Gransnet forums


To think that a friend should visit when she has time.

(44 Posts)
MotherHubbard Fri 13-Oct-17 17:15:13

I have a friend and neighbor who has a very busy social and family life so is often away. I occasionally call for a catch up and coffee when she is around. However when she calls into see me she always says ‘just thought I’d call in, but I can’t stay long as I’ do’. I have to stop myself from asking her why she’s bothered in the first place then. She usually refuses a drink, no time, and then spends the next 10 mins glancing at her watch or the clock. I know she doesn’t realise that she does this but I find we never get chance for a proper chat.

Nannarose Fri 13-Oct-17 17:20:29

Next time, say you are so sorry you don't have time to invite her in, but you are.........................................(other GNers will have highly inventive suggestions, but 'on the phone to BT ' will do) and hope you can catch up soon.

lemongrove Fri 13-Oct-17 17:24:42

Keep a coat by the door to slip on before you answer it, and say “sorry, just going out!”
Seriously though, it must be annoying, as she is treating you as a duty and not a friend.
Still, if you like her, regard it as one of her quirks.

Nanabilly Fri 13-Oct-17 17:54:37

If it bothers you that much why don't you give her a call and invite her round for a coffee and cake and a good old catch up for an hour that she can schedule into her busy day and tell her you are doing it because she is always in a rush and you wish her visits were a little longer. If it were me I would just be glad she made the effort at all no matter how rushed it is.

Christinefrance Fri 13-Oct-17 18:24:56

I agree with lemongrove you are being treated as a duty call so it's not really worth the bother in my opinion.

Bluegal Fri 13-Oct-17 18:46:43

What does your friend have to dash off to do? Does she have to get to work, pick kids up, see to elderly parents? What does she say when she has 'no time'?

If you feel she just doesn't want to spend time with you then why does she call at all?

Sometimes my kids call see me and they spend most of it on their phone and clock watching so I say outright...why have you bothered coming round then? They say...just popped in to see you o.k? Maybe similar situ?

Once again, honesty is best policy. ASK her why she bothers when she is so pushed for time? Maybe arrange a proper 'date' when you can go for lunch or whatever. If she doesn't want that then .....I guess you have to assess whether she is important enough to even open the door?

Serkeen Fri 13-Oct-17 19:20:02

motherhubbard with friends like that you do not need enemies. I have experienced much the same, maybe they are busy I don't know

What I do know is that you should not invest in her.

You deserve a proper friend. brew

Baggs Fri 13-Oct-17 20:01:33

Some people like to be seen to be busy even if they aren't. They seem to think that 'hecticity', as a friend of mine called it, is a virtue so they develop this always in a rush behaviour. Perhaps your friend is like this.

I think your options are blunt honesty, manoeuvring for a proper 'date', or just accepting that that's what she's like and lumping it. I think I'd go for a combination of the first and last. I hope you find a solution.

MotherHubbard Fri 13-Oct-17 20:17:04

Thanks for the comments- yes Lemongrove,I do like her, she is lovely, just has a lot of other commitments. We do occasionally go out with our husbands for a meal so I wouldn’t want to say anything to upset her. It’s me being too sensitive as I hadn’t seen her for a while so I was disappointed and decided to vent on here.

minesaprosecco Fri 13-Oct-17 20:39:22

She sounds like a normal person - basically good but with some quirks! And you sound like a lovely person who appreciates her positive qualities. Here's to your friendship lasting many yearssmile

FarNorth Fri 13-Oct-17 20:39:25

Are her calls at a pre-arranged time, or does she just drop in?

Try pre-arranging and asking her to make time for a visit of 30 mins / 1 hour / whatever you think reasonable. Tell her you'd love a good chat without her having to rush off. That shouldn't be upsetting.

She is not being lovely to you, by doing this. Her visits are not enjoyable at all, for you.

Eloethan Fri 13-Oct-17 23:46:54

MotherHubbard If your friend is truly very busy, I think it's rather nice that she pops in to see you, even if only for a little while.

MissAdventure Sat 14-Oct-17 00:00:08

Some people thrive on being busy: its how they function. I can see how it could be hurtful though.

Greyduster Sat 14-Oct-17 07:37:01

I have a friend who is always busy, so we do not see each other that often, but when we do, we at least get to spend an afternoon together. It takes some organising though because since her DH died she has taken on so much just to stay sane, and I fully understand that. I would feel rather affronted if she was like your friend, though, and constantly watching the clock.

ffinnochio Sat 14-Oct-17 08:11:41

MH . You say you like her. You think she is lovely. You get together for meals. She calls in to see you.

