Author Topic: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #285  (Read 62896 times)

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Winterlight

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #93
« Reply #120 on: March 10, 2011, 10:04:05 AM »
I'm on the fence with some of the other posters, but the cynical side of me is thinking two words:  Baby Shower.

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VorFemme

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #93
« Reply #121 on: March 10, 2011, 12:46:18 PM »
Or a little further ahead..............Baby Sitting................
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Samgirl2

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #93
« Reply #122 on: March 10, 2011, 05:54:56 PM »
VF - I think it is a cop out that she may not realize how prickly she has been.  By telling the OP not to contact her, by accusing her of all kinds of things, she knew exactly what she was doing. This is not the case of Ooooops, I made a mistake. This is a case of being abusive to someone who has been nothing but a friend to her.  Going will reinforce her treatment was not wrong.

I'm not trying to "cop out" - I'm trying to look at it with an eye to why the OP's pregnant "former friend now demoted to nodding acquaintance" would not realize that she's earned a demotion by her own behavior.  Some abrasive people just don't seem to realize how abrasive they really are........and pregnant women don't always realize that they've had personality changes early in the pregnancy.  

... But the old friend may not realize that she's sunk that battleship (reference to a game) and keep trying to play by the old "friend" rules instead of the exisiting "acquaintance" rules.

The OP needs to decide how blunt to be in letting the woman know what the current situation is...........and since none of us know the woman, we don't know what HER social skills & such are.  She might be Captain Oblivious, she might be General Oblivious, or she might be Eagleeye and notice right away that "something's wrong" on the OP's side but have no idea that her warped behavior the last few months is why.  Because she can't "see" her contribution..........for whatever reason.

She is usually Eagle-eyed at noticing these things, however she also usually hates confrontation so I think it's quite probable that she will just be having coffee because she said she would in her earlier emails, realises she may need people once the baby is born and is trying to act like everything is fine and this is a token way of doing it.

I am quite prepared to let her know what the current situation is now.  I think, as many PP's have said, that something is going on that I will probably never know about and depending on how the whole meetup goes I am planning to say that:

"I feel like there is something going on with you, and I am not asking you to tell me if you don't want to, it is up to you. But you should know that your distance over the past few months and some of the comments you've made have been very hurtful and I don't feel like I know you anymore. This is not about the pregnancy, whatever you may think - i.e. your comments about such good news being hard to deal with for single people, or that this is a new phase in your life and we have labelled you old and boring. A baby is a wonderful thing and I would never begrudge you that. It is your life and your baby and aside from maybe helping out, it is nothing to do with me. This is about the way you have behaved towards me  I still care about our friendship and I know others do too, but you can't push people away the way you have been and not expect things to change. I have apologised to you for anything I may have done, told you I value your friendship, offered my help, and given you my congratulations on the baby. All I have had from you is a 'thanks for your email'. It doesn't seem to me like you want to continue this friendship, certainly not right now anyway. If you do, then you know where I am and I will be here if you want to talk to me but you should know that things can't be the same right now. I don't feel that I can trust you and I don't feel that you think of me as a friend. Because of that, I can't invest the same time in this as I used to."

Of course I may never get to say this, but I hope I do.  Does it sound ok?
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 06:13:26 PM by Samgirl2 »

sparksals

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #93
« Reply #123 on: March 10, 2011, 06:40:36 PM »
It sounds great!

Dindrane

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #93
« Reply #124 on: March 10, 2011, 07:43:46 PM »
I think that what's behind what you're expressing is fine, and I agree with it, but you might want to shoot for being more concise.  If she brings the subject up, I'd lean more towards saying something like this:

"Friend, your actions over the past few months have really hurt me.  It seems as though there was something going on that I didn't know about, because I have not been able to come up with a reason why you would push me away so suddenly and so coldly.  It really hurt to have someone I used to talk to daily and see often suddenly stop talking to me and not want to see me for weeks on end.  It really hurt when you said that I wasn't supporting you or offering you help, because I did.  It really hurt when you avoided me at church/in public, without any explanation as to why.

I have always valued your friendship, and I still do, but I don't really know if I can go back to how things were before.  I don't think you have been treating me very much like a friend recently, and I am not sure how to trust you again."

Personally, I would focus on saying things like "I was hurt when..." because it is more difficult to argue with things like that.  Even if your friend thinks she was justified, it is still difficult to argue when your response is, "I understand, but I found it very hurtful that you didn't explain that then/ignored my offer of help/accused me of saying things I didn't say."

