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Been Having Trouble With A Friend, Not Sure If My Feelings Are Valid

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  • This topic has 6 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by avatarFyodor.
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  • #873347 Reply
    avatarMillie
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    This is a really long story but I think all of the details are necessary to get the whole picture. I’m a recent graduate and I moved into a new place with my two senior year roommates after graduation. One roommate, we’ll call them Alex, and I started working full time. The other one, who we’ll call Charlie, is still in school. All three of us are in a group of seven or so really close knit friends (also from uni) and at this point we had a group chat where we talked to each other pretty much every day. Typical friend stuff like things that happen throughout the day, venting about stuff, and our common interests.
    Anyway, Alex and I start working and everything is fine for awhile. We work pretty close to each other so we met up for lunch when we could and everything was swell. A few months after starting our jobs, one of Alex’s grandparents starts to get really sick and ends up dying. I gave them my condolences and told them I was there for them if they needed me, but otherwise let them grieve because I figured they needed space and if they needed someone to talk to they would reach out since I told them I’d be there for them. So we’re still living/working together except they’re a lot more distant and every time I try to make conversation with them I either get short answers or flat out ignored. I figure that they just want time to themselves so I don’t have any hard feelings and I try not to hold it against them.
    Except this goes on for like three months. It was like a constant cycle of Alex ignoring me for like a week, suddenly being “normal” again for like 2 days and then going back to ignoring me again. Again, I realize they had lost a relative so I was trying to be understanding, but at this point the silence is really getting to me especially with these awkward breaks in between where I think things are fine again for a bit and then it goes back to silence. But I didn’t want to say anything to them because I knew they were still grieving. They also haven’t said anything in our group chat during this time.
    It’s around this time when I see Alex make a post on social media about the issue. They say that they feel like they should apologize for being so rude to everyone around them while they’re grieving, but they end the post by saying that they also don’t feel like they owe anyone an apology for their behavior because of the circumstances (so like a sorry not sorry). They also mention that their current living situation is stressing them out too and says that’s been contributing to their behavior.
    Since I’m one of their roommates I felt responsible for them being upset about their living situation. We’d both been having some issues with our other roommate Charlie mostly in terms or chores. We have a chore chart at home to help keep track of what needs to be done and rotate the tasks so that everyone is contributing an equal amount to shared spaces (Kitchen, bathrooms, living/dining room). Charlie had been struggling with mental health issues for the past few years and recently discovered that they had been misdiagnosed. I only mention this because their psychological disorder made it hard for them to complete tasks given to them and that mixed with trying to find the best medication combination that would help them meant they were struggling to keep up with certain aspects of their life (i.e. chores, schoolwork, etc.).
    A bit of a tangent but I promise it’s important. Anyway, I contact Alex via DMs and tell them I saw their post and ask if there’s anything I can do for them and if there’s something I can change to make their living situation better. They tell me that they meant the post to be an apology to me and that they suddenly realized that they’d been treating me like garbage for the past few months. They also tell me that it is the issues with Charlie that they were talking about and that it isn’t my fault. I tell them I understand that they’ve been doing this because they’re still hurt over their relative’s death and the conversation ends with me asking them to tell me if there’s anything I can do for them.
    Flash forward a few months later and not much has changed. Alex is a little more friendly now but we still don’t talk all that much and there are still a lot of days where they’re just really cold to me. Around this time they also reconnect with another group of friends they met at our uni. I’ll admit I start to get a little jealous because I’m mutuals with a lot of this other group on social media so I’ll see Alex talking to them on there all the time and referencing the fact that they’re all part of a group chat that Alex participates in regularly (at this point they haven’t said anything in our shared group chat in months). And it irks me because they seem to be able to talk to other people normally now while my friends and I are getting the cold shoulder still. But I do some thinking on it and start to wonder if maybe I did something to upset them and that’s why they’re still being so cold to me. So I message them about it (they were away for the weekend so I couldn’t do it in person plus I’m bad at confrontation so messaging is easier for me) and ask if I did something to upset them because I felt that they were being cold to me.
    They confess that they’ve been actively trying to avoid everyone from our friend group because they have issues with Charlie and one other friend. They say they’re not mad at me, but that they just don’t want to talk to anyone in person still and that they didn’t think it would hurt me because they were avoiding everyone from the friend group. They apologized but also said I needed to be more understanding of the fact that they just don’t want to talk to anyone right now. I was a little dissatisfied with this because they were also ignoring me in the online setting too while I saw them being friendly with others online like I mentioned before.
