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Old 08-22-2008, 09:05 PM   #1
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Default When Friends Let you Down

I know, from years of experience, that my weight has a great deal to do with emotional issues as I ate to suppress the disappointments. Tonight, again, I felt really let down by a friend. I am tired of being the supportive, listening, consoling, here are a few bucks for your kid's art supplies...I know you need them, can I do anything for you....friend!

Sometimes I think I let myself be used as a convenient doormat. I just wrote in my blog about counting on and trusting no one but myself? Is it just me, or do others feel this way. Do others just want to turn to the pizza delivery man for comfort? I am just so sad right now.
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:24 PM   #2
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oh i hear u. im the same way i give n give to friends n i feel like i get nothing in return. n today ive been friends with this 1 guy 4 like 10 yrs and ive always done everything he want me be there n supporting him n what not and tells me he doesnt care if i walked away n not be his friend. im seriously helllllo i mean come r u serious. n that really hurts and he knows and yes he has done stuff 4 me but ive done more. and its like i cant stop being the doormat, i just cant say no to any of my friends. so idk anymore

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Old 08-22-2008, 09:28 PM   #3
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Mollymom, I'm the same way. After going through a really tough time a few years ago, I felt completely alone, both emotionally and geographically. I live several states away from my family, and I don't make friends easily. Most of my friends are from school and are back where I grew up. So my new best friends became Papa John and his evil $itch sidekick Little Debbie. And you know what? They NEVER let me down. They were always there with there beautiful cheese and grease and buttery garlic sauce, or their yummy oatmeal cream pies.

But turns out that they were backstabbing little jerks cuz they made me gain back all my weight!

But yes, I completely understand. People let you down. McDonalds will always be there. I'm sorry that you are disappointed by your friends.

But you always have your online friends!
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:25 PM   #4
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I hear you too. In some ways, i think there are a few select people who will be there for you just as much as you are there for them. At the same time, i always remember what my old martial arts teacher told me "The only person who can be there for you 100% of the time is yourself, no matter how much anyone else might want to be there for you". Be strong! I believe there are people out there who really care, you just have to find them


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Old 08-22-2008, 10:48 PM   #5
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You just described my whole week! Everytime I'm nice to someone and open up I get stabbed in the back. I've managed not to binge because of this nonsense...

I know how you feel
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Old 08-23-2008, 01:35 AM   #6
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I think people treat us as doormats when we let them, and support us when we make them. By that I mean that when we're doormats, we're telling people we HAVE NO needs, expectations or demands. Our greatest joy in life is simply to please them (and aren't they being nice for allowing us to).

I tend to make friends easily, I think because I tend to trust easily, but initially shallowly (on the lookout for signs of distrustworthiness) or maybe "give the benefit of the doubt," that people have good intentions, but have weaknesses that could interfere with their ability to be supportive in every way I might want them to be. The skepticism means that I don't fall for every sucking need that a friend might have. That may mean to them that I'm not supportive, but I rarely lend money to friends - only very long time friends, and if it can't be a gift, I don't do it (because it always seems to ruin a friendship). If they aren't able or willing to recipricate in some way, there may not be a second time, and I have to evaluate the friendship. I don't waste my time on people who aren't trying to maintain the friendship as much as I am. That doesn't mean they always live up to my expectations or hopes. I've been disappointed by friends many times, and they probably could say the same of me. People are imperfect and sometimes selfishness, oblivion, and just life get in the way. As long as the person is supportive more often than not, I consider that a good friend.

I believe a friendship has to be balanced. If I'm not getting out what I'm putting in, I have to ask myself why. Am I not stating my needs and expecting the person to "just know?," or is the person unable to be a peer, unable to give and only able to recieve. Those friendships don't last long, because I'm going to feel taken advantage of and resentful. But I try to cut off the relationship before I've allowed myself to feel used, and as a result I tend to have a lot less hard feelings about those people. I don't resent or hate them, I feel bad that they aren't able to be a friend - they lose more than I do.

My mom on the other hand has difficulty making friends and trusting people. She assumes that she will be hurt, rejected, or manipulated, and she pretty much gets what she expects. But she puts no out in the open, obvious expectations on the friendships, but a lot of hidden, unstated ones. She lets herself be taken advantage of, always being the need giver and never the need taker, and then at the first sign that a person hasn't met an unstated need (they should be as sensitive to her needs, as she believes herself to be to theirs) they've betrayed her and are not "real friends," as she knew they wouldn't be from the start.

