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Do I give up on being helpful?


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20 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

OP, if I may... you seem to put yourself in competition with every friend around you. 

You have a couple other threads going, which are variations on the same theme: a certain friend does XYZ wrong, or is rude or fake or lazy, and you're irriated that other people don't see this friend that way and yet they under-value you. 

You write off laundry lists of the things all these other people do wrong, highlight all you have done for them, and appear to keep a scorecard of these friendship. It becomes, "well, I have done this and that for them, and she hasn't." This is building a lot of resentment in you. That much is clear from your posts. 

I am not sure why you feel the need to prove your value to your own friends, but you might want to step back and ask yourself why you are trying so hard to be the best with the people you call your friends. 

Miss Canuck makes a lot of sense here. It's time to look at yourself, as you are the common factor in all of these situations.

Not saying everyone is right and you're wrong at all. but you're a lot more in control of these situations than you think. 

Learn to 'read the room' & act accordingly to protect yourself, your time and your finances.

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14 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

And why are you doing all of this?

Being a martyr or spending a lot of money isn't the way to maintain friendships, or even identify who is a true friend. 

So do you, according to these threads. I am not sure you even see that. 

It's time to re-evaluate these "friends" of yours, and how you approach friendshships. My sense is that they perhaps find you and your efforts over-bearing at times, as though you are trying to one-up everyone else. 

I do it to have fun. I live alone. I like to enjoy my house that I worked hard for. I find entertaining, throwing parties, and stuff like that super fun. I genuinely enjoy having guests over. It gives me something to look forward to, something to work for, decorating, and planning. It's something I find fun, like a hobby for me. 

I do sometimes spend money for food and drinks. I like to make things nice if I have guests over. I sometimes overspend. I'm very kind and like to make others happy.

I guess I just feel it's never appreciated by my friends. My family appreciated it but not my friends. 

It's an activity for me. A fun day. I live alone, so I'm lonely, so having a party is fun. An activity to see my friends. 

But no one, besides Asha, has me over. Asha and her husband invite me over, offer me snacks and drinks. Otherwise, no one invites me over. Asha is the only one who brings something to my parties. She'll bring wine or a snack. Kelly has never brought anything to my home in 10 years.  Even one party I told each person to bring one bottle of wine or champagne. I didn't care if it was a $5 bottle.  Kelly showed up with nothing. And I mentioned it to them many times. She didn't forget. I found that rude. I put out tons of food and desserts for this party. All I asked is for a bottle of wine or champagne. Again, I didn't care if I it was a pricey bottle at all. They could have brought soda or Lemonade. Just a drink. She and her husband brought nothing. I felt so bad, because Asha brought the most and then Kelly strolls in with nothing. It was rude

 But I let that all go, because I like Kelly, and I thought we got close, but the rudeness and ungratefulness over this shower, how she pretty much is looking for someone to pay for it. I'm not mad that I'm not throwing it. I swear I'm not. I'm mad that she strung me along and won't just say I'm not throwing it, that she lies like she doesn't know what she wants abd acts dumb to me.  And how she's pretty much shopping around for whomever gives her the beat deal. I just find that insensitive and rude. 

Like how would you feel if you invited a friend over on a weekend night for a party at your house. So far, you are the only one that invited them over to do anything that night.  They are your best best friend. And they kind of give you the song and dance "well I don't know" and "well I have to check with this person and that person first" and "I don't know what my weekend is looking like yet"

Because they are shopping around for a better offer for the weekend. Someone that will take them out for a nice dinner and drinks, and pay for it. 

You'd feel pretty sad I think. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Lambert said:

Miss Canuck makes a lot of sense here. It's time to look at yourself, as you are the common factor in all of these situations.

Not saying everyone is right and you're wrong at all. but you're a lot more in control of these situations than you think. 

Learn to 'read the room' & act accordingly to protect yourself, your time and your finances.

I do agree with this. I do over give and people please. I was raised to be proper and to take care of others, as a means of making others happy and getting them to like you. 

I don't think it's a bad thing. I'm a very caring person. Very kind, generous, fun. It does come back to bite me every so often when my effort isn't appreciated. It does make me sad. 

