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 Post subject: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:40 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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Warning: drama of the sort i usually avoid.

PPKers seem like nice folks, maybe generous, and i assume that some of us get that generosity taken for granted. i wonder what you all might do.

So I have this friend, i've known her for almost 2 years. i call her friend but in reality she's one of these friends who never contacts me to do anything, or if we do set something up she always cancels at the last minute- guaranteed, not just once or twice. She only contacts me when she needs something. Maybe it's my fault, because from the beginning i offered to help her with things, and i helped her with EVERYTHING- i helped her with her visa, with getting a car, with setting up her teaching work, i even gave her materials. Over time, it's become that anything i have, she assumes she can help herself to. when we were invited to my friend's beach house for a week, she invited herself along, for example. I'm usually a pretty generous person but now i'm starting to feel really put-upon- she now wants part of the business we're setting up, even though she really doesn't bring anything to the table and, if anything, she's a detriment to the whole thing since she's really not professional at all. The real thorn in my foot is that she was offered a position, some months ago, said "no, i don't have time" but now claims that she said "yes" and that she has a stake in the company now.[no contracts have been signed yet. we have verbal agreements, with which she was not involved].
I understand now that i need to cut off our relationship before i lose anything more. I'm in a bind about how to do it.
(i should add- if i cut her off, i have no reason to expect to ever run into her again. i live in a city of 3 million people, nowhere near her, different hobbies and habits.)

I think if I tell her, look, you've used me, and never been my friend, i am really expecting her to apologize or change- neither of which (i think) are in her nature. I can't expect her to change. So should i just let someone else tell her she can't be involved with the business and keep my mouth shut, but cut off contact with her there too (sparing her feelings but not really doing anything to explain why)? I guess i feel like i owe her an explanation on the one hand, but on the other hand know that an explanation won't really make any difference, that this is her nature and the explanation is really just for me to feel better.

i think mostly this writing exercise has made it clear for me the way i should proceed, but if anyone else has any experience about similar situations and how they managed, i'd love to hear about it.

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:37 am 
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Sounds like boundaries need to be drawn. Not sure whether you or another person should do it, but no question they should happen.
Why do you feel you owe her an explanation?

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:52 am 
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yeah, just be straight with her. don't be mean about it, just have all the facts, recount events and say that you can't do it anymore.

she would be way more angry if she found out later that's why someone else said she couldn't be a part of the business. (she might even come straight to you asking if you can make a case for her, which could complicate things.)

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:03 am 
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I only give people explanations when I feel they might actually consider the feedback I offer. If I know they'll just blow me off, why bother?

p.s. I wish we could be friends!


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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:43 am 
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Since it sounds like she is not someone you want to be involved with further, how about just avoiding her? I know it's sort of passive-aggressive, but it might work. Don't call her. If she calls you, tell her you're busy. Unless you think she'll get angry and start stalking you if you blow her off, I wouldn't put too much effort into ending things.

I can definitely see the desire to lay everything out there and give her a chance to learn from the experience, but if she has been using you for this long it seems unlikely that she will see things your way.


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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:44 am 
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I hate confrontation so I would play her game and blow her off constantly. I only tend to say it straight if I am plagued for a reason why I am avoiding someone. If she gets ratty over that reason then ignore altogether.

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:06 pm 
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I would treat her the same way she treats you. So yeah, blow her off and she will get the message. She sounds like a free loader and user. I have some people like that in my life and keep getting hurt by them, and need to start cutting them out. Good luck.
Oh yeah, she doesn't sound like she is worth a sit down conversation and explanation. She knows she plays people. It's people like this that kind of scare me. Don't waste your time with her anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Could you just stop talking to her? I wouldn't even bother blowing her off. Don't answer the phone if she calls, don't respond to her emails, etc. Normally I would say it's best to give some kind of explanation, but it doesn't sound like she's done anything to deserve one.

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:39 pm 
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The last time I cut a 'friend' loose I just stopped having any contact with them. It felt that our relationship was beyond repair for many reasons. It feels awkward on the rare times I see them from across a crowded room but we don't even acknowledge each other anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:55 pm 
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Yeah, I don't think you owe her an explanation. People who take advantage of their friends know what they're doing (even if they're of the mind that they're entitled to do it, they're not dim enough to think others will never get tired of it). I don't think it's passive-aggressive to discontinue contact with anyone who isn't going to be reasonable. It's just saving you the time and energy of a futile endeavor.

It's only passive-aggressive or unfair when someone has shown some effort at caring. You're a good person, so don't feel guilty. You're not responsible for putting the needs of other grown-ups before your own.

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:22 pm 
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I have a different take from others. I think there are two pieces here (1) the work piece where she assumes she is involve in your business and (2) the friendship, one-sided as it may be.

