Thursday, 19 January 2012

Closed for business

I’m having particular problems with a new person in my life at the moment. She came pretty much out of the blue, into one of my sets of friends, and I am feeling particularly hostile towards her and that isn’t really like me. I would under any normal circumstances enjoy having a new person in the group, someone else to breathe a bit of fresh air into things and mix it up and change the order of things, but at the moment I’m just feeling incredibly invaded.

Before I go on, I fully accept that this is my problem. I am all too aware that these are my own issues that I need to deal with but I am blurting it out on here in the absence of having anyone else to talk to about it.

Everyone has different ways of approaching new people. I’m not emotionally slutty when it comes to making new friends and establishing new relationships. I will sit back, take things in, wait and see if I really like this new person. I try not to force myself on people, I take the attitude that if they will like me they will see something they like about me, I don’t need to force myself on them and prove that I’m a great person. If they want to like me, they will find it eventually. I basically don’t come on strong before committing to a relationship with them. Because for me I do see it as that, I take my friendships very seriously and I want to be good friend to people. I don’t see life (or Facebook) as a rush to gather as many “friends” as possible, I’d rather make sure I’m investing myself in worthwhile people.

I think because of this, I have a pretty adverse reaction to new people who try to force themselves on me in an attempt to establish a friendship. Writing all over my wall, commenting on my statuses, liking my pictures, texting me all the time, is not the way to win my friendship. In fact it immediately makes my barriers go up and actually prevents me from even wanting to establish any kind of friendship with you.

It would be easier if this was a romantical thing that was going on. You could say to the guy/girl, “Hey, you’re actually coming on a bit strong, could you back off a bit please and let’s just take things slowly?” But with someone who isn’t even your friend yet you couldn’t say the same thing without sounding as if you have severe mental problems.

It’s taken me a long time to figure out what is I don’t like about this person. I’ve been saying “There’s just something about her I don’t like” which I recognise makes me sound as if I’m convinced she’s going to whip out a gun and kill us all as we drink our tea and sip our mochas. But it finally hit home the other day what it is that’s turning me off her.

It’s not just this way too full on approach that she has (I literally feel like she is everywhere in my life at the moment, something that Facebook has to answer for because it all too literally shows at times how someone is involved in your life) but it’s that she seems a very needy person.

I’m not cold-hearted in the slightest. I know that we all have problems and we all need friends/people to help us through those problems. I think the trouble at the moment is that I have a lot of “real” friends who are going through emotional trauma.

These emotional traumas don’t necessarily affect me in the slightest, but like I said, I take friendship seriously, and if my friends are having problems then, even if I’m not literally doing something to help, I’m certainly thinking about it and worrying about them and wondering what I can do to help them. Unfortunately there seem to have been a spate of traumas in my friend’s and family’s lives in the past year or so – there’s been marriage breakdowns, troubles with babies, people suffering from depression, people’s parents breaking up, relationship woes, fights with families, people not talking anymore – the list feels heavy-going. And whilst my own life is (relatively) smooth at the moment I feel like a part of me is ever so slightly invested in these woes because I love my friends and I want them to be happy and I feel upset when they’re not.

I think that this is the underlying reason as to why I’m wanting to keep this new person at arm’s length. Coupled with the fact that she is coming on way too strong, I think that this is my brain’s way of saying “Closed for business.” I cannot take on another needy person at the moment, (especially one who I suspect is prone to the “next new thing” and that I’m not convinced will stick around) I need to conserve my energy to being a good friend to my real friends, not having someone in my life who is just a drain. If one of my friends have a problem I’ll be there in a flash, but I’m not spending time on someone who puts out statuses on Facebook purely to get people to comment about how wonderful they are – that is not a person who values friendships, but is somene who’s looking to get as many people worshipping them as possible and I’m afraid I’m not interested.

It makes me sad because it means that I have made the decision to hold off seeing this group of friends for a while. And I fully accept that that is my decision – this new person is, I’m sure, a perfectly nice person - but until I can find some way of dealing with her that doesn’t make me want to scream I’m going to have to absent myself and get a grip. Unfortunately that means that some of my real friendships may suffer (although there is an argument to be made that if they were real friends then they won't let our friendship be affected by the fact that I'm not seeing them on one allotted day of the week).

I don’t know if this is a form of the “January Blues” (or if they even exist) or just the culmination of feeling the stress of other people’s issues but I don’t want them exploding out of me in a direct hit on an unsuspecting person.

That’s what you guys are for...right?

Now go clean yourselves up and carry on with your day.