I'm not a bad person. I just give a lot of time and effort into the people in my life. I guess I get frustrated and feel like crap when I feel they don't put it back to me, and I sit wondering why I'm not worth it. 

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Alex39 said:

I do agree with this. I do over give and people please. I was raised to be proper and to take care of others, as a means of making others happy and getting them to like you. 

I don't think it's a bad thing. I'm a very caring person. Very kind, generous, fun. It does come back to bite me every so often when my effort isn't appreciated. It does make me sad. 

I'm not a bad person. I just give a lot of time and effort into the people in my life. I guess I get frustrated and feel like crap when I feel they don't put it back to me, and I sit wondering why I'm not worth it. 

It's not a bad thing, except for the parts I bolded ARE bad.

You don't have to "get" people to like you.  What you're doing makes bad people use you. 

If your friends can't afford something, the answer is not to pay for them.  The answer is to do what is within their budget. Because frankly, it is who you're with, not what you're doing.  This will help keep things on an equal footing between you. 

translate this to your current situation-  don't offer a blank check & commitment to throw a party.  Especially someone you know doesn't have money and is not a member of your family.  Instead, you offer to help and give a dollar amount for them to spend as they wish. It is sad her mom is gone. it's mot your place to replace what a mother would do. A contribution to a party is enough. 

 

2. it's important to balance giving with receiving.  yes it feels good to give. it also feels good to allow others an opportunity to give and feel good. Are you making everything about you and what you're giving? 

That puts other people off. Other people want to give to.  You don't always have to be the one doing the most, giving the most, being the most valuable friend or whatever. 

Learn to give space, the limelight, the ability to be giver to other people. Temper your giving with receiving. 

If people don't give, that's their choice. Look for people that want to be around you when you give nothing and vice versa.

You're setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment in these situations. 

 

 

Edited by Lambert
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43 minutes ago, Alex39 said:

I do it to have fun. I live alone. I like to enjoy my house that I worked hard for. I find entertaining, throwing parties, and stuff like that super fun. I genuinely enjoy having guests over. It gives me something to look forward to, something to work for, decorating, and planning. It's something I find fun, like a hobby for me. 

I do sometimes spend money for food and drinks. I like to make things nice if I have guests over. I sometimes overspend. I'm very kind and like to make others happy.

I guess I just feel it's never appreciated by my friends. My family appreciated it but not my friends. 

It's an activity for me. A fun day. I live alone, so I'm lonely, so having a party is fun. An activity to see my friends. 

But no one, besides Asha, has me over. Asha and her husband invite me over, offer me snacks and drinks. Otherwise, no one invites me over. Asha is the only one who brings something to my parties. She'll bring wine or a snack. Kelly has never brought anything to my home in 10 years.  Even one party I told each person to bring one bottle of wine or champagne. I didn't care if it was a $5 bottle.  Kelly showed up with nothing. And I mentioned it to them many times. She didn't forget. I found that rude. I put out tons of food and desserts for this party. All I asked is for a bottle of wine or champagne. Again, I didn't care if I it was a pricey bottle at all. They could have brought soda or Lemonade. Just a drink. She and her husband brought nothing. I felt so bad, because Asha brought the most and then Kelly strolls in with nothing. It was rude

 But I let that all go, because I like Kelly, and I thought we got close, but the rudeness and ungratefulness over this shower, how she pretty much is looking for someone to pay for it. I'm not mad that I'm not throwing it. I swear I'm not. I'm mad that she strung me along and won't just say I'm not throwing it, that she lies like she doesn't know what she wants abd acts dumb to me.  And how she's pretty much shopping around for whomever gives her the beat deal. I just find that insensitive and rude. 

Like how would you feel if you invited a friend over on a weekend night for a party at your house. So far, you are the only one that invited them over to do anything that night.  They are your best best friend. And they kind of give you the song and dance "well I don't know" and "well I have to check with this person and that person first" and "I don't know what my weekend is looking like yet"

Because they are shopping around for a better offer for the weekend. Someone that will take them out for a nice dinner and drinks, and pay for it. 

You'd feel pretty sad I think. 

