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Old 09-11-2011, 11:49 AM
 
663 posts, read 941,914 times
Reputation: 940

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About five years ago I realized I knew a LOT of self-centered people. My mother, my childhood BF, and other various "friends" made over time. At first realization, I felt pretty resentful towards these people. I then wondered if my own behavior had caused any of it. Wasn't sure but decided from that point forward I would make doubly sure I was a good listener and otherwise good friend.....just in case I hadn't been before and not realized it. Well, this didn't help much other than to cause a few "emotional dumpers" to dump on me even more, mostly my childhood BF; we've been friends for 30+ years, since we were 10 years old. I started getting better with boundaries and at that point I realized, I am feeling a lot better but....

.....now, I never hear from these people. Perhaps that's why I feel better, lol. And new acquaintances, well, I still seem to connect with people who end up behaving the same way. I meet someone and get to know them, they seem like cool/nice folks, then after several months to a year.....I see the same ol' thing happening. They talk about themselves constantly, always have drama in their lives, and they look bored and fade out whenever the spotlight's not on them. Even
if the subject is not about me or anyone else in the conversation....could strictly be about a topic of interest to all involved; like music, arts and crafts, the weather, you name it. My DH says he knows a lot of people who are the same way, also finds it frustrating.

For me, I've all but about given up on having friends. I work really long hours and don't want to spend my off time with people who have all take and no give. It doesn't bother me save for once in awhile, I do feel lonely. My closest
guy friend, his newish GF pretty much ran off all of his female friends. To the point where I no longer feel comfortable
contacting him because I know she flips out at him if any of his old friends (even including some of the guys) get a hold of him. It's frustrating but his choice.....he pretty much has no friends left.

My questions are, do others here run into the same issues with any self-centered people they may know? If so, what have you done after exhausting all other options you could think of to have a more balanced friendship? I'm happy with my DH and my life, but also don't want to be 80yo one day and living with 86 cats just to have some company. I've also had irrational thoughts about turning into an old barfly one day.....the relative I am the most similar to, that's how her life turned out. I'm hardly a big drinker but then again, she wasn't either - not at first.

FYI - some of my potential roadblocks are work; I work a LOT of hours and not by choice. This won't change for awhile. I
meet most people through work and haven't had a ton of luck. Also, I was painfully shy as a child. Wallflower, unknown, ignored.....doesn't even begin to describe those days. Was raised by a very extroverted, not shy, very narcissistic mom who went through bouts of very heavy drug use who tended to be abusive and neglectful, even while sober. I've done a lot to overcome my childhood but afraid I might still be attracting friends who are similar to her, even mildly. I know how to distance myself from those types once it's known, just not sure how to attract other types of people.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:54 PM
 
2,726 posts, read 4,516,441 times
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It is very frustrating when you have to enforce your boundaries with people you love or who you call friends.

One way to look at it is like this: that person who talks your ear off, is looking out for her interest, that is, she wants to get something off her chest or she sees you as a person she can easily talk to. I usually try to see behavior in a positive manner.

It is okay to look out for your interest, for example, "Friend, I wish I could hear everything you need to say but I just got off of work and I need to.......Lets talk next time we meet."

While there may be a group of people who don't talk about drama or problems or feelings, they are not perfect either.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:48 PM
 
663 posts, read 941,914 times
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"One way to look at it is like this: that person who talks your ear off, is looking out for her interest, that is, she wants to get something off her chest or she sees you as a person she can easily talk to. I usually try to see behavior in a positive manner."

^yep, I know what you mean. I don't mind this at all unless it happens all the time. With a few people I know though, it's all they do. They never ask how someone else is doing, never want to talk about anything but themselves/their ongoing problems. I seem to know more people like that. I've been told I'm easy to talk to but often it starts to feel like being talked at. Once in awhile it would be nice to talk about something else, anything else.

For instance, someone I've worked with off and on for a long time, she just found out she is without a job at the end of the month, no warning. I feel terrible for her. In my office, I work with another friend of hers and we have become pretty good acquaintances. We both know about our friend losing her job. The acquaintance told me she doesn't feel bad for our friend at all, she "shouldn't have been surprised in this economy." Then she proceeded to launch into some unrelated to employment story about herself. Thing is, if she lost her job.....she'd be all over everyone, crying, going on, and basically having a hissy fit. I've seen her do just that for much less severe problems.

