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#31 of 41 Old 08-30-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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i have found that when discussing this type stuff with people, its best to just listen and offer encouragement.

Thats what I usually want when I need to vent.... just someone to LISTEN.

besides, it really doesnt do anyone any good to hear- "yeah, thats the breaks man. buck up" or "yep, I did it you can too"

ive had friends lose their minds over things that seem like no big deal to me, and I have most definitely lost my mind over things that were obviously no big deal...

sometimes skipping breakfast can change how helpless i feel during a "developmentally normal" tantrum.

~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
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#32 of 41 Old 08-30-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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My dad used to say that some people seem to think there's a prize for being the most pitiful or the best complainer. I used to think he was terribly cynical. Now, sometimes I think might have been right.

Depending on how much you're willing to annoy your friend you could just agree with her.

her: You don't understand. My life is soo much worse than yours because blah blah blah.

you: (with a perfectly straight face and no hint of sarcasm) You're right. You're kids are the most difficult kids ever. You absolutely have the heaviest burden ever. My easy life pales in comparison and I am awed by your fortitude.

I've actually done things like this with my siblings and very good friends who know I love them and just needed a kick in the butt from an honest friend. But I would never do it to just a casual acquaintance or even a no so close friend.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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#33 of 41 Old 08-30-2010, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Alright OP here, I get it I guess I don't "get it". Yeah her life probably is worse than mine, just because I am a mom who has children doesn't mean I understand.

For me I don't really get why so many people are bothered by the fact that I am trying to convey the thought of *understanding*. I mean I am trying, but when the tables are turned(as I stated in my later posts) it falls on deaf ears. I guess what really is going on is that when I am in my venting or saying how crappy my life is at times, all I hear back is well you need to put your kids in their own beds, you need to put your DD in school, you need to do whatever it is I'm not doing. Truth be told that is what is really bugging me the most and the fact that I feel like a fair-weather friend, after years of this I guess it's grating on me.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#34 of 41 Old 08-30-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
A lot of times when we talk about our problems, we just want to be heard. So responding with "you sound really tired" (or frustrated or whatever) and then being allowed to talk more is often more helpful than "I understand." Rather than saying "I understand because it was just like for me," show her you understand by saying things to her that will sound like understanding to her.

It isn't about you. It's about her. Keep it about her. Once she feels really heard, she'll be able to move on in the conversation.

You might read up on non-violent communication.
Totally agree. I know that sometimes when I feel like her, I just want someone to listen to me and to not give me advice on what to do or how to fix it. I just need an empathetic ear, if you will.

One happy mama to 1/06 , 3/10 , and married to my best friend
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#35 of 41 Old 08-30-2010, 07:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Norasmomma View Post
Alright OP here, I get it I guess I don't "get it". Yeah her life probably is worse than mine, just because I am a mom who has children doesn't mean I understand.

For me I don't really get why so many people are bothered by the fact that I am trying to convey the thought of *understanding*. I mean I am trying, but when the tables are turned(as I stated in my later posts) it falls on deaf ears. I guess what really is going on is that when I am in my venting or saying how crappy my life is at times, all I hear back is well you need to put your kids in their own beds, you need to put your DD in school, you need to do whatever it is I'm not doing. Truth be told that is what is really bugging me the most and the fact that I feel like a fair-weather friend, after years of this I guess it's grating on me.
OK that makes a lot more sense, I knew there had to be more to this than originally stated!!

I wonder if it's just time to let this friend go.... I would get very frustrated spending time with someone like that!

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#36 of 41 Old 08-30-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Norasmomma View Post
My DD isn't bi-polar, but I was fully prepared for a diagnoses of ADHD at one point, a year ago I was ready to throw in the towel, not be her mom and give up.
...
and I was pregnant with our son, and I almost lost him due to placental bleeding. When I've mentioned these same things, she blows me off. That's why I guess I'm annoyed.
Wow! That was a lot to go through at one time, and it sounds like you felt like she never heard you!

I'm glad your little boy is OK. Is your DD doing a bit better?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmomma View Post
For me I don't really get why so many people are bothered by the fact that I am trying to convey the thought of *understanding*.
I don't think that saying "I understand" helps most people feel understood. I think there are better ways to convey that we understand.

Quote:
I mean I am trying, but when the tables are turned(as I stated in my later posts) it falls on deaf ears. I guess what really is going on is that when I am in my venting or saying how crappy my life is at times, all I hear back is well you need to put your kids in their own beds, you need to put your DD in school, you need to do whatever it is I'm not doing. Truth be told that is what is really bugging me the most and the fact that I feel like a fair-weather friend, after years of this I guess it's grating on me.
What do you like about her? What value do you get out of the friendship? May be you guys are just growing apart.