 

 

That's great you enjoy throwing parties and having people over. So enjoy it! By that I mean, do what you like because you like it and have a good time. The anger you feel about a lack of reciprocation is unhealthy and it's really upsetting and hurting you so it's not worth it. 

I think your vision is a bit black and white. I'm actually someone that loves to throw parties and have people over too. I really enjoy it. I also love shopping and giving and getting gifts. Usually when it's someone's Birthday or Christmas, I'll get all my close friends and my parents a few really nice things. I order them far in advance online or go in shopping in person and pick out the presents. It makes me really happy to shop for the presents and gift wrap them pretty and everything.

Some of my best friends also give me a few nice presents, but some only give one present or something small. I usually also give a card and write a nice message but only a couple of my friends give a card. I'm being honest that this has never bothered me. I'm actually not just saying that but I genuinely don't mind and never really thought about it that much. 

Also I moved out of home when I was 23 (I'm 37) but some of my friends actually haven't moved out. One of my friends is 30 and he still lives at home with his parents and one is 37 and lives with his Mum, brother and sister. That 37-year-old is a bit shy and doesn't throw parties, he just comes to my parties.

I've known the one who is 30 for 12 years and I've actually never been to his house. He also never has a party except for his 21st. Whereas he's been to my place many times and has been to my parties. This friend basically never had anyone over because he was embarrassed he lives with his parents and his parents are nosey or something like that. He has studied and works at a supermarket but he has fairly bad ADHD so I think he struggles to work full-time and that's probably why he hasn't moved out yet.

I actually didn't care that he never invited me to his house. I was fine with him just coming to me and we'd watch horror movies, get snacks and have fun. I enjoyed it and I had my own place so why not have my friends over? If they're not really into having someone over or live with parents, that's cool.

I know that it's polite if someone invited you to their place, then to also invite them over. But some people just don't really do that sort of thing or they still live with parents and things like that. For example your friend Kelly doesn't have her own place and lives with her mother-in-law.

I don't think your friends are necessarily bad friends or they don't like you and don't want to put effort towards you. For example, you said you and Kelly became close. She texted you a lot and you opened up to each other. So she was putting in the effort but she's poor and doesn't have her own place. She doesn't have her own space to have you over and probably doesn't really have money to buy snacks, wine, throw a dinner, etc.

I think your friends aren't as much a problem as it's your own beliefs and expectations. You believe that other people should be like you, think like you, do what you're doing. Truth is some people just aren't big gift gives or party throwers or what not. Also every person has individual situations. For example one of my other female friends has physical and mental illness so she only works ten hours a week. I give her a few presents and a card for special occasions but she just gives me one small thing and no card. So what? She probably can't afford to buy more and she made an effort so the amount she gives doesn't matter.

You are getting in your own head all the time with your high expectations and one way thinking. If you can change your thoughts I think you'll see things differently. You are so tightly wound up and upset and is it worth it?

If it makes you happy to give then go ahead and give and enjoy it. Just give it unconditionally with no expectations. If it makes you upset that people don't reciprocate then DON'T do these things. The only person making all this happen is actually you. Get control over yourself and you'll feel a lot better.

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8 hours ago, Alex39 said:

well I have to check with this person and that person first"

I really don't understand why you can't view this as a valid reason for not just handing the shower over to you.

She needs to consider her family and others before doing that.

WHY is that so insulting to you?

It sounds as though you're bringing some deep stuff into this that doesn't belong there, and you are harming your SELF by doing that.

Young woman, first baby, no experience--and you won't extend your generosity to understand that she has more to consider than just you?

You put her on the spot, and she's uncomfortable and squirming. 

I'm really sorry you're feeling lousy, but that's on you.

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45 minutes ago, catfeeder said:

I really don't understand why you can't view this as a valid reason for not just handing the shower over to you.

She needs to consider her family and others before doing that.

WHY is that so insulting to you?

It sounds as though you're bringing some deep stuff into this that doesn't belong there, and you are harming your SELF by doing that.

Young woman, first baby, no experience--and you won't extend your generosity to understand that she has more to consider than just you?

