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Confused and hurt...


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Ok, I need some advice on what to do next. Some of you may remember my background regarding this situation, but I'll try and do a summary for those who are not. Sorry, bit long.


I am at medical school and did a course beforehand to satisfy entry requirements. In this course I became friends with a girl, let's call her Laura. We both got accepted into the same medical school. We chatted a little over the phone during the summer, and she shared my worry about not making friends (she was bullied at school) and how we really wanted to make friends when school started. I found it very very hard to settle in during the first few weeks, being a decade older than most of the students in my year (this is Europe, so they were 18 and I was 29). I tried *very* hard to be friendly, chatty and approachable, but people didn't seem interested in talking to me. I was very sad and upset. I spoke to Laura about it, who was having rather more success at getting to know people doing the same things I was doing, and she kept reassuring me that I would get there in the end. Then, 4 weeks in, she cancelled a meeting we'd agreed for coffee, didn't return any more of my texts, and when we walked towards each other on campus she'd look at me, then look straight ahead and walk past me without saying a word.


I normally would have asked her about it, as I am a firm believer in talking things through. I don't avoid potentially difficult conversations. But I also have a history of not respecting people wanting me to back off. So, I figured that she'd decided I was hindering her in her quest to find friends (as people weren't warming to me), and she dropped me as a friend. I could not for the life of me think of another reason, as I figured with any other reason she'd have talked to me about it. Being dropped for being a dead-weight hurt a LOT. But I decided to respect her decision and let her be. I did not initiate contact again, and neither did she.


Then, a short while later, I became friends with a slightly older girl. We really clicked, and started sitting together in lecturs, going to the gym together, stuff like that. We'll call her Sam. Laura had told me in the first week that Sam seemed nice and she really wanted to get to know her more. I kinda managed that before her though; it just happened one day when Sam and I got chatting (hadn't really noticed her before then).


So, fast forward a few months. It's December. The whole Laura thing was still eating away at me, and when Sam mentioned her name I told her that Laura and I used to be friends and that she was a nice girl, but that she had stopped contact with me and I couldn't explain why and that I was hurt. We didn't talk much about it really. Then, in January, Sam and Laura got chatting because they have mutual friends, and they started sitting together in lectures and hanging out together all the time. I could't face being around Laura as seeing or hearing her just made me think "here is someone who got rid of me because I'm not an asset" and that hurt. So I said to Sam (very nicely) that since she knew how I felt about Laura, and since Laura didn't want anything to do with me anymore, I could no longer sit with her in lectures if Laura sat with them. But apart from that we could still go to lunch or go to the gym or go out in the evenings. Sam said she thought I should just make up with Laura. I said that Laura didn't want to be friends with me anymore, and I didn't intend to force myself on her.


Shortly after that, Sam stopped talking to me as well. She didn't come to my 30th birthday party, making up a flimsy excuse, despite saying she wouldn't miss it for the world a few weeks earlier. She defriends me on Facebook, and I haven't spoken to her since.


So far so not-good.


Then I find out the following through a third person, who I am friends with and who could see how much I was hurting and confused over the whole situation, and who went and talked to both people separately. I didn't ask her to do this, she did it on her own initiative.


1) Laura stopped all contact because she was going through some problems of her own and didn't feel she could give me the support she felt I needed. But instead of saying this to me, she decides to just cut me off and probably thinks I'll know why she did it.


2) Laura felt pissed off that I mentioned her stopping contact to Sam. She felt I was talking about her behind her back. When all I was doing is talking about someone who upset me to another friend (Sam). At that point they were not friends, plus I didn't say anything nasty.


3) Laura apparently tried to make contact with me and talk about it, but I have had NO text, email, phone call or attempt to make contact in person since October last year. Someone looking at you, quickly looking away and walking past you surely can't mean "I want to talk to you"???


3) Sam felt I was making her choose between me and Laura. This was never my intention, and I thought she'd be able to accept why I didn't want to make up with Laura and not see it as me asking her to choose.


4) Both Laura and Sam stated that neither of them wants anything more to do with me. Laura because I was talking about her, Sam because I was making her choose.


They don't know I know 1-4, and I don't want my friend to get into trouble for telling me. I assume though that Laura and Sam know it'll get back to me. Which in a way means that can tell me to go to hell without having to say it to me directly.


This whole situation almost caused me to fail my exams as I couldn't concentrate in lectures. I spent the day trying to avoid both of them, as seeing or hearing them would trigger the feeling of rejection and of being punished for something that I think is basically one big misunderstanding. It's really brought me down and made me more cynical.