    Things get a lot better after that and they even join our group chat again! For the next few months things are pretty okay. I still get some of my DMs ignored at times but I chalk it up to just not seeing the messages or something like that. I do start to feel a little weird tho because they’re still avoiding group hangouts, like they either always have a convenient excuse not to hang out with us or just don’t acknowledge our hangout plans at all. Meanwhile they’re constantly hanging out with that other group of friends they reconnected with. I chalk it up to their issues with Charlie and try not to think about it too much, but it still kind of stings.
    About a month ago they suddenly stopped talking in our group chat all together. This is where things get kind of wild and messy. We’re on vacation for two weeks for the holidays and I try to message them a few times about regular friend stuff via DMs. I’d update them on a situation I had told them about before or tell them about something that happened but usually I wouldn’t get a response until the topic had to do with them. So I was feeling kind of bad because it seems like I try to put so much effort into this friendship. Like I’m always the one initiating conversations, asking them how things have been, if they’re okay when I notice something is off. But I don’t get the same effort back anymore. I definitely have other friends that I’m not as close with who I’m okay with talking to every few months or so or just whenever we see each other. So I’m not trying to say that type of friendship isn’t valid but it wasn’t the type we had before and it’s not the type I’d like to have with someone I live with. But I’m bad at confrontation and I didn’t really want to rock the boat anymore.
    So Alex doesn’t talk to our group chat for like a month. And one day I notice that they replied to a message in our chat and then immediately deleted it. I was really concerned so I pop into DMs again, tell them what I saw and ask if everything is okay. They immediately say that they feel like they’re toxic to our friend group. I try to ask why and don’t really get much of a concrete answer, but we talk for a bit and they seem to want to try to join our group chat again.
    But here is where I start to wonder if I’m in the wrong. This conversation is taking place over Alex’s birthday weekend. I know it probably wasn’t the best time to start this conversation, but that’s when I noticed that they were messaging the group chat then deleting their messages. I had also learned a few days prior to this conversation that Charlie would be moving out when our lease is up (at this point less than 3 months away). Charlie confided in me that they were having even worse issues with Alex than I was and that because of that they would not be resigning our lease. So because I didn’t want to keep this from Alex any longer and because we were already talking about heavy stuff I mentioned this to them. They said that they understood and asked where I stood on the issue. They also said that they understood if I didn’t want to live with them anymore because of all the stuff that had happened between us. I said that I wasn’t sure what I wanted yet because both them and Charlie are my friends, but the past years events had me really stressed out. I spent the majority of the year thinking I was doing something wrong because of how Alex had been treating me. Not to mention Alex and Charlie were not subtle about the fact that they weren’t getting along and I felt like I was in the middle of their fight. With all of that combined my mental health had deteriorated a lot over the past year to the point where I was crying myself to sleep fairly often and starting to have really depressive thoughts (like “I don’t matter”, “I’m just trouble for everyone” type of thing). So I told Alex this (that I was on the fence and why) and it was like a switch had flipped. They immediately said “well what about my mental health” we got into a big argument where I was trying to tell them that I feel like I’m supporting our friendship on my own. I was trying to tell them that compared to a year ago when we were a super close group I felt like we hardly ever talked anymore and that I was struggling on my own to try and keep our friendship afloat. They said that they didn’t understand what issue I was having and told me that all the problems I was seeing weren’t as big as I made them out to be. They said again that they don’t talk to us us anymore because we don’t share as many common interests. I don’t really see how not having as many common interests anymore means you need to stop talking to your friends because we always used to just talk about our days and things that happened anyway. Alex also said that I shouldn’t feel stressed about their conflict with Charlie because it “wasn’t affecting me”. I just wanted to get out of the situation at that point so I settled for our compromise which was Alex saying “So you need to regularly talk to your friends to make sure nothing is wrong? I don’t think that’s necessary, but since it seems to be important to you I’ll try to talk to you from now on” I didn’t mention that I know they talk to their new group of friends about “regular friend things” even though they can’t seem to be able to do the same for me or the rest of our friend group because I thought I was just being petty.
    Long story short they messaged the group chat to ask if anyone else had a problem with them and most everyone else said something similar to me, that they feel like Alex just doesn’t want to talk to them anymore. Charlie didn’t say anything at that time but told me in person that they weren’t interested in fixing things with Alex because there was so much bad blood between them now. You would think the issue would be resolved here, but the day after we seemingly sorted things out in the group chat, Alex messaged us all one last time to say that they were really upset that we argued about this on their birthday weekend and they were still mad so they removed themselves from our group chat but said they would still be available via DMs. I apologized for bringing it up around their birthday and I know I’m probs the asshole for that (hence why I apologized), but is Alex right? Am I blowing this out of proportion or are my feelings actually valid?

