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Planned outing with friends - now feeling sad and lost

(35 Posts)
Rowantree Tue 08-Jun-21 18:38:30

I don't know whether or not I'm overreacting emotionally (I get easily hurt, suffer from anxiety and periodic depression and related issues).
I suggested a trip to see the David Hockney exhibition, knowing that Friend A wanted to go to an art exhibition. Also included Friend B who was really pleased. Managed to get three tickets in August. Today, at a tea in the park event, Friend A was talking animatedly about all the camping trips planned for the summer. I said, 'Hope it doesn't clash with our exhibition day....' to which she replied, 'Oh - then I'd have to give my ticket to someone else. Camping wins every time!' I said nothing. I felt terribly hurt, as if I was second-best (we are close friends and have been through a lot). The idea that she could consider abandoning a pre-planned outing because something better came along I found really hard. I struggled with my feelings all afternoon, wondering if I was being ridiculous. As it happened, the date doesn't clash, but I still feel hurt. It brings back feelings of rejection that at 67 I'm still trying to throw off. Am I being a spoiled child? She has every right to do as she pleases, of course she does. How do I cope with these feelings?

overthehill Sat 19-Jun-21 23:45:47

I'm with you on this one. If I've made arrangements then barring emergencies I stick with them.
I had a friend 'once' who was fond of doing that sort of thing. She invited us then put us off twice as her cousin was coming. She suggested another time but that was it. She had form, she and another couple of work colleagues along with myself, had arranged a night out. She rang the very evening and told us someone else had invited her out so she dropped us for them....nice.

MayBee70 Thu 10-Jun-21 13:47:28

Maybe she said it flippantly knowing that she hadn’t double booked the date? Rowantree, I think you undervalue yourself. I’d love to have such a kind thoughtful friend as you. I like to think that your friends think the same, too x

welbeck Thu 10-Jun-21 00:12:28

it's just that she has a much fuller, busier, and easier life.
she probably has no notion that you would be hurt by her candidly stated preference.
she is motivated by the event. whereas for you it is more about your self perception, and emotional issues.
this makes you more vulnerable, to the natural vagaries of people's preferences and impulses.
so how you feel or react is just a fact.
i don't think feeling are reasonable or not.
but it might help to try to rationalise a bit about it all.
actually i think it is quite brave of you to try to socialise, with all these hazards that affect you more than others.
all the best.

JaneJudge Wed 09-Jun-21 20:55:37

You are allowed to feel how you feel xx
It is quite normal to feel sad an rejected even if it is unreasonable. In this case though I think you have done something thoughtful and she has forgotten or taken it for granted, I'm not sure she knowingly hurt your feelings either.
Be kind to yourself
I's have loved to have come along grin

Rowantree Wed 09-Jun-21 20:24:35

I hate to think of her being rude because she's a lovely person and generally very kind but she can be a bit thoughtless sometimes without meaning to.
I don't want to not include her in future because it would hurt and upset her unnecessarily and I'd feel I was being vengeful and spiteful. I couldn't do that to someone who means a lot to me. I was just hurt and taken aback that she seemed to be dismissing our outing so easily without thought to my feelings.
Yes, to be fair, she has paid for it.
She was not only happy for me to get the tickets, we'd been talking about going for a while and she seemed really happy that I'd taken on the job of booking.
Her life is busier and more social than mine, but her plans don't include her husband (long story). Because she's now so busy, I don't get to see her that much now. Maybe I'm a teensy bit envious (yes, I know I shouldn't be, but I'm basically rather insecure and though I try hard not to be, it's something I struggle with). I don't ever want that to influence our friendship because that is my problem.

13 years ago I had a devastating split with a long term close friendship for which I accept much of the responsibility. Mentally I was going downhill for a while because the friendship was becoming toxic for me for reasons I won't go into (and I'm certain for her too) but I was really trying to keep my own insecurities hidden and not allow them to affect this friend. Unfortunately my worsening depression and anxiety contributed to me losing that battle. Following the break, I was unwell for a few years and had therapy which made me feel a lot worse. Finally I began to feel a lot better, with the right meds and time passing, family support and that of the few loyal friends I still had and cherished. It had all coincided with serious family problems, an assault on my daughter and a subsequent court case. Things seem to come all at once sometimes, and though I struggled on with it all at the time, I think I wasn't up to the task of riding the storm!
Anyway - that's just sketchy background, and though I'm far, far stronger and happier now in some ways, I still get flashbacks of former dark times and it affects how I see things. I also find it hard to know whether I'm being unreasonable or not in feeling as I do.

