Being a good friend is hard sometimes

So I have a good friend going through a breakup. We were roommates when I first moved over here and we go back years and years. We have our ups and downs and I’ve accepted that our friendship is a certain kind of friendship – this is not someone who’s moods I can rely on. This is not someone who is unselfish in her friendship. There are conditions and as long as I’m fine with it, we’re good. And I made a decision a long time ago that I value this friendship enough not to expect more from it than is offered.

But this breakup. It’s a tough one. They were together for over 2 years – living together for about 8 months of that. It’s been going downhill for a few months and came to a head about 2 weeks ago. So the breakup has been going on for about a week really. I’ve been a supportive friend throughout I think – dropping things and going over to sit with her and drink and let her cry. I’ve talked her through things on the phone, I’ve been there via email.

The final talk of the breakup was scheduled for the weekend. I had previous plans I couldn’t get out of – family commitments and another friend’s 30th birthday. I knew it was going to be a tough weekend for her but I had to stick to my plans. I tried to call her on Saturday and on Sunday and got nothing.

Today, I dropped her an email and responses are 1 line and very curt. Something tells me that she’s angry – at me, at her ex, at the world – and I’m trying to understand her and be understanding and not take it personally but I feel off about it. She’s generally fairly moody – PMS around her is a challenge – but it gets difficult not to take personally when you’re getting all caps 1 line responses to questions.

Trying to breathe here and not get defensive. Any suggestions or should I just walk away and let her calm down?

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5 thoughts on “Being a good friend is hard sometimes

  1. My son is a moody one — finally, I had to tell him, “I love you and I’m sorry that things are so difficult for you right now. But I love me, too, and I’m not going to let you treat me [this way]. If you want to talk, I’m willing to listen. But I’m not the cause of your anger and I’m not willing to be the target of it.”

    So , my advice is … be there for your friend, but mind your own boundaries. 🙂

  2. Girrrrrl, I have a friend JUST like this. It’s painful, really, because we want to people-please and BE a good friend, but sometimes they just require way too much maintenance. The situation with my friend isn’t ideal, I don’t like the hot-and-cold of it, but I’ve learned to just ride the waves. I’m the same, she bounces in and out, I do what I can to be a friend when she needs me, and to not take it personally when she doesn’t. It’s unreasonable for her to expect you to drop EVERYTHING and focus only on her emotional pain… you’ve got a life going on too! I think you’ve already done your best… she’ll have another wild mood swing and be sweet as pie in another couple of days! 🙂

    • Aren’t they frustrating friends sometimes?

      I ended up not engaging yesterday and she actually apologised – she realised that she was being unreasonable and just angry at the world. First time the apology has come through unbidden and so quickly.

      I’m working on not being a people-pleaser so much and accepting that I can’t be everything for everyone.

  3. I actually have a girlfriend who is just like this. I was actually her Maid of Honor in March 2008. She’s about 10 years older than me, and as long as we have been friends, I’ve always felt as though I’m walking on egg shells with her. I never know when she’s going to be moody, and how she will take whatever she says. I always have to go to see her (even though she only lives 10 minutes away) and I have watched her cut one person after another out of her life for entirely petty reasons like they forgot to call by 10am on her birthday or they werent able to make it to her housewarming party (due to a funeral none the less). She never tells me when or why she’s upset with me. I used to try to figure out what I was doing wrong, but I’ve come to realize that it isnt me, it’s her. This year in March she tried to cut me out of her life for not calling her ON her anniversary (even though she was supposed to be out of the country at the time). I didnt see the point of leaving a voicemail that she couldnt retrieve until a week later.

    I’ve since given up on the friendship. I have a lot of other friends that are much easier to get along with. Friendships shouldnt require full time maitenance!

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