- This topic has 56 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 3 months, 2 weeks ago by KAM.
June 24, 2021 at 4:14 am #1092217MareeGuest
I found this quite hard to read. Are you always this hard on yourself? It might be an interesting exercise to read back through your post and comments and highlight every time you apologise or put yourself down. It’s a lot!
I think you need help to work on your self talk. You are more valuable than the way you are treating yourself (and allowing others to treat you).
Re the dog. It sounds like you enjoy dog sitting occasionally so work out what you would find pleasurable/enjoyable and offer to do that and no more.June 24, 2021 at 4:29 am #1092219BittergaymarkGuest
Your friends are shamelessly using you and gaslighting you into feeling guilty they can’t use you more.
Seriously? Fuck them. And their little dog, too.June 24, 2021 at 6:51 am #1092230Ele4phantGuest
They’ve done this to themselves. You not helping them during a bad situation themselves is not you being there for them. They are responsible for this situation, you enabling them is not “being a good friend”.
Honestly, maybe you are more the problem here than they are. They are definitely taking advantage of you, but you have really warped ideas on how much you need to accommodate them, their choices, and their feelings.
That’s not sustainable for you to bend over backwards for others. Say no. Don’t worry so much about if their feelings get hurt if you put up an entirely reasonable boundary.
It’s not your job to save them from themselves and having to deal with the mess they’ve created. That’s not being a good friend, it’s coddling and enabling.June 24, 2021 at 7:04 am #1092233Ele4phantGuest
Yes to Marre that you may want to look at your self confidence and self worth.
You respecting yourself and your time and not helping a friend deal with the hole they’ve dug themselves into is not being a cold person. It’s being a person that values their own time and worth.
Putting yourself first, *particularly* if it means overburdening yourself for a problem someone else went out of their way to create for themselves, is what a healthy self respecting boundaries would do.
Honestly I bet if you just told them “Hey I’m happy to help on occasion but it’s actually more of an imposition than I realized to regularly spend time and gas money driving to your house, spending the whole day there, and having to meal plan and bring along my own food. I can do this once in awhile, but I can’t do it as often as I have and it would be much appreciated if you could make this easier for me when I do by paying for my gas/leaving me some food”, it would not actually hurt their feelings at all.
If they truly are good friends, hopefully that spurs a realization that yikes, they really had been asking too much of you, and they’ll fix it ASAP.
You aren’t a bad person or friend for valuing your own time.June 24, 2021 at 7:19 am #1092235Ele4phantGuest
Basically if they feel a little bad once you give them a reasonable boundary, I mean good, intentionally or not they they have been taking advantage of you.
They should feel guilty about that, and you having to be the one to point it out doesn’t make those feelings of guilt your fault.
You can still be a good friend and throw your friends an occasional bone and check in on pup now and again, but giving them everything they ask for doesn’t make you a good friend, it makes you a doormat.June 24, 2021 at 7:48 am #1092241HazelParticipant
I think they are being really selfish not even providing food for you. You are their friend, surely they know the sort of things you like to eat. I can’t imagine expecting someone to dogsit all day without leaving them lots of treats if I couldn’t afford to pay.Vegetarian isn’t even difficult -if you were a gluten free nut allergic vegan I might see they would be daunted but considering what you are doing for them getting in some veggie snacks seems like very little trouble. And they are not even taking that very little trouble. Do you think they are being so mean about food because they are trying to save money? They could always go out a little less so they could afford to be nice to you. If you can’t bear to bring it up with them wax lyrical about the lovely stuff other people give you when you dogsit etc for them and maybe mention things you like that will be in the shop they get their groceries in.June 24, 2021 at 1:14 pm #1092277BittergaymarkGuest
My yes! The lack of food truly sent me over the edge. Your friend’s are utterly entitled jerks, LW. Incredibly selfish ones to boot.June 24, 2021 at 1:23 pm #1092278BittergaymarkGuest
Also… NEWSFLASH: If they are working all these extra hours? They should be able to spring for dogcare. If they barely break even? Eh… so be it.
