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Old 10-21-2011, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,031 posts, read 2,452,040 times
Reputation: 3214
Default Feeling guilty for having "bad feelings" about a friend or family member...

This thread could be titled "fair weather friends!" I'm talking about friends (or family members) who can be great at times! But they have annoying habits like not following through on their promises or making everything "about them" a lot...I have a friend who has been "good" to me and my son since my husband passed away last year. But she also "makes her own rules" and she can be undependable and inconsistent and "crazy-making" too! Up until now I've made excuses for her behavior and inconsistencies because she has been "big-hearted" at times. But I'm starting to see that she gives me the "shaft" a lot too!...Have you ever felt guilty for having "bad feelings" about someone because you keep thinking about all the times that they have "been there" and been "good" to you? Yet you know darn well that they "shaft" you a lot too? Do you feel guilty for having thoughts about them that seem "mean?"
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,031 posts, read 2,452,040 times
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My friend had a chaotic childhood. She had to fend for herself at an early age. Her life as a child was full of broken promises and inconsistencies...I'm sure that all of this affects my friend today. She has good intentions but she gets side-tracked at times and forgets things etc...She expects everyone else to remind her about things or call and wake her up etc. And this can be frustrating to the people around her. (Unless they are used to her "ways.") Just some thoughts about it...I don't think she is a "bad" person. She can be very caring at times. But she seems to "get lost" at other times and pushes everything out of her mind. Do you have any friends like this? Thanks...
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Too far from home.
8,743 posts, read 2,159,508 times
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Responding to your first post: Recently I sent a former "friend" a message through FB telling her that I did not like the feeling I got from being her friend of convenience and that I was ending the friendship. When things were going good for her I didn't hear from her, more so when she got in a relationship (I'm married so it was not an issue). When things were going bad for her I got the calls and the visits. When she lost her job I had to sit on the phone and listen to her get progressively drunk and carry on. Twice she called me 2 in the morning and I had to tell her never to do that again unless it was an emergency and not some drunken rant.

I didn't feel bad in the least. I got rid of some baggage that was weighing me down. I have no problem cutting people off who aren't capable of a balanced friendship. I have a balanced marriage and I think friendships should also be balanced.

If you need to get rid of a few people in your life, do it. YOU will feel better for doing it.
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:55 PM
 
768 posts, read 580,796 times
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I agree with SoftBlue---nothing to feel guilty about. I think I've read that we can't help what we feel---and to some extent, I think we can't help what we think. The only thing I would feel guilty about is if I didn't treat people in a humane or at least civil manner (I appreciate what Buddhists call loving kindness, but sometimes it just isn't possible and just being civil is enough to strive for).

It sounds like your friend has some good qualities---but you can't help noticing the less desirable qualities as well. While you appreciate the good stuff, the bad/lack of consistency is troubling. All you can do is accept her as she is---take what she can give you when she is at her best and give her what you can when you can. Doesn't seem like there is anything to be gained by getting rid of her---but don't set yourself up for a major disappointment by expecting her to be there 100% all the time for you.

I just think you are being honest in your observation. If you didn't acknowledge how she really is, then you are just pretending she is something that she is not----so I don't see that as being real acceptance. You are just keeping it real by acknowledging that she is a good person some/most of the time, but that she flakes out the rest of the time!
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
2,192 posts, read 2,888,889 times
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Why feel guilty for feeling upset at people who are jerks?
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:06 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
7,360 posts, read 7,781,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CArizona View Post
This thread could be titled "fair weather friends!" I'm talking about friends (or family members) who can be great at times! But they have annoying habits like not following through on their promises or making everything "about them" a lot...I have a friend who has been "good" to me and my son since my husband passed away last year. But she also "makes her own rules" and she can be undependable and inconsistent and "crazy-making" too! Up until now I've made excuses for her behavior and inconsistencies because she has been "big-hearted" at times. But I'm starting to see that she gives me the "shaft" a lot too!...Have you ever felt guilty for having "bad feelings" about someone because you keep thinking about all the times that they have "been there" and been "good" to you? Yet you know darn well that they "shaft" you a lot too? Do you feel guilty for having thoughts about them that seem "mean?"
I don't think you should feel guilty but I'll give you some perspective. It may be that she can't help her behavior and feels guilty plenty of times herself, even if she doesn't show it. I have some friends like that and can be that way myself at times and we all have one thing in common--adult ADHD. I'm not even going to attempt to dx someone over the internet but it sounds like your friend's negative qualities go check check check down the list of ADHD symptoms--it's why those with ADHD have such a hard time maintaining friendships--b/c consistency is really, really hard for us and I'll bet she's lost other friends because of this.

I have a very good friend who has let me down several times; at times she has really let me down, but realizing that she has more good than bad and that she would never intentionally hurt me or anyone and that she's the funnest person I know and I'd miss her horribly if I let her go has helped me a lot. I guess you've got to weigh this--does the good outweigh the bad?