My mom is an extreme example, and I suppose so am I in the opposite direction, but I do think the principles are true for people in the middle too. You don't get out of a friendship what you put into it (not totally) you also get out what you demand of it. If you're always someone else's "healer" they start to see you in that role, and wouldn't think to try to be yours. It's like they start to define the relationship as doctor/patient, and they wouldn't think to give their doctor medical advice (I don't know if that makes any sense). They think they're paying you with "grattitude," some of them assuming that they don't even have to say it, or even be grateful, because if they think about it at all, they think your joy in life is helping them out.

And the thing is, if that's what you've been to them for a while, suddenly putting demands on them wigs them out. You've "betrayed them" because you suddenly changed the rules without telling them.

I'm not sure how to become a trusting person, especially since you also have to be willing to put demands and expectations on a friendship - from the start. If you're "trusting" without making demands, you still end up as the doormat. I suppose it takes practice, to not fall into the trap of "need giver." I'm sorry I don't have any practical advice on how to do that.
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Last edited by kaplods; 08-23-2008 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:10 AM   #7
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This happened to me. A lot. So I stopped having friends. And it was very lonely for a very long time.

For me- I just can't trust people- like kaplods was saying - I think I lean more towards her mom as an example and honestly- for me I'm an example of what not to do- but it's not something you can just turn off or on, it's a matter of trying to find a good balanced friendship or taking small gradual steps to make existing friendships into good balanced ones. My poor husband even gets this treatment from me- I don't know if I'll ever trust a single person in my life, but somehow I'm really okay with that.

I got hurt over and over and over by one friend. Someone that I knew from the time I was 6 years old into adulthood. It was the hardest thing I had to do but I just had to let it go. She wasn't in a place where she could be a real friend, and she couldn't see anything beyond herself and after enduring enough pain from her for over a decade I finally just cut it all off completely.

Another friend from junior high through the end of high school- dropped me one day when she found something out about me that she didn't like. This was a person who was like my sister, went on family vacations with us, slept over every weekend, was a part of my family for years- just done with me entirely over something that honestly, was pretty small in my opinion.

I hate to say it, but it took me 10 years to make another real friend at all, and this is a friendship with strong reservations. But- she is aware of that and we're honest with each other and it's working so far. But, the only expectation I have of her is that eventually she will let me down and I will have to learn how to deal with that.

no advise, just commiseration. i do wonder though- do you feel like you'd be a stronger person if you were at your goal weight? like there's some part of me in my head with any relationship i'm in that tells me- put up with this **** because nobody else wants to be around you, you're disgusting, etc. it's hard not to listen to it.
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Old 08-23-2008, 04:05 AM   #8
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I feel your pain. I've been burned by so many people in my life. I haven't had a best female friend since high school and that friend, looking back, was no true friend at all. One of my good friends was such a pathological liar I found everything about her was a lie. So I find myself putting up walls and not getting to close to anyone I meet. Thank God for my husband, family and doggie or I would be the lonliest person I know.
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Old 08-24-2008, 08:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lizziep View Post
do you feel like you'd be a stronger person if you were at your goal weight? like there's some part of me in my head with any relationship i'm in that tells me- put up with this **** because nobody else wants to be around you, you're disgusting, etc. it's hard not to listen to it.
This is the line that I think is most important in this thread. I think that often we have onesided friendships because we think so little of ourselves, that we establish relationships that are based on what we can do for the other person...we are so grateful that they will be with us. Kaplods said you have to make demands in a friendship. I wouldn't use that phrase, but I do believe that friendships need mutuality...sometimes one gives more, sometimes one gets more. The problem often is that when you establish a friendship based on a onesided system (I give, you take) you get different friends (many healthy folks are uncomfortable always being the receiver) and you also don't make it easy for the friend to give back. They don't get it, this isn't the way your relationship works!

I am blessed with wonderful friends...when they have had hard times I have spent much time listening, helping supporting, and it has felt very onesided for a while. But...they've been there for me as well. Sometimes, when something has been one-sided for a while I have addressed that issue. I had a friend who went through a miserable divorce. Night after night she was on the phone with me crying...and crying...and telling me all the dirty details...and crying. Eventually there didn't seem any room for me to talk, she counted on my listening. I finally talked to her about that, things are better now, not perfect, but in part I let that happen.

