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To have a friend, you have to be a friend. Questions and an answer please.
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Anon_11642 posted:
Hi - I have known this gal for a long time - we used to walk together all the time outside but I have joined a fitness center so I walk there now and she tells me in the winter she will join too.

I have a problem with her in that she rarely calls. I have to be the one to initiate it. I am a friend to her - I give her a gift on her birthday and she does me too. The problem now is really crazy. She went to Germany for 3 weeks to see her sister as she is from there. I told her when she left that I would wait for her to call me as I know it could take a time to get used to the time change etc. Before she left, she took my email address and was going to email me at her sister's. I never even received an email from her. Why should I even care about this person but am one of those who cherish friends and are very important to me.

She has been home a week ago last Weds so well over a week - I know she is back because I see her car outside. I am hurt that she hasn't called me and who knows when she will. My sister and husband both advise me to just see how long it takes. She could call and say she was "waiting" for me to call her who knows and she could be mad who knows because I didn't call her. I am disgusted with friends who rarely call. Maybe she is tired of me. Maybe she doesn't like being my friend anymore - who knows - anything is possible as to why she hasn't call.

What do you suggest. I don't like the way this friendship goes - my calling all the time to keep it together.

Has this ever happened to any of you - like I said to have a friend you have to be a friend. She has a full time job and a husband who is retired. She once did told me that I was her ONLY friend and I believe it - her husband waits on her and weekends come and they go shopping and that's mainly her life - other than seeing her children when the come up.

I don't want to force my friendship on someone who may not be interested. How would you react to this situation.

All my other friends I hear from and we talk etc - but I haven't spoken to her in a month - and apparently it isn't happening. My husband keeps telling me she just doesn't need you - that is why she doesn't call.

I have put so much energy into our relationship - anyway your suggestion would be appreciated.
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
Some people are just like this. They want friends and enjoy their friends, but they don't initiate. So, I don't think her behavior necessarily means she doesn't want your friendship. Two questions I think you might want to consider are:

What do you get from the friendship?
Is it enough for you to be willing to be the one who always initiates?

You might also try having a frank conversation with her -- approaching it with openness and curiosity, not anger or hostility. Tell her what you notice and how you feel about it. You might find some of your questions answered by this.

I wish you well in working this through.
 
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Anon_11642 replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
I did see her yesterday - I was driving around after 5 pm and noticed she was walking on the walking track where she works - she waved so I stopped my car and got out and we walked a bit. She obviously has been doing this but could have called me to walk and talk but it never happened.

I did say to her gee I haven't heard from you - that is ALL I said - she said she was tired and snowed under at work, etc - the way I think gee, can't even spare 5 mins to let your friend know you are back, etc. Anyway, I mentioned the email and she spoke with her head down - "my sister wouldn't let me use her computer" which I find strange - doesn't make sense.

Anyway, that was it and am not calling - will let time pass - I dont want to force myself on people if they aren't interested in talking with me. I will focus on people who I enjoy.

I used to enjoy our friendship but for a friendship to survive I feel they need to meet you halfway or forget it and forcus on meeting potential new people.

I joined a fitness center in the town where I live and even though there aren't many people there I do enjoy getting out every day - who knows - once the cold weather sets in I may make one friend.

Anyway, I'm a person that has to have friends as I have a husband who is gone a lot in the day - anyway thanks for your response.
 
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dfromspencer responded:
I have had several "friends" like that. I have found, that they are not true friends. True friends will want to be with you, talk with you, and enjoy your company! I found this out, by finding the one true friend i have ever had. He wanted to see me, or talk, or just hang out. I could never have called him, and yet, he would still call, or just stop by. That is what being friends is.

This woman you talk about, seems not to care? Appearently, she does not need your friendship? If she did, would'nt she make some effort? At least a little? She has not, therefore, you should stop calling her. Then, if she feels she has lost out, maybe she will initiate the calls? Anyway, it seems to me, she has lost a great friend?

I wish i was as outgoing as you are. I don't have any friends. The one true friend i did have, died yesterday, and i am all alone now. Not a good feeling, i can tell you!

Good luck, Dennis
 
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Anon_11642 replied to dfromspencer's response:
I am very sorry you lost your only true friend. They say if you make 1 2 or 3 true friends in a lifetime you are blessed. I am sure being alone is a tough experience to go through and no one should have to be alone. I think that is my fear - to be alone but if it happens only WE can do something about it I guess by just getting involved in the community doing volunteer work if you are retired or doing part-time work - just to be around people.

You are SO right - that is what my husband says - a person gets tired of wagging their tail all the time. She sounds different now that she is back. Funny isn't it that her sister wouldn't allow her to email me. That stinks - cause when she said that she had her head down - I have caught her in lies - not that I am holier than though but I have always told the truth and if the truth would hurt I would try to be diplomatic.

I am taking your advice and not calling.

I Again, I'm sorry you lost a good friend but every day could change that - just one outing or one social event - but if you stay home and dont get out you are losing the battle - sometimes real neat things happen that are unexpected - and all of a sudden one had a happy day so all I can advise you to do is to get out and get involved in something. You can improve your situation but you have to be patient while you are trying new things. Good luck! Remember one thing - you are not alone in feeling alone and know there are many people like you. God loves you and ask him to help you with daily prayers. Take care.
 
