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Dear Wendy

Friendship at breaking point

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  • #850022 Reply

    Hate to say this but this relationship has run its course. It sucks when you only have 1 friend, now you have to join clubs and groups to make new fiends and take up new hobbies to make up for the loss of this friendship. Try and fiend a girlfriend, she will become your new BFF.

    #850023 Reply

    Your friend truly sounds severely depressed. Sadly, when anyone is that depressed it can truly be very hard to be there for other people
    I, too, remain confused that you took such great offense to your friend saying that you invited yourself over. Um… You did. For him to say as much is in no way offensive.
    Many people have trouble properly responding to deaths. Especially young depressed guys like your friend. Was you Birthday weekend truly going to be fun filled to celebrate the day? Or be another sad and gloomy unofficial grief therapy session? I wonder…
    No best friend is a grief counselor. I suggest you find one and make an appointment.

    #850026 Reply

    I think it’s time for you to focus on other friendships in your life. It must suck to feel blown off on your birthday, but if this friend wants to decline to have you over and live like a hermit, that’s his prerogative.

    This letter does come across like you don’t have other friends, and it seems you have frequently expected him to provide you with on-call companionship and comfort on your timeline and schedule without much regard for his. Being a supportive friend during a break-up doesn’t obligate that person to allow you to invite yourself over because you badly need company. You sound resentful of him at this point, so it’s unclear why you keep trying as hard.

    If you don’t feel supported by him during a difficult time or like he’s putting in the same amount of effort to stay close, it’s okay to put less effort in. Put that effort into making new friends, or with friends who reciprocate and make you feel valued.

    I also think the suggestions to join a support group or speak with a grief counselor are a good idea for you. I’m sorry for the loss of your dad, and a group of people who can better relate to what you are going through and/or a trained professional will surely be able to provide you with more comfort and coping tools than a distant friend.

    #850027 Reply

    bittergaymark –

    My friend is not depressed. He just started a new job he really likes, they took him on holiday for free and now he has the entire month of August off as a perk. He has told me many times how happy he currently is. It’s strange you should think he’s depressed. He likes to do nothing but play video games, which he openly calls his ‘hobby’. If he leaves the house to do anything for any other reason, it’s with great resentment because he wants to sit in and play games out of choice. On top of this, he resents most of our mutual friends and didn’t want to move back to our home town as he said he never wanted to see anyone from our school days (all of our mutual friends) ever again, so the chance of getting him out for any normal activities are basically zero. Before his month off he suggested that ‘we’ll have to chill while I’m off’. Considering the fact he doesn’t want to do anything but stay at his flat, to follow him up on that I have no other option than to ask him if I can come up, because he’ll make no effort otherwise. This isn’t because he’s depressed, although I do wonder if he might be on the autistic spectrum, because he’s highly distant and yet he thinks he isn’t.

    I didn’t take much offence to the idea that I’d invited myself over, in hindsight I suppose I did, so I’ll admit that, but I have no other option than to ask if I can come to his if I’m ever going to see him. I took more offence to him mocking me and escalating it the conversation to being about him being angry with my for saying I felt a bit disappointed.

    Again, your third paragraph is strange. He isn’t depressed. Usually when we hang out, we have a good time. Your sentence about it being a ‘therapy’ session, is to be honest, strange. Nothing revolves around my dad’s death, I just wanted some company on my birthday to do normal shit I do with one of my friends.

    In regards to your last sentence, you’re not the first person to suggest to go to a grief counsellor, but you are the first person to suggest it in a semi-insulting way. I don’t need a grief counsellor, I just need a friend to drink a few beers with and play computer games, that’s all I ask for a friend and to be a considerate human being. I firmly believe I’m not out of order in this expectation – thanks for your input though.

    #850028 Reply

    As an aside, if what you really think you need is “a friend to drink beers with and play computer games” you can do that together online and not in person in his home.

    Everyone here has validated your feelings that this friendship is no longer a positive in your life and that you should stop putting so much effort into it. Put your focus into deepening other friendships.

    Again, you don’t get to decide if what he he has planned for his weekend is a good enough reason not to have you over. He’s allowed to say No and not give you any reason at all. You also don’t know the inner workings of his mind/life and can’t say for 100% that he’s not experiencing some depression. People can be depressed even when they have their dream job, so that was a weird argument for you to make.

    Again, there’s nothing wrong with seeing someone regarding your grief. I saw a counselor at my college when my mother was sick and then passed and found it helpful. Grief is really difficult and complex, i’m sorry your friend hasn’t been the support you need but that just means you need to look for it elsewhere, hopefully in more supportive friends and in a counselor.

    #850030 Reply

    Nothing you give as evidence that you’re friend is not depressed is actually really any proof. The truth is, people can keep things private. You can love your job and also suffer from depression. You can be outgoing and be depressed. A lot of depressed people tend to isolate themselves. The truth is, you only know and see what he chooses to share with you.

    It’s funny that you just accept his reasoning and invite yourself over. If he wanted to spend time with you, he’d invite you over or he’d ask to meet up somewhere. He’s showing you and telling you what he wants to do, and it’s not what you want to hear. Arguing with him isn’t going to change anything. Expecting him to do what you want, at his home is a futile endeavor.

    You want someone to talk to, to comfort you and you really should try to find a grief counselor or a group. Your friend isn’t not going to give you the support or companionship you need. You wrote that you haven’t seen him in months. Is he your only friend? He’s not the person to lean on anymore. He doesn’t want to be there for you. His actions, his texts, add them all up and that’s what he’s telling you.

    #850032 Reply

    Honestly, LW… you don’t sound very considerate yourself. You don’t seem to take no for an answer very well when your friend says you cannot come to his place. He’s allowed to say no to plans to stay home by himself. He’s allowed to say he doesn’t want two people over at once. And the comments you’ve made about depression are very odd and a bit dismissive. Like everyone else is saying, depression is often hidden and afflicts even the people who seem to have it all by outward appearances.

