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Ideas how I can gracefully avoid talking on phone with friend


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Old 28th February 2018, 3:22 PM   #1
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Ideas how I can gracefully avoid talking on phone with friend

I'm hoping someone can come up with a better idea. We're in our 60s and knew this friend nearly 40 years. Her bipolar and narcissism is causing more problems now that she's older. Her narcissism is diagnosed and basically she thinks everyone should know her needs come before theirs, even if they're strangers.

I haven't seen her in about 15 years now. She came to see me once, I made dinner at 6 and she showed up ready to pass out at midnight. So it's hard to make plans with her if you don't live in the same town where you can just get her to do something spontaneously.

Her biggest personality feature is she is an attention hog. Always has to be the center of attention and gets mad if she's not. She feeds on attention and socializing nonstop. When she was young, this was easy because she was young and beautiful and vivacious. Now she's old and vivacious and desperate for attention but it's a lot harder for her to get it.

When she calls, you can't get her off the phone. Her husband has been bedbound for years dying from cancer, so it's been rough for her, I know. But meanwhile she's in her 60s but can't keep it in her pants until he passes and told me about an affair and then she crossed a boundary and tried to go after an ex of mine who is happily married and who I'm still buddies with. To some extent she's always used me and others to jump on the people we know. She has always flirted with everyone. When young, we were new friends, so I had no reason to expect much loyalty, but we were roommates, and there should be a boundary there for most people.

I'm disgusted with her, though I told her I won't judge her (but I do) because I haven't been in her exact situation with the dying husband. I know her mental conditions are why she is like she is for the most part or I wouldn't tolerate her at all.

What I want help with right now is it's been close to two years since I let her know I wasn't happy, mainly about my ex. She didn't try to call for a long time after that. But now she's called 3 times in the last few weeks.

The first time she said she was in a nearby town and expected me to drop work and come meet her (she has tried this a number of times, and I never have done it because there's every chance she wouldn't be there after I drove for an hour). I tried to call her back within 10 minutes and no answer.

Then last week she calls and says she sees I tried to call her back, from weeks ago. She sounded very jubilant. I didn't call back because I didn't want to talk to her. I thought about writing an email. I couldn't decide so I did nothing. Then she tried calling last night, no message.

I would want to know and try to support her when her husband dies, despite how she's been. But I know it's not that because her message was too jubilant for it to be something bad. Plus I google from time to time to see.

I really don't want to be on the phone with her. I don't want to hear about her cheating on her poor husband, I don't want to hear her try to gaslight me about my ex, and I don't want to spend 2 hours trying to get her off the phone.

My best plan is to tell her to please email me if she has some news. I don't even want her to start texting me. I think she lost that number, hopefully. I don't want to make excuses. Maybe just "Too busy with work to get tied up on the phone. I see you called. Could you just email if you have some news?"

She will not like that. She likes to do the whole Ab Fab Baby Darling kiss kiss stuff on the phone. I'm over it. Also if I email her when she sees it she might just pick up the phone without reading it. She doesn't even read all her emails. Disorganized.

Tell me if any of you have any better idea how to deal with this. I would be there for her in a crisis, but I'm over it otherwise.
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Old 28th February 2018, 3:50 PM   #2
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Oh, I'd just break up with her. Once I broke up with some female friend who was suffocating me, via email. Told her I have some issues to deal with in my personal life and I can't give her the attention she needed. I didn't care what she answered to that.
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Old 28th February 2018, 5:59 PM   #3
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I have a good friend who, while not to the extreme of your friend, I dislike horrendously talking on the phone to. The phone calls are always about her drama, and its exhausting. And its easily an hour call every time; I dont have that kind of time. Im a "tell me what youve got to say and hang up" type. So Ive gotten to where I simply dont answer her calls. She will text fortunately, so she'll send these huge long rambling texts that I can answer at my leisure with " omg no way" or some such nonsense.

Point being, just dont answer the phone.
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Old 28th February 2018, 6:33 PM   #4
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^ I was debating giving her my cellphone to have her text, but I'm afraid she might bug me more often. I'm not sure if she's a big texter or not. I have my VM disabled on that phone, so that's good!
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Old 28th February 2018, 6:37 PM   #5
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When a friendship has become so one-sided that seeing a "friends" number on caller ID brings on a sense of dread, it is time to send the call to voicemail, and respond on your time, not theirs. Or, don't reply at all (depending on the situation).
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Old 28th February 2018, 7:06 PM   #6
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Oh. . . you don't want her to know your cell. That negates my suggestion: I call people like that when I'm driving. Then I know I only have a finite amount of time to talk & can rush them off the phone because I arrived at my destination.

You can try the email thing.