You put her on the spot, and she's uncomfortable and squirming. 

I'm really sorry you're feeling lousy, but that's on you.

I already said that I'm not upset that I am not throwing it. I'm honestly glad I see things more clearly now and it's less I have to do, spend, and worry about. 

I'm more hurt about how she is going about it. Keeping me on the back burner, as a last resort. That doesn't feel great. 

She's pretty much shopping around for whomever will contribute money for this for her. And instead of letting those who will contribute plan it, she's essentially wanting to tell them exactly what she wants and having others pay, which I find rude. 

I think if I had a ton of money, we wouldn't be having this conversation on here because I'd be planning a shower. I'm also a bit hurt that I've been such a close, loyal, generous, caring friend to this woman, and she wants to include friends who haven't been good to her in the last couple years. Her impression of them in her words, not my own. I guess it shocked me that she'd include people who she claimed to me she'd never trust with an event again. Her words, not mine. 

Again, I think her mother in law should throw this party. She's going to be grandma after all. I went ahead and offered because in the past her mother in law didn't really want any part in her bridal shower, when she didn't have her mother, and so far her mother in law hasn't offered for a baby shower either, so again, I think her mother in law should be the one. But I don't know why Kelly holds her in such high regard, when I felt she hasn't been super helpful to Kelly in the past and Kelly expresses to me that she doesn't like living with her. Kelly even told me she won't let her watch the baby alone, because she doesn't like how her mother in law lives and makes decisions. 

So again, that to me comes down to money. Mother in law has the most, so she's Kelly's top pick, so she's okay to throw her a shower, but Kelly told me she wouldn't mind living a distance away from her once they move out. 

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38 minutes ago, Alex39 said:

I already said that I'm not upset that I am not throwing it. I'm honestly glad I see things more clearly now and it's less I have to do, spend, and worry about. 

I'm more hurt about how she is going about it. Keeping me on the back burner, as a last resort. That doesn't feel great. 

She's pretty much shopping around for whomever will contribute money for this for her. And instead of letting those who will contribute plan it, she's essentially wanting to tell them exactly what she wants and having others pay, which I find rude. 

I think if I had a ton of money, we wouldn't be having this conversation on here because I'd be planning a shower. I'm also a bit hurt that I've been such a close, loyal, generous, caring friend to this woman, and she wants to include friends who haven't been good to her in the last couple years. Her impression of them in her words, not my own. I guess it shocked me that she'd include people who she claimed to me she'd never trust with an event again. Her words, not mine. 

Again, I think her mother in law should throw this party. She's going to be grandma after all. I went ahead and offered because in the past her mother in law didn't really want any part in her bridal shower, when she didn't have her mother, and so far her mother in law hasn't offered for a baby shower either, so again, I think her mother in law should be the one. But I don't know why Kelly holds her in such high regard, when I felt she hasn't been super helpful to Kelly in the past and Kelly expresses to me that she doesn't like living with her. Kelly even told me she won't let her watch the baby alone, because she doesn't like how her mother in law lives and makes decisions. 

So again, that to me comes down to money. Mother in law has the most, so she's Kelly's top pick, so she's okay to throw her a shower, but Kelly told me she wouldn't mind living a distance away from her once they move out. 

You really need to stop worrying about things that aren't really your business actually. So what if Kelly's mother in law has the money and Kelly wants to ask her for that reason. Why do you care? You didn't want to pay for things that Kelly wanted and her mother in law probably does so yes that's the reason Kelly is choosing her. That's actually logical. You offered to throw it but you were really irritated about the costs and I'm sure Kelly could see that, so she decided to choose someone who is fine about the money. If you're not willing to pay then why should it be you organising?

You haven't actually asked her what exactly she wants, you're just mad it's not you by yourself doing it. She doesn't seem to have made a final decision yet and said she needs to speak to Diane and her mother-in-law. Maybe she would want the three of you to organise it together. In any case, you were nor asked to organise it, you simply offered to. It's her choice if to accept or decline your help. She doesn't owe it to you to throw the whole baby shower PM your own. Especially as you're actually high maintaince and overly sensitive. Your friends are probably walking on eggshells around you.

