Was this out of line?

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Chiara

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Was this out of line?
« on: May 09, 2017, 03:50:59 AM »
Hi all.  :)

I have a question about a friendship that I have been attempting to re-establish.

I have a friend of many, many years who, back in the fall, I found myself in a disagreement with over an ideological matter.

She wanted me to do something that I simply could not do without feeling that I was engaging in something very wrong, and she chastised me over my beliefs. It was nothing illegal, just personal.

While we did not yell at each other, she said some things that were pretty blunt, such as telling me how wrong I was, that I was unloving, and finally that she did not want to "hear" my reasons for why I was deciding as I was.

I tried to explain my reasons to her calmly and rationally, but she would not listen to me, and instead kept saying, "I do not want to hear it," and finally made a pointed comment for me to finish eating and then leave her house.

I was very hurt that day, because I had tried to reasonably explain things, and felt that I had instead been put down and stonewalled. Because I did not want to feel hurt again, or go through anything like that again, I avoided rekindling our friendship for many, many months. I did reply to a card she sent me, but other than that, I let it be.

Finally here some weeks back I got up the courage and went over to talk to her. I explained to her that I come from dysfunction, and that for most of my life people either argue over disagreements, or refuse to talk about them, but that it was very important for me to have people in my life who I could talk to rationally and come to some sort of compromise wherein everyone is comfortable.

I was unsure just how much she really took in, but she seemed to go along with what I said, and told me that she would always talk to me, and that I should have come over sooner.

Still skittish about the friendship, I made a few more casual visits, and then we decided to make plans to do something the next day. I told her I would call.

I called her the next day, but there was no answer, so I left a voicemail. An hour went by and I did not hear back. I finally decided to take my dog for a walk and drop by her house on the way. Sure enough, she was there, and when I asked about my call, she looked at me sort of shocked for a moment, and then said "I do not know how to check my voicemail."

Unless she got a new phone, or a new service, I thought this was odd, as I have seen her check her voicemail in front of me before. But, I let it go, and watched as she answered her phone when another friend called and then told him that we were coming over.

So, we went over to this friends place, who is more her friend than mine, but I have known him for years. He is nice, but he is an alcoholic and very much into pills and some drugs, and while I have seen him around over the years through mutual friends, we have never become friends ourselves. He started pouring us drinks, and I did not really want to be drinking a lot, but before I knew it, I was drinking away and he kept pouring.

Day turned to night, and I was pretty well buzzed. She had left at some point, but being in the state I was, it had been something of a conscious blur to me. So, I walked back to her place, and slept the alcohol off in a spare room, as I was not good enough to drive.

The next day, I was just so... disappointed. The person we had gone to see, as well as the group of people that had shown up to drink with us were not really the sort of crowd that I want to hang out with, as it is the sort of crowd that I used to hang out with for a period of time in my life, and I know what it is all about. All drinking, pills, drugs, and lots of meaningless meaninglessness.

I want so much to have good relationships, and I know that spending my time in such circles is not going to be a positive influence. I started to question if being friends was a good idea, for as much as I enjoy my friend's company, many negative things (and people) came into my life over the years because of it.

I wrestled for a week with these thoughts, and finally went over today. I tried to explain to her that I like her friend, but I really just want to be friends with her, and not these other people, because I have had so much dysfunction in my life and I do not want anymore.

I told her that I am not blaming anyone, but that at the same time, I think that if I hang out with a certain crowd, it will just pull me down.

Finally, at one point, she said: "that is what I do not like about you."

I was rather taken back by her blunt statement, given that our friendship is still on the mend, and listened as she went on to explain over and over that I need to take care of myself, and that I am smart, and that people like that will only pull me down if I let them.

I tried to explain repeatedly that I understand that it is not anyones fault, and I am not blaming anyone. I told her that if they ever needed anything, I would be there to help. But to just spend time hanging out with them is not something that I want.

She would listen but just revert back to, "you need to take care of yourself," which, as I said, I have no doubt to be true, but yet the people that one hangs around with can have a serious influence on a person nonetheless.

I could tell by her body language that she was not happy, as her arms were folded over her chest, which I do not think I tend to often see with her.

I just feel at a loss as to what to do at this point.

I hesitated to go over for so long because I do not want her to put me down everytime she disagrees with something, and yet today she did it again - or so it seems to me - when she said "that is what I do not like about you."

Those words keep swimming in my head, and I really question if she likes me. Someone had told me months ago, before we fell out, that she says mean things about me being my back. I had brushed it off at the time, but then when we fell out, it came back to me, and i wondered if it was true and how far those "mean things" went. She denies it, but those words just stir up my doubts again.

