My so called "friends"...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
My so called "friends"...
13
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 11:18am
Honestly, I have the worst luck with friends. Ppl have said its b/c I am of such high character and I expect what I give so I'm always disappointed. Lately, I've been a little disappointed. My friend will not take public transit or sustainable transportation. Since I don't have a car, that means she always drives everywhere we go. (I know it bothers her b/c she makes comment about gas...so I buy her lunch and stuff) Since its her vehicle, she smokes in it. I am allergic to cigarette smoke. My breathing is laboured today b/c she wouldn't let me open the window - she wanted the A/C on. I really think that is rude. I've told her MANY times. The funny thing is, she has a very serious illness. Once when we were walking a trail, she became incapacitated and I had to piggy back her out - so I know all about making concessions!

Since my bicycle is broken down (bike store closes at 4:30pm here, gotta wait for sat)...I've been taking the bus and wearing nice summer dresses. Problem: my feet have blisters ALL over them. Its really hot but I'm wearing runners today b/c I can't stand the pain. Tonight, even tho 5 of my "friends" live within a few blocks I will have to take a bus to the party. The bus stop is at least a 15 min walk. I asked about hitching a ride and got "not really sure if I am going". I just read an email from somone who said that..and he ended it, see ya tonight! No comment on picking me up. You can BET when I get there, they will all say "I would have picked you up. You took the BUS?" (You can bet I'll say I asked!!!)

I am seeing a reoccuring theme here. Me putting out WAY more energy then I am getting back in return. It is starting to make me feel really sad. Why is this? What the hell am I doing wrong? I am vocal, I speak up. But no one really cares...? Yet I know they do on some level...and I know that if it were shortae or one of the other women, they would bend over backwards to help her anyway they can. She's a great person - but so am I. Maybe not as "fragile" tho...

Oh well. I still want to go - I canceled my camping trip for this. Sitting home would prove even MORE depressing, no? Besides, they won't know why I didn't show...

Go.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 11:50am
Hey there - I am sorry you're disappointed. Devil's advocate - if you have high character that also means that you are able to better accept people for what they are - it's not about expecting someone to do exactly what you would do. Of course, then you can decide you don't want to put up with it - I do agree that it is rude to smoke in those situations - I am not allergic, and I would still find it rude - my guess is she is resentful about the gas money (whether that resentment is reasonable or not) and is indirectly getting back at you - very immature. Where I live, we either walk, take cabs or use public transportation and unless I am on a date I assume I am on my own. If I had a car or lived where driving was the norm I would hope I would be more understanding than your friends are.

One more question - do you think any of this has to do with the fact that you are a successful flirter - do your women friends get jealous of you and all the male attention you get? Do you tell them about the male attention and perhaps inadvertently make those of your friends jealous who are not as successful? I try to keep close mouthed about accomplishments - work or men or whatever in front of those who are less fortunate and if I do speak it is in a very understated way. I learned the hard way!!

Please, Go, I relate - your friends are being jerky!! The suggestions/questions were not meant to be critical. I hope you enjoy your weekend nonetheless.

Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 12:32pm
Are you a perfectionist? I'm reading a book right now for a class about perfectionism, and one of the things it says is that people who are perfectionists expect others to live up to their high standards and therefore alienate themselves. I don't know if this is true for you, but it's the first thing I thought about as I was reading.

The smoking is just plain rude if you ask me. I don't think that smokers realize how bothersome it is to others. It makes us smell like smoke and have trouble breathing. I understand it was her car, but common courtesy says she could have at least let you roll down a window!

As for the public transportation thing, I think that you are trying to impose your values onto your friends. We all know that doesn't work. You can take the bus all you want, but if your friends don't have the same environmental consciousness that you do, then they won't see the value in it. If your friend gets upset about the gas, just tell her you'll pay her bus fare next time. She is choosing to drive when you would take the bus, so she should be responsible for the gas.

I don't know what to tell you about the ride to the party thing. Your friends are being wishy-washy. That would make me uneasy too. I think jealousy could play a part in it- the women know you will be approached, flirted with, etc. no matter where you go. You can't do a darn thing about that. Go if you want to, stay home if you want to. Don't do anything because you think someone else wants you to!

You know this is my honest opinion- you wouldn't expect anything less from me, now would you??

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 12:55pm
Get realistic. It's one thing for you to live up to your standards, values, principles, ethics, requirements, and boundaries...it's great to do, it is your character, and it definitely allows for self-respect, trust, admiration, and acceptance.

But it's completely unrealistic (and 12-step programs are founded on this reality!) to expect other people to adhere to your standards, ethics and values....or reciprocate per your standards because you've been accommodating and accepting of their standards, behavior, and values.

People do what they do because they want to do it. THEIR values, priorities and boundaries justify and entitle them to their actions, feelings, thoughts, decisions, words, ideas, and desires. Those same values determine their character, conscience, integrity and honor.