Thank you all for your insight and thoughts.

V3ra Wed 09-Jun-21 16:32:21

No you're not being the spoilt child, Friend A is.
You chose an outing you knew she'd enjoy, presumably she agreed to go and that you would get the tickets?
Has she paid you for her ticket?
For her to even suggest that if the date later clashed with another outing she'd miss yours was just rude.

M0nica Wed 09-Jun-21 15:39:18

MayBee70 yes, I made that mistake. I learnt from it.

MayBee70 Wed 09-Jun-21 13:10:49

I’ve found over the years that it’s best to only include one friend in an outing. 3 makes for an awkward dynamic. I once tried to organise outings with two really good friends thinking that, if I liked them they would like each other, but they really didn’t get on!

H1954 Wed 09-Jun-21 07:56:59

Personally, I wouldn't bother to include her in future. The risk of any event clashing with her camping trips would be a sticking point I'm afraid.
Does this friend ever invite you along to anything she has planned?
Lockdown has made many people more sensitive but it has also made many people selfish, complacent and self centred, you don't need people like that in your life.
Enjoy the exhibition and let friend A plan her own life in future.

FarNorth Wed 09-Jun-21 07:43:17

You posted while I was writing, Rowantree. smile

FarNorth Wed 09-Jun-21 07:41:43

I'm amazed at the people making excuses for friend A.
She was very thoughtless in the way she spoke, implying that the outing with Rowantree is unimportant to her. That impression remains, even if the dates don't clash.
She could at least have said "Oh, I hope not."

It's not just a case of going to an exhibition, it's a case of wanting time with a friend. And Friend A has treated that very casually.

Lockdown has made many people more sensitive but perhaps it has made others more self-centred.

Rowantree Wed 09-Jun-21 07:26:29

Wow, thank you, wise fellow-grans! Lots of different viewpoints here and much to think about in the way I'm looking at things. Many, many thanks to all for your wisdom and honesty - I really appreciate it.

Just to clarify: 1. Camping trip is not with family and was a couple of nights, planned on the spur of the moment: 2. I know how much she really loves camping, but I know she loves going to the Royal Academy and doesn't have anyone else to go with. 3. It was a huge struggle getting any tickets as they were almost solidly booked.

All of that said, I will be slightly warier in future and prepare myself for possible cancellation. I know she didn't intend to hurt me and that she values my friendship BUT at that moment I was suddenly in doubt and that threw me emotionally. I don't have many close friends and struggle with large gatherings, so meaningful friendships mean a great deal.

My problem, I guess!

ineedamum Wed 09-Jun-21 05:31:01

I can see both sides.

It's understandable you feel anxious about getting back to normal. I'd say most people do, the world has changed and going to cafe etc is a different experience to how we remember.

If you're anxious anyway, this will be exacerbated. Despite all of this, you found the courage and confidence to arrange it all.

Your friend wants to go camping. Booking camping and holidays has been difficult this year, costs, availability, uncertainty etc. She may have had to rearrange several times.

If the holiday clashed with the day out, how would you feel if she cancelled the holiday for an exhibition?

Hithere Wed 09-Jun-21 03:53:50

I would be a little hurt but I would understand she prefers something else.
I would also attend the art exhibition and enjoy it.

You have admitted that you are oversensitive so it is affecting you more than the average person- I would look into addressing it,

welbeck Wed 09-Jun-21 00:17:18

i think you are personalising it too much.
she simply prefers camping to art exhibition.
and one is a day outing, whereas the other is an overnight holiday, presumably with family.
the camping seems much more of an event, esp perhaps at the moment with restrictions on holidays.
from her point of view its like comparing a snack with a banquet.
i doubt it's got anything at all to do with you being involved.
indeed, she said as much, camping wins every time.
i am sorry that you feel let down and sad, but i do not think it is helpful to see it in a personalised way.
hope you enjoy the art.

Grammaretto Tue 08-Jun-21 22:34:20

YANBU Rowantree I would feel hurt too and rejected. You have had some wise answers here and I am sure they are right to say your friend didn't mean to hurt you but the fact is, she did.
What about friend B? Can she be trusted?
You should not accept a better offer if you have already accepted one - it is plain rude!

