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Thread: Birthdays and friendships

  1. #11
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    I've had friends. I've had good friends. I've never had a "bad" friend. And with respect to those who have, I can't say I'd extend the title to friends who don't go out of their way to organize celebrations with you. Even insofar as you've got friends you're the most commonly doing the reaching out to, it's either worth it or it isn't. Obviously don't tolerate harmful behavior towards you, but absent that, I'd focus on the value you get from whatever dynamic you've got with someone rather than whether they should be reaching out to you more or organizing events for you, or even just in general how you feel they should behave in filling the role of "friend."

    My close friends reach out to hang out just as often as I do. I'd say that's what makes them a close friend. Still, even if you're the type to consider anything else an acquaintance rather than a friend, it sounds miserable and pretty petty to go the whole extra step of thinking them a "bad friend." I've had people I'd considered simply friends and whom I might reach out to most the time for something like pickup basketball, or who may have been the one reaching out to me to catch a new movie. It's fine. If I need a closer friend, I find closer friends. No negative feelings toward the others necessary. IMO, sentiments like "bad friends," "dead weight," etc. are unnecessary drama. I don't have the time or patience, and even if I did, I wouldn't have the desire to concern myself with any of that.

    IMO, your neighbor getting outright offended you didn't tell him it's your birthday is weird. As is someone who assumes they can impose on your time with plans, even if intended for your benefit. But it worked for you and you enjoyed it, so I suppose it's a good weird, and I'm happy it happened then. However, I'd say the majority of adults, whether good friends or "bad friends," don't tend to assume when, how, or even whether someone else wants to celebrate their birthday that year. I think yours did just fine remembering and reaching you out with well wishes. Only real time friends of ours organize a birthday event for another is if that other person is their husband or wife. Otherwise, we pretty much bank on each other accounting for our own leisure and giving us a day, time, and place. People then bring a gift / card and make sure the honoree's food and drinks are taken care of.

    It looks like you've got a close friend in your neighbor. I'd value and build on that. Whatever you wanna call the others, you do you. Ultimately, they haven't done anything wrong to you and haven't prevented you from seeking out more fulfilling friendships, so it's hard to label them as bad anythings. You gotta take responsibility for your own social life. If you feel you're lacking more fulfilling friendships, that's fair enough, but it's still on you. Best of luck, and belated happy birthday!

  2. #12
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    I have a very lengthy thread here about a "friend" I decided to remove from my life at the end of last year. She wasn't a positive, or even neutral, influence in my life, and I removed her.

    As I removed her, I started realizing that over the past several years, I've removed many people from my life who just weren't there for me, while I was there for them.

    Something interesting happened: the more negative people I removed, the more friends I had. It was this interesting phenomenon. I spent years.....no, decades....maintaining my end of toxic friendships, or friendships that were only one-sided, afraid that that was all I had. This particular "friend" (now an ex) was the last one, the most toxic, but connected to so many other people. I was so afraid! Afraid that, by removing these people, I'd be left alone, with zero friends, having to start over, which at my age, isn't easy.

    But the fewer friends I had, the more friends I had. By removing the toxicity, and staying firm in the removal, more people reached out to me. I started getting these weird invitations, from people I never really thought of as friends, but whom I really like. Just last week, I had drinks with one super neat woman, and I was invited to an engagement party of another, and lunch with another.

    My point to you is, if people aren't positive influences in your life....even if they're just neutral, as you say, they only accept invites but never reciprocate, or they might show up or might bail......ditch 'em. Move 'em on. Because, as you've seen, the people who like you, seem to really like you!

    And guess what....I bet if you arrange the next outing with these people, not only will they not bail, but they'll all show up! Because you seem to have found this group, or rather this group seems to have found you, of people who genuinely want to spend time with you!

  3. #13
    Platinum Member Fudgie's Avatar
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    I echo what others have said. Be polite and distant with those who don't include you or reach out. Just let it fade away. You have found true friends in your neighbors and shousl focus on spending time with them.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    I just want to say Happy Birthday !!! And I'm so glad you got to feel special !! Here's to many more like that!!

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  6. #15
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    Originally Posted by j.man
    I've had friends. I've had good friends. I've never had a "bad" friend. And with respect to those who have, I can't say I'd extend the title to friends who don't go out of their way to organize celebrations with you. Even insofar as you've got friends you're the most commonly doing the reaching out to, it's either worth it or it isn't. Obviously don't tolerate harmful behavior towards you, but absent that, I'd focus on the value you get from whatever dynamic you've got with someone rather than whether they should be reaching out to you more or organizing events for you, or even just in general how you feel they should behave in filling the role of "friend."