I put my dearest friends into a category I call my 3am friends. Who could you call at 3am and say "I need you" and have them respond. There are a very small group in that category.

Each of my friendships has some limitations...no one really can be everything. There are different folks for different needs.

Think about the patterns you set with folks. Would you want to be your friend? (Not because you are such a supportive person, but because you are interesting and enjoyable to be with.) What do you want from your friends? What do you want to give?

Ironically, I was only able to establish my very best friendship, with my husband, when my self-esteem rose and I started to make demands rather than to always give. I had always been so grateful that a guy wanted to date me that I completely focussed on him his wants, his needs. I tried to make myself into someone he wanted to be with. Eventually, I either resented the onesided nature of the relationship, or he started to see that it was a false self I was presenting. Either way it doomed the relationship. When I finally met my husband I was ready to be myself and feel okay about it. He liked that person, and I liked the person I could be with him!

Friends are wonderful, don't cut yourself off. If all of your relationships are negative it may be worth seeking some therapy to look at what you are bringing to the table. It sure helped me.

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Old 08-24-2008, 09:52 AM   #10
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Yes, don't give up on friends. Sometimes you have to alter friendships and make new ones. But, there are good, good folks out there that will appreciate you for who you are and visa versa.

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Old 08-24-2008, 10:12 AM   #11
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I've only recently realized that the reason I wasn't getting as much support from my family or friends was because I wasn't keeping them informed on when I needed support.

I finally really opened up to my Mom this past week and the difference in the way she acts toward me (not that she was bad before, just unaware) has been amazing. I feel now like I can tell her anything, because some of the stuff I revealed to her this week sounds crazy (to me) and she's come back with complete support. I've decided to start practicing more openness with my friends as well.

As a result, one of my friends, who also struggles with deep depression, has made an agreement with me that we will never let more than a week pass without contacting one another (he's out of town) and whoever isn't in one of their deep dark funks will be the one to pick up the phone.

Pandora had a real point about lacking self esteem. A lot of this goes back to realizing how poor my self-esteem has been. Many peeple-pleezers have learned to get their feel-good from making others happy because that's what they were taught that good boys and girls do. My rebirth is to realize that I'm a good girl no matter who's pleased with me and to get my feel-good from taking care of my needs. The idea is to strike a balance.

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Old 08-24-2008, 01:44 PM   #12
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My family expected a lot out of me, without complaint, and gave me very little. Thus, I grew up not knowing proper balance in relationships. Thus, when people were nice to me, I was so grateful and willingly gave too much. Then, I was hurt when the relationship faltered. It's taken (and is taking) me a long time to figure this stuff out.

I went through a painful process of looking at my relationships and seeing who I was friends with and who I should be friends with, who it was healthy for me to be friends with. With some, I had to tell them I didn't like it that they treated me in a certain way, and I gave them a chance to treat me with respect. And, when they didn't, I had to drop the friendships. It was really scary. I was afraid that I would end up with no friends if I wasn't nice enough. Which, for me, meant being TOO nice. Wow, was I wrong.

Now, I try to ease into friendships. See who deserves to be close to me, by how they act and what they say to me, and who can't be trusted with intimacy. There are degrees of friendship. You can go to the movies with someone without having to share your life story or pay for the movie.

I also am careful to evaluate how I'm being treated and what I give out because I know my filters aren't in place the way they are with some people. I'll run behavior by a friend or two whose filters I trust to help me in my evaluation of a situation.

I have to start with a few assumptions: 1) People will let you down. Not because they don't want to be friends. Because they're human and make mistakes. 2) Balance is important, not only because you don't want to feel resentful but also because you don't want to create a sense of obligation in someone by doing too much for that person or create a sense of expectation and remove from the other person their strength and knowledge that they can care for themselves, and 3) Because of my background, I may well be more sensitive to relationship fluctuations and behavior than the other person, and I need to monitor my reactions.
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Old 08-24-2008, 04:59 PM   #13
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Red face

[QUOTE=Ufi;2330695]My family expected a lot out of me, without complaint, and gave me very little. Thus, I grew up not knowing proper balance in relationships. Thus, when people were nice to me, I was so grateful and willingly gave too much. [QUOTE]

Yup that is me....thanks for the input from all, I am continuing to read and think about what you are telling me.
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