I debated whether to approach one or both of them, as I still believed that it could be straightened out. In the end I plucked up the courage to email Laura (I deleted her phone number so couldn't call her) 4 weeks ago. I basically just said that I noticed we weren't in contact anymore, that I tried to figure out why but couldn't think what happened (leaving my friend out of it), and whether we could have a quick chat about it as I don't like being on bad terms with people.


No response. And I know she got the email.


Today she was walking next to me on the stairs and did not acknowledge my presense at all.


So...what do I do now?


Leave it be? Try and speak to Sam? I think Sam has been talking about all this to other people, as people I was friendly with have become noticeable cooler towards me. I don't think I want to be friends with Laura and Sam anymore, but I want to stop that sick feeling in my stomach when I can't avoid them, and I want them to stop talking about me to others.


What do I do?


Thanks for reading this, and any advice will be gratefully received.

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Hi. First of all, I want to emphasize that I am NOT trying to put you down or be combative. I feel a bit cautious about what I am about to say because I do not want to be insensitive.


So please know that I am not saying this to be intentionally harsh or rude; if I come accross that way, I apologize in advance.


Anyways ...


1) First of all, Laura acted like a complete witch to you.

Sure her "excuse" might be that she was going through a rough patch and she felt that she couldnt give you the support that you needed BUT honestly, I think that's BS on her part and I dont see why you appear as though you are making excuses for her poor behavior. Even now, you can't seem to blame her for her part in this "drama."



A more reasonable response on her part could have been to TELL you that she is going through a rough patch and that she fears that she may not be able to support you in the way that you need. Sure, people deal with stress in a way which may appear strange to others but then, by the same token, she has no right to blame you for how poorly she treated you.



One thing I do find problematic with your reaction is that you were actually SAD to lose this witch than get angry or indignant by her rude behavior. Honestly, I would have written her off as a rude person, then and there. Instead, you kind of blamed yourself for her childish attitude (i.e. you felt "guilty" (?) for possibly hindering her from making other friends and thus decided to "respect" her wishes to be left alone).


I do think it's rather a problem that you yourself are placing other people's needs above yours. I wouldnt go so far as to say that you may have issues with self-esteem but the whole "how do you expect others to respect you, if you dont respect yourself" comes to mind. Sorry if I am over-reaching here.



2) I think Sam is absolutely right that you put her in the middle -- I feel as though you kind of put her on the spot by telling her this conflict between you and Laura. I also feel like you were giving her an ultimatum of sorts -- it's either me or Laura -- by telling her that you can no longer sit with her if Laura sits with her as well.


Sam sounds like a nice person, someone who doesnt really like drama. I dont know what Laura said but since you addressed the conflict and gave her an ultimatum (of sorts), she may have felt uncomfortable having to choose, suggested you two make up as a resolution, and when you declined to make up, she felt like she needed to distance herself from you.


Now, I dont think she reacted in this way as a result of what Laura may or may not have said to her. Rather, I see Sam's behavior as her a result of what YOU said to her.


3) I wouldnt have emailed Laura myself. But it's done and cant be helped now. I dont think you should dwell on it or them, since they have both specifically stated that they do not want to hang out with you. I dont think there's anything much you can say at this point to smooth things over. I think you should focus on making other friends and your studies.


Another problem here is that you seem to blame them for failing your studies. I am sure the whole ordeal was stressful BUT I'm afraid it's kind of your fault for not compartmentalizing. As hard as it is, one must try to separate the personal life from the public one.



IN sum, Laura is a witch. Cut your losses with Laura.


Sam is probably a nice person who felt a bit resentful to be caught in the middle. She probably lashed out at you (and not at Laura) bc she felt like YOU put her in the middle, not Laura. She may be somewhat justified in feeling a bit resentful but her behavior afterwards is also a bit harsh, especially if she's blabbing about you to other people. Cut your losses with Sam.


Forget those two and focus on your studies. Dont blame other people and/or external circumstances. You can't control other people, but you can control yourself NOT to react to their antics and you can control yourself to focus on your work.


That's my two cents.


Again, my apologies if I came accross as harsh.

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I can see why this all hurt you. I think dispite what reason they had for doing what they did they should have at least confronted you in a rational manner like a good friend and cival person would. In a way I would not worry or even think about why they did it cause if they are not decent enough to even tell you then why bother? I think these girls dispite being younger than you were a bit immature for their age. I don't know them but if they can't say to your face what they think about you then they still have alot off growing up to do in my opinyion. Maybe you should make friends with people at your level? or same train off thought? making new friends dose help you get over crappy ex friends from the past quite well. And even though it hurts alot don't even show them your hurt by their actions. It will only make them do it more.


good luck!!

