July 28, 2021 at 6:56 pm #383616
Have been grappling with these feelings for years and I think this is just a me writing down a lot of feelings that are quite suffocating.
I have a friend who I’ve known for 15 years, she has always been a good friend on paper, supportive, generous and kind. The only problem is I’ve always found her too much, I am quite introverted while she is an extrovert who steam rolls conversations with her opinions, she is also an only child and lacks self awareness. I know she doesn’t mean it to come off disrespectful, she can’t really help it.
Over the years I’ve felt a lot of pressure as I find it quite exhausting to be around, and I find her incredibly annoying. Everything she does annoys me. She can be vain, arrogant and lacking in social self awareness. I could never say this to her as she would be devastated, I know she is actually quite an insecure person.
I have had depression for years and she has always been very supportive, but something that I find upsetting is her lack of honesty on the stuff that isn’t going right in her life. All I hear is how amazing everything is and how well she’s doing and I just don’t believe it, I just need to hear that she’s human like the rest of us and I need honesty. I know I am jealous of her as she is quite wealthy and I’ve always been the depressed one from a single parent family, i’ve always felt like a bit of a charity case and thats not how I want to feel anymore or the only part of who I am. I just don’t feel good about myself when I’m with her, I’ve moved on in my life, live in a different city and have just completed Uni with a 2:1. I just find her personality too much for me, I don’t want her to change I think I’ve just realised I don’t have the capacity for it.
I just don’t know what to do because i don’t want to lay into her about all this because she’s done nothing wrong. I know that I’ve got work to do on myself and a lot of this is jealousy. I don’t know whether I need to end the friendship?July 28, 2021 at 7:48 pm #383620
“I have a friend who I’ve known for 15 years, she has always been a good friend on paper, supportive, generous and kind. T… I don’t know whether I need to end the friendship?”-
– Is it that your friend sends you the message that when she is supportive of you, she is doing so from a position of being superior to you, looking down at you as a lesser person/ an inferior/ a charity case that she is willing to help out of the gracious kindness of her heart?
(I will be back to the computer in about 12 hours from now)
anitaJuly 29, 2021 at 3:53 am #383629
Thanks for you’re reply and what a great question to be honest. It’s very difficult to tell, I think one of the main problems is she has always been in a superior position to me in her life and I’ve always had problems (which she definitely but never tells me about it). I think it suits her that she’s in a position of superiority, I’m not sure she would intentionally see herself as superior. I think she likes to see herself as an amazing person, her job is to save the planet from climate change and she likes to tell people this so me having issues is another thing for her to charity. She is a really lovely person which is why these feelings are so difficult, am I just jealous? I just don’t think I would feel this unhappy with her friendship if it was OK. Also just to add on, her parents had me over for dinner the other night and her dad asked me ‘is your mum still really stressed?’ – bearing in mind, my mum raised to terrible teens by herself with millie staying over every night – I said this to him and he replied ‘I bet she’s still stressed’. I think that really cemented that he thinks they are better than us, my mum is a stressed out person but don’t talk to me about it when I’ve seen him almost punch his daughter because she was an awful teenager too! Sorry Anita I just haven’t written this all down and now I’m venting!July 29, 2021 at 7:33 am #383635
It is okay to vent here! And you are welcome.
Let’s see: you know this friend for 15 years. She is an only child of wealthy parents who are still together, “supportive, generous and kind.. an extrovert who steam rolls conversations with her opinions”, but she is overly positive in the way she presents herself and her life, never have shared with you having any personal problems: “All I hear is how amazing everything is and how well she’s doing and I just don’t believe it, I just need to hear that she’s human like the rest of us and I need honesty”.
You stated and asked: “I have a friend who I’ve known for 15 years, she has always been a good friend on paper… don’t know whether I need to end the friendship?”-
– I think that the title “friend” does not apply to her in regard to you. She is friendly, but not a friend. A friend shares her problems with a friend. She hasn’t for 15 years= she is not your friend. She is an acquaintance. Therefore, there is no friendship to end.
Clearly she has problems: she is human, plus, you saw her father “almost punch his daughter”- and that’s just what you saw one time, there’s been lots more of that anger when you were not there watching. I understand your annoyance with a person who is a friend only “on paper”, but not in practice, meaning she says she is a friend, but .. she is not.
