August 23, 2013 at 5:43 am #41033RingooParticipant
I briefly met someone who I thought was amazing however within days things went from bad to worse. She would tell me how I should do everything, from how I should care for my dog and plan my day. She even told me what she needed me to do was not talk and only listen to her, only then she felt connected to me. She has told me that I am over sensitive and that I am bringing my old baggage onto her. I have tried to be nice and hear what she is saying but I am feeling all this is unfairly being placed on me. She is an addictions councellor so I am trying to figure out is she right or is she in need of therapy? Any insight?August 23, 2013 at 6:45 am #41034RebeccaParticipant
Hi, Ringoo –
It sounds like you and your friend have very different expectations for this friendship. Which is fine, it happens!
Whether someone is being overbearing or someone is being oversensitive depends on where you’re standing, really. What really matters, though, is whether you are comfortable in the relationship. If you are not, then you need to decide whether to cordially cut off the relationship or to start a dialogue with her about how both of you can make the relationship more comfortable (and more of a two-way street). If it were me, I’d be leery of the fact that she’s already pulled out the “you’re oversensitive and have baggage” card, which is usually a sign that the person thinks that THEY are doing nothing wrong and are unwilling to change. If that is the case, talking with her and laying out your concerns may not help (and may get you told again that the issue is you, not her). If you want to try, though (or if you think that this is a case of her just not knowing how you feel about her behavior), perhaps you could tell her that you appreciate her efforts to help, but that her constant advice is wearying and could she please scale it back? Perhaps you could tell her how you think she’s a great person but you’re uncomfortable/frustrated when she doesn’t allow you to talk.
However, my instinct is that any “friend” who doesn’t listen to you isn’t really a friend. They’re just someone who wants a sounding board. Assuming that this was something she said as a blanket statement, not a temporary, “please listen to me for a moment, then speak” type of thing, cutting you off is a warning sign to me that she’s not really interested in “connecting” with you. You can’t “connect” with someone when you don’t want to hear what they have to say. Also, her being a counselor doesn’t exempt her from needing to listen to her friends and address their concerns.
I’d take a step back and reassess, really. If you have let her know that she’s making you uncomfortable and she’s persisted, then I’d back away. Deliberately doing something a friend has asked you not to do is disrespectful, and nobody needs that. Good luck!August 23, 2013 at 6:50 am #41035GwenParticipant
Sounds like all she is doing is “:Analyzing” you, it’s almost as if you have “no opinion”, why can’t you talk? Tell her your not her patient,and you appreciate her advice,but you do have an opinion, you do have a “Voice”, and if she’s not willing to allow you to use it, then, what’s the point in being in a one-sided relationship like that?,,You yourself said it has gone from “bad to worse”, so there is obviously a problem,,you have to speak up,,let her know you have something to say,and that “she should listen”,and see what happens, if she finds that to be a problem,then by all means,,walk away,unless,you have “already” made a decision to do that, Good Luck.August 23, 2013 at 7:12 am #41038MattParticipant
I agree with the other kind hearted words already offered in terms of the relationship. From your side, don’t take it in as being “your issue”. Being sensitive is not a poor quality, and you are just and rational in your wanting of good boundaries (her not telling you how to be) and also to have equal space to communicate your thoughts and feelings.
It sounds like she is caught in codependent and/or narcissistic patterns, and considering the newness of the connection, it might be simpler to walk away. If she is only feeling open when she talks, then what she is really doing is trying to have a relationship with herself, and using you as a mirror unknowingly. With the addition of her being an addiction counselor, she might be unwilling to accept her mistakes because she “knows how everything works”. On the contrary, people who give advice for a living can sometimes forget or overlook the baggage they are actually bringing to a relationship… and project all of their issues onto the other.
If you can set boundaries such as “please don’t tell me what to do, I don’t like that” and “we both need time to speak our heart and mind in order for intimacy to build” and “I’m not your patient, accept me or reject me, but don’t try to change me… I’ll grow as I’m ready” then perhaps she’ll wake up and step to the plate. If you can’t, or she can’t, then it is likely that she’ll just use you as a mirror until you get fed up, or she gets bored with herself.
MattAugust 23, 2013 at 7:59 am #41041RingooParticipant
Thank you for all your similar views. As I read them I completely agree and I always have. There are those red flags and more as I think about it and though I think it is best to walk away I can’t help think how sad it is that she will is in this state.
Thank you for your thoughts, time and the gentleness you expressed in Matt, Gwen and Rebecca.August 23, 2013 at 8:40 am #41049RebeccaParticipant
I often think the same thing, Ringoo: “But i want to HELP this person see how they are causing X problem in their lives!” I’m slowly, slowly realizing that I can’t help everyone, though, and how everyone has their own path to walk. Only experience can change someone’s mind. I can’t change someone’s mind for them. I can only be a mirror to show that person how their behavior is affecting our relationship. They have to take the next step, and yes…sometimes they won’t. It’s sad, but it’s their choice!