Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friendship at breaking point

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  • #850040 Reply

    I’d be extremely, extremely surprised if he was depressed*

    In contrast**

    #850041 Reply

    It doesn’t matter if he’s depressed or not. You’re focusing on the wrong things.

    He doesn’t want to be there for you. The end.

    #850042 Reply

    Nobody has said he IS depressed. We can’t know that. One person speculated it’s a possibility that cannot be ruled out based on the behavior you have described here. The rest of us are saying you simply never know based on outward appearances.

    You’re trying awfully hard to stay friends with someone who, according to you, is socially inept. Emotionally inept. Highly selfish. Widely known to be strange. Rude to you. Argumentative. Doesn’t put any effort in. Can’t admit when he’s wrong. Who cares if he says you’re his best friend? Actions speak louder than words, and his are telling you he doesn’t care. You resent him and don’t like him anymore. So stop being his friend. It really is that simple.

    Almost every response in this thread has told you to put your efforts into other friendships and consider seeking professional help. I’m not sure what else you want to hear.

    #850043 Reply

    Also, a lot of people say vague things like, “We should hang out sometime!” to be polite and without any intention of actually following through. It’s not bad to follow up to make concrete plans, but if he’s still declining to make any effort, you have your answer.

    #850044 Reply

    The way your friend is socially isolating himself… he never wants to see anyone ever again? Whoa. Really? Happy and content people simply don’t say such things. They don’t. More, he bitterly resents leaving the house and now only wants to constantly play video games…
    Uh, all that sounds like he is VERY depressed. NEWSFLASH: It’s very hard to be around people when depressed. You have to REALLY put on a show. I am admittedly pretty damn fucking great at this. But many people simply aren’t.

    #850045 Reply

    “You can’t force the guy to give a shit about your feelings.”

    I can’t but he expects me to care about his, usually texting me over and over whenever he has a problem, until I had to turn the notifications off on his 20+ texts in a row.

    “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.”

    He said that we should chill at his while he was off work, he made out that he’d be there for me as a friend when I needed one.

    “You wrote that you hadn’t even seen him in months.”

    That’s the way it goes with some old friends.

    “Socially inept or not-he gets to say no when he wants to.”

    Of course he does, but then he shouldn’t have unreasonable expectations on me either. Again, it’s one way bullshit.

    “You, quite honestly, sound a little socially awkward yourself.”

    Probably no more than your average Joe. Funny how our other friends also think he’s a strange guy and also don’t like the way he’s treated them either.

    “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.”

    It’s not how it works if you’re a shitty friend.

    “I’m sorry your father died and you’re grieving but that doesn’t mean you can make demands.”

    I wasn’t making demands, I said I felt disappointed. It’s blatantly obvious that most people would feel bothered by their friend saying they would rather do nothing than see you on their birthday. You can’t frame that as me making demands. I’m not a cyborg, I felt disappointed after everything I’ve been expected to do for him that he doesn’t think he should feel he should put any effort in.

    “It’s not his fault your birthday is coming up and without him, you’ll be alone.”

    Never said it was, never said I would be alone either, just that as it stood I would be. But that wouldn’t occur to him.

    “You need to find some new friends and emote to a qualified grief counselor.”

    I have other friends and I don’t think I need a ‘grief counsellor’. I just need to hang about with friends every now and then. People can deal with loss without going to counselling. I’ve generally dealt with it well.

    “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 is my self appointed ‘best friend’. He claims we are like brothers. He gets in touch off his own back and texts me about 20+ times in a row.

    “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.”

    1) I didn’t try to guilt him into letting me go to his place, I tried to make him realise that it’s a bit ahitty to fob me off if he thinks he’s such a good mate to me.

    2) He doesn’t think he’s putting in no effort. He believes he’s a good friend, he thinks he’s always there for me, he wa hurt by the suggestion otherwise. He gets in touch pretty much every day, often texting me over and over. He called me up for an hour to talk only two days ago. You don’t do that shit with someone you’re trying to cut out.

    Anyway, obviously I’m a bit on the defensive here but I don’t think you understand the situation. I take on board some of your criticism, I can see why some people might think I was trying to force my way into going to his place, but I wasn’t. Oh well I’m not perfect. But this guy isn’t trying to cut me out of my life, he thinks he’s a great friend who’s always there for me.

    I think I’m probably going to leave this thread here. Not because I can’t take the personal criticism, but I think it’s unhealthy trying to convince strangers online about my perspective. I think you don’t fully get the situation, which I suppose is an inevitability of asking strangers for advice. Thanks to everyone for their advice.

    #850046 Reply

    I’m not sure what you were looking for. Validation that he’s not a good friend? Advice on how to make him be a better friend? Venting?

