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Self-Absorbed So-Called "Friends"

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  • Self-Absorbed So-Called "Friends"

    I haven't been looking for friends for years and recently I thought I'd give it a shot. It ain't easy.

    I met a lady last year that I have hung out with three times or so. We go to a nearby coffee shop and talk. Well, she does the talking. I ask her follow-up questions, but never talk about myself. I rarely do unless someone asks. I try to avoid being self-indulgent but I will talk about myself if someone seems interested. It's gotta be me, as I couldn't imagine going on and on about myself to someone I barely knoew.

    Anyway, I met her again today after 6 months, and we spent an hour and 15 minutes together. I couldn't wait to get out of Dodge, but didn't show it. She droned on for over an hour about her new job, kids, and mentally-disabled husband. After that long time, she finally said, "So what's new with you?" I briefly told her about a few trips that I had taken, but then she brought it right back to her.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I hate it when people who I don't know well act very familiar with me, too comfortable, and do things like bringing up family members who I have never met by name - as though I am supposed to know who they are. (Who names one of their sons "Gunner")? I found myself getting irritated as she recounted some of the many bad decisions that she has been making in her life, but I stayed polite and friendly.

    I am way out of touch with the meeting people scene. Is it normal for people to go on and on about themselves?

  • #2
    Sounds like your friend was trying to carry the conversation and you weren't doing your part in holding up your end of the conversation. It's not enough to be a good listener. Part of friendship is sharing your life with your friend. Sharing your hopes, dreams, ambitions and stories, as well as your struggles and disappointments. If you don't share much about yourself, how is someone supposed to get to know you and develop a close friendship?

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    • #3
      Agree with mary.
      Perhaps this lady is not worth being friends with but remember people are only friends with others because of what they get out of that friendship. Be it a listening ear, good humour , shared interests, similar career, a complete opposite thatís a pleasant distraction etc etc

      But you both must gain from it in order for it to a good friendship .

      You absolutely should offer up information about yourself in order to show what you have to offer as a friend.
      Otherwise you will find yourself always being the listener friend and it wonít progress past that .

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      • #4
        amd9999 It's a great big world out there. Not all friends are self-absorbed. You simply chose the wrong person to be your friend. Your friend needs nothing but a doormat and an ear. That's it. You either have to get lucky finding a friend or friends or become pickier and choosier with whom you wish to associate with.

        I have a lot of acquaintances in my life but only a few friends. One friend is a childhood friend and the other friend is my former colleague.

        It's not only a matter of contributing to a conversation. An ideal, optimal friend possesses empathy, is very considerate and respectful of 2-way friendships. Friends take time to find. Join a club, organization, church if you're religious, volunteer in your community, go on a tour, excursion, outing, museums or whatever suits your fancy. It's a great way to meet friends. Also, ask friends to introduce you to others. If one friend isn't good enough, perhaps they know someone who will better suit your personality.

        Keep in mind friends take time. Be willing to invest in their life, help them out and hopefully they'll do the same for you as well.

        "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

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        • #5
          Thanks, Maggiemay and Chanelle. When I meet a friend I usually ask them questions about their world, job, family, etc., and then I let them bring it back to me. This lady just held onto the ball for far too long. I was really, really bored and was the one who ended the time at the coffee shop. It felt great to get out of there,

          I'm just not the type who usually barrages someone with me, me, and more of me when I see them. Unless something is wrong, that's really self-centered, especially when someone goes on for over an hour about boring stuff. They way I figure it, if someone is interested in me they will ask. If they don't, it means that they aren't interested, and why should I push my stuff on someone who isn't interested?

          As I mentioned, I will talk about myself (and hopefully not overdo it) if someone asks. I'm not the type who gives minimal answers, but I don't drone on and on. If I were, this would be an ongoing problem in my life. It is not.

          I also got irritated at her overly-familiar approach. She was talking as though we were old friends.

          A conversation is a 2-way street.

          This was a valuable experience. I know what I don't want in my friends. I won't be in touch with her again.
          Last edited by amd9999; August 12th, 2018, 07:53 PM.

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          • #6
            amd9999 I have some people in my life who monopolize every conversation so I know exactly what you're referring to. You either have to sit there and remain silent all the while or be with those who care about your life, interested in your problems if you have any and interested in your thoughts and opinions. I even have family members who are all about me, me, me, me, me, me, me all the time and could care less about how I feel, what my opinions are, what's going on in my life, my problem, worries, concerns, etc. I simply stay away as much as possible. maintain contact to the bare minimum and keep it very brief.

            In my case, I can't get rid of certain people in my life so I don't have much contact with them if I can get away with it. That seems to help me immsensely. Enforce healthy boundaries with those whom you are incompatible with.