  1. You are right to do this. You are a good friend if you are supporting people you love. That is what being a TRUE friend is about. Feeling that you are spread a little thin is a good reason for not wanting to accept anymore potential problems into your life. When I became ill I found that I didn't have the energy to be the kind of friend I wanted to be to all my friends anymore. I then found out that actually a big chunk of my friends had never been the kind of friend I would want to be and as such if they did not "commit" to the level of friendship I did, then they were going to be left slowly to drift away. If they were true friends then they would get in touch and ask me how I was doing etc. I found becoming ill was a very effective way of culling my friendship herd. I only have true friends in my circle now. I'm much happier!

  2. It's so hard to know what to do. You sound like you are doing the right thing though. Your real friends will understand and you never know, some of them might feel the same way too. I think everyone has a sort-of spidey sense about new people..not everyone can gel and get along. It isn't a bad thing. I guess find a great book or a nice hooky project to get lost in and if you need to vent, vent here. That is the joy of Blogger, you can vent to all of us :) Good luck. hope you feel better/happier soon.

  3. Just say it... she´s a TWAT. (I´m totally joking by the way)

    Or am I?

    :) xxx

  4. I think that it can feel stifling if you go from 0 to 100 with a person and if they're always right there when you haven't established things can be hard. The fact you are thinking so in depthly (if that can be an adverb!?) shows that you are not taking this lightly and care about the situation.

  5. Ugh, I'm a big fan of cutting those people out of your life who just drain you or don't care about you (you know, you'll meet up and come home and think - they didn't even ask how I am!), the ones who are always moaning and make you feel miserable too, the needy ones ... Life's too short for all that - you have to be a little selfish and keep certain people at arm's length sometimes. Don't feel bad about it x

    Unless it's me you're talking about. ... I don't facebook-stalk you THAT much, SHEESH.

  6. Gee I completely understand! Don't like needy people at all, not that everyone needs to be strong and all, but no need to give out a display of emotions all the time... and don't get me started on people who use FB to boast about things/ go on about amazing things they've done, hoping for people to comment... ggrrr
    by the way, i totally thought you were going to say you were going to stop blogging when i saw that post title - honestly, my heart is fragile, don't do that again!!

  7. I really feel what you are saying, friendship is something that grows over time and a good friendship should be a life-long commitment, not just something that appears overnight or out of the blue.
    It’s hard to deal with friends on-going problems I agree, even if they may not affect you personally, it does not stop you worrying about that person and their wellbeing. It’s a tough one, because obviously this girl is somewhat trying to get attention, but surely if it was meaningful at all she would see it takes a while to get to know somebody properly.
    Also Facebook does not count as friendship in my book. x

  8. Trust your instincts. You're not obliged to like or spend time with someone. Everyone else has said it too but you do have to put yourself first sometimes and keep a certain distance.

  9. I think you're doing what is right for you. There's a limit to how much one person can take on and you've recognised that. It's better to put some time and space between you and this person for a while. I would do the same thing.

  10. It sounds to me like she is either infatuated with you (I mean friendship-wise), or she's very insecure and needs some sort of recognition from you because she sees you as someone important. Both of which need to be handled sensitively and carefully. But she freaks me out to just hearing about her, so I'm with you on that one.

  11. I stand firmly by my conviction that Facebook is just a portal to hell. I'm just sayin....oh and the "closed for business"...totally understand that. Completely understand that. its just that when I had to tell some people that I was "closed for business", they took it bad, and according to them, I don't care about them any more. Needy people.....

  12. She'll move on, you'll still have your friends.

    I am often hostile to new people in a group without meaning to be ... I just sort of like things how they are usually. Again, I know it's my problem and not theirs.

  13. Ah now you see I am probably just like this girl...sometimes! I am a bit too full on sometimes and it scares people. My housemate says I don't have a filter and I need to get one. I think when I have done this too much I have alienated people and sometimes it has been hard to rescue the situation.
    I don't always do it - right now I've been very reserved compared to normal but this is because I'm quite enjoying my own personal time and I don't feel the need to be out and about every evening or to have someone to entertain me.

    Sometimes the problem is - when someone pulls away from you, you (aka this girl) end up trying even harder which is exactly what that person doesn't want. I don't know, I'm not being very eloquent today but I see both isn't anyone's is just about balance and understanding. xxx

  14. You are a true Norn Iron are doing the right thing...I would treat with great suspicion anyone who was that familiar immediately.
    Not worth a thought indeed. Life is too short to have to put up with her.
    I so know what you mean about supporting your true friends. So many of my own have problems too and I feel, just like you, that I can't support any day I went shopping and heard two lots of bad news about friends....thought 'I'd better get out of here before I hear any more bad news'.
    Walk away, learn to trust your immediate feelings and judgement.


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