    You can only control you. If a friend doesn’t come through for you then you take note of that. If it happens often you step back from the relationship. It doesn’t matter what he calls your friendship. You go by actions. If his actions can’t meet your needs then you look elsewhere for friendship.

    Put your time and focus into other friends. Leave it up to him to contact you. If he never does then you know he isn’t interested in being friends.

    #850047 Reply

    Dude, it’s not all about you. It’s not about what you did and how he owes you emotional support now. I told you that you sound socially awkward, and your defense was he is. I didn’t say anything about him. You aren’t the same person. He sounds selfish, you sound pushy and needy. You think your wants and needs are more important than his reasons for not wanting you to come and stay at his house.

    Again, friendships are not always equal. We’re all in agreement he’s a shitty friend. You and he are not the same person. Trying to make him realize he’s being a bit shitty is literally what a guilt trip is. You’re trying to make him feel bad to get what you want.

    And it’s weird to push him to let you come over and stay overnight at his place. What’s wrong with your place? Why do you insist on sleeping over? It’s a little strange. You can get home at night.

    Regardless of how hard it is to hear, he’s not a supportive friend. He’s not really a nice guy. He’s not hosting you for your birthday. You’re an adult, accept that, get over it and move on. “He should,” “I did.”…blah blah blah. It doesn’t matter. You can’t change him. Accept this is who he is and move on. If you want a mutually beneficial friendship, he is not the one for you.

    Talk is cheap. He can say he’s your best friend, or your brother but that doesn’t make him suddenly turn into a compassionate person. He does the bare minimum (actually less) than a true friend would. It is not a reciprocal relationship. You don’t get back what you put in.

    I’m not sure why you’re so against grief help. Maybe seeing a therapist is a better idea.

    #850050 Reply

    You certainly seem like an awfully dismissive person. I mean, hey, You have dismissed pretty much everything everybody has said in this thread.
    That should give you some pause. But I suspect it won’t. You seem to think you are right about everything. Well, NEWSFLASH. Nobody is. You also curiously take everything as an attack. People often find that exhausting. Also, if you don’t want advice? Don’t ask for it.

    #850051 Reply

    I didn’t try to make him realise he was being shitty to get what I want at all. I did it because I’m at my wits end of the friendship being one way and him thinking we’re such good friends despite that. Again I’m not a cyborg. I didn’t even particularly want to hang about with him again after his first callous response.

    Again you say I sound ‘pushy and needy’, my friend set the tone for that shit expecting me to be his counsellor when his gf left. I just expected a tiny bit of effort in return. That isn’t ‘needy’. Most people here seem to think friendships are about give and take, not one sided interactions. Yeah, so he’s a prick who expects a lot of me and gives little in return, I’m fed up of that, so I told him. Also, I’ve barely seen the guy for months, I hardly constitute being a needy friend. On a very rare instant, I’d appreciate some effort, but I don’t get it. The fact this has happened twice in about 4 years shows that it’s a rare occurrence.

    He thinks he actually cares a lot, and he’d strangely be hurt to realise that his actions demonstrate that he doesn’t care at all. The situation is more complex than you realise. The guy thinks he values our friendship, he wanted to arrange us going on a road trip this August originally, all his idea, no suggestion of my own.

    In regards to staying the night, I’ve explained that shit over and over and I don’t need to do it again – but up until very recently, he’d invited me to stay the night literally countless times over the years and it’s only suddenly changed the past few weeks quite literally. Keep implying that I’m weird though, I think you’re a bit rude tbh. I think this entire interaction is unhealthy and that you’ve put too much stock in your limited opinion to have such conviction. You have a snapshot of information about an 18 year friendship. You can point at my personal flaws all you want, but to me that directly points to yours.

    Anyway, I’m gone this time, as I’ve had the stress of the original falling out and don’t need further stress arguing with a stranger.

    #850052 Reply

    I implied your friend was depressed and that his behavior had root causes other than you. You angrily insisted that I was wrong. Whatever. Honestly, you seem decidedly prone to drama. Curb that and you might find yourself with a lot more friends…

    #850053 Reply

    I really think your friend may on the high functioning autistic spectrum (what was known as Aspergers) and introverted. Watch the documentary Chris Packham, Aspergers and me. He’s an English zoologist and tv presenter who admits to really struggling with having people in his home space, going out and finds he doesn’t understand how to relate to people well. One of the things on the programme was when his stepdaughter wanted him to go to her graduation, but he just didn’t see the point of him being there and why it was important to her. That just makes me think of you wanting support in times of stress and to hang out for your birthday, but he just didn’t understand the nuances of what was going on.

    Or he could just be a jerk. But it sounds from your update that he does keep in touch and wants to be friends. Everybody thinks and reacts differently to things and sometimes you just have to accept the friendship is not all you want it to be.

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