Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Need advice about friendship?

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This topic contains 101 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by avatar Lauren85 2 months ago.

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  • #726442 Reply

    Hah va-in-ny I didnt refresh before posting my reply, ditto on love languages!

    #726443 Reply

    LW —
    I won’t conclude one way or the other if this Facebook post was general or specifically aimed at your friend, but… if this is how you feel about how you are treated by family and other friends and this was a general comment on all of that as you say, then that is a really big piile of evidence that the problem is inside YOU. YOU are way too needy and insecure and can’t be content with friends and family liking you and treating you well if they fail to voice love for you in the way you prefer.

    While I would have responded to you as a female friend telling me she loved me as a friend by saying something like ‘I also really value you as a friend and enjoy being part of your life’, I wouldn’t use the word ‘love’ in that response. It seems a little creepy and crossing of boundaries for two platonic friends who are both in relationships with other people.

    Posts come in to Wendy from women whose bfs go a year of dating without saying “I love you” and you’re expecting to hear those words from a platonic friend? “Love you like a brother” from someone who isn’t actually your brother doesn’t really compute, because there is a lot more beyond liking in being a brother — it is a blood relationship, it is living together and being raised together, it is an assurance of some sort of life-long relationship. I have had enough platonic friends of both sexes over the past 70 years to realize that they ebb and flow and can go from very close to not close at all based upon circumstance and distance. Siblings really often are a different story. My sister comes to town twice a year from out of state to visit family. After she first moved out of state, there was a list of several friends she visited with at least annually, then there were two, then one, now it’s just family.

    Please don’t demand that your friends say they love you. It will make many uncomfortable. Don’t insist that they declare your friendship on a par with their relation to their family. Many won’t be comfortable with any of this.

    Please take the advice many have given that you seek counseling. You are too needy of expressions of love from friends and you seem totally unaware of how others react to your demands. Your friend posted a very reasonable response to your FB tirade. You should be able to accept it as such. That you so obviously cannot accept it, is a screaming cry for therapy.

    #726449 Reply

    @bittergaymark It was a handful of people that I texted that to.

    @therascal to answer your questions…Do you think they don’t care about you if they don’t say exactly what you want them to say? Honestly, yes I do feel if they don’t state relatively the same thing that I stated to them that I feel like they don’t care about me.
    Why is it important to hear those words? It’s important for me to hear these words because I want to know that I’m loved and cared about as well. Hearing it means a lot to me as well as paying attention to their actions and how they treat me. It feels good to hear at times too. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel good about hearing nice things about them from time to time. I am sure most people like to hear things like that. I tend to hold a higher expectation of those I am close to. If I had said it to someone I care about, but I don’t feel as close to them as I do others I wouldn’t be as hurt by them not reciprocating it. Perhaps, the person here who suggested that I need to adjust my expectations is right, maybe I do. Honestly, it’s just hard to adjust that when I feel close to them. I would expect to be treated or given the same in return.

    Also, I believe in treating others how I would want to be treated. I feel by saying or showing my love to my family and friends they would return that back as well. I’m starting to see now that that belief doesn’t appear to be true that what you give won’t always be given back and that it’s a BS saying. I firmly thought it was true until now. Just because I give or show my love/care to people doesn’t mean they will and yes it hurts, but I guess that is just something I have to learn to accept whether I like it or not.

    @ktfran I don’t think my feelings trump my friends. Of course, I care about his feelings as well since I am here trying to get advice on the matter. If I didn’t care about his feelings I wouldn’t be looking for advice on this situation. I asked him because I was curious to know WHY he didn’t respond to that text and stated that I did not want to fight with him. That’s when he told me, “If you don’t want to fight, then it’s best I don’t answer your question.” Not sure what that meant (not answering my question that is), but then he requested he needed space for a few days. So I accepted that and told him Ok, I will leave you alone then. I haven’t talked to him for two days now and I’m leaving him be as he requested.

    @skyblossom Yes if he would have replied, “love you too my friend” or something along those lines then no I wouldn’t be hurt. I don’t feel as if I’m trying to force him to say those words. I know I can’t make him say those words. I just would like an understanding of why he didn’t. To me, it seems odd that he didn’t when he has in the past, so that is where my trouble lies. Why is it different this time compared to the past? Is what I would like to know. Him not saying it back leads me to believe his feelings have changed for me, so I thought by asking him I could gain some insight to see if what I am thinking is true or not.

