Lifelong friend is very controlling

  • 13 Replies
  • 1950 Views
*

bunnie

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 525
Lifelong friend is very controlling
« on: April 20, 2016, 02:03:46 PM »
Over the years, my friend and I would get together and catch up about 4 times a year.  If one of us was having a hard time with something, we'd get together more often until the crisis was over.

Last year I reached out to her because my sister was raging and I needed support.  Well the issue with my sister has lasted over a year now.  And my friend also went through a breakup.  So we've talked multiple times a week for the last year.  The problem I'm facing is that I'm learning that she is a bit of a control freak.  She gets really upset and starts sending me multiple texts and phone calls asking, "Are you ignoring me? Did you get my message? WHY are you ignoring me?"  Her phone calls, v/mails and texts come within 1/2hr or less throughout the day. 

If I don't respond or return her calls, she sends me messages saying "I'm upset and done".  But when I do call her and ask what is wrong or going on, she says, "I'm fine."  She never gives an explanation of why she was so insistent on a prompt reply.  There's never anything wrong. 

And lately she's been reminding me of all of her other friends and her travel plans with them.  When I express excitement that she's going away or getting with her other friends she gets really quiet.  And the plans actually never materialize.

One day she called my husband and asked him to tell me to call her.  When I called, she ranted for no less than an hour about how she's always there for her friends but they are never there for her.  That is totally untrue and I defended not only myself, but also a couple of her other friends who I know have been there for her through the years. 

She eventually calmed down and I reminded her of my schedule for the next few days and told her to tell me when she wanted to hang out.  She never did.  But she continues to call and tell me about how she has to get away from everyone because everyone in her life is mentally ill!

I don't want to lose this friendship but I'm starting to realize that she is very controlling and angry when people don't respond the way she expects them to.

Any advice?

To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. - Eckhart Tolle

*

bunnie

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 525
Re: Lifelong friend is very controlling
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2016, 11:01:14 PM »
You know, I've been thinking about this since I posted.  It's just another person with a serious case of fleas most likely.  Some definite PD traits.  I'm just going to practice medium chill and not reacting.  Nothing much else that I can do.
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. - Eckhart Tolle

*

Scout

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1027
Re: Lifelong friend is very controlling
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2016, 11:21:47 PM »
I think that's a good idea.  You could also tell her (if you want) that you have been leaving your phone silent & checking your phone only a few times a day so you can get more done at work and at home.  You can frame it as wanting to reassure her that you *will* answer (if that's true) and that she needn't wear herself out thinking that it's only a quantity of texts that gets you to respond.

. . . That's assuming that she has good qualities and you want to retain this friendship, of course.

*

bunnie

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 525
Re: Lifelong friend is very controlling
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2016, 01:48:24 AM »
I like that idea Scout.

I don't want to lose her friendship but she seems to have a martyr complex that she is always there for her friends and no one reciprocates.  What's surprising to me is that she wants to control when and how often I respond to her calls and texts.  She's even fabricated drama by texting/messaging that "I need you.  It's an emergency"  Then when I break away to reply, she doesn't want ANYTHING at all.  I've tried to talk to her about it and I tell her that if I don't respond it's because I'm busy.  She responds that she's busy too but she makes time to "check on you throughout the day" 

We're freakin' adults... this is a weird side of her.  I like that suggestion and will use it tomorrow :)
« Last Edit: April 21, 2016, 01:50:21 AM by bunnie »
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. - Eckhart Tolle

*

Malini

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1533
Re: Lifelong friend is very controlling
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2016, 07:59:24 AM »
I have found that once friendships have to be 'managed' or start becoming hard work, I really begin to evaluate WHY I want to keep the friendship.

Any attempt to resolve issues of conflict, jealousy, drama with my N or flea ridden friends never truly worked and the friendship was in a holding position, always waiting for the next bit of turbulence.

I have let go of two loong time friendships recently when I realised that I had to put so much work into them and my other friendships just seem to flow. I'm not saying that I haven't run into difficulties with these friendships, but misunderstandings are easily resolved, apologies are made and accepted and I feel joy when the numbers of these friends turn up on my phone, or in anticipation of a girls night out - vs knotted stomach, anxiety and sadness.

Navigating friendships is not easy and I hope MC helps you get to where you want to be.


"How do you do it?" said night
"How do you wake and shine?"
"I keep it simple." said light
"One day at a time" - Lemn Sissay

'I think it's important to realise that you can miss something, but not want it back' Paul Coelho

'We accept the love we think we deserve' Stephen Chbosky

*

bunnie

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 525
Re: Lifelong friend is very controlling
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2016, 12:29:38 PM »
I will keep that in mind.  After coming to the realization that my sis and both parents are NPDs, it's disheartening to see this pattern in my friend.
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. - Eckhart Tolle

*

VividImagination

  • Fear is not real; it is a product of the thoughts you create. Danger is very real, but fear is a choice. - After Earth
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 7491
  • Vivid the Blunt
Re: Lifelong friend is very controlling
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2016, 04:11:30 PM »
  She responds that she's busy too but she makes time to "check on you throughout the day" 

No advice, but wanted to mention that this sentence made me do a triple take. WTH?  This is NOT a normal statement to make to a friend. The only people I feel compelled to check on is my children...because they are CHILDREN. Like under age 12.  I don't check on my spouse, siblings, or anyone else. I might text my DH with something specific to say, but that's it. He's at work, I'm at work, and unless there's a news report of a shooting/bombing at his workplace, or massive car accident involving a little red sedan on the interstate he drives, I don't need to verify his safety each day.

