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    • dominqueobs
    • By dominqueobs 8th May 18, 10:09 PM
    • 14Posts
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    dominqueobs
    Friend never listens, but always shares her problems...
    • #1
    • 8th May 18, 10:09 PM
    Friend never listens, but always shares her problems... 8th May 18 at 10:09 PM
    I'm not sure if this is the right place to post, sorry. This has been bugging me for a while now, I have a friend and I listen to all of their problems and offer advice where I can. We mostly just catch up online. Whenever I have an issue though the replies are usually e.g. "When's that?" ...reply... "one word/sentence answer/long delay/change of subject". It can just be stuff going on in my life like a job search (something I have listened to them talk about in depth ), but they never take an interest in stuff I'm clearly wanting to talk about. I don't know what to do, I didn't have them down as the "taker" type but it really irritates me how closed off they are when I just want some advice/someone to listen has anyone else experience this and how have you handled it? I don't want to pour my heart out to her but I've just spoke about a job and get one sentence back with no questions, then she posts two paragraphs about her life I don't know if I'm just reading too much into it.
    Last edited by dominqueobs; 08-05-2018 at 10:11 PM.
Page 1
    • Sayschezza
    • By Sayschezza 8th May 18, 11:34 PM
    • 308 Posts
    • 2,757 Thanks
    Sayschezza
    • #2
    • 8th May 18, 11:34 PM
    • #2
    • 8th May 18, 11:34 PM
    It would annoy me too. Don't have any advice but I know I would cool the friendship. I think it should be a two way thing not just to be used as a sounding board.
    • Doodles
    • By Doodles 9th May 18, 6:47 AM
    • 265 Posts
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    Doodles
    • #3
    • 9th May 18, 6:47 AM
    • #3
    • 9th May 18, 6:47 AM
    I think many of us have had friends like that. I have a couple of friends that are like that in my life at the moment, I choose to keep in contact because they are interesting and make me laugh. I tend to meet up for lunch and nothing much else. But equally, I don't consider them close friends because emotionally they give very little back. So my effort with them is limited, and that's my choice. I have a lot of friends though, so this doesn't worry me particularly, I tend to share more with my closer friends.

    But this can be hurtful if it's a long standing or close friend.

    What I have done in the past, when it has irritated me, is to keep turning the conversation back to myself to test their reaction. So when your friend gives a one word/sentence answer, keep on again about what you were saying, and ignore some of the stuff she talks about. Turning the tables etc.

    You could of course just ask her, why do you not comment much on my life when we chat?

    Ultimately, only you know whether you would like to keep this friendship going, or whether to call it a day. Sounds draining.
    We are in Transylvania, and Transylvania is not England. Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange things.

    Dracula, Bram Stoker
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 9th May 18, 6:58 AM
    • 2,281 Posts
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    NeilCr
    • #4
    • 9th May 18, 6:58 AM
    • #4
    • 9th May 18, 6:58 AM
    I have a friend a bit like this. I think, to an extent, he gives his friends roles - I am relationship and benefits friend.

    I understand what you mean but he is what he is. I used to get annoyed - then I realised that he isn't going to change and, despite being self centered, he is a nice guy who is a lot of fun to be around. So, I stopped worrying about it. My best friend is there if I need advice - she's been fantastic over the years so I have no real reason to ask him

    Friendship is a two way thing but I reckon most friendships are not 50-50 in certain areas - me with advice is one example. My best friend is very settled in a strong relationship and is confident. Rarely needs to seek my advice but I'm an ear if necessary.

    From your point of view it's quite hard to advise. Personally, if they are a good friend, I'd forget about it, let it ride and enjoy their positive qualities. If they are your best friend and/or you do genuinely want their advice (and have no other source) then you will have to be firmer and keep on at them. They, probably, don't realise how they come across - my friend doesn't, I'm sure.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 9th May 18, 7:00 AM
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    PasturesNew
    • #5
    • 9th May 18, 7:00 AM
    • #5
    • 9th May 18, 7:00 AM
    Mostly, people don't want advice, they just want to vent and be heard. Maybe your friend feels unable to offer advice/opinion as they feel unqualified or don't really understand at all.

    Everybody is different ... maybe she just vents and thinks you're venting.
    • ScarletRibbons
    • By ScarletRibbons 9th May 18, 7:22 AM
    • 329 Posts
    • 4,305 Thanks
    ScarletRibbons
    • #6
    • 9th May 18, 7:22 AM
    • #6
    • 9th May 18, 7:22 AM
    Annoying this, isn't it - I think it shows a lack of interest in you and your life,

    I have a friend who does this when i visit. She's full of woe when I go to visit, complaining about everything and everyone, then when she's unburdened herself she cheers up, naturally. I used to come home feeling drained and depressed, but I won't allow myself to now, she won't change, and I know she's like that with others.