At this point, I suppose my question is this: is it normal for me to feel hurt by her saying "that is what I do not like about you" - would anyone else feel that it was insulting?  Do I have reason to question her friendship given all that I explained? Is it wrong for me to want to only spend time with certain people and not others?

As a note, we did end up having a nice rest of the day together, but those words linger, and I feel as though I am struggling to re-establish the old "good feelings" that I used to have about her.

Thank you all so much. :)
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 04:32:28 AM by Chiara »

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Seichan

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 07:35:52 AM »
It does sound as though you're short on personal boundaries.  While things were not resolved with your friend, you went with her to visit a known alcoholic. That didn't mean you had to start drinking with them, but you did -- and you went on drinking (against your better judgment?), so much so that you apparently didn't notice when your friend left.

I've struggled with this issue, as well, and it got me into all sorts of dangerous situations. You are very vulnerable when you can't say no to alcohol you don't want.

I ended a long-term friendship because the woman concerned had become an alcoholic. She kept reminding me that we used to get drunk together all the time, and I'd been happy about it. That was true -- when we were both in our 20s. By the time I ended the friendship we were both in our 50s, and it was obvious we had different patterns of drinking. If I had more than a few glasses I felt sick. When she got drunk she would start crying, and wanting to put her arms around me, and it was all too icky for me.

I have also been roundly rejected by another long-term friend, who sounds as sensible as your friend. People get fed up with us when we're perpetually in trouble. This friend has good boundaries and I still think well of her. It sounds as though your friend has strong boundaries, too.

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I told her that I am not blaming anyone, but that at the same time, I think that if I hang out with a certain crowd, it will just pull me down.

Finally, at one point, she said: "that is what I do not like about you."

I was rather taken back by her blunt statement, given that our friendship is still on the mend, and listened as she went on to explain over and over that I need to take care of myself, and that I am smart, and that people like that will only pull me down if I let them.

She gave you good advice.

In your shoes I would leave her alone for a while while you work on self-esteem and personal boundaries.

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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2017, 11:27:02 AM »
It does sound as though you're short on personal boundaries.  While things were not resolved with your friend, you went with her to visit a known alcoholic. That didn't mean you had to start drinking with them, but you did -- and you went on drinking (against your better judgment?), so much so that you apparently didn't notice when your friend left.

I've struggled with this issue, as well, and it got me into all sorts of dangerous situations. You are very vulnerable when you can't say no to alcohol you don't want.

I ended a long-term friendship because the woman concerned had become an alcoholic. She kept reminding me that we used to get drunk together all the time, and I'd been happy about it. That was true -- when we were both in our 20s. By the time I ended the friendship we were both in our 50s, and it was obvious we had different patterns of drinking. If I had more than a few glasses I felt sick. When she got drunk she would start crying, and wanting to put her arms around me, and it was all too icky for me.

I have also been roundly rejected by another long-term friend, who sounds as sensible as your friend. People get fed up with us when we're perpetually in trouble. This friend has good boundaries and I still think well of her. It sounds as though your friend has strong boundaries, too.

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I told her that I am not blaming anyone, but that at the same time, I think that if I hang out with a certain crowd, it will just pull me down.

Finally, at one point, she said: "that is what I do not like about you."

I was rather taken back by her blunt statement, given that our friendship is still on the mend, and listened as she went on to explain over and over that I need to take care of myself, and that I am smart, and that people like that will only pull me down if I let them.

She gave you good advice.

In your shoes I would leave her alone for a while while you work on self-esteem and personal boundaries.

Thanks for the thoughts. :)

Well, the issue is not so much the drinking, although I can see where it may seem like it from the post. I am not an alcoholic or anything, and am not worried about falling into a life of alcoholism or drugs, etc. I was let down that I did end up drinking so much, but that was not really the heart of the matter per say, and like I said, I do not blame anyone for my drinking.

The main concern that I had was that my friend tends to have a lot of other friends who are into lifestyles that I am just not interested in, and over the years - through being friends with her - I have had other people and situations come into my life that are very dysfunctional. A

I wanted to set a boundary with her that explained wherein if I am to be friends with her, I would like to just be her friend, so that she would know for the future and I would not have to worry about being in situations where I am expected to hang out around certain things - like people who do drugs and pills, etc. While I can certainly refrain from going to their place, it can get complicated when they are in and out of her life and are her friends.

You see, I am not perpetually in trouble (drinking, pills, drugs, etc.). The people that she is friends with are. She even gets sick of it with them and tells me that. It has been very draining on her to watch so many people do that.