I think she had a Freudian slip and omitted a word...she is making time to "check UP on you" throughout the day. In other words, this seems to be about her needs, not your well-being.

Call me antisocial, call me scarred from dealing with a PD parent...but I just can't be bothered with high maintenance relationships unless my name is legally attached to the person through birth or marriage.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

*

clara

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 945
Re: Lifelong friend is very controlling
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2016, 12:25:33 PM »
My standard for judging friendships has come to, "am I consistently giving out of proportion to what I'm getting?" and if the answer is yes, I let it go.  I make no more effort to keep things going and instead wait for the other person to take up the ball.  With PDs it seems, more often than not, they're perfectly willing to move on.  If not, they like to do the "I'll make you feel guilty for abandoning me but I'm still not going to do anything to nurture the relationship" game.  Either way, it's basically no-win and not worth more time or emotional investment. 

*

bunnie

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 525
Re: Lifelong friend is very controlling
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2016, 06:03:04 PM »
My husband says the same thing, "Babe, even I don't check on you everyday...something's off"  I do seem to be spending a lot of time on her needs and moods lately.  I started to get physically ill this week.  Anxiety through the roof.  And I can't afford that since I've been dealing with my sister and dad lately.

I do feel as if I'm being guilted for every little response or lack thereof.  She makes statements that she's always there for her friends but they're not returning the favor.  So I don't want to be the one manifesting PD behavior by not be caring of the relationship.  But her concern is over the top.

To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. - Eckhart Tolle

*

kiwihelen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 2018
Re: Lifelong friend is very controlling
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2016, 06:52:27 PM »
I had to put some brutal hard boundaries on a gay friend who wanted more than friendship and kept claiming I didn't know my own mind (!)
Boundaries test if the person has fleas or a PD. In this case it was fleas and she's mostly respectful of the boundaries (some recent calls have had some phrases that skirt close to one of my rules).

*

bunnie

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 525
Re: Lifelong friend is very controlling
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2016, 07:54:21 PM »
My friend keeps saying that she realizes that how I'm acting has nothing to do with her so she "understands".  She keeps trying to convince me that there is something wrong with me and our friendship... uh no there isn't. There's something wrong with her.

The other thing that's particularly bothersome is that she keeps bringing up the ordeal I went through with my sister and family.  And she'll quote things I said about it and say, "that's how I know you're thinking or doing xyz..." It's like she's using the information from my PD family against me and applying it all to my relationship with her. 

For instance, she knows that my sister and mother shunned and stalked me last year.  So she says, "You know I would never shun or stalk you... so don't stop talking to me like you did them."
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 07:58:10 PM by bunnie »
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. - Eckhart Tolle

*

Scout

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1027
Re: Lifelong friend is very controlling
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2016, 08:42:21 PM »
My friend keeps saying that she realizes that how I'm acting has nothing to do with her so she "understands".  She keeps trying to convince me that there is something wrong with me and our friendship... uh no there isn't. There's something wrong with her.

The other thing that's particularly bothersome is that she keeps bringing up the ordeal I went through with my sister and family.  And she'll quote things I said about it and say, "that's how I know you're thinking or doing xyz..." It's like she's using the information from my PD family against me and applying it all to my relationship with her. 

For instance, she knows that my sister and mother shunned and stalked me last year.  So she says, "You know I would never shun or stalk you... so don't stop talking to me like you did them."

Sounds like part of her knows she IS being too much (she has been told this before, by the friends she complains about, almost certainly) and she's trying to talk you out of paying too much attention to the fact that she's being very needy and inappropriate.

My previous suggestion was made in the hopes that this friendship had good outweighing the bad, but it sounds like you may be struggling with that decision, and I don't blame you one bit!

In my own experience, I put up with so much from my ex and my Dad that I probably couldn't handle behavior this demanding from a friend, too. 

You don't have to, if you don't want to. 

*

bunnie

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 525
Re: Lifelong friend is very controlling
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2016, 08:47:23 PM »
Thank you for understanding.  I'm glad I posted about this.  I felt very awkward doing so.  Even more awkward than posting about my family.  I don't know why, but it really through me for a loop. I'm kind of frustrated that I told her anything that was going on with my family.  I wish I hadn't.  It's like she waited til I got stronger and now wham! geez
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. - Eckhart Tolle

*

Mapleleaf14

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 386
Re: Lifelong friend is very controlling
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2016, 08:44:28 PM »
Hey ya bunnie!  I agree with the person who said that once a friendship must be managed, it's time to reevaluate the value of the friendship in your life. At this point in our journeys ootf, we don't need any additional dysfunction!  I think you are making the right choice. I hope you are doing well otherwise bunny and the same to everyone else!  I haven't been around much but busy with a good life away from my PD!