    In my more unkind moments I just think that she's a self obsessed moaner!!
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 9th May 18, 7:38 AM
    • 20,720 Posts
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    Pollycat
    • #7
    • 9th May 18, 7:38 AM
    • #7
    • 9th May 18, 7:38 AM
    I'm not sure if this is the right place to post, sorry. This has been bugging me for a while now, I have a friend and I listen to all of their problems and offer advice where I can. We mostly just catch up online. Whenever I have an issue though the replies are usually e.g. "When's that?" ...reply... "one word/sentence answer/long delay/change of subject". It can just be stuff going on in my life like a job search (something I have listened to them talk about in depth ), but they never take an interest in stuff I'm clearly wanting to talk about. I don't know what to do, I didn't have them down as the "taker" type but it really irritates me how closed off they are when I just want some advice/someone to listen has anyone else experience this and how have you handled it? I don't want to pour my heart out to her but I've just spoke about a job and get one sentence back with no questions, then she posts two paragraphs about her life I don't know if I'm just reading too much into it.
    Originally posted by dominqueobs
    Maybe she's not good at written communication?
    Some people aren't.

    I prefer to talk to someone face-to-face rather than email, text or even by phone.

    Maybe it's just her personality, perhaps she's selfish.

    Perhaps she doesn't realise you want advice and thinks you just want to get things off your chest while she stays non-committal.
    • bertiewhite
    • By bertiewhite 9th May 18, 7:54 AM
    • 1,232 Posts
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    bertiewhite
    • #8
    • 9th May 18, 7:54 AM
    • #8
    • 9th May 18, 7:54 AM
    We mostly just catch up online.
    Originally posted by dominqueobs
    I'd suggest they're not really a friend then - demote them to "acquaintance".
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 9th May 18, 8:05 AM
    • 2,281 Posts
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    NeilCr
    • #9
    • 9th May 18, 8:05 AM
    • #9
    • 9th May 18, 8:05 AM
    I'd suggest they're not really a friend then - demote them to "acquaintance".
    Originally posted by bertiewhite

    That's not necessarily true, though.

    I moved out of London a number of years back but still have very good friends living there. We do see each other during the year but, for various reasons, work, relationships etc, it's nowhere near as much as before. But, with a couple of them (including the friend I was talking about earlier in the thread) we do chat quite a bit online.

    Having said that I agree with Pollycat about preferring face to face. The written word can, unintentionally, sometimes give the wrong impression.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 9th May 18, 8:20 AM
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    Pollycat
    I meant to ask in my earlier post:
    Has she always been like this - seemingly not interested in your news - or has she changed?
    • dominqueobs
    • By dominqueobs 9th May 18, 9:00 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dominqueobs
    Thanks everyone. Busy jobs and other life stuff means it's mostly online. She comes to me for a lot and I didn't mind at first, but when they only want me to either respond with what's troubling them (can be hours of exchanges) or neutral topics I feel I can't be open like with other friends where it's give and take. I think it's always been like this but as it's gone on I've noticed it more. I've tried keeping my expectations low and keeping personal stuff off topic but then she'll come to me with more of her own worries. With jobs I thought as she'd been through it recently she'd be able to relate, but she just doesn't want to know and seems totally uninterested in my life but will go on about her (unrelated) husband's jobs problems whilst ignoring what I've said. I've tried doing the steering back but she just stops replying or makes her excuses. I don't want to have to say something, her ignore it then me have to explicitly ask again what she thinks - I'd rather just stop bothering.

    The friend who gives friends roles made me chuckle, had a couple of those in my life. I do seem to attract people who want advice/an ear all the time, whether it's boyfriends/work/family and I'm just trying to read the signs because it leaves me drained. You get seen as the agony aunt instead of a friend I think I just have to cut ties a bit from now on.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 9th May 18, 9:23 AM
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    Pollycat
    Thanks everyone. Busy jobs and other life stuff means it's mostly online. She comes to me for a lot and I didn't mind at first, but when they only want me to either respond with what's troubling them (can be hours of exchanges) or neutral topics I feel I can't be open like with other friends where it's give and take. I think it's always been like this but as it's gone on I've noticed it more. I've tried keeping my expectations low and keeping personal stuff off topic but then she'll come to me with more of her own worries. With jobs I thought as she'd been through it recently she'd be able to relate, but she just doesn't want to know and seems totally uninterested in my life but will go on about her (unrelated) husband's jobs problems whilst ignoring what I've said. I've tried doing the steering back but she just stops replying or makes her excuses. I don't want to have to say something, her ignore it then me have to explicitly ask again what she thinks - I'd rather just stop bothering.