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Hi Ellie


Thanks for your reply. And no, you weren't too harsh at all.


I am sad at losing the friendship with Laura because I thought she was a nice, kind, thoughtful person. Guess I was wrong? I am going to leave things with her. The ball is in her court, but I don't think she'll contact me. I don't want to be friends with her again, but I don't like being in the same room for 25 hours a week with a person who so intensely dislikes me. Guess that is why I wanted to talk to her. For her to see that I am not this horrible person she thinks I am.


As for Laura, you're the second person to say I put her in an awkward position. I do this so much - do something with intention A and it's interpreted as intention B. I really thought that on the whole Sam would rather sit with Laura than with me, so me saying "I can't sit with you if you sit with Laura" wouldn't have been a big deal; it would have been what Sam would have preferred anyway.


That's what I thought. I had no idea Sam would interpret it in another way.


Thanks for your reply. I will try and focus on my studies (I have to!) and try and become more neutral about those two and try and make other friends. Kinda hard because 95% of my year are 19 and the things that interest me are things they haven't done yet. The difference in life experience really shows when I talk to them (they probably think I am a boring old fart for being interested in travel and property and relationships and stuff like that). And it makes conversation a bit awkward for everyone concerned. And at the moment I cannot switch the thoughts in my head off, which makes it very hard paying attention in lectures. I simply cannot concentrate, keep thinking about how I don't have medic friends to sit with or study with, or hang out with, and that I am in a room with two people who won't give me the time of day and dislike me and have washed their hands of me.





Thanks for your reply too.


I could try and make new friends from elsewhere in the university, or off-campus. With me being so much older than the average student age, looking outside the university for new friendship seems like a sensible option? I have good friends my age, but they are getting married, move to other countries or are just in serious relationships with not much time to spare...basically doing what people in the late 20s/early 30s do. I am the odd one out really by chosing to go back to school at 29 and trying to fit in with people a decade my junior.


I really want to make friends with people from my course, as medicine is tough and a long hard slog, and having friends who are doing the same thing makes the whole thing so much nicer and helps keep you sane. You can support each other and help each other with the work and unwind together.


When I start my clinical work next year I will be joining a group of 200ish students who I don't know - those are the ones doing a year working on research this academic year before they start clinical work. I and several others in MY current year group get to skip that research year and proceed straight to clinical work. Sam will be one of them, Laura will not. So it'll be a relief in a way that I won't have to ever see Laura again after this year.


But I am realising more and more that I have become so insecure around people because of what happened last year that I am finding it impossible to chat to other people. I don't know how to do small talk anymore, have lost all social confidence and come accross as weird. Not good at all for a budding doctor!! And I have a chance next year to meet a whole new set of people, all of whom will be a little more mature than my current year group. I don't want to mess up that chance, but I come accross as really clue-less socially. So I am panicking already about this. My last chance to make medic friends.


I also have to do a group-work project early next year and have no clue who to ask to work with (groups select themselves). I don't know anyone well enough to ask, and 99% of the guys in my year won't give me the time of day because I am not pretty enough and young enough, whereas 99% of girls won't give me the time of day because I have no friends in the year (apart from one girl but she's got her own tight-knit circle of friends that I don't want to break into).


I feel like I'm back in highschool. Like I never really learned how to make friends and not alienate people and act in a socially acceptable way. Like my current friends were just sheer dumb luck. And I feel powerless to change the situation. Couple that with finding it very hard to control my emotions and it's a really tricky mix. Before starting medical school I thought I was ok with people; I made good friends and held down jobs for years and got on with people. After the first year at medical school it's come down like a house of cards, and I am seriously doubting whether most of my twenties was just one lucky streak and now life is showing me what I am really (not) capable of.




I feel stuck.


I really hope you don't think I am discounting your suggestions. I just don't feel I have the skills and personality to put them into practice.

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Hey, thought I'd chime in here.


My experience is similar to yours...not the same, just similar, but I think there are some common threads such that the advice might be the same. I'll paraphrase the details.


I too thought I had found a very good friend. We hung out and were buddies in the true sense, at least that is what I thought. Granted, we were of the opposite sex, but there was nothing sexual going on here.


Anyway, my friend started to change on me, act differently to me. She got very cold, sometimes just plain rude. But I let it go. Like you, I thought, confronting her about it wasn't going to work....or may be it was just a phase.


This behavior coincided with her getting friendly with someone else, a mutual acquaintance at work. This was a person she had said earlier that she didn't like, was annoyed at, etc. Anyway, I took her word for it.


After about 4 months of the cold shoulder, rudeness, bizarre behavior, and me having to deal with her being all friend with this other guy, I asked "Hey, what's the matter here?"