The friend who is losing her job, she has talked about it a lot, understandably. When she gets over the initial shock, she won't talk about it as much - she's already worried about being annoying (she's not). I don't mind her talking a lot because she has a very real problem she needs to deal with. It's different than the regular drama from the acquaintance. But I definitely get what you're saying, even drama free people aren't without flaws, etc.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:56 PM
 
Location: The Jar
20,068 posts, read 14,447,368 times
Reputation: 36812
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurePugx3 View Post
About five years ago I realized I knew a LOT of self-centered people. My mother, my childhood BF, and other various "friends" made over time. At first realization, I felt pretty resentful towards these people. I then wondered if my own behavior had caused any of it. Wasn't sure but decided from that point forward I would make doubly sure I was a good listener and otherwise good friend.....just in case I hadn't been before and not realized it. Well, this didn't help much other than to cause a few "emotional dumpers" to dump on me even more, mostly my childhood BF; we've been friends for 30+ years, since we were 10 years old. I started getting better with boundaries and at that point I realized, I am feeling a lot better but....

.....now, I never hear from these people. Perhaps that's why I feel better, lol. And new acquaintances, well, I still seem to connect with people who end up behaving the same way. I meet someone and get to know them, they seem like cool/nice folks, then after several months to a year.....I see the same ol' thing happening. They talk about themselves constantly, always have drama in their lives, and they look bored and fade out whenever the spotlight's not on them. Even
if the subject is not about me or anyone else in the conversation....could strictly be about a topic of interest to all involved; like music, arts and crafts, the weather, you name it. My DH says he knows a lot of people who are the same way, also finds it frustrating.

For me, I've all but about given up on having friends. I work really long hours and don't want to spend my off time with people who have all take and no give. It doesn't bother me save for once in awhile, I do feel lonely. My closest
guy friend, his newish GF pretty much ran off all of his female friends. To the point where I no longer feel comfortable
contacting him because I know she flips out at him if any of his old friends (even including some of the guys) get a hold of him. It's frustrating but his choice.....he pretty much has no friends left.

My questions are, do others here run into the same issues with any self-centered people they may know? If so, what have you done after exhausting all other options you could think of to have a more balanced friendship? I'm happy with my DH and my life, but also don't want to be 80yo one day and living with 86 cats just to have some company. I've also had irrational thoughts about turning into an old barfly one day.....the relative I am the most similar to, that's how her life turned out. I'm hardly a big drinker but then again, she wasn't either - not at first.

FYI - some of my potential roadblocks are work; I work a LOT of hours and not by choice. This won't change for awhile. I
meet most people through work and haven't had a ton of luck. Also, I was painfully shy as a child. Wallflower, unknown, ignored.....doesn't even begin to describe those days. Was raised by a very extroverted, not shy, very narcissistic mom who went through bouts of very heavy drug use who tended to be abusive and neglectful, even while sober. I've done a lot to overcome my childhood but afraid I might still be attracting friends who are similar to her, even mildly. I know how to distance myself from those types once it's known, just not sure how to attract other types of people.
Man! Unfortunately, this world is loaded up with the unloaders!
They seem to be everywhere these days!
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:22 PM
 
Location: The Island of Misfit Toys
2,766 posts, read 2,302,898 times
Reputation: 2343
I don't fault or blame people for being different or forcing the dissolution of a relationship. I just conclude we are incompatible at this time and keep looking.
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:23 PM
 
663 posts, read 941,914 times
Reputation: 940
For sure. I never, ever hear from my own mother unless she wants to dump a problem on me, or mostly because she wants something. Otherwise she's MIA. We only communicate via email anymore so she's easy enough to ignore. She lives many, many miles away and that's not a bad thing. She's an extreme case though, narcissistic. I learned a long time ago to never rely on her for anything as I could surely expect to be letdown. The only time she comes through, for anyone, is when she is not married or otherwise in a serious/living together relationship. She's been married/divorced multiple times and lived with more men than I can remember. When she's single she expects her family to pick up that slack - no one falls for it anymore. Karma.

