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Time to toughen up?

(61 Posts)
sunseeker Wed 27-Apr-16 10:16:50

I have always been a fairly easy going person (some would say a doormat!) ready to drop my own plans if someone needs a hand. Yesterday a "friend" telephoned she wanted to meet up, had a problem and needed to talk, so I immediately changed my plans for the day, took a 35 minute drive to where she wanted to meet, which is a 10 minute drive from where she lives. I waited and waited and waited, tried ringing her but no answer. Finally received a text - she had sorted out the problem, everything now OK and she was off to do some shopping! I have been fuming about this all night and have been remembering all the times I have put myself out for others only to be taken for granted and ignored until the next time they need help. Why can't I just tell these people to get lost? Do I need to become a bit of a bitch? Sorry for the rant but it has really upset me to realise what a chump I have been all these years.

Marelli Wed 27-Apr-16 10:21:04

Stay as you are, sunseeker. You sound like a really lovely friend. Perhaps give that particular pal a piece of your mind next time you see her, though. hmm

obieone Wed 27-Apr-16 10:25:34

Oh dear. Oh heck. How rude of her.

I had to stand up to my own family at the weekend. I do think that we all need to stand up from time to time in order to sort things out.
In my own case, I had been generous with them, and thought my generosity was being taken for granted. Turned out there were some misunderstandings all round.

Personally I would say something to her. You might find out if she is a true friend or not.

harrigran Wed 27-Apr-16 10:30:20

sunseeker, she was totally out of order. Next time she has a problem remind her that she treated you without consideration and you are not prepared to drop everything for her. Perhaps she will get the message, I suspect not.

annodomini Wed 27-Apr-16 10:41:03

sunseeker, you are clearly a nice person and a good friend. I'm sure you have plenty of other friends and you could well do without that one. She's not a friend if she behaves like this.

sunseeker Wed 27-Apr-16 10:48:22

My problem is she is not the only one who seems to think I am a mug. A few months ago I was contacted by someone who suddenly stopped speaking to me without explanation 6 years ago. She said she was in a lot of debt, not unusual for her, and was selling her flat in order to pay it off and didn't know where she was going to live. She then went on to say how lucky I was to live in such a nice house without any debt. I talked about it to my sister in law who very firmly told me not to offer to take her in. I emailed her back saying I was sorry to hear of her problems but that I was sure one of her daughters would take her in. I haven't heard from her since! I have spent most of the night thinking of all the times I have put myself out for people who were not there for me when I needed help. I think I give off a vibe which shouts "walk all over me - I'm a wimp"!

gillybob Wed 27-Apr-16 10:56:16

Oh sunseeker I sooooooo know how you feel. I often feel like I have MUG printed on my forehead.

Your (so called) "friend" must have been thinking "now which idiot mug can I use to offload my problems onto" and then when her problem was sorted the same (so called) friend didn't even afford you the courtesy of letting you know. Disgusting behaviour.

I often tell myself that next time I will just say "NO" and I even rehearse my speech, however when the question (or demand) is put to me my resolve goes straight out of the window and I hear "YES" and a sigh coming out of my mouth. confused

harrysgran Wed 27-Apr-16 11:05:53

You sound like a lovely friend but don't be a martyr you deserve better I would make it clear how she has annoyed you.

Indinana Wed 27-Apr-16 11:14:09

No you are most definitely not a wimp sunseeker. You are a very kind and generous-hearted person and I'm sure there are people among your circle of friends who are well aware of your worth and wouldn't dream of taking you for granted. The others, well just offload them, they're just users. We've all met people like this. I think you seem to be wising up to them now! The thing to do is always give yourself a little time before jumping in and agreeing to whatever demands are made of you. Time to think things over and decide whether this is a genuine friend or a user.
And next time someone needs to see you to help out with their problem, suggest a venue round the corner from where you live! flowers

NanaandGrampy Wed 27-Apr-16 11:24:12

We all feel like this sometimes * sunseeker* but have you told that 'friend @ ( who was , in my opinion RUDE) how you felt ?

Some people just need to understand that every action has a reaction. You came willingly to her aid and the very least she could have done is let you know when your help was no longer needed.

I'd say this is a bit like the boy who cried wolf - next time you wont be so quick to change your plans. If she takes offence then she wasn't much of a friend to start with .

Gaggi3 Wed 27-Apr-16 11:44:00

She's not on GNet is she? Probably wouldn't recognise herself.

libertylola Wed 27-Apr-16 11:44:45

Think many of us have experienced something similar at some point I know I have, however I have to say the world is much richer for people such as yourself so don't change your nature, these thoughtless people must upset others in their circle and will hopefully eventually learn a lesson in life, just don't drop everything for someone you don't think really appreciates you - they will just turn to some other person if you say no.

EmilyHarburn Wed 27-Apr-16 11:47:53

Sunseeker you are a very kind person. However you will need to be quite firm on your boundaries else you will attract 'friends' who will take advantage of your kindness.

You were right not to let your 'friend' come to live with you when she was in debt. To have paid of your mortgage etc. you have made sure that was your priority and gone without day to day luxuries or impulse spending.