The concern that I have is that I just do not want to be hanging out with people in these lifestyles to begin with, and if I was not her friend, I would not. The people in the past who I did hang out with who were like this actually came into my life through her.... and for a time, I hung out around them, until I saw enough of that lifestyle and it came clear I did not fit in anyways as it was not really the sort of lifestyle I wanted.

I just wanted to set a boundary with my friend wherein she can be friends with who she wants, but when we are together, she would understand why I just want to be friends with her.

I hope that makes sense. :)
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 11:41:23 AM by Chiara »

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moglow

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2017, 01:47:09 PM »
Good morning, and welcome to Out of the FOG! I can certainly understand your concerns with your friend, but there are a few things you may need to work on.

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I hesitated to go over for so long because I do not want her to put me down everytime she disagrees with something, and yet today she did it again - or so it seems to me - when she said "that is what I do not like about you."

I'm sure there's more to it, but I don't necessarily see this as her putting you down. Yes, she's saying she doesn't like that about you.  I don't like everything about my friends, but neither do I make an issue of it like she did. Sounds like she's getting defensive about her other friends, but that's still not your stuff. She just doesn't like that about you. Okay. She doesn't have to. I'm sure there are things you don't like about her, but that doesn't mean you can't be friends.

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I just wanted to set a boundary with my friend wherein she can be friends with who she wants, but when we are together, she would understand why I just want to be friends with her.

Just to clarify for you, that's not a boundary. A boundary isn't about the other person or what they understand (or not, as the case may be). It's something you set for yourself and how you wish to be treated - and your response when the boundary is breached.

As you say, you aren't choosing her friends, you simply choose to not spend time around certain behavior (drugs, alcohol). So you don't. If you're with her and she wants to go be with them, she goes and you go elsewhere. No harm no foul, you simply do other things. It's not about her, a reflection or judgment of her, you just aren't interested.

As she pointed out, take care of yourself first. It doesn't mean you aren't or can't be friends, but neither do you have to be friends with all her others.
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.  ~ Cap'n Spanky

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moglow

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2017, 02:15:41 PM »
One other thought - your friend may be feeling the same as you are, just the flip side in this situation. She could see you choosing to not be with her friends as a judgment of *her* and her choices, even though it's not. Maybe a part of her is defensive for that reason, that maybe underneath it all she's not so enthused about all the drugs and drinking either.

In the end, you still need to separate your choices from others' and realize you can respect their choices without making them your own. And it doesn't lessen either of you in any way.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 02:17:29 PM by moglow »
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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2017, 02:35:32 PM »
Good morning, and welcome to Out of the FOG! I can certainly understand your concerns with your friend, but there are a few things you may need to work on.

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I hesitated to go over for so long because I do not want her to put me down everytime she disagrees with something, and yet today she did it again - or so it seems to me - when she said "that is what I do not like about you."

I'm sure there's more to it, but I don't necessarily see this as her putting you down. Yes, she's saying she doesn't like that about you.  I don't like everything about my friends, but neither do I make an issue of it like she did. Sounds like she's getting defensive about her other friends, but that's still not your stuff. She just doesn't like that about you. Okay. She doesn't have to. I'm sure there are things you don't like about her, but that doesn't mean you can't be friends.

Quote
I just wanted to set a boundary with my friend wherein she can be friends with who she wants, but when we are together, she would understand why I just want to be friends with her.

Just to clarify for you, that's not a boundary. A boundary isn't about the other person or what they understand (or not, as the case may be). It's something you set for yourself and how you wish to be treated - and your response when the boundary is breached.

As you say, you aren't choosing her friends, you simply choose to not spend time around certain behavior (drugs, alcohol). So you don't. If you're with her and she wants to go be with them, she goes and you go elsewhere. No harm no foul, you simply do other things. It's not about her, a reflection or judgment of her, you just aren't interested.

As she pointed out, take care of yourself first. It doesn't mean you aren't or can't be friends, but neither do you have to be friends with all her others.

Thanks for the thoughts. It is something to think over. :)

Yes, it is definitely more about me just not wanting to be involved with those sorts of circles period. I do not mind social drinking. It was more just the fact that I ended up hanging out in those circles that concerned me. I find it can really pull a person down in the long run, as I think my friend knows but will not admit, as she has told me how hard it is on her to have been around so many people over the years who do those things.

I am a little perplexed about the boundary thing though. I always thought that a boundary was a choice, but that sometimes boundaries are spoken. Such as when you have to tell a person no, I do not want to do that.

I was trying to tell it up front. That way if I drive over to her place (which is a little bit of a drive, although sometimes I take my dog that way to go for a walk) and get there, she will not put me on the spot or something by wanting me to hang out with them, and then I wasted time and gas going over there only to have to leave.