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dfromspencer replied to Anon_11642's response:
Wow, thank you sooo much! Here i was trying to help you, and you helped me more. Yes, i know i need to get out there, i have never been good at making friends. I've been a loner most of my life. I have had good friends, but not like my best buddy Joe. He was the only true friend i ever had. The rest, well, lets just say, they would not be there for me at the worst of times.

Your "friend" had to be lying, if she held her head down? That is a sure giveaway. Why would her sister "not" let her use the computer? For what possible reason? Plus, there is always the cell/home phone? She could have called. No, i do not believe she is a real friend? Real friends care. Care enough to call, or just drop by. You know, i am sorry you liked her so much. She sure was'nt playing fair.

I hope you find another true friend, Dennis
 
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tmlmtlrl responded:
I've thought about this and the one comment that keeps playing over and over in my mind is this "She once did told me that I was her ONLY friend and I believe it". Maybe the truth is she doesn't know how to be a friend. She probably appreciates you more than she could ever express.

How about instead of having big expectations out of her and your friendship you consider that the friendship is what it is. If that is alright with you. You don't need to be apart of a friendship that takes so much energy from you and leaves you feeling resentful.

I'm just guessing from what you've said of her she probably doesn't have much self esteem and enjoys what she gets from you and has no idea how to return it. When you ask why she doesn't call it may just confirm to her her worthlessness. Not that that should be your burden to carry. Just maybe if you guys are neighbors then every once in awhile you can call her up for a walk and some girl time. Just know she's not going to be more than that. And ONLY if you are alright with that.

When your talk about her putting her head down when she answered you, that is a sign of shame. Not necessarily a lie. Obviously I don't know, but it was shame she was feeling.

Since you don't really have anything to lose here why not ask her "do you like me" "does it bother you when I come around" "do you spend time with me out of obligation" "I wonder because we only get together because I call and it makes me feel like you don't really value our friendship"

She might think you are always too busy for her and she doesn't want to call you and interrupt your life because in her low self esteem she's not worth it. Just an idea.
 
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dfromspencer replied to tmlmtlrl's response:
tml, you are sooo smart. That is one possibility i had not thought of. And its probably the case here? I have found that, both liers, and those ashamed, both hold their heads down. So, that is probably what she was, ashamed for not calling? Wow! You amaze me sometimes. I am sooooo glad you are here, please don't ever go away.

I hope Anon 11642 is still keeping tabs on her post? She may yet have a friend, if its not too late? I certainly hope this is the case? I would even take that kind of friendship right now. If i did'nt have you guys on WEB-MD, i would not have any friends at all.

Thank you for being here, you are definately one of the best posters here!!! Thank you, for all the help you give, not only to me, but to all the other's. Thank you!

Dennis
 
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Anon_11642 replied to dfromspencer's response:
Ready for this? Last night we were outside babysitting and when we came home the phone was flashing - a recorded message - it was from HER wishing my husband a happy birthday. Strange isn't it. Didn't call her and not going to for a while. In my mind, she has to prove to me that I mean something to her - we shall see.

Again, thanks for all your posts - it's good Web MD has these message boards - it sure helps going to a "shrink" and sometimes we just need to talk with an uninterested party to vent and get things off our chests anonymously.
 
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dfromspencer replied to Anon_11642's response:
I really hope you read tml's post, it could possibly explain your friends strange behavior? She may really have some self esteem issues? Something to think about, anyway.

She may not know how to prove to you, that you are her friend? Tml may be right, she really does like you, just has no idea how to express herself? You did say she was a German? The Germans are a strange lot, when it comes to friendships. My friend was married to a German national. She would not very often, even come in the room when i visited. And when she did, she kept her head down, and i would barely get a hi from her. Could they still be shy from what the nazzi's did in WW2? I don't know? it could be?

Well, good luck, and keep us posted. You are definately right about this site, it is a wonderful place to come to!

Dennis
 
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tmlmtlrl replied to dfromspencer's response:
Aww Dennis, thank you so much! Your kind words made me smile I needed it.

I was thinking about you today and hoping you are doing alright?
 
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tmlmtlrl replied to Anon_11642's response:
Anon, maybe you're expecting too much from her. She called to wish your husband happy birthday.. I don't think that was weird, I think it was her being friendly.

She did something a friend would do, and then you said she needs to do something to prove she's a friend. Maybe you have two different ideas of what friendship means. Apparently she doesn't fit yours and she's probably not going to either.

If she's not worth the effort to you why bother worrying so much about this? Why not try talking with her about what's on your mind instead of not calling her and hoping its going to change something?
 
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Anon_11642 replied to tmlmtlrl's response:
OK - say - appreciate your comments - she sent my husband a birthday card and know she will me too - we have exchanged gifts for a long time BUT am just going to say she is a friend but not going to put much weight on her friendship anymore.

She obviously is too busy with her full-time job and taking care of her 81-year-old husband. I am just letting time pass and not going to call her.

Dont know if I will say anything to her - she can just wonder why I dont call her periodically - if she says anything about that - I will just say - you know the phone works both ways.

Will focus my time on friends that do call.

Anyway, what a lot of replies - this is great - felt I needed to say something. Anyway, thanks for all your thoughts and replies.
 
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tlkittycat1968 replied to Anon_11642's response:
Did you not read tmlmtlrl's comments?
 
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Mariakln33 replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
I would have to agree with the expert. If it bothers you, talk to her. If she still seems disinterested she either isn't worth it or you can accept her as she is...


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