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Author Topic: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread  (Read 10894 times)

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#borecore

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2016, 09:38:54 AM »
I think it's a very interesting discussion about friendship and social obligations, and how to handle things when those are complicated by either medical or character issues.

I'm glad that the OP posted both this and her previous thread, and I'm reading them with interest.  Can those of you who aren't interested just read something else, instead of posting repeated "why did you even post this?" posts?

No.  I find it quite interesting,  as well. That's why I asked the OP what she's hoping to get out of the situation. I certainly don't see these posts as telling Gellchom to shut up.  I am allowed to express my feelings about whether her posts appear to be running in circles. I do so out of rational concern that IF she is expecting a leopard to change its spots, her expectations are likely to be frustrated.

menley

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2016, 09:53:16 AM »
I agree with the other posters that Mr. Mimi is likely in the dark about the invitations altogether, or has no idea that his wife has not communicated properly to the hosts that they will be unable to attend. In almost every family I know, there is one person who manages the social calendar for the family, and the others rely upon them to make sure that those commitments are communicated.

Would it be better if, knowing his wife's limitations, Mr. Mimi assumed the role of handling the social calendar? It seems so. But clearly he isn't.

If these were truly good friends, I would sit down with Mr. Mimi and explain to him exactly what had happened for these various events and express concern for Mimi's health, as well as expressing my hurt feelings. His response would dictate what I did next - if he was caught unawares, and expressed regret at how the situations were handled, or if he had further insight into Mimi's behavior that I hadn't considered, I would likely continue to invite her to these special occasions and see what happened. But if he brushed it off, or didn't seem to care, then I would stop inviting both of them to any events that require any sort of advance planning such as catered meals, hostessing duties, etc. As gellchom says she continues to make the monthly dinners and those are enjoyed, I would simply have to realize that my friendship with Mimi was not what I thought it was, and limit my interactions to those monthly dinners.

Gellchom, I normally find your posts to be very thoughtful and aware of multiple perspectives, but I think when it comes to Mimi, you have a bit of a mental block where you're focused on what she should do, rather than what she *is* doing. Unfortunately, Mimi has, for whatever reason, extremely limited the type of interactions that she is willing to have with others. Trying to change that has only resulted in frustration on your part (and I'm sure on hers as well!) I know it is difficult to accept the change in a lifelong friendship, or the realization that perhaps your friendship isn't what you believed it was, but at this point, I think that is all you can do.

Zizi-K

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2016, 10:58:27 AM »
I think it's a very interesting discussion about friendship and social obligations, and how to handle things when those are complicated by either medical or character issues.

I'm glad that the OP posted both this and her previous thread, and I'm reading them with interest.  Can those of you who aren't interested just read something else, instead of posting repeated "why did you even post this?" posts?

I agree, and I do not see this as a vent/rant at all.

OP, I think it would be an interesting experiment if you directed your next invitation to Mr. Mimi instead of Mimi. Since you said he was an acquaintance, then a frank conversation is probably not in order. However, his reaction to an invitation would be very telling. I think it is very possible that Mimi does not tell him about these events until the last minute, or never at all.

I also think you should (if you haven't yet done it) be frank with Mimi about how these no-shows affect you. You might mention how disappointed Shasha was that she never heard from her. I don't think you have to protect Mimi from the consequences of her actions.

For myself, I probably would not want to continue socializing with someone so unpredictable. I'm not really sure how to factor in the drug addiction stuff. I mean, she can make it reliably to monthly dinners, why are other events so different/difficult? At some point, her lack of acknowledgement about how her decisions affect other people would make me disinterested in continuing the friendship.

Roe

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #33 on: April 23, 2016, 11:41:51 AM »
Anyway, I do not believe she suffers from anxiety, and even if she did, she could still handle it better.  Do you feel that people who do suffer from anxiety should not only be forgiven for flaking, but never even be invited to things, out of kindness?

Are you her doctor? If not, I don't see how you'd be able to diagnose her. 

You can always invite whoever you'd like. However, you KNOW that she will flake, esp when the event is big in nature. You KNOW this already. I don't think it's kind of you to expect something more than she's able to give you.  This doesn't mean that people with anxiety can't or won't ever attend big events.  It's just means that MIMI is KNOWN for flaking during big events.

I'm not sure why you are expecting more from her than she can give. 

