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Frustrated with one-way friendship


bungalo
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I have a friend who behaves in a similar manner.  It's all about her on her terms.  I don't have the time or desire to be drained from a one sided friendship. 

She's still my friend.  We have decades of history, so I choose to view her as that sister who I no longer have much in common with.  I won't write her out of my life and I care about her.   But I do manage my expectations and that bar is set pretty low.  I am no longer disappointed or surprised.

Go about relationships with the mindset of the emotional bank account. Your friend is merely making withdrawals and you are making the majority of deposits.  Don't invest in lopsided friendships.

Edited by reinventmyself
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7 hours ago, reinventmyself said:

I have a friend who behaves in a similar manner.  It's all about her on her terms.  I don't have the time or desire to be drained from a one sided friendship. 

She's still my friend.  We have decades of history, so I choose to view her as that sister who I no longer have much in common with.  I won't write her out of my life and I care about her.   But I do manage my expectations and that bar is set pretty low.  I am no longer disappointed or surprised.

Go about relationships with the mindset of the emotional bank account. Your friend is merely making withdrawals and you are making the majority of deposits.  Don't invest in lopsided friendships.

I have some friends, acquaintances, family and in-laws who demonstrate lukewarm to tepid temperament at best. 🙁

In the past, I tried my best to force a "made for the movies" rapport with these people to no avail.  I eventually wore myself out and grew sick and tired of going to great lengths to make everyone else happy minus receiving reciprocal overtures. 

Are these people still my friends?  No, not really.  We're all quite civil and peaceful towards one another but I wouldn't go so far as to call them my friends.  Acquaintances?  Yes, it's possible.  Friends?  They've since lowered themselves in rank and status beneath the friendship level indeed. 

Like you, I've grown numb to people who don't deliver.  I too, am no longer shocked nor surprised.  Nowadays, people are fairly predictable which is nothing short of generally disappointing.  If you don't expect the best in people, you won't get hurt.

Find peace from within and take good care of yourself.  Then you'll become a positive person without feeling the need to be clingy nor crave friendship.  Sure, if high quality friends enter your life, consider yourself fortunate and blessed and cherish them.  However, in the meantime, focus and concentrate on yourself and you'll attract friends who share your similar values. 

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9 hours ago, reinventmyself said:

But I do manage my expectations and that bar is set pretty low.  I am no longer disappointed or surprised.

 

I too have had my experiences with fickle friends. My best advice is not to take it to heart. Set the bar low and you won't be disappointed. People are people. 

Pretend like it doesn't bother you. Don't let that friend have power over you. 

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54 minutes ago, Cherylyn said:

That's the problem right there.  People's dismal behaviors are universal.  I am rather wary and jaded because I've seen and heard it all.  🙁  Nothing surprises me anymore.

The way I look at it is we are all imperfect. We all have said and done things that hurt others. Whether it was intentional or not. It's easy to point at others' faults while overlooking our own. 

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Do you have any other friends that you could also spend time with? I think the problem with this friend is that he can't or doesn't want to be a friend that you actually need. He is a friend to you in the capacity that he E-mails you a lot. Maybe that's just his communication style or it's his "love language", so to speak. Whereas from your post it's clear that your definition of a friend and your love language is quality time. So it's really important to you to actually spend time with your friend in person and for that friend to reach out and invite you out. I get that because I'm very outgoing and I would feel the same.

The issue is that this is how this guy has been the whole 3.5 years that you've known him. You also talked to him about this and nothing has improved. So I'm just not sure that you're going to get any different result from this guy other than what you already have.

It kind of sounds like this guy is pretty self absorbed and he just needs a listening ear to talk about himself. So your friendship with him will probably always be one sided.

My advice would be to either end the friendship or try to accept that it is what it is. Is there some other way you could make more friends? Could you join more music groups, Meetups, things like that?

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There is a huge difference in what I'd communicate to a significant other versus a friend. With my spouse, I certainly do ask for what I want and problems I want fixed. I share a home and a lifetime commitment with him. 

Not so with a friend. I would never "call out" a friend, and I'm shocked it worked with your other friend. For me, I don't put in any more effort than I get, and have always realized that some friendships grow, some end, and some evolve to a totally different animal than how they started. If a person doesn't make the effort, why would I cajole, call out, or any of the other forms of discussions to make them behave how I want them to.

I was close to a friend for about 8 years and she faded away. This opened time for me to spend more time with another growing friendship where this friend did put forth the effort.

Like another poster said, there are meet up .com groups that might exist where people get together for music events in your area. And if there's not, you could start one of those groups yourself. 

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23 hours ago, Tonight.majestic said:

The way I look at it is we are all imperfect. We all have said and done things that hurt others. Whether it was intentional or not. It's easy to point at others' faults while overlooking our own. 

Friendship has nothing to do with being perfect or imperfect.  Real, true, genuine and very sincere friendship consists of MUTUAL common courtesy and common decency which is equated with respect.  'The Golden Rule' meaning do unto others as you would have them do unto you. 

If there are habitual, chronic missteps and slights, then it is indeed intentional.  If it was unintentional, then the so-called friend wouldn't exhibit lackadaisical behavior towards the friend who is doing all the work to keep the drowning friendship afloat. 

I've been in a position where I did a lot for some of my friends, relatives and in-laws (with my time, money, labor, efforts, YEARS of goodwill) whereas their behavior was downright insulting due to their indifferent and apathetic behavior towards me.  Nothing was ever reciprocal when I needed them, when my life was turned upside down and when I was in dire straits.  To be clear,  there was no fault of my own whatsoever.  Some friendships and relationships are lopsided which is unfair.  It's time to distance oneself tactfully. 

The better deal would be just to remain casual acquaintances because it requires less work with zero cultivation, nurturing and maintenance. 

Fortunately, I have several REAL dear friends who know how to be in lockstep with me as my friend(s).  In order to have a great friend or friends, you have to be a great friend.  This includes consistent cooperation in order to thrive otherwise friendships (and relationships) are doomed for failure. 

Edited by Cherylyn
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  • 1 month later...

I actually spoke to a therapist, and she recommended one more conversation to address the one-way issue.  I did, and he acted contrite, and promised to do better.    During my latest stab at salvaging things, he told me he thought we were close friends, and he loved me like a brother, etc. And guess what?  NOTHING HAS CHANGED!  I waited a few weeks to see if there would be some sort of invite, and nothing.  Last weekend he sent me 3 unsolicited texts with YouTube video links, nearly back to back,  with some holistic healing doctor.  I ignored them.  By the way, I never indicated that I'm not in need of, nor am I seeking medical advice.  So I ignored the texts. The next morning I texted saying I was really backing from screens lately (true).  No response.  Then a day later he sent me a quote from a poet defining "love' in what I thought were very selfish terms. narcissistic, and I told him so.  Now all crickets for three days running. Happy New Year!

Edited by bungalo
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Your friend sounds narcissistic and you’re very empathetic and considerate. Total mismatch and he won’t change. People rarely do because we ask them. Instead stand up for yourself and your needs by making like-minded friends who don’t drain you. You deserve better.

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Thank you for all the thoughtful replies...it's just very sad, it's really hard to make new friends when you're older. The optimistic side of me still holds out hope, but I'm sure as he'll not going to go out of my way to extend anymore invites unless I see some reciprocal behavior.

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You’re expecting him to be like you. Friendships need space to breathe and room for individuals to be…well, individuals. If it doesn’t work out, let it go.

I understand what it’s like realizing the disappointment when someone lets you down. Don’t stay hung up on it though. Move on. 

 

 

 

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