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I'm not sure how much more I can take

(127 Posts)
glenda Wed 20-Sep-17 15:51:52

I have a very dear friend who I've known for over 40 years. She calls round about once a month (and vice versa) for a coffee and chat - or we'll sometimes go out for lunch. It's always been a lovely ritual, but just lately she'll come round and spend the entire time talking about herself, so much so that I barely get a word in edgeways! I know she means well and she probably doesn't notice she's doing it, but once she leaves I end up feeling quite down. Has anyone else been in a similar situation?

Nonnie Wed 20-Sep-17 16:38:00

Yes, I have friends like that. Another friends thinks it is what old people do.

M0nica Wed 20-Sep-17 16:49:20

I have had a similar problem with a friend dating back to my school days. I suspect that it is a combination of living alone and old age. She is not lonely and has a wide social circle, but other friends have commented on the same problem with her.

DD, mid 40s, living alone and working from home, again with a lot of friends has begun to do it. With her, I can at least comment on it!

suzied Wed 20-Sep-17 17:34:27

I know some elderly people can be like this. My MIL is a good example, every "conversation" reverts to her experiences in WW2 and later, and she is never interested anything anyone else in the family is doing unless it relates to her e.g. "DS is getting married" - "well, when I got married.". I just avoid getting into a conversation with her. However, Ive also got a friend who just talks about her son, her son's job, her new kitchen, her thoughts about the election etc etc. I cope with this by making sure we go somewhere nice for lunch so at least we can talk about the food, when I can get a word in edgeways. I also usually try to include another mutual friend, so at least we can laugh about it between us!

judypark Wed 20-Sep-17 18:06:05

I have come across this with my late Dad's neighbour of 50 years, when Dad died I went round to tell her the news, her first reaction. " I can't possibly come to the funeral, I'm not well". She was actually as fit as a flea. There was no commisserations or mention of my Dad, it was just all about her.
Her daughter was with her at the time and looked shocked and so embarrassed at her Mums reaction.

grannysue05 Wed 20-Sep-17 18:20:35

My dearest friend is getting that way too.
She has always been chatty and interested in everything but lately that has changed.
She recently developed a hip problem, and that has changed everything for her.
Now she feels life is changing for her, and that she is 'nearing the end' .
She now talks constantly about her ailments or herself. She was never like that.
It is so sad. And I feel for her..

KatyK Wed 20-Sep-17 18:33:31

My next door neighbour is terrible for this. Each time she comes in, my husband suddenly finds a job to do in another room and leaves her to me. I swear I could drop dead and she would carry on talking about herself. She rarely asks how we are and just talks about the people in her life (most of the time I have no idea who she is talking about). If I try to tell her something about what we have going on she replies 'sorry I haven't got my hearing aids in, I can't hear you'. However, she is 89, on her own and was always good to my granddaughter when she was young, buying presents and giving her money etc. So I put up with her.

Christinefrance Wed 20-Sep-17 18:40:24

Yes I have friends like that too, I know every single detail of their family and associated problems. I doubt if they even know the names of my children. I grin and bear it as they have health issues but one day I'm sure I will say something.

lemongrove Wed 20-Sep-17 18:43:00


I think we may all know somebody a bit like your friend glenda a sort of negative force that sucks you dry and spits you out.

phoenix Wed 20-Sep-17 20:58:40

I've been thinking about this, and think it may not necessarily be down to bad manners, or other things that have been mentioned, it could just be that (like many people) she is crapnot very good at time management.

Some people will be ready to go out, then think "Oh, I've just got time to bung this load of washing in the machine" or perhaps decide they just have time to do/phone x or y

Of course I could just be being kind? blushconfused

phoenix Wed 20-Sep-17 21:02:35

Oh bugger, just realised I've posted on the wrong thread!

As you were ladies.......blush

mumofmadboys Wed 20-Sep-17 22:13:49

I have a friend like this too. I hear all her family's news barely getting a word in edgeways. I sometimes say at the end of the conversation'It's been good to share our news' knowing full well I have shared nothing!

Charleygirl Wed 20-Sep-17 22:15:26

I have a friend who used to ring me infrequently. It was free for an hour so for 57 minutes I had to listen to what was happening in her life and within the last 3 minutes she would ask me how I was and as I opened my mouth to reply she would tell me that her time was up!

