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Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
Intermediate
Ontario Canada
Member since 7/16/07
Posts: 10595
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Date: 6/18/12 8:13 PM

Without going into the whole story, I've realized that I need to draw boundaries with a friend of mine -- not that we're ACTUALLY close, really (we talked a lot last year, and she still thinks of us as "best buds"). We have our faith in common, and our age, and a few life experiences, but we're very different in many ways. This was OK for a while, but she has this tendency now to a) let me wait a week or so for a reply if I happen to leave her a message, and b) give bossy advice, sometimes not very sensitive (it reflects more her scrappy own survival method than my own style... she's been through some scary stuff).

Anyway, I see the writing on the wall. She said some things the other day that were clearly over the line... labels that will probably stick in my head for years. I've decided something has to change, but I didn't grow up knowing much about emotional boundary-setting, so I'm not 100% sure how to do this. If she happens to call, I don't want to just NOT ANSWER. Ideally, we could discuss the issues I'm noticing, and set new boundaries together, but I know her well enough to know that would turn into a very lengthy "her-dominated" talk wherein she tells me how life works. She's a "sister" to me spiritually (some of you will know what I'm talking about), so I certainly don't want to tell her to take a hike. But some relationships eventually become unhealthy. How do I keep the "sister" and gently snip myself loose from the "friend"?


-- Edited on 6/18/12 8:18 PM --

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Vermont USA
Member since 8/14/05
Posts: 11047
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In reply to Vintage Joan <<
thumbsup 5 members like this.


Date: 6/18/12 9:10 PM

I think you over think. You CAN not answer, and you can just tell her nicely that she is over the line. Period. Passive-aggressiveness is not good, and over thinking usually leads to passive-aggressive behavior patterns. Because over thinking means you don't want to deal. Now - do I sound like her? HAhahha....oh my. So really, we all have to find our own way to set limits. But it takes less time and you can get on with your life if you just let her know. Took me a long time to find that out - but it is not really your baggage then - it is hers.

There is a difference between turning the other cheek and becoming the door mat.
-- Edited on 6/18/12 9:12 PM --

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"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

threaddy
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threaddy  Friend of PR
Advanced
Wyoming USA
Member since 4/22/09
Posts: 2945
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In reply to Vintage Joan <<
thumbsup 3 members like this.


Date: 6/18/12 9:49 PM

I have had that experience. Just becoming less emotionally "available" slowly stops the relationship. I will link a book that has changed my life/interpersonal relationships
click here

------
"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." Theodore Rubin
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life's about creating yourself." George Bernard Shaw
Dan 9:24-27

Bernina vintage and computerized, Bernina and BL sergers , BLcoverstitch (a stray Pfaff and Viking followed me home too)

lisalu
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lisalu
Advanced Beginner
Georgia USA
Member since 10/5/08
Posts: 2211
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In reply to Vintage Joan <<


Date: 6/18/12 10:02 PM

Big sigh... I am in the same situation - a little ahead of where you're at.

I was in a similar friendship for the last few years. She also perceived that we were closer than I did but I was mostly okay with that. Like you and your "friend" we are very different and have very different life experiences. We basically shared in common our love for books - we could discuss books for hours - but otherwise we are opposites of the coin in every way. Liberal vs Conservative...Free Spirit vs Down to Earth...Vegan Smoker vs Omnivorous Non Smoker...Dating Single Mother vs Married for Decades...and on and on. We could discuss our philosophical differences and agree to disagree. But a few months ago things came to a head when I began to feel very put upon by her expectations of me. (One particular incident broke the camel's back.)

Like you I didn't want to just not answer when she called so I finally wrote her an email and told her nicely but clearly that I had too many issues in my own life (two deaths in the family occurred right about that time) and that the situations she kept bringing into my life were causing me more stress than I could handle. I told her frankly that we have totally different world views and that I was beginning to resent some of the expectations she had put on me. I felt like she was bringing some of these situations upon herself and making them my problem and that if we continued our relationship, then chances are I was going to begin to make some judgmental statements which would be hurtful to her. Therefore it was probably best for both of us if we just went our separate ways for a while. With my limited emotional resources I had to be there for my family first. I sincerely wished her well and told her I'd get in touch with her later but for now I needed to let it go.

She wrote me back once saying, "I miss you, I never meant to hurt you". But I replied that she missed the point, she didn't "hurt" me, I just couldn't continue on the path we were on. It has been a few months and we haven't talked since then. I don't hate her, I don't even have bad feelings about her. But like you said, I just needed to set some boundaries and the only way was to cut it off entirely. I could see no middle ground because we are at such different places in our lives. And hopefully the result will be that she will learn to be more emotionally self sufficient.

Its not easy to do this and I do have my twinges of guilt because I'm sure she was hurt by this. But she was the one who pursued the friendship - which was fine to a point - but she pursued it to the breaking point and I had to bail out. Not sure if any of this helps you or applies to your situation. But I do know what you are going through and I wish you wisdom in deciding how to deal with it.

------
Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
http://runningstitches-mkb.blogspot.com/

PattiK
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PattiK  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Florida USA
Member since 10/15/03
Posts: 217
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Date: 6/18/12 10:34 PM

I have to agree with Muffet. About three years ago I stopped answering the phone on a "friend" who was a friend when it was good for her. She took advantage of me and I decided to end it. One example is that when it was my birthday she was very open to doing lunch, but for her birthday she wanted dinner, the more expensive option. One birthday for her, dinner of course, she showed up one hour late, I should have left but didn't, that's what started me on the path of I don't need you in my life. So basically I stopped answering her calls. My real BFF thought it was cold hearted but I don't think I could have cut the cord any other way. If I had explained things to her it would have caused more drama and issues than I already had with this "friend". I wish you look in deciding what the best method is. Here is a link on Friendship Divorce that came out just as I was ending this relationship, maybe it will help you. Friendship Divorce

------
Patti K.

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
Intermediate
Ontario Canada
Member since 7/16/07
Posts: 10595
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In reply to Mufffet <<


Date: 6/18/12 11:38 PM

LOL, you are definitely overthinking this. I overthink EVERYTHING. ...BUT I fiercely try to avoid the passive-agressive thing that used to be my natural way of handling things. Long story. You don't want to hear it.

However, you're totally right, I don't want to deal with this. If there were a way to have sweet 15-minute "checking in" conversations with her every few weeks, that would be great. But that's not her style, and ooh... it's not just her. I have trouble myself with keeping conversations short and with telling people "I have to go now." Sometimes I sit here making "...get me out of here..." gestures to God when these things go on for an hour longer than I would have liked. Ha ha, you get the idea.


-- Edited on 6/18/12 11:45 PM --

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
Intermediate
Ontario Canada
Member since 7/16/07
Posts: 10595
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In reply to threaddy <<


Date: 6/18/12 11:40 PM

Thank you! I've bookmarked the Amazon page and will check into this.

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 4/1/08
Posts: 5947
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In reply to Vintage Joan <<


Date: 6/18/12 11:43 PM

I wonder if your worry about creating some space with one takes up time that could be shared with another?

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
Intermediate
Ontario Canada
Member since 7/16/07
Posts: 10595
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In reply to lisalu <<


Date: 6/18/12 11:44 PM

Wow, I think you did really well. That reply to her "I miss you..." etc. was wonderful -- not sure I could do that, but it was the perfect response.

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
Intermediate
Ontario Canada
Member since 7/16/07
Posts: 10595
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In reply to a7yrstitch <<


Date: 6/18/12 11:48 PM

Quote:
I wonder if your worry about creating some space with one takes up time that could be shared with another?

Oh, I like that.

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

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