For the record, I have a friend who is very similar to Mimi. She suffers from extreme anxiety.  She's hurt my feelings many times, but I have to remind myself not to take it personally. It's not me, it's her.  It's her illness. And though I'd love for her to join me for events and dinners with friends, she will often only join me when it's a one on one dinner.  As a result, I've stopped inviting her to bigger events.  Not to exclude her, but to keep her from feeling bad from rsvping yes and then flaking out.  This is a kindness to her. 

Wordgeek

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2016, 12:55:30 PM »
We have received several complaints that this is a vent.  I disagree.  There are numerous etiquette-related issues to discuss, and the op seems open to input.

That said, keyboard psych analyses have to stop.

EllenS

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #35 on: April 23, 2016, 01:58:05 PM »
I don't know how Mimi's issues operate, but if her friends struggle with how to include and respect her on an equal footing, can you imagine how difficult it must be for Mr. Mimi to find a balance point in their marriage?

Of my friends and family members with long-term mental and physical health issues, or substance issues, the spouses have a very difficult time defining a partner role distinct from a caregiver or surrogate parent role.

One way they defend their sanity is to refuse to accept responsibility, or cover for, the ill person's social offenses. It makes perfect sense to me that Mr. Mimi would wash his hands of dealing with years and years of unrealistic RSVPs.

I mean, my DH is perfectly healthy but a chronic overcommitter. I learned years ago that if our relationship was going to work, I had to stop running interference for the various people who wanted me to "get him to call back" or "make him" show up on time for things. If he burns those social bridges, that's on him. I need peace in my home more than I need the approval of all his acquaintances.

Possibly that's where Mr. Mimi is coming from, but even more so.

VorFemme

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #36 on: April 23, 2016, 02:30:58 PM »
We have only the OP's observations to go on.  She has not mentioned medical training...but she has known Mimi for twenty-five years.  Which has to have given her some depth of experience in what to expect from Mimi.

I remember my sister mentioning that she had figured out that late meals gave her problems due to hypoglycemia and that large groups having multiple conversations gave her headaches from trying to sort out *her* conversational partners' voices from the background of other conversations.  It was worse if there was background music with a vocalist  (some parties have music, some don't).

Her first husband decided that, once she knew what was causing "the problem", then it was no longer a problem.  But he didn't need to stop for her to get a snack to keep her blood sugar levels from dropping, nor did he have to change the type of social events that he picked out...if she knew what was going on, she should just ignore her discomfort and smile & converse at the office parties or whatever...

Not to derail the OP's thread about Mimi, but just knowing what The Problem is does not always make it possible to ignore the issues it causes.

If you are loosing your hearing or sight, ignoring being unable to identify friends by sight or follow a conversation clearly can rapidly become frustrating.  The anxiety of knowing that these events are not going to be fun for everyone (especially not the person with a headache from the noise, eye strain, or feeling lousy due to low blood sugar - to use my previous examples) might cause enough stress to induce a migraine or an anxiety attack, as a particular person's genetic background inclines them.

Some may get drunk and their behavior might go over the top instead of keeping them from attending at all.

Nobody knows what is going on in Mimi's house, her marriage (is Mr. Mimi being told about all of the events, only some of them, or what?  Is it possible that one of them is having memory issues?  We don't know, so we can only tell the OP what she can try to do, based on her observations, as reported on the forum.), or her medical condition... 

In short - is it possible to scale back the size of an event that she wants to invite Mimi to so that it is more likely that the couple will attend?  In the case of the original wedding or the more recent shower, probably not.  Other people are involved and the guest list size is not controlled just by the OP.

If the OP wants to try only very small events with the couple or just a girls' night out with the three or four original friends, that might work.  But it is up to the OP as to how many small events she can fit into her life on top of work, family, and larger events for the rest of her social connections.

Mimi does have to recognize that people who don't show up to a given type of entertainment or gathering stop getting invited to similar events.  And not everyone wants to limit their social life to private dinners for three or four...

I have quit expecting VorGuy to join the rest of the family at DisneyWorld, a Renaissance festival, or The International Quilt Festival in Houston in the fall.  He has quit expecting me to bundle up in the cold and go sit on hard benches to watch football games, among other things. 

