Author Topic: It's painful to watch friends make mistakes  (Read 3923 times)

Ann

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It's painful to watch friends make mistakes
« on: January 07, 2015, 03:17:29 AM »
Hi.   I registered just to have a place to vent a little.  It can be so painful watching others make mistakes they can't really afford!

I met "Julia" a little over a year ago.  She had to move (her complex was converting to condos), so she decided to move into my apartment complex at my suggestion. Right around that time she got notification that her position at work my end.  Shortly after she was let go.  I feel bad for her -- she had started a side job to make a little extra money, and now that (plus unemployment) is all she has coming in.  AND YET she signed up for cable!  She found basic cable only had "channels she could get for free" and up-graded!  I helped her move, and she complained how embarrassed she was about all the "junk" she had (mostly books) -- and yet she isn't doing anything about it.  We were never close to begin with, but I have distanced myself because it is awkward for me to be around her.  She will say things like "I would invite you over but my place is a mess -- still in boxes."  If she cared, then do something!  If she doesn't -- then invite me over anyway!  Who cares what I think?

She isn't one of the brash, arrogant Consumer Suckas that  I can get some schadenfreude reading about.  She's quiet, unassuming and has a self-esteem problem.  I don't know how to help without  "lecturing"/telling her what to do/what she's doing wrong.  She hasn't asked me for help.  I don't think unsolicited advice would go over well, anyway.  No one likes that, and I think it would just make her feel bad.  She doesn't really complain about anything except how much "stuff" she has (then why not sell it?  Now is the perfect time to declutter and make a little extra cash!).

I am struggling to begin my Mustache journey -- and I know I will probably not be as Bad Ass as the rest of you -- but it's both gratifying AND  depressing how much further ahead I am of almost everyone I know!

Pants

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Re: It's painful to watch friends make mistakes
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2015, 03:30:10 AM »
Lead by example? Tell her about your own decluttering efforts and your own anti - consumerist choices.

Sounds like she just wants to fit in and be liked (low self esteem, being too embarrassed to invite you over).

Ann

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Re: It's painful to watch friends make mistakes
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 03:40:11 AM »
You're right, Pants.  I've been meaning to do a post-holiday declutter.  We could "commiserate" together!

Gray Matter

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Re: It's painful to watch friends make mistakes
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 05:55:01 AM »
I helped her move, and she complained how embarrassed she was about all the "junk" she had (mostly books) -- and yet she isn't doing anything about it.  We were never close to begin with, but I have distanced myself because it is awkward for me to be around her.  She will say things like "I would invite you over but my place is a mess -- still in boxes."  If she cared, then do something!  If she doesn't -- then invite me over anyway!  Who cares what I think?

Hi Ann - Yeah, the cable was a dumb move.  The rest of it, while frustrating, might be related to her low self-esteem and being laid off.  It seems so simple--just do it!  Just unpack!  Just declutter!  But she may not feel like she can right now--it might feel like climbing a mountain and she just doesn't have the energy to do it.  And though I don't blame you for wanting to distance yourself, I also feel sad for her--having lost her job and probably some of her social network that she used to work with, and she could probably use a friend right now if you can hang out with her without it bringing you down too much.

The next time she say's she'd invite you over but her place is a mess--still in boxes, say, "How about I come sit with you and help you unpack a box or two?  I just love to to help organize things--it sounds like fun to me!"  Not that it's your responsibility, but it might help get her unstuck and get our friendship back on the right track. 

Good luck--it can be really hard watching a friend not doing much to help themselves.

antarestar

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Re: It's painful to watch friends make mistakes
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2015, 08:39:05 AM »
Hi.   I registered just to have a place to vent a little.  It can be