The Doormat

| November 24, 2009 | 8 Comments

Dear Chanel, essentials

I have a friend who is too much to handle. She overpowers everything I do. For example – one week we will get together and then the next she avoids me. It’s almost as if she thinks I should see it as a privilege for her to want to hang out with me. Everything we plan together seems to be pushed away and forgotten. We were supposed to go on a camping trip – and yet, it never happened. I only hear from her when no one else can hang out with her. She insists on us being best friends but it only seems that way when we are on campus. I try to get her to involve me in her plans but she turns me down. She gets upset if I try to share food with her. Sometimes she even makes me look bad in front of other people and really hurts my feelings. When she notices I am upset, she will pull me aside and ask what’s wrong. I start to explain myself and she throws the, “it’s not like we are dating” card. She is always turning things around and making me look like the bad guy.

We come from two different backgrounds and we have two different personalities. How should I approach her without running the risk of her avoiding me even more or shoving it back in my face?

– Pushed and Shoved.



Dear Pushed and Shoved,

It seems that your friend does not realize just how she is making you feel. We come across people who do things and don’t even realize they are doing it because it has been a habit for so long. If I were you I would stop giving her the opportunities to knock you down. If she can’t hang out with you one day or has to back out of a trip – go find someone else to spend the day with. There is a slight possibility she may find you suffocating or overwhelming. You seem to be attached to this friend and hopefully she appreciates having a friend like you around.

Growing up I had a couple of dominating friends. They made me the butt of the joke to look better, they’d call me out in front of other people to make my personality not seem as vibrant, and some would cancel plans because they had better things come up. I felt lonely and offended but for whatever reason, I stuck by them for quite sometime. I attempted talking it out, making new friends and even changing myself. Different things work for different people. Eventually, I came into my own and realized, I do not need friends who aren’t going to treat me with the respect I deserve in my life – those aren’t real friends.

I’ll also admit – Ive been on the opposite side of the playing field. I had a very close friend who thought the world of me. She did anything and everything for me. She wanted us to be just alike and with each other all the time. At first, I was thrilled by the idea because I love having friends. After a few months, I felt exhausted and suffocated. I only texted when I had to, I avoided phone calls, I walked certain ways around campus to not pass her and I stopped inviting her around my friends. I hurt her feelings and altered our relationship a lot. Lucky for me, she is very outspoken and made sure I saw how hurt she was. I respected those feelings and worked on having a friendship we could both be happy with.

I would advise you to plan a date with her and have you both agree to when it will take place. When you do meet up, have a list of the things that are bothering you about what has been happening. Explain to her how much she means to you, how you want to keep your friendship strong and how certain actions are making you feel. Prior to the meeting – have her write her own list of annoyances and appreciations. Sometimes we all get a bit too wrapped in our own lives to realize how we are making other people feel.

If she really is a supportive  friend – she will

a) Not bail on the plans  or

b) come out with everything – open and honestly.

Now, at the same time – the truth is not always an easy thing to hear. So go with an open mind and expect your feelings to get hurt. Everyone is different and it can be hard to accept certain differences especially as we grow older. We become so set in our ways that its difficult to understand why others do the things they do.

After the chat, if you still seem in a fog  – then I would consider moving on and see who else is out there.

‘Don’t make someone a priority for you, when you are simply an option to them.’

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A short and witty young professional with tons of advice for you to grasp onto. I can cover anything from relationships to small business management to modeling to photography to career changes to having babies. Bring it on!

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