Gransnet forums


To feel just a little bit miffed.....

(142 Posts)
MawBroon Sat 07-Jul-18 14:33:17

Another friend and I drive a third friend around since her OH had to give up driving and she has never learned.
To be fair, the other friend probably does even more than me, but I take her to a Literature class we go to 10miles away every week, often drive her to the Dr (three times in the last two week) often take her and her OH to the supermarket on a Friday, even if I do not need to go, as I prefer to go midweek or to do an internet shop. I regularly drive the 3 of us to our local garden centre for a coffee or to Book Club in a neighbouring village.
What am I moaning about?
Well yesterday the non driving friend was waxing lyrical about how kind the other one is, how she is always available to help, how she puts herself out for anybody, blah, blah, blah.
I smiled and tried to rise above the childish “resentment” I felt! After all, who was driving her at the time? Who had driven her to three things this week already (twice on Friday) and who was feeling peeved?
Perhaps because I am on my own she feels I need to fill my time, but they are well off with two good pensions, no longer have the expense of running a car but if nobody is available to drive she struggles with a shopping trolley and a very inadequate bus service so why not occasionally book a mini cab? I have just filled up with petrol for the second time in under three weeks at £60 and am becoming increasingly conscious of the expense.
I am ashamed of my selfishness but have always tried to maintain my independence getting taxis if unable to drive anywhere. Perhaps I just felt miffed at the laurels being heaped on our third friend envy
Rant over.

Tweedle24 Sat 07-Jul-18 23:14:05

Mawbroon. They are certainly taking advantage. I particularly find it unbelievable that you don’t get your coffee and Danish because she “does not like leaving her trolley in Waitrose”! If you have gone to the trouble of taking them out in your car, the least they could do is let you have your little treat AND offer to pay for yours.

Eloethan Sun 08-Jul-18 01:00:06

Mawbroon I think it's an awful cheek, and I would feel very annoyed. This isn't just the occasional lift - which I imagine most people wouldn't mind - it sounds more like a taxi service.

I think you have been very obliging. Petrol is expensive and a contribution should be made - but in any case I think it is rude to take your kindness for granted by continually expecting lifts.

I can't drive but, unless someone is going the same way as me and offers me a lift, I would not expect or ask for one .

PECS Sun 08-Jul-18 08:23:07

I used to take an elderly neighbour shopping once a week. I was going anyway so no imposition. I always took longer as I was shopping for a family and she just for herself. Every so often a packet of biscuits ' for your girls' would be handed to me. It only takes a tiny gesture! MAW your pal is being insensitive. An offer to pay towards petrol costs, even if you say no thanks, would be reasonable!

annep Sun 08-Jul-18 08:28:48

You need to be assertive. Its nice to help others but not to this extent

Brunette10 Sun 08-Jul-18 08:36:26

Oh dear, think you have to take a big step here and let them get on with things they need to do on their own. You are not a taxi service but a kind hearted person who likes to help friends. However you must start thinking of yourself too. Just try and take a slow backward step and let them realise you have your own life to do things when you want to at your pace and not theirs. You have to before its too late. Good luck you'll make it.

Iam64 Sun 08-Jul-18 08:37:25

It's easy to say you're being too kind Maw, much more difficult to come up with ways to change this established dynamic. I've read the suggestions on this thread but I wonder if any of them fit with your personality and the long established way in which you are the helper and your friends the takers.
Some folks have a life long sense of entitlement. Add to that, some folks only see the issues in their own lives and never in the lives of others.
As PECS says, your friend is being insensitive and I'd add thoughtless and selfish. Money isn't everything and its (remotely) possible your friend has no idea just how much it costs to fill up our cars.
Is it possible you could let them know your supermarket day is Wednesday (for example ) and if they want to join you, they'd be very welcome. Then, as others have suggested - tell them sorry, I'm out and about that day when the question of other lifts arises.
Best of luck Maw and no you aren't BU.

POGS Sun 08-Jul-18 11:04:55


I would be a tad disgruntled by your friends insensitive comments and I know I would have bit my tongue but moped about it for days blush

I know you say it's not really about the financial side of it but you say they are well off , you often find this is the case and that's often because they are happy to spend other peoples money . It is the principle of playing fairly that either does or does not resonate with people and they appear to be lacking a tad in that quarter. I dare say you would probably be like me and go the other way and pay for the petrol , car park and no doubt buy the coffees and pastries to say thanks for helping me out.

