You might only be able to take a self-centered person in small doses.
I’m so glad I came across this site. I’ve been having issues with a friend for quite some time now but really don’t know how to handle it anymore. We’ve been friends since elementary school, but spent most of our friendship away from each other since we both move a lot. We hardly see each other, so when we have the opportunity, I want and try to make sure that our reunion is a happy one, which usually means trying to ignore her negative remarks.
It seems like every two weeks at the most, she would say something to just burn my core. She actually got mad at me at one point because I didn’t agree with her opinion, which by the way, she literally asked for. She replied with an insult saying she thought I was more ambitious than that. I usually keep things to myself but this time I spoke my mind, still keeping it clean and straight to the point. She then convinced herself that everything was my fault and I’m mean and blunt.
Another time, she actually had the nerve to ask me to ask my live-in boyfriend if he could sleep at his parents’ house since she was sleeping over. I told her that it’s not happening. It’s his house too and I’m not about to ask this man to leave his own house. She brought this up on an argument a few weeks later saying she doesn’t understand the big deal because she would do that for me.
My boyfriend proposed to me recently and had invited some of our close friends to witness the event. Keep in mind that this girl lives a few states away. She actually said she’s upset that he didn’t wait for her to come and visit a few weeks later to propose, and why he didn’t call her to tell her he was proposing. Hellllllloooooooo… this is not about you!
When I started telling her why she shouldn’t be upset, she cuts me off and says she’s not upset and that she was just kidding. But then a few days later, she brings it up again. She also seems like she’s jealous of my other girlfriends, who by the way are really nice to her. Every time I bring up one friend in particular, it seems like she’s always competing and says something to make herself seem better.
These are just a few things I’ve dealt with in the past 17 years. I’ve talked to her over and over again about our issues but nothing seems to change. She turns things around on me when we get into an argument. Some people tell me it’s time to let go, but we’ve been friends for far too long and have been through so much. I don’t see myself letting our friendship go. I want to work on it, but it’s very difficult when the other person says they’ll work on it as well but don’t really do anything. I’d like to have an outsider’s point of view or advice. Maybe you can shed some light.
Signed, Frustrated Friend
Dear Frustrated Friend,
Gosh, this friend sounds beyond self-centered and possessive—she believes your world should revolve around hers.
I’m sure that you have a long shared history and it’s sad to think about severing ties but you’ve mentioned nothing that even suggests that this friendship has matured—or is currently gratifying to you or her.
You say you’ve made repeated efforts to communicate your frustration and there’s been no change. Sadly, my guess is that the likelihood of change in the future is extremely slim; you can’t change another person unless they want to change.
Your life seems to be filled with good relationships, a fiancée and other girlfriends. In this case, geography is on your side. My suggestion would be limit the relationship to very occasional get-togethers in small doses to minimize her getting on your nerves. The more time you spend together, the more frustrated you will feel.
Hope this helps.
Prior posts on The Friendship Blog that touch upon similar topics:
Category: KEEPING FRIENDS