Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Friendship, Squashed?

Posted by Anonymous.

Friendship with a cousin just bounced right into the street and got squashed by a car.

How great is it to reconnect with people from long ago? Since moving back to home, I've had a lot of this going on. It's amazing how ten years away lets you change and you even find friendships where you didn't expect them.

But sometimes you put in the effort to reconnect, and after a while it's becoming quite evident that while you're all having a good time, you're the one putting in the effort? Months go by and you're still the one initiating the exact phrase, "Hey, I want to get together and see you." You see them be active with others, yet never a word to you.

I've had a few of these in my life. One told me she couldn't be around me because I was getting married and she was getting divorced, it hurt her too much. One of them told me my expectations were too high (she missed 2 playdates and didn't return any calls for over a week). Returning phone calls was too much for me to expect. Another told me it was my responsibility.

I'm familiar with the sign to give up. I know when to cool it. I mourn it. I dream about it. I dream about "high expectations" girl. I also know that sometimes they bounce back and in one instance, stronger than ever.

In fact, recently I got a message on my Voice Mail from one of these old friends, "why don't you come over?" I called back and left a message, "sounds great!" (thinking: It's Bouncin' Back!) And the response back is, "Oh sorry, someone just called and we'll be going with them now."

I know I'm weird... but am I rank? I know I'm more cynical now, but I thought that made me funnier. I've got cute kids you might like. I finally decided if it looks like you're being blown off and it smells like you're being blown off, chances are, you're being blown off. I finally realized that she just doesn't like me... and usually I'd just get over it, but I it's not just any friend... it's family. Yep... a cousin who I grew up with like a sister. She's told me it's my responsibility and goes out of her way to make dates with friends on facebook, but not with me and we even had a talk about how we re-establish things and she has done NOTHING... except the story above about inviting me and then dis-inviting me.

Thanks for the vent.. I was about to post this on mine and a friend advised against it.

Comments welcome!


addy said...

I had a couple of friends who I am no longer friends with that are guilty of behavior like that. It sucks, because you really want to try and be their friend, but it takes effort on both sides. If the other person isn't willing to put in the effort, then I just say screw em. It's sad, but what can you do, really?

Sucks that it's your cousin though... it's 10 times more hurtful when it's family.

Anonymous said...

I am going through a similar situation with some "friends" of mine right now. We were really close all through college and now they are being really judgmental and jealous of where my life is going. I can't bear to spend time with them anymore because they are stuck in the past and don't understand responsibility.

I am sure its harder for you since these people are part of your family. Its hard to always be the one to keep in touch, to make the calls and to plan everything. I always seem to be that person in my friendships and it can really burn a person out after a while.

Jaden Paige said...

I have had the same situation with a cousin of mine!! We used to be best friends, and then we moved, and she's stayed in North Carolina, while I moved back home to NH. She has been home over six times to visit since my daughter was born almost two years ago... And every time, she calls me before and says "OMG I MISS YOU! We need to hang out when I'm back..." And we've even made plans together... But then she blows me off. She doesn't call or show up when she's home, and doesn't return my calls. I am beyond angry with her now- she goes way out of her way to see her FRIENDS, but still hasn't met my daughter! We were supposed to be close...
At this point, I've kind of just come to the conclusion that her priorities are different than mine right now. I'm not going to push myself on her, and frankly, if she's going to act this selfishly, I probably don't really want to spend time with her now anyway. It makes me sad to have lost the friendship we had, and I still hope that someday things will change... But for now, I'm not holding my breath.

Thanks for letting ME vent, I'm glad there's someone else in the same situation!

Mrs. Mary Mack said...

I have a stiuation very similar to this. I started doing things my "friends" had never done: I got a college degree, I worked hard and got a great job that I loved, I met a man who asked me to marry him and said yes, and now we're having our 1st child.

When your life progreses I've learned that no matter how close you thought you were to someone, they hate to see the good. As much as you try to include them in your life, if it hurts to see your positive "stuff", they'll push you away and place the blame on you. I'll never understand why...it just happens.

Stacy said...

I could have written this. I have a few "friends" who I was very close to but as my life and thier lives changed so did our friendship. I still have a hard time understanding it but I tell myself that I do not need to chase people to be my friend. I think about what qualities I have to offer as a friend and what I want in return and all of those friends who I keep chasing don't measure up. I have high expectations so either I have to lower my expectations to keep them as a friend or not have them in my life. It doesn't mean I have to shut the door on our friendship but I don't have to continue to chase them either.

Anonymous said...

I can't say much - apparently, I'm not over my own cousin/friend dumping me yet! Six years ago! *sigh*

Hugs to you, because it totally sucks, despite how much you may understand why they are the way they are, it still hurts.

Anonymous said...

Aren't adult friendships just soooo much harder than kid friendships? My kids make best buddies, instantly, with other kids on the playground, never learn each other's names, and go home happy about their new friend that they'll likely never see again.

And in the course of my adult life, I've made about 5 friends that I consider true, steadfast, constant friends. Others come and go, for many of the same reasons you mentioned.

I'm also an Initiator in many of my friendships - if I don't call or make plans, the calls and plans just don't happen. It's frustrating, and I'm that much more grateful when true friends do at least *some* of the initiating, too.

Anonymous said...

This is a crappy situation for you. Similar situations have happened to me. Too many similar situations - causing me to re-examine my approach to friendship and to really LOOK at what I am doing and how people are responding to me.

And I am mildly alarmed by some of the comments -- it's interesting that some people view 'getting married' and 'having babies' as a huge positive that other friends just can't handle - they can't handle seeing the 'good'.

But there appears to be a lack of accepting of one's own responsibility. I've witnessed MANY of my friends change when they got married -- more so when they had children, and they have NOT changed for the positive. Some of them have turned into bitter, haggard caricatures of their own mothers, or have absolutely NO ability to recognize that not everyone needs to hear about their children's pooping habits.

I've realized recently that I am one of those initiators. I am the one to make contact, keep in touch, blah blah blah, but some don't keep in touch with me. It can't all be them, can it?

I think it's pretty naive for people to think "it's not me, it's them!" or wail on about how it keeps happening to them. It's scary to admit, but it might actually be you that is causing people to stay away. (I don't think that is the case in the original poster's position - your cousin sounds like a cunt - but some of the comments strike me as a bit blind to reality.

If it's a problem in your life, you might be doing something to attract it.

Chelsey said...

You might be happier if you stop keeping score about what your friends do or don't do -- try just to enjoy them for who they are. I have high expectations and I was always feeling disappointed by friends. I decided to not let missed playdates/phone calls bother me, and instead adopted a more open and understanding outlook. It is so much easier, and I enjoy my time with my friends so much more. You could accept the fact that people rely on you to be the instigator -- and that is OK!It means you show initiative and creativity of making plans. And as for your cousin, call her back and say "why don't you come over this week?" And then try again next month.