Author Topic: Is friend too demanding or is it me?  (Read 6372 times)

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RUkidding?

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Is friend too demanding or is it me?
« on: March 31, 2011, 01:54:02 PM »
I could use some advice on how to handle a situation with a friend that I may end up losing over scheduling issues. 

BG Me: I work full time and have a 45 minute commute each way.  Iím disciplined about going to the gym for health reasons and I also perform with a local dance troupe.   The latter requires rehearsal and performance time commitments.  Like most of us on this forum, Iím busy.  I also have an auto immune disorder which, unfortunately,  forces me to slow waaayyyy down now and then. 

BG Friend:  My friendís  lifestyle is very different than mine.  She has a part-time job, a young son and a husband.  She does not have any hobbies.   At one point she wanted to get in shape and I shared my work-outs with her for about two months.  We spent lots of time together and that was great.  Eventually, she lost interest in that and quit coming to the gym so I didnít see her as frequently. 

The problem is that when she wants to go do something she always wants to plan it about a week in advance and it usually involves going to dinner and a movie with a group.  The theaters are about 30 minutes from where we live.   So, by the time we travel there, eat and see a movie we are looking at a long late evening.  Because of my schedule, I canít do that on weeknights.  Also, my husband works out of town during the week so we are only able to spend time together on the weekends. 

A couple of times when she tried to make plans a week in advance it sounded good at the time.  However, by the weekend I was too exhausted to enjoy the long drive, dinner and late movie.  Most often I did force myself to go but I didnít enjoy it because I was so wiped out and really really wanted to be on the couch with the dog.  It got to the point that I forced myself to go so I wouldnít upset her.  She got VERY irritated the couple of times I canceled even though these were group outings and my lack of presence didnít impact her plans.   She didnít appreciate the fact that I was exhausted and going out would not have been enjoyable.  So I tried explaining that planning so far in advance didnít work for me and that maybe we could do things closer to home.  That didnít seem to take.  When I started being more assertive and saying ďnoĒ she began to get pissy because she had not seen me in foooorrreeevveeerrrrr and then I felt guilty. 

Ok, the result is that I have avoided her completely so as not to get into these set-in-stone commitments that feel more like obligations then fun outings with a friend.  Thatís bad.  I know itís bad.  I miss her as a friend.  However, Iím afraid to try to re-open the door of friendship with her because I donít trust that she will respect the fact that my free time is pretty limited.  Also, Iím not somebody who needs to see/talk to every friend every week or even every couple of weeks.   This feels like an all or nothing situation.  Help please. 

PeasNCues

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Re: Is friend too demanding or is it me?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2011, 01:57:03 PM »
I don't think she's being demanding, honestly.  :) I think it's just as you say - different lifestyles.

As long as she is not calling and harassing you about it, it should be okay.

In the long run, it is irritating to have a repeat canceller in the group. Not saying that to pick on you, just trying to show it from another perspective.
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Judah

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Re: Is friend too demanding or is it me?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2011, 01:59:23 PM »
I think you and your friend just have different styles.  I need to plan things at least a week in advance or it's a no go. A friend that was more "play it by ear" and planned outings on the spur of the moment wouldn't be a good match for me.  

If you want to maintain the friendship, you and your friend need to come to a compromise on how outings will be planned.  
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Shoo

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Re: Is friend too demanding or is it me?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2011, 02:00:35 PM »
It's not demanding to be irritated at frequent cancellations.  Even though these are group outings, she obviously wants to spend some time with YOU.

Maybe you could call her up sometime and make plans to do something.  On your terms, if it makes it easier for you.

Judah

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Re: Is friend too demanding or is it me?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2011, 02:03:31 PM »
I wanted to add that, yes, the frequent cancellations would irritate me. 
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys

Eisa

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Re: Is friend too demanding or is it me?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2011, 02:07:48 PM »
Does she know about your disorder and time commitments? If I had a friend like that who I wanted to see, I would change my planning just for that person once in a while, so it's not set in stone a week in advance--that way, you'd have more flexibility if you were feeling really tired or ill, and I wouldn't end up feeling annoyed that you canceled again. I'd also make more plans closer to home. But that's just me. :) I have a lot of health issues myself, and so do many of my friends, so I kind of always want to keep that in mind, I guess. :P
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Bexx27

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Re: Is friend too demanding or is it me?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2011, 02:08:17 PM »
Do you ever try to make plans with her? You may just not have mentioned your attempts to initiate plans in the OP, but from what you wrote it sounds like she is doing all the work. If that's the case, it could partly explain her frustration.

I definitely sympathize with you because I also tend to agree to things that sound like fun, but when the time comes I'm exhausted and just want to stay home. But I've also had flaky friends who habitually cancel or change plans at the last minute and it is really, really annoying.

I would continue to turn down invitations involving late nights and long drives, letting her know that you are just not up to it for the very valid reasons you listed. Maybe say yes for more important events, like a birthday celebration. And suggest alternative get-togethers that work better for you.
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seeley

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Re: Is friend too demanding or is it me?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2011, 02:17:13 PM »
It's not demanding to be irritated at frequent cancellations.  Even though these are group outings, she obviously wants to spend some time with YOU.

Maybe you could call her up sometime and make plans to do something.  On your terms, if it makes it easier for you.

I think the bold is excellent advice.

Driving 30 minutes for dinner and a movie does seem inconvenient given the circumstances. Personally, I'd be irritated with a friend if he or she canceled frequently but never suggested alternate plans.


WillyNilly

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Re: Is friend too demanding or is it me?
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2011, 02:20:56 PM »
Do you ever try to make plans with her? You may just not have mentioned your attempts to initiate plans in the OP, but from what you wrote it sounds like she is doing all the work. If that's the case, it could partly explain her frustration.

This.