As we grow older we need to be wise and help others who also help themselves and not subsidize people who have failed to gain some suitable self control.

Next time don't change your day to talk about a problem. Fix a time later in the day to ring the person. You can say how sorry you are, you'll think abaout the problem and then would like to get back to her later to talk about it when you have some better idea of what might help.

I am sure you will have lots of good friends all your life as you are so kind and thoughtful.

grannyactivist Wed 27-Apr-16 11:58:49

I was recently 'stood up' by someone I had arranged to give free lessons too. After waiting for a reasonable amount of time I called and got the response that actually that day was no longer convenient for the person. I really let rip, with my parting shot being that although my time is given for free it is not cheap. Lessons were learned and this particular person now makes sure that attendance is punctual and lessons are never missed without good reason and a phone call.

sunseeker In your shoes I would send a card pretty much outlining the trouble you went to (as detailed above) and saying that in the future you will be happy to meet with her again, but at a place and time more convenient for you. If she's simply thoughtless you should get a resounding apology in response - and if she takes umbrage then you know the 'friendship' has no depth and can be sidelined.

GrandMareS Wed 27-Apr-16 12:07:37

How is it that the ones who put themselves out for others are left feeling guilty when said "friends" dump us without reason? Common sense tells us it's their problem but one still feels hurt and asks "what did I do?"even after many years

Bellanonna Wed 27-Apr-16 12:08:30

That made me SO angry Sunseeker. I think she would be my ex friend by now. Do you get anything out of the relationship? It might be worth just quietly dropping her. As someone said, in future don't be too quick to agree to things. If it feels awkward just say " let me think about this ". You won't change your nature because you are an innately nice person, and many of us would probably change our plans to meet a fried with problems. What she did to you, however, was crass, rude, uncaring and unforgivable. How dare she? Sorry it left you angry all night and I think you probably should let her know how disappointed you were in her treatment of you. As well as letting her go !

LouiseMLP Wed 27-Apr-16 12:18:39

Hi Sunseeker I'm not surprised you are annoyed by this behaviour. I think that if you do want this person in your life you need to tell them how their behaviour made you feel. If they understand why you are annoyed and/or offer an apology that you are happy to accept then you remain connected. If they don't then you know they were not a real friend and you are better off without them. As for any other people who are inclined to take advantage of your kind nature - set some boundaries as people have suggested above.
If you need more new friends in your life then going forward decide what your boundaries are going to be and then go out and make some new acquaintances. Only turn those ones that meet you half way into friends - i.e they take up their equal share of running the relationship rather than you making most of the running. That way you will avoid most of the "leeches" that are generally attracted to life's helpful people.

tigger Wed 27-Apr-16 12:24:44

But eventually "enough is enough".

wot Wed 27-Apr-16 12:37:44

Sunseeker, what a selfish cow! My friend used to be like that but fortunately changed her ways after I acted 'frostily' with her.

Anya Wed 27-Apr-16 12:42:41

Dump her, no-one needs 'friends' like that.

janeainsworth Wed 27-Apr-16 12:45:28

This is a reverse do unto others as you would be done by situation. Sunseeker next time you think someone is taking advantage of you, ask yourself the question 'would I behave towards this person as they are behaving towards me?'
If the answer is 'no' ask yourself the further question 'would any reasonable person behave towards me as this person is behaving?'
If the answer is still 'no', you must give yourself permission to say 'no' right back at them, or if the deed has already been done, as in your OP, permission to let them know by any appropriate means how their action/inaction has made you feel, and whether or not they can still consider you their friend.
Remember you don't have to keep people on your friend list for an unlimited time and without conditions smile

wot Wed 27-Apr-16 13:00:15

Very good advice! I think I'll be tAking some of this on-board, as they say.😄

Witzend Wed 27-Apr-16 13:01:56

Well, I think I'd cross that particular 'friend' off my Christmas card list!

There are certain people I'd always put myself out for, because I know they'd do the same for me in similar circs. However, as I've got older I've come to realise the type who will always take advantage, but will not put themselves out for anyone else. I might help out once, but once the warning light comes on, that's it.

Daughter has a friend like this and it has taken her many years to realise that it's been a constant one way street - the girl (or woman now) seems quite incapable of considering anyone but herself.

I'm afraid it's all too true that if you turn yourself into a doormat, people will wipe their feet on you.

Antjexix Wed 27-Apr-16 13:02:11

I have always been very "soft" and have let people walk all over me until I realised how unhappy and dissapointing I was with people taking advantage. I now choose my friends and good deeds very carefully and if someone upsets me I usually let them know. I'm a lot happier for it.

Iam64 Wed 27-Apr-16 13:32:54

Don't see it as toughening up sun seeker, if you see that as a negative thing. Think about working on your 'boundaries' - that is look after yourself and stop, think before agreeing to any requests for urgent help. I bet you'd never make that kind of demand so don't compromise yourself out of existence. Hard lesson but one many of us have to learn, and continue to learn x