Issues with Friends

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TheIndianGirl

Well-known member
Nov 22, 2019
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632
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#1
Do you have friends who make you feel down/worse? How do you deal with this? I am thinking of two close friends in particular, both mean well. However one is a "misery loves company" type and more doom and gloom/complainer. For example she was feeling very lonely/moody, so in the end I was feeling a bit unsettled for a couple of days. We have deep conversations and get along otherwise. I have told her she is doom and gloom, and even advised her not to be this way while dating (she is married now). The other is very direct and I find her insensitive at times. We disagree on many things but she otherwise a genuine and honest person. I have told her she has patronized me, and she grew upset and said she has never patronized me. In both cases I was honest with how I feel but the situations have not improved. I believe these are personality issues and they will never change.
 

Runningman

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2020
1,003
879
113
#2
I find when people are complaining or sharing their positive experiences they are usually looking for validation.

So even though it can be burdensome to hear someone's problems, it is because you are trusted and they feel like they can confide in you; Assigning labels to them like doomer, gloomer, or insensitive might provoke a defensive response and make them feel invalidated.

It's delicate because validation is not always what is needed to be helpful, but rather a firm, assertive, yet fair response is required. There is no way to give advice for this; this is only obtained via experience and wisdom.

So the best place to begin is in prayer.
 

Blackpowderduelist

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2020
1,415
600
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Babylon
#3
Why do we care so much about feelings when feelings are so deceiving?
Just say the reality to them, what ever the circumstances are.
I have a friend who says, " your feelings are stupid and don't matter, so get over yourself". He is a good friend, he keeps a person looking at reality instead of validating the deception that feelings bring. The vast majority of offences come when one does something with out thinking about it, and the other assumes the worst of them.
Last night I was discussing something with my wife that fits right in right here. Why aren't we just honest with people.
Why don't you at the moment that you feel this person is patronizing you just say," hey are you patronizing me?" " It seems you are patronizing me".
When I talk to my Christian friends who are all doom and gloom, I just say, "well at least dead men can't die."
I'm not saying this to be harsh. I just want to offer you another perspective. If you disagree it's ok, you can disregard it or even call me a jerk. I'm not gonna be upset with you over it. This is just the best I have to offer. So understand that I assume the best of you, because you are a sister in Christ. I really do hope you figure this out and have healthy relationships with your friends.
 

Blackpowderduelist

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2020
1,415
600
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Babylon
#4
I find when people are complaining or sharing their positive experiences they are usually looking for validation.

So even though it can be burdensome to hear someone's problems, it is because you are trusted and they feel like they can confide in you; Assigning labels to them like doomer, gloomer, or insensitive might provoke a defensive response and make them feel invalidated.

It's delicate because validation is not always what is needed to be helpful, but rather a firm, assertive, yet fair response is required. There is no way to give advice for this; this is only obtained via experience and wisdom.

So the best place to begin is in prayer.
And reading the word.
 
Mar 25, 2020
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#5
Do you have friends who make you feel down/worse? How do you deal with this? I am thinking of two close friends in particular, both mean well. However one is a "misery loves company" type and more doom and gloom/complainer. For example she was feeling very lonely/moody, so in the end I was feeling a bit unsettled for a couple of days. We have deep conversations and get along otherwise. I have told her she is doom and gloom, and even advised her not to be this way while dating (she is married now). The other is very direct and I find her insensitive at times. We disagree on many things but she otherwise a genuine and honest person. I have told her she has patronized me, and she grew upset and said she has never patronized me. In both cases I was honest with how I feel but the situations have not improved. I believe these are personality issues and they will never change.
Friends are your extended family. I think that's the truth. Friends look at you from outside your family who assume they know everything about you. Your family knows you better. But they will miss a lot of details friends will know about you. With friendship, it's always where you draw the line with your friends. Always choose your friends wisely. But it's not always possible.

You're responsible for your life. Others, you can help. But you cannot carry their emotional burden. It's theirs. You don't have to tell them that. When they come to you looking for love and care, just listen. But see to it that their negativity doesn't affect your life and your mental health. You have to be strong on your own. You believe in God. Rely on Him always and you won't be disappointed. Hardships will pass.

Your friends will not change. They're going to be the same or they may change in the future. But they have to be willing to change. It's their life, their choice. You always have a choice. Do you want to carry the burden of a person who affects you negatively or give it to God and worry about setting your life right? I'm not saying don't be there for them. Prioritize your life. Lead by example. Good examples can be followed. If they don't learn from your example and are stubborn with their ways, let them be that way. It's not your fault.

