Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Have This Friend

Posted by Anonymous.

I have this friend...

She has a house. A large house with a large yard in a nice neighbourhood. A house that is fully furnished with nice things.

She has a job. A good job with security and summers off that pays well and offers her advancement with even better pay.

She is healthy. Pops the occasional med for the occasional migraine, but nothing major.

She has a partner who loves her and they married last year at a celebration where they were toasted by many friends and family members and gifted with many items.

She and her partner take vacations every year and want for nothing material.

She and her partner also have many years of education behind them, all paid in full.

And she has nothing good to say.


So it is hard for me to listen to her bitch about the state of their back yard when I don't have a backyard.

And it is hard to listen to them communicate with one another in snippy comments and whiny voices.

It is hard to understand why she feels so down-trodden. Why she edited her FaceBook status to read "...bad things happen to good people, I am now wondering why I am the good people that this stuff continuously happens to."

For the record, this is not a pissing contest. This is not about who has it worse off and wanting to come out ahead.

What this is about is, well...

thinking before you complain to a friend that you will not be able to take a 2-week vacation overseas this year when she is lucky to find the time and the gas money to take a road trip to visit family.

not bitching about how hard your union-protected job is as your friend struggles to find a job that will pay more than her unemployment benefits and support both her and her preschool-aged daughter.

being grateful that you will one day pay off the mortgage on the gorgeous home that you own when your friend isn't sure how she is going to pay rent in a couple of months.

being thankful for the husband who appears to love you unconditionally and making a point to mention his strengths, instead of just his weaknesses, to a friend who left an emotionally abusive marriage

keeping your mouth shut and your eyes open as your friend struggles every single day. But doesn't ask for help. And offers her help as and when she can. To whoever needs it. Without condition. Without hesitation.

I don't want pity. I don't a pat on the back. What I want is for this friend to be happy. To recognize all that she has. To recognize that, perhaps, her universe just isn't that bad.

What I don't want is this woman as a friend.


Anonymous said...

I can sympathize. I have a friend like that. She's never satisfied with what she has. We were once very close but have grown apart due to her attitude.

She'll complain that she has no money then go on to show off the latest new toy she and her husband have acquired. The worst was when her husband worked a job that provided them with housing and was enough that she could stay home with the baby. She still complained. I pointed out that he earned more than my husband and me combined and if things were so bad maybe she should look for a job. It quieted her down for a little while.

gurukarm (@karma_musings) said...

Yes. Time to leave that "friendship" in the dust. So much negativity just drags you down too.

Anonymous said...

Either cut the friend out or call her on her whining. How would she know if you don't tell her. And by the way, the grass is always greener on the other side. You don't know if her marriage is good or not etc. Just because it seems perfect on the outside doesn't mean it is on the inside.

elisabeth said...

Hard to say...but she may have depression. Probably undiagnosed. Sounds like a friend of mine that was later diagnosed.

Not much you can do. Just don't expect much from her. She can't give it.

Candace said...

Some people just aren't happy. Some people have to tear others down to feel better about themselves. Some people lash out because they're afraid.

We just don't know why people do the things they do. All we can do is be ourselves and if a relationship is toxic, cut it out of our lives.


I can understand your frustration with this "ungrateful" friend, however, she is NOT responsible for the choices YOU made, either. Personally, when I am down and out, I am still happy for the friends who have more/do more. It gives ME optimism. More importantly, I am happy for them because we ARE friends,and that is just what friends do.

Anonymous said...

I don't blame you for wanting to cut her out, especially if she isn't a close friend. And yes, she seems to have a lot of material wealth, and complaining about all those things.

Go ahead and cut her off, but please don't be smug about her deserving it. Cut her off and let it go.

Have you considered why she's so negative? Maybe she has private problems that you would consider to be "real" problems that are making her "legitimately" sad. Maybe it's the sadness that makes her negative about public stuff.

miscarriages? infertility?
a history of being abused?
eating disorder?
who knows?

Anonymous said...