I figured this way she knows where I stand, and everything is clear and there is no guessing. I know it is not the easiest discussion, but at least it is clear.

Is that not a good idea?

Also, I think where she said "that is what I do not like about you" really took me back because it is not something I would say to her. I would feel that I was insulting her. I cannot imagine myself saying that to her without feeling rude.

I do know that people do not like things about each other, and I get that, but to have her say that seemed to me to be a bit of a put down, especially when I was already questioning if she really likes me or not.

I am learning, but it just seemed like a bit of an insult to me and I am not sure how it is not. I do not doubt that she may dislike things about me, and that is ok, but I am unsure as to how it is not an insult to say that.

Thanks again for the thoughts. There is some good insight in them, and I will reread them. I do know that these friendships have caused her a lot of grief, and so maybe she is defensive because she is not so enthused either, as you said in the other post.

Thanks again!  :)

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anonhand

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2017, 02:58:05 PM »
Hi chiara,

It sounds like a difficult and awkward phase in your friendship. I found this site because of PDs in my family but then also realised over time that some of my long-term friendships were pretty unhealthy. I'm quite a people pleaser and let myself be put down by close friends and tolerated yelling and silent treatment. Eventually I cut ties with my 'best friend' a couple of years ago, once I was married and my self esteem improved a lot. Coming from this experience, I'm able to sympathise with what you're dealing with.

I would be hurt if a good friend said 'that it what I don't like about you'. It's not a kind thing to say and I'd find it hard to be myself around that person again and trust the friendship because I can imagine you're now doubting what they really think of you when they're spending time with you and what they might be saying behind your back. To have some trust and intimacy in your friendship I think you need to feel like there's genuine affection and loyalty there. Friends should pick you up. I can see the faults in myself and some of my close friends, I don't like everything about them, but I'd never say something like that to them and I always try to tread carefully with people's feelings.

Do you think she was just frustrated in this one situation? From the fact that she didn't want to listen to your reasons it does sound like she was feeling defensive, possibly judged and perhaps protective of her friends. Maybe she felt cornered and snapped? Was it out of character for her? She probably felt like you need to take responsibility for yourself and not spend time with those people without bringing her into it. I understand you wanted her to understand so that she didn't try to get you to spend time with them but it could be better to just leave when you need to leave without explaining the reason again in future. Just say 'ok I'm going to head home then' and that's that. Once enough time has passed, she might get used to the fact that you spend time just one-on-one with her and stop contacting the other people.

Whether you think this is a healthy friendship that you want to continue is another issue and it depends on whether this is a one-off argument that she took a bit far or a pattern in your relationship. For example, is she genuinely happy for you when things are going well for you, does she make you feel good and appreciated, do you think you have healthy boundaries? Have past disagreements gone better, has she been willing to listen and compromise?

Good luck!
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 03:24:40 PM by moglow »

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Adria

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2017, 03:11:16 PM »
Chiara, just a thought, not sure, but could it be that maybe she does like to party and since you don't want to hang with her party crowd, she is pulling away? Maybe it is a birds of a feather thing, and she is realizing that is not your gig and is leaning more to the partying side, so in essence you are not in anymore. 

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moglow

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2017, 03:23:52 PM »
The boundary is yours, is what I mean - She has no obligation to fix that for you. You can tell her until you turn purple that you don't want to go, the onus is still on you to follow through (same as it is for her) if she asks to to go elsewhere. You tell her you don't want to go, and *you don't go.* She's under no obligation to invite you or not, and may think she's being rude to not invite you. Boundaries are more about your choices than theirs.

If you make plans to do something together and she repeatedly plans these side visits she knows you're not interested in, yes, I'd wonder why. Maybe instead of hanging out at her place, make plans to do other things. If she wants to go to this bar or that party, no, let's go to dinner and a movie. Talk about that ahead of time so you have actual plans.

[/size]If she repeatedly preempts plans with you in favor of other friends, I'd be done making plans with her. Give it a rest for a while and see how she responds. She can go be with those friends and you do your thing.



« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 04:18:12 PM by moglow »
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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2017, 01:47:34 AM »
Hi chiara,

It sounds like a difficult and awkward phase in your friendship. I found this site because of PDs in my family but then also realised over time that some of my long-term friendships were pretty unhealthy. I'm quite a people pleaser and let myself be put down by close friends and tolerated yelling and silent treatment. Eventually I cut ties with my 'best friend' a couple of years ago, once I was married and my self esteem improved a lot. Coming from this experience, I'm able to sympathise with what you're dealing with.

