mean gettng up cleaning the house, loving on her children, being a sweet wife and she has told me point blank before she can’t do that. I will ask why and she says it’s no the kind of person he is. I do need to be honest with her I guess I just feel our friendship coming to an end 🙁

    #40585
    lucia
    Participant

    Hi Hopeful,

    Wow! I have to agree with what Matt has said to you. Your friend has her own “issues” to deal with. Sometimes friendships come to an end. It’s definitely not an easy feeling, but if it isn’t working for you anymore, it’s time to let go. Unfortunately, we can’t be everything to everyone. You can only do so much to help someone else, after that it is up to them to help themselves. More importantly, you’ve got to take care of yourself.

    Even though it hurts (i know from first hand experience with a friend of my own), it can be liberating to be free of a toxic relationship. Letting go of what isn’t good, opens up the opportunities for all the good things!

    Definitely let her know how you feel and just move forward from there, no matter what her reaction is. There are great people out there! 🙂

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