I have a friend like that and how our friendship survived was telling her straight-up how her complaining made me (and others) feel. I was constructive with my criticism and I made sure the timing was the best possible time (time to talk it out without interruption), and after I said my piece she was grateful. She seriously was. Mostly because others before me had blown up/dumped her for the same thing and their negative attack blinded her to hearing the truth, but hearing it come out in a "I'm your friend and I gotta tell you..." manner drove it home. Deep down she knew it was annoying but other stresses in her life that she COULDN'T complain about always bubbled under the surface. Now whenever the whine pours out, it just takes one eyebrow raise to say "what is the real deal" because you just never know what's behind the fa├žade.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. My mom actually is like this. She complains because she and her husband (stepdad) will be making ONLY $250,000 this year. And she says this to me and my husband when we both have been laid off and struggle to pay rent and buy groceries. Am I supposed to feel sorry for her? because I don't. sorry.

I don't really have any words of wisdom to offer you (except, perhaps, cut her out of your life if you can) but thanks for letting me commiserate. :)

Good luck to you. I hope life brings you happiness and success.

sarah said...

I TOTALLY have a blogger friend like that. and her excuse is "just because we have enough money not to worry about it doesn't mean I don't worry(bitch) about other things"

Yeah. Whatever. Ungrateful asshat.

Anonymous said...

The way I see it, you have a few choices: 1) tell her to stop her damned whining if in fact, the shit she whines about are really her only problems; 2) ask her if she really does have problems she can't talk about, and if so, encourage her to talk or get therapy or something, but to actually DO something about it instead of whine, whine, whine; or 3) cut her out. If you choose #3 and she wonders why you don't call anymore, be honest. She may not really have any idea that she's so negative and that it grates.

Sometimes you just don't have the patience for toxic relationships. I know I don't. Good luck.

Robin in NJ said...

Very good post. I would just slowly let that friendship fade. You don't need someone like her in your life if it's making you unhappy. I cam convinced that some people just need something to complain and be unhappy about even when they have no reason.

louralann said...

Why don't you send her may open her eyes a little bit and if not, well it would then explain why you can no longer be her friend.

The Bells said...

I think I have the "opposite" problem... if opposites can exist in this situation...

anyway, my mother was laid off 7 months ago. she's collecting unemployment. her cable and phone have been shut off. she is late on every other utility. she hasn't made a house payment in months and months and is risking foreclosure. she lives with my sister... who is 7.

where is my mom right now??? on vacation. in michigan. (we're in NV). for 2 weeks.

she has no cencept of how bad she has it right now. or she does and she doesn't care. or is too scared to care. i don't know. my fear is that i end up with custody of my sister. Not because I wouldn't take her in a heartbeat, but because my mom didn't care enough.

Maybe I should send in my own post. LOL.

I wish you the best of luck. But I think you'll be just fine - you know what your situation is and you're taking it in stride and doing what you have to do.

And while we all feel like "bad things happen to good people..." I think most of us know that something else is actually TRUE: What goes around comes around.

Anonymous said...

It is generally said that it is superficial to think that money can buy happiness.

On this basis it hardly seems fair to expect material wealth to have purchased happiness for your friend.

However. She is being inconsiderate to you if she doesn't keep in mind that your circumstances are different and you have your own set of problems. If she is only interested in talking about her "problems" and never interested in yours... she's no friend.

Suki said...

To me - a total outsider - it looks like she has problems she needs to take care of. Most likely, she doesn't know what she wants, or isn't getting what she wants, and is therefore dissatisfied and voicing it in every way possible.

Well, knowing her issues won't help you any, but I guess talking to her about them is a start?

AmyPIndy said...

My mom gave me two pieces of advice years ago,

"Don't be friends with someone just out of habit." and

"Surround yourself with those who lift you up."

Very wise words I live by each day.

Anonymous said...

I am like your friend. No one has told me this, but I hear me with my wonderful life complaining to a family member about a lot that you named.

I was afraid to be doing so well. I was afraid to see all I had and that others didn't. Yes, choices got me here, and choices got them there, but I was/am so uncomfortable with my new beautiful life--it's only 3 1/2 years old: a wonderful husband, a beautiful home--and I didn't realize my discomfort with my life going so well, finally, until I heard the sucked in breath as I complained about something to someone.

I bitch to friends who now have less than me, who used to have more, because I am uncomfortable with my good fortune in the face of their lack of.

It's almost superstitious: don't let on that things are going well so it won't be taken away. But, the past few weeks, coincidentally, I have been tempting fate and just being gracious. I am a lot more quiet because I have decided not to complain. It was in my silence I found my fear.

Thank you for this post.