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5 hours ago, Alex39 said:

Mother in law has the most, so she's Kelly's top pick

They are family, so step out of their business.

If you want to host parties in your home, have Your Own parties. Why can't you have people over weekends for dinners, BBQs, whatever? Host your meetup groups or other clubs, groups, classes, etc. you belong to.

Try not to commandeer and run other people's lives. That is the issue, not who has money for parties.

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7 hours ago, Alex39 said:

But I don't know why Kelly holds her in such high regard, when I felt she hasn't been super helpful to Kelly in the past and Kelly expresses to me that she doesn't like living with her. Kelly even told me she won't let her watch the baby alone, because she doesn't like how her mother in law lives and makes decisions

Do you have family? do you ever vent about them to your friends? It's like this,  I can say whatever I want about my family, but you can't. 

Of course she holds her MIL in high regard.  That is her family.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Lambert said:

Do you have family? do you ever vent about them to your friends? It's like this,  I can say whatever I want about my family, but you can't. 

Of course she holds her MIL in high regard.  That is her family.

I was simply expressing my feelings to Catfeeder about the situation. I am completely fine not throwing it. I'm not mad at my friends. I am a bit surprised at how Kelly is going about this, because it's typically not how a shower is supposed to go. I am good just going as a guest and bringing a gift and that's all. If she had wanted me to throw it, I would have put money into it, but in my experience you don't demand what the thrower does, you let the party thrower throw a great party for you in your honor. 

Kelly can do whatever she wants. I fed into all the drama she was spouting with Diane. Kelly preached to me for years about drama with Diane. I fed into it. Now I know better that no matter what Kelly says, Diane could cut off her arm and she'd simply be fine with Diane. I won't feed into it anymore or trust that Kelly and I are very close. I like Kelly, but she has no back bone. She isn't honest with her friends, including me. Just say you don't want me throwing it. Just tell Diane the truth about a bunch of things. 

She won't speak up and that's the biggest issue here. 

Just be honest and say how you want an expensive shower and that you need someone who will execute that. 

Kelly isn't going to Diane's wedding. Diane thinks she's going. Kelly won't speak up and just tell her. 

I did the right thing and told Diane early on that her destination wedding is too much and too far for me. Kelly tells me she isn't going, but tip toes around Diane. Diane has no idea. I'm just using this as an example. I think Kelly causes more unintended harm than good, because she won't be honest and be herself. 

Edited by Alex39
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34 minutes ago, Alex39 said:

Just be honest and say how you want an expensive shower and that you need someone who will execute that. 

Or maybe you need to stop assuming you know what she is thinking. You don't. 

35 minutes ago, Alex39 said:

Just tell Diane the truth about a bunch of things.

Again, I think you need to mind your own business on this. It isn't your place to manage their friendship.

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1 hour ago, MissCanuck said:

Or maybe you need to stop assuming you know what she is thinking. You don't. 

Again, I think you need to mind your own business on this. It isn't your place to manage their friendship.

I was just trying to point out that Kelly isn't upfront, to me in this instance, and I gave evidence. Kelly and I do talk a lot, and I do often know what's on her mind. 

I just want to be done with this conversation. I appreciate the advice. I was hurt at first but I've since moved on. I am going through a rough patch with friends I feel. I struggle sometimes not feeling understood by them or supported. I live alone, am single, so very alone. Sometimes I think they forget, because none of them have been single for more than a couple months, and all are now married. My life isn't the same as theirs. I try so hard to fit in with them. I always feel like I'm on the outskirts with them. Our life phases are not the same. They are married and having kids. I'm single, not dating, live alone with my puppy, still doing a lot with my family because I don't have a spouse, I only have them. They are all making these big future plans with a spouse and taking vacations with then. I can't relate to that. 

I like to do activities with them and see them.  I want to stay friends. I have stayed living here in part, because I have my friends and I want to keep them in my life. I guess when I get these little doses of reality, that they would move away with their spouse if they wanted. I'd be alone. All I can count on is myself. I need to make the best decisions for me. I do already, but I need to stop considering others in my life.