Know that God wants you to be happy always. What your friends want can be either good or bad. It's who they are to you. Don't expect them to do for you as you would do for them. The less you expect, the happier you'll be. Oh and when you aren't with them, you can stop thinking about them. You don't have to think about them all the time. Fill your mind with good and positive thoughts. You have to have a good place for yourself. Everyone deserves a good place in their lives. A safe place. And a safety net to fall back to. Thankfully you have God and He will always help you. Give your thoughts to Jesus. Trust in His name and believe He's going to take care of you and those you love. Put your confidence in Jesus.

And go and make new friends. Have new experiences. It will change your life.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
10,036
3,651
113
#6
No I dont think friends can MAKE you feel down or worse...I do think sometimes we can catch the feelings of others...though feelings are fleeting and are not always who they are, some are just stuck in their ways.

aside from praying for these friends, sometimes the thing to do is do stuff with both of them together as a group as it can be more fun that way and theres less of thing where you feel all the attention and feelings (complaining or patronizing) are solely on you to deal with.you. can also make new friends. theres no limit to the number of friends you can have.


people that patronize are often totally unaware they do it, eg. say someone is the eldest child of their family and have always been 'the boss' in situations. They will boss others without even thinking cos they are so used to it. Even if you tell them they cant really change out of that pattern, it would be like wearing clothes tht are too small, for them.

with someone who is lonely maybe they were like an only child or odd one out of their family. If they need a bit more than you can give, one thing I might suggest is a pet. see pets can be with a person all the time and while they cant talk like you and I, but that companionship is valuable.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
13,574
6,215
113
#8
I believe these are personality issues and they will never change.
You may not be able to change the friends you have, but that does not mean that you cannot find other friends and just move on.
 

Genipher

Well-known member
Jan 6, 2019
356
292
63
#9
No I dont think friends can MAKE you feel down or worse...I do think sometimes we can catch the feelings of others...though feelings are fleeting and are not always who they are, some are just stuck in their ways.

aside from praying for these friends, sometimes the thing to do is do stuff with both of them together as a group as it can be more fun that way and theres less of thing where you feel all the attention and feelings (complaining or patronizing) are solely on you to deal with.you. can also make new friends. theres no limit to the number of friends you can have.


people that patronize are often totally unaware they do it, eg. say someone is the eldest child of their family and have always been 'the boss' in situations. They will boss others without even thinking cos they are so used to it. Even if you tell them they cant really change out of that pattern, it would be like wearing clothes tht are too small, for them.

with someone who is lonely maybe they were like an only child or odd one out of their family. If they need a bit more than you can give, one thing I might suggest is a pet. see pets can be with a person all the time and while they cant talk like you and I, but that companionship is valuable.
I dunno...Job's friends made him feel bad...
 

Subhumanoidal

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2018
2,404
1,980
113
#10
Do you have friends who make you feel down/worse? How do you deal with this? I am thinking of two close friends in particular, both mean well. However one is a "misery loves company" type and more doom and gloom/complainer. For example she was feeling very lonely/moody, so in the end I was feeling a bit unsettled for a couple of days. We have deep conversations and get along otherwise. I have told her she is doom and gloom, and even advised her not to be this way while dating (she is married now). The other is very direct and I find her insensitive at times. We disagree on many things but she otherwise a genuine and honest person. I have told her she has patronized me, and she grew upset and said she has never patronized me. In both cases I was honest with how I feel but the situations have not improved. I believe these are personality issues and they will never change.
Well your "doom and gloom" friend may actually be your "depressed" friend, and thus not a personality issue but something deeper that may require treatment. And if that is so your approach definitely would not help.
And honesty is rarely respected anymore. I find those people willing to speak honestly and upfront are often viewed negatively in a world where warm fuzzies and back patting are preferred.
Perhaps they don't do well in their approach, or perhaps you simply don't handle their approach well. I also tend to be direct and many dislike it, but there are people out there that appreciate it because everything is clear and understood. Sometimes its less about the delivery and more about the way it's perceived. Or sometimes we just don't want to hear the truth.
And to them saying they haven't done these things to you have you considered that they are sincere when they say this?
My gf has told me at time the way I respond to things makes her feel stupid. Yet I don't think of her as stupid whatsoever. I actually believe she's smarter than she gives herself credit for. So at no point have I ever thought or felt that way, yet she had perceived it at times. I don't know what I've said or done to make her feel that way, so to my mind that's not true.
But I do have a history of being misunderstood and taken wrongly. I spent many years hearing the same criticisms about how I came across to people and never understood why. I refused to believe it until I heard it so many times I had to acknowledge it. To this day I still don't know what people saw that way, and I've asked and tried to understand.
So to think that you having an issue with how someone is is supposed to change them is fairly unreasonable.

