September 6, 2018 at 1:01 pm #224527
Back to my support backbone at tinybuddha; so I have this friend at work, our friendship began through an office event and were participating in the same group, she is about 10-12 years older to me but we speak the same native language which kicked it off, earlier initiative was from her end most of the times until maybe she made new friends in her team, hanging out etc.,began imitating their clothing styles and kinda changed to somewhat rude somewhat selfish. Not that I only wanted her to be only my friend not that feeling at all but noticeable behavioral change. There were times when I had asked her for a break and she replied that she is busy with something but just 5 min later I see her in the break room with someone else, sounds like I am being possessive haha but it feels like ignorance or can I say betrayal?
And then the same friend gave me an expensive gift on the occasion of my wedding, referred me willingly for a position in her team, invited me maybe a few times to her home (I did make it once)
The times I noticed things were affecting me I tried to bring it up to her asking if something is wrong but her responses were “cold” like “I don't know what you are saying”, “naah when did that happen” and the most recent ” am I having mood swings”when all I wanted to know was if she is okay as she had just got back from a long trip and seemed a little off.
I do understand she may have other things going on with her life and most of the times I have kept away so that I don't have to face cold responses again.
But am I like a last option friend to her? As in if she needs company for a walk or for coffee then she reaches out, if I do the same maybe at a completely different time either her legs are sore from exercise or she is busy that time.
I really need help handling this friendship, when I confront I look really stupid, if I stay away there is normal initiative from her side, there is no way I could get an answer from her as most is nothing like that and why do I think this way etc responses.
Could you please suggest?September 6, 2018 at 8:16 pm #224555
How long has this friendship been? What are your expectations from this friendship?
Maybe a healthy balance is what you need when it comes to handling the friendship. I mean a healthy balance in expectations and how much you are investing in this friendship.
The only thing that you can be reasonably certain is what is going on in your mind. With respect to your interactions with her, you will need to do what feels right to you. Given the variable response that you have received so far from this person, it is likely that this person may continue to respond in the same manner.
Confronting her further does not seem a good option as her responses to that have hardly been helpful to you. Staying away to make the other person come to you may not be healthy but staying away for your emotional health is.
Take careSeptember 7, 2018 at 6:58 am #224585
Maybe the common native language was a draw on her part in the beginning but a bigger draw is her motivation to be like the others, not of her native country, and so she imitates their clothing styles and looking for their company, preferring their company. If the other co workers are closer to her age, that may be another draw, for her.
Did I understand correctly: she is the one who gave you an expensive gift for your wedding, referred you to a position in her team and invited you to her home? If so, how did you react to the gift (did she attend your wedding?), and to the position in her team?
What did you tell her when you declined the invitation to her home (and why did you decline?)
One more question: did you invite her to your home?
anitaSeptember 7, 2018 at 9:43 am #224625
@ Prash: This friendship has been about 5 years, my expectations are exactly as you mentioned just a healthy balance. I am willing to invest for that balance but I feel the effort and feeling are not mutual. What feels right to me is to keep a bit more distance for my own emotional health, these things affect me and now I am starting to feel foolish for my approach in keeping up the friendship. There are days when we chat on a daily basis, meet frequently, go for a walk, talk about our families inquire about their well being etc. and there are days when my questions are questioned or I am being smirked at my thoughts when expressed.
Being in the same professional environment I do not want things to go sour and even not that I don't care about the friendship but I am unable to set my limits and expectations about her.September 7, 2018 at 9:57 am #224627
@anita: What you described is exactly her, very accurate.
Yes she is the one, we had decided no gifts for our wedding but she gave the me gift 2 months in advance as a surprise and said “You are a good person and a good friend that is why I wanted to gift you and wedding is a special occasion so please do accept the gift”, yes she attended my wedding as it was around the same time she was visiting her home too, my reaction I was overwhelmed, felt a little obligated and I could say a little burdened too, in times when I felt bad due to her behavior I used to feel has she bought me to maintain a relation due to a gift.
For the referral I knew I did not have the exact skill sets their team was looking for but since this was an internal position wanted to try my luck, post interview and discussion with her team she provided me all the feedback the good, the areas of improvement to qualify and that there maybe be another position again next year. I reacted with a deep thank you for the opportunity.
She invited me for a sleepover when my husband was on a business trip for couple of weeks, I declined because firstly I had some of those episodic experiences and did not know what I would do if I had to face the same when visiting her home and secondly made plans to keep myself busy and catch up with some other friends during that time.
Yes I did invite her once and she was ready to visit too but unfortunately we had to push out the event we had decided for another few weeks and she was going to visit home the following week for her brother's wedding.September 7, 2018 at 10:09 am #224629
Reads to me that it would be better for you if you exit this friendship limbo (is she a friend or is she not? limbo) and establish a clear professional relationship with her, that is one with a co worker. This way you will be clear, and hopefully, no longer troubled.
When she made this comment to you: “I don't know what you are saying”, if she didn't follow this comment with asking you what it is that you did say, then she withdrew from communication with you. “I don't know what you are saying”, and if silence follows, that means: I don't care or I don't want to know what you just said.
When she said: “naah when did that happen”, if she didn't wait for your answer or didn't follow your answer with further communication, once again, she was not interested in a dialogue.
I suppose better, after five years, much of it in a friendship limbo situation, better place the relationship in a different category and be clear.
anitaSeptember 8, 2018 at 10:48 am #224703
Keeping the distance to preserve your emotional health sounds a good choice to me. You can stick to social niceties but stay true to what you feel is right. Look for other friends who are likely to give you that balanced friendship that you are looking for.