The OP can adapt to socialize with Mimi in ways that Mimi will appreciate - and inquiring after a large event that Mimi missed  (a group event where a headcount is not critical - like an open house or a cookout) is only being a good friend.  But if Mimi wants more than her friends have time and energy to give...that is not on the friends.  Mimi has a share in what happened, too.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

Allyson

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #37 on: April 23, 2016, 03:38:54 PM »
I also think that if somebody says "I do not have [condition]" we need to take that person at their word -- gellchom said Mimi said she didn't have anxiety/depression, so I think it's reasonable to believe that. I have a friend who is a "Mimi" (very flaky, and similar situation with painkillers) who has become more flaky over the years. My solution wasn't a tactic in my mind, but it could read that way -- I stopped initating plans with her, and basically now only see her once every couple of months, when she contacts me to have coffee.  I find she is way more likely to keep her commitments when it's her idea, and I was left in the cold enough times to learn my lesson. So I'm probably being mildly rude in not reciprocating invitations, but it's the only way I still maintain a friendship and don't get frustrated.

EllenS

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #38 on: April 23, 2016, 04:21:28 PM »
I also think that if somebody says "I do not have [condition]" we need to take that person at their word -- gellchom said Mimi said she didn't have anxiety/depression, so I think it's reasonable to believe that. I have a friend who is a "Mimi" (very flaky, and similar situation with painkillers) who has become more flaky over the years. My solution wasn't a tactic in my mind, but it could read that way -- I stopped initating plans with her, and basically now only see her once every couple of months, when she contacts me to have coffee.  I find she is way more likely to keep her commitments when it's her idea, and I was left in the cold enough times to learn my lesson. So I'm probably being mildly rude in not reciprocating invitations, but it's the only way I still maintain a friendship and don't get frustrated.

And after all, it doesn't really matter whether someone got addicted for a medical condition, recreationally, or what. Once there's an ongoing dependency, the impact on behavior, personality, and relationships follows the same patterns. You can love an addict 100%, but you can't rely on her. And you can't separate the addiction from other problems. It's full-time.

sammycat

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2016, 06:24:42 AM »
For myself, I probably would not want to continue socializing with someone so unpredictable. I'm not really sure how to factor in the drug addiction stuff. I mean, she can make it reliably to monthly dinners, why are other events so different/difficult? At some point, her lack of acknowledgement about how her decisions affect other people would make me disinterested in continuing the friendship.

I was wondering about the bolded, too.

meliboea

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Re: Update on "Help Me Handle this Maturely" (Mimi) thread
« Reply #40 on: April 24, 2016, 08:50:08 AM »
I agree with the other posters that Mr. Mimi is likely in the dark about the invitations altogether, or has no idea that his wife has not communicated properly to the hosts that they will be unable to attend. In almost every family I know, there is one person who manages the social calendar for the family, and the others rely upon them to make sure that those commitments are communicated.

Would it be better if, knowing his wife's limitations, Mr. Mimi assumed the role of handling the social calendar? It seems so. But clearly he isn't.

If these were truly good friends, I would sit down with Mr. Mimi and explain to him exactly what had happened for these various events and express concern for Mimi's health, as well as expressing my hurt feelings. His response would dictate what I did next - if he was caught unawares, and expressed regret at how the situations were handled, or if he had further insight into Mimi's behavior that I hadn't considered, I would likely continue to invite her to these special occasions and see what happened. But if he brushed it off, or didn't seem to care, then I would stop inviting both of them to any events that require any sort of advance planning such as catered meals, hostessing duties, etc. As gellchom says she continues to make the monthly dinners and those are enjoyed, I would simply have to realize that my friendship with Mimi was not what I thought it was, and limit my interactions to those monthly dinners.

Gellchom, I normally find your posts to be very thoughtful and aware of multiple perspectives, but I think when it comes to Mimi, you have a bit of a mental block where you're focused on what she should do, rather than what she *is* doing. Unfortunately, Mimi has, for whatever reason, extremely limited the type of interactions that she is willing to have with others. Trying to change that has only resulted in frustration on your part (and I'm sure on hers as well!) I know it is difficult to accept the change in a lifelong friendship, or the realization that perhaps your friendship isn't what you believed it was, but at this point, I think that is all you can do.

I agree with Menley. If Gellchom can't move past this (and I don't think she should), she should talk to Mimi's husband to see if she can get to the bottom of this as a last ditch effort. If Mimi is not up to attending events where there are large groups of people, for whatever reason, then she should not RSVP yes.

I understand the mental block though. When someone has been a close friend for such a long time, and you're hurt and confused, it's a natural reaction to spend a lot of time over analysing the situation trying to work out what's going on, especially when a friend is not forthcoming with answers. Yes, you have 25 years invested in this friendship, but that doesn't mean it has to continue. At some point, you have to ask yourself whether you're chasing a loss.