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Need Advice on Confronting a Friend...

*Sigh* So I have this really good friend...we've been friends for 10 years, roommates in college, bridesmaid in my wedding, unofficial "godmom" to my daughter, hung out all the time.  Lately she just keeps making plans with me and cancelling.  Like probably 4 or 5 times in a row in the pasat 6 months.  I know she's kind of in a bad place right now...she recently got out of a long, LONG relationship, turned 30 and hasn't met any of her life goals.  She's been kind of depressed.

 I know she loves me and my family and really loves being around us.  She seems so excited when we make plans, but something always seems to come up to make her cancel.  Example: Last night she was supposed to come over for the football game and my birthday.  She'd been visiting family about an hour away but was gonna head home in the afternoon and come over for dinner and the game.  I texted her around 3 asking if she could still make it.  She replied: "Nope. Still in [town she was in]."  WTF?  I just don't understand why she makes plans with me that she's not 100% sure she'll even follow through with?  Why make plans at all?

 It almost seems like she doesn't understand how much it hurts my feelings.  Like I could care less if she was coming over for my birthday or not and just needed to know how many mouths I was feeding.  I miss her so much.  I want to confront her about how much this hurts, but I don't want to push her even further away.  I think her feelings are really sensitive right now.  I feel like I don't even know her anymore and it's kinda breaking my heart :(  Sorry this is so long, but any advice?

by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 10:09 AM
Replies (31-32):
by Gold Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Just come clean with her. There really is no other way, and you know that, though it sucks.

If she has mood problems that could be it. I can make plans with someone and feel great and up, and then when time comes to follow through I hit a down and don't want to bring that person down. I was like that for awhile, and cancelled a lot of plans I really, really wanted to do with friends who meant a lot.

It kills your social life, and is hard but sometimes you'll do anything or make up any excuse to not have to be around people when you feel like shit.

by Ruby Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 12:41 PM

This is good advice.  Sorry for the confusion...her breakup was over a year ago, right around her 30th birthday.  It's been the past 6 months that she's pretty much cancelled every time we made plans.  When I do see her (as of last time, which was last summer I think) she seems to be friend I've always had, it seems like nothing's happened.  She really seems to love my kids and husband and me, but I think it hits the nail on the head to say it's hard for her to hang out with us when she doesn't have a family yet.  I think it's safe to say we've "grown apart" a bit, in the sense that our lives are so different.  As for the alcohol, I think it's depression AND alcohol and they're both fueling each other.  I wouldn't value her any less if she's having issues with alcohol, though.  We've been there (my husband and I) and quite honestly if I didn't have kids and was feeling down on myself I'd be drinking alot too.  I don't think it makes one a horrible person.  Just lost. 

Quoting Anonymous:

I guess I must be mistaken, because you said that this has been an issue since her breakup 6 months ago, no? 

If this has been going on for several years, I have a few thoughts, and they might not accurately reflect the situation but:
1) Are you sure you guys are still friends and you have not grown apart. Could it be possible this friendship is more valuable to you, than to her?

2)Are you sure she is dealing with depression? I saw you mention alcohol and coping. If you are accurate in your assessment - could you be dealing with an alcoholic and perhaps you need underto reasses how YOU value this friend? Is she able to be reliable? 

3)If this has been a few years, I see NO issue in bringing it up. Let her know you value your friendship, let her know that you understand that everyone has different things going on in their life and so you could be taking things the wrong way, and tell her from your perspective how things feel. "Hey, Ashley, I have noticed that over the past couple of years we tend to make plans, and that the last minute, you end up canceling them. I know that we both have different things going on in our life, but this is something that has been making me feel upset because I value our friendship. I wanted to bring it up and see if there was something going on that we needed to talk about or see what your perspective was on this?  I guess I just figured that I can't be upset if I am not honest with you."

Quoting SunshneDaydream:

Thanks.  I totally get what you are saying, and I think that's exactly what she's dealing with.  She loves us but it hurts to see me with the family she thought she'd have by now.  I've basically been giving her space and dealing with it just as you've suggested for a couple of years now.  When is the right time to express concern?  I guess I was just super hurt last night when considering confronting her.  It's starting to hurt more and more every time she cancels.  I wish she just wouldn't make the plans in the first place.  I understand when I don't hear from her for a long time because I know she's in a rough place, but then she reaches out to me--like saying she would DEFINTELY come over for my 30th birthday--and I get really excited to see her and start thinking maybe she's doing better.  Then she cancels, and it's just the same let down every time.  If she would have said "I'd love to see you tomorrow but I'm not sure what time I'll be getting back into town.  If it's early enough I'll give you a call".  Unless she really was planning on coming over and then the next day was a bad day and she didn't feel like being around people, as PPs have suggested.  

Quoting Anonymous:

No, I totally get that, and I hope you didn't take my reply as the typical snarky CM reply. I meant it honestly. It sounds like you want to make things better on your terms, that you are trying in your way to make things begger, but it also sounds like things just are not jiving with her for whatever reason.  For Example, when my good friend split from her long term boyfriend (there were plans for marriage) she had a really hard time hanging out with my husband, son and I. Normally we had a blast together, and she was one of her family, but later she shared that it was really painful for her to hang out with a happy couple, who had what she wanted in life. So us inviting her over because we thought it would be good for her, or me hanging out with her was just really hard for her. We fell off each other's radars for awhile after we would make plans and she would be "tired" or "have to go to her parents house" all the time. About 8 months later she was back in our lives and doing better. 

It was more fruitful for me to send quick text messages every now and then that said - "Thinking of you" or whatnot.

I wasn't trying to say you were not thinking of her, but when thinking of her, it sounds like she needs some space, or can't be that friend she used to be, and that for whatever reason, things are on different terms, and at this point confronting her might not be the best route. It might just be better to love her unconditionally, give it a few more months, then talk to her about being concerned about  her not, how you are frustrated with her, dissapointed in her, blah, blah, blah, I would give it a bit more time until you have a more "confrontational" talk - because at a certain point, it becomes a realistic option, it seems, to me, that time isn't quite yet. 

Quoting SunshneDaydream:

Quoting Anonymous:

I feel crazy for saying this, but dude, she is going through a rough time in her life. Worry more about her, less about you for a short bit? Let her makes plans instead of you so you don't get hurt when she flakes?

If you'd read any of my replies you'd see that I AM worried about her.  That's why I want her to hang out, she loves us and we always have fun together.  I just want her to have some fun.  I know depression is crazy and complicated, but I can't help but feel that I want to help make her happy.  It's not just me making the plans either.  She initiates sometimes too.  It still hurts, no matter who's idea the plan was. 

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