There really isn't much else, I'm afraid.
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Old 28th February 2018, 7:58 PM   #7
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I haven't decided about the cell yet, but I definitely don't want to talk to her on the cell. I don't have unlimited minutes.
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Old 28th February 2018, 8:53 PM   #8
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hey preraph

have you tried telling her how you really feel ?...the truth....not so much about the disorganised emails...some people struggle with that....(hangin my own head .....my inbox overwhelms me i have thousands of emails..i need an inbox organiser.......) but how you feel about her with her affair she had..the fact she doesn't listen to you..that her not being reliable or punctual when you arrange to meet.....or is it that you just dont want her as a friend anymore?

i'm just thinkin that sometimes a good honest heart to heart chat about what your boundaries are might help as well as what you expect from a friend.....and what you dont.....if she cant commit to listening ,being more reliable or respecting your boundaries then it is her choice then to end the friendship based on incompatibility


i dont know preraph that im helping you at all....im trying too..:0)....i am hesitant to say dont be her friend because you might be the only friend she has really...and it would be sad for anyone no matter how thoughtless they are to not have a good friend as i believe you would be that....good friend to her who tries to be understanding and forgiving........deb
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Last edited by todreaminblue; 28th February 2018 at 8:56 PM..
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Old 28th February 2018, 9:20 PM   #9
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Thanks, todreaminblue. Well, I did talk to her back when she crossed those lines I told you about. She knew I was mad. As far as her cheating, she knows I don't endorse that because it's come up before her having a crush on someone. I had always told her not to wreck her good marriage and was pretty blunt telling her she's lucky to have her husband who has been so good and patient with her. So a lot of this, she knows what my tolerances are. But her narcissistic nature and other problems, she just doesn't pay attention to that if it doesn't suit her purposes I guess.

About the ex, I was very blunt with her. I had to be a little careful because i've found through past experience that she (and other poachers) will happily use a disagreement as a further excuse to contact them. But even though she kept trying to change the subject, before I got her off the phone after her long ramble, I brought the subject back up again.

I actually kind of thought we HAD broken up because went a long time not hearing from her, plus I talked to him, so figured she was mad. But here we go again. She has always been good at forgetting things. For instance when we were talking about the ex, I said I was about to go to a concert with him and his wife. She said, Isn't that awkward"? I said, "Well, you know, we worked together for 10 years after the breakup, so we've kind of worked through all that." And she acted like this was news to her. Please. She has a very convenient memory.

Anyway, kind of thought that was that until she called all jubilant trying to act like nothing had changed. I've never seen her this persistent. Usually her attention span is like a gnat. So she's dying to tell me something about some guy or she wouldn't be this persistent. I keep hoping she'll talk to someone else and get it out of her system. But I do feel I have to do something. I'm taking everyone's suggestions to heart. Thanks.

I have guilt to just abandon her entirely because she can get too down sometimes. I would like to be there for her if she wants me to when her husband dies. But she might not even tell me. Big events like a funeral, she gets very caught up in the social aspect of it, but when I showed up at her mom's I was glad I did. She can let it out with me, though those days might just be passed now. It's sad.
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Old 28th February 2018, 10:15 PM   #10
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Oh, dear. This sounds a lot like the friend I posted about just the other day. She's bi-polar (or so she says) and I found out she does meth. Meth!

Like you, I've known this person for years but over time she has become a major pain in the *bleep*. She's in her 50's, talks constantly, dominates the conversation with tales of drama, latest bad decisions on her part, or of her idiotic family. It's enough to make a person nuts. I've pretty much decided to keep a very far distance from her. In your case, I think you need to just cut this woman off completely. Believe me, she'll be on to the next drama before you know it. And don't be surprised if you ever find out she's doing hard drugs.

I also had another friend - and I'm using the word 'friend' loosely because I didn't know her that long before I cut the cord. She was somewhere in her 50's and constantly talked about how great she looked for her age. The sad thing was, she looked awful for her age. I actually thought she was 10 yrs older than she actually was when I met her. Not that there's anything wrong with that. What was wrong was her continual self-pep talk about how great she looked. She had no idea how ridiculous that made her seem. And, of course, men saw through that and fanned that flame. Then she was appalled when she became a one-night stand or booty call. The last straw was when she and I went out, she runs into current booty call guy, he's out with someone else, so what does she do? That night, she hooks up with some 23-yr-old. Shortly after that, she rolled her vehicle on the freeway and was lucky she didn't get killed. Game over.

I've developed a very low tolerance for drama queens - and drama kings, for that matter - and the best thing for your peace of mind is to keep ignoring until they get the hint. With the one woman I knew, I did actually tell her that I was calling it quits with her because we were starting to spend a lot of time together so it wasn't so easy to just vanish. She never understood. I just told her that I didn't think we had anything in common.

In these people's minds, you have a great deal in common if they get to talk about their ridiculous drama and you're willing to listen. lol

Last edited by bathtub-row; 28th February 2018 at 10:17 PM..
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Old 28th February 2018, 10:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preraph View Post
I haven't decided about the cell yet, but I definitely don't want to talk to her on the cell. I don't have unlimited minutes.
I think she'll interpret you giving her your cell number as furthering the friendship, a new level of closeness. Tread lightly...
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Old 1st March 2018, 1:03 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by preraph View Post
Thanks, todreaminblue. Well, I did talk to her back when she crossed those lines I told you about. She knew I was mad. As far as her cheating, she knows I don't endorse that because it's come up before her having a crush on someone. I had always told her not to wreck her good marriage and was pretty blunt telling her she's lucky to have her husband who has been so good and patient with her. So a lot of this, she knows what my tolerances are. But her narcissistic nature and other problems, she just doesn't pay attention to that if it doesn't suit her purposes I guess.