I would be hurt if a good friend said 'that it what I don't like about you'. It's not a kind thing to say and I'd find it hard to be myself around that person again and trust the friendship because I can imagine you're now doubting what they really think of you when they're spending time with you and what they might be saying behind your back. To have some trust and intimacy in your friendship I think you need to feel like there's genuine affection and loyalty there. Friends should pick you up. I can see the faults in myself and some of my close friends, I don't like everything about them, but I'd never say something like that to them and I always try to tread carefully with people's feelings.

Do you think she was just frustrated in this one situation? From the fact that she didn't want to listen to your reasons it does sound like she was feeling defensive, possibly judged and perhaps protective of her friends. Maybe she felt cornered and snapped? Was it out of character for her? She probably felt like you need to take responsibility for yourself and not spend time with those people without bringing her into it. I understand you wanted her to understand so that she didn't try to get you to spend time with them but it could be better to just leave when you need to leave without explaining the reason again in future. Just say 'ok I'm going to head home then' and that's that. Once enough time has passed, she might get used to the fact that you spend time just one-on-one with her and stop contacting the other people.

Whether you think this is a healthy friendship that you want to continue is another issue and it depends on whether this is a one-off argument that she took a bit far or a pattern in your relationship. For example, is she genuinely happy for you when things are going well for you, does she make you feel good and appreciated, do you think you have healthy boundaries? Have past disagreements gone better, has she been willing to listen and compromise?

Good luck!

Thank you for the feedback anonhand. I appreciate it. :)

Yes, hearing her say that was one of those "train of thought initiators" that made me wonder, "well, if you do not like that, how much more do you not like and do you even like me at all?"

She is an enjoyable person to be with, but she is one of those people who - the more she gets to know someone - tends to "let it all hang out" so to speak.

Many of those close to her she will yell at, shout at, put down, etc. She started that with me some years ago, and my instinct was to make certain that there were "consequences" for such things. In other words, if she yelled at me and screamed at me, long periods would go by before I would talk to her again.

This seems to have helped, because although I have known her for a very long time, she does not generally treat me as she might others. This makes our friendship possible, because if she started doing that to me to the degree I have seen her do it with others, I would not be able to handle it! :)

But her good side is very enjoyable, and I appreciate that about her.

I see what you are saying about the subtle ways to get out of hanging out with the others, but I just really yearn for friendships where I can be open and honest about things like that and say, "this is where I am. I hope that you will be willing to work with me on this."

I have done a lot of tiptoeing around people in my life, for fear that if I spoke up they would react negatively. To me it seems more positive if two people can be honest and say, "here is the situation. I would like your help with something. This is what I am comfortable with and this is what I am not. I hope you will understand and help me with that," rather than just avoiding it and trying to skim around it when it occurs.

Of course, no one can force another to do something, and everyone has to take responsibility for themselves, yet at the same time, I cannot help but wonder, aren't we here to be support to each other? To know where each other stands, to know each others limitations, to hear them out and to adjust things if capable?

All of my life if I tried to say, "here is what I need from you," people often shut me down. They did not want to change behaviors that were legitimately changeable, they did not want to improve, they wanted to just stay in the same patterns. I could not say, "what you do/ or this certain thing, is hurting me/troubling me/etc., please can you work with me to find a solution" and be heard for the most part, in a way that would show a working together.

To me, it means so much to be able to say to someone, "I have to make this decision. Here it is. I hope you can be supportive and help me with it." I know it might be less direct to skirt the issue and just leave whenever others are around, but that feels like the old patterns of not speaking up and saying what I need.

Anyways, just some thoughts I am throwing around as I try to understand these things. :)

Thank you again. I appreciate it. :)
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 02:22:54 AM by Chiara »

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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2017, 01:53:31 AM »
Chiara, just a thought, not sure, but could it be that maybe she does like to party and since you don't want to hang with her party crowd, she is pulling away? Maybe it is a birds of a feather thing, and she is realizing that is not your gig and is leaning more to the partying side, so in essence you are not in anymore.

Hi Adria,

I see what you mean. I do not think it is that though, as she is really not a partier per say. She does not enjoy the wider circles that they bring her into when they go out herself, and has told me that on numerous occasions.

But thank you for the insight. If she was heading out a lot in that way, I would probably think the same. :)

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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2017, 02:06:07 AM »
The boundary is yours, is what I mean - She has no obligation to fix that for you. You can tell her until you turn purple that you don't want to go, the onus is still on you to follow through (same as it is for her) if she asks to to go elsewhere. You tell her you don't want to go, and *you don't go.* She's under no obligation to invite you or not, and may think she's being rude to not invite you. Boundaries are more about your choices than theirs.

