Author Topic: Friend took out her frustrations on me-is it worth ending the friendship over  (Read 3624 times)

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Allyson

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For me if a friend suddenly did something terrible to me (and I would put that in the 'terrible' category) I'd look at just how out of character it was. If it was sort of an escalation of previous behaviour, I'd probably drop the friendship. If it was totally out of character, I would be less likely to do that and more likely to look to see if something has changed or gone seriously wrong--a medication issue, a sudden awful thing in real life, etc.

It sounds like in this case it's somewhere in between--she doesn't normally take things out on you, but also is rather dramatic. So I think what I'd do here is call her out on it. Really, you have nothing to lose--if she takes it super badly, you know you did everything you could to try to salvage the friendship and she still didn't care. So I'd tell her 'look, that was really uncool to unload on me like that. Look at what I actually said to you. I didn't accuse you of being a bad friend. I just wanted to make sure everything was all right, and maybe I was a bit paranoid but I'm having a bad time too.' Or something more eloquent! :)

rose red

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I'm glad you are stepping back.  Not for her to think and cool down, but for you to think and experience life without her drama.  Do so even if she apologize.  Then you can decide if you want her back, or if life is better without her being so close.

She claims to have hundreds of friends, but it doesn't sound like they are real (after all, who has hundreds of real life friends?).  Perhaps giving her space will let her see that you are real and how she has been treating you.  Perhaps.

WillyNilly

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I don't think you did anything wrong but I did notice something that might play into the whole "its not all about you" thing, which lead you to, as you put it, read her whole message in a negative tone.

When you missed a Skype, she reached out, asked if you were ok and rescheduled.  She made you missing the Skype about you - asking about you.  When she missed the next Skype, you wrote to her and didn't ask if she was ok, you asked if she was ok with you.  You made her missed Skype about you.

Its very subtle thing, but if she's being dumped on and not being seen as an important individual in other aspects of her life, having you come in - and perhaps innocently - and basically indicating  how her actions are about you, about how you are the one everyone is concerning before their actions, well I can see how that might be the straw that breaks the camel's back. 

And that could be where the attack on how many friends you have came from and why she thought your note was you saying she was a bad friend.  She might have been feeling pressured, like you only have a few friends so she feels obligated to make you a priority (remember shes already in a mindset that you think you are more important from you making her missed call about you) and to tend to you because you need it and she might have very clumsily been trying to say "you can't lean on me right now, You need to lean on someone else" but was afraid you would come back with "but I don't have anyone else, I have to lean on you, you must be leaned on!"

oceanus

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I guess what I'm wondering is if this friendship is worth saving?

Condolences.

She has told you she can't be your friend.  She has demonstrated that she doesn't want to be your friend.  She had sent you a long email attacking you.  What more do you need??

If it were me, I would stop all the back and forth accusatory arguing and justifying.  I think you should stop second-guessing yourself, unfriend her, and move on. 
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 12:38:16 PM by oceanus »

Lynn2000

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I got the impression that her over-the-top responses were most definitely not about you or anything you'd done, even if their language talked about you directly. Like you said in the subject, to me it felt like she was taking out her frustrations about other things on you--maybe because she knew you would "take it." That is, she knew you would be asking, "Oh, is it me? Is it my fault? I'm so sorry, what have I done?" rather than saying, "That was rude and mean, and completely out of proportion to what happened. I don't know what's happening in your life to make you act this way, but I will not communicate with you again until you apologize."

Like others have said, only you can decide if the friendship is worth saving. I choose to have just a few friends myself, and I don't put up with much drama from them. I would also be very angry at someone who sent me a multi-paragraph email attacking me and my life; I wouldn't bother defending myself to them, because I don't have to. I would just be mad, and I would expect a sincere apology with no qualifiers, and better treatment in the future, if they hoped to remain friends.

And also, POD to oceanus.
~Lynn2000

oceanus

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I can't find it now, but I think I saw where someone said "emotional vampire".  Exactly what I was thinking.

Walking on eggshells, wondering what you've done, waiting for her next move so you can analyze and react............ICK. ::)  Life is too short for that nonsense.

If you have to ask others if the friendship is worth saving, you've already answered your own question.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 12:48:31 PM by oceanus »

weeblewobble

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The thing is, people like this are really good at the "big gesture" things like weddings, funerals, etc., because 1) it's expected of them and it falls into the category of "I will look bad if I don't support my friend during this time."  And 2) they can use it as mileage for a good portion of your friendship.  ("What do you mean I'm not a good friend, look at the huge gesture I made that one time!")

And sometimes you find out later that the big gesture was done half-heartedly, resentfully or with someone else doing the majority of the work.  (Witness an ex-friend of mine whose mom made my daughter a baby blanket, but my friend claimed that she did the work.)

Friendship is a marathon, not a sprint.  It's not always about big gestures, but small, loving things we can do for each other.  My best friend in all the world did not ask me to be a bridesmaid.  Why?  Because she knew I was going through a lot with an ill family member and wouldn't be able to do what I wanted to with the responsibilities of a bridesmaid.  Instead, she asked me to make her wedding cake.  The cake came out great. We were both happy.  Instead of months of commitment, which I couldn't live up to, she asked for two days of commitment that I could.  And I loved her for it.  Over the years we have been able to support each other in dozens of small ways, but accept that sometimes, you can't be there for the BIG THINGS.  And it's better to be there fully in a small way that half-heartedly in a big way.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 04:01:27 PM by weeblewobble »

Lynn2000

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weeblewobble, well said. I've been thinking about this recently as several threads have dealt with "friends" who are retained because they make the "big gestures" but completely fail on the little, everyday things.

I think it can also have to do with what different people find meaningful. For example, my thing is gifts. If someone gives me a big gift, it goes a long way towards making me forgive the irritation they've caused me. Sometimes this is good, other times I have to watch out to make sure I don't get played.

Maybe for a lot of people, their thing is deeds/effort--they're impressed to see it, and someone who realizes this can use it to their advantage. Or, less sinister, the other person also finds deeds/"big gestures" valuable, and that's what they focus on, but they don't work on the other parts of the relationship.
~Lynn2000