That’s THEIR problem. NOT YOURS!June 24, 2021 at 1:31 pm #1092279ele4phantGuest
Honestly, I kind of get the sense that these friends *aren’t* necessarily expecting the LW to drop everything for them, and wouldn’t be upset at all if she backed off.
I think the pressure is largely internal, the OP is putting this expectation on themselves, and feels for some reason that they must always say yes.
They should feel no expectation to help out on demand. Lane and Morgan may be operating under the assumption that if LW keeps saying yes, its no issue for them because they don’t do anything anyways but sit at home on their days and they just love the dog, that they aren’t imposing, OP would say otherwise if they were.
I mean, I *think* its obvious you need to acknowledge the favor when someone regularly helps you out, but all the same, kind of getting the sense that OP might be one of those people that is so worried about other people’s feelings and not letting them down that they are not just allowing themselves, but actually proactively offering, to bend over backwards for them.
Are they *actually* expecting this from the OP or is it the OP that has set the tone and now resents it (but also is fearful of walking it back)?June 24, 2021 at 2:14 pm #1092281BittergaymarkGuest
I dunno… Asking her to do it six straight weekends in a row is definitely a bit much.June 24, 2021 at 2:27 pm #1092283ele4phantGuest
Yeah, at the very least, they are self-involved.
A conscientious friend should have a moment of pause that, that’s really too much to ask of someone.
But, it may also be true that the OP was so eager to please, they initially said something along the lines “Oh puppy! Hurray for you. I’m happy to help whenever you need a dog sitter, I just sit in my house and have a boring life, so no problem at all to help you out!” And then, is also not saying anything when actually, it is kind of a problem for them. They feel like they said it once so they can’t take it back.
That mix of oblivious friends with an overly accommodating friend can create a nasty combo of passive aggressive resentment, when one party asks too much without realizing it (even if they should) and the other being unwilling to say something or reestablish a boundary (even if they should).
My hunch is that we are seeing that dynamic here.June 24, 2021 at 2:44 pm #1092286AleaGuest
I actually yelled out, “Nooooo!” when I read what you guys wrote (about the self confidence/value thing) because I’ve definitely not given the right impression of myself! Haha. In real life, I’m a borderline asshole and my self confidence borders on arrogance…I have to keep myself in check! What seemed like “putting myself down” was me trying to be honest, because it’s hard to show my real self on the internet. I apologise a lot because I’m Canadian; it’s a requirement we agree to when we renew our passports. 😉 Jokes aside, if you knew Morgan, Lane, and me in real life, you would probably feel very differently about our situation. If they wrote in, this is what their message would say:
“We enjoy spending time and hanging out with our friend Alea, but she has made it clear that she wants to see us less than we want to see her, and only for activities that she enjoys. She doesn’t like going out and doing things, so she prefers to come to our house or for us to go to her place. So she essentially gets to decide how often we meet and what we do. Once, we made plans to meet up at our house and hang out, then go out for dinner. We were running errands and realised we were in the same area as the restaurant, so we asked her if she would come join us at the restaurant and we could eat a late lunch instead, and then we would go back to our house and hang out. She declined.”
Wouldn’t you tell Morgan and Lane, “Ditch that friend!!!” after reading that? For 10+ years, I’ve said no to them and they’ve had to accommodate me. (In my defence, I say no because they make sudden changes to plans, and I don’t like the new changes as much as our original plans. I know it’s selfish and rigid of me, but I don’t want to do have to do something I didn’t agree to in the first place. I have made plans to go out with them to do things or eat at restaurants, but not nearly as often as they would like.)
My biggest issue with all this is that I offered to dogsit in the first place. I have no problem saying no when Morgan and Lane ask for something, but I dug myself into a hole by offering first. But as I read more of these comments, I think it would be reasonable for me to tell them that when I made the offer, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, and I can only dogsit so much. I will definitely feel bad for a bit after doing so, but I no longer think it’s the “wrong” thing to do.
P.S. @Maree I can’t say that I dogsit for the pleasure. Here is another sign that I’m really not a good person (I’m half joking!): I don’t love dogs. Or cats. Animals like me a lot (maybe because I smell like food) so it makes me like them back more, but I don’t like them enough to want to care for them on a regular basis. (I want to say “Sorry!” here, but am forcefully refraining.)