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Aethelwine's avatar

Do true friends give ultimatums?

Asked by Aethelwine (41485points) 2 weeks ago

The main reason to give an ultimatum is to claim the power of the relationship.

fuck that

Can you continue a relationship if someone gives you an ultimatum?

That’s too much drama for me. I can’t.

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11 Answers

snowberry's avatar

I hardly ever give ultimatums.

However…I have a friend who worked at a nonprofit business. She needed someone to fill a job position until a rush was over. I told her I would work for free. I lasted two weeks. It turns out I was severely allergic to something there. I explained that everything we had tried wasn’t working and either they found another product to use or I would need to leave. I ended up leaving without notice.

No drama. I left because it didn’t work out. We are still friends but I never go there anymore.

Patty_Melt's avatar

It seems to me that people who make ultimatums are not seeking power, but feeling overpowered by something or someone, and make an ultimatum to offer a choice with a result more fair to them.
When an ultimatum is unreasonable, it seems to me that person is probably preferring to be outside of the whole situation to begin with.
It is tough to tell what sort of situation you refer to, since your details are vague.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Too subjective. A true friend, may do exactly that.

Example. I had a girlfriend (when I was 18) that did cocain ,before she met me. I hate powder. One night, her friend told her for go down the street and do some with her. I told her that if she left to do coke, “stay gone.” I meant it…

Short story. We are not together anymore. In that relationship, I gave her the choice. Be with me, or your drugs. Period… I sometimes wonder if she’s even alive these many years later… I really loved her….......

Lesson learned…

If it’s for something more trivial, I think it’s bad. But it’s case, by case…

canidmajor's avatar

@Aethelwine, I am in no way challenging your premise here, but my perspective is very different from yours, perhaps because I am a chunk older than you and my experience differs.

In my world, the main reason to give an ultimatum is not about claiming power at all, but to primarily inform of a circumstance/attitude/behavior that is so egregious (in my perception) that it must be addressed, or I can no longer be part of the relationship.

Here are a couple of examples:
Like @MrGrimm888, substance abuse is a deal breaker for me.
Lack of respect for me, as evidenced by constant, unapologetic lateness has been another. I’m talking about the kind of repeated lateness where I have waited a long time, without any word, to find out the next day that the person “decided” to do something else.

As I have gotten older, I have also really re-defined my idea of “true” friend. I know that a lot goes on that I don’t know about in others’ lives, and I no longer expect uncondonditional support from anybody. If someone I consider to be a true friend gives me an ultimatum, I consider it very carefully and try to respect the reasons they might have. I don’t necessarily comply, but I try to understand how we got to that place.

rojo's avatar

Generally I would say no but I can see circumstances where it might occur. Good examples above.

kritiper's avatar

It depends on the circumstances. But, generally, no, so long as you are as true a friend as you want them to be.

Aethelwine's avatar

Sorry for being vague. I made the mistake of thinking someone was a friend when all they really were was just an acquaintance. Thanks for your answers!

Thammuz's avatar

>The main reason to give an ultimatum is to claim the power of the relationship.

WOOOAH there captain generalisations.

Ultimatums are a way to define boundaries, first and foremost.

Friends who have wildly different boundaries and tolerances will need to set them to some commonly agreed point eventually, and some of them will be set as an “all or nothing” type deal.

For instance, two friends of mine: one is extremely physical, the other reviles physical contact. The second person eventually put his foot down and demand that the first stop doing that. It had nothing sexual mind you, just affectionate. Pats on the back, hugs that kind of deal.

Ultimatums are acceptable and can be a good thing for a relationship, it’s a matter of why and how they are used whether that’s the case or not.

Aethelwine's avatar

The main reason to give an ultimatum is to claim the power of the relationship.

My apologies. This was a quote I read in an article about friendship and ultimatums. I wrote this question in haste and did not mean to make a generalization.

Patty_Melt's avatar

If you were quoting an article, I would certainly challenge the author of that article.
As I said above, ultimatums within a friendship are most often a defensive move, not a power struggle.
I too have made the “drugs or me” ultimatum, to more than one beloved person in my life.
I have been around quite a while, been in quite a variety of social environments.
Friendship ultimatums tend to be made out of desperation, but not over power.
It sounds like you are struggling with something painful
I am sorry.

Aethelwine's avatar

Thank you, @Patty.

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