    I guess I have this need for love because I felt like I didn’t get much of it from my Mom while I was growing up. Therefore I seek to find it elsewhere (from other family members and friends). My Mom never told me, “I love you” much that I can remember while growing up. She never showed her support or told me she was proud of me for anything that I did (ex: got my driver’s license, graduated high school, etc). I have told my Mother many times how I have felt about her lack of caring/support and all she did was get super defensive about it and didn’t seem to care that I was hurting from her lack of care/support. It’s like talking to a brick wall with her when I go to her about my feelings. I don’t get through to her at all which was frustrating. Eventually, I just gave up and figured she’s going to be the way she is and I can’t change it no matter how many times I tell her my feelings. My Dad, on the other hand, is great. He has always shown/expressed his love, care, and support to me. I learned to be that way from him towards others. I will say thank God for my Dad because I really don’t know where I would be without him. Nowadays though when I come to him about issues such as this one it seems he gets frustrated with me and I feel he doesn’t show the same love and all as he used to, so it hurts as well that when I try to go to him for help, he doesn’t seem as receptive as he used to be. Therefore I turn to my friends to look for that.

    @ Va-in-ny I heard of that book before, but I haven’t read it yet. I’m thinking about doing so though it does sound like an interesting read and one I may benefit from. I will see if my local library has it. I do understand people express and show their love and care differently. I just got hung up on this time with my friend that he didn’t when before he has. I know he can be capable of expressing himself in words he has done it before. He is Autistic so I do realize he may have trouble expressing how he feels or how to word things at times but he has in the past, which is why I am confused on his lack of it this time.

    @spaceysteph I do remember him telling me a long time ago that he has trouble sometimes with expressing himself with words due to his Autism and he believes actions do speak louder than words. You are right maybe he is more of a shower than a teller. And yes, he has shown me that he is a good friend and does care. He has done a lot of nice things for me in fact. I do value our friendship a lot. I know deep down inside he does care about me, but it’s also important for me to hear that as well like you mentioned. It feels good to hear those things. I’m both I like to do things to show my love/care for people and I also like to express it verbally to them since I feel it’s important for them to hear that. Good point maybe with him I should show my love/care towards him with action rather than words since that is how he is.

    Ugh, I will admit it sucks being this way. Emotional and sensitive to EVERYTHING! I feel things so deeply and I hate that in all honesty. At times I wish I was more cold-hearted (cared less) because then I wouldn’t feel this way as much.

    #726485 Reply

    I think I speak for everyone whom has taken the time to give you advice when I say for the last time, GO GET THERAPY! You’re making everyone you know & interact with be on high alert to your needs, because of your childhood problems. This is too intense & is pushing people away. It’s understandable that there are issues, but as an adult you’ve got to get help with issues so they don’t haunt you and others close to you.

    #726490 Reply

    You need to seek therapy. Your emotional neediness seems to show that you are stuck in a very young emotional age. Emotionally you are like a young child. A therapist could help you work out the reasons for that and then grow into an emotional adult.

    Meeting your emotional needs will be exhausting for your friends and sooner or later they will find it to be too much and they will limit or cut contact. Your dad is showing signs of reaching that point although he will probably not shut you out. You can’t expect your dad or anyone else to solve your emotional problems. You need to find someone to help you do that for yourself.

    As your friends end up married and with families they won’t have the time that you demand for all of your emotional needs. You have to learn to do this for yourself.

    Don’t take your anger and disappointment about your mom and direct it at your friends. They shouldn’t have to go to extremes with you to prove that they aren’t your mom. You are using your friends like emotional band-aids instead of getting to the root of your issues. You are trying to self medicate your issues with forced statements from your friends. You need to let your friends be friends, not emotional band-aids.

    Do your friends ever say I love you without a prompt from you?

    #726491 Reply

    Sigh….Lauren, you’re really starting to remind me of a relative of mine. She, too, always felt that no one cared enough about her. It became a lifetime-long cascade of hurt feelings, that turned into resentment, that turned into anger. Now she’s a bitter, angry, lonely woman in her 60s who has driven away friends, family and a husband. Every person she turns off with her anger and bitterness is just more proof that no one loves her, and everyone has wronged her.

    And the thing is, people DID love her. They DID care. They showed it all the time, in part because they genuinely loved her, and in part because she was so needy. Everyone in the family bent to her will, from the time she was a child. Her many, many friends went out of their way to help her, and show her they cared. And it was never, ever, enough for her. People would treat her with kindness, and she would lash out because they should have done more. And slowly, over the years, people started to back away.

    This dynamic is already happening with your father. He’s exhausted. Your constant neediness is exhausting. You’re not hearing anything any of us are saying, just cycling back again and again to how your friend has hurt you by not caring enough. It’s all about you, and your needs.

