Posted by: Alice | 2006/10/27

friend who won't share friends

hi Cybershrink

I have newish friend (8 months), she's become a good female friend and I introduced her to my salsa classes so we could both meet some new guys and have fun. I've invited her to a couple of braais, parties, events with my friends and have introduced her to quiet a few new people. She makes a good friend, ghas never introduced me to her friends.She tend to mostly see one at a time and segregates them. She doesn't have a huge social network but has a couple of good friends...about the same amount as me. But as yet has never invited me to do anything other than with just with her. This weekend her cousin is coming down form Joburg again (female) and I suggested we all hook up. She very quickly said she she was just going to spend time with her coiusin, same story when her "best" friend was here for a month from Scotland. and anyone else that she seems to value. and it's not like they don't go out. I'm finding it frustrating, even tho i know it stems from insecuriies it is annoying me. She grew up with a sister that belittled her and lowered her self-esteem her whole life. but she moved to Cape Town 8 years ago to start a new life, and says it was a big unlearning for her but she is now happy and together now. Please help me understand this and how to deal with it. I don't want to end the friendship but also need friends to do things with on the weekend. (being single at 37 is not easy).

much appreciate yoru help.

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Posted by: Foxybrown | 2006/10/27

Hi there. This calls to mind the friend I had when I was about 23. Ofcourse the circumstances were quite different to yours. But anyway I also had a friend who seemed to be closing in on me almost. It took me a long time to understand that the odd feeling I was feeling was one of suffocation. Additionally I was in a very strange situation of having two friends closing in on me, almost as if they were competing for me. What initially felt mildly flattering turned out to be nightmarish. Eventually I began to wonder if the two young ladies were trying to actually be me. I based this on everything from their constant desire to wear my clothes to their determination to learn my cooking techniques. They would ask many questions about my family, never venturing too much info on their own families. They wanted everything I had or to know everything about everything I had.

My worst fears came true when those two very close friends of mine both slept with my fiancé. Years later after my initial breakdown, I now am thankful I had those friends. They revealed to me the kind of man I was about to marry.

Now I don't think your new friend is anywhere near as psychotic as my two friends were. I think your friend is trying to reassert herself and rebuild her self-worth. Perhaps she feels you are so precious to her, you cannot be shared with her other friends. Her worst nightmare is that you would perhaps take a shine to one of her other friends, hence turning the spotlight from what she has with you. It is like a man who cannot and will not allow his woman to have any male friends. My sister cannot even greet another man if she is with her husband.

You say your friend has about as many friends as you do. Never having met any of them, how can you vouch for this? Can you vouch for the ‘cousin’ and so called other ‘best friend’ she has mentioned? Best friend down from Scotland does not get to meet you, the other best friend? You say her female cousin is coming down from Joburg 'again'. Meaning you didn't meet the cousin the first time. And you are not going to meet her this time.

Should you not be asking questions about whether these people actually exist? Does your new friend perhaps want to throw you off the track - of whatever - by mentioning other people from time to time when in fact there are no other people? It would sound too weird if there was literally no one but you in her life. So she periodically will mention another person, but always have an excuse as to why you cannot meet this person.

I am just throwing around theories here which you are welcome to reject.

I just feel you could be the friend of someone who literally has no one or invites no one into their life but for some reason has chosen to break this rule for you. To be exclusively invited into a ‘club’ at first feels like an honour, then begins to feel nauseating, even creepy.

There is some issue your friend is dealing with and even you do not know it. I do understand about the sister part but your friend says she is 'together' now and past it. Is she really? Is there another incident you may be unaware of? It is as clear as day to me that there is something you are unaware of and cannot be made aware of lest your friend loses you. The question is what is it and why does she feel it might have the power to alienate you?

Continue putting very subtle pressure on her to meet her 'other people'. Say you are actually dying to meet her friend or cousin. Watch her facial expression very carefully as you ask the question and try to read something there. Secondly, make yourself unavailable for some days. You have other friends to spend some time with. Don’t see your friend for a number of days and see how she takes it. If she begins to exhibit an almost frenzied desire to see you or appears very nervous or unsettled, irritable and abusive even, you shd be seeing warning signs. It doesn't mater whether a relationship or friendship is with a man or woman, friend or relative, pastor or mentor. A person who attempts to assert any kind of ownership of you is not an emotionally healthy person. Certainly this would indicate dented self-esteem on their part but it may be that there are even deeper things to worry about.

Maybe conduct those small tests (really wanting to meet her friends and/or avoiding her for about a week) and see what the results are. They shd tell you something. You yourself say you now feel an annoyance at her cloying take on friendship. You are bothered; do something about tit. Find out what you need to find out about this mysterious friend of yours - who maybe is just a very hurting woman who needs to open up fully - and take it from there.

Good luck.

Reply to Foxybrown
Posted by: P2 | 2006/10/27

why dont you speak to her about it and find out what her reasons are.its better u hear from her first before making ur decisons.

Reply to P2

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