Inconsistent friends

posted 4 months ago in Relationships
Post # 2
Member
640 posts
Busy bee

It sounds like they like you but are not particularly interested in putting in much effort to maintain consistent contact with you. If you find it hurtful then maybe try talking to them about it or plan to phase them out slowly from your life. I have a bunch of freinds that I would be very excited to run in to but when it comes to setting time aside for them, I don’t usually prioritize that. If I’m available then great but I have my core group of family and friends that I would put before them any day and it’s nothing against them personally. 

Post # 4
Member
87 posts
Worker bee

I think it’s kind of like dating, where mixed messages are sending the message that they’re not that into it despite the fact that they may like you

Post # 5
Member
268 posts
Helper bee

I had a somewhat similar experience once. It was the long term girlfriend of my boyfriend’s friend. She used to live abroad but when she moved in the same city we became pretty close. Then she found this strange job in a startup and they stopped paying her after the first month. Instead of leaving she remained with them for over a year (working for free, go figure why) and each time we talked she complained about how she didn’t have any money and couldn’t do anything (unless I’m the one paying of course). At some point I got tired of picking up the check and suggested free activities or just hanging out at my place or hers (a cup of coffee is literally 10 cents), but she would always cancel last minute because she had to “cook dinner” or “do the laundry”, or my house was too far so I had to come over each time (about 20 minutes and it’s a city with public transportation and sidewalks), or that she didn’t hear her phone ring even though we already had discussed a time and place to meet. I eventually realized there was a lot of jealousy involved and she liked to appear busy and unavailable because I was doing better than her in life according to her standards (which essentially means my boss actually pays me). I tried to explain to her that I can’t make myself available only to have plans canceled all the time and we haven’t spoken since.

If you feel like this is a similar relationship I think it’s there insecurities taking over and unless you want to deal with that I suggest you let it go. 

Post # 6
Member
916 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

peekaboobs :  Ehh.. what you are describing sounds more like am acquaintance than a friendship. A friend would want to actively make the effort to hangout with you or at least respond positively when you imitate the hangout.

Post # 7
Member
916 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

pbj1453 :  It sounds to me like they are more acquaintances than friends. A friendship involves both people putting in the effort or responding when someone texts them asking to hangout.

Post # 8
Member
640 posts
Busy bee

soexcited123 :  Fair enough. I may overuse the word friend because as long as I don’t have a problem with someone and I’d recognize them if I saw them out I would probably say I ran into a “friend”. Or if was someone I was really close friends with at one point but then we grew apart I would also say “my friend”.

Post # 9
Member
2839 posts
Sugar bee

Do they only go quiet when the plans involve traveling to your place? It sounds like they might just be a bit lazy and/or busy. 

I have a lot of friends/acquaintances that I’m excited to see and want to see, but then often when it comes down to it I just want to lie on my couch or go somewhere that I can walk or cab to. A 25-30min drive can feel like a big trek – especially since it means you can’t have any wine and have to leave before you get too tired. It’s just not something I’d want to do super regularly unless it was a really close friend. 

I probably wouldn’t bother putting too much effort into the friendship. They do sound a bit flakey so it might get annoying. Not responding at all is pretty cold as well. 

Post # 10
Member
628 posts
Busy bee

pbj1453 :  

Unfortunately this kind of flakey behaviour is super common, and I wouldn’t take it personally. It almost certainly has to do with their issues or things going on in their lives, and has very little if anything to do with you.

I have had very close (nearly best) friends pull this shit. A friend I had been extremely close to for years became really distant and busy/unavailable and only replied sporadically to my messages when she got a new BFF. The new BFF, who I met a few times, was quite icy towards me. I asked my friend if I had done something to upset or offend her, and she told me that I hadn’t and that she was the one who needed to apologise. But then I never heard from her again. Go figure.

I am currently dealing with a friend whom I have known for years, and has become a close friend in the last two years or so, who goes through phases of being very self-absorbed. During these times she brings every single conversation back to her own issues and we end up talking about her for ages even if something big is going on in my life. She makes plans only to cancel them at the last minute for some spurious reason.

I’ve realised it is probably a bid to feel important and powerful as she has been going through a difficult spell financially for a long time (waitressing while she tries to get her photography business going), and I think she needs to feel like she needs to level the playing field between us because I finally have a job that I love. (Much like the story one of the PPs described above.)

I concur with a PP that often this kind of behaviour is more about insecurity or possibly other issues which you know nothing about. The best is not to take it too personally and to take steps to protect yourself from people like this.

I personally pull back when someone starts behaving like this, and I certainly don’t initiate any contact. I’d probably hold off on inviting them to things for a while, or just let the friendship go entirely.

Post # 11
Member
1439 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

If they’re hot and cold with you, that means they’re hot and cold friends.  It just means they don’t know enough about cultivating good friendships to do so well.  I had several of these friends and after many flakes it got to the point where I was really distraught that I didn’t seem to matter to anyone.  No one had any common courtesy about responding to things, they would cancel last minute, and even though they would be the ones to enthusiastically propose plans they would never actually follow through.  I finally learned that some people are just really poor friends and I don’t have to keep trying to make a friendship happen with them.  Instead I zoomed in on my best friends that I really knew cared and poured my energy into those relationships, and I am much happier for it now.

Post # 12
Member
628 posts
Busy bee

hickoryhills :  

Heartily agree with this!

It is sad that there are so many of these people, but that is just the way it is.

Just because they are that way, does not mean we have to wrack our brains to figure out the why or bend over backwards to make a friendship happen with them. That is just rewarding bad behaviour, in my opinion.

The people who should be rewarded with our time, effort and care are the people who are good friends, who give time, effort and caring themselves.

Post # 13
Member
2924 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I think many of us have experienced one sided friendships; I certainly did.  I was friends with a girl in high school and through college that I felt like I always had to chase to get together.  She wasn’t a part of my closest friend circle, but when she did things with us, we always had a blast, which is why I wanted to hang out with her.  We also had a lot in common (more so than some of my close friends, actually) and I thought we could become closer friends.

I finally got the guts one day to confront her about this.  I told her it bothered me that I was always the one to initiate contact and I felt like she didn’t want to be friends with me. She apologized, said she loved being friends with me, and admitted to being lazy.  She didn’t have to initiate contact just because I always did, and that was the way with many of her friends.  She promised to make more of an effort, but never did.  I did not invite her to my wedding (which I found out later she was very upset about) and reached out to my sister on Facebook (I am no longer on there) to get my new address and she sent me a lovely congratulations card with her new phone number and address.  I sent her a text saying we should meet for lunch…and no response.  That was nearly 2 years ago.  I decided I was done wasting my time with flaky friends.  

I don’t know why we do this to ourselves.  I tell myself (and I hope this is the case!) that it’s a reflection of her and not me.  I know I have a tendency to want to be liked by everyone and take things too personally, so that makes me try too hard.  I learned to stop “rewarding” people with my time, like indigobee said.

So realize it isn’t “you”.  They’re not worth it.

Post # 14
Member
189 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2029

pbj1453 :

They were and are not your friends.  I had “friends” like these and the situation took a toll on my emotions.  They were constantly promising to hang out and flaking.  These people do not belong in your life, not worth your time at all. 

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