Gransnet forums


Let down by a friend

(27 Posts)
jogginggirl Fri 01-Jul-11 09:20:30

I don't know if I am being unreasonable but right now I really need my friends. A friend whom I have known for over 30 years is always saying that she is there for me, chats, phone calls, visits, support - so how come that whenever I reach out she actually isn't there. I'm struggling to know what to do with this - OH says maybe it's time to move on and stop being hurt and let down. I have been there for her on so many occasions over the years and have never minded because she is my friend - do you think it's time to let go?sad

Barrow Fri 01-Jul-11 09:28:57

This happened to me too. I had a "friend" who was always ringing me asking for help with one thing or another - on one occasion she rang me in tears and I dropped everything (I was in the middle of cooking Sunday lunch), drove 15 miles to her house sorted out her problem for her eventually returning home early evening to a very hungry husband! Then suddenly last year she stopped speaking to me, I called and emailed asking her what the problem was but she never replied. A mutual friend told her that my husband has been diagnosed with terminal cancer - she hasn't been in touch to offer help or sympathy. Now I think I am better off without her and thinking back on our relationship it was always me who had to fall in with her plans and give support. I have found out who my true friends are. My advice just forget her - its her loss.

Littlelegs Fri 01-Jul-11 09:33:02

I have felt the same as you Joggingirl, friends I have helped and they all say it is me they turn to when they are in trouble. However, when I've had a problem they all seem to head for the hills, or say that they are busy. It is very hurtful. I think that you are the bigger person, you would not want to let your friend down totally - maybe create a little distance sometimes.
You have friends here so don't feel lonely .. we can lend an ear. smile

harrigran Fri 01-Jul-11 10:05:36

It is a fact of life, there are givers and takers. We just need to learn which ones will suck us dry and then abandon us.

maxgran Fri 01-Jul-11 10:48:42

Joggingirl,.. If she is like that with you she is probably like that with others too - Dont take it personally. Lots of people have friends like this so you just have to decide whether you like her enough to accept this is what she is like and if not,.. get rid of her !

janreb Fri 01-Jul-11 13:17:41

I am in a similar situation with a friend of over 20 years, she has got much worse over the past 12 months and I have had to stop and think is it worth it? I still don't know, but as she isn't speaking to me at the moment because I had the cheek to be out twice(!!!) when she called perhaps it has been taken out of my hands.
Just hold on in there jogginggirl.

JessM Fri 01-Jul-11 14:20:45

I think most of us have been through this kind of thing. It is easy to get sucked in by a "bubbly" personality I think. I once dropped someone because it felt too unequal and I got fed up with her "groupie" tendencies - I felt she was more interested in meeting minor celebrities (authors etc) - and then talking about it - than in maintaining friendships with or listening to boring old buddies who had supported her through a really tough patch.

sandra Fri 01-Jul-11 14:57:28

Jogginggirl, I have had this experience several times with so called friends who use me to go out etc. when they split up with their men. As soon as a new man comes along I'm dropped like hot cakes. When that relationship finishes they expect you to be available. I don't know what the answer is really, maybe you have to be as self centered as she obviously is.

baggythecrust! Fri 01-Jul-11 16:03:06

Someone did that to me a little less than a year ago and then I discovered she'd fallen out with all her neighbours as well over the years. With real friends it's give and take. Makes you wonder if self-centred people have any real friends.