 

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2 hours ago, Alex39 said:

I was simply expressing my feelings to Catfeeder about the situation. I am completely fine not throwing it. I'm not mad at my friends. I am a bit surprised at how Kelly is going about this, because it's typically not how a shower is supposed to go. I am good just going as a guest and bringing a gift and that's all. If she had wanted me to throw it, I would have put money into it, but in my experience you don't demand what the thrower does, you let the party thrower throw a great party for you in your honor. 

Kelly can do whatever she wants. I fed into all the drama she was spouting with Diane. Kelly preached to me for years about drama with Diane. I fed into it. Now I know better that no matter what Kelly says, Diane could cut off her arm and she'd simply be fine with Diane. I won't feed into it anymore or trust that Kelly and I are very close. I like Kelly, but she has no back bone. She isn't honest with her friends, including me. Just say you don't want me throwing it. Just tell Diane the truth about a bunch of things. 

She won't speak up and that's the biggest issue here. 

Just be honest and say how you want an expensive shower and that you need someone who will execute that. 

Kelly isn't going to Diane's wedding. Diane thinks she's going. Kelly won't speak up and just tell her. 

I did the right thing and told Diane early on that her destination wedding is too much and too far for me. Kelly tells me she isn't going, but tip toes around Diane. Diane has no idea. I'm just using this as an example. I think Kelly causes more unintended harm than good, because she won't be honest and be herself. 

But you're the same, you think sooo many bad things about quite a few women who you call your close friends. Yet you're not telling them what you REALLY think of them. 

This is the jist of a lot of your posts: "Diane is a loser, she was so desperate to have anyone at all that she's dating/marrying a dropkick stoner guy".

"Kelly is a loser, she's poor, she doesn't even have her own place and lives with her mother-in-law. Kelly is fake and dishonest."

"Pam is a loser, she's overweight, she doesn't date, she hasn't moved out of home at 39. Pam is fake."

I don't think it's possible that all your friends are losers or fake. And if they were then surely you wouldn't be close friends with them. I think the problem really is you. You're judgemental and you think you're better than your friends. From this perspective it's actually not surprising that they'd rather invite someone else to their events or their house. I wouldn't want a friend who is constantly judging me and lording everything over me.

And at the same time what you're saying is hypocritical because you don't have a boyfriend, aren't married or have a baby. It's not like you have everything figured out or perfect in your life. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Tinydance said:

But you're the same, you think sooo many bad things about quite a few women who you call your close friends. Yet you're not telling them what you REALLY think of them. 

This is the jist of a lot of your posts: "Diane is a loser, she was so desperate to have anyone at all that she's dating/marrying a dropkick stoner guy".

"Kelly is a loser, she's poor, she doesn't even have her own place and lives with her mother-in-law. Kelly is fake and dishonest."

"Pam is a loser, she's overweight, she doesn't date, she hasn't moved out of home at 39. Pam is fake."

I don't think it's possible that all your friends are losers or fake. And if they were then surely you wouldn't be close friends with them. I think the problem really is you. You're judgemental and you think you're better than your friends. From this perspective it's actually not surprising that they'd rather invite someone else to their events or their house. I wouldn't want a friend who is constantly judging me and lording everything over me.

And at the same time what you're saying is hypocritical because you don't have a boyfriend, aren't married or have a baby. It's not like you have everything figured out or perfect in your life. 

 I pointed out how I've been such a supportive, caring, and generous friend. I do support my friends. I'm pointing out instances where I notice things that I either don't like or that bother me. 

I don't have it all figured out, and I never said I did. But I do know I'm a caring, sweet, classy, and a highly intellectual person. It hurts me everyday that I havent been able to make it work with a man, not met a good man for me, and that I'm alone. It wasn't for lack of trying. I've tried hard.  I came on here to vent and share some feelings. Thanks for making me feel bad. 

I came on here to tell others, as to not hurt my friends feelings by telling them. I don't like hurting others. I know Kelly is the same way. I get that. I also don't leave my friends hanging or confused if they offered to do something nice for me. 

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8 minutes ago, Alex39 said:

 I pointed out how I've been such a supportive, caring, and generous friend. I do support my friends. I'm pointing out instances where I notice things that I either don't like or that bother me. 