Now....let's also get practical. If you're riding with someone else because THEY won't take public transportation...you do have the option to meet them there and not pay for gas. It sounds as if you're riding with her for convenience, in which case paying for half the gas is more than appropriate. When behind the wheel - the rule of the road is you're responsible and liable for your actions. Which follows up with - when behind the wheel you get to pick the station, decide if the AC is on or windows down, and you get to smoke if that is what you do. IT's your car!

So basically, knowing that she's a smoker, adverse to public transportation...you willingly get in the car with her for some reason and then unrealistically expect her to "bend over backwards" to meet your requirements and standards because you perceive you're bending over backwards to meet the needs and requirements of others to your own detriment, inconveience, and expense.

There's a simple solution. Stop "giving to get". In the future, any concession, compromise, action or decision you make that benefits someone else - do it because you WANT them to have it, get it, or make their life easy with it without strings attached, without chalking it up mentally in the little black book of "your goodnesses".

That approach will require you to speak up if you're doing something today in exchange for something tomorrow. That communication will ensure that you find out that the person is or is not willing to participate in this "deal". Which up to now has been uncommunicated and causing you resentment.

The requirement to communicate will have you communicating more honestly and fully with yourself. You'll assess why you're doing what you're doing - are you giving to get, are you giving out of desire to do so, are you doing this because you "feel" you should but in reality there is no other-induced pressure to do so, only self-induced requirement when which adhered to and unrewarded per your unrealistic expectations of others to change their values and actions leaves you feeling used, resentful, and fearful of "how life works and why I always get the shaft."

This'll have another blessing...but it won't be seen as such, at first. It'll cause you to come full face with your own acceptance of self, or lack thereof and address it. Because right now you're affiliating and aligning with people based on your expectations, needs, and requirements....not on who they are, for what they are, for reasons that you understand and accept as having bearing on you.

If you need more, let me know. It works....it's just uncomfortable for about 6 months.

The only person you can change is you, the only person you control is you....and you'll never control the river of life, but you have the option to have the skill and ability to control your own boat while out on the river!

Erin

quickblade14@hotmail.com

Avatar for schnappsers
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 12:56pm
I agree that the smoking incident was just plain rude. Did you remind her of your allergy?

I can kind of see your friends' perspective when it comes to giving you a ride to the party. I'm sure they know you have helped them with other things in the past, but might see transportation as a totally different issue. They might be more willing to give you a ride if it was only occasionally that you need a ride, but since you don't have a car and apparently have no plans to get one, maybe they feel like you'll come to expect rides from them on a regular basis. In the past when I had a friend who regularly needed rides, it really started to bother me when she'd come to expect rides from me, even though we'd both done each other favors in the past. Perhaps you should talk to them and find out if they're resenting you for relying on them for rides, and if so, how can you work things out with them for the future.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 2:46pm
sorry, but you need some better friends.


some of the guys i know are constantly fighting over who GETS to drive. ie. it's a pleasure to take your buddies places, not a burden.


as for smoking in a car with a non-smoker (especially one who's allergic), that's just plain aweful.


and last - yeah, a lot of my friends won't touch public transit as well. it's sad, but i know there's no convincing them otherwise...

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 3:16pm
I struggle with EVRYTHING you just posted about on a day-today basis. Beautifully said Erin.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 3:17pm
I am trying to not sound rude but, I think your friends are tired of carting you around. Why don't you get a car and take yourself to the party? I always resent my friends that constantly need rides. I don't mind taking people here and there but if you are always the one who needs to be picked up and can't ever do the favor in return I would stop taking you. Another disadvantage of taking someone else is that it can be harder to come and go when you please and what if you want to do something else after and have to take the non driver home. I think you are expecting to much from them to always offer you a ride or when they are asked to always say yes. It definitely is a pain to take public transportation but, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Have fun at the party!!

rye

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 4:32pm
No...thats not true. I actually bicycle EVERYWHERE. They think I am insane b/c I cycle to the pub and home again. Its just my bicycle is broken and I have severe blisters on my feet right now that I'm looking for a ride.

I don't have a car b/c I am a transportation environmentalist. 25% of our children have respiratory illnesses - I am trying to leave something for them.

Go.

Avatar for schnappsers
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 4:35pm
Have you looked into one of those hybrid gas/electric cars, or would that still not fit with your environmental concerns?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 4:39pm
I don't THINK I am a perfectionist. I do flirt alot and they always say "its a amazing you are still single"...

I do disagree that I am imposing my values on them. In fact, its the opposite. When I want to cycle somewhere, I get "oh for petes' sake just let me drive, I'm going there anyway"...or I get impatience with my not being "exactly" on time b/c its hard to know how long that hill will take. Or I get teased about having to a carry a backpack with tools (in case of flat), change of clothes, etc. They have also expressed annoyance that they have to "worry" about me when I'm cycling off after 3 hrs of softball or a few pints.

I am seriously considering giving up and getting a car...what is the point really? I am starting to doubt I am making any kind of difference.

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