You don't like the things she plans, for valid reasons... but you seem annoyed that your request that she plan different things "didnít seem to take."  If you have an issue, you should take steps to resolve it, not expect her to plan around you.  Right now it just seems like you are consistently and constantly blowing your friend off.

Why not plan something, with her, as far in advance you are comfortable with, somewhere you are able to go (heck invite her over for dinner and DVD curled up on your couch with the dog if that's what you prefer)?

shhh its me

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Re: Is friend too demanding or is it me?
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2011, 02:29:35 PM »
 Not being emotionally involved I can see both sides , you're both right and both wrong.  (wrong does not mean I wouldn't do the same thing or that I don't understand) just that she has legitimate reason to be hurt , disappointed , annoyed too.

You both want the same thing(to maintain your friendship and spend sometime together) but have been unwilling/unable/just plain didn't consider "metting in the middle" SO to speak.  "Friend I can't commit to X a week in advance but coffee on Wendays would be great". Add some " I can do " into the mix of "No". "Friend I'd really like to spend time with you too. I'm just not sure how to schedule it , I can't promise to be up to an outing a week in advance, I can do X"

PinkWildRose

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Re: Is friend too demanding or is it me?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2011, 02:39:56 PM »
I, too, would be annoyed at a lot of cancellations, but I can see why you don't appreciate her whining about 'not seeing you in forever'.  Life gets busy, and your first responsibilities are to your health and your family.  It sounds like she's still kind of stuck in that college mentality of needing to get together with the girls every weekend.

That being said, if you want to maintain this friendship, it might be worth it to work from your side to make a compromise.  You can't plan that long in advance for something that could be strenuous... can you find something less so?  Can you meet her for coffee or something?  Could you permanently schedule something in... like, every third Saturday morning we meet for breakfast at XX restaurant and catch up.  I personally find breakfasts easier to deal with than dinners as a social meeting because there isn't the potential of them lingering for hours and hours.

Surianne

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Re: Is friend too demanding or is it me?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2011, 02:42:11 PM »
It's not demanding to be irritated at frequent cancellations.  Even though these are group outings, she obviously wants to spend some time with YOU.

Maybe you could call her up sometime and make plans to do something.  On your terms, if it makes it easier for you.

I think the bold is excellent advice.

Driving 30 minutes for dinner and a movie does seem inconvenient given the circumstances. Personally, I'd be irritated with a friend if he or she canceled frequently but never suggested alternate plans.

I agree.  If you like her, try to plan something that will work for both of you.  It's not fair to flake on her, though.  I've had friends who do this and I would much rather they just say no up front rather than continually cancel because they're too tired.  It's incredibly frustrating when someone constantly cancels, and I don't stay friends with them for long.

PeasNCues

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Re: Is friend too demanding or is it me?
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2011, 02:42:59 PM »
PinkWildRose - I get together with girlfriends (nearly) every weekend. I consider myself very mature and not at all in the college mentality.

Also adding - I also book things weeks in advance because my schedule tends to fill up fast (and not just with social things. ;)). So, it's important to me to have that time set aside for a specific purpose. When someone cancels on me, I feel like they don't appreciate that my time is valuable to me and I could have done something else at that time.
'I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of air.  Mind your Ps and Qs, and don't forget that you are supposed to be escaping in secret, and are still on the high-road and not very far from the Shire!' -FOTR

http://inanitiesofanidlemind.blogspot.com/

RUkidding?

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Re: Is friend too demanding or is it me?
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2011, 02:46:54 PM »
Not being emotionally involved I can see both sides , you're both right and both wrong.  (wrong does not mean I wouldn't do the same thing or that I don't understand) just that she has legitimate reason to be hurt , disappointed , annoyed too.

You both want the same thing(to maintain your friendship and spend sometime together) but have been unwilling/unable/just plain didn't consider "metting in the middle" SO to speak.  "Friend I can't commit to X a week in advance but coffee on Wendays would be great". Add some " I can do " into the mix of "No". "Friend I'd really like to spend time with you too. I'm just not sure how to schedule it , I can't promise to be up to an outing a week in advance, I can do X"

Great advice; really gets to the heart of the matter. 


[/quote]
Posted by: PinkWildRose 
Insert Quote
That being said, if you want to maintain this friendship, it might be worth it to work from your side to make a compromise.  You can't plan that long in advance for something that could be strenuous... can you find something less so?  Can you meet her for coffee or something?  Could you permanently schedule something in... like, every third Saturday morning we meet for breakfast at XX restaurant and catch up.  I personally find breakfasts easier to deal with than dinners as a social meeting because there isn't the potential of them lingering for hours and hours. [/quote]


Nice idea; pluc, anything involving bacon and grits always works.   ;)


Thanks everybody for the good and frank advice.   :)




SoCalVal

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Re: Is friend too demanding or is it me?
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2011, 02:53:44 PM »
I'd be irritated, too, if someone were constantly canceling plans, whether or not they were group plans.  However, I understand being too tired and too busy to know if I feel like doing something a week in advance because my schedule is pretty busy, too.  The only person I will make advance plans with these days is DF.  Anyone else I tell him I have to play it by ear or not make plans at all (depends upon who it is); I usually tell him he's free to make plans with the individuals without me if he wishes.  I'm either at work or at school or both six days a week until mid-May so the last thing I'm going to do right now is commit to casual plans to hang out with anyone (holiday plans excepted).

If I were you, I'd cease making advance plans with your friend so you aren't canceling on her, and you two will have to come to an agreement about how to make plans.  If she gets irritated because you choose not to make plans because you don't know how tired you'll be, then you should tell her (I would).  If she still wants you to make advance plans, then let her know it hinges on how you feel by that date.

And, no, I don't think you are too demanding or your friend is too demanding.  It is a difference of lifestyles.