It could be asked ' So why do you do it at '? Answer is because you are a kind person. Another question to ask yourself is ' Am I enjoying doing this on a regular basis'?.

You have gone through so much recently you deserve to think if you want to keep doing the same old , same old. Of course if you are worried about losing close friendships then you have little choice and friendship is a big thing in our lives and the only thing to do is have a good old grumble and carry on.

Time for Maw to do what Maw wants me thinks.

FlexibleFriend Sun 08-Jul-18 14:26:49

You have nothing to be ashamed of at all. Your friends on the other hand are taking the mick. They no longer drive so know just how expensive it can be to keep a car on the road and yet are more than happy not to show their appreciation of your kindness. I think they should get the price of a minicab to do the supermarket run and offer the same amount to you. Also they should shop when it's convenient to you or call a cab, especially if two of them are going. Why do people never consider you might have other plans. I'd tell them this week that I can't go shopping next Friday but you're welcome to come with me on Wednesday. Take steps to start pulling them in line, life shouldn't revolve around anyone else's wants and needs. You come first and they need to realise this. You're doing them a favour and they need to appreciate it.

janeainsworth Sun 08-Jul-18 14:46:11

Of course you are not being selfish Maw and I would have felt just as you did, in that situation (where 2nd friend was being praised for doing exactly what you were doing, and your kindness was not acknowledged).

Can you imagine you yourself being the one to be constantly asking for and expecting lifts everywhere from your friends?

No, me neither. I would feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, and not want to be in the position of being unable to repay your kindness.

So go to the supermarket when you want to go, not when she wants to go.
Have your coffee and Danish when you've finished your shopping and if she doesn't want to leave her shopping trolley, tough conkers. She can wait with her trolley while you have your coffee. Say you are desperate for your caffeine fix or whatever.
Take her to book group if you're going anyway, but reduce the garden centre visits. You don't need any more plants, do you? Has she ever bought you a plant as a thank you gift?
It's fine to help people out - after all, we all need friends, and kindness is part of the fabric of society.
But we don't need to be taken for granted.

janeainsworth Sun 08-Jul-18 14:47:36

Oops! flowers

Luckygirl Sun 08-Jul-18 14:53:16

Do not be "ashamed of my selfishness" - you are only human! It is annoying when you are working your tripe out to help her - you were entirely reasonable to be peeved.

dbDB77 Sun 08-Jul-18 15:13:39

No Maw you're not being unreasonable or selfish - become less available, as others have advised. Next time they want a supermarket visit suggest they try an internet shop (maybe they're too mean to pay the delivery charge smile) and when they want you to drive them to a hospital appointment just say you can't face the long drive and the hassle finding a parking space.
A thought - have you mentioned to the mutual friend, the other chauffeur? They might be experiencing the same - being taken for granted.
It would be awful if such self-centred people put you off helping others in the future. I regularly give lifts to friends & acquaintances and never fail to receive genuine thanks.
Good luck.

Bluegal Sun 08-Jul-18 18:28:03

You know what they say about no good turn going unpunished MAW.... She probably does appreciate you just as much but was just being thoughtless maybe? Depends on what kind of relationship you have with her. I guess I might have said something like "oi - what about me"??

My mum (who I drive around a lot to various appointments and shops) has recently been offered lifts from one of her neighbours which (thankfully for me) she is taking. Like you, all I get now is how wonderful this lady is etc etc but when I asked mum if she had given her any money for petrol she looked aghast as if it had never entered her head that cars have to be paid for, not only in petrol but tax and insurance! All she saw was a saving in taxi fares!! After that my mum actually offered ME some petrol money too so....maybe just being straight may help?

But I also sense you are just a little bit fed up of being tied down so much to someone else's ritual? You start to feel like their employee ha ha. Ideally, you don't want to commit yourself so much do you? so, again, depending on your relationship, I would stop being so readily available and when you have to say 'no' don't feel guilty, just hand her a taxi number smile When you ARE available you could give her a call and say hey am going to so and so on Tuesday do you want to come?

