Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pushy ?Friends?

Who cuts your hair? ...You'll like my guy. He's blah, blah, blah, blah. Here's his name and the shop where he works. Call him.

2 weeks later...

You haven't called him yet! Umph!
..........

I make good macaroni and cheese. I'll get you the recipe.

2 weeks later...

Did you make the mac and cheese yet? ... Why not? My recipe is gooood!
..........

Don't get your new car from THEM! I ordered mine from XYZ. You'll get a much better deal.

a month later...

Oh, you couldn't talk your husband into XYZ. Too bad.
..........

You help your kids with their homework. That's a no-no. Let'em do it by themselves. When mine were young, I told their teachers not to expect me to help. That's their job! (the teachers)

..........

(When my kids were little) It's time for them to do their own hair. So what if it doesn't look good. They'll learn.
..........

Those are a few of the numerous "suggestions" from Joan. Basically, I let most of it pass from one ear to the other, and out.

"Here she goes again," I'd think.

I couldn't figure out why it mattered so much to her about the color of my bedroom walls. I'd tell myself that she's trying to be helpful, even though she's being pushy.

Occasionally, she introduced me to something I actually liked, and I was thankful, however, mostly, I laughed it all off, until...

...she started on politics.

Admittedly, not my strength, nor my favorite topic, however, I would discuss the hot button issues with her for a limited amount of time when we'd see each other. Gradually, she became annoyed and frustrated with me. Her manipulative personality couldn't understand why I didn't feel exactly as she did. My intuition told me to table it. That annoyed her even more, and she decided to force me to talk.

And I did.

I sorta lit into her. Macaroni and cheese is one thing. My "freedom" as a human being and an American Citizen is another. My advice to her: don't mess with it.

Her feelings were hurt. I apologized for my aggression, but reiterated my stance on deciding what subjects I cared to discuss; along with the when, where, and how.

There were no make-up hugs. Flushed and angry is how I last saw her. She changed her schedule to avoid seeing me again.

tisk tisk

There's a fine line between helpfulness and manipulation.

Where do you draw the line at maintaining your independence?

Sorry about the extra line spaces. Can't get them out. Help. :)

23 comments:

MissKris said...

Oh, this one sure struck a chord with me! We're no longer anything but the most casual of friends but years ago when I was a new Christian and totally green about anything involving Christianity, it was "You should..." do this, "You should..." do that. Constantly. And for a while, since she'd grown up in a Christian home, I figured she knew what she was talking about. Until I realized one day that SHE didn't abide by her own advice, ha! And I've never been a good follower, anyway. So I gradually backed off from the friendship. I still dearly love her, but I found my own path to follow and I'm perfectly content.

Tabor said...

Advice should be given very, very, very little. It is like salt...too much and one becomes bloated with the whole relationship. NO advice on politics or religion unless someone asks...and if they do, you MUST preface it with the caution "I do not want to upset you, but I feel you want me to be honest...." You were correct in telling her that you did not want to be told what to do based on her advice. She may grow in spirit and come back around or not...but it is not something to worry about.

Dori said...

I've always been one that would rather avoid confrontation...but I've also always (for the most part) been able to cut off the pushiness before it gets out of hand. There have been a few casual acquaintances who really just get the "smile and nod" response...I'm not going to follow their advice and neither am I going to see them too often!

Hopefully you guys (well, her) can move on and she'll see the value of your friendship!

My Aimless Infatuation said...

This past weekend after 45 years of friendship I finally told a "know-it-all" that she didn't "know it all",I didn't stop there but I will spare you the details. I have gotten to the point that I'd rather be alone than be around people that drag me down,life is too short at this stage of the game. BTW,good for you on standing up for yourself too.

Rebecca S. said...

I think I get a certain look on my face when 'I don't want to talk about it', because I don't get a lot of unwarranted advice. I don't try to give it too often either. I like helping people, but I'm pretty aware that I don't 'own' the advice I give - I don't demand repayment for 'services rendered', as it seems Joan does. Besides, I usually forget to whom I told what, a day after I told it :)
Expecting people to want and use one's advice is a form of arrogance, after all, isn't it? Too bad more people don't realize that, eh?

Anita said...

