"Foul" weather friends?

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by caryatid, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. caryatid

    caryatid Well-Known Member

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    Some people complain about "fair weather friends" who only come around when times are good. Do you any of you have (or are) a "foul" weather friend?

    I have a friend who only calls me when there is drama in his life. For the longest time I didn't even know he really considered me a friend (he was originally one of DH's "good ol boys") until the day his wife went into labor. Not only did I drive them to the hospital (3 times. 2x for false labor) but he asked me to stay for the delivery. Now, if he needs to vent, he calls me. Often, I'm the first person he calls.

    I got to thinking about it. I'm his "foul weather friend". I think I"m that for a lot of people. I'm shy, uncomfortable in groups, but I'm always there to lend an ear, wipe a tear or help a friend out of a jam. I'm not the first person on the guest list for a party, I never send birthday or holiday cards, rarely reply to e-mails and I don't really go and "hang out" with the gals much.

    Sometimes I get really down on myself, feeling like I"m merely "Bob's Wife" in the eyes of many people, and then I get a phone call from someone needing help, or just to talk.

    Do you guys have a friend like that, or are you that friend to others? Do you mind the phone calls ("Hey! I need to move today and haven't packed anything, HELP!) and feel taken advantage of, or do you welcome the opportunity to be helpful and social at the same time?
     
  2. RoseGarden

    RoseGarden Well-Known Member

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    You brought up whether or not it was being taken advantage of or being helpful. I don't mind being helpful at all, because I have had to ask for help a few times myself. But if it becomes habitual, and I am always the first person called for help, then yes, I feel I am being taken advantage of.

    Years ago and in another life, I had a friend of this sort. She had a drinking problem, a man problem, and many other problems. I tried to be a good friend but as time went by she would call me up expecting me to drop everything to take her here or there, sometimes just to get cigarettes, and I felt it had to stop. When she would call, I would not pick up. Did not return her calls. Eventually she stopped calling. I wished her well and hope she became a more responsible person.

    It is nice to help people, but to be one of the 'misery loves company' group is not my cup of tea either.
     

  3. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    I'm having a wry little chuckle to myself over this one! I know several people like that, and sometimes I feel I'm a magnet for people with problems they expect me to help them with. I usually do help them, and I'm happy to do it, but as I get older, I'm beginning to draw lines - I help just SO much, if you know what I mean. If I feel stressed by it, or overloaded with my own issues, I'm learning to say 'No'. Sure, I get the guilts at times, but I'm improving on that, too! Just know your limitations, and stick to them.

    Keep this in mind. People who only use you, and who aren't there for you, are not friends. They are just people you know.
     
  4. Jerngen

    Jerngen Perpetually curious! Supporter

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    LOL That reminds me of my cousin who is also my best male friend! We live pretty far apart now and the only times he ever calls me is when there is "drama" in his life.
    I used to have several friends like that but have told most of them to get a life (it gets old after several years of a one way friendship). Can't ditch my cousin tho. He is blood after all! :)
     
  5. doozie

    doozie Well-Known Member

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    I too have one.
    A family member. My husband pointed out one day that she has never called with anything good to say.....
    I mean almost 30 YRS! of calls, and never once with good news....From financial problems,to kid problems, now adult kid problems, to her standard "I dont feel good today" calls....
    She now calls her dad with daily updates..(We tried to gently tell her to stop or tone it down, because he was truely getting upset and worried about her, and he is 78 Yrs. Old... We told her he needs some "Positive conversation" and she did get it, because she said she didn't want to "Burden us with her information" but it doesnt stop her from laying it all on him, and he in turn reports the news to us. There is no escape for us.. LOL)
    I really believe she thinks We live a charmed life or something... We just keep our small and large "setbacks" to ourselves.
    She actually thought we never had any problems with our Sons EVER. Too Funny!
    I just wonder how many people she calls a day with these tidbits.
     
  6. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You know....I was just talking to Roger about that last Sunday!

    We introduced ourselves to a new church member and she proceeded to tell us ALL about her DH's health problems, their financial problems, their legal problems etc.,etc., etc. (More than we needed to know!) I swear that, if we had not excused ourselves, we'd still be listening to her tales of woe. As we walked to the truckm I said to Roger that everyone has problems but not all of them carry the problems in a basket for everyone to see.
     
  7. caryatid

    caryatid Well-Known Member

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    culpeper- you mentioned this odd little word..."no"? Could you explain to me how you pronounce that word? I don't think I've ever used it before? (LOL)

    Wow, some of you guys/gals know some real doozies! Luckily my main FWF hasn't gotten to the "Don't pick up the phone, it is HIM!" stage. He rarely calls me, so at least it isn't a daily drama thing. No thank you! If I wanted a soap opera, I"d watch one on TV! His drama is in small enough doses that I actually kinda look forward to the calls.

    :rotfl:
     
  8. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

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    I've begun to step away from some of my high maintenance friends. I have enough responsibility in our own nuclear family to have to deal with things others choose to lay on me too.

    I have begun to choose my own burdens...

    so I guess my answer is *yes* but not for long.... or I am choosing them, they no longer have the luxury of choosing me.
     
  9. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When I find myself in this type of friendship I now run a little test. I let the person ramble on, then interject with my life. It could be some hardship, it could be good news. Inevitably, this person will need to get off the phone/get back to work, etc., or will change the subject back to him/herself. Big clue here: you are their friend, they are not yours. If you just listen for so long, then start to talk about your own life, they will stop interacting with you. The reason is, of course, because all you do is talk about yourself.
     
  10. Wildwood Flower

    Wildwood Flower Halfway, OR & Wagoner, OK

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    Boy, ain't that the truth!

    It took me 3-4 years to figure this out about my sister.

    I did the same little test. Even though I had listened to her and counseled her for hours and hours about her "abusive" marriage, her job, her money woes...ad nauseum.

    When I had a problem, she wasn't interested.

    Needless to say, we're no longer "friends". I'm polite. But I am not making time for a one way deal anymore.
     
  11. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    A guy called me last night. He heard I hurt my wrist. He offered to come out and split fire wood for me this weekend.

    My plow truck dropped a u-joint last night. We are getting quite a bt of snow today. My brother called me at work and wanted to know if he could get do anythiing to help.