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Why do I struggle with friends?

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  JayJay 2 months ago.

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  • #296757

    claref
    Participant

    Hi Everyone, I’m not here for any advice on how to handle friends, as I’m aware that some friends when angry, bitter or upset are reflecting what’s going on internally.

    However, when I look back… it always seems to be me.

    Friends don’t get in touch or ask me to do anything, I’m the one who keeps relationships alive.

    My sister in law is currently raging with anger at me, for past 4yrs she said she likes me, but the thought of me stresses her out.

    My best friend of 20+ yrs, when I was due to get married started being difficult and then started saying I wasn’t there for her etc.

    I invited my friend and daughter over few weeks ago, spent £30 on afternoon tea food and bought her daughter a chocolate egg and mug. They didn’t turn up.

    The thing is, when I listen to them. It’s all a load of nonsense and I am aware, they are internal issues.

    I’ve put up with a lot.

    Yet I am always the one who crawls back, trying to make amends etc (I do leave it though to let them cool off).

    My best friend who I fell out with, I reached out to her 3 weeks ago (after 18mths of not speaking) and we started chatting all was fine, then she asked me when I was next over near her so I told her. No reply. Then not had a reply to my other message I sent her either.

    I know most people will tell me that it isn’t me, it’s them. But I know all this.

    But what I want to know is what am “I” projecting. What am I doing to create this in my life?

    I always feel like I have the best intentions and try to do good, but for some reason people seem to have an issue with me.

    How can I attract more meaningful relationships?

    I’m fed up of getting hurt, feeling sad and feeling drained for putting so much energy in.

    The only thing I can think of, is I am on a slightly different wavelength to all my friends. It never once has mattered to me, but maybe this is it.

    I’m a successful business owner (not that anyone knows my financials) but I think because I have a lovely converted farmhouse and lifestyle, I don’t know… maybe that niggles people?

    Whereas some of my friends who I’ve known for years – keep on saying “we will have to come and visit”…. but they never do. I always drive (1hr) to see them.

    I just don’t get it.

    I reckon if I didn’t message anyone again, I’d have no friends…. but they aren’t really friends are they?

    I go out of my way, if I get close to a friend I’m the sort to send cards when they are down, or take them for lunch etc.

    But I just know i’m holding it all together.

    How can “I” look at how I’m being towards them, and change it?

    #296765

    anita
    Participant

    Dear claref:

    “what I want to know is what am ‘I’ projecting. What am I doing to create this in my life?”

    I don’t know. In general possible answers are: they sense that you are sometimes or often angry at them, sometimes nice, other times angry, they  don’t know the next time you will get angry, so they keep their distance. In this case it would be anger that is being projected.

    It could be anxiety- people feel uncomfortable around very anxious people, it is unsettling.

    It could be that you put other people down (motivated by anger), maybe passive aggressively and people don’t like that, of course, or you point to others as being at fault, never to yourself.

    These are just possibilities.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  anita.
    #296805

    claref
    Participant

    Hmm, I don’t ever get angry at them (The only time I’ve ever shown any negative feeling, is when they have approached me and I always am calm) and definitely not passive aggressive, my partner says complete opposite – that I’m too nice.

    The thing is, I never share any of my feelings with them – unless forced. So it’s something that’s happening, without me realising?

    #296813

    anita
    Participant

    Dear claref:

    I didn’t understand your second paragraph, can you elaborate/ explain it to me?

    anita

    #296817

    Mark
    Participant

    claref

    I have trouble finding quality friends who I can rely on as well. What is important for me is that they have integrity, kindness, and sense of self awareness. If they don’t have those qualities then they don’t become my friends.  If they don’t care to keep in touch or treat me with respect then I drop them. It is important to only have people who make a positive difference in my life. If they are not there for me, cause me stress, or do not want to be my friend then there’s no reason for me to make an effort to keep them in my life.

    So I have no advice for you or no insight  except just made more discerning to who you include as a friend.

    Mark

    #296823

    claref
    Participant

    Thanks Mark.

    Yes, I agree with what you are saying. I guess my fear is if I drop all these people I will end up with nobody, or feel like I’m cutting my nose off. I have lots of acquaintances but no real friends who would be there for me.

    #296841

    Mark
    Participant

    claref

    It’s not as if you dropped them. They dropped to you already.

    Sure you can keep them as acquaintances with no expectations.

    But know that they are not the friends you want in your life.

    Mark

    #298215

    Anxious Irish
    Participant

    Hi ClareF

     

    You sound very like me and what I go through with my friends. I thought I had met a very special friend until I found out he was lying to me – and blamed me because I’m an HSP and he didn’t want to hurt me. Once I could forgive, but it’s happened 3 times now to the point I no longer value the relationship as it was and am trying to focus on myself more. If you’d like to talk, please let me know because I feel we sound very similar. xx

    #298663

    JayJay
    Participant

    Hi Claire,

    Could it be that you are just confusing friendships with acquaintances?

    Maybe some people get used to someone else making all the effort in a friendship, and some people are so lazy that they will let ‘their friend’ (that’s you) carry on putting themselves out, and making all the effort, without making any effort in return. Because they don’t have to… you are doing it all for them. Or it might be that they simply think that you like making all the effort that you do.

    It seems to me you have two choices here. You can either carry on making all the effort, because you’re a nice person and you don’t mind making the extra effort, if that’s what it takes. As your husband has suggested, perhaps you really are simply too nice? And non-assertive, not asking for anything in return for the effort you put in.

    Or you can do what you suggest (cutting your nose off!) see if they notice that you are not making the effort and see how they react. At least that way you will find out if they are friends, rather than acquaintances. Because true friends, will want to know if you’re ok, at the very least.

    Or you could try saying, the next time you are just about to go and see someone, ask them if they would like to come over to your place instead. If you get a general vague answer that they will come over sometime or other, ask them when they would like to come over, so that you can reciprocate the welcome you get from them when you visit them.

    A third way would be to share some of those feelings you have that you don’t share with them.

    The thing is, I never share any of my feelings with them – unless forced. So it’s something that’s happening, without me realising?

    By sharing things with others, you put yourself in a position where you have to trust that person. If you never open up about things or share anything with them, then they will assume that you do not trust them with your feelings. Now, that’s ok for acquaintances, as they don’t or won’t be sharing anything like that with you either. If some of the people you know share things with you, but you never share anything with them unless you are forced to, then just perhaps they can sense there is a barrier there to a true friendship. It’s a two-way thing, is friendship. So maybe you could try opening up a bit and be a bit more trusting?

    Did you have trouble forming friendships during your childhood, and was there any reason for that? You sound a lot like me, and I don’t have many friends, but I do have a lot of acquaintances! I can count my true friends on one hand, the people I can share confidences with, rant away in front of, ask for help… and it is the same both ways. If it’s any consolation, most people don’t have that many true friends, they get sifted out over the years, as you learn who you can trust, and who you can’t.

    best wishes,

    Jay

     

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