    Yes, it’s sad that your mommy didn’t say I love you. But you know what? That’s a pretty minor problem compared to being autistic, like your friend is. Some people are beaten or abused by their parents. Some people lose their parents to an auto accident when they’re children. Everybody’s got problems. Yours do not make you unique, and they’re not an excuse to be hauled out every time you feel like you weren’t treated specially enough by someone.

    I know you’re not going to hear any of this either. You’re probably going to react like my relative did, anytime anyone tried to make her see what she was doing to herself, and gasp at how mean I am, and how no one understands you.

    You have an opportunity to get help and change your life. You could print out your posts in this thread and take it to a therapist and ask for help in changing the way you see yourself and others. I hope you do.

    #726495 Reply
    Northern Star

    You are almost guaranteed to lose friends if you continue to act this way. You need people to constantly pay attention to your feelings AND do things they wouldn’t normally do.

    From another person’s perspective: It is easier just to drift away from you and hang out with other friends who don’t require reassurance all the time.

    #726496 Reply
    Northern Star

    “At times I wish I was more cold-hearted (cared less) because then I wouldn’t feel this way as much.”

    That’s not how it works. Your friend isn’t “cold-hearted” because he sees the world differently and doesn’t respond exactly the way you want him to.

    You are very self-centered.

    #726500 Reply

    I’m seriously exhausted just from reading the update…therapy please! Not to deminish your feelings but you’re in your 30s holding onto hurt feelings from high school – that is never healthy! It sounds like you expected a parade for normal teenage milestones (I don’t think my parents celebrated either a drivers license or graduating high school – those were expected items to be completed in our household). Your mom might have grown up in a household were feelings were never shared and frowned upon – what you’re demanding from her just might be out of her emotional ability.

    I’m a year older than you and while I’ve very close with my parents I don’t constantly lean on them for emotional support bc I’m able to do that on my own (years of therapy helped and medication as I grew up with an undiagnosed disorder). And that’s the joy of growing up, you accept them for who they are and trust that they did their best with the resources that they had to raise you -everything else is water under the bridge. And you might indeed have an anxiety disorder – which when properly treated will make your life a million times more enjoyable and manageable.

    #726501 Reply

    “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel good about hearing nice things about them from time to time. I am sure most people like to hear things like that. I tend to hold a higher expectation of those I am close to.”

    The trouble with this is that it is only meaningful if it comes from them unprompted. When you prompt them to say it then it becomes them saying it because you are insisting that they say it and they know you will hound them (passive/aggressive remarks on Facebook) if they don’t say what you want to hear. So they repeat back to you what you said to them because it is the easiest way to deal with the situation. Sooner or later they will begin to limit the amount of time they spend around you and will become more and more distant.

    If you stop doing this you will get real comments with real value. It will take a while because they are used to you prompting them with the exact words that you must hear. Honest compliments come unprompted. Honest compliments and honest words of affection are much more valuable than the ones you’ve been receiving. I think you know that already at some level which is why you have to keep doing this kind of thing because you know it isn’t real and so you repeat because you are trying to make it real. Let people speak when they mean it instead of pushing so much.

    #726502 Reply

    This whole situation is so strange and needy. I don’t know any of my friends or acquaintances who tell their friends that they love them. It may be a regional thing, but that just doesn’t happen around here and someone who did so and demanded reciprocation would be viewed as beyond odd. What makes LW double odd is that she states that friend in question behaves as a very good friend to her and that she knows that he is autistic. Most of the autistic people I know can’t even tell their parents and SOs that they love them. Expecting an autistic friend to say he loves his opposite-sex friend is surpassingly bizarre.

    #726503 Reply
    Ruby Thursday

    Of course you would not have been hurt if your friend replied that he loves you too. You are deliberately orcastrating situations where people feel forced to affirm their feelings for you because YOU need to know that people love you. This behavior would not be healthy in most romantic relationships, but your compulsion to force your friends into that situation is the reason your friend told you to back the hell off. Friends of any sex are not obligated to verbally express that they love you. Maybe they do love you. Maybe they don’t. I have many friends who I love dearly (including my best friend who I call Brother, he calls me Sis). I also have many friends whom I have sincere affection for, but I would never tell them that I love them.

    Even when I do tell my friends, including my Brother, that I love them, I use those words because I want them to know that I care about THEM. I don’t care if they response at all, and if they do, my only expectation is that they respond respectfully. People with austism may process emotions extremely differently than someone like you with extremely high emotional needs. I am not sure how you could call this man your brother, yet you can not comprehend that he may not be able to express himself in the exact same way that you demand.

    I am also 32, I call my best friend my Brother, and I frequently tell my friends that I love them. I never expect a response, I certainly do not send demands, and I keep my complaints about my friends off the internet where everyone can see them. Stop trying to defend your actions on an Internet forum and get some serious help before you push everyone away.

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