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Am I expecting too much?


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Old 17th April 2019, 5:53 AM   #1
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Am I expecting too much?

I feel a friend has become critical of me lately and I’m beginning to dread her company. For example:

1)I recently did a DIY project in my home where, with a little help, I put up some new shelves on a wall in the garage. Which I was pretty proud of, because I’m not the DIY type. I sent her photos of the new shelves, and when I caught up with her in person a week later, she mentioned I should invite her over to “critique the shelves”. I thought that was an odd comment, and thankfully, that visit never happened. 2 months later however, out of the blue she asked me again how the shelves looked. I said, “I thought I sent you photos.” She said, “photos look very different from real life. How do they REALLY look?” To be honest, I thought they turned out really well, but I stupidly said “maybe they could’ve been a smidge higher on the wall”. She finally seemed happy and satisfied with that answer.

2)I drive to work, but there’s a bus that stops 2 mins from my place that takes me to work in the CBD. This friend has hounded me a few times about not taking the bus and instead forking out parking fees everyday. I told her I enjoy the car trip in the mornings and was happy to pay the parking fees. Recently, she brought this up again, saying on the phone, “we’ll talk about this bus thing again when we catch up.” I jokingly said, “no we won’t!” I think it’s no body’s business how I choose to get to work in the mornings, and it annoys me that she thinks she knows better.

3)We’ve both had investments in a certain asset class for years, but we invest with slightly different strategies. (I’ll call hers strategy X and mine Y.) She’s insisted a few times that I switch to X, but I said I’m happy with Y as it’s more in line with my long term goals. Recently I texted to tell her I was meeting with my financial advisor regarding tweaking Y slightly. Her reply was, “for the last time, are you going to consider X?” It really annoyed me as I’d already made it clear that X wasn’t for me, and I ignored her text, hoping she’d get the message. However, when we caught up in person, she brought it up, saying, “now I’ve asked you this and you dodged my question - but did you talk to your adviser about X?” I felt she was being really controlling as well as offensive in belittling my investment decisions.

4)And similarly, in the same conversation I mentioned I intended to sell off part of the portfolio when the time is right. She sort of sighed and rolled her eyes to show what she thought of my plan, which I thought was just downright rude.

It’s arrived at the point where I’m dreading talking to or seeing her. Do you think she’s being unnecessarily critical, or do you think I should accept her as she is and value her for the good things she offers to the friendship (which I have to say is not much lately.)

I realise that nobody’s perfect (and I’m far from it), but at what point do you call a friend out for controlling behaviour, and how do I do it without ruining the friendship?

Last edited by NomiMalone; 17th April 2019 at 7:12 AM..
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Old 17th April 2019, 7:33 AM   #2
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If she's a quality person, the next time she says one of those controlling things, you need to gently say something along the lines of
You know I value your friendship but it really hurts my feelings when you say things like that. I don't mind hearing your opinion about any given subject once but when you routinely (do not say constantly) try to force your will on me as if you are my superior and I'm required to listen to you, it feels like you are invalidating me as a person. You might not realize you're doing it but can you please stop?
It may ruin the friendship, but if it does, what have you lost? The friendship was already a source of grief & pain. Wouldn't you be better off not having to deal with that?
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Old 19th April 2019, 8:05 AM   #3
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Thanks d0nnivain. We’ve been good friends for about a year and have similar interests and values so it was easy to form a rapport. She’s normally empathetic (and in fact more sensitive and serious than most) and these controlling behaviours only came about the last few months. I realise she only has good intentions. I won’t contact her and wait until she contacts me, and then play it by ear.
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Old 19th April 2019, 8:57 AM   #4
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What you do in any of your decisions is up to you. Sure, she can offer some advice to you, but it isn't necessary for her to act that way or shove it down your throat. As has been said, talk to her about it, and if it goes downhill from there, you haven't really lost much of anything. As a friend, she should be supportive of you period.
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Old 19th April 2019, 10:08 AM   #5
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Just say "stop being bossy" with a smile.

Not responding is building up resentment, so start coming back with your own comment each time she says something like that. My guess is she'll get the hint and cut it out.
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