This is regarding a 15+ year friendship. We used to get along great, but my best friend, “Nan,” and I are having problems. I am finding it difficult to be around her. She tries to one-up me in everything, and trivializes my accomplishments. No matter how badly my day may be going, hers is always worse. And when I graduated from college, she said “oh yeah, well I raked the yard all day.” She talks about herself incessantly, but never asks how I am.
She used to be one of my only friends, but now I have many. I know she is jealous of this, so I tried introducing her to them, so she would have more friends, and she was rude to them. If we go out (which is almost never at this point) she ditches me and goes home, because the lights are bothering her, someone stepped on her foot, or some other stupid reason. I am way too old for this nonsense, and I have had to take breaks from the relationship in the past. I have explained to her why, but it doesn’t seem to sink in that it is her attitude and behavior.
She has been through some very hard times, and I feel badly that if I go away, she will fall into depression. Also, I guess it is human nature to wish someone would change, which I have been wishing. This is affecting me badly, and just talking to her makes me feel mentally unwell. People notice my stress after I have spoken with her. Do I address her on this issue, yet again?? I don’t know what else to say that I haven't already, and I am sort of afraid to confront her in person.
If you've taken breaks from this friendship in the past for the same reasons, then it's assured things are not going to get better. No one needs this kind of negativity in their life. If you're seriously worried about her depression you should tell her you're concerned and urge her to seek some kind of help (doctor/counselor). But you can't be responsible for her mental well-being.
It is a sad fact but some friendships actually run their course. Your story sounds identical to what happened to my eldest sister and her friend of 20 years. They both met when they were newly married and shared a lot over the years. Both got divorced and then re-married. Both had children. But her friend, for whatever reason, started behaving in a similar fashion to your friend. She was emotionally draining on my sister and insulting. So, almost two years ago, she just weeded her out of her life. She stopped answering her calls, she just let it go. The latter years were so stressed between the two of them, her friend took the hint. It's a hard, hard thing to do but if someone is sucking the life out of you or diminishing your quality of leisure/free time, then you shouldn't feel guilty -- life is too short to share preventable miserable times!
Poopsie - are you sure we're not friends with the same person
That was so odd reading your post as i have a friend who sounds so much like your friend. She has also had a lot of things go wrong in her life and i feel sorry for her and i have given her so much support and help to no avail. She is sooooo negative. No matter what bad thing has occurred to me in my life or how sick i got, she was always in a worse state or more ill than me.
I also used to work with a girl who had no friends and was always very negative and jealous. She didn't have any friends, only her mother and one sister. She didn't like her other sister because she was still happily married and she thought it better that her sister divorce. Just because one relationship didn't work out she became such a negative person and a man hater. I introduced her to my friends and then she tried to organise outings behind my back, telling my group of friends that i wasn't interested in going and basically attempting to exclude me. How deceitful. You would think she would be happy to be introduced to some new friends. Mind you, we were not teenagers either, but in our mid 20's.
I can understand you feeling frustrated yet feeling bad for wanting to prune her out of your life. Exceedingly negative people are so mentally draining and leave you feelling so deflated. Looks like you have been patient and understanding but you need to draw a line somewhere. She will keep manipulating you.
I'd begin by cutting her out slowly, bit by bit. If you have an answering machine you can screen your calls as you don't have to be at "home" if you dont want to be. If you do speak on the phone, keep the calls short, make up excuses. If she is out with you and wants to leave early, let her. Don't let her complaining affect you. These sorts of people only need one person in their life to feel sorry for them. She will find someone else to annoy if you are not there. good luck
What Audrey says is so true - if you are not there for her, she will find someone else to annoy. She is your friend, but you are not, and never will be her friend. People like this do not have friends, they have people they can use to dump on, to manipulate, to hold up a reflection of themselves. I will bet the farm that she does not even think about you when you are not in her presence. So don't worry about hurting her feelings, she only has feelings about herself. You do not need someone like this in your life. Cheers, Sera
Got to agree with Sera. I do feel sorry for people like this, but it appears that you are now showing some negative signs from dealing with all her nonsense. Time to break loose, you are not responsible for her mental stability.