She gave me excuses about it....namely that she was confused about her career and life, didn't like her job, etc. etc., she said she really cared about me and wouldn't treat me differently anymore.


That lasted about 2 weeks. The same behaviors started up again. ](*,)


Anyway, we went back and forth on this for sometime.


Then I noticed that some mutual friends, people we all hung out with, they started to give me the cold shoulder too. I mean, I never said anything to any of those people, but now they're treating me like I'm nuclear waste. Some of these "friends" were buddies too. That really hurt. I have not confronted these people about this issue. I don't see the point.


I guess my advice/point is this: You can never know someone truly until you spend a lifetime with them. I found that I based my opinion of people on what is really a very short time frame when it comes to a lifetime.


To be honest, I think your "friend" is similar to my "friend"....that is, not really a true friend. Friends are loyal. They don't treat you like the flavor of the day. They don't play mind games. They don't engage in behaviors that they know hurt you. If they do, they're not your friends. That is something that bears itself out over the long haul.


In my case, I felt used. I was convenient, and when I was no longer convenient, she found someone else. People like that have a tendency to lay waste to the relationship. I think your "friend" might have had a "heart to heart" about you with Sam. Wouldn't put it beneath her. I have a nagging suspicion that is what happened to me. Sam should know better too, but like I said, may be Sam wasn't really your "friend" either if your situation with your other friend caused her to react that way. Again, friends are loyal. Sam doesn't seem loyal to me.


The other people's advice make sense. Cut your losses with both and try to stay away. I know that's really hard. It still is hard for me....and I'm not always successful at it, but I think it's worth trying. It's like a wound that you keep picking at....it will heal, but will heal faster if you just leave it alone.

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Boy, your "friend" doesn't really sound like one, does she?! You're right in that some people show their true colours when you don't expect them to.


I really wish I could just ignore them. This is what I tend to do when people hurt me - I try to get as far away as possible.


Here I can't do that. I have to share a room with them 25 hours a week. I don't have to talk to them, but it's exhausting trying to avoid them. Seeing or hearing them puts me on edge.


Some of my friends have said to me that this is a skill I need to learn - have a poker face and be able to interact with Laura and Sam as though nothing happened. Behave with dignity and control my emotions.


It goes completely against what I would do instinctively (get away and ignore the situation). I feel that my friends have a point though, as sometimes you can't get away and you have to be able to function in those circumstances.


It's just so incredibly difficult

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I hear you and know exactly how you feel. My "friend" and her new buddy, we have adjacent offices. So what happens everyday is that I cannot avoid them. Hell, I spend most of my waking hours having to deal with them....the giggling, the friendly banter, all that stuff, while my "friend" treats me like I have a 50 lbs wart sticking out of my nose.


What sucks most about it was that we used to be really cool to each other. I still wonder in my head "what the hell happened" sometimes. I don't think I will ever know for sure. But that's the point, I may never know. It could just come down to this simple fact: some people are just not good people. You can ask yourself why all the time, but sometimes there is no why. It just is.


I just try to block it out. Try to make new friends. Go out and meet some other friends for lunch, whatever works. At the end of the day, you don't have to interact with or be close to Sam and Laura for the rest of your life. This too will pass.


I will say one thing, some of what I read about Sam is troubling me too. I understand not trying to be stuck in the middle, but wasn't it you that introduced Sam to Laura? I just have a problem with that. Where does "avoiding being caught in the middle" start and "loyalty" end? Seems like Sam is unfairly putting that burden on you.


Anyway, that's not cool, and I agree then that Sam is not cool. I don't think she is a "friend" in the same way you feel "friend" means. So again, try to move on.

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Hi again


No, I didn't introduce Sam and Laura to each other, they got talking because they each have a group of their own friends at college and some of these people overlap. So the two groups sometimes hang around together.


I still feel hurt that despite me being friends with Sam for months and doing stuff together, a week after starting to chat to Laura they were already such firm buddies that they spend all their time together. And that Sam would rather spend time with Laura than respect why I don't want to be around Laura and rather not spend *any* more time with me outside class. That's what I don't get...we could have kept our friendship going outside class, we don't have to sit together in class to have a friendship??


I feel for you, it must be horrid having to hear your ex-friend larking around with her new best buddy. Thank God I can sit at the other end of the room!! I don't think I could cope otherwise.


As for hanging around with other friends: I don't have any friends in my year. There is one girl I can chat with if we're around each other, and I used to sit with her and her friends sometimes. She's the one that spoke to Sam and Laura to find out what happened as she could see how upset I was about it all. But apart from that there is noone.