    #873356 Reply
    avatarFYI
    Guest

    Did you ever think that Alex just might be an asshole? Listen, it’s gonna really really really simplify things in your life if you can just go ahead and admit that someone is an asshole. There are loads of them around, so you will cross paths with one, and if you twist yourself into knots to normalize their behavior, then… well, then you’re gonna have a situation like the one you have. Where you’ve spent years adjusting to someone else’s crappy behavior.

    You don’t have to be the asshole whisperer. You don’t have to “understand” or interpret or mind-read when a grown-ass man refuses to use words to communicate. With his so-called friends!

    If someone doesn’t want to be your friend, then don’t be friends with them! Decide that they are really missing out and move on to the many other wonderful people there are to hang with in this world. Don’t spend one more precious second on Alex.

    #873357 Reply
    avatarPDX816
    Guest

    Ok, that is insanely complicated, long and hard to follow. It sounds like a bunch of young women and drama to be honest. Yes, Alex is right, your feelings are valid but you are also blowing this WAY out of proportion. Sometimes friends grow, change and move on. That is just a painful realty of life. You need to relax, if this friendship fades focus on the people you enjoy spending time with. If she becomes and acquaintance more then a friend that is not the end of the world, it probably isn’t about you as much as you think.

    #873358 Reply
    CurlyQueCurlyQue
    Participant

    It’s very obvious Alex was/is trying to fade out of being a main person in your friendship group. I think reaching out the first time like you did was fine, i even think telling him that you felt the friendship was one sided was fine but then you needed to drop it.

    It’s not your or your friends place to coddle Alex and beg him to hang out with you all. Accept that your friendship with Alex is now more of an acquaintance and find a new roommate.

    #873359 Reply
    avatarHelen
    Guest

    Ok that was too much for me to read, but skimming through Alex sounds like an ass & a bad friend. Demote her to roommate/coworker. She’s not your friend. Immediately stop accommodating anyone who says “birthday weekend” You get one day.

    #873362 Reply

    I think they were trying to slow fade away and you are overly attached to them. Not every friend is a forever friend. In fact they are hard to find, and living with them is probably not the best idea. I’m sure you’re young, and the dynamics are new, but yes, Alex sounds like a bit of an asshole.

    I mean, it’s probable that no friend of yours is ever going to tell you they don’t want to be friends anymore, that’s just weird and over dramatic. Friendships fade. It doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong. I feel like you’re really invested in this and it’s alarming that this has really affected your mental health to this point that you’ve been crying yourself to sleep a lot. Do you have the ability to see a therapist? Or even buy an app to talk to someone? Your happiness and wellbeing shouldn’t rely so much on a pretty shitty friend.

    You’ve done nothing wrong. Alex maybe didn’t approach this all in the best way, but that also doesn’t mean that they are wrong or at fault. You’re all just young and doing your thing which will involve making mistakes once in awhile. I’m sure they didn’t set out to hurt you. Grief can really affect people in weird ways.

    Take care of yourself. My best living situations were with people who I wasn’t close friends with, more like friendly acquaintances and then of course, living on my own. It’s nice to have a little buffer and space to relax.

    #873369 Reply
    avatarFyodor
    Guest

    You will not maintain your close friend groups from college indefinitely. People will change and grow and move on to their lives. The people that you were close to in college were largely your good friends because you were in proximity to each other and were going through important changes together. You are now off living different lives.

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