General Question

Pandora's avatar

Is it unreasonable to expect someone to not act like a huge butt when they are worried about a cancer diagnosis?

Asked by Pandora (27774points) July 11th, 2010

I recently agreed to help a friend out when she was to have a sugery. This person wouldn’t even explain what it entailed till the last moment. Any how, the day before several things where going wrong on my end but I told this person not to worry, because I would be their for them no matter what. I had a little problem with transportation and told him/her I would take a cab if I need too and even what time I would be there. As promised I took a cab. Anyhow the procedure was quick and for the next two days this person never appologized for being a total butt. Now the surgery turned out to be very minor and the doc said it looked good for not being cancer.
I wasn’t expecting a thank you or anything, I feel this is something friends do, but I wasn’t expecting to feel like I was a bother either.
The way this person described me to everyone was, this is my friend who was chosen to watch over me because everyone else I knew had to work and she doesn’t have a job. I mean what she said was true but was it necessary to make it a point with everyone?
I’ve had a possible cancer scare once and I chose to ignore it till the results of test came in. Even when they botched the test several times and I had to go in and retest.
Am I being too harsh? Or did I simply see this person as they really are and move on? I was so discusted with this person that I was in a hurry to leave. They told me thank you before I left but I felt it was too little to late. I don’t need graditude but I appreciate not being put to the screws either.

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34 Answers

Jude's avatar

The person had a lot of their mind. Cut them some slack and let it go. Don’t take it so damn personally.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

The way she described you to others is how she sees you. I’m sorry. If you really like her and want to keep the relationship, you could tell her that how she described you to other people was really offensive. How would she feel if you introduced her as, “this is my rude and arrogant friend who was a total butt when I was the only one of her friends who would agree to help her out when she needed someone there”?

@jmah, I would agree except that her description of Pandora to others was beyond the pale. It would be one thing to be short and agitated with someone who’s helping you, it’s another thing to tell others that you’re entitled to the help because the person doesn’t have a job, and essentially should be grateful to have something to do.

Seaofclouds's avatar

It sounds like you were her last pick and she was probably upset that no one else could be there with her. Add that to the concern about cancer and I would say she was probably taking it out on you. I don’t think it’s right, but I would cut her some slack because of the situation. I might rethink doing something like this for her again though considering she made it clear you were a last resort.

Pandora's avatar

@jjmah, This person continued to act like a butt even after the doctor told them he was pretty sure it wasn’t cancer but he had to run the test anyway.
(I even went through 3 days of torture when my daughter was 3 because the doctors couldn’t tell me if she was going to live. I had a friend who helped me out. And even with 3 days of no sleep I kept calling her and thanking her for taking such good care of my son. I had a lot on my mind as well but I never thought to be aggressive to her.)
My so call pal continued to be aggressive the whole day before and I thought they would bring it down a few notches but this person continued to harp on me not having a ride the day before and didn’t seem to have a problem being nice to people on the phone when they called him/her. Even thought out of all of this persons pals only one showed up to visit.

Pandora's avatar

@Seaofclouds, Yeah, I told my husband I would no longer be available for any future problems this person may have.
I’ll put up a sign, saying, OUT Fishing!

Austinlad's avatar

Sorry, mate, I have no sympathy for you. You agreed to help, and that obligated you to deal with the situation lock, stock and barrel without complaint. And by the way, how you dealt with your cancer scare has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Pandora's avatar

@Austinlad, Had I’ve known this person was to be a butt I would’ve said no.
So your saying anytime you agree to help someone they have the right to treat you like crap?
So if I go with your theory, taking a job entitles your boss to treat you like crap, getting married, entitles your spouse to treat you like crap.
Keep in mind also when I agreed this person acted at first like this was a no big deal procedure.
All civility is null and void the moment you entangle your life with someone else and you offer to help?

Jude's avatar

@Pandora With all due respect, you’re being overlysensitive and this is a bit of a ridiculous thing to get hung up on. I still stand by my post (above).

I’d just let it go.

Coloma's avatar

I have a different take..I think, regardless of the friends scare , the FRIEND seems to be a rather petulent and moody type to begin with.

I recently supported a good friend through a breast biopsy and went with her to many appts. She never once behaved rudely, and I was happy to be her support pal.

This is my one huge intolerence…others that take their moods out you on a whim.

I don’t care how scared or worried I was I would never think of mistreating or snapping at a friend.

