General Question

ronski's avatar

How can I deal with the misgivings in our friendship?

Asked by ronski (737points) December 28th, 2008

My friend likes to make plans! I hate making plans! I also find myself compromising for her: going to restaurants she wants to go to in her neighborhood or going to her house to watch a movie. Last time she came over, I asked her if she wanted to watch a movie around 10 pm on a Friday night, but she said that she simply would be unable to stay until the end for no real reason. It really discourages me from hanging out with her when everything has to be to her schedule or convenience. I like more balanced friendships. Otherwise, she is a very sweet and supportive to me.

Have you ever had this problem with someone? What should I do? I’m sure people will say: just accept her for who she is or stop hanging out with her, but I do not want to do either of those things, so please give me some insight on your friendships. Thank You!

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11 Answers

laureth's avatar

You could always say, “Make whatever plans you need to make to keep yourself happy, dear. Just don’t tell me about them. If you’re already planning to hang out with me next Tuesday, just call me Tuesday afternoon and we can discuss it then. Maybe I’ll be busy, but probably not, since I wouldn’t have planned anything else previously anyway.”

As for the locale, I’d keep track and present it as a verifiable series of facts rather than an accusation. “The last ten times we’ve hung out, we’ve gone to places in your neighborhood. To even out the convenience, here, how about we go to this bar in my neighborhood for a change?” might work better than “We alwaaaaaays do what youuuuuu want to do!”

I’m a planner. I’ll probably always be a planner. Many of my friends seem to be non-planners, and it drives me a little batty. But I can plan to be spontaneous for a given day, and that sometimes fills both of our kinds of needs, too.

susanc's avatar

“I hate making plans”?
You do make plans, e.g. she should stay for the whole movie.

You think you don’t have “balance” because you often do stuff she likes. Sounds to me like it’s unbalanced because you don’t make the effort to propose any ideas of your own.

ronski's avatar

@susanc Why is your answer so hostile? Lighten up! I didn’t say that I don’t make plans, I said that I hate making them. There’s a difference. And yes, I am a super social person, so I am constantly inviting my friends to events and hosting them, so please don’t assume that I don’t propose ideas!
Also, someone once said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Meaning, your advice pretty much blew.

syz's avatar

Dude, (or Dudette), if you’re going to be defensive, don’t post relationship questions on a public venue.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Ronski, it might be a good idea to hang around and read a bit before you start telling people their answers “blow.” Susan was putting her perspective out there, I second Syz, if you don’t want feedback, don’t ask the question.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Friendships that work are based upon recognition that people have full, interesting lives outside of their relationship with you, and respecting those boundaries. I have friends that I’ve known for 35 years. Part of what makes those relationships last is planning. We make time for each other. I don’t expect them to be available to me when I decide I want to see them. Sometimes that works, but mostly it doesn’t.

chyna's avatar

@alfreda Absolutely. I have a friend that I’ve had since childhood. She is busier than me and sometimes has to cancel plans. This has been that way our entire friendship due to illness’ in her family, etc. I learned not to make plans with her that would severly disappoint me if she had to cancel.

bythebay's avatar

In another thread you posted a question about another friendship issue/concern. In that instance you said ”...On the other hand, I will tell my friend if I am having a problem with them personally.” I think you should do exactly that, talk to her about your concerns. Embrace the diversity in your friendship, embrace the art of compromise.

Allie's avatar

Does your friend have a curfew? Maybe that’s why she couldn’t stay til the end of the movie and why she always wants you to come over to her house..

cyndyh's avatar

All kinds of things can govern compromises you make for friends.

When I had small children and most of my friends didn’t, I had to plan ahead for either a babysitter or for packing all sorts of things for the kids to come along anywhere we went. Now my kids are grown and I have some friends who have kids they need to consider when we’re making plans.

When a close friend worked really early hours it changed our partying plans to earlier in the evening or the party continued and everyone just knew she had to leave early.

When I was a vegetarian my closest friends would make an effort if we were eating out to make sure I had some menu options wherever we went. I, in turn, didn’t ever insist the meat-eaters need to forgo meat when I was around. We would pick a place we could all be happy with.

When my close friend didn’t have a car and biked everywhere we made sure she was comfortable with her transportation wherever and whenever we were going. We’d offer her a ride if she wanted one, and if she didn’t we’d make sure the timing was ok for her to get from one place to the next on her bike.

When my friend was single and liked a certain waiter we’d go have dinner where he worked to make her happy.

For friends you just make do. If it seems really one-sided, talk to her. You never know. There may be things she’s compromising on and not even mentioning to you out of kindness and consideration for you and your feelings.

susanc's avatar

@ ronski:

You asked for insight. My insight was that your ideas about balance in relationship seem kind of skewed themselves. You then revised “I hate making plans” to “I hate making plans but I am constantly inviting my friends to events and hosting them”. Fair enough; but if you give us incomplete information, you’ll get uninformed responses.

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” followed immediately by “your advice… blew”: does seem a little bit like you know the rules, but they don’t apply to you.

Interesting in light of your presenting problem.

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