At this point, I wouldn't focus in on the fact that you value her friendship, although it's probably worth saying once, nor would I try to explain myself again.  I would stick with saying "You hurt me and I don't trust you anymore."  If she's truly sorry for that, you'll be able to have a discussion about what the heck happened and how to prevent it in the future, and you can start to work on a better friendship.  If she's not truly sorry, your conversation will be far easier and shorter if you don't get into reasons and explanations.

I wouldn't even tell her what you think she needs to do for you to want to reestablish the friendship.  If she's interested, she'll ask (or if she's really self-aware, she'll already have a few guesses).  If she's not, it saves you from sounding like you're demanding something from her.  Go prepared with a concise idea of what she would need to do (I think she'd have to explain and apologize, as well as tell you what she's going to do to prevent it in the future, but you might have your own list), but don't tell her what those things are if she doesn't ask you.


CuriousGeorge

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #93
« Reply #125 on: March 11, 2011, 01:17:39 PM »
What if you wrote that and put it in a note to her?  Would she then be able to "absorb" it more than if she was just hearing it and (possibly) immediately get defensive?

Samgirl2

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #128
« Reply #126 on: March 12, 2011, 08:53:24 AM »
UPDATE

So, I have just come home from the coffee meeting with pregnant friend. I feel like it was a waste of time, nothing is resolved and I cannot be the same as I used to be with her. I still care, I will remain a polite acquaintance and if she ever explains I will listen but it's the end of my hoping or trying.

Bear in mind we were very close friends and she has been distant for several months - avoiding seeing anyone, or coming to church or usual stuff they always are at - but was still chatting to me by email, until the announcement 6 weeks ago, when she has been really cold and has not contacted me at all apart from when I emailed to see what was wrong and try to sort things out and she accused me of not being happy, not offering to help and said she had other pregnant friends she was talking to and I should no longer email her at work. Neither have she or her husband spoken to anyone else from our group of friends. She also a few days ago sent round an email to us all in the church home group they lead (but have barely attended for a long time now) saying due to other commitments they would not be around for the next several weeks at church, at home group, or anything else. She then asked me to meet her for coffee today.

I got there dead on time, waited a few minutes but no sign of her so I joined the queue at the counter and paid for my drink. Pregnant friend came in just as I was looking for a table. I had assumed she would come by herself, as would be usual for when we used to meet, but she'd brought her husband.  I said hi and that I was just finding a table and they smiled and said ok. Then joined the queue. I thought she might come over and leave her husband to get the coffees, but instead I was left sitting and wondering by myself, feeling completely on edge and nervous that they were about to tell me something I didn't want to hear, otherwise why would both of them come? I felt like it was either going to be an apology, an explanation or more accusations that I wasn't happy for them.

So after quite a long time waiting for their drinks they finally came over and sat down. I smiled, said 'hi, how are you' and kind of waited for them to say whatever they were going to say. Instead, they acted like everything was completely normal. Said they'd been really busy renovating their bathroom and told me all about that, how she had been to visit family for a few days and how her sister's bump is much bigger than hers. How she and her mum had gone pram shopping etc etc. I listened but I was, I am certain, noticeably cool throughout.

Then she asked 'so, how've you been'.  I said fine thanks and waited. Nothing. Her husband asked how work was so I told him my dept didn't get renewed funding so my contract is up in 6 months but there were a few options in the organisation for me which I was waiting for news on so I was nervous but not panicking yet. He looked really sympathetic and concerned and pregnant friend asked about the options and what I wanted to do etc so we discussed that for a little while but then I steered it back to them and said what were they up to for the next little while as her email had said they wouldn't be around.

She said they had her brother and his wife staying next weekend and then in May her parents were visiting for a weekend and they wanted to sort out the garden too. Oh and they were booked in for birthing classes soon. Now it may be me, but these don't seem valid reasons to duck out of everyone's lives completely?  Then she asked what I was doing for the rest of the weekend. I said I was meeting 3 mutual friends for coffee later this afternoon and singing at church tomorrow. (Her husband was supposed to be leading the band tomorrow as there is a rota of leaders, but has passed it to someone else for the 2nd time running).

Again, I sat and waited. I would have loved to have asked her straight out what was going on, and said the stuff I wrote in my previous post, but with her husband there it seemed impossible. It was like a unit facing me across the table.