While their are techniques we can learn to help other people feel heard and understood, it's exhausting to use them with people who don't seem to ever hear us or care about what we are going through.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#37 of 41 Old 08-30-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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I think it is probably a mix of both sides and you two are feeding off of each other. The more she whines, the more you dismiss and the more you dismiss the worse it is in her mind. Perhaps decide ahead of time how much you can take and listen to her. Don't try to understand or convince her this is all normal. just listen. Give her a little sympathy "that sounds terrible" and if you absolutely must work towards a solution (some people are fixers by nature) ask her for her input "why do you think he is acting this way?" or "what are you going to do? Is there anything you need help with?"

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#38 of 41 Old 08-31-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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I don't know -- I kinda disagree with most of you. I have a "friend" like this too. Everything is a competition (and I mean EVERYTHING -- down to the fact that she pushed her first kid out 4 minutes faster than me! That was 5 years ago now. She STILL brings it up. In the most random of conversations too. It is down right crazy. I could easily give 100 examples of stupid things like that).

There is no "understanding" people like that. There is no sympathy because no amount of support is going to fulfill them. No amount of attention will satisfy them. No amount of positive things will ever change their view that they are the victim of their own life.

What I do... I take a break from the person. Sometimes it is because I pick a fight and sometimes I just get magically busy. Unfortunately for me, I have known this "friend" since I was 11 and our families are friends, so... I am going to see her again and have to deal with her again. I just wish I could avoid her more than I do.

OP... take a break from her. Whatever it takes to come up with an excuse to do so... DO IT. In 4 weeks you will be ready to friend her and it will help mentally reset things for you. There is only a certain level of BS any one of us should deal with in a true friendship.
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#39 of 41 Old 08-31-2010, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MomSmoo View Post
I don't know -- I kinda disagree with most of you. I have a "friend" like this too. Everything is a competition (and I mean EVERYTHING -- down to the fact that she pushed her first kid out 4 minutes faster than me! That was 5 years ago now. She STILL brings it up. In the most random of conversations too. It is down right crazy. I could easily give 100 examples of stupid things like that).

There is no "understanding" people like that. There is no sympathy because no amount of support is going to fulfill them. No amount of attention will satisfy them. No amount of positive things will ever change their view that they are the victim of their own life.

What I do... I take a break from the person. Sometimes it is because I pick a fight and sometimes I just get magically busy. Unfortunately for me, I have known this "friend" since I was 11 and our families are friends, so... I am going to see her again and have to deal with her again. I just wish I could avoid her more than I do.

OP... take a break from her. Whatever it takes to come up with an excuse to do so... DO IT. In 4 weeks you will be ready to friend her and it will help mentally reset things for you. There is only a certain level of BS any one of us should deal with in a true friendship.
Thanks, this is pretty much how I feel. No matter if I say I don't understand, I do or nothing at all-it's always the wrong thing.

We've been friends for nearly 15 years or so, her DH has been our friend for years and when they got together we hit it off, so it is hard to distance myself. The truth is parenting and child-rearing have killed our friendship, we have different ideas of how things are supposed to be, I think that most kids do make you insane at times, even the best of them. I never went into this with rose-colored glasses, I knew that much of the time there would be struggles and strife. I've been around enough kids from my IL's to see that. You never really get to have more than a 20 second conversation because someone is crying, she freaks about that like I just wish I could talk for more than 2 seconds, I do too, but that's reality. When she comes over with her kids and her son pushes all the toys off the table she freaks, I honestly don't care, it's a phase. She's stressed and I am laid back, I guess maybe that is where in lies the difference. I personally don't need to hear a vent every conversation, sometimes I'd like to talk too.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#40 of 41 Old 08-31-2010, 07:13 PM
 
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I totally understand. I would take a break for a while. Refresh. Remind yourself that you can't control her, just your reaction to her. After a break I would re-evaluate if I wanted to continue the relationship or not.
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#41 of 41 Old 08-31-2010, 09:16 PM
 
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my friends and i have this little thing we do... if one of us needs to just vent (we don't want anyone to fix or try to fix or offer to fix or say they get it or that it is normal) we say "I just need to vent right now" and if we are looking for advice, a fix whatever i would say something like this "Ok so what do you think about this?" or "what would you do or what did you do?" and then we know someone is looking for some answers.
her parenting style sounds very different from yours so maybe to her it is alot harder, even if in reality it wasn't/isn't.
also you said you offer her advice, but when she does it to you, you get upset... sounds like you both need to have a heart to heart about what you are both looking for in your friendship... or maybe get caller ID if you don't want to hear all the complaining all the time. then you can pick the time you feel up to listening.

h

mama to 6 amazing children joy.gif married to my main man for 21 years love.gif and finally home FULL time dishes.gifhang.gifknit.gif

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