Judging from your response, you have had to deal with the unloaders too??
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:26 PM
 
663 posts, read 941,914 times
Reputation: 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shankapotomus;
I don't fault or blame people for being different or forcing the dissolution of a relationship. I just conclude we are incompatible at this time and keep looking.
Good outlook on the topic!
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,269 posts, read 88,579,855 times
Reputation: 39866
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurePugx3 View Post
About five years ago I realized I knew a LOT of self-centered people. My mother, my childhood BF, and other various "friends" made over time. At first realization, I felt pretty resentful towards these people. I then wondered if my own behavior had caused any of it. Wasn't sure but decided from that point forward I would make doubly sure I was a good listener and otherwise good friend.....just in case I hadn't been before and not realized it. Well, this didn't help much other than to cause a few "emotional dumpers" to dump on me even more, mostly my childhood BF; we've been friends for 30+ years, since we were 10 years old. I started getting better with boundaries and at that point I realized, I am feeling a lot better but....

.....now, I never hear from these people. Perhaps that's why I feel better, lol. And new acquaintances, well, I still seem to connect with people who end up behaving the same way. I meet someone and get to know them, they seem like cool/nice folks, then after several months to a year.....I see the same ol' thing happening. They talk about themselves constantly, always have drama in their lives, and they look bored and fade out whenever the spotlight's not on them. Even
if the subject is not about me or anyone else in the conversation....could strictly be about a topic of interest to all involved; like music, arts and crafts, the weather, you name it. My DH says he knows a lot of people who are the same way, also finds it frustrating.

For me, I've all but about given up on having friends. I work really long hours and don't want to spend my off time with people who have all take and no give. It doesn't bother me save for once in awhile, I do feel lonely. My closest
guy friend, his newish GF pretty much ran off all of his female friends. To the point where I no longer feel comfortable
contacting him because I know she flips out at him if any of his old friends (even including some of the guys) get a hold of him. It's frustrating but his choice.....he pretty much has no friends left.

My questions are, do others here run into the same issues with any self-centered people they may know? If so, what have you done after exhausting all other options you could think of to have a more balanced friendship? I'm happy with my DH and my life, but also don't want to be 80yo one day and living with 86 cats just to have some company. I've also had irrational thoughts about turning into an old barfly one day.....the relative I am the most similar to, that's how her life turned out. I'm hardly a big drinker but then again, she wasn't either - not at first.

FYI - some of my potential roadblocks are work; I work a LOT of hours and not by choice. This won't change for awhile. I
meet most people through work and haven't had a ton of luck. Also, I was painfully shy as a child. Wallflower, unknown, ignored.....doesn't even begin to describe those days. Was raised by a very extroverted, not shy, very narcissistic mom who went through bouts of very heavy drug use who tended to be abusive and neglectful, even while sober. I've done a lot to overcome my childhood but afraid I might still be attracting friends who are similar to her, even mildly. I know how to distance myself from those types once it's known, just not sure how to attract other types of people.


Here's the truth in a nutshell...

YOU are inviting these kinds people into your life.

What you don't realize is the reason why. It's because we are unconsciously more comfortable with the familiar.

Your mom was a real piece of work, and I'm so sorry you didn't have the mother you deserved

But while you obviously hate the kind of person she was (who wouldn't??) and you've probably vowed to never be like her - what she was is what you KNOW. And what we know is what we are comfortable with, see?

You have to take this information now and make much more conscious decisions about WHO you let into your life.

Learn to be more discerning about people BEFORE you invest your time into a friendship with them and get burned again.

To aid you in that, consider enlisting the help of a therapist, someone who can give you the tools you need to break away from the past and its patterns.

Best of luck, and don't give up on finding true friendship - you deserve it
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:43 PM
 
8,018 posts, read 6,607,543 times
Reputation: 12053
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shankapotomus View Post
I don't fault or blame people for being different or forcing the dissolution of a relationship. I just conclude we are incompatible at this time and keep looking.
I wish more people would do this.
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:08 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,377,644 times
Reputation: 22356
I used to gripe a lot about this. In fact, if you look at many of my posts here on cd regarding this subject you will see that I felt much like you do about it.

However, I have come to the realization, over time, that the people who come into my life, are the people I attract into my life, and for some reason, I was attracting people who were much the same as the people you describe in your post.

I have not yet learned to discover why I attract these kinds of people into my life. I expect it is some deep-seated psyche thing. I'm in the process right now of self-discovery and learning. But I do accept the responsibility for creating my own reality by the things that I think and do.

That having been said, I cannot offer you much advice. To be 100 percent honest with you, it is very difficult for me to make friends and I think I was subconsciously attracting people that I didn't like so that I would have an excuse not to make, or keep, friends. So it wouldn't look like I was doing it on purpose. Again this is a demon I am learning to deal with. You might think about it and see if there isn't a similar demon causing this with you.

20yrsinBranson
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