She then asked how all our friends were. I told her - one friend is waiting for the results of some serious medical tests, another has applied for a new job and we are all helping with the planning for a third friends upcoming wedding (pregnant friend is invited to the wedding but turned down the invitation to meet to discuss plans etc, even though it is a close friend who has no family nearby). I told her there have been a few meetings and we all have little assigned tasks like helping decorate the venue, writing place settings, one older lady is making the cake and another doing the flowers etc, we are all looking forward to it.  Told them everyone else was fine. These are all things she would know and be interested in under normal circumstances but she didn't want to know much more than that it seemed.

I asked what they were doing for the rest of the weekend (thinking it must be something big, given that her husband had said he couldn't be at church and lead band tomorrow when he has told me in the past how much he loves doing it) and they said they were off next, should probably go now in fact, to look for window blinds for the bathroom in a shop down the street and then needed to clean the house. Then they started to get up and leave.  We walked out the shop and I smiled and said have a nice weekend and she smiled and said enjoy coffee this afternoon, and that was it.

I am conflicted about why she asked to meet. On one hand I think it was because she had mentioned it some time ago (when I had tried to sort out the distance etc by emailing her and asking what was wrong, she had just said thanks for your email, we'll meet for coffee sometime) that she felt she ought to to keep up appearances. If she had wanted to really chat to me she wouldn't have brought her husband and would have stayed longer too.

On the other hand, maybe she just really doesn't realise how much damage they have done and how much they have distanced themselves from everyone and so just wanted to catch up and as they both needed to go to a nearby shop, her husband came too.  But if that is the case she must be really in her own little world.

Either way, it should have been easy for her to see I was not being my usual self and I feel like a real friend would have asked about that, or was everything ok? Or would have acknowledged that we haven't seen each other in ages and at least made mention of it, even if they didn't want to explain the reasons why. In the past, if we went 2 weeks without meeting in person she would be like 'it's been ages, I've missed you'. When I came back from holiday last summer she came rushing up to me and gave me a huge hug saying it wasn't the same without me and wanting to know all about my trip. So it's not like these expectations are unprecedented or something.

I feel like I have no idea what she wants or what she is thinking and that she has not really understood anything she has done over the last few months.  In her two emails to me after she announced the pregnancy she seemed convinced I was finding her news hard to deal with, that it was a new stage in their lives and that I was not happy that they were moving on. This is so untrue it's ridiculous and I explained that in my reply at the time, but what if she really still thinks that. I hate the thought that she does and that she may be telling other people such things about me.

At this point, whether it's what she intended to convey or not, it seems to me we are not close friends, we do not tell each other what is going on in our lives and it doesn't matter whether we speak often at all.  She is someone I care about but not someone I feel close to or feel an obligation towards anymore. If they continue to come to church after the baby is born then I will of course run into them so they are not out of my life, and I will say hello and tell them the baby is lovely, but until she changes her behaviour I really can't do more than that, as much as i may want to.

Does anyone have any insight or opinions or suggestions?!
« Last Edit: March 12, 2011, 09:39:40 AM by Samgirl2 »

Daffydilly

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #128
« Reply #127 on: March 12, 2011, 09:47:46 AM »
I'd let go at this point. She has made a social move for appearances. But like you said, she's made no attempt to explain her actions. And you've been left hanging and accused of issues she might be dealing with internally. It sounds like she has made you a scapegoat of sorts for her issues in fact. Your plan sounds like a good way to go, politely distant until she can explain herself and make amends. But that might or might not happen after the baby comes. Lots of hugs for you, it's not easy loosing an old friendship and being left wondering why.

gramma dishes

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #128
« Reply #128 on: March 12, 2011, 10:04:16 AM »
I think your friendship has turned into an acquaintanceship.  Her husband may or may not have had something to do with her unwillingness to meet with you alone. 

I think she invited you to coffee just simply because she had indicated that she would and now she has fulfilled that particular obligation and considers it done.

It's very sad when these things happen, but be assured that it almost certainly has NOTHING to do with you or anything you did or didn't do.  It's simply that things have changed in her life and she is now going in a totally different direction.  It may be that she no longer thinks the two of you will have anything in common and will develop new friendships with other mothers of young babies.

On the other hand, none of that would seem to have anything whatsoever to do with their sudden lack of participation in the church events that were at one time so important to them.  So there may be something unknown going on.  You can't do anything about that. 

