Jump to content

rapunzel

Platinum Member
  • Posts

    1,941
  • Joined

rapunzel's Achievements

Collaborator

Collaborator (7/14)

  • First Post
  • Collaborator
  • Posting Machine Rare
  • Conversation Starter
  • Week One Done

Recent Badges

120

Reputation

  1. If you've only known her for 6 months, I don't think you have to politely end the friendship. If you sent her a good-bye text or email saying "this isn't working, time to go our separate ways" I think that would be more awkward if in the future you run into her with the mutual friend. Even if you've known someone a longer time, the "this friendship is over" confrontation closes the door to a future, friendly and less stressful situation if you see her again. Then again, you can never predict or control how someone else will behave or react. You can only control yourself. Doing the slow fade, "Sorry, I can't, I'm busy, please make other plans", then not answering texts or calls, et cetera is in my opinion more kind than a flat-out goodbye, rejection text or email. Then if you do run into her, it will seem more normal/organic, less stressful. If she asks you what happened, well, "life happened", you were busy, you had this or that going on. You don't have to be specific. If she presses, you could just be friendly, calm and vague, shrug it off, possibly apologize but not profusely, say "It's personal, I'm sorry" or something to end the conversation. If she does ask you point blank, "is there a particular reason why you don't want to hang out with me anymore?" then you have a choice if you want to be more honest. If she said or did something truly insulting or egregious, then yes, you should tell her it was offensive or unkind. But if it was her annoying personality that doesn't click with you, telling her this won't help. It sounds like she is the type who will not "get" any feedback about her behavior, she could become defensive and it could backfire. This has happened to me. So I've learned with certain personality types, confrontation is not the way to go. Breaking up is hard to do, whether a brand new friendship or a longer relationship. There's no easy way around it. Good luck!
  2. Yikes. I'm reminded of new female friendships I had to extricate myself from years ago, around age 50. In the beginning it seemed fun but over time both women (I knew separately) turned out to be pushy, hostile, competitive, angered easily and felt entitled to my time on their terms. I confronted one very diplomatically and calmly when she was being ridiculously hostile during what was supposed to be a fun, out of town trip. Big mistake, she freaked out. That was the last straw. I incorporated the slow fade with both women, initially afraid of running into them as we live within a couple miles of each other. I no longer speak to either, at least one (or both) likely has a borderline personality disorder. Meeting through a social circle, I was befriended by another woman who was very friendly but very clingy, declaring that we were "friends" right away and then would proceed to guilt trip me, e.g. "I guess we're friends although I never get to see you". She liked to tell me occasionally where I stood in her friends hierarchy, "inner circle" or "outer circle". I later realized she had few - if any - friends and it was a way to manipulate me. Ugh. Somehow I have stayed in loose touch with her but she recently told me I was her "oldest" friend. We are both turning 60 and we became "friendly" maybe 7 years ago. I literally see her in person once, twice a year if that. Something tells me that someday I'll have to slow fade from her as well. Still single but with a boyfriend for the last 5 years, at this point I've learned that it's OK to be open and friendly but also to proceed with caution when forming new female friendships. I will likely no longer confront a newish "friend" if/when things turn icky, in my experience, it isn't worth it. Best to just slink away and disappear. I agree you should cut ties with this woman. She sounds very unpleasant and inappropriate. Who needs that kind of stress? Good luck!
  3. He sounds like a real peach. Is this someone you really want in your life? What's the worst thing that could happen if you do stand up for yourself and tell him that just blowing you off like that - after you made plans - is not OK? Are you afraid he will dump you? I would give him a taste of his own medicine and disappear. Get busy with your own life, get in touch with friends, make plans, take care of some things you've been putting off. If and when he contacts you, if you think you want to continue dating HIM, then you calmly tell him that what he did was rude and unacceptable behavior and you don't appreciate being treated that way - by anyone. Tell him you're not interested in being treated that way, you don't do that to him, do you? If he protests, gets angry, tries to blame you then you have some things to think about... If he apologizes, says he is sorry and wants to make it up to you, you can decide if you want to give him another chance. If you do, you have to be strong and not keep letting this happen. If you keep putting up with bad behavior, then bad behavior you will get from this guy based on your story.