    The friend who gives friends roles made me chuckle, had a couple of those in my life. I do seem to attract people who want advice/an ear all the time, whether it's boyfriends/work/family and I'm just trying to read the signs because it leaves me drained. You get seen as the agony aunt instead of a friend I think I just have to cut ties a bit from now on.
    Originally posted by dominqueobs
    TBH, there are people who can be classed as 'users'.
    People who never contact you but instead wait for you to initiate contact.
    People who take advantage of you - maybe always expect you to pay for coffee or travel to see them or expect lifts without offering anything back.
    People who want you there for the bad times but don't share their good times with you. I had a friend in this category. I spent hours with her during various relationship traumas but when she had good news I found out via someone else. I simply cut her out of my life, stopped texting, stopped visiting. When it all went tits-up, she rang me. I wasn't available.

    I guess you have to decide for yourself whether it's worth keeping in touch.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 9th May 18, 9:34 AM
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    hazyjo
    Listening or advising is a skill not everyone has. Not necessarily that they're selfish - my best mate is a bit like this, the conversation does end up being all about her and her problems all night (usually the same probs I've been hearing about for 20 years and she never does anything to change them so I've stopped advising). I think some people are just a bit wrapped up in themselves. Try not to take it personally.
    2018 wins: Single Malt Whisky; theatre tickets; festival tickets; year of gin(!); shoes
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 9th May 18, 9:49 AM
    • 2,281 Posts
    • 3,129 Thanks
    NeilCr
    TBH, there are people who can be classed as 'users'.
    People who never contact you but instead wait for you to initiate contact.
    People who take advantage of you - maybe always expect you to pay for coffee or travel to see them or expect lifts without offering anything back.
    People who want you there for the bad times but don't share their good times with you. I had a friend in this category. I spent hours with her during various relationship traumas but when she had good news I found out via someone else. I simply cut her out of my life, stopped texting, stopped visiting. When it all went tits-up, she rang me. I wasn't available.

    I guess you have to decide for yourself whether it's worth keeping in touch.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    Yes, to the last line.

    As I've got older I've cut down on the number of people who I'm actively friendly with. Just go with those who, overall, bring something to the party and who are easy to be around.

    I'm one of those who are seen as being a good listening ear, down to earth (not sure about this one - ask my partner) and with a lot of common sense. While cutting down on contact I'd never be unavailable to someone who needed help or advice - however, draining they might be.

    I had a friend who really was hard work. Very self centered and serious. About three months ago she rang me on a Sunday. I was happily plonked in front of the football half way through a bottle of wine. I groaned when I saw who it was on the phone. It turned out that she was ringing me to say that she was dying and wanted to thank me for the help and support I'd given her over the years.

    You never totally know what is going on in people's lives.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 9th May 18, 10:30 AM
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    Pollycat
    Yes, to the last line.

    As I've got older I've cut down on the number of people who I'm actively friendly with. Just go with those who, overall, bring something to the party and who are easy to be around.

    I'm one of those who are seen as being a good listening ear, down to earth (not sure about this one - ask my partner) and with a lot of common sense. While cutting down on contact I'd never be unavailable to someone who needed help or advice - however, draining they might be.

    I had a friend who really was hard work. Very self centered and serious. About three months ago she rang me on a Sunday. I was happily plonked in front of the football half way through a bottle of wine. I groaned when I saw who it was on the phone. It turned out that she was ringing me to say that she was dying and wanted to thank me for the help and support I'd given her over the years.

    You never totally know what is going on in people's lives.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    Regardless - I'm not willing to be only a bad-weather friend.
    Friendship is a 2 way street.
    I'm not willing to invest my time in a relationship where the traffic is purely one way.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 9th May 18, 11:15 AM
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    NeilCr
    Yes, to the last line.

    As I've got older I've cut down on the number of people who I'm actively friendly with. Just go with those who, overall, bring something to the party and who are easy to be around.

    I'm one of those who are seen as being a good listening ear, down to earth (not sure about this one - ask my partner) and with a lot of common sense. While cutting down on contact I'd never be unavailable to someone who needed help or advice - however, draining they might be.

    I had a friend who really was hard work. Very self centered and serious. About three months ago she rang me on a Sunday. I was happily plonked in front of the football half way through a bottle of wine. I groaned when I saw who it was on the phone. It turned out that she was ringing me to say that she was dying and wanted to thank me for the help and support I'd given her over the years.