Moody nutcases stay away! lol

Austinlad's avatar

The case you cited in your question wasn’t a hypothetical one about your boss or your wife; it was about a person you agreed to help who thought she had cancer. Surely you must have realized she was under emotional strain and might not be the “perfect” patient. Anyway, your pushback about this tells me this is your problem, not hers. Sounds to me like you’ll be best off not agreeing to help emotional people in situations you can’t control. Good luck with that.

JLeslie's avatar

Could it be that she was afraid the other friends would feel slighted that they were not asked to be with her, and so her way of explaining to them why she did not pick them was you had more availability? That she feared they would feel as though she felt closer to you then to them, and now the words are getting misconstrued?

I have a girlfriend who is a stay at home mom and she gets tired of people asking her to do favors, and making comments like she has more time, then the other women in the group, but the thing is she does. Don’t get me wrong, she has every right to say no, and if everyone is asking for favors it gets annoying. I barely work the last few years, and when I get together with girlfriends I do most of the planning, buy the tickets for the show, book the hotels, etc. I don’t mind, they are busier, but I do want a thank you I admit. They don’t have to tell me over and over again thank you, or make a scene about it, but a simple mention is nice.

Your friend should have been telling your other friends how you bent over backwards to make sure you were at the hospital, even though you had trouble with transportation, I agree with you, but we don’t really know what she was thinking when she was talking.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora Maybe tell her it hurt your feelings what she said, that it made you feel like last choice, and see what she says. Give her a chance to explain herself, and maybe she will be more aware next time, and think before she talks.

Coloma's avatar

I think the flippant remarks about being available simply because you do not work were degrading and dismissive. So what?

YOU were THERE for her as you promised.

What else did she expect?

I too do not expect grandiose displays of appriciation for being a good person and helping a friend in a time of need..BUT…a real friend DOES acknowledge your time and attention.

My friend was very generous in letting me know how much she appriciated me being with her during a scary time.

Andreas's avatar

@Pandora I think you may’ve seen this person’s true self. For you own sake, try not to take it too much to heart. You may find in a time of need this person will be the only one to come to your aid. Stranger things happen. All the best.

Pandora's avatar

@Coloma, Thank you. I think this may have misunderstood. Its just after watching how this person treated others and then treated me, I wondered why was I mistreated? I began to wonder if the way I was introduced was really how this person felt about me. Like a last resort. I have never been unkind to this person at all. There have been a few things said before that made me question how they felt about me but I thought perhaps I misunderstood. Now I feel that maybe I was right all along and it took being frighten for this person to let out their real personality and how they view our relationship.
But I really am not that sensitve either. Its takes a lot for me to get upset. There was a lot more said and the extremely cold shoulder was another thing. I was made to feel extremely unwelcomed.
@JLeslie Yeah, I also wondered if afterwards it was just the drugs. But like alchohol, does it loosen your tonge to say what is actually on ones mind? I think I could even take little comments directed at me but when it seemed that I was still intent on being polite then she dug at my husband.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Pandora I think people deal with cancer scares differently.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora I certainly think that you have every right not to go out of your way for her again, if you feel she was awful to you, especially if this is not the first time she has done something that was upsetting to you. I mean we were not there, so we cannot know exactly how obnoxious she was. If this is a one time event, because she was completely freaked about the cancer possibility, I might let it slide. My husbands family always thinks they are dying when a doctor says something might be wrong. They react in ways that make no sense to me.

Coloma's avatar

I agree that emotions run high when people are under great stress, but still…it is not acceptable to be unkind to someone that is helping you, period.

I have sworn for years that I will be the kind of person people WANT to be around in my old age…same me, different life stage. haha

Beng scared or worried or in pain or whatever is still not an excuse to behave poorly.

zenele's avatar

[Removed by self – not sure about this one.]

tinyfaery's avatar

There is never an excuse to treat someone like shit. If this happened to me, I would have called her out and if she continued without apology, I would have left that girl there, by herself. We all have traumas. We all have emotional times. Maybe that’s why the world is so fucked-up. Most people feel they have the right to treat others badly when their emotions are running high.

Pandora's avatar

@zenele But even after the doc said it really looked promising that nothing was wrong?

@tinyfaery Yeah, thats my point. It does seem like so many people feel they have the inherited right to treat others like crap the moment things go wrong. You see it so often in daily life. At the work place, family members and even just strangers off the street. People so often think its a valid excuse for poor behavior. I’m scared, life sucks so deal with me being a douche till things are better.

