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I Did Not Want to Hurt a Friend's Feelings but ...

Started by jdtm, September 02, 2016, 07:10:51 am

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jdtm

September 02, 2016, 07:10:51 am Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 11:13:10 pm by luise.volta
I have myself in pickle.  About a decade ago, the husband of one of my dear friends passed away.  My friend became very very depressed.  To help her get back into world, we started meeting once a week - without fail.  I love her, but honestly, this schedule is too much and the luncheon that used to be fun is not any more.  There could be an easy exit (my husband was ill last year and prefers to spend more time with me) except my friend is very insecure  and has few other friends (she says that she can always count on me - I try to explain that I cannot always be there but...).  Honestly, it appears our outing is her only "fun" time of the week and she constantly reminds me of this.

I don't answer the phone every time she calls, I have been making our luncheons shorter, I am careful what life events I share with her, I have booked appointments on "our day", I have expressed that I haven't been feeling that well (this is true), and I have mentioned that my husband is more demanding since he has been ill (a bit of an exaggeration but not untrue).  I just do not want to hurt her; but I suppose that I already have.   She is not getting  any of my hints (she claims she has ESP). 

Any brainwaves - please don't suggest a heart-to-heart.  Or, just continue as I am - I do want to keep her as a dear friend; but one I see only from time to time.  Frankly, it is getting easier to "not" answer the phone and easier to return only "some" of her calls.  I just wish she had another friend.  Oh - thanks  for letting me vent ...

luise.volta

Him J., I have been in a similar situation and what finally surfaced was I was putting my friend's well being above my own. I couldn't change her but she was changing me. Once that was clear, I again became my own best friend. It was hard for me and perceived negatively by her. I still held my own through the drama and moved on. I have no idea of any of this is useful to you. For me, it was a lesson I have never forgotten. Hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Pooh

September 12, 2016, 07:56:13 am #2 Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 11:12:26 pm by luise.volta
OH bless you girl.  Caught between being nice because you see her situation and trying to slack off.

I would continue as you are doing since you are trying to maintain the friendship and not write her off.  Only return phone calls when you have time or want to and only make plans when you are up to it.  Maybe she will eventually get the hint?
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Pen

J, I was in a similar situation a few years ago. A workmate went through some tough times and became quite a "cling-on." I resisted at first because it felt like I was in danger of being smothered by her neediness and drama. DH was very annoyed by her constant phoning and requests for help.

When things improved for her we became friends and things balanced out a little better, but she still took up a lot of my time and energy. I felt I couldn't back away without hurting her feelings, so I kept on...

...and one day she attached herself to a new friend and dropped me like a hot coal! Lesson learned! DH was thrilled  ;)
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb