Author Topic: Maybe you're right but...  (Read 7682 times)

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Surianne

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Re: Maybe you're right but...
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2012, 07:24:07 PM »
If it happened on occassion, I think i'd be better at handling it but every function we've been to in the last 6 months has seen brett sitting in the corner moping. People will ask what's wrong, he'll give a non answer, they'll ask me, then they'll ask him again and he'll spend the next couple of hours going over and over and over what the latest drama in his life is.  Totally understandable when in a small gathering of friends and you need support but this is every function including almost strangers and club functions. They've even nicknamed it, "The Days of Our Bob"  at club functions.

So let me get this straight: You and your friends are tired of Brett (Bob?) being down in the dumps.  So since your friends don't want to hear about it, they choose to, in chronological order:

1.  Ask Brett about his problems
2.  Ask you, rather than respect Brett's choice to give a nonanswer
3.  Ask Brett again, continuing to disrespect his choice to give a nonanswer, until he responds and tells them about his problems, then later behind his back:
4.  Make fun of Brett for telling them about his problems.

Maybe your friends might reconsider this approach?  Continually asking Brett about his problems is probably going to make him talk about his problems.  If you all are *actually* tired of listening to him, then maybe...stop pestering him and respect it when it doesn't want to talk? 

I think your choice to limit your time with him is wise.  I'd also recommend dropping the "Days of Our Bob" running joke.  If he finds out about that it probably won't make him feel a lot better.

peach2play

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Re: Maybe you're right but...
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2012, 07:41:28 PM »
I don't subscribe to days of brett and have stood up for him.  His relationships are very drama filled and every event it seems like he gives a non-answer to gather the attention of everyone, then it's talk about brett and nothing else for the rest of the evening. this isn't something that has just started happening and in the beginning he was very well supported.  It seems that he learned he could get attention this way and now this is what he does...every single time. We've had threads about how long should someone be supported when they don't seem to be getting help and keep doing the same thing over and over again.  It's been a very drama filled year.

SisJackson

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Re: Maybe you're right but...
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2012, 08:19:22 PM »
I don't subscribe to days of brett and have stood up for him.  His relationships are very drama filled and every event it seems like he gives a non-answer to gather the attention of everyone, then it's talk about brett and nothing else for the rest of the evening. this isn't something that has just started happening and in the beginning he was very well supported.  It seems that he learned he could get attention this way and now this is what he does...every single time. We've had threads about how long should someone be supported when they don't seem to be getting help and keep doing the same thing over and over again.  It's been a very drama filled year.

So it sounds like there's no need for people to continually come to you for information, unless they are trying to avoid talking to Brett about his issues in order to try to prevent the oral diarrhea that inevitably follows.  If that's the case then everyone just needs to stop playing.  They need to stop caring why Brett is pouting and mopey in the corner.  If he's a Debbie Downer at parties, there's no need to keep inviting him.  I have to wonder what everyone else (including you) are getting out of this friendship - it seems pretty one-sided, where everyone gives and he takes, from what you're saying here.

peach2play

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Re: Maybe you're right but...
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2012, 08:23:56 PM »
Well, because it's only been really bad the last 6 months. He's been a great friend which is why I've put up with it. I'll keep trying to get him to go to therapy.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Maybe you're right but...
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2012, 09:27:19 PM »
While I agree that Brett doesn't have to share his personal info, I do think that going to a social gathering and acting mopey yet refusing all attempts from concerned friends to discuss or offer comfort screams drama queen to me.

And as for the person who asked OP 7 times what was wrong? I think after the 3rd time I'd have to say, "Look, that is the third time you have asked me for personal information about someone else. Don't do it again."

I agree. You could also try saying (after the 3rd time) "I've already told you twice that I don't know why Brett seems upset. Why are you asking me again?"

bbgirl

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Re: Maybe you're right but...
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2012, 12:31:50 AM »
Why try and get him to do anything?  Isn't that just feeding into the drama?  Just keep it light and disengage when the poor me/what's wrong with him routine starts to happen.  With no audience, there is no play and the more you feed it the more drama there will be.  If someone asks you, say you don't know and walk away/change the subject.  If they keep on harping about it, give them a funny look like "dude....I just answered that..." and change subject again. 

Gyburc

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Re: Maybe you're right but...
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2012, 06:05:01 AM »
OP, I think that backing off from Brett is the most sensible thing you can do at the moment. It sounds as if you think that he is doing the real-life equivalent of 'vague-booking' in order to get attention, and it's clearly annoying you. If you want to try to keep your friendship, I do think that you need to give yourself some space, especially because you are clearly under a lot of other stress right now.

I hope that things go better for you!