 But I do know I'm a caring, sweet, classy, and a highly intellectual person. It hurts me everyday that I havent been able to make it work with a man, not met a good man for me, and that I'm alone. It wasn't for lack of trying. I've tried hard. 

OP, sometimes what you see as "sweet, caring, generous and supportive" can actually come across to other people (your friends) as overbearing and smothering.  Think about it.  You're literally trying too hard (hence no man/partner).  Trying too hard comes across as pushy.  Again, overbearing, smothering and pushy are all very off-putting traits.

You need to step back and self-reflect a little.  Stop with all the "sweet, caring, generous and supportive"  (trying to buy love and approval, imo).  Look within.  You're the common denominator in all of this. 

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5 minutes ago, Capricorn3 said:

OP, sometimes what you see as "sweet, caring, generous and supportive" can actually come across to other people (your friends) as overbearing and smothering.  Think about it.  You're literally trying too hard (hence no man/partner).  Trying too hard comes across as pushy.  Again, overbearing, smothering and pushy are all very off-putting traits.

You need to step back and self-reflect a little.  Stop with all the "sweet, caring, generous and supportive"  (trying to buy love and approval, imo).  Look within.  You're the common denominator in all of this. 

I get what you are saying. I've been here before. Every time I reflect, then try to change,  I'm being fake. I then try so hard to change myself to not be this way and I convince myself that my feelings are wrong. Like for being a little hurt about Kelly's shower. So I convince myself that my feelings aren't valid, thus I should not be hurt at all, then I'm not embracing me and how I feel. 

I have gone to therapy. I've been told I'm extremely intellectual to the point of some OCD. And I was raised by my mother who thought and still thinks things should be a certain way and just so. It's hard to break that when it's how I was raised and who I am. 

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1 hour ago, Alex39 said:

I pointed out how I've been such a supportive, caring, and generous friend. I do support my friends. I'm pointing out instances where I notice things that I either don't like or that bother me. 

If you have to point out the fact that you are a supportive, caring and generous friend… and/or regularly point out things that you don’t like and bother you… why are you continuing to invest your time into them?

I have a dear friend who would constantly vent about one of her long time friends.  Knowing that sometimes we all need to vent about the people we love, I just listened… however after hearing her vent off and on for a few years about it, I finally asked “Why do you want a relationship with her if all you are going to do is complain about how she treats you?”.  She paused, and said “you have a point.  either I need to stop complaining about her or I need to re-evaluate the friendship.”  Since that time, she changed her expectations of her friend and the friendship changed with it… she doesn’t expect her friend to be someone she isn’t, and also decided to move their friendship from the inner to the outer circle.  Sometimes we out grow our friends, or they go through stuff and aren’t capable of being the friend we expect them to be… then we decide if the friendship is worth investing in at which point we need to either accept them for who they are or let them go.

For what it’s worth, it sounds like you really love your friend Kelly, and perhaps with her impending baby (pregnancy brain is a thing!) and her mom having passed, she is experiencing a whole tornado of emotions that make it difficult to stay focused and make decisions.

At the end of the day… if you want the friendship, only give what you are willing to give without expectation of anything in return.  This will help you not have a resentment and enjoy the process more.

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On 6/5/2022 at 2:51 PM, Alex39 said:

Should I back down and just go as a guest? I'm leaning that way. 

 

Yes, back down and attend as a guest.  Give her a nice gift and that's it. 

Politely and very respectfully explain that you've since reconsidered that it's best for everyone that you step down, attend as a guest and bring a nice gift.  This is your choice.  You have every right to do as you wish.  Don't fear. 

Be tough.  Either she'll accept you as a guest or she is free to release herself from a friendship with you.  There is a polite and respectful way to bow out of hosting the shower.

I deliberately declined from having a baby shower because my maid-of-honor did so much work for my bridal shower.  When my firstborn was born, I was flooded with gifts galore from friends, neighbors, received postal mailed gifts from faraway and I was inundated with gifts for years thereafter. 