If you make plans to do something together and she repeatedly plans these side visits she knows you're not interested in, yes, I'd wonder why. Maybe instead of hanging out at her place, make plans to do other things. If she wants to go to this bar or that party, no, let's go to dinner and a movie. Talk about that ahead of time so you have actual plans.

[/size]If she repeatedly preempts plans with you in favor of other friends, I'd be done making plans with her. Give it a rest for a while and see how she responds. She can go be with those friends and you do your thing.

Thank you again for taking the time to comment.

I agree that no one is obligated to do anything. Each person has their own responsibility, and like I said in the first post, I agree with the fact that people have to take care of themselves.

Thanks for the thoughts!

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Seichan

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2017, 07:07:20 AM »
Yes, it is definitely more about me just not wanting to be involved with those sorts of circles period. I do not mind social drinking. It was more just the fact that I ended up hanging out in those circles that concerned me. I find it can really pull a person down in the long run...

I agree with that. Thing is, you ended up doing exactly what you didn't want to do when she left the drinkers and you stayed on... drinking with them.

Do you have a plan as to what you would do another time if she expected you to visit these people?

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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2017, 02:47:04 PM »
Yes, it is definitely more about me just not wanting to be involved with those sorts of circles period. I do not mind social drinking. It was more just the fact that I ended up hanging out in those circles that concerned me. I find it can really pull a person down in the long run...

I agree with that. Thing is, you ended up doing exactly what you didn't want to do when she left the drinkers and you stayed on... drinking with them.

Do you have a plan as to what you would do another time if she expected you to visit these people?

Thanks for the thoughts.

I think that if she is a friend she will honor my request to hang out with them on her own time, and just plan to spend time with me when we are together.

If she keeps expecting me to visit these people, I would not go. (Save for if he needed something, such as to be checked on or help. But to just hang out, no.)

I have to admit I am a little perplexed by a number of things that have been discussed here, as they sort of go against my understanding of what a friendship is.

Certainly no one is obligated to anyone, but my understanding of a friendship is that friends support each other out of love, not obligation, and that it is healthy to share with others ones struggles/needs so that they can support each other in those.

To me, it would be a form of dysfunction if, after saying to someone something such as, "I am not comfortable with this certain thing. If there are legitimate things that you can do to help me out with that, will you please support my requests" and hearing: "I am not obligated to do anything for you. We will hang out, share fun time together, but if you have any needs, don't bring them up to me, because I will not be there for you."

But, that is for another post.

If it is ok, I think I am going to refocus this thread, because it has gotten so off focus that I feel my original questions have been lost.

Here they are:

At this point, I suppose my question is this: is it normal for me to feel hurt by her saying "that is what I do not like about you" - would anyone else feel that it was insulting?  Do I have reason to question her friendship given all that I explained? Is it wrong for me to want to only spend time with certain people and not others?

I understand everyones takes on everything else, and they are something to think about and apply, but I really just wanted to tackle those issues. :-)

Thanks for understanding.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 03:33:00 PM by Chiara »

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moglow

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2017, 03:56:54 PM »
Quote
At this point, I suppose my question is this: is it normal for me to feel hurt by her saying "that is what I do not like about you" - would anyone else feel that it was insulting?  Do I have reason to question her friendship given all that I explained? Is it wrong for me to want to only spend time with certain people and not others?

For me there isn't a "should", "normal" or "wrong" here - you feel how you feel and there's nothing wrong with that. My only concern for you is the expectation that others be a certain way and your disappointment when they aren't.

An old friend used as his tagline "Expectations are disappointments under construction." That has stuck with me - my having expectations of others has hurt me far more than their actual behavior ever has. I see it one way in my mind and when things go contrary to that, I'm hurt by it. So now I work at letting go and accepting what is.

That said, I understand you feel insulted by what she said. For me, it might bother me what was said/the way it was said then I'd "okay" in my mind and go my merry way. She doesn't have to like it and you don't have to change it, is my gut feeling. You feel how you feel. Period.

At the same time, remember there are things about her that you don't like - to me that's understandable as well. Maybe it was her tone, the context of the conversation or it just hit you the wrong way on the wrong day. It doesn't mean she's not your friend or doesn't like *you*, she sounds annoyed that you object to her friends. Okay, she can be annoyed. You're every bit as annoyed that she keeps trying to drag you off with people you've told her you don't care to be around. It may be she wants to spend time with ALL her friends and she just wants to include you. She can't change you, but you can change anything about yourself you choose - like not having those friends.

You have a right to question her friendship, absolutely. It may be it's time to reevaluate the friendship as a whole. What are you gaining from it? Has it outlived your needs? Is is more of an aggravation than an enjoyment? Do you question more than you accept? Short answer - not all friendships are long term or lifetime. It may be that you've drifted far enough apart that its just no fun or support for you anymore. It does happen. Sometimes we needs to compartmentalize our relationships rather than expecting more of them. Or end "friendships" that have become anything but.