  4. I remember you also, LHGirl! I am 57 and think about this stuff a lot lately, which is probably not great for my psyche. Lately I prefer to be alone or go out by myself to a local bar to hear music, talk to strangers or people I know at the bar who have no preconceived notions or judgments about me. These friendly strangers expect nothing, do not keep tabs and are less likely to want to compete, gossip, one-up, guilt trip, etc. I have made a couple of friends this way but these are more loosely defined friendships with less expectations. Unfortunately, my hanging out with myself is not a good policy when it comes to keeping up with old or new female friends. Funny, I recently did the same kind of friend inventory. For me, I have to be careful to not hold a grudge with two friends I introduced a few years ago who became closer and I felt excluded. I've posted here about them. One of these women is too gossip-y and queen bee-ish for my tastes and the other is in a whole 'nother category so....right there, my anxiety rears it's ugly head and since I fear the repercussions of initiating an outing, I retreat. Then I worry I will be completely left behind socially. Since none of us are perfect I often wonder if I am myself being too judge-y, competitive, sensitive and/or selfish. I was born an introvert but in order to achieve in life I had to learn to be an extrovert. Now as I approach my "golden years" I am back to my natural self, craving alone time with my creative pursuits, staying home, walks in nature (if a friend wants to join, fine but tough to schedule with everyone's time constraints) books, my boyfriend and his dog. I don't want to compete, I don't want to report on my progress or achievements, I just want to live in peace. I just hope and pray my female friends will understand and not take it personally! By the way, I don't experience this anxiety with my male friends. Gotta get my "The Four Agreements" book out and re-read it again. Eliza50, again, good luck and know you are not alone with these situations!
  5. I'm also in the 50+ group so can relate to your situation. Currently I have a boyfriend/relationship but in my early 50's I was single. socialized with and also met/befriended several other single women. It can be tricky stuff navigating old and new female friendships at this age, in my opinion, and it feels more important than ever to stick to my mantra of "don't take anything personally". Very hard to implement but it helps. A couple other good sayings for this situation and life in general: “If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.” “Blessed is he (or she) who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” In my experience it is difficult to release expectations as we all have feelings, an inner child and egos. I struggle with fears and anxieties about my adult female friendships as I have had some rough experiences in recent years. I have had my feelings hurt and may have disappointed some women who were trying to get a new friendship off the ground, or who were trying to rekindle a friendship. For several reasons, now in my late 50's I am becoming more introverted and I worry about some of the female friends who don't understand. I don't want to be greeted with guilt trips or score-keeping when I contact or see them, and like most adults I don't like being told what to do or how I should be behaving in a friendship. I have experienced this kind of pressure and it is really unpleasant. In my opinion, this is the worst thing a "friend" can do. A couple of the women I befriended in my early 50's were clingy and had immediate expectations about their "new friend" and the pressure was off-putting. Since I'm a worrier and people pleaser, I tried to keep these women happy but then having a new romantic relationship and an elderly mother who needed my help, it was impossible to keep up with their demands. In retrospect I tried to be kind at all times but with one of these women it wasn't enough, she tersely de-friended me from Facebook. Sigh. Another woman I met when I was nearing 50 seemed to like having me as a new friend and introduced me to her friends who were welcoming and friendly. It was nice being invited to social gatherings with them but over time it became clear that my new friend was threatened by me, fearing I would "move in" on her other friends. Although I never made separate overtures, one of her friends "Sheila" made overtures to me. My new friend made it clear that her prior friends were "off limits", once even telling me I could never contact "Sheila" separately as Sheila was "not my friend". It was rough. Yet I understand these boundaries because when I introduced two friends who bonded and started socializing separately I felt excluded, yep....it was painful. Nonetheless, the situation with this particular friend became so unpleasant over about 4 years that I distanced completely and have no desire to see or talk to her. Ugh, I tend to get very wordy when I vent so I apologize but trust me, this is cathartic so thank you for the opportunity to post. :-) Back to your story, I think it might help to examine if you have expectations regarding this rekindled friendship. You were enjoying the semi-frequent contact but for whatever reason she had to retreat and you're left scratching your head. Most likely this isn't about you, it's about her. Hopefully there is some kernel of wisdom in my long-winded response that will help you get through this situation. I agree with the others that you should back off, try not to take it personally, and sending her a holiday card or greeting would be a nice light way to stay in contact. Good luck!