About the ex, I was very blunt with her. I had to be a little careful because i've found through past experience that she (and other poachers) will happily use a disagreement as a further excuse to contact them. But even though she kept trying to change the subject, before I got her off the phone after her long ramble, I brought the subject back up again.

I actually kind of thought we HAD broken up because went a long time not hearing from her, plus I talked to him, so figured she was mad. But here we go again. She has always been good at forgetting things. For instance when we were talking about the ex, I said I was about to go to a concert with him and his wife. She said, Isn't that awkward"? I said, "Well, you know, we worked together for 10 years after the breakup, so we've kind of worked through all that." And she acted like this was news to her. Please. She has a very convenient memory.

Anyway, kind of thought that was that until she called all jubilant trying to act like nothing had changed. I've never seen her this persistent. Usually her attention span is like a gnat. So she's dying to tell me something about some guy or she wouldn't be this persistent. I keep hoping she'll talk to someone else and get it out of her system. But I do feel I have to do something. I'm taking everyone's suggestions to heart. Thanks.

I have guilt to just abandon her entirely because she can get too down sometimes. I would like to be there for her if she wants me to when her husband dies. But she might not even tell me. Big events like a funeral, she gets very caught up in the social aspect of it, but when I showed up at her mom's I was glad I did. She can let it out with me, though those days might just be passed now. It's sad.

im sorry pre raph that you are torn.....on what to do and its not so clear cut on what to do ...it isnt a pleasant situation to be in...especially with the guilt you feel..that isnt fair for you to feel that...you did right by her...in your truthfulness and your forthrightness......

i hope she does contact you when her husband dies because i do believe you tried to do right by her even when she didnt do right by you....you're a good person..and would be an honest friend to her......i really hope that maybe she changes and sees how she has not been such a good friend to you and changes her ways and appreciates all you tried to do and shows you by her working on repairing the friendship........mostly i am wishing that you find some peace in your decisions and that sense of rightness to do what you have to in regards to the friendship you have with her ..... and the calmest least hurtful outcome be achieved with her and by you...good luck pre raph....debxo
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Old 1st March 2018, 4:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by preraph View Post
My best plan is to tell her to please email me if she has some news. I don't even want her to start texting me. I think she lost that number, hopefully. I don't want to make excuses. Maybe just "Too busy with work to get tied up on the phone. I see you called. Could you just email if you have some news?"
No, I don't think you should do this. Either be her friend, or don't. You can't only be her friend when/if her husband dies or some other horrible thing happens to her. If you did, I think that might be more to soothe your own conscience than to help her out.

Think about how that would play out, anyway. Her husband dies, you console her and be her shoulder to cry on for a while, and then...what? You eventually tell her you don't really want to be her friend anymore? You start dodging her calls and ghosting her? That may be more damaging than her having no one to turn to. Would you want to share your emotions during a deep crisis with someone who can't really stand you?

You haven't seen her in 15 years, or talked to her in two years (if I'm reading correctly) so you're not part of her daily life. You probably wouldn't/shouldn't be the one to be there for her in times of need, anyway.
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Old 1st March 2018, 5:18 AM   #14
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No, I don't think you should do this. Either be her friend, or don't. You can't only be her friend when/if her husband dies or some other horrible thing happens to her. If you did, I think that might be more to soothe your own conscience than to help her out.

Think about how that would play out, anyway. Her husband dies, you console her and be her shoulder to cry on for a while, and then...what? You eventually tell her you don't really want to be her friend anymore? You start dodging her calls and ghosting her? That may be more damaging than her having no one to turn to. Would you want to share your emotions during a deep crisis with someone who can't really stand you?

You haven't seen her in 15 years, or talked to her in two years (if I'm reading correctly) so you're not part of her daily life. You probably wouldn't/shouldn't be the one to be there for her in times of need, anyway.
what you say has truth cc but if the lady in question reaches out for comfort from pre raph in my opinion I would consider it pretty heartless for pre raph to deny her that comfort and not be there for her...friends or not friends...complete strangers who would reach out for comfort deserve to have that hand met by someone........deb
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Old 1st March 2018, 11:01 AM   #15
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You give her that cell number and she can call or text you whenever and no matter where your at. There will be less getting away from her drama. As you mentioned you don't have unlimited minutes and I could see her chewing up a whole lot of minutes.

I have distanced myself from a friend I grew up and ran with for years due to his change of lifestyle and attitudes. Not easy but necessary sometimes. I hadn't really had contact for him for years and then he pops up in a way of a phone call from a car dealership. He used me for a personal reference. I know why he did because of my good business reputation.

Users are users simply put. This woman is using you as well.
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