I have texted this girl to ask if I could start sitting with her again (I would never in a million years go and sit next to someone without asking them first - I don't want to impose). She said yes but our lecture theatre is big and I couldn't find her yesterday. I'm not sure either whether her friends would be happy to have me sit with them, and often they sit right in the middle with no spaces on either side...a group can only sit together really if the all go in together and find adjacent seats. I often can't find her in time for this as we have som many students waiting to go in, and I get the feeling that she wouldn't really try and find me in the crowd like she would with her other friends.


I just need to sit with people again. I spent 3 months last year sitting on my own, and it was torture. So lonely, and people think you're a weirdo if you sit alone. I couldn't face going into lectures today because I didn't want to sit alone anymore. I want to sit with people I know (like this girl), not some random people at the end of a row who are busy chatting to their mates and don't really want a "stranger" trying to join in the chatting (I have tried several times, and the reaction is usually polite disinterest). I just want some company whilst in classes.


Some of my friends have said I should just sit wherever and just chat to people. But come one...


If you were waiting for a class to start and you were sitting with your friends talking about what you did last night/are doing tonight/your plans for the weekend etc. and were having a good time talking, the LAST thing you'd want is some older unknown girl trying to join the conversation when she doesn't know you enough to properly join into the conversation and whose small-talk topics are not quite what you'd be interested in. It would force your group to chose between either continuing their chat and risk being considered rude, or accomodating the new girl and talking about small-talky stuff when you'd rather talk about something else.


I have also be advised to sit next to people who are sitting by themselves too. However, after one year everyone is in one group or another. There are no people sitting alone, apart from the ones who are late and have to grab the nearest available seat to stop the lecturer giving them the evils. At that point I obviously can't get up to go and sit next to them!


I just feel so low. I am even considering going on antidepressants (had them years ago for clinical depression) to lift my mood enough to be able to talk to people and come accross as normal. It would give me a few weeks at least before my mood would settle into a more normal level, and I may be able to come accross ok for just long enough. I am in counselling at the university but it's a group and I feel like the counsellor is only including me because of university guidelines (ie who is deemed to benefit from counselling). A counsellor doesn't have to care about her clients. She doesn't think individual therapy would benefit me as my problems in her opinion relate to interpersonal relationships. However, I feel like she just tolerates me and would rather I didn't talk during the sessions as I take time away from the other people who really are in need of talking about their problems. I tried to talk to her after one session about feeling unwelcome, but she refused to talk about it saying that this was something that needed to be discussed in the group. I told her I didn't want to discuss it in the group as I felt it was nothing to do with the group but rather some clash between me and her. She then brought it up in the group when I was ill one week against my wishes. Nothing was resolved and I still feel like an impostor. However, this is the only counselling option available to me, so I will have to stick with it as I need support. I just wish I felt supported in the group. I feel that the counsellor cares about the other group members getting better, but with me she couldn't care less. I have said that to her directly, but of course she denied it; it would be very unprofessional for her to say something like that.


Sorry to go on, I just feel at the end of my rope. I feel powerless to change people's opinion of me, powerless to make new friends, powerless to compartmentalize and not be ruled by my emotions. Suicide is not an option for me as I couldn't do this to my parents and my boyfriend; my friends would be less of a consideration here as they have other, better friends than me and they'd get over my death fine - my parents however only have one daughter and my bf one has one girlfriend.


But I can't go on like this. Sometimes needs to change, but I feel powerless.


What to do??

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Varecia, I think your need to "connect" with someone is understandable, but your intensity to try to connect is where the problem starts. Everyone needs and wants friends....and those who say they don't probably have deeper psychological issues to deal with. But not everyone goes in the dumps because they can't connect to people like they do in the movies....like some one shot deal that happens in 10 seconds. Like I've said in my prior posts, I think finding, making, and keeping friends is a process. You sound....and don't take this the wrong way....desperate to connect and have friends, and people can smell desperation a mile away. BE CONFIDENT! CONFIDENCE is the biggest friend magnet. Stop texting and TALK to people. Be intense in your confidence instead of your approach. This is no guarantee....but there are no guarantees in life. You take your blows, deal the best you can with them, and move on.


I'm no friend expert, as you can tell from my posts. I've been burned in the past, and I guess there's something I'm doing wrong myself...in addition to picking the wrong people as "friends". But, other than the occasional drink or two I take on especially bad days, I try to move on.


Could it be that it's school, or may be, the environment you're in that's the main problem? Looks like a stressful environment removing even the friend element. In that kind of situation, sure you want people to commiserate with...sort of like soldiers in a combat zone. But friends can also be bad medicine in this situation. You can end up using them like some crutch to make you feel better about yourself and your situation. Most "friends" will not be there for you for this purpose in the end, and that crash can hurt more. Don't put yourself in this situation.


