Do You Have One? ONE SIDED FRIENDSHIPS/RELATIONSHIPS

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16305

    Nov 18, 2007 2:40 PM GMT
    I was reminded yesterday of something in which I have some irritation.. one sided friendships.

    When I was in college I got to "know" a girl who carried on about self issues to the point I tried to avoid her. She told me (and about anyone else who would listen) her whole life story, various health ailments and more recently, how her now husband abuses her. Today she and her husband are good clients, but she still really has no clue who I am (in any way). It made me a little
    sensitive about friendships.

    My bf feels that this really isn't a friendship, but I have appreciated the fact she and her husband are clients of mine.

    Yesterday I was chided by a friend regarding someone else (an older gay gentleman) who we both know, but this older gentleman also tends to carry on about himself to the point I've even heard personal stories about his family issues from years ago. This older gentleman has been in my home, never asks me about my
    bf, my career or anything else. Listening is important and I tend to value it, but I'm getting tired
    of doing it. The friend who chided me just felt I should view the older gentleman as a "charity case".
    I think thats ridiculous. Or is it?

    Do you have a one sided friendship? What are your thoughts?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 18, 2007 2:43 PM GMT
    Yeah i totaly understand, my ex was like that. actually it was a large reason why we broke up.... hmmm
    xxoo Brenty
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Nov 18, 2007 3:17 PM GMT
    I can admit that in the past I've really allowed myself to be a doormat. I've outgrown that, thankfully.
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    Nov 18, 2007 3:24 PM GMT
    I was taught at an early age that 'we teach people how we want to be treated.' If you allow it to continue, you’re opening the door for more and you can always vote with your feet. I don’t know your profession, but maybe it makes sense that as a client she feels she can unload onto you. You either allow it or act to make it stop, or at least balance out a bit. She may need told about this issue so she can grow from the experience, you may be helping her in the long run even though it is confrontational.
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    Nov 18, 2007 3:42 PM GMT
    How about this idea? I presume she and he are repeating stories by now. So when they start into a story that you know by heart by now, interject with "oh, is this when so-and-so...?" and mention a salient point of the story to show you know it. After you do that several times, maybe they will pick up on the fact that they have told you their life histories.

    If they insist with their story, you might again interrupt with "and what do you think you can do about...?" and name the issue. At least, now they are talking about the issue and not the story. And maybe they can start to resolve the issues.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16305

    Nov 18, 2007 3:47 PM GMT
    Thanks Caslon. The issue with the college friend (now client) is pretty limited now. It wasn't back at that time. It was so bad it was a point of humor by my frat brothers and those in organizations in which I participated. I did hear about the "broken leg" or when she was sick with this or that many times.

    My point is, there seem to be many out there who focus on a self centered approach with others. Is it too much to expect closer to a 50/50 friendship with someone?

    Maybe I'm at fault. I tend to ask questions and listen too much. Listening is important, however.
    And listening isn't being a "doormat" as one above suggested.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 18, 2007 5:33 PM GMT
    Some people are incapable of being in a mutual relationship - too much baggage, selfish, even mental illness.

    Your BF is right, just because you know someone - no matter how well - doesn't make that person a friend.

    A true relationship requires MUTUAL communication and understanding, even affection, from both parties..

    I know a lot of people, many quite well, I have very few friends however.

    I have always thought of a friend as someone who was willing to put it on the line for you. Someone who would try to help you even at great risk to themselves. Someone who would stick by you no matter what.

    I also view friendship as a great responsibility that I have to that other person.

    Just off the top of my head - my contact book has 2300+ names in it, maybe a couple hundred plus of those are social aquaintances.

    I can count my friends on my fingers with several to spare.

    I don't believe 'one sided friendships' exist; to paraphrase a line from an old movie 'that's not friendship, that's masturbation' icon_lol.gif


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 18, 2007 5:47 PM GMT
    I agree with your bf, I won't consider that a friendship to begin with. But if there is a reason that you stick around for such people, then technically it is a "relationship" symbiosis to some sort.
    I think it really reflect that there are just too many people having that selfish gene, and that they care for no one else but themselves.
    I wonder do we have more socially challenged people now then before? I think they tend to be the only child in the family.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 18, 2007 10:03 PM GMT
    IT--

    Wasn't that a quote from "Fame"? The cranky old music teacher tells the boy who's obsessed with electronics "That's not music, it's masturbation."
    icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 18, 2007 10:48 PM GMT
    In my friendships, throughout my life I have come to realize that I am normally the one people rant to. I personally find it hard to really start venting to others about my problems because I know they really dont care to hear it.
    This use to annoy me, but I have come to a realization that its human nature to an extent. I now live my the quote:
    "Its not until your dying that people really listen to what your saying instead of waiting for their turn to talk" -Chuck Palahniuk
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 18, 2007 11:15 PM GMT
    As someone who listens to others for a living, I know what an issue this can be. This was also an issue in the break up of my LTR. Difference there was that he seemed to listen, but rarely got it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 18, 2007 11:15 PM GMT
    I have a friend like this. Another mutual friend has had arguments with her over this behavior to the point where they didn't speak for a while (they have since "reconnected"). Recently I was out to dinner with him and he complained about how "one-sided" she is. My take on it is this...either he accepts her for who she is and on those terms, or not. In which case, they are no longer friends. There is little point in my "discussing" this personality trait with him when she knows how he feels, and she continues to talk only about her life.