My neighbors hosted a very small baby shower for my second son which was very kind.  It was very simple yet wonderful.  It was in her patio's backyard.  The hostess served tea, chicken sandwiches with crusts removed, another neighbor brought homemade strawberry shortcake and it was lovely.  I received great gifts.  Postal thank you notes were mailed out promptly. 

My mother and mother-in-law (MIL) bought me big ticket items such as an expensive stroller, rocking chair with rocking stool to match, nursery items and my mother brought homemade dinner to my house for a few years!  She is amazing and she worked full time! 

If you want to be nice to your friend, what really helps is AFTER the baby is born.  Bringing dinner to her and her family is a godsend.  It can be takeout meals, homemade meals or whatever.  Everyone gets hungry and dinner is greatly appreciated more than gifts! 

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2 hours ago, Alex39 said:

I get what you are saying. I've been here before. Every time I reflect, then try to change,  I'm being fake. I then try so hard to change myself to not be this way and I convince myself that my feelings are wrong. Like for being a little hurt about Kelly's shower. So I convince myself that my feelings aren't valid, thus I should not be hurt at all, then I'm not embracing me and how I feel. 

Emotions aren't 'wrong,' but the assumptions we make in order to evoke them are often not even accurate. That's habitual, and it's a form of self-sabotage.

It's not kind to yourself or the people around you when you jump to the most negative possible conclusions. (As with assigning all kinds of motives to your friend for wanting to work through her own plans with her family.)

This is a habit that CAN be changed if you're willing to pull back and replace harsh assumptions with a more generous--and gentle--narrative. That's as much for your own head as it is for others, and it will start a cycle spinning in the opposite direction, giving yourself and everyone else around you a much needed  break.

Consider your self talk, and changing it from critical to the voice of an inspiring coach. You can call it fake, but changing habits never feels natural. It takes the brain at least 21 days to form new pathways that support new habits, and so yes, stopping to become conscious of negative assumptions and deliberately replacing those with benefit of doubt and a willingness to move your focus onto more productive threads that do NOT involve that person? Priceless.

Fake, sure--but also a liberation from rumination and an opening to a whole new world.

You're a smart woman, you can do this.

Head high.

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9 hours ago, Alex39 said:

My life isn't the same as theirs. I try so hard to fit in with them. I always feel like I'm on the outskirts with them.

And you seem to resent them for it, honestly. 

Stop being a victim, and start taking steps to find better friends if this is really how you feel. 

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7 hours ago, Alex39 said:

 I pointed out how I've been such a supportive, caring, and generous friend. I do support my friends. I'm pointing out instances where I notice things that I either don't like or that bother me. 

I don't have it all figured out, and I never said I did. But I do know I'm a caring, sweet, classy, and a highly intellectual person. It hurts me everyday that I havent been able to make it work with a man, not met a good man for me, and that I'm alone. It wasn't for lack of trying. I've tried hard.  I came on here to vent and share some feelings. Thanks for making me feel bad. 

I came on here to tell others, as to not hurt my friends feelings by telling them. I don't like hurting others. I know Kelly is the same way. I get that. I also don't leave my friends hanging or confused if they offered to do something nice for me. 

Of course we can be hurt or disappointed by our friends (or people in general) sometimes. But in some cases I think the hurt can be largely internalised. Most people aren't out to hurt us, probably especially not our friends. We're usually friends with people we actually like and consider to be nice people.

I think in your case you seem to take things a bit too personally. People all have their own quirks and flaws and people aren't all like you. There is that saying: "Walk a mile in someone else's shoes". Try to also see things from your friends' point of view and think about why they're doing what they're doing. Most likely it's not about you.

Even if you don't understand why they've made certain choices or what they did, it's THEIR choice. Maybe you'd do things differently, but they're not you. As long as their choices don't actually affect you, don't let yourself be bothered by them. 

As you said yourself, sometimes people just need to vent. So Kelly has complained to you about Diane and her mother-in-law but that doesn't mean she doesn't like them or doesn't want them in her life. Kelly is a grown woman so she knows her own feelings and how she wants to deal with things. Have trust that your friends know what they're doing and they don't always need you to swoop in and save them.

Edited by Tinydance
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