HildaW Fri 01-Jul-11 19:12:28

Been there, Jogging got the T shirt!
Funny how these people seem to be able to zone in on those who will be good friends and yet give nothing in return. Its as if they have a 'mug' radar.
You have done nothing wrong Jogging, slowly reduce the time you give her, no need for a dramatic bust up (cos they so enjoy the drama, and making out how hard done by they are)....just move on with your life and see her less and less....good luck and have a wine on me!

jogginggirl Fri 01-Jul-11 20:36:37

Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts and experiences - it seems I am not alone!! I have thought about this situation a lot today and I think I will give this friendship some space........ see how it goes. I am not in a good place myself at the moment - maybe I'm being overly sensitive. I hate parting with friends, I have only ever done it once in my life before.
Thank you Littlelegs - I won't feel lonely and HildaW cheers wine

bikergran Fri 01-Jul-11 21:04:06


It seems we have all at some times been very let down with people whom we "thought" were true friends, I myself certainly have.... But now I don't dwell on it the same and try to get on with things, although I do miss 2 of my old friends but I won't waste anymore of my life trying to keep in contact as it is me that seems to do all the running..sooooo I have stopped emailing etc 2 friends who never seem to email me back and if they do it is mearly 2 lines! They may all have problems of their own and reasons for not keeping in contact etc so let them be I say to myself, something I certainly don't! want is, in a few years down the line to suddenly receive and email saying "ohh hellooooo there! sorry I havnt been in touch for a while"!!!

also can I sugest a book...I bought it for my elder daughter when she was having friendship problems....BE WARNED!!!! it does contain a lot of the F word!! be warned and it is even in the title...I must admit I only flicked through the book before I gave it my daughter so I have yet to read it..!
it is called ( sorry there is a swear word in the title)!!! shock

some of you may have heard of it..its by Janet Street Porter and is titled
" Lifes Too F......short" sorry I hate the word but its in the title so had to put it in!!!! use dones are available on Amazon at around £5... lets know if anyone reads it?? smile I shall borrow my daughters copy!!

jackyann Mon 04-Jul-11 17:30:51

I expect that a lot of you get those saccharine round-robin things about friendship. I got one once that for some reason struck a chord with me and I have found it very helpful when thinking about friendship. so I share it in that spirit, and if any of you find it too cutesy then stop reading!

The jist is that friends can be for a season, a reason or a lifetime.
Some people are in your life for a season: school friends, ante-natal class friends. You enjoy sharing that time with them, but you both move on
Some people are in your life for a reason: neighbours or work colleagues who help you, who you help because you are there. The reason changes and you no longer have things in common.
And a few people transcend this and you stick to each other for a lifetime.

The message I took is not to get "stuck" or worry when friendships changed, but to think "I'm glad I knew you, but now it's time to move on". Thinking that has helped stop me from getting sucked in to unhelpful friendships.

bikergran Wed 06-Jul-11 13:33:59

"jackyann" lol what a refreshing way of looking at things..I shall look at friendships a different way now.....(but I still miss one or two of my old friends who have drifted away) but I will take a leaf out of your book

Melanie Thu 07-Jul-11 19:23:54

This is very similar to another thread on Gransnet.

This is more common than I thought. hmm

jogginggirl Thu 07-Jul-11 20:35:26

I like that jackyann - I will try to remember that. Liittlelegs, I took your advice and put some distance between my friend and I and I have noticed that she is trying harder. Clearly, she knows that I was upset. I don't want to fall out, that feels a bit like playground behaviour and I hope I have moved on from all of that. I guess any breakdown in a friendship causes us to look inwardly as well and I am more determined than ever not to let others down. Thanks again for all comments, smile

silversurfergran Fri 08-Jul-11 14:55:15

Not exactly the same problem but I have 2 friends who have fallen out with each other and I feel very much "piggy in the middle" - I try to keep out of it but it is so difficult. I am very fond of them both, we have known each other for 50 years or more, holidays together etc. I have to mind everything I say now.