The fact of the matter is simple things can help you take your mind off of the friend situation and your overall stressful environment. Exercise till you drop. Join some kind of weekend sports league...make it a beginner league so the pressure to play the game well doesn't bother you. If your support group doesn't help, find another one.


The fact that you've mentioned suicide....it's troublesome. Don't go there. Please seek individualized help....go to your doctor, ask him/her for a reference to a good psychiatrist. I think you are being overwhelmed by your environment and that's leading to your friend issues. May be that's the best advice I can give you right now.

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Thanks again for replying. Your observation about friends in the first paragraph - and the bold sentence - above is spot on! I guess this is what I tend to ask of friends to make me feel better in a way. Because to me lots of friends = I am a nice, decent and interesting person. I know that is screwed logic in a way as many many lovely people on here post saying they have troubles finding friends, but my brain is SO illogical most of the times


I try to get away from the whole college environment in the evenings. I purposefully chose to live with non-students, and I stay with my bf a few nights a week. I see other (pre-college) friends some of the time. I would *love* to start doing sports again but my knee and foot are injured at the moment and walking is an effort, never mind going to the gym. I am due to see a doctor though for this, so hopefully will be "back on my feet again" soon.


I am thinking of stopping with the group as I don't find it helpful. I have had counselling before and kinda feel when it's helping and when not. Will ponder that some more and look at my options. I would not kill myself though, sorry if I gave that impression. Suicide is absolutely NOT an option for me (for reasons given in my previous post).


There has also been a rather interesting development this week. Yesterday Sam saw me on campus, came up to me and was like "hey, what's up, not spoken to you in ages!" She seemed genuine, and I was genuinely baffled, which I think showed on my face. I asked her how she was, but then had to dash off as I was late for a lab session. To be honest though, I was a little relieved to be able to leave, as the situation was making me a little uncomfortable...she acted as though last year never happened. And as much as I'd like to put things behind me and move on (and no, I don't think I'd want her back as a friend), I think I'd like to have a brief chat with her first. She just completely took me by surprise when she came up to me, and I didn't know how to react. So my first instinct was to get away.


THEN Laura comes up to me after class a few hours later and apologises for not responding to my email and asks if we could have a coffee and a chat. She took me by surprise even more than Sam, and I am very wary around her as she caused me a lot of upset, and I was quite reserved talking to her. It was quite awkward, a bit like talking to a stranger. We fixed a time for next week as we're both too busy this week/weekend.


Thing is now though, I don't think I'd want to be friends with her again (if that's what *she* would like...have no clue how the convo will go next week). Partly because she really upset me, partly because I wouldn't be able to trust her not to do a disappearing act again at some point instead of discussing things, and thirdly because she has made quite a lot of friends during her first year (medics and non-medics) and I'd be reminded of that all the time if I spent time around her. I'd inevitably hear her talk about what she got up to and who she spent time with, and I'd be very envious that she managed to pull the making-friend thing off when I failed so abysmally at that.


Plus, I'd always be thinking whether things would have been different for me making-friends-wise if my confidence in being good friend-material hadn't taken such a bashing due to what happened with Laura and Sam. I pretty much shut down after they both "dumped" me, didn't make any more efforts with people because I was convinced that people don't care and will drop you at whatever point without warning. I didn't want to get hurt yet again. And I think I may hold a grudge against them for the "what if". I'm not very mature about this, am I?


Stupid, I know. And some of you may say that Laura would be the perfect opportunity to make more friends - by befriending *her* friends. Thing is, I want my "own friends"...silly as that may sound. I want to have friends that I struck up a friendship with without having to be friends with Laura first. I'd kinda feel like a charity case.


However, it has been pointed out to me that I act too emotionally, and that I need to try and become calmer and more in control of my feelings. How would I go about that in this situation?


Sooo...I don't really think I want to be friends again (well, I certainly would not tell them anything personal anymore, and for me a person is not a real friend if they're not willing to take you at your good AND your bad points). So I'd settle for polite acquaintanceship, with minimal interaction. Thing is, what if they want to rekindle the friendship and are offended if I don't?


How do you suggest to an ex-friend who wants to be friends again that you'll be fine being polite acquaintances, but that you're not interested in going beyond that again? How do you suggest that without worsening your relationship again?


And how do I know whether I am making an adult decision here in not wanting to be friends again, instead of trying to run away and being unable to forgive (which is essentially what I am doing, right?)? How do I know I am not being a bad person by not wanting to give them a second chance at a proper friendship?