MawBroon Sun 08-Jul-18 18:37:41

Lots of wise words and good advice, thank you all.
One big difference in my life is that apart from not leaving Hattie for too long, I am now much more able to please myself, so if I want to shop, followed by a coffee, followed by a quick browse in John Lewis, I can , that is, if I am not taking or fetching somebody else, especially someone who wants to go there and back in as short a time as possible. For me it can constitute an enjoyable outing! (Perhaps I do need to get out more)
It has taken a little getting used to, but those of you who live alone may understand where I am coming from.
TBH I think I was just a bit fed up and feeling “put upon” (especially as she was also waxing lyrical about how her neighbour had suggested she ask to see a dermatologist for a nasty rash she has had for four weeks. I can distinctly remember emailing her the same advice three weeks ago after I had taken her to the doctor! )
Ah well.
I can live! smile

Iam64 Sun 08-Jul-18 19:01:35

flowers for you Maw. janeainsworth hits the nail on the head, as do so many others. No wonder you were feeling a bit fed up and put upon - but the good news is of course John Lewis, a browse and a coffee, even a cake. It's such a treat. xx

MawBroon Sun 08-Jul-18 19:02:51

Especially when free with the vouchers! ??????? aye!

Panache Sun 08-Jul-18 19:09:28

Sadly there are these certain people who... maybe unwittingly...........or perhaps by plan..........use others for many of their various trips and from what you say Maw you are certainly being "used"
Of course the cost and money has to come into the equation.....I wonder has this lady ever done a favour for you or anyone else?
One that costs her money?
I doubt it for then she would have her eyes opened to the fact each trip costs, and costs should be shared.
You are a kind and generous friend whilst she is taking advantage.
Whilst having the nerve to praise the third member of your group, but nothing said about your generosity with time and costs.
The earlier posters are spot on and you really do need to be increasingly unavailable.......further more this time is yours and you at least need to spend it in your own way...........not always beholden to a so called friend whom cannot even offer to pay her way.
She needs to learn the hard I hope you do take heed to what we all say.

GillT57 Sun 08-Jul-18 19:29:52

It is easy to tell someone to be firm, but harder to do, none of us like unpleasantness! But, yes Maw you are being taken advantage of, and after your long time nursing Paw and having to be back on time/arrange for care, it must be nice for you to be able to please yourself just a little bit, have a browse, have a coffee, go shopping when you like. Maybe next time they expect to be taken shopping on a Friday, just tell her that as you have got plenty of food in ( having done an online shop), you don't need to go shopping this week?

Jalima1108 Sun 08-Jul-18 19:32:23

It's rather like the sibling who does all the caring and hard work looking after a parent, only to hear the other sibling, who calls in once in a blue moon with flowers and hugs, praised to high heaven by mother.

thecatgrandma Sun 08-Jul-18 19:41:17

Do you really need to ask this? She is taking advantage of you, so is her husband, back off now or you will get lumbered with all sorts of things when they get older. Who on earth does she think she is? You are nobody’s taxi service, you don’t need such a self centred person as a friend.

ajanela Sun 08-Jul-18 21:17:14

I suggest you start by insisting you are having your tea and cake.

Then start saying sometimes you can't do the Friday shop with them. Maybe say you are feeling tired or similar. Also with doctors appointments.

If you are going to a place together fair enough and let her pay for the parking, but reading your post it seemed like your life was being ruled by their needs, and that would really upset me. As she is a non driver she obviously doesn't know the cost of driving and has never had to fill up the car. She also doesn't know how stressful driving can be as she has always sat and enjoyed the view.

As for her praise of your friend maybe you need a chat with the friend to see how she is feeling which might be the same as you.

mabon1 Mon 09-Jul-18 09:58:55

No such thing as true altruism then!

Jaycee5 Mon 09-Jul-18 09:59:34

Next time she asks you say 'I'm happy to take you but I will be stopping for tea and cake'. If she starts arguing take that as her not wanting the lift and don't get drawn into discussion.
I know it is easier said than done but assertiveness is the only answer and you have to find a way to do it.
Don't be available every time. I wouldn't make up detailed excuses, just say that you don't feel like it or want to have a rest or suchlike.

GeorgieKay Mon 09-Jul-18 10:01:59

I am happy to give anyone a lift as long as it is appreciated. Not long ago, one of my neighbours had their car stolen so I offered to take them to the supermarket or pick up some shopping for them, only to be told I went shopping on the wrong day !!

Hm999 Mon 09-Jul-18 10:07:45

I totally agree with all of the above.
However this does bring up another issue, why do people plan their later years around living somewhere which has poor (and ever diminishing?) public transport links as we'll all have to give up the car sometime, one little corner shop, which may close down, and nowhere near amenities e.g. dr.
Downsizing seems attractive after family has started leading independent lives, so surely downsizing to a sensible location is the mature approach.