I’ve had my ups and downs, my fears and run of bad luck over the years. Never for once thought it entitled me to bad behavior.
I do however treat people as they treat me.
I was never raised to be a martyr, saint or a door mat. I’ll gladly help a friend in need anytime and expect nothing in return, except for respect at all times.
Its always something I let people know up front about me.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora But is this a one time event? She has always been a great friend otherwise?

Jude's avatar

I still don’t see it.

At the time, it was all about them and what they were going through. They were obviously scared, nerves on edge.. whatever. Not thinking all that clearly, you know – a lot of their mind.

I’m not a doormat over here. I don’t let people treat me like shit, but, in this instance, I can understand why it went down the way that it did.

That’s just me.

Pandora's avatar

@JLeslie There have been other times she didn’t totally misbehave, but I felt she was pushing it a little. The way a child test you to see how much they can get away with before you put your foot down. Only I let it go because others convinced me that I shouldn’t take it personal. Its not that I think its personal now but I feel she simply may not know how to behave respectfully and maybe I should just bow out because I don’t have that kind of patience. This is a grown person. Never likely to change. It should’ve been a lesson they learned a long time ago.
This person wants respect from everyone 100% of the time but doesn’t seem to feel its necessary to give it in return.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora Then screw her. From now on do less for her, don’t set yourself up to be abused. I have a few people in my life like that. I have to say if they were ill or had a big scare and asked for my help I would still be there for them; but otherwise, for a while now, I have not been very in touch or friendly with them, so the likelihood they would ask me for help is slim anyway. When they are in a group I treat them like everything is fine, but I do not call them, or make plans with them like I used to. I used to me things like that get to me, I felt hurt. Now, am able to just let it go better.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

When a friend takes a taxi to honor a promise to help you out, they do not deserve to be spoken about to other people that they were there because everyone else had a job to go to. That is beyond being scared about having cancer. Someone who is not family is doing something for you because you asked them to, and has inconvenienced themselves and incurred cost on your behalf. “It’s the cancer scare” would describe being snappish or forgetting to say thank you. It doesn’t extend to talk to others about this person as if they’re obligated to be at your beck and call.

YARNLADY's avatar

I was hysterical when that happened to me. Thank goodness people around me were very understanding.

Pandora's avatar

@JLeslie My plan exactly.
@PandoraBoxx Yeah, it bugged me more that they didn’t appologize for being a butt. Even several days later. Kinda made a joke, when I was leaving, saying I bet your anxious to leave. That also said to me that she recognized what she was doing but chose to ignore it.
@YARNLADY, Hysterical I can handle being a douche to me no and definetly not being a hysterical douche.
Well guys thanks for your answer but I got to go to bed. Its late and I get up at 5.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I would also have been very put off by how you were described to others. How you got transportation to be on hand shouldn’t have been an issue either, that would’ve have made me feel really awful. Like others have said, it’s over so try to not put a lot of stock in this person. Acquaintances remain acquaintances instead of becoming friends for a reason.

sliceswiththings's avatar

I recently had surgery. It’s scary as hell. Mine wasn’t even cancer, it was just a broken wrist, but having your innards exposed and being under anesthesia is scary enough. Going unconscious in a way that some people don’t wake up from is a free pass for someone to be “a butt,” in my opinion, and waiting for a cancer diagnosis is another. I feel strongly about manners, but I think it’s totally fine for someone in your friend’s position to be crabby and needy in this time.

Haleth's avatar

@sliceswiththings I think there’s a distinction between being needy, crabby, or “a butt,” and between what the friend did. If she had just been crabby to @Pandora, then it would have been understandable and forgivable. Good friends do this for each other all the time- one of them goes through something tough and does something selfish or says something sharply, and the other one is there for her. It’s a mutual thing. Putting your friend down when you introduce her to someone is behavior that crosses the line and loses trust. There’s no excuse for that.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Pandora—I’m sorry your friend treated you so badly. I lost my second husband to pancreatic cancer, and when my doctor sent me for a biopsy for possible breast cancer I thought I was dying.

When my son and his friend took me for the biopsy, I left the address at my house by mistake, and we drove around for twenty minutes before finding the hospital, because of faulty directions by the nurse.

I was a total basket case by the time we found it. The final result, several weeks later, was a successful suction of all the affected tissue. My son, and his friend were just as scared as I was.

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