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Varecia, I think you are right to be wary of Sam and Laura's new found friendliness. On the one hand, if it's totally sincere, they have proven themselves to be somewhat disloyal or untrustworthy. You never know when they might decide to give you the cold shoulder again. Even if completely unintentional on their part, you are the one that ends up hurt when this happens.


On the otherhand, if they are of the malicious type, well, you don't want to go there. Funny though how they seemed to be nice again around the same time.


I say this because I've experienced this too.....periods of calm and niceness that lasts no more than a few days, and then the hurtful actions continue. This situation hurts more because it's like a wound that you keep picking until it gets infected. You know..."Now what?!?! I thought we had gotten through this issue!" that kinda stuff. That's worse.


But it sounds like you've decided to move on. You don't want their friendship anymore, and that puts you in the position of power. Try to have your friendships on your own terms. I know that's harder to do than to say, but it will truly help you if you try. Just disassociate yourself from them and find a new set of people you can relate to, or just back off from the friendship thing and spend a lot more time with your bf. Spend time with people who care about you.


Don't associate with Sam/Laura's friends either. You can never trust them to be on your side. Who knows, they may have blabbed on and on about this situation already. Stay away from that poison. None of that is worth it.


Again, I speak from experience.....and I'm still working through the hurt. It ain't easy, I tell you. I know how you feel.

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I know what you mean about it seeming a bit suspicious that suddenly they're BOTH friendly...as if they'd agreed on it together. It seems a funny coincidence. I think I do want to move on, like you said, and find my "own" friends who have nothing to do with Sam or Laura. I just don't want them to start getting * * * * * y for *me* rejecting their friendship. But I just don't think I could trust them anymore. I find it hard to reject friendship offers as I'm not exactly flooded with them...kinda like someone taking the first job offered because they don't think they'll get another offer.


Also, there is still a little bit of doubt as to whether I am too pig-headed here. I tend to not forgive very easily when hurt. And I really thought they were nice and decent people (but 've never been the best judge of character...), and part of me feels as though this was just one big misunderstanding. That they as people are still nice and decent. And I don't want to reject someone nice and decent over a misunderstanding just because my pride is too hurt, or because I am overeager to protect myself from hurt and upset?


I could just spend more time with the people who care about me, yes. My pre-uni friends and my bf (my family lives in another country). Thing is though, my friends are around my age (late 20s/early 30s) and they are settling down, live in another city, are moving abroad etc. This means they have less and less time to spare, or aren't actually physically in my current country. Also, I made the mistake in my last relationships of spending a LOT of time with the guy and spending less time with friends/less time making friends. And when the relationship ended I was all alone. It's a risk I don't want to take again, hence my strong desire to have friends as well as a relationship. I don't anticipate my relationship breaking up anytime soon (if ever), but you never know what life brings.


I have good friends who I know I'll always be friends with, and who care about me. I just want to make some more friends like that, as some of my current friends are moving/settling down. I want to have people in my city who I connect with and who I can see without having to travel to another country/city, or without having to make plans weeks in advance to coordinate our schedules.

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Well, Laura and I were meant to meet up today to have a chat about things (like I mentioned in my email to her some weeks ago).


Except she didn't show up. Instead she sent me an email a couple of hours beforehand asking if we could met some other day as she was ill and had stayed home. Not sure if she's lying or not as I normally don't see her anyway due to the sheer volume of students in our lecture hall. So if she *was* at college today I wouldn't have seen her.


I am just feeling a bit wary of it...she could have suggested a day that would be good for her. Instead she just asked if we could meet some other day, leaving it up to me (yet again) to sort things out. First *I* email her, now it's *me* who is meant to suggest another date. I haven't done this though, just replied asking what day is good for her. I want her to show SOME effort.


Yes, today's meeting was already rearranged by me as we were meant to meet yesterday, but I found out last week that I needed to be somewhere today that I could not get out of. So, I emailed her last Friday asking if we could meet Tuesday instead of Monday. And yes, she checks her email at the weekends (I did not text her as I deleted her phone number last year). I normally stick to whatever I agree to first as a matter of principle, but in this instance I really couldn't. I offered her a specific alternative day, to which she agreed. SHE however has not offered another day that would be good for her. I find this inconsiderate and wishy-washy.


I am certainly not going to suggest another day only for her not be able to make it again at short notice! I am also not sure at all whether she said we should meet up for a chat to look like she's nice and wanting to talk about stuff, but in reality she has no desire to sort stuff out and will be stalling endlessly.


It's an improvement from the previous silent treatment, but I can't be bothered chasing her anymore. So if she won't suggest another day, I certainly won't. If she wants to talk, she can jolly well do some of the legwork.