G

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Reason

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Re: Maybe you're right but...
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2012, 11:50:56 AM »
If it were me, I would feel that backing off when a friend is in trouble as some have suggested seems a touch fair weather. Of course you are well within your rights to limit contact with someone that is a swamp of negativity. But I think you have actually been a really good friend by trying to help him, suggesting therapy and defending him to your mutual friends. I hesitate to call them that because they seem to take a bit of joy in his apparent suffering.

Which is why it probably hurts more when he confronted you about redirecting questions about him by making up stories. I do think he's right in that respect because the safer response is probably to just tell them to ask him themselves, as many posters suggested. But I respect your decision to remain friends with him even though your own life is difficult at the moment.

gramma dishes

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Re: Maybe you're right but...
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2012, 11:59:02 AM »
While I agree that Brett doesn't have to share his personal info, I do think that going to a social gathering and acting mopey yet refusing all attempts from concerned friends to discuss or offer comfort screams drama queen to me.


Whew!  Finally!  I thought I was the only one who saw it that way, so I was keeping quiet.

He claims he can handle the questions himself, but he doesn't.  All he'd have to do is just make it clear that he doesn't wish to talk about it.  End of story.

It sounds to me like he LOVES all this attention he gets by moping around on a more or less continuous, or at least often repeated, basis. 

But give him what he's asked for.  Don't answer any questions relating to "what's wrong with him?" in the future.  Just tell the questioner that if s/he wants to know, then s/he needs to ask Brett.  Of course you know that Brett won't give them an answer, but I have a suspicion that Brett really does want them to ask him again.

bah12

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Re: Maybe you're right but...
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2012, 12:03:35 PM »
If it were me, I would feel that backing off when a friend is in trouble as some have suggested seems a touch fair weather. Of course you are well within your rights to limit contact with someone that is a swamp of negativity. But I think you have actually been a really good friend by trying to help him, suggesting therapy and defending him to your mutual friends. I hesitate to call them that because they seem to take a bit of joy in his apparent suffering.

Which is why it probably hurts more when he confronted you about redirecting questions about him by making up stories. I do think he's right in that respect because the safer response is probably to just tell them to ask him themselves, as many posters suggested. But I respect your decision to remain friends with him even though your own life is difficult at the moment.

Only if she backed away when this first started.  This has been going on for months...and it's a pattern with this guy. She's tried to help him and he refuses any suggestions.  At some point, she needs to consider her own sanity.  No one person can put up with this kind of negativity forever.  She's already tried being there for him.  He's not receptive.  So, she either lets herself get dragged down with him or she backs off.  I think backing off is the best thing to do.

amylouky

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Re: Maybe you're right but...
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2012, 12:12:50 PM »
I think Brett is enjoying the attention that his moping is getting him. Not saying he isn't actually depressed, or going through problems, but the fact that he does what I call the "Eeyore thing" of saying nothing is wrong, then continuing to act mopey, look sad, etc.. yeah, that's annoying. And I do agree it's a bit drama queen-ish. I'd quit asking, and basically ignore him unless he chooses to opt in to the gathering in a positive way.

Is it possible that the friends that are asking YOU about Brett are doing so to try to make sure that he's at least base-level okay (ie, not in an actual crisis) without having to be subjected to his hours-long monologues about his problems? If so, I'd go with "Eh, I think he's okay, just not having a great day".

peach2play

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Re: Maybe you're right but...
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2012, 12:44:37 PM »
I sat down last night and thought about this whole mess for a while last night.  I came up with there are two pieces to this story and it took me really analyzing to figure it out. 
1) First is him unburdening himself on any and everyone regardless of if they are good friends or not.  These are not close friends he's unburdening himself too most of the time.  These are near strangers or club contacts that we do business with and he'll spill all the sorted details to them after spending hours talking to me about it. 
Brett is the pres of our club and I'm an officer.  I use the jokes to try and redirect the attention the the business matters at hand or club stuff and not on Brett's personal drama of the day. 
2) Close friends will look at me because they know we are best friends and I usually know what's wrong and they can get a much shorter answer out of me than listening to hours of Brett drama. 

The lady who asked me 7 times is also a good friend of his and wanted to make him feel better.  I just realized this was the first time that he didn't just blurt out everything that was going on and I think that surprised her that he didn't and she kept asking because she knew he usually would tell her after asking a couple of times.  I responded the first 6 times with, "I don't know, he didn't tell me but I'm sure he'll talk about it when he's ready."  The 7th time, I said the mustache thing. 