            As for seeking friends in the future for you, be patient. The right one will come along. I agree, it's a 2-way street. Relationships and friendships fail whenever respect is not mutual. That's a given.
            "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

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            • #7
              lol...maybe limit the time next time (if you change your mind and decide to hang out again). One hour is plenty for a coffee with a friend especially if you both have busy lives or just getting on. You seem very passive and obliging but you're really not. A small suggestion: Be more honest with yourself and less afraid of being assertive around people. I'd say if you're cool, chances are she's probably pretty cool too and she knows that it's a one-sided conversation and is fed up with you too. You both are just not being honest with each other or that great with directing/maintaining a good conversation. It really takes two to tango.

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              • #8
                Chenelle, I'm glad that your family members care about how you feel, even though it's not as much as you'd like. On the other hand, this so-called "friend" couldn't have cared less about how I felt. Between that and her really annoying overly-familiar attitude, I never want to see her again. Not even a "thanks" for the coffee that I bought. I was relieved when I didn't receive a follow-up e-mail from her. "Hey, that was great! We have to do it again!" Nope. Getting together was all her idea. I just went along with it for the ride.

                I never try to to coach or direct people. I let them do their thing and then I decide if I want to continue the friendship. They have the same rights, of course.
                Last edited by amd9999; August 13th, 2018, 03:32 PM.

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                • #9
                  Don't take this the wrong way but you sound like you got something up your butt. You guys only hung out three times and you're dragging her over the coals just because she talks about her life and you don't have the guts or desire to talk about yours. She probably thought you were really stuck up and weird.

                  Good for both of you that you don't hang out again.

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                  • #10
                    Yes, because stuck up people tend to not talk about themselves.

                    Don't take this the wrong way, but just to look at you Rose Mosse, I would have to guess that you have endured a life of ceaselessly being marginalized and rejected by others. Good Lord, it is no wonder you are bitter, ma'am. I will pray for you, though.

                    (Just kidding about the "praying" part)!

                    I know you're upset that I ignored your first response. I'm sorry, but it wasn't worthy of a reply. Neither is your second one, but I would give you a tiny amount of the attention you crave.
                    Last edited by amd9999; August 13th, 2018, 05:52 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Yup, she definitely dodged a bullet with you! lol!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rose Mosse View Post
                        Yup, she definitely dodged a bullet with you! lol!
                        No doubt!
                        Last edited by amd9999; August 13th, 2018, 06:27 PM.

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                        • #13
                          amd9999 Thanks. I don't coach and direct people either. They should have common sense as adults and if they don't, they deserve to be with those just like themselves or have a "yes" person as their friend.

                          Your friend is very rude and selfish. I know many people who lack social intelligence (Google EQ or "emotional intelligence"). These types of people lack empathy. They are incapable of feeling for others. They lack not only social grace but gracious behavior whether they're with you or not. And, worse yet, if you call them on it, they will gaslight you all the time. Google "gaslighting." There are a few relatives in my life who gaslight all the time. I've since learned to stay away from tricky people. They're a sneaky lot in how they control and manipulate every conversation and should you protest about their head trips and mind games, it's back to gaslighting all over again. I simply stay away, faraway. It's called enforcing healthy boundaries.

                          It's better to be alone than to be with those who don't behave properly and the word "alone" is not to be confused with the word "lonely." Be with those who treat you with respect because respect is love even from a friend or acquaintance. Whenever anyone doesn't treat me with respect, I feel as if they really don't care and most of all, they don't love me so I'm gone. It is what it is.
                          "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

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                          • #14
                            Chanelle, I think you sized her up pretty well. People like that are so self-absorbed that they have no idea how they act. I am familiar with gaslighting.

                            You're right about "alone" vs. "lonely."

                            This is great - I just received an e-mail from her thanking me and saying how she wants to get together again! It's not gonna happen.

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                            • #15
                              amd9999 Thanks. I'm glad you're familiar with self-absorbed, self-centered people as well as the term gaslighting.

                              Yep, there's a difference between "alone" vs. "lonely."

                              At least your friend was gracious to fire off a thank you email to you. Getting together with her again will be a repeat of how she monopolized the conversation as usual and I'm sure you can't sit through that one more time.

                              Mutual respect is love regardless of gender and whoever it is in all friendships / relationships. If respect isn't there, the relationship is dead. Same thing with trust.

                              Stay away from people who'll never "get it." They are incapable of social and emotional intelligence no matter what. They're a real PITA. They lack emotional intelligence (EQ) and absolutely HOPELESS. Be with reasonable, logical people. Everyone else is a waste of your time, energy and resources.

                              "To argue with a man who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" ~ famous quote by Thomas Paine (English born, American revolutionary, patriot, Founding Father, philosopher)

                              "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

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