And no, there's nothing wrong with you not wanting to spend time with certain people/groups/in certain places. Your life, your choices. I've become very sensitive to smoke so I avoid very smoky places. I have a deep aversion to drama, so I avoid contact with certain people I know who seem to thrive on it. I'm pleasant when I bump into them, but I limit my exposure and I find my joy elsewhere.

Hope that helped a little.  :blush:
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 03:59:57 PM by moglow »
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.  ~ Cap'n Spanky

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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2017, 05:04:07 PM »
Quote
At this point, I suppose my question is this: is it normal for me to feel hurt by her saying "that is what I do not like about you" - would anyone else feel that it was insulting?  Do I have reason to question her friendship given all that I explained? Is it wrong for me to want to only spend time with certain people and not others?

For me there isn't a "should", "normal" or "wrong" here - you feel how you feel and there's nothing wrong with that. My only concern for you is the expectation that others be a certain way and your disappointment when they aren't.

An old friend used as his tagline "Expectations are disappointments under construction." That has stuck with me - my having expectations of others has hurt me far more than their actual behavior ever has. I see it one way in my mind and when things go contrary to that, I'm hurt by it. So now I work at letting go and accepting what is.

That said, I understand you feel insulted by what she said. For me, it might bother me what was said/the way it was said then I'd "okay" in my mind and go my merry way. She doesn't have to like it and you don't have to change it, is my gut feeling. You feel how you feel. Period.

At the same time, remember there are things about her that you don't like - to me that's understandable as well. Maybe it was her tone, the context of the conversation or it just hit you the wrong way on the wrong day. It doesn't mean she's not your friend or doesn't like *you*, she sounds annoyed that you object to her friends. Okay, she can be annoyed. You're every bit as annoyed that she keeps trying to drag you off with people you've told her you don't care to be around. It may be she wants to spend time with ALL her friends and she just wants to include you. She can't change you, but you can change anything about yourself you choose - like not having those friends.

You have a right to question her friendship, absolutely. It may be it's time to reevaluate the friendship as a whole. What are you gaining from it? Has it outlived your needs? Is is more of an aggravation than an enjoyment? Do you question more than you accept? Short answer - not all friendships are long term or lifetime. It may be that you've drifted far enough apart that its just no fun or support for you anymore. It does happen. Sometimes we needs to compartmentalize our relationships rather than expecting more of them. Or end "friendships" that have become anything but.

And no, there's nothing wrong with you not wanting to spend time with certain people/groups/in certain places. Your life, your choices. I've become very sensitive to smoke so I avoid very smoky places. I have a deep aversion to drama, so I avoid contact with certain people I know who seem to thrive on it. I'm pleasant when I bump into them, but I limit my exposure and I find my joy elsewhere.

Hope that helped a little.  :blush:

Thanks Moglow.

I hear what you are saying about expectations. That definitely makes sense. The more I come out of the "fog," my expectations actually seem to grow, because I can see more and more what I am missing (or what I think I am missing) and I yearn for my friends / people in my life to want to "get on board" with me, and help share this journey. (Not that I would ask them to change their friends though.)

It is frustrating when they do not want to get on board, and I will have to keep what you said in mind. It is important to accept things that cannot be changed as they are.

I like what you said your friend said: "Expectations are disappointments under construction." I am going to ponder that one.

Oh, I totally agree with you on the "things that people do not like about each other" thing. That is inevitable. I really liked one of your comments you made in another post in regards to that, and it was really helpful to me. It was good food for thought. Thank you.

The odd thing is, these same people seem to make my friend feel exasperated, and when she was living with her ex, all of his friends drove her crazy (they would come over just wanting to engage in bad habits) and she did not want them even coming over and sometimes would even ask me to hide with her if they did, so that they did not know she was home.

In response to "re-evaluation time," I feel like I have been "re-evaluating" for a long time. There is a lot of good there, but a number of negatives too. It is particularly hard though in that over the years she has been outspoken with me and said numerous unkind things to my face when she was mad. I always tried to avoid saying those things, save one time some years back where she started screaming at me for a dumb reason and I had enough. I showed her the full force of just how much I can yell back too, and she has never done that (yell) to me again.

Hearing her say "that is what I do not like about you" is just another pile of things that rummage around in my mind with all the other things she has said in the past. She tends to get over it and want to just hang out like old times, but I think that is because she does not have this accumulation of me saying bad things to her face in the back of her mind as I do.