I would be very clear that she isn't involved in the work piece just to avoid any lack of clarity down the road. I would tell her that she doesn't bring a skill set that you think is necessary for the business (because you already have it) so you are not going to be including her in any business ventures at this point, but that you appreciate her interest. Put something in email after you talk, just so that you have a record if she ever claims that she was involved (esp as all your agreements up to now are verbal only).

As far as free-loading friendship goes, I don't agree that "people who take advantage of their friends know it." I think you may have both slipped into a problematic dynamic and she may not see it because she is the beneficiary. I had a friend end a friendship because she thought I just used her emotionally, but I totally didn't think I had. I thought I was in a rough spot and she was just kind enough to listen and support me, but it turned out later that she felt that I only called her when I needed to talk and didn't ask enough about how she was doing. So we had that conversation, I apologized and thanked her profusely for all she had done, but she was still done with me. But at least I know where I stood.

If you don't think she is open to a conversation, you don't need to have one. Just don't reach out to her, or tell her when you are going somewhere so she can't invite herself along, and don't offer to help her if she says she needs something. And then see what happens. It might be that your friendship slides back into more acceptable parameters. I think you're a really sweet and strong person, and it would be easy for someone to think that you're happy to constantly be generous because you don't seem to need much.

Good luck with anything you decide to do. You're kind and thoughtful and whatever you do will be the right thing <3

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:26 pm 
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Thank you so much for your responses. You all give me more to think about- in a very good way.

1- i need to take some sort of action because she is banging down my door wanting to be part of the company. also, we participate in the same teaching co-op and we have been putting on social events for our clients (totally different and uninvolved company) but until things go kaboom, i will be seeing her.

2- i also am not sure she knows that she is a user. she really is kind of clueless which is why i reached out to her in the first place- she's not evil, just sort of clueless. Yet I wonder (typical mother) if i set this to be part of our relationship: that i give and she takes, and then i give some more.

3- i think i owe her an explanation probably only because in her position, i would like one. Yet, now that i look more coldly, i see that she never gave me an explanation for not having a friendship where things move in both directions, not one. So really, it ain't necessary.

I spent some time talking to my mom today about it, and she said "i used to feel bad when people didn't like me, but after i got older i just didn't care anymore." her take is simply that if the person liked you enough, they would not have to be taught how to be friends with you, and it's OK to let some go. My mom is wise.

Thanks so much guys. I wish all of you guys were friends in my neighborhood, we'd all make jam together and just be generally awesome and thoughtful and happy.

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:15 pm 
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omg. she is on FB on our teaching coop page, twitching and screeching and basically telling me what a horrible, selfish, evil person i am. and about how confused she is. about how we've confused her so badly.
i think i will have to do a play by play. but not in this thread.

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:53 pm 
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Play one: Block. The end.


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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:00 pm 
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Okay, scratch all the advice I gave. She is overstepping her bounds. Block, defriend, ignore. Rinse, lather, repeat.

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:49 am 
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does she have admin rights? do you have admin rights? that's inappropriate, and she should be banned from the page (at least temporarily, whether or not she stays in the coop)

she might have social issues. has she ever been tested?

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:15 am 
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I'm not at all surprised by her reacting that way. I've had way too many problems with "friends" and then had to deal with their backlash and nastiness when I tried to distance myself. The best remedy is to not rise to her because it is a fight she wants.

I had a "friend" that turned up at my house and tried to beat down the door and shouted abuse in at me like a the common little tramp she is then sent me abusive texts. I just didn't engage at all and she lost interest pretty quick. I did keep the texts just incase and thankfully I did because a do-gooder called around and tried to mend bridges and get me to apologise. When I showed her the texts she was like uhhhhhhh well she didn't tell anyone about that part!

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:54 am 
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Tofulish wrote:

As far as free-loading friendship goes, I don't agree that "people who take advantage of their friends know it." I think you may have both slipped into a problematic dynamic and she may not see it because she is the beneficiary.



I phrased that poorly. I read from the context of Torque's original post that she had tried talking to her already--and now I have more context, so in this particular situation, my opinion still stands BUT I agree with you that friends are not always aware of what they're doing (I've been in the position of not realizing how much I was asking, as well). I'm redacting that generalization.

Full disclosure: I'm going through the same thing with a friend, and we also share duties on a volunteer project we created. So, I'm pretty quick to say DTMFA because I, too, am at the end of my rope.

Also, if you'd like to PM me, I've had some success in cutting off the bad behavior--but only if you'd like. I don't want to derail the thread!

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:13 pm 
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@supercarrot- not sure, actually, who has the rights, and i'm not sure i can just go in and shut her down while i'm still involved in the coop. I'm not sure if she has social issues, i would never ask and it sort of isn't really something i care to know- if she has special needs in the friendship she needs to make that clear somehow BEFORE acting like a douche if she wants any leeway, the way i see it. especially if she is banging down my door telling me how much she needs to be in my company, as a professional- this is NOT professional behavior.