Also, I've learned to not expect things from her that she can't deliver. I don't ask her to do things that will disappoint me if she doesn't do them--I don't ask her to be dependable b/c truth is, she can't be and I've forgiven her and I carry no resentment now. We all have friends for different things--some are there for us no matter what, some are dependable and will do exactly what we ask and we reciprocate, and some are purely entertaining and love us dearly but no matter how much they love you they can't be consistent. Love them anyway--it truly is not personal.
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:59 AM
 
Location: Too far from home.
8,743 posts, read 2,159,508 times
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Adult ADHD translates into selfish, self-centered. People have become selfish and think "it's all about me". "Horray for me, to hell with you."
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,031 posts, read 2,452,040 times
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stepka...Thanks for your insights about adult ADHD...I think my friend might have mentioned having this condition in the past. (Along with a long list of other conditions too.) She has been in and out counseling all her life and has a number of medical conditions too. (That aren't obvious or apparent.)...I should probably do more research on adult ADHD. Thanks for bringing it up...My friend has a tendency to wait until the last minute to do things. (Cook dinner, make sure that there are clean dishes and utensils for dinner, etc.) We are total opposites because I'm a "planner!" I like to get things ready ahead of time. (Because this gives me "peace of mind.")...We spent Christmas with my friend and her family and didn't eat dinner until the "wee hours." She has good intentions but it seems to take her a long time to "get started." And everyone around her has to wait until she gets motivated and "cranked-up!"...My friend's husband takes it all in stride. (Most of the time anyway.) Her provides her with "friendly reminders" when need be and he can be a procrastinator himself. It's obvious that he loves her very, very much! (And vica-versa!) Their household runs on "chaos" and "haphazardness." Nothing is ever "on time!"....When my friend invites me over for dinner I plan on helping her sons wash stacks and stacks of dirty dishes. (Or just enough for dinner that night.) I make sure to eat something at home before I go over because I know dinner might be very late! (Her kids do the same thing!)...My friend does have some endearing qualities. It's not "all bad." But it can an be frustrating when I've had to depend on her. Thanks again for bringing up adult ADHD. I will look into it.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:18 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
7,360 posts, read 7,781,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softblueyz View Post
Adult ADHD translates into selfish, self-centered. People have become selfish and think "it's all about me". "Horray for me, to hell with you."
Nothing could be further from the truth. I am not selfish at all and my whole day is spent helping handicapped children and they love me dearly. If I were selfish and self-centered, I don't think they would love me so much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CArizona View Post
stepka...Thanks for your insights about adult ADHD...I think my friend might have mentioned having this condition in the past. (Along with a long list of other conditions too.) She has been in and out counseling all her life and has a number of medical conditions too. (That aren't obvious or apparent.)...I should probably do more research on adult ADHD. Thanks for bringing it up...My friend has a tendency to wait until the last minute to do things. (Cook dinner, make sure that there are clean dishes and utensils for dinner, etc.) We are total opposites because I'm a "planner!" I like to get things ready ahead of time. (Because this gives me "peace of mind.")...We spent Christmas with my friend and her family and didn't eat dinner until the "wee hours." She has good intentions but it seems to take her a long time to "get started." And everyone around her has to wait until she gets motivated and "cranked-up!"...My friend's husband takes it all in stride. (Most of the time anyway.) Her provides her with "friendly reminders" when need be and he can be a procrastinator himself. It's obvious that he loves her very, very much! (And vica-versa!) Their household runs on "chaos" and "haphazardness." Nothing is ever "on time!"....When my friend invites me over for dinner I plan on helping her sons wash stacks and stacks of dirty dishes. (Or just enough for dinner that night.) I make sure to eat something at home before I go over because I know dinner might be very late! (Her kids do the same thing!)...My friend does have some endearing qualities. It's not "all bad." But it can an be frustrating when I've had to depend on her. Thanks again for bringing up adult ADHD. I will look into it.
Oh Lord, she's got it for sure! Try this link: ADD & Loving it?! Trailer Anyway, I didn't mean to imply that you shouldn't have expectations of your friend--just don't expect her to do things that are impossible for her and don't expect consistency. It's nigh well impossible. Just work with her as she is and enjoy her finer qualities.

The most difficult thing about dealing with ADHD is that you look normal and act normal most of the time. Then you fall down in some way like what you've mentioned and people assume that you don't care or that you're being selfish and nothing could be further from the truth. Or you have attitudes like softblueeyz, where it's just considered to be an excuse and an imaginary disorder. God I wish that were true. There's nothing worse than having a 130 IQ and a degree from an ivy league university but working for less than $14 an hour b/c you simply cannot get it together to wage a proper job search and you perform horribly in interviews b/c you come off as an idiot though everyone you know considers you to be quite intelligent. And that's with meds.

Now you can listen to SBEyz and dump your friend who was there for you during the worst time in your life, or you can listen to me and investigate this and then make your decision. I suspect that you're reasonable and will look into it.

softblueeyz: your friend that you dumped sounds like she needed to be. I never said anything about her having ADHD. Sometimes people really are just selfish and wisdom comes in knowing the difference.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,031 posts, read 2,452,040 times
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Just a quickie...Thanks to everyone for your posts and insights. My son has a new brain tumor and I just brought him home from the hospital last night...I may be a little "behind" for awhile. But I will write more soon. Thanks!
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