    You never totally know what is going on in people's lives.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    Regardless - I'm not willing to be only a bad-weather friend.
    Friendship is a 2 way street.
    I'm not willing to invest my time in a relationship where the traffic is purely one way.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    Sure.

    We are all different and that's what works for you.

    I just wouldn't turn away from someone who needed help or support, bad weather friend or not. Although, I do take your point as they can be very draining.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 9th May 18, 12:14 PM
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    Pollycat
    Sure.

    We are all different and that's what works for you.

    I just wouldn't turn away from someone who needed help or support, bad weather friend or not. Although, I do take your point as they can be very draining.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    To be clear here:
    this was not a friend like the OP's who doesn't seem to engage in her problems.
    This was a friend that I helped a lot in a lot of ways.
    Helped her in her business.
    Dropped everything when she rang to say her partner had been violent.
    Supported her through the split and starting again.

    When she met someone else - a younger bloke - she dropped me altogether like a hot potato for her new set of (younger) friends.
    Never contacted me, didn't even answer my calls.
    It wasn't a case of 'cutting down on contact'.
    She cut all contact without any explanation as she thought - mistakenly - that she had her life on an even keel and didn't need me.
    When he dumped her, she wanted me to go round as she needed my shoulder to cry on.

    As far as I was concerned, her new friends could put the pieces back together again. But they'd melted away with her new ex-bloke.

    This wasn't just a case of someone being hard work, self-centred and serious.
    This was someone who made a conscious choice to exclude me from her life.
    And that was fine by me.
    I didn't want her back in my life, regardless of what her problems were.

    I think that is somewhat different to the scenario you posted about.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 9th May 18, 12:26 PM
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    NeilCr
    To be clear here:
    this was not a friend like the OP's who doesn't seem to engage in her problems.
    This was a friend that I helped a lot in a lot of ways.
    Helped her in her business.
    Dropped everything when she rang to say her partner had been violent.
    Supported her through the split and starting again.

    When she met someone else - a younger bloke - she dropped me altogether like a hot potato for her new set of (younger) friends.
    Never contacted me, didn't even answer my calls.
    It wasn't a case of 'cutting down on contact'.
    She cut all contact without any explanation as she thought - mistakenly - that she had her life on an even keel and didn't need me.
    When he dumped her, she wanted me to go round as she needed my shoulder to cry on.

    As far as I was concerned, her new friends could put the pieces back together again. But they'd melted away with her new ex-bloke.

    This wasn't just a case of someone being hard work, self-centred and serious.
    This was someone who made a conscious choice to exclude me from her life.
    And that was fine by me.
    I didn't want her back in my life, regardless of what her problems were.

    I think that is somewhat different to the scenario you posted about.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    It is. I was responding to your use of the term "bad weather friend". And, to be fair, in #12 you said

    I had a friend in this category. I spent hours with her during various relationship traumas but when she had good news I found out via someone else. I simply cut her out of my life, stopped texting, stopped visiting. When it all went tits-up, she rang me. I wasn't available.

    I guess you have to decide for yourself whether it's worth keeping in touch.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    which is different than here where, it appears, that it was she who excluded you



    To be clear myself, I, personally, still wouldn't ignore her or make myself unavailable.

    I understand all that you say - I wouldn't want her back in my life but I wouldn't have an issue about being that shoulder to cry on in time of need.

    Just different views which is all good. You and I have had discussions in the past and we do seem to see things quite a lot differently.

    We'd probably be fine in real life!

    Last edited by NeilCr; 09-05-2018 at 1:13 PM.
    • prowla
    • By prowla 9th May 18, 12:58 PM
    • 10,076 Posts
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    prowla
    My ex-wife was like that; she even said "I'M TALKING!" once when I tried to get a word in.

    I think I'm partially deaf in my left ear from mentally switching it off whilst being in the car with her.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 9th May 18, 1:14 PM
    • 20,720 Posts
    • 55,796 Thanks
    Pollycat
    It is. I was responding to your use of the term "bad weather friend". And, to be fair, in #12 you said

    which is different than here where, it appears, that it is she who has excluded you



    To be clear myself, I, personally, still wouldn't ignore her or make myself unavailable to her.

    I understand all that you say - I wouldn't want her back in my life but I wouldn't have an issue about being that shoulder to cry on in time of need.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    You're right.
    It was she who excluded me.
    I wrote the earlier post on the bus.


    Just different views which is all good. You and I have had discussions in the past and we do seem to see things quite a lot differently.

    We'd probably be fine in real life!

    Originally posted by NeilCr
    And we've also agreed on some things.
    So no reason to think we'd be other than fine in real life.
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