    My close friends reach out to hang out just as often as I do. I'd say that's what makes them a close friend. Still, even if you're the type to consider anything else an acquaintance rather than a friend, it sounds miserable and pretty petty to go the whole extra step of thinking them a "bad friend." I've had people I'd considered simply friends and whom I might reach out to most the time for something like pickup basketball, or who may have been the one reaching out to me to catch a new movie. It's fine. If I need a closer friend, I find closer friends. No negative feelings toward the others necessary. IMO, sentiments like "bad friends," "dead weight," etc. are unnecessary drama. I don't have the time or patience, and even if I did, I wouldn't have the desire to concern myself with any of that.

    IMO, your neighbor getting outright offended you didn't tell him it's your birthday is weird. As is someone who assumes they can impose on your time with plans, even if intended for your benefit. But it worked for you and you enjoyed it, so I suppose it's a good weird, and I'm happy it happened then. However, I'd say the majority of adults, whether good friends or "bad friends," don't tend to assume when, how, or even whether someone else wants to celebrate their birthday that year. I think yours did just fine remembering and reaching you out with well wishes. Only real time friends of ours organize a birthday event for another is if that other person is their husband or wife. Otherwise, we pretty much bank on each other accounting for our own leisure and giving us a day, time, and place. People then bring a gift / card and make sure the honoree's food and drinks are taken care of.

    It looks like you've got a close friend in your neighbor. I'd value and build on that. Whatever you wanna call the others, you do you. Ultimately, they haven't done anything wrong to you and haven't prevented you from seeking out more fulfilling friendships, so it's hard to label them as bad anythings. You gotta take responsibility for your own social life. If you feel you're lacking more fulfilling friendships, that's fair enough, but it's still on you. Best of luck, and belated happy birthday!
    i agree with this^ and quoting again for emphasis.

    Esp third paragraph, bolded. I am a very private person and I would have been quite taken aback by all that. Not even sure I would have trusted his motivations, seems like it may have been a bit self-serving to me.

    But as j.man said, if you enjoyed it, that's all that matters.

    I have close friends I haven't spoken w or seen in months. But when we catch up, it seems like no time passed and we're always there for each other when needed.

    To me, that's a true friend not how often they call/text or want to grab a beer.

    I have acquaintances that do this, they're lots of fun but I wouldn't count on them to be there for me during a time of need.

    That said, I agree with surrounding yourself w positive people and those who add to your life.

    Reject negative people and those who bring you down.

    Try to not it personally, it's no reflection on you as a beautiful valuable human being, it's their issue, within themselves.

    My step sister is this way, it used to being me down but I've learned to distance myself from all that negativity, and when I have to see her, I remain cordial and reject the negativity, remaining happy and positive.

    Not sure if that makes sense MLD but have found the more you choose to surround yourself with positive genuine people who have your best interests at heart versus those who are self-serving, the more positive people you will attract and draw towards you.

    Lastly, happy belated, and much happiness and peace moving forward!

  7. #16
    Platinum Member mustlovedogs's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone :) youíre all helping me feel a lot better with this.

  8. #17
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    Originally Posted by mustlovedogs
    Thank you everyone :) youíre all helping me feel a lot better with this.
    I'm so glad. Happy Birthday!

  9. #18
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    You seem to have put a damper on the wonderful birthday celebration your neighbor planned by getting upset about things that happened in the past or that are negatives instead of, you know, enjoying yourself and focusing on positives.

    I find myself doing that at work; focusing on the struggles I have to go through and the issues I have to put up with instead of celebrating the things my team and I DO accomplish. I am going to stop that, because being negative doesn't help me.

    Try to enjoy who and what you do have. You can't change how the others behave, so don't spend time getting upset about it.

  10. #19
    Platinum Member mustlovedogs's Avatar
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    Birthdays and friendships

    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    You seem to have put a damper on the wonderful birthday celebration your neighbor planned by getting upset about things that happened in the past or that are negatives instead of, you know, enjoying yourself and focusing on positives.

    I find myself doing that at work; focusing on the struggles I have to go through and the issues I have to put up with instead of celebrating the things my team and I DO accomplish. I am going to stop that, because being negative doesn't help me.

    Try to enjoy who and what you do have. You can't change how the others behave, so don't spend time getting upset about it.
    No, it only happened as I walked home alone. The rest of the night was lovely. :)

  11. #20
    Super Moderator Capricorn3's Avatar
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    Just wanted to send some big fat warm cyber hugs your way (((((HUGS))))).

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