Yet she has been a wonderful friend in so many ways a well, and there are things about her that are so special and unique that I am not sure if I would ever find them in another person.

Well, thank you for your thoughts and feedback, and for listening to my rambles. :) I will go back and re-read all of these comments to try to help with where I go from here.  :)



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moglow

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2017, 01:05:07 AM »
Just for context - the PD person in my life is my mother. I hit an ugly wall in that relationship several years back and saw a counselor for a while as a result, trying to find some firm footing again. During one session she asked me, "How would you respond if anyone else treated you this way?" I wouldn't put up with it, I'd be gone and I wouldn't miss them at all! "Then tell me - why does your mother get a free pass to abuse you? " It stopped me dead in my tracks. I had no answer. I put up with and excused it because I always had. I had no other point of reference.


With that, I'll ask you the same - why is this so called friend allowed to abuse your friendship? My friends don't yell at me, ever. They don't demean, disrespect or and insult me, either to my face or behind my back (to my knowledge). We don't always agree by any means and I'm sure I ping on their last nerve at times, but I don't doubt them and I don't disrespect them. If it comes to that, the friendship is over. I deserve better and so do they.  *You* deserve better.
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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Seichan

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2017, 07:19:28 AM »
is it normal for me to feel hurt by her saying "that is what I do not like about you"

Straight up, yes -- but then I would want to hear more. I would be grateful for the feedback.

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would anyone else feel that it was insulting? 

No. She did the classic assertiveness thing of criticising the behaviour, not the person.

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Do I have reason to question her friendship given all that I explained?

The alternative would have been not to have the honest feedback, and have her simply go distant on you. Some good friends have disappeared out of my life without explanation. I would have preferred they tell me what was wrong, and remain friends. Your friend told you plainly: This is what I don't like about you: You drift into situations you don't like and then you hold other people responsible.

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Is it wrong for me to want to only spend time with certain people and not others?

No, of course not. However, if a friend implied disapproval of my other friends, and insisted on always being alone with me, I would consider that friend very demanding.

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I yearn for my friends / people in my life to want to "get on board" with me, and help share this journey. (Not that I would ask them to change their friends though.)

It is frustrating when they do not want to get on board
and
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I think that if she is a friend she will honor my request to hang out with them on her own time, and just plan to spend time with me when we are together.

Chiara -- and I mean this in the softest, gentlest way -- your friend is not your mother, not your therapist. All her time is "her own time"! just as all of yours is your own, to spend how and with whom you choose.

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Foreignwoman

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2017, 11:59:44 AM »
Chiara, Interesting you mention that, since OOTF you expect more from people. For me it's just the opposite, I expect less. Maybe it has to do with wanting to take responsibility for my own behavior and not wanting codependent relationships.  :Idunno:

Take care

FW
Freedom is never voluntary given by the oppressor, it is demanded by the oppressed.

Martin Luther King, Jr

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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2017, 02:18:26 PM »
Chiara, Interesting you mention that, since OOTF you expect more from people. For me it's just the opposite, I expect less. Maybe it has to do with wanting to take responsibility for my own behavior and not wanting codependent relationships.  :Idunno:

Take care

FW

Hi Foreignwoman,

Yes, like you I do not want dysfunctional relationships and I want to grow into a fully responsible adult. Is that not wanting/expecting more?

One of the things I have noticed about people who stay in really clearly abusive relationships (such as battered women, for example)  is that they tend to think that they deserve it, or that they do not deserve anything better.

They have low expectations because they do not realize there is better out there.

I think it is the same for less clearly abusive relationships, just harder to see the abuse so clearly.

Coming OOTF, I suddenly feel like I see what I have been missing for years. To be able to be open to others about my concerns without being put down. To support each other. To walk the path of life helping each other be better people rather than just wandering in circles and never getting anywhere.

That is the beauty of love and friendship. People stand on their own, but they also encourage one another. That does not happen in dysfunction.

Yes, I do "expect more" because I see more. I see that I expected less in the past.

I just have to realize that many people are not going to want that, and I have to accept that and lower my expectations in that regard. After all, expecting everyone to yearn to leave dysfunction and want to take those steps will just let me down. If I expect everyone to be functional (or for the "functional" to be "perfectly functional" and not have flaws too) I will be let down. I just have to tread slowly and learn myself and be grateful if more functional people come into my life, and take those people where they are with gratitude to be able to grow together.

After all, not many people are going to want to change.

Not many people are going to want to grow.

Not many people are going to want to be better.

That is what I mean by learning to accept it - that not all people want to change, or do what it takes to leave dysfunction behind, and I cannot force them to take those steps.

I hope that makes sense. :-)
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 02:41:57 PM by Chiara »