@tinglepants- i never talked to her about it, just always sort of felt resentful, thinking that it must somehow be my fault that this was the way the friendship worked out. maybe it is my fault. not really sure, at this point after recent developments it really doesn't matter. ALSO- if you have more to add, please do. i'd love to hear how it's working in your case.

in any case, i shut down the conversation rather abruptly, said if i was being insulted i didn't think i could see a future working together, and from now on would only speak in person.... as usual this person is unable to find any space in her schedule for all of us to meet. the only thing that seems to work is that if I represent the rest of the company and meet with her on their behalf (which again: i think she has done this on purpose, hoping to squeeze some sympathy from me, the sucker).
I said NO, i do not feel comfortable doing this, after the last exchange i don't want to be in private with her anymore, as i don't want anything else misinterpreted or manipulated. I will do the work of just letting things drop away, but i will not do everything.

twould appear I am learning to say NO. So far, so good.

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:34 pm 
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I'm in a similar position. So I'm not really sure what to say. Being straight forward but kind is likely the best bet, but it hasn't worked well for me yet.

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:04 pm 
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torque wrote:

@tinglepants- i never talked to her about it, just always sort of felt resentful, thinking that it must somehow be my fault that this was the way the friendship worked out. maybe it is my fault. not really sure, at this point after recent developments it really doesn't matter. ALSO- if you have more to add, please do. i'd love to hear how it's working in your case.



Fault doesn't matter, at this point. In fact, in a case of not speaking up early enough, it isn't a matter of fault, it's just a mistake. If she weren't abusive, you'd have the chance to admit to that mistake and try to make amends. She's the one who's cutting you off by throwing abuse your way. It doesn't sound like you've done anything other than avoid her recently--and she could have put on her grown-up pants and *asked* you why you were avoiding you. If she didn't get an answer from you, she could have moved on instead of hurling abuse at you. Nothing warrants abuse. She never gave you the respect of asking you, never considered that you might have good intentions--and that's especially insulting to someone who's helped her as much as you have. So, I'd say you should probably stop reinforcing to yourself that you could have been at "fault." You haven't done anything wrong. Like many people, you just have hindsight you didn't have before.

In my case, I (and the others who work with us) didn't speak up early enough. The group had decided on explicit (and very democratic) rules at the start, and the other person continued to ignore the rules and usurp us while playing it off as a "mistake." We didn't think we needed to speak up, because we'd already made clear what the rules were--rules that she helped us decide! She was always very apologetic about breaking these rules, and it took us a while to realize she was doing it on purpose. She'd always miss meetings after doing something like that...and blamed her hectic schedule. It's really easy to give someone the benefit of the doubt, especially when they're sweet as pie in their demeanor but that's just it: a lot of people have learned to get what they want by operating this way. They pretend they're unaware, they apologize when confronted, but they continue to do it. In our case, she'd only apologize when she was afraid of the repercussions for herself. We did start confronting her, but we were still too forgiving. We'd point out when she made a "mistake" and ask her gently to fix it. When she realized how much she could get away with, she started doing whatever she wanted, carte blanche. When we finally said no, she started turning all her wrongdoings against us--preemptively. Without prompt, she'd just point out the things we were doing wrong, yell at us, and try to make us feel bad...we'd put our foot down and clearly her "nice" behavior wasn't working, so she switched to a more aggressive attempt to have control of all situation. See parallels between this and your not-friend hurling abuse at you? It's all power-play. In my situation--and the two sound similar--it wasn't that she didn't know she was doing anything wrong, it's that she didn't expect us to circumvent her games. In a nutshell, we were terrible people for not letting her get her way.

It would have been a much different scenario if, after the first time we confronted her about it, she made a visible attempt to change her behavior. It would have even been different if, every time she slipped after that, she acknowledged responsibility before she was caught. I believe in second chances if someone is getting a little better each time. I also believe in not feeling bad when it's someone else who isn't putting in the effort.

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:24 pm 
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oh god. i see parallels. i agree with so much you're saying here.
thanks for putting this all out, i appreciate it.

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:29 pm 
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Quote:
I also believe in not feeling bad when it's someone else who isn't putting in the effort.


QFT!

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:07 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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ermegerd. due to the gods' continuing dislike of me, it was left to me to talk to her and clarify her confusion.

She apologized profusely for her behavior and for pretty much everything I ever thought about her.

Gobsmacked, we be.

(except for that incessant niggling voice that says "maybe she just wants you to think she's sorry and she's just using you for more")

pardon me while i pick up my jaw off the floor and shuffle off to work.
#didntseethatcoming

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 Post subject: Re: WWPKD: cutting loose freeloading "friends"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:40 am 
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Great that she's sorry -- Keep those boundaries drawn! And in check! Yo.

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