  6. Hmmm... My guess is your "mature" friend does not want your opinion on her possible move to be near a man she just met two weeks ago. If she wanted your opinion, she would ask. If you are super tight "besties" who share everything, then it would be appropriate to try to talk to her about it. Either way, she will do what she wants. Many mature adults do not want others well-meaning advice unless they request it and some will resent you for offering unsolicited advice. The assumption is that she is moving there to be near him, however, it is possible she likes the idea of moving somewhere else to change her life and meet new people. Also, if she is avoiding you, I would just let her be. Chasing after people often backfires, making the person run in the other direction, which she may find out if indeed she is chasing this guy and is moving there to be near him. You can always send her a card or an email to wish her well, if you want to stay in touch. I have had several friendships change or dissipate over the years as the result of romantic relationships, marriages, children and moves. Some were painful when I was younger but with age I wish them well and let them go if that's what happens. I keep in touch with some sporadically, it is impossible to keep up with everyone despite social media. In my life, learning how to be my own best friend has been invaluable. Learning how to enjoy your own company is key because in my experience, changes in life circumstances with friends are virtually guaranteed. I'm still a work in progress but I have had far too many disappointments to rely on other people for my happiness. That doesn't mean I won't get my heart broken again, won't get dumped by a friend and won't experience conflict with people. If your friend moves, yes, you will miss her but if you are true friends, you will stay in touch and can pick up where you left off. When you become your own best friend, you are less dependent on other people for your own happiness and potential friends, both platonic and romantic, pick up on this and feel less pressured, thus you start attracting people like flies. Often when you need people less, they want you more. It's an interesting phenomenon, one I read about several years ago in a self-help book (Intimate Connections by David Burns, M.D. - great book) when I was still stupidly chasing men around.
  7. The feelings are normal. I think our culture with the emphasis on doing, achieving, constantly "bettering" oneself and the focus on material goods and consumerism makes us all feel "less than". Our very competitive culture is focused on the individual rather than the collective. These feelings of being "useless" can be subconscious, drilled into our heads via social conditioning that begins early in life, as well as via the media and advertising. These universal feelings make some people strive to become what the culture considers powerful: political figures, CEO's, celebrities, or extremely wealthy. When we become conscious of the reason for our feelings of inadequacy, we can then work on our inner selves, and not believing everything we have learned that have made us feel this way. For many of us, doing things that we enjoy, including pampering ourselves, taking time to smell the flowers, smiling at puppies and children, and getting lots of fresh air, some sunshine, plenty of down time and restful sleep - as well as spending time with kind, compassionate and caring people - can definitely help keep these feelings at bay. Yet with the way things are going in our culture, IMHO these feelings will continue be a challenge for most of us. Oh, and these are just my thoughts on it at the moment. As you know, for some women hormonal changes that start in our late 30's can definitely wreak havoc with one's mood and outlook. Take care, this too shall pass!