It's called Days of Our Brett because he does this to himself and the relationships he gets into are highly dramatastic and full of angst.  To give you a short timeline:
Dec 09: Breaks up with Lane and puts her in rehab.  Lane was dealing drugs out of his apartment and cheating on him with her dealer.  Continues to visit her in hopes of a reconciliation.
June 10: Meets Michelle, falls madly in love with her even though she's separated from her husband and only here for the summer.  He's also still seeing Lane
Aug 10: Michelle moves home and reconciles with her husband.  Brett continues to hold a torch for her and professes love.
Sept 10: 3 weeks after Michelle moves, he starts dating Ranee, but is still in love with Michelle and spends the next 4 months dating Ranee but being in love with Michelle. 
Oct 10: We go to visit Michelle in utah.  She breaks it off completely with Brett while he's there or so I thought.  Brett continues to pursue Michelle.  She moves back east.  He's still dating Ranee.
Dec 10:  I told Brett he has to break it off with Ranee before we go see Michelle for Christmas on the way to see Brett's daughter.  He does.  Michelle tells Brett to never talk to her again and means it this time. 
Jan 11: Starts seeing Cat.  Falls madly in love.  Cat is married but supposedly separated
Feb 11: Cat returns to her husband
Mar 11: Starts seeing Char.  Falls madly in love.  Char doesn't like how intense he's gotten and breaks up with him
April 11:  Meets Katie. Falls madly in love.  Katie is also seeing other guy who is abusive.  Goes back to other guy.
May 11: Katie and Brett get back together.  Katie goes back to other guy
June 11: Brett starts dating Wendy as well as Katie.  Katie goes back to other guy.  I stop hanging out with B and really don't spend any time with him until Nov.
July 11: Brett is FWBs with Wendy but is still pining for Katie
Aug 11: Wendy breaks it off with Brett
Sept 11: Katie tells Brett to not talk to her any more.  Brett stays single for the next two months but is still thinking he can rescue Katie from abusive b/f.
Nov 11: Katie and Brett get back together every Friday and break up every Sunday every week that month
Dec 11: Katie finally goes back to abusive b/f and tells Brett if he contacts her again she'll get a restraining order.  Brett finally realizes she's not good for him, admits he's addicted to really awful relationships.

Whew, I'm tired just typing it.  I will continue to point them in his direction when asked.  I developed the habit because I got really tired of hearing the stories over and over and over again esp in inappropriate settings and I was trying to mitigate that.  It's really hard to hear him go over this stuff with people he just met who were only asking how he's doing to be polite and were not expecting a play by play of his latest relationship debacle. 
I've already sent an email to him apologizing for minimizing his feelings and will continue to point him to therapy. 
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 12:48:40 PM by peach2play »

rashea

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Re: Maybe you're right but...
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2012, 12:58:58 PM »
I'd sit down and talk to him. Tell him you're sorry for making a joke, but that you didn't know how else to deflect someone who had already asked you 6 times how he was. Then point out that if someone is asking you 6 times, then something is wrong. I'd tell him that you're sorry he's dealing with so much, but that because everyone can see he's upset he needs to be ready for questions. And if he doesn't want to talk about it, then he needs to hide it better, because it's becoming a problem.

Then, I'd stop answering questions about it ever. Play the broken record. Pick a phrase and repeat until they get the picture.
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LifeOnPluto

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Re: Maybe you're right but...
« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2012, 08:58:41 PM »
Did I read right that Brett has a daughter? I don't mean to sound judgemental, but I don't think he is being a very good role model for his daughter, constantly going through a revolving door of unsuitable women!

Could you remind him that for his daughter's sake, he needs to lift his game (and get professional help, if necessary).

TheVapors

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Re: Maybe you're right but...
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2012, 03:21:16 AM »
I sat down last night and thought about this whole mess for a while last night.

<snip>

Whew, I'm tired just typing it.  I will continue to point them in his direction when asked.  I developed the habit because I got really tired of hearing the stories over and over and over again esp in inappropriate settings and I was trying to mitigate that.  It's really hard to hear him go over this stuff with people he just met who were only asking how he's doing to be polite and were not expecting a play by play of his latest relationship debacle. 

I got cross-eyed reading it! That's some list of things.... And he goes through all of it when talking to strangers? Count me as another person who thinks he gets something from telling this over and over to people who are asking "What's wrong?" in that general sort-of-way. He's fishing for quite a bit of sympathy when he should either be in therapy, or be working towards minimizing the drama... although, he seems to also create a lot of that drama on his own.

I actually think he got upset that you made the joke, because he was getting something out of the fact that someone kept asking you. He was hoping that he'd get to wallow around in his mopey way for a while more, and then tell his tale of woe to another person.

The best way to deal is likely the "shrug & point". As in:

Stranger: What's wrong with Brett?
Me: *Shrugs and points to Brett* You'd have to ask him.