I have another friend who I have known since we were 11 years old and she keeps harping back to when we were working- we retired over 15 years ago so I am sure that things have changed but she knew that X, Y and Z would happen. I get this almost weekly when we ring each other- I find it very wearing.

A few years ago she classed me as being hypochondriac because I needed a knee replacement so I have not told her that next month I hope to be going on the list for my other knee to be done.

SueDonim Wed 20-Sep-17 23:44:14

Goodness, the OP could be talking about my almost 90yo mum. I hadn't realised it was quite a common thing.

My mum has no dementia issues at all but she is quite immobile due to arthritis. I've put the self-centred talk down to her not being able to get out much and therefore her world becoming very small and concentrated on her own life. It's quite sad, to be truthful. sad

cornishclio Wed 20-Sep-17 23:49:23

Yes I know a few people like that. It is not entirely age related I don't think. Some people are just completely self absorbed.

downtoearth Thu 21-Sep-17 08:08:34

I too have 2 friends like this I am exhausted after their visits...and just feel talked atsad

MissAdventure Thu 21-Sep-17 09:16:13

I have a neighbour who does this. She has had a lot of health problems and is quite isolated, I think, but it has a huge impact on my wellbeing sometimes. She will tell me, blow by blow, about her day
"So, I picked the children up, walked home, asked them to use the toilet and wash their hands."
"Then I cooked dinner, well, so and so ate half of theirs, and so and so ate almost all of it"
"Then they played, so and so played with the tea set..." I could scream sometimes!

downtoearth Thu 21-Sep-17 09:30:18

* MissA* feel your pain my forthcoming weekend will be consisting of this and each time I begin to dread the visit as she will be here for two days, we no longer have much in common apart from a 35 year friendship and a lot shared happier times, maybe the fault is mine as her life now revolves around holidays and grandchildren and her work,I will try my very hardest to pay attention and keep up,but our lifestyles and experiences are so very different these days and I am saddened that I feel this way,maybe I am the boring one and she feels the need to fill in the minutae to fill the time..or we have just grown very much aparthmm

MissAdventure Thu 21-Sep-17 09:37:12

My neighbour will knock on her window if she sees me about to sneak into my flat. She pops in as soon as I open my back door, and phones me if I'm out. I'm always quite touched that she worries about me, I suppose. Then, the minute she sees me it starts
"So, I walked round to the shop. Put my coat on first, and my shoes, and went to pick the children up"
"When we got in, I made them a drink: so and so had orange, but so and so wanted tea, so I made them tea..."

MissAdventure Thu 21-Sep-17 09:43:45

My thoughts will be with you, downtoearth wink

GracesGranMK2 Thu 21-Sep-17 09:58:35

I wonder if a lot of the people who 'only talk about themselves' are on their own or lonely in a relationship. Perhaps they have very little else to discuss if not a lot is going on in their lives and telling those of you who have to put up with this just affirms that life is real and not just the ticking of the clock and the passing of the days.

MissAdventure Thu 21-Sep-17 10:07:21

I'm sure that is the case with my neighbour, so I try to be understanding. Plus, she has been a good friend over the years. Its very wearing though.

glenda Thu 21-Sep-17 10:10:07

Thank you all very much for your responses so far. Very reassuring to know that I'm not the only one with a friend/family member like this.

glammanana Thu 21-Sep-17 10:24:41

My downstairs neighbour would listen for me going into our flat after I arrived home from work and before I had chance to get changed she would be at my front door and the start of her conversation was "I'll only keep you for a minute" with her being on her own all day I never had the courage to tell her I was busy and you could gaurentee that she was still there after an hour it was only when I was starting to plate up our evening meal that she took the hint in the end I had to creep up the stairs and open the door as quietly as I could to avoid her,I can tell you every medical problem this lady had had during her lifetime and every problem she had with her family who never visited her for some reason,she is one of the people I don't miss now we have moved into our bungalow.

loopyloo Thu 21-Sep-17 10:35:03

Interesting reminder that conversations are give and take. Had an elderly aunt a retired school teacher, used to drive my mother mad pontificating about current affairs on a Sunday when she came for dinner.
This is something I must watch.
Yes elderly people do tend to do it. Good old gransnet, I can bore you people instead.