  8. This does sound like an emotionally painful situation. Social media just makes these feelings of being excluded worse, much worse. Social media is, in my opinion, a mostly negative force for friendships and relationships for this very reason. Prior to social media, you would have no idea what Kate and Amy were up to and you would not feel so left out. I am well familiar with this feeling of being purposefully excluded, lately from both a family member and some friends. Whether or not what I am perceiving is reality, it certainly is taxing on the old psyche and ego to feel this way. In my experience and humble opinion, creative people - artists/musicians/writers - are more prone to feeling emotions deeply and not always in a positive way. I think it helps to remember that relationships are fluid and everyone and everything changes over time. Letting go of expectations is key. I am also working on this. So I do some research into self-help. I learn we are told to change our thoughts as our thoughts create our feelings. Lately I have been trying to change my negative thought patterns so that I don't jump to conclusions, make assumptions about people and think everything is about me. I think relationships with friends and family is in general, a lot of work, and everyone has their own "stuff" that they are dealing with. Which is why I try to remember not to take what anyone else does personally but man, it is hard. There are two books that I have found helpful when dealing with painful emotions. One is "Feeling Good" by David Burns where you identify your negative thought patterns and respond to them in a more realistic way. The other is "The Four Agreements", that teaches you should not take what others do personally, and other helpful concepts. Honestly, the way you describe Kate makes her sound like she uses you and your husband when she needs something. Thus one would ask, why would you feel badly about someone who treats you this way? You cannot change Kate and I do not believe that confronting her or telling her how you feel will help at all. It sounds like she would just get defensive so, you should just try to let all of this go. Indeed, this can be exceedingly difficult but your emotional health is at stake. I am also speaking for myself - MY emotional health has been teetering on the edge lately because I worry excessively about OTHER PEOPLE. Since she is a family member, I would say don't close the door on Kate but don't chase after her either. If you really want to see Kate you have to let go of your fear of rejection as well as any judgment. Just call her or email or text or whatever you want to do. Keep it light, leave out any judge-y, guilt-trippy comments like "I haven't heard from you in a while, I never see you", "we never get to see the kids", etc. I'm only saying this because when people do this to me, it really really really gets under my skin. I have an old friend who is actively excluding me in something (I'll leave out the details) and whenever I contact her she always HAS to say "What a surprise to hear from you". Drives me nuts. Why can't she just say, "HI, how are YOU?, How's it going, hope you are well". See, I am taking her "what a surprise" as a judgment, e.g. she is letting me know SHE thinks I don't contact her enough. That's what it feels like to me but maybe this is just her way. I dunno. I never guilt trip people because my mother is a guilt tripper and I know how incredibly unpleasant it is to deal with. If Kate says no, at least you tried. If she says no, it's not about you, it's about HER. I think your husband should play a part in this also since she is his sister. Other than that, if you feel you don't have enough friends I think facing your fear and expanding your social horizons would certainly help. In my experience, being friendly and open to people meet, being a good listener, and not JUDGING everyone and everything makes people like being around me. Certainly I am not perfect but I will say I am kind and easy to talk to. I refrain from talking excessively about myself. In the last several years I've met a lot of people by being open, kind and non-judgmental. This lately seems to make my more competititve, judge-y female "friends" envious and thus, they sometimes exclude me. Oh well. It's VERY difficult to not take it personally but I can't be ALL things to ALL people ALL the time. No one can. I do my best, I choose my words very carefully, I don't gossip, I keep it light and I try to be kind to everyone I meet. Yet, in the last several years I made several new friends and it hasn't always worked out. Everyone has their own agenda, their own skeletons, their own morass of swirling emotions and everyone deals with things in their own way. Sometimes in the end, you really do just have to let go of people. What is that saying, "if you love something, set it free. If it comes back it's yours. If it doesn't, it never was". A truism. For me, I'm doing a lot of things alone and getting very comfortable with it. It helps me to go on long walks, alone or with someone, spend time in nature, with my boyfriend's dog, deep breathing and just practicing on talking back to negative thoughts. I've always been a bit of a loner. My more social friends seem to find this suspicious or take it personally sometimes, again, this is not my problem. I gotta take care of me and sometimes that means I have to be alone. Kate may or may not eventually come around. You absolutely cannot change her, you can only change your reaction to her. You only have control of you so while being kind and compassionate to others, take care of yourself and your inner emotional life. Keep expectations low, keep your head high and always do your best. Know you will fail sometimes, everyone else fails, and when you have to withdraw to recharge, do it. This is what I am actively working on because if I don't let go of ALL these other people and their thoughts/ideas/emotions and feeling like I am somehow responsible for THEM, I will certainly never make it in this thing called LIFE. Thanks for the post, I apologize for my very long reply but reading about your situation has helped me with recent events in my life and I hope you find your way through this. Good luck and remember, this too shall pass.
