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Dear Wendy

Petty and Selfish Friend- It’s Me. I’m the Friend!

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  • This topic has 56 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago by KAM.
Viewing 12 posts - 25 through 36 (of 57 total)
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  • #1092287 Reply
    ktfran
    Participant

    I’m with ele4phant on this one. At first read, I thought WOW… they are so taking advantage of Alea. Yikes! But with every additional response, I think that ele4phant is spot on w/ the mix of oblivious friends w/ someone who is overly accommodating friend. Of course they’re going to keep asking if she keeps saying yes!!

    LW, set boundaries and speak up for yourself.

    I’m a people pleaser. I’ll always be a people pleaser. It’s a struggle, but I have learned that I need to look out for myself.

    Remember, NO is a complete sentence. You don’t need to offer an explanation.

    #1092288 Reply
    Alea
    Guest

    @Hazel
    You might be right! I think they are too embarrassed to tell me that they can’t afford to feed me! I eat more in a day than the two of them TOGETHER, and one of them is quite a bit taller and heavier (muscular) than I am. They struggle with their current grocery budget/bill, so to feed me for a day would probably cost them too much. I do eat too much for my size and structure (my doctors and dietician have run tests and said there’s nothing wrong with me, by the way) so I can’t fault them for not wanting to cover the cost of essentially feeding two people. But I think they couldn’t afford to feed one anyway.

    It’s funny what you say about waxing lyrical about the lovely stuff other people give me. The reality is that I’ve been fortunate in life and I have all these extremely generous friends. Just as an example, I get invited to my friends’ vacation home every year (and they always expect to pay for my “care and upkeep” the whole time! Despite me eating like two people!). I have another friend who regularly cooks double and freezes portions to give to me because she knows I love her cooking. These friends offer their services (like how I offered the dogsitting) and have never expected any compensation all these years. Morgan and Lane unfortunately don’t have friends like these, so if I can be this kind of friend to them, shouldn’t I try? I guess that’s the part of me that feels bad. Whether it’s karma or just being a good person, I should try to pay it forward?

    #1092289 Reply
    Alea
    Guest

    It’s a bit tough to reply directly to each comment for this, so I’m just going to write in general response to Bittergaymark, ele4phant, and ktfran:

    I’m definitely a huge part of the problem in that I 1. Offered to dogsit to begin with, and 2. Keep doing it even though I want to dogsit less than I currently do. My friends might be taking advantage of me, but they are not doing so intentionally. I have said no to them frequently as part of our friendship, so I do want to say yes in this scenario because I offered and because they really need the help right now. However, I don’t say yes every time! I was saying yes every time before they started asking me every weekend. Then I began saying no half the time. I admit, I was hoping they would catch on themselves and realise I don’t want to babysit every weekend. But I suspect they either didn’t get the message, or they did but are pretending to misunderstand. The reason is that when I was probing to find out what they do on days where they have to work and I’m not available to dogsit, they’ve told me that they have to bring the puppy to one set of parents, and they don’t want to do that. They would rather I come over. One time, when both sets of parents couldn’t keep the puppy, Morgan and Lane did have another friend dogsit at their house, but this friend taught the puppy a couple bad habits that my friends had to work really hard to break. Essentially, I’m their best and easiest choice.

    I am not at a stage where I can break the dogsitting arrangement completely. I just really feel it’s too selfish of me, considering how I’m leading a comfortable and happy life and they’re really struggling. I think the right thing to do is to help them while they’re down. But everyone’s comments have really motivated me to tell them that we need to set up a formal schedule where I’ll dog sit one day every two weeks, because more than that is just too much for me to handle. Thank you!

    #1092290 Reply
    Alea
    Guest

    @Bittergaymark

    I forgot about the money thing. Yes, they’re making a lot of money but just breaking even. I’m not saying my friends made/are making wise decisions with their money, but they are in a difficult position where they have to help support their parents on top of their possibly unwise spending habits (which they learned from their parents!) so they struggle even though they make good money. While I agree with you in theory, I would be a hypocrite if I just left them to it and thought, “Your problem!” All my friends make way more money than I do, and everyone outside Morgan and Lane are extremely generous with me, and none of them have ever indicated that it’s my own problem for being “poor” since I chose a career that pays less.

    There’s that dark side of me that does get annoyed with Morgan and Lane, and I’ll think, “Stop making stupid financial decisions!” But it’s easy for me to judge when I’m not in their shoes.

    #1092291 Reply
    anonymousse
    Participant

    They are not “really struggling.” They bought a puppy they aren’t able to care for. That isn’t your responsibility, even if you did agree to dog sit on occasion, which you are fully allowed to stop doing at any time. You don’t need to sit them down and work out a schedule, you should stop making yourself available to dog sit on any kind of schedule. They need to wake up and realize they do not have the capability to care for and give a puppy the attention it deserves and needs.