    He knew how bad I was and that I needed company – one of our good friends was going up to stay at his flat, so I asked if I could come too. He said no because he didn’t want two people staying at his flat, I told him I needed some company but he didn’t care, he was ‘nice’ about it, but no, I couldn’t come up despite badly needing company. Despite it being only weeks after I helped him through his breakup.

    ^^^I realize this situation had nothing to do with your dad, but comments like this one give the impression that you depend on this friend too much for your emotional needs. If I had a friend who acted like this — as if I owed them on-demand attention — I’d probably fade them out. Which, btw, I did wonder if your friend is doing that by never instigating or making an effort.

    #850034 Reply

    I understand that depression can manifest in different ways, but unless he’s been chronically depressed since the first day I’ve known him (11 years of age) and then for some reason told me he’s depressed when he is depressed and happy at other times for some arbitrary reason, I very much doubt you have some deeper insight into the guy’s behaviour than I do. He has always been the same, preferring to stay in playing games than do anything social. That is his personality.

    All this talk of ‘inviting myself over’, he literally said ‘we will have to chill while I’m off work’. He suggested it. He never leaves his place, I don’t see him unless I go to his place under any circumstance. It seems like half of the people here get that he isn’t putting any effort in.

    As I’ve thought about this, I’ve realised how literally all my friends think and have always thought that he was a strange person. ‘Socially inept’ is a term that’s been said more than once because of the way he behaves towards people. He’s rubbed several of my family members up the wrong way with the way he talks to people, he offended many of the people at his old workplace to the point where he was disciplined for it. He never accepts he’s in the wrong for anything, it’s always everyone else.

    I can accept that I am not perfect, I don’t always act in a perfect way, but I try to be a decent person to my friends. To say I expect him to drop what he’s doing isn’t fair, this has happened twice in the space of about 3-4 years, which is extremely minor in my part, but a consistent pattern emerges that the guy is in his own world. As I said, once I was having mental health crisis, the other was my first birthday after my dad passed away – how dreadful it is to expect some company from a person who considers themselves to be like ‘my brother’, especially when I’ve done that for him in the past during his times of need. When his GF left him I even travelled to another city to keep him company ffs. Of course it doesn’t mean he’s obliged to act the same way in return – no one’s truly obliged to do anything – when it comes to friendship, but it does mean that he’s a shitty friend as many people here can see.

    I get that you want to make out that I’m the bad guy for suggesting the only activity he’s ever been up for doing in the 18 years I’ve known him, but I really don’t think I am.

    #850035 Reply

    Sorry, but I’ve known the guy for well over half our lives and you’re grasping at straws. I’d be extremely, extremely surprised if someone was depressed. I suppose you can never 100% rule it out, but his behaviour is completely consistent with the way it has been for years, so I don’t see how you can try to excuse his behaviour with an obscure suspicion that a random person you’ve been ever met is depressed.

    You seem quite biased as you’re saying I over rely on my friend emotionally and yet you ignore the fact that I say I haven’t seen him for months. You ignore the fact that I basically was expected to act as his counsellor during his breakup. I contrast when I expect my friend to show me a modicum of effort, I’m somehow the bad guy. Yeah, I think you’re full of shit

    #850036 Reply

    Also, about fading me out – he’s the one who insists we’re ‘best friends’ and ‘like brothers’. He’s the one who suggested I come up to his flat while he’s off work ffs, I must be such a bad guy to follow up on that. There are quite a few understanding people here, but I think I realised why I probably shouldn’t have posed this scenario to strangers. You seem strangely biased towards my shortcomings, but not his.

    The guy isn’t trying to fade me out, he is widely known to be a bit of a strange individual by pretty much everyone I know and I shouldn’t put stock in a person like that, despite them making the right noises half the time saying I’m his best mate and that he’s there for me, but never following up when it matters.

    #850038 Reply

    Ok, I’m late to the party and haven’t read the responses, but my hot take upon reading your initial post, was 1)

    He’s a childhood friend who’s been in your life a long time, but he’s not really a true *friend,* he seems to have trouble empathizing, and prefers his own company.

    You’re… a lot. You have a lot of emotional / mental health / physical health issues going on, and it sounds like it could be a lot for someone to deal with who isn’t the most empathetic.

    I just don’t think you two are a great match (anymore) as far as friendship, and you should not really expect anything of him, and focus on your other friends who do reciprocate what you give to them.

    #850039 Reply

    No one said you’re a bad guy. You can’t force the guy to give a shit about your feelings. Reread your first post. He’s a jerk. He’s not your brother and if you consider him to be your best friend, I feel bad for you. Asking him if you can come over is inviting yourself over. You keep saying what you need, what a real friend would do, etc That’s clearly not him. This isn’t about what you deserve in a friend. It’s about realizing that you can’t force someone to care about you, invite you over or offer sympathy. You wrote that you hadn’t even seen him in months. Socially inept or not-he gets to say no when he wants to. You, quite honestly, sound a little socially awkward yourself. You don’t take no for an answer. Your trying to push him into letting you come stay at his place. You supported him and believe he should offer you support now. That’s not how it works.

    I’m sorry your father died and you’re grieving but that doesn’t mean you can make demands. It’s not his fault your birthday is coming up and without him, you’ll be alone. You need to find some new friends and emote to a qualified grief counselor. Friends grow and change. It doesn’t sound like he’s ever been very nice to you, and it’s pretty clear he doesn’t want to be your friend. He’s making zero effort, telling you no, and not being swayed by your attempts to guilt him into letting you go over to his place. It’s hard, it sucks but you need to move on.

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