But it's not your fault and I hope you will just be able to let this friendship go when you realize that right now she is simply no longer the person you once considered to be one of your closest friends.  She's someone else now.

P-p-p-penguin

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #128
« Reply #129 on: March 12, 2011, 10:55:58 AM »
POD sefaeria and gramma dishes.  They both summed up my feelings beautifully.

Perhaps she took her husband with her because she was worried you might try and have it out with her?  I think she realises that she has been out of line but is not willing to admit it nor apologise for it and wanted to meet in the hope that she could just smooth over it without mention.  Obviously we know that isn't going to work.

You admit Samgirl2 that the relationship has changed.  It probably won't ever go back to how it was but you seem ok with that. 

Dindrane

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #128
« Reply #130 on: March 12, 2011, 11:41:42 AM »
At this point, you tried.

I would tell yourself right now that you aren't ever going to know the whys and wherefores of the past few weeks/months.  Even if you get some sort of explanation later, you are probably never going to truly understand why she has behaved this way.  So now would be the time to stop expecting that you will ever have any sort of explanation.

And in addition to that, I would stop thinking of this woman as your friend.  She was your friend, but she isn't now, and it has nothing to do with you.  Friendship is something that requires two active participants, and she hasn't been actively participating in weeks.  Therefore, don't waste your time trying to actively participate in a friendship that doesn't actually exist anymore.

You have other people in your life who I am sure would benefit and appreciate the time and energy you could devote to your relationships with them.  Nothing good comes from using up time or energy on people who communicate quite clearly that they don't particularly want it, so don't.

Also remember: you don't have to dislike or hate or whatever this woman and her husband.  Ultimately, what you ought to shoot for is indifference.  You can be largely indifferent to them as people while still hoping (in a sort of general and vague way) that their lives work out for them, and being happy (again, in a sort of general way) when things do.  What makes it indifference is that you aren't actively involved in any of that -- you only think about it when someone or something else brings it to your attention -- and that you don't particularly care if you never actually hear about any of it.


JoyinVirginia

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #128
« Reply #131 on: March 12, 2011, 01:14:35 PM »
Perhaps she took her husband with her because she was worried you might try and have it out with her?  I think she realises that she has been out of line but is not willing to admit it nor apologise for it and wanted to meet in the hope that she could just smooth over it without mention.
I think this is the most reasonable explanation. I agree with others, you are now acquaintances with her. You will probably never get more discussion from her about this. You can be certain it was HER, not you.

sparksals

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #128
« Reply #132 on: March 12, 2011, 07:06:50 PM »
Quote
She is someone I care about but not someone I feel close to or feel an obligation towards anymore. If they continue to come to church after the baby is born then I will of course run into them so they are not out of my life, and I will say hello and tell them the baby is lovely, but until she changes her behaviour I really can't do more than that, as much as i may want to.


I'm surprised you still want to.  After everything that has happened, especially her indifference and lack of acknowledgment of her past behaviour, do you really think her behaviour will change in the future?  I am concerned, by what you wrote above, that if she came running up to you like old times, apologized and gave you a hug, you would step back into the friendship, which ultimately would be on her terms.  

This woman isn't your friend.  It is time to move on and remain a cool distance.  Say hello if you see her at church, but if she emails asking for other coffee dates, asks any favours et al, I would just ignore the messages.  

You don't owe her anything.  I really think you will feel much better if you let her and the friendship go.  It will actually be a gift to yourself.

edited to correct punctuation.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 12:41:36 AM by sparksals »

Winterlight

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #128
« Reply #133 on: March 12, 2011, 07:12:04 PM »
At least you know you tried, and she's not interested. Her loss. Drop her down to "someone I used to know" and leave it at that.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

SingMeAway

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #128
« Reply #134 on: March 12, 2011, 10:18:33 PM »
I'm sorry it turned out this way for you. I think P-p-p-penguin is right and the husband was there as a buffer so she wouldn't be forced into any uncomfortable conversations wherein she would have to justify her ridiculous behaviour. It's sad to say, but it sounds like she does need to be relegated to the "someone I used to know" category.

I would not be surprised, however, to hear in a few months after the baby shows up how she's looking around for babysitting, support, etc... Maybe, maybe, maybe, but not holding my breath, she will have a flash of realization at some point and actually apologize, but she may also turn out to be one of those people who get pregnant/have a baby and dump all their old friends for the new pregnant or just-had-kids friends. Very sad.