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Old 11-26-2012, 11:36 AM
 
Location: In the city
1,581 posts, read 3,275,810 times
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I had some friends visit over Thanksgiving who I hadn't seen in a while. Nothing terrible happened but I came away from the weekend just feeling like crap in a way I can't put my finger on.

One of the friends is an pal from college (we dated very briefly but there was no spark at all and have been in touch on and off for several years.) The other is his girlfriend who is gracious enough to be pleasant to me, but I am sure would not lose sleep if I dropped off the planet. Both are successful and well-to-do and live in an expensive city far away. They travel a lot, have no kids, etc. etc.

Everyone seemed to have a good time but there was this sort of undercurrent of dissaproval. The place I live is gorgeous but they had odd, gentle critiques of the city, the weather, the culture, etc. Nothing mean but the cumulative effect is making me feel sort of down. I tried really hard to be a good host and show them around but nothing seemed good enough. There was never a confrontation but I came away from the weekend feeling very ineffectual and exhausted.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:29 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,052,657 times
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So they were staying with you? How did it come about that you invited these folks that you really don't have much of a relationship with these days to your home for Thanksgiving? Were they your only guests (just wondering about group dynamics if there were other folks around).

It sounds like on some level, you were hoping to get a feeling of approval or appreciation (wh/ would only be normal!) . . . and instead, you got the feeling that they were being polite and cordial, but with a veiled sense of disapproval or were comparing your life to theirs and thinking yours comes up short. Maybe I am wrong . . . but I would once again have to ask: WHY were they there? If they called and asked if they could visit, that is one thing. But if you asked them - maybe you have some need for their approval and feel you didn't get it - or didn't get enthusiastic approval, anyway.

In addition, maybe you had envisioned this lovely weekend with good conversation and laughter and what you got was a lot of work with planning, food and entertainment . . . yet no good conversation or feeling of real connection. Again, I may be on the wrong track but just throwing some ideas out there for you to think about.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:38 PM
 
Location: In the city
1,581 posts, read 3,275,810 times
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They invited themselves along with another couple (one of whom I had briefly met years ago) and a few parents who I had never met. They did not stay with me as I don't have enough room for such a large group, but they did ask me to provide dinner and entertainment suggestions and sort of "cruise direct." One of the couples was very pleased with the visit, my friends stayed on longer than they did and were critical but in a totally passive aggressive way.

I just wanted everyone to enjoy themselves and spent a great deal of time, money and effort to ensure that all were entertained.
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Colorado
4,308 posts, read 11,783,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedasusual View Post
I had some friends visit over Thanksgiving who I hadn't seen in a while. Nothing terrible happened but I came away from the weekend just feeling like crap in a way I can't put my finger on.

One of the friends is an pal from college (we dated very briefly but there was no spark at all and have been in touch on and off for several years.) The other is his girlfriend who is gracious enough to be pleasant to me, but I am sure would not lose sleep if I dropped off the planet. Both are successful and well-to-do and live in an expensive city far away. They travel a lot, have no kids, etc. etc.

Everyone seemed to have a good time but there was this sort of undercurrent of dissaproval. The place I live is gorgeous but they had odd, gentle critiques of the city, the weather, the culture, etc. Nothing mean but the cumulative effect is making me feel sort of down. I tried really hard to be a good host and show them around but nothing seemed good enough. There was never a confrontation but I came away from the weekend feeling very ineffectual and exhausted.
I totally get it. My Dad has ways of doing something very similar and it makes me so tired as well. I think the only way you can handle it is a) never let these people visit again, b) next Thanksgiving see if you can get out of town or visit someone else, c) tell yourself these people will never change, never be happy and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. You can't change them but you can change how you choose to react.
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:42 PM
 
Location: In the city
1,581 posts, read 3,275,810 times
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Yeah, I take responsibility for my reaction. I am just puzzled as to why its so strong. Its odd. I think this is what they mean by "toxic" relationships and why we are maybe not closer.

If I see my friend from college one on one, its fine. He makes an effort to see me when he travels through wherever I happen to be. Most recently I was on the east coast and he passed through for work so we had a nice dinner with a number of my friends. I moved early this year to a different city and the entire crew came as described. It was different and just vaguely unpleasant as I have said. But its never something I can confront anyone on-- its never appropriate or anything I can put my finger on. Afterward I just feel lousy.
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:47 PM
 
1,523 posts, read 1,659,462 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedasusual View Post
Yeah, I take responsibility for my reaction. I am just puzzled as to why its so strong. Its odd. I think this is what they mean by "toxic" relationships and why we are maybe not closer.

If I see my friend from college one on one, its fine. He makes an effort to see me when he travels through wherever I happen to be. Most recently I was on the east coast and he passed through for work so we had a nice dinner with a number of my friends. I moved early this year to a different city and the entire crew came as described. It was different and just vaguely unpleasant as I have said. But its never something I can confront anyone on-- its never appropriate or anything I can put my finger on. Afterward I just feel lousy.

If he is fine when away from his girlfriend, maybe it's her who was causing the tension. She may have been yapping to him about the fact that you two dated.

Please stop going over the what ifs because you did nothing wrong.
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:57 PM
 
Location: In the city
1,581 posts, read 3,275,810 times
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Yeah, I am sure that is part of it. But its such ancient history (a decade ago and they have been together since) and I never even think about it. He was actually the first person I ever was with where I was in no way physically interested. It was a surprise to me at the time that such a thing could happen!

I think they just treat me like a novelty item. They are both academics and very proud of that. I come from a family of academics and have never had an interest in pursuing that path. I wandered around for a while, tried out several different careers/cities and now am successful in position that is lucrative but not overly glamorous. They like to remind me of things I did or said in my early twenties, which is always expressed as an amusing anecdote but comes across as being a little hostile. I think I have changed a lot and hope that they will kind of meet me on a level plain. But I guess that is not going to happen.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:08 PM
 
7,099 posts, read 24,455,098 times
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Let's face it! They took advantage of your "friendship" and gave nothing in return. I think you have built this up as somehow being your lack, when in fact, it was their rudeness that governed their behavior.

Forget it!!
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:15 PM
 
Location: In the city
1,581 posts, read 3,275,810 times
Reputation: 2357
Yes. You are correct. I just feel a little duped I guess and angry at myself for being taken in.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:02 PM
 
18,304 posts, read 23,445,474 times
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confused, here's a bit of free advice

think of your mind as a pitcher of water, and your emotions are a garden, do you water the flowers (positive) or do you water just the weeds??

when you water the weeds, they grow, often into something different from what they started


count your blessings and the rest is just details...let it go
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