Think you’re spot on about feeling sensitive, and can see how you’re disappointed in not spending longer with her.

Think I’d be gracious and when she rushes off, give her a hug and say how lovely it was to see her, even if you feel it was a ‘duty’ call. It might not have been though. It might have been a genuine wish to see you.

Do you have lots of other friends with whom you’re able to spend more time?

Jaycee5 Sat 14-Oct-17 08:40:10

Is she welcoming when you pop in? It sounds a bit like one upmanship or gaslighting but it may just be the way her family were and what she considers reasonable. I think I would be inclined to say 'maybe next time you could call when you aren't in such a rush' but then I would be prepared to fall out with someone who did this all the time. If it was occasional it would be different but if it is every time it is deliberate.

loopyloo Sat 14-Oct-17 08:42:03

Yes , develop other friends. You can be busy too.

radicalnan Sat 14-Oct-17 09:02:34

She isn't asking you for an exclusive friendship is she?

What is wrong with 10 mins now and then if there are also meals out with husbands?

Friendship doesn't have to be formal, she clearly wants to stay in touch and might well be a help to you of you needed it, do you pop round to see her ?

Perhaps she is busy..does that mean her friendship would be worth less than someone who came for longer visits.

Just see her popping in as a bonus, being picky about what is acceptable within social relationshios is the way to loneliness and plenty of people suffer from that.

TillyWhiz Sat 14-Oct-17 09:44:12

I always find if someone touches a raw nerve like this then to get out myself and socialise with others. Things then get into perspective - a hurt from one person becomes so minor and makes it easier to deal and resolve.

ajanela Sat 14-Oct-17 09:50:55

I would say nothing. She is over committed and she wants to see you and be friendly but has to rush of to something else. I am sure if you were in difficulty and rang her she would be there for you. Maybe she doesn't like sitting having chats, some people don't do small talk and this is her way of coping with it.

If you do decide to invite her for 30 minute chat, make sure you make moves to let her go at the end of the time. I know when I am chatting it can go on much longer than I think. I am amazed sometimes when I look at the time I have been talking on the phone and I know sometimes I have to end calls because I have to be somewhere else.

Tessa101 Sat 14-Oct-17 09:56:32

Agree with lemongrove, she’s just ticking you off the list. Give up on expecting anything more.

MotherHubbard Sat 14-Oct-17 10:08:10

Thanks for all the interesting replies showing such a range of opinions. Yes, I do call to see her, she only lives round the corner, but we often go weeks without seeing each other. I do have other friends, it isn’t that I want ‘an exclusive friendship’ or change in our relationship. I was just a bit miffed that when I opened the door, really pleased to see her and asked her in she said ‘okay, but I won’t sit down as I can’t stay long’. I’ve got over myself now, hey ho, life’s too short?

Saggi Sat 14-Oct-17 10:10:14

While we're on the subject of negligent friends , maybe somebody out there will have a more un-biased opinion of my 'problem'.My friend and me have been best buddies for 42 years. Our husbands worked together most of their working lives and through that us women got to know each other. We are confidantes..... stuff we wouldn't tell anyone else we know we can trust each other with. But just recently her favourite sister ... closest in age.... retired and my friend has been spending a lot of time with her. At first of course I understood this and let cancelled lunch appointments and cinema dates go by me! But I find that the cancelled dates were her just doing the same stuff with her sister . My friend spends a lot of time on holidays ( I never holiday), at least 4 times a year so getting to see her is hit and miss anyway! I am beginning to feel jettisoned... she used to text at least twice a week for a catch up... or we'd meet for coffee , lunch, window shopping trip, a train into London and lunch on south bank . But it's all come to a shuddering stop.I feel despondent. She knows well that my husband never goes out and certainly not with me! I've come to terms with his negligence.... but hers' is far more devastating to me. Do I complain or just accept the situation , and our relationship has been usurped by her sister.??

Chattybarbara Sat 14-Oct-17 10:12:30

My advice would be to accept her for who she is, she doesn't have to call on you but makes the effort so must like you and you say you like her, so whats the problem really. If you want her to stay longer then invite her formally in advance so she will have the time....... I am sure she doesn't realise you think her a little rude and would be mortified if she knew..... but if she turns down your invitation then you know where you stand.

W11girl Sat 14-Oct-17 10:13:33

I'm afraid I would have to bin her, as they say, many posters have said just don't find time for her, unless of course you need her as a "friend". I put up with something similar for months, "binned" her, haven't heard from her since! Hey ho!