Am I too spiteful here? I am just sick of always making the first step

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An update:


Looking for Answers, you were right. I should not have sent the first email to Laura. God, I wish I'd posted on here before sending it


Basically, Laura and I had our chat yesterday (she came up to me before class and fixed a time). I told her that all I wanted to know really was why she started to ignore me last year. Her answer came *very* quick, almost as though she'd anticipated that question (she most likely had) and had rehearsed the answer in her head. And no, it was NOT the answer she'd given to my friend when said friend asked her about the situation a few months ago.


Her answer? "Oh I thought we'd just drifted apart". I told her I didn't see it like that, and that we seemed to get on ok and that the cut-off was rather abrupt. Yes, I was *expecting* us to drift apart and get our own friend groups eventually (and I would have been happy with that), but not that abruptly. She then said that she'd had problems of her own and couldn't cope with me (which tallies with what she'd said to a friend of mine who asked her what was going on but contradicted her first answer), so she just decided to ignore me. She says she is normally very open and not afraid of awkward situations, but that with me she just couldn't be open about things. Which made me feel like a monster who was so impossible to deal with that even a decent girl like her didn't know how to.


She then said that we didn't have anything in common, and that's also why she decided to stop talking to me. That I wasn't talking to the people she was talking to (I didn't really bump into them much), and that she was getting on more with those people. I asked her why she started talking to me in the first place (we started chatting whilst on the pre-med course we were doing before coming to college). Her answer? She started talking to me because I seemed upset (I was going through some difficult stuff with a guy at the time). She never intended to develop our "relationship" into a friendship as she didn't think we had anything in common. So basically in her eyes we were never friends. That hurt. Despite me thinking we'd drift apart eventually. It hurts to hear someone say that they never really considered you their friend.


This also completely contradicted what she told my friend: Laura told HER that she wanted to talk to me last year and "come back to me" as a friend, but was afraid I was going to reject her. Huh? If she felt we drifted apart and were never friends as such, why would she want to come back and be friends again? So she's either a) lying to me, or b) lied to my friend to make herself look generous and nice and make it look like *I* was the problem.


I told her that what hurt me most was that she knew how worried I was about not making friends, that she confessed to the same worry herself, and then just went and ignored me because she'd found people she liked more. I told her that that really hurt. But the killer? She then tells me that she never worried about NOT making friends - she just said that to make ME feel better. Which makes me think how much of what she said to me is actually true...


She then went on to tell me that she found me impossible to deal with. That I was stressing her out last year and that's why she stopped talking to me. She also said that others agreed with her in that I was hard work...when I asked her aghast whether people in my year had been discussing me behind my back to that extent she refused to say more (saying she wasn't naming people). But she said that I was regarded as being hard work in terms of being friends with. This has now made me paranoid even more as I don't know who has been talking about me. Oh, and she also mentioned that Sam had shown her texts I'd sent to Sam - so much for confidentiality!


She ended the chat with saying "you need to chill out, join societies and just chat to people in class, make friends that way". I felt patronised. I KNOW that that's how people are meant to meet people and make friends, and lord knows I've tried, but I don't seem to have success with it. So I felt patronised, like she thought she was sharing some major secret with me on how to make friends. Just because I know how to play notes on a piano doesn't mean I can compose beautiful music!!


So in the end I wish I hadn't sent the email. I wish I'd never had that conversation. It didn't achieve anything. I don't know whether she was lying to me as to why she stopped talking to me, and that was my main reason for having that chat.


So here I am, hurt once again and even more paranoid because now I know that there are people in my year who have been talking about me and deem me "hard work". Couple that with me struggling to connect with people anyway, and I almost feel like this is insurmountable. I feel powerless to make friends, and I feel powerless to change people's opinions of me. I feel stuck, utterly stuck.

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I'm no expert at this. Lord knows I have gone through the same, if not very similar, issues such as you. I'm still sorting through my own emotions when it comes to what happened to me. It still hurts, I must admit. I still don't know exactly what happened.


But one thing I am convinced about. After repeated attempts to be logical and open about my issues with my former "friend", after each attempt to "pick on my own scab"....making it bleed again, getting it infected, after pleading with my friend to have an open heart, to understand that she was hurting me, I realized that she was not my friend....she never was my friend....that she basically used me because she was in an unsure and turbulent time in her life.


If I had realized this early, my scab would be healed by now. But I got to that realization too late.


Varecia.....those people are not your friends. They never were. But that does not mean you are not a good friend, that you can't be a good friend, and that you will not have friends in the future. Move past and beyond this.


Also, all bad things....all shall pass. Funny thing about school is that you end up leaving/graduating and moving on. It's there. It's already in the future. So just bear through.

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