  9. Thanks catfeeder and Batya33.... In reflecting on both of these women and the situation, I am choosing to distance myself from them. In fact, this has been gradually happening since they joined forces...some of it occurring organically as what happens in life. "Linda" as I stated before, is a classic queen bee with a thirst for gossip. She thrives on it, and in fact, routinely will profess her desire for it e.g.,"So...do you have any gossip?". Over time, it became clear to me that she will gossip about anyone and everything and her thirst for it borders on pathological. With her penchant for her beloved gossip, I am dead certain that anything I have told her about my personal life has been passed around. I have thus mostly stopped sharing information with her, especially since she and "Molly" became close. This situation is interesting because if I EVER dared to socialize separately and/or befriend one of Linda's friends, and did not include her, she would have my head on a platter. Molly, who I've known for almost 20 years, has been rude to me enough times that I have realized she no longer is someone I want give much time and energy to. She apologized once to me in the past but the incident last week, not a word. I am not the only one and appreciate that others in this thread have pointed out that people in the group are well aware of her personality/issues. She has been anti-social and rude to other people, in fact, I witnessed her take down her boyfriend in a most embarrassing, angry and inappropriate way over a minor incident, calling him names "you're a f*cking dope" and then turn to me like it was the most natural thing in the world, and nothing happened out of the ordinary. Really bizarre. I do wonder why her boyfriend stays, although I don't know him that well (he did remark to me once in exasperation after a blow out that Molly "is crazy"). I'm guessing he stays partly due to financial circumstances and she has provided him with a place to live. I have heard other stories of her abusive nature and have seen it firsthand. It is NOT my problem. I'm getting stronger, and I am feeling a change in myself. It feels good. I am a late bloomer but I have heard that the 50's are a time of change in more than one way for women. With life getting shorter, we have less tolerance for people who are unkind, intolerant, who don't have our back so to speak. If someone repeatedly makes you feel badly and you keep going back to that person, something is not right. It would indeed be masochistic...to keep going back for more. Neither one of them feels like a friend at this point. They are feeding off of each other and getting some payoff from their new found friendship that they don't get with me. And they both seem to feel the need to put me down, to keep me "in my place". Jealousy? Female competitiveness? There's a term for it: "relational aggression". It's all very interesting from an armchair psychological perspective! Onwards and upwards! I know I can deal with the social ramifications, it might be uncomfortable but it is doable. I have the power.
  10. Good advice. However, I will have to leave an entire group of people (some of whom I like) in order to avoid her. Thankfully I do have other friends and other groups of people to hang out with, if I choose. This kind of stuff makes me understand why sometimes it is just easier to hang out with oneself or with my boyfriend and his dog. ;-) That said, I know there are well-adjusted, less catty/gossipy and less malicious women out there so I am definitely going to expand my social horizons. I did call an old friend I had lost touch with last night, we had a great talk and that felt good. I did not feel judged, demeaned or one-upped. Imagine such a thing!
  11. Yes, other people might have buffered her rude behavior and having a witness or two can help. However, she was seated at the end of the bar away from the few other people who had already arrived when it happened. All these helpful comments have helped me calm down a bit and I'm working on letting this go.....
  12. Thanks, you are probably right. I have to remind myself of this.
  13. True. In the future, I will be ready to respond calmly when it happens. It is unfortunate it happened at what was in other ways a fun social gathering. Thank you for your advice.
  14. Yup, this has been going on for a few years. Sigh. It is clear, I need to toughen up.
×
×
  • Create New...