But here's another way to view this situation. You have to friends whose ways you dislike. You inform them of these things and are surprised they didn't just change simply because you pointed them out. And so bothered by it that you feel a need to complain to others that they didn't listen to you and conform to your way of seeing things.
Do we view you as a caring friend trying to help others out? Or intolerant and selfish expecting others to change to suit you?

Generally complaing about major aspects of a persons behavior will not change a thing. If a person sees and acknowledges it as a negative then working with them on specifics is of greater benefit than simply pointing out something and expecting them to change.
And part of that involves listening to them to understand what causes it.
For example I tend to be straight forward because I was the youngest of 4 children and a quiet person among three older, louder siblings. So I had to learn to make my words count to get anything across, and sometimes had to be pushy to get that much.
And often felt that way growing up outside of the family as well. So now that's part of me.

Note I am not accusing you of anything merely presenting other ways of seeing and understanding the behaviors of others. In all honesty I expect nothing to change based off anything I said, but I at least feel right knowing I tried.
 

TheIndianGirl

Well-known member
Nov 22, 2019
916
632
93
#11
And to them saying they haven't done these things to you have you considered that they are sincere when they say this?
My gf has told me at time the way I respond to things makes her feel stupid. Yet I don't think of her as stupid whatsoever. I actually believe she's smarter than she gives herself credit for. So at no point have I ever thought or felt that way, yet she had perceived it at times. I don't know what I've said or done to make her feel that way, so to my mind that's not true.
But I do have a history of being misunderstood and taken wrongly. I spent many years hearing the same criticisms about how I came across to people and never understood why. I refused to believe it until I heard it so many times I had to acknowledge it. To this day I still don't know what people saw that way, and I've asked and tried to understand.
Yes, I do question the sincerity of someone who says something that makes me feel bad. Unless they lack interpersonal skills/ empathy or suffer from a mental illness (autism, etc.), I believe they are doing this on purpose. ESPECIALLY if this continued over a long period of time. It comes down to lack of interpersonal skills, mental illness, or vengeful spirit on why a person would act this way.
 

TheIndianGirl

Well-known member
Nov 22, 2019
916
632
93
#12
You have to friends whose ways you dislike. You inform them of these things and are surprised they didn't just change simply because you pointed them out. And so bothered by it that you feel a need to complain to others that they didn't listen to you and conform to your way of seeing things.
Do we view you as a caring friend trying to help others out? Or intolerant and selfish expecting others to change to suit you?
I'm not "complaining" as you suggest. I'm seeking advice (or as you might say, complain) which is the purpose of the Family Forum. Expecting others to show empathy and concern for a friend's feelings is not intolerant or selfish.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
10,036
3,651
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#13
I dunno...Job's friends made him feel bad...
I think he was already feeling bad to begin with after all he went through though they didnt exactly cheer him up.

One of them was quite honest though.
 

Johari

Junior Member
Dec 24, 2013
87
33
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#14
I don't currently have friends that make me feel down or worse. I had them and either they distanced themselves or I did to the point of no longer being friends. There was no official fight but we don't talk anymore and I never told them how I felt. It wasn't always like that but feeling drained after hanging out with them made me lose interest in our friendship. Maybe they felt the same too as in feeling drained after being around me. Perhaps our friendship was for a season.

Communication is key and if you think the personality differences make the friendship unbearable there's always being acquatiances or ending contact.
 
Jan 19, 2021
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#15
It sounds to me like these aren't the people the lord wants in your life. Perhaps these individuals are troubled or maybe your personalities as you suggested just dont fit/work. I would suggest distancing yourself from these people in a kind way. That way no ones feelings are hurt. Alternatively, you could try and talk this all through with them but it sounds like they wouldn't be responsive to that and so it may just cause a lot of upset without producing any positive results.
 

Shandy

Active member
Sep 12, 2020
178
212
43
#16
I know how draining it can be listening to gloom and doom, I get it every day from a member of the family. The problem is it can ruin your health. That is the reason why a lot of psychiatrists end up with depression themselves.
I said to my family member one day "you are never happy unless you are moaning." Her answer was "you are the only one who listens." Your friend knows you will listen. You are a good friend but you need a break. What sometimes helps me is going somewhere different with her. I tell her I won't go if she starts moaning because I want us to have a happy time. That often works
If she starts moaning the next day I remind her of the good day we had.
I try to make her laugh, that sometimes works. Try to change the subject or even ask her what makes her happy.
I think it is important you meet other friends too. They do not own you.
If anyone patronises me I just smile.
 
Feb 20, 2021
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#17
Do you have friends who make you feel down/worse? How do you deal with this?
The day I got it into my mind that only True friends help to make your problems go away, was the day I realized I didn't have any actual "friends." When I realized they were not genuine, I gradually ended them.

Believe in yourself . . . I sure do. We are good people!