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jlk2525's avatar

How to deal with poor behaviour from two best friends?

Asked by jlk2525 (176points) July 8th, 2014

Over the weekend one of my beloved pets passed away. I wrote a status on Facebook letting everyone know and it was obvious how distressed I was. Many people, old school friends, family, work friends included were able to send me a message some even sending me flowers or a card. I have two best friends that I have known since childhood, and please don’t get me wrong I did not expect any one to do or say anything and it means a lot that they did, but I did not hear from those two best friends for two days.

The first was on holiday overseas but liked my status so I know she knows what happened. I didn’t message her because I didn’t want to distract her from her trip and she was coming back the next day (Keep in mind when she was fighting with her boyfriend when I was in Europe I was on the phone to her). The other spoke to me earlier on the day it happened before my pet passed yet did not follow up to see how my pet or I was. I had a missed call from him last night but no message since. Being two days later I feel it’s a matter of too little too late. Both know how upset I get regarding my pets and know they can contact me if I am upset.

The first had time to post a selfie yesterday and finally messaged me last night but it was about keeping the date free for her sisters birthday. The second friend has been busy renovating but I feel that is no excuse for being a poor friend. I know if the shoe was on the other foot no matter how busy I was I would at least take the time to send a text message.

As I am in the midst of grief, I would like your opinion on how to confront them about this? I don’t see the point of having friends if they are not there for you when you need them. I was distraught, they would have known that and I feel that I can’t forgive them for being too self absorbed to not be there for me when I really needed them. Despite the many years of our friendship, I am very giving to my friends and I feel I deserve better. Should I ignore them until I am ready to confront them?

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12 Answers

ibstubro's avatar

“As I am in the midst of grief, I would like your opinion on how to confront them about this?”

Obviously with additional drama.

Grief + confronation = Drama in my book.

jca's avatar

I don’t understand why you wrote “Don’t get me wrong. I did not expect anyone to do or say anything” but you obviously did expect them to do or say something.

nettodo's avatar

I understand that it’s a very dire circumstance for you, and it feels painful to be ignored, but, I would not use this as a signal to sever all ties with them. We’re human, and we can be caught up in the moment of the everyday, and sometimes that affects others in ways that we don’t even remember or know. Personally, I would advise against confronting them over this. As @ibstubro said, it may only serve to incite drama. It’s not ideal.

Coloma's avatar

I think that while you are entitled to your feelings you are grief stricken right now and may be being a little too harsh. People will not always respond as we wish them to or maybe even need them to in the moment. Before going off the deep end I would simply let them know that it’s been a sad few days and that it would mean a lot to you if they understood.
It’s great to be a giving friend but, you cannot project your own choices on others.

If you go out of your way for others that’s great, but it is unfair to expect others to do as you might do, it’s a set up for bad feelings when you expect others to be exactly as you are.
Yes, they should acknowledge they are sorry to hear your pet died but if they don’t behave as you think they should, that is your issue.

Now, don’t take this the wrong way but, maybe they don’t get that your guinea pig was that important to you. Some people do not fully understand pet people and while your guinea pig was your little buddy maybe they are unaware of just how upsetting this was for you. Because it is a guinea pig and not a cat or dog, well…doesn’t make it right but OTOH maybe cut them some slack.
It’s a two way street here and you need to take their current travels and situations into account too.

Just because someone doesn’t respond as you wish they would doesn’t mean they are not decent friends. If someone foregts your birthday it just means they forgot your birthday and doesn’t make them evil. haha

jca's avatar

I am going to link the question so other Jellies can see where @Coloma got her information from:

Mimishu1995's avatar

I agree with @Coloma. And I interpret the matter this way: you say that one of the friends did leave you a missed call, which meant that he wanted to talk to about that matter at some point. But the fact that you missed his call might have left him an impression that you were so down and didn’t want to discuss further (right. Men don’t talk much).

Maybe they didn’t really ignore you, but they actually thought that the best way to comfort you was just to either not to interfere (so that you have time to grieve like what some jellies in @jca‘s link said, which could be better) or to distract you from your grief (which was what the other friend did by calling you and talking about “keeping the date free for her sisters birthday”).

Those are two things I often do to help my friends confront their grief too. Sometimes if you just keep talking about it, it will just hurt more. So some distraction can be a great help.

jlk2525's avatar

Just want to clarify they both FULLY understood what my guinea pig meant to me. I don’t want drama especially right now which is why I’m thinking of avoiding them until I am ready to bring up my issue with them when I’m feeling stronger.

Yes I said I did not expect anyone to do or say anything but I shouldn’t have to expect anything from my two best friends I have known since I was a kid. They should know that it is the right thing to do as they have done so in the past. They know me very well and I can’t make excuses for them. If people I’m not that close to can find the time to be supportive it’s not good enough that they two closest friends I have did not.

jca's avatar

In thinking about this issue further, I am thinking that not all of our friends are going to meet all of our needs.

I was just thinking of when my cat died, a year and a half ago. Of my two best friends, one probably pm’d me to find out what happened, as she is a cat person and so we take an interest in each other’s cats. The other one, maybe wrote something on FB on the cat’s photo, but nothing more. Neither friend was on vacation at the time, either. For me, if I were away on vacation, I probably wouldn’t do much other than a FB comment myself.

Sometimes, from strangers, we get certain things like sympathy we don’t get from our friends. I don’t think that this incident means you should write the friends off or hold it against them. Someone in my family has a grave illness. It’s easier for me to talk about this illness to strangers sometimes, then to talk to people I know. That does not demean the people I know or mean that I love them any less. It just means that sometimes strangers meet needs that are not met by loved ones. Maybe I feel like strangers won’t judge or won’t gossip about it, who knows.

Sometimes people don’t understand what pets mean to us. Some people are not “pet” people or “animal” people. They don’t get it. Maybe they feel like a guinea pig is not as much of a pet as a dog or cat. Who knows.

When you are upset, like now, is not the time to have heated discussions with your friends. Me, I would let it go. I’m sure when you do finally get in touch, they’ll be appropriately sympathetic to your issue.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@jlk2525 Right, so your friend know how much you love your guinea pig. I still think they were just trying to help you like what I said above. Although those things don’t work for everyone.

GloPro's avatar

I’m really sorry your pet died and you are feeling sad. Embrace the friends that are giving you comfort. Now is not the time to demand attention from someone. You should concentrate on yourself and grieving.
Consider that one of the 5 stages of grief is anger. Maybe you are displacing your feelings onto your busy friends that don’t realize you are looking to them directly for comfort.

LornaLove's avatar

I agree with @Coloma I wish people did act the way we wanted but it is not possible. I know when my mother and father died hardly any of my friends bothered to say anything really. I’ve learned that like @jca commented, that sympathy or help comes from different sources than we expect.

Why? Maybe because that person really gets it, or has felt that pain recently. Probably I too have neglected a friend when they are sad and did not realize it. One can’t really demand attention from people or expect this or that. This is a bit of a life lesson, embrace the care you are receiving and understand that we give without expectation. I’m sorry for your loss.

DipanshiK's avatar

We expect a lot from our best friends since we feel really attached to them and if they don’t keep up with our expectations we tend to get disappointed. It’s human nature, expectations lead to disappointments sometimes.
I suggest you to be less dramatic in this situation. Don’t think about it too much. They’re your best friends, you can always ask whatever’s in your head. A few “missed” calls or texts does not mean you need to point figure at them. It’s okay.

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