I had a friend that played the comparison game with me all the time. Her daughter got X grade, what did your girls get? Her daughter is in this club...likes this boy, we shopped in this store, she will be going to this school etc etc, and she made it difficult to avoid sharing. I eventually cut it off, cold, which was hard, because she had other qualities I liked.
Advice is so hard, I'm guessing you never asked for who did her hair, her mac & cheese recipe etc.....so you do wonder why she was so out to help you out.

yonca said...

Comparisons, to much advises..or questions and answers! Ugh!
Those kind of conversations make other person feel bad about herself/himself.When I meet a friend I like to have positive thoughts from her..because if I need to learn something from her, i fell and get it when she is talking about her things/experiences.It doesn't necessary her to tell me what is good for my life.
I haven't been around lately..missed your site. xo

√ Honest Abe said...

Most interesting post

Instead of just hitting the "return" key, try hitting it at the same time you hit the "option" key on a Mac. And similar on PC , "Return" and "Shift" keys.

Nezzy said...

When with friends or family I truly try to restrain givin' any advice, unless I'm asked. My DIL thinks I'm the best MIL in the world because of my secret policy.

True friends will never be pushy.

Have a blessed weekend girl!!! :o)

gayle said...

Sometimes friends just don't know when to stop. If they are a really close friend, I just try to let it go!

Joanne said...

When someone pushes often enough, inevitably we push back with our own words. Like some of the others here, I prefer positivity from the people I'm with, a good and open perspective on life in general.

Re your blog formatting - Have you switched over the new Blog Editor on your blog settings? I had similar problems, and when I made the switch to the new editor, it all cleared up.

Jenny said...

Good for you! It takes awhile for us nice, midwestern girls to grow a backbone, but once we do, watch out!

Tatum @ Many Moments Of Me said...

Loved this post! I am all about honesty and I can appreciate how you handled this situation. I say if someone freely offers their take on a situation, so be it, but they better be aware that they just opened a dialogue and they might not like what I say. I welcome advice, but the one giving it should be able to accept thank you and walk away. They should not assume that you will execute or utilize the information provided. Way to stand up for what you believe.

Arlee Bird said...

For me it usually is politely accepted in one ear and discreetly discharged out the other if I'm not interested and considered and maybe even followed up if I am interested. I don't maintain that many ongoing close relationships these days to really have to face this issue much or test my way of handling it.


Lee
Tossing It Out
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I don't mind input but pushy comments or "advice" is not my idea of friendship. Maybe that's why I don't deal with know it alls to well. :)

Midlife Mom said...

I have a friend like that and it got to the point where I had to sort of avoid her to a point. Thank goodness for caller I.D. Now I only answer when I am in the right mood to take all of the advise etc..... Am sorry that is has to be that way but I call it self-preservation.

Just Two Chicks said...

I've had pushy friends, manipulative friends, nosy friends, friends who like to instigate... I've done a lot of friend cleansing these past few years... gotten rid of those who haven't been good for me. At first I felt bad doing it, but have since relished the peace I feel by not having certain people in my life. Now if the wife would do some cleansing herself, my life would be perfect. ;)

I'm sorry you've lost a friend, but maybe it's only temporary. Hopefully she'll see your side of things.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I usually just speak my mind. Gets me in lots of trouble, but I'm really a poor liar. I do ask, just to make certain, that they are asking my opinion. Seems to soften it a tad.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Relationships can be tough and I honestly believe that sometimes they need a cooling off time when one goes too far.

Perhaps it's a blessing she's rearranged her schedule!

ModernMom said...

I think there is one of those in every social circle. For me, I finally figured out my pushy friend was all kinds of insecure. Life is better once they know where you stand:)

Laurie Matherne said...

This post, too, really struck close to home. I have a friend who offers lots of unsolicited advice and has a tad too many personal questions. And of course, she doesn't listen to my advice. I just feel I can't push too hard because she's in need of a connection now. But soon, very soon, I need to let her know what's up.

Menopausal New Mom said...

You did the right thing, it was only a matter of time before something was going to push you too far and I think you're probably better off avoiding her. That is unless there was some pretty fabulous parts to your friendship.

jiturajgor said...

'Pushy' always suggests the things,they have never completed successfully.