Help...I need social advice! How do I be a good person?

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daydreamer84
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07 Jan 2010, 9:45 pm

I met this girl in my last year of high school in gym class. This girl is three years younger than me....I had put off taking required grade 9 gym and had to take it in my last year of high school. Anyways, she was very keen on being friends with me....she seemed lonely and in need of a friendship. I talked with her while we slacked off in gym class, and we went to see one movie together. That was the extent of our high school friendship. The thing is SHE chatted and I just nodded and smiled most of the time... We ended up going to the same university...where we met each other again and she wanted to exchange contact info. So we did. But....I have NOTHING in common with this girl. She seems exclusively interested in boys and shopping....and I'm interested in weird things. I find it torturous to talk her. Anyways... as university students, she kept calling and wanting to hang out with me, so I invited her to spend time with my best and only friend (to whom I am attached at the hip) and me. She (my best friend)...besides being very eccentric and nerdy is an NT...She is very socially adept and very empathetic. Anyways when these two girls met...my best friend.....despite having the same aversion to my former high school classmate as I did ....have to know her and sort of took her under her wing. The high school classmate had a lot of problems (an abusive boyfriend, financial problems etc.). I am also very empathetic.....but my lack of good emotional self regulation makes my empathy useless...because I turn inward and get VERY VERY upset/anxious about another persons situation...and am unable to help them. I felt horrible about it ...but I started to ignore the high school classmate’s calls and e-mails bcs I could not handle her problems/ situation and did not want to deal with her. My best friend however, remained friends with this girl. Because the continued calling my friend as well and she lent a sympathetic ear. Recently my high school classmate was raped. She called my best friend and told her the story. Which was relayed to me? I literally bawled my eyes out when I heard her story...and at that time I called her and offered my sympathy and comfort. After a while though...I couldn't stand talking to her anymore. I started ignoring her calls/ requests to hang out. I did want to spend time with this person...as much as I felt bad for her. My friend introduced her to her other friends….and they often went out and spent time together. Just now my high school classmate gave me a call . She did not take the hint that I had been ignoring her calls for a very long time ..she is somewhat socially inept as well. She called from a private number and I picked up. I sounded clearly not happy to see her (not intentionally so..I just have difficulty modulating my tone of voice and was in a bad mood to begin with today). So we talked for a few minutes and then got off the phone. I think she sounded REALLY sad that I couldn’t talk on the phone.I am conflicted about what to do. I feel like I am abandoning her in her time of need. But…I literally don’t know how to…nor do I feel it would be ethical or honest to pretend to be her friend and spend a lot of time together. I never enjoyed any of the time we spent together and yet she used to refer to me as her “best friend”. I do not want to treat her as a pity friend…or a pet project. I have actually had a few people do that to me….where I didn’t get the hint and thought I had a real friend. However….it might devastate her if I flat out told her that I didn’t think we should be friends because we have nothing in common and I don’t enjoy spending time with her. I don’t think ignoring her is very ethical either. Keep in mind…she is still very much in need of support right now. I have tried to give her support w/o actually spending time with her…but inevitably she wants to have a long conversation or spend time “hanging out “ at each others houses etc. IF ANYONE IS ACTUALLY STILL READING THIS LONG CONVOLUTED MESSAGE …..WHAT DO I DO???? HOW DO I BE A GOOD HUMAN BEING? …..I don’t feel like I have done a good job of it so far!!



daydreamer84
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07 Jan 2010, 10:50 pm

Sorry for all the grammar/ punctuation errors....I am only noticing them on re-reading this. I typed it out and spell checked it very quickly. I wasn't paying much attention to the corrections I let spell check make. : Roll: I was kind of distressed at the time I wrote the message.



ilivinamushroom
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07 Jan 2010, 10:58 pm

setting boundaries is very difficult but you clearly need to in this situation. She isnt making good choices in her life she may have an undiagnosed issue or simply be seeking sympathy / attention either way you are not equipped to councel her, this doesnt make you a bad person.
You can tell her you care about whats happening with her but it would be best to talk about it with other women , if she sees you arent emotionally available maybe she will let up.



Dentu
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07 Jan 2010, 11:30 pm

That's a difficult situation. As with anything related to complicated relationships, the answer can be difficult. I think I'd go with 'Honesty is the policy'.

You truly want to help this girl, right? But certain unique functions of your psyche make this difficult? Over years of practice and therapy, you could fix this. You don't have that luxury. So tell her that.

Admit that you aren't the best at relating to people, and you may come off as callous, but you sincerely want to help her as best you can. Now, here is where the honesty 'ends', so to speak- talking about how much she annoys you could be devastating. Don't lie about it. Just don't mention it.

As for solving that issue, try as hard as you can to find a hobby you both enjoy. Open her up to your hobbies. Try taking up one of her's. See if anything clicks. Maybe there's literally nothing. At least for now, put up the extra effort. You can let her down softly, so to speak, by dragging her around through your own little world if there's nothing for her there. She's likely to get tired with it, and you'd both just lose contact. If it actually goes to those sort of extremes, that sounds like a pretty respectable end to it all.

And be sure to take care of yourself too. You're also a human being, with certain needs and wants. Maybe all this is just too much for you right now. It wouldn't help anyone if both of you end up depressed and miserable. You seem to feel guilty for the way you feel about this girl. Cheer up. If you were really that bad, you wouldn't care.

In short- play it by ear, be careful, strategize as much as possible, and keep your chin up. This is a tricky situation, but you can do it.



daydreamer84
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08 Jan 2010, 12:35 am

thanks guys.......I guess I will have to talk to her soon. =)