    I have decided that I like this person enough on her own terms to have a friendship with her. He has to decide (along with HndsmKansan) whether or not to do the same. To try to change her is pointless and a waste of energy.

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    Nov 19, 2007 12:29 AM GMT
    I'm all for just making use of a one sided friend while you can.

    I have a friend from first year in college who never calls except when she has her plans fall thru at the last moment. Being a complete stuck up snob who is convinced she is a world above most people she gets blown off often.

    I see nothing wrong with getting invited last minute to concerts, plays, sports games, clubs, etc... She may only use me as a last resort but so what. She pays with daddy's money, Gets me into places with daddy's money, and shuttles me around in the AMG daddy bought her. Life isn't so bad if you look at the positive side.

    A one sided person isn't a real friend but their still human. If their turning to you it could be your the only person they have when their in need.
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    Nov 19, 2007 1:08 AM GMT
    Trance23

    Thats NOT friendship, I am sorry for you if you think it is.

    You are simply using each other.

    She uses you for a last minute date and to avoid being alone.

    You apparently just use her for her daddies money, and the things she can buy for you, or the places she can take you.

    It's convenient. But it's not friendship on any level.
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    Nov 19, 2007 2:42 AM GMT
    For me, there's no point in a 'one-sided' relationship. That means, among many other things, contributing to the conversation without dominating it -- and genuinely listening when the other person speaks.

    If it's anything less than that -- how you can claim it's a real friendship?

    After all, if you're really friends -- don't you want to hear what your friend has to say?

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    Nov 19, 2007 3:42 PM GMT
    do i have one sided friendships. no, i did a cull!


    at work, however, i have lots of young colleagues, half my age, who need a lot of listening to. i have all the time in the world for them. there were many older adults who i bored to death with my dramas, so i think it's only fair.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 19, 2007 3:47 PM GMT
    All of my friendships throughout my life have been one-sided. You know what? I dropped everyone!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 19, 2007 3:47 PM GMT
    ITjock - Never said its friendship.

    You have to think in the other sides shoes. Sometimes were being used for a reason. I'd rather be the nicer person and at least be there when in need. I wouldn't say clear your plans for these people but don't flat out ignore them.

    Sometimes charity means just giving your time to those in need without expecting an equal return of their time.
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Nov 19, 2007 4:10 PM GMT
    Well I think all friendships are a little unequal. It depends how unequal you let them be to be comfortable or worth having.

    If I feel that my friends are taking me for granted I tell them. If I feel I'm being too needy, then I try to correct my behaviour, before they get tired of me.

    Like Kansan I have a couple of friends who talk about themselves constantly, without asking about me or my life. I don't really mind them though, as I know what they are like, and when we go out to dinner I don't mind being entertained and not having to talk about what's going on with me.

    Not all friends are the same, it's good to have a mixture of those who are close and those you keep around for other reasons (they're good looking, or hearing about their sad lifes makes you feel good about yours..haha).

    Lozx
  • bmoney1

    Posts: 244

    Jul 28, 2011 5:28 AM GMT
    The thing that drives me crazy about one-sided friendships is when you actually like the person and see potential in building a friendsip with them to no avail. If I think there is a chance at a lasting friendship I tend to go all in and really make an effort. Sometimes I am rewarded and actually develop a true, lasting friendship.. Most of the time, however, it is an uphill battle that cannot be won. When I find out that I wasted energy and kindness on smeone who had no interest in developing a true 50/50 friendship, I generally fall into misanthropy and wonder why people suck so much.
    Wish I had something to offer, I'd just try to limit my exposure to her as professionally as possible. Only talk about business pertinent to things at hand and try not to stray. It's the worst when people leave you feeling drained.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2011 5:33 AM GMT
    My oldest friend is a girl that pretty much is fairly one-sided oriented. In return, it creates a lot of drama and a lot of eggshells to walk on. I don't really know how to go about that myself because confronting her about it would just cause her to become defensive about that (which is a given because I'm walking on some goddamn eggshells here). I think those who are one-sided about their friendships may need to realize that they have to work to change that because relationships are always a two-way street. You ever play simcity? If you create a bunch of one-way streets that go to the center, nobody is going to want to go downtown in the end.