If you agree with me, why don’t you tell her that you think she is a lovely person etc., but not your friend because she doesn’t tell her any of her personal problems, and friends do share personal problems.. ?
anitaAugust 2, 2021 at 5:11 pm #383986
Thanks so much for your help Anita. I have written her a letter and I’m just wondering whether I will send it.August 2, 2021 at 5:19 pm #383987
You can post the message, or parts of the message (without identifying details, of course) and I will give you my input on it.
anitaAugust 2, 2021 at 5:21 pm #383988August 3, 2021 at 2:47 am #384003
Thanks Anita, I won’t write the whole letter out because it is quite long.
Just in short, I have written, “I have been feeling quite distant, sorry for not replying to your messages… I feel there is a dynamic where I bare all to you – often due to mental health issues – which you have always been supportive of. Sometimes I feel this is not reciprocated, hearing how well everything is going for you, often I feel worse after our conversations (*have said how proud of her I am for how well she’s doing). I find this draining. I feel like maybe you don’t trust me enough to tell me this part of yourself. I feel like a charity case and inferior to you because your life always seems perfect. I do not want to attack you. *Have then said about dishonesty to do with her dad. I need authenticity and connection and this comes with baring all to the person, the good, the bad and the ugly. I know we are all trying our best, we have just become different people who need different things from our lives and relationships, this is why I am taking a step back from our friendship. I don’t like how I’ve treated you because I’ve been upset. I do love you, you’ve been a good friend over the years, I just need some time apart.”
I think if I go to into detail it will be an attack and I don’t want to upset her so I’ve written the main upset on my part. Do you think this is too harsh?
Thanks so much again!
Alice xAugust 3, 2021 at 8:14 am #384012
Dear raphy29/ Alice:
You are welcome. I understand why the letter you wrote is “quite long”- you have a lot of emotions invested on the topic. But it is too long. Even the excerpt you provided here is too long, too detailed, too conflicted (asserting yourself, then apologizing/ trying to balance your assertion with positives because of your fear of being too harsh).
For you there is much more to say, but for her it is already too much to process and to understand, and she may conclude that you are simply confused and troubled.. and indeed a charity case (you don’t want your letter to lead her to that conclusion!)
If I was you, I would send her a much shorter message focusing on just one point: friends share about each other’s problems and difficulties in life as equals; you share, she doesn’t; therefore you feel that you are a charity case for her, not an equal. You are grateful for her support all these years, but you want to be treated as an equal, not like a charity case.
No apologies, no details, nothing about her father- make your message a single-issue short and assertive message. If she responds well to your message, you can tell her a bit more. If she responds well again.. then tell her more, a bit at a time, not all at once. It will take a series of back and forth messages/ communication to change your relationship with her to a friendship between 2 equals, or to conclude that such is not possible, and then quit your charity case status by ending contact.
anitaAugust 3, 2021 at 3:16 pm #384073
Thanks Anita, I feel very conflicted because it has always been ingrained that it is me who is the issue in our friendship, it’s my own problems with self esteem that lead me to feel resentment toward her. It has always been something I need to work on because she never gets angry or does anything maliciously hurtful, and anything she does do was not meant in the way I viewed it. I always end up apologising because I lash out as she will upset me and then it seems that it was always my fault and the issue that has upset me will be forgotten. I am constantly looking for validation for the way I feel, because I don’t know why I feel such a strong dislike toward her. I feel like I still want to say I am the problem and I’m sorry I’m jealous of how perfect you are, I’m so mean to you because I’m unhappy. Isn’t that ridiculous? But I will definitely rewrite the letter in a more assertive manner, I think the way you have worded it is kind of perfect so I hope you don’t mind if I use it in some way or another!
Thanks so much again, you’re insight is incredibly helpful.August 3, 2021 at 3:48 pm #384079
You are very welcome. I don’t mind at all that you use my wordings- I suggested it for you to consider using it in your message to her!
You are a bit overwhelmed, understandably, by the many issues that this relationship with this “saint” represent to you. This is why I suggested messaging her about just one issue: the fact that you share your problems and challenges with her vs she sharing none (which leads you to think of her superior to you, which causes you to feel resentment, while real friendships is between equals, where both share about problems, challenges and triumphs)!
anitaAugust 3, 2021 at 3:49 pm #384080
Thank you Anita!August 3, 2021 at 3:51 pm #384081
You are welcome, Alice, and post again when you are ready.
anitaAugust 7, 2021 at 9:11 am #384243
How are you, Alice, anything new in regard to the message?
anitaAugust 7, 2021 at 4:21 pm #384257
Thanks for asking. I sent the letter, using your advice and shortening what I had to say. I can’t say I feel good about it because I know this is going to be incredibly upsetting for her. She hasn’t replied but we just created a group for one of our best friends birthday present and she instantly left the group so I feel as though she may be distancing herself from everyone now. I will keep you updated if she replies.