Sbagran Sat 09-Jul-11 08:43:17

What can you do when a dear friend throws hissy-fits when she doesn't get her own way (She's 70 by the way - not 7!)
We have been friends with B for many years. She never had brothers or sisters, worked in a managerial job until retiring and now does voluntary work where she is 'in charge' - that is the crux - she likes to be the boss!
Since her mother died over 10yrs ago she has been regarded as a member of our family.She has spent days with us and been on several holidays with my husband and I. When she had a hip replacement several years ago I went every day, washed her feet and replaced the sexy elastic stockings as she couldn't do it herself. A couple of years ago she had breast cancer and again I was at her side through the treatments etc. I completely understand the horror she has been through but she is one of the lucky ones (I have another dear friend who fought thyroid cancer only to get the 'all clear' from that only to be diagnosed with breast cancer needing full mastectomy three months later)
Sadly B enjoyed the attention she was getting from everyone while she was ill and cannot seem to accept that she is through it. She is alienating herself from all her friends with her 'can't do this, can't do that because of my medication' attitude when with other things she is out and about leading a very active life. It is attention seeking we know. She has a voluntary job where she is 'in charge' and it is odd that when she is there she is fine! Being 'in charge' she gets the attention but when she doesn't get attention she throws hissy-fits.
Recently I had reached the end of my tether and had to tell her some home-truths so now I am in the doghouse big time!

helshea Sat 09-Jul-11 08:55:24

Sometimes home truths need to be said, and the dog house needs to be occupied now and then. This attention seeking could quite possibly be insecurity on her part, it is also possible she is jealous of you and your family life? I don't think she will fall out with you because of a few things you have said, but maybe she will actually think about things and the way she is behaving. On the other hand maybe you should look a little deeper into why she is behaving this way. Whatever happens she is very lucky to have a friend like you.

Sbagran Mon 11-Jul-11 22:57:43

Hi Helshea - yes there is an element of jealousy I am sure.
Several years ago she worked in a voluntary capacity for the chap I now work for. They had a long very stormy working relationship and in spite of being a volunteer she refused give in and kept going back for more. She does like to be seen as a victim and martyr and it ended in tears about 6/7 yrs ago. She refuses to put it behind her.
About 3yrs ago he offered me a paid post (different completely to B's job) with conditions too good for me to refuse - my dream job. I took it but assured B that if he treated me like he had (apparently) treated her I would walk and certainly not put up with it for years like she had done.
Since working for him - and he is definitely not perfect - I can see now why things did not work. Whether you like it or not he IS the Boss so what HE says goes and he has the final say. When I have done things differently to his way of wanting them done he has told me off - I have accepted correction and it is over. I have even managed to get him to change the way of doing things (to how I want to do them) by convincing him it was his idea!
I can see clearly that it was a clash of personalities with him and B as they are BOTH always right and BOTH in charge - the difference being that he being the Boss has the final word. She sees us working well together and can't hack it. She needs to be seen as a victim or martyr - and the 'victim' label also fitted when she needed help post hip-operation and again with the breast cancer.
Anyway, thanks for your kind words - I will persevere as it isn't really her fault she has the attitude - she knows no different!

Baggy Tue 12-Jul-11 06:50:54

Sbagran, it sounds as if you have been an ideal and very patient friend to B. You say that her attitude is not her fault because she has known nothing else. Perhaps this is true, but her behaviour is her responsibility and no-one else's. My mum always says, you maybe can't help your feelings but you can help your behaviour.

grannyactivist Tue 12-Jul-11 19:27:34

Baggy smile My mum never said that, but it was something I often said (and still do say) to my children.

Sbagran Fri 15-Jul-11 07:50:40

Thank you Baggy for that saying - I hadn't heard it before but it is very true. My Mum and Nan used to have a saying - you can't help them who won't help themselves! This is appropriate in this case so I am just going to go with the flow and hope she gradually sees reason bless her.
Thanks for all your support gransnetters!

Frances Fri 29-Jul-11 17:34:47

Now I know that I am not alone - been so hurt by so called friends that I keep my self to myself!

JessM Fri 29-Jul-11 17:59:22

That is very sad Frances. I'm sure a lot of us have given generously to friends over the years, only to discover that it is all one way. Part of life I guess.
Maybe you have been licking your wounds and now you are ready to take a few risks again and make some friends on-line?