MayBee70 Tue 08-Jun-21 22:13:29

I would have been hurt, too. I have been phoning one of my oldest friends on a regular basis throughout the pandemic as she lives alone. Not that she doesn’t have a wide circle of friends plus the fact she still has a father, aunts and uncles still alive which I don’t have. She doesn’t, however, have children. She did say something quite cutting last time I spoke (she can be quite abrasive) to her and I don’t feel like phoning again. I wish I was more assertive. I’m sure that assertive people clear things up straight away and don’t brood over things. My boss sent me on an assertiveness course once but it obviously didn’t work! Then again I don’t say things straight away for fear of hurting people. Can’t win really….

CanadianGran Tue 08-Jun-21 22:02:47

I feel for you Rowantree. I posted a couple of months ago about my book group changing at the last minute, and I was unable to bounce along with the change. I was upset and angry! And that was just a zoom meeting, not in real life.

We have had so little social interaction this last 18 months that I find myself absurdly looking forward to events and meetings now. Having plans dashed is really a let down. Did I feel I was over-reacting? Yes, I knew it but couldn't help myself.

But like geekess has said, she is choosing the priority of the event, not the company. For her, camping is more important than a gallery visit. She really didn't mean to hurt you, but I really do sympathize. I'm glad she is able to go after all.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 08-Jun-21 22:02:00

If it was me and I had agreed to go somewhere for the day, but my family or DH had had to sort out work dates etc. and could only go camping on that same week, then I’m afraid that the family holiday would win.

Life is about juggling things and trying not to double book, don’t take it personally.

PinkCakes Tue 08-Jun-21 21:58:28

Rowantree I don't think you're being unreasonable. Your friend sounds insensitive. She's perhaps got a busy social life, but she could have been more tactful.

A friend of mine (known each other 20-odd years, she's been through a lot and I've helped her) is the same. We'd arranged to meet for lunch recently, a fortnight in advance, then she told me the day before she was having her nails done! She offered to see me for 1/2 hour. I declined, we met up a week later instead. Then last week, we were meant to be at aqua aerobics (again, planned 2wk in advance), on the day she said she couldn't make it so I went alone.

Some people aren't considerate of the feelings of others. Perhaps meet up with others, and see this friend A on your terms? That's what I plan to do now.

M0nica Tue 08-Jun-21 21:47:30

Life is full of little setbacks and misunderstandings. She did not realise how important this trip was to you and you underestiamated how much camping meant to her.

As we go through life. I am sure most of us will have been on both sides of this kind of event, inadvertantly failing to take seriously, something that mattered deeply to someone else and being upset as you are on this occcasion when you are the one let down.

None of us is perfect. If she is a good friend, just let it slide.

lemsip Tue 08-Jun-21 21:16:25

I wouldn't agree to a ticket thing weeks ahead in case something else came up anyway.

geekesse Tue 08-Jun-21 21:06:11

I don’t think you or your friend are being unreasonable. You and your friend just have quite different emotional investment in this trip to see an exhibition. For you, it’s clearly a big deal. For her it doesn’t have the same importance.

She’s not putting you second, she’s putting a trip to an art gallery second to a camping trip. Many people would do the same, and it isn’t unreasonable. In that sense, you are over-reacting. Don’t take it as a personal slight, and consider carefully before tying someone into something you really want to do, because they may just go along with your plans to keep you happy.

love0c Tue 08-Jun-21 20:22:38

I understand perfectly. Yes, I would have been upset as well. It seems to me so many people are selfish. Their upbringing may well play a large part in how they behave. I brought up my children to not make plans unless they intended keeping them. sometimes things come up but your friend should have checked before booking camping trips or at least have spoken to you. It is done now and all sounds well so enjoy it and next time you want to book something say along the lines of ' I hope you are not going to dump me if something better comes along', and then laugh. You will have made your point.

maydonoz Tue 08-Jun-21 19:59:12

Rowntree, I understand how you feel, I think I would also feel hurt in a similar situation. It seems as if your friend was being rather dismissive of the plan you had made, and quite happy to forego it for something better on offer.
I would not be keen to include her in any other similar trip as she seems to be unreliable.
On the other hand, you have known her for some time and been through a lot together, so with time you may wish to overlook this misdemeanor and accept your friend how she is. After all none of us are perfect.