    Jesus Christ. You don’t get a prize at the end for sacrificing yourself for others, you know that right? It doesn’t matter that you keep saying you have nothing else to do and they really need your help. They don’t. They need to not buy pets that come with a 16+ year commitment if they don’t have the work schedules or income that allows to hire paid help to care for it.

    You, a chronic people pleaser (I know, being one as well) is suddenly realizing this arrangement sucks for you, because they are ABSOLUTELY fully taking advantage of you and think about your feelings about 1000% times less than you consider theirs.

    #1092292 Reply
    ele4phant
    Guest

    Alea – I am trying to say this with kindness, but your update has not convinced me at all that you aren’t insecure and have a warped self-awareness.

    Arrogant assholes don’t usually know (or if they do know) care that they are arrogant assholes.

    You seem HYPER concerned about how people see you and are willing to contort yourself to accommodate others and make sure they don’t feel the slightest bit of guilt or discomfort. To the point that not only are you letting yourself be treated like a door mat, you volunteer it upfront. Really, truly, look at how you feel about yourself. You describe yourself as boring and why would anyone be friends with you? Is that why you are bending over backwards for your friends, because you don’t believe you have more to offer as a friend if not, being useful to them?

    And on this specifically:

    “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.”

    Girl, no to this. Just because you say yes to something once does not mean you have to keep saying yes, indefinitely. You can also take back your yes. Maybe initially this seemed more doable for you, you’ve learned it’s not as easy for you as you thought, so you’re revoking your offer/will only continue to do on occasion/will only continue to do if they can make changes to make it easier for you (like paying for your gas, or bringing the dog to you, or giving you a $20 for food).

    You are letting these friends walk all over you. They may be self-centered jerks knowingly taking advantage of that, or they may just be oblivious and assume if you haven’t said anything, everything’s hunky dory.

    Stop being a doormat and value yourself (and what you bring to a friendship) a little more.

    #1092293 Reply
    anonymousse
    Participant

    It’s not selfish of you to stop offering your labor, time, AND gas money free of charge.

    #1092294 Reply
    ele4phant
    Guest

    Also, they’re struggling? At least when it comes to dog pieces *that is 100% their fault*. You do not owe it to them to take that off their plates.

    It was their choice.

    #1092295 Reply
    Alea
    Guest

    I think there’s a misunderstanding that I’m a people pleaser and so I have a tough time saying no. It’s actually the reverse…I almost never please people, I easily say no, and this is one scenario where I actually feel guilt about saying no! I’m not a nice person normally, and here’s a chance for me to do some good for once. I don’t go around trying to be mean. It’s just that I’ve always cared about myself more than anything else, so I end up being a bit thoughtless, which isn’t a good thing.

    #1092296 Reply
    ele4phant
    Guest

    You don’t have to lecture them about their poor financial decisions, but also, you don’t have to enable them and make it easy for them by bailing them out.

    Good friends don’t coddle their friends when they are being dumb.

    #1092297 Reply
    ele4phant
    Guest

    If that’s true, that you are generally thoughtless cold person, you are over correcting here.

    You should not bend over backwards so much you begin to silently resent the very people you are trying to help out. That’s the clue you’ve done too much.

    I think you still have major self-esteem issues, you seem to see yourself in a really negative light (you’re selfish, you’re boring, you’re mean), when you’ve clearly bent over for these people.

    #1092298 Reply
    Alea
    Guest

    @ele4phant
    I totally get what you’re saying, but I think it’s because I’m not wording it well. When I say I’m boring, I don’t see it as putting myself down. I’m being honest and trying to be humble. Obviously, I personally don’t think I’m boring. I look at myself and think, “You’re the most fascinating person I know!” Now that’s narcissism at it’s best, hahaha. I had a childhood friend who joked that I’ve never met anyone I liked as much as I like myself. But I don’t expect other people to see me the same way I see myself. I’m happy with my life, but I think that to people who like to do things, my life seems boring.

    Did you read the fake letter I wrote on their behalf? I think that presents a more realistic picture of me. I essentially dictate how our social gatherings go, and I don’t show up if it’s not what I want to do and where I want to go and when I want to do it. From their perspective, they probably think I’m the jerk treating them like a doormat!

    I definitely don’t bend backwards for people in my life. I actually had a manager who told me I was steamrolling people in meetings and I made it difficult for people to disagree with me. Obviously, that’s something I took away and am working on! But I told my manager that it’s also their responsibility to speak up and they can’t be afraid to disagree with me. It’s just that I can forget that I’m not the centre of the universe, so I need to consciously remind myself to have a care for other people’s feelings.

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