- 8 years ago
- Wedding: September 2010
Hey hive, I have a friendship question and I’d like some advice. I have a longtime friend called Heather. My husband has never been a fan of Heather, which I always thought was a little weird, because he’s the kind of person who very rarely dislikes anybody. He can find the good in any person. He’s said for years that he didn’t think she was a good friend to me, and that she only cares about herself. I always brushed him off, saying I’ve known her much longer and didn’t think he really understood her or our friendship.
At some point in the last year, I started to realize that the majority of our conversations revolved around Heather and her life. At first, I didn’t think much of it. Friendships go through periods of time where one person has more to share/vent about. Still, soon I started to realize that every conversation revolved solely around her. At this time in my life, I was in the thick of wedding planning, and had a lot going on outside of that too, but those topics were rarely discussed. At first, I didn’t mind, but it soon became apparent to me that all she wanted to talk about was herself. I began to wonder if my husband was right, and if she did really only care about herself. I was still willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, and then a friend said something to me that stopped me in my tracks. I mentioned to her that I was meeting Heather for lunch. She had only met Heather once at this point, at my bridal shower, so I mentioned that was the friend I was meeting up with. My friend looked at me and said, “Oh, I remember her. She turned every conversation into something about herself at your shower.” I asked her what she was talking about, and she said that she and another friend just noticed that she kept trying to turn the conversation toward herself the entire time and they thought it was a little weird.
After hearing this, I really started to pay attention to our conversations, and how much Heather talked about herself. In a typical conversation, Heather will talk about herself for at least 45 minutes or an hour before even asking any questions about my life. She’ll listen if I force my way into the conversation, but only briefly before turning the conversation back toward herself. It really hit home for me when I offhandedly mentioned something important that’s been going on in my life for awhile, and she had never even heard about it before. I’ve realized she knows very little about my life because she acts completely uninterested as soon as the conversation turns away from her. On the rare occasion I call Heather to vent about my life, she ends the conversation after 10 or 15 minutes. Typically when she calls me, the conversation lasts at least an hour.
I’m not the type of person to put up with this behavior, but I’ve known Heather for a long time, and up until recently, was really trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, I’ve realized this is just the way Heather is now, and she will not change. Obviously, I know I can just start to avoid her calls altogether, but I usually am open and direct with my friends, and that seems passive aggressive. At the same time, I don’t think talking to her about this will do any good because she just seems completely focused on herself above all else. She’ll end up defensive and/or angry, and I doubt she’ll take anything I say to heart.
Does anybody have any advice for me as to what to do? If you’ve dealt with a similar situation, how did you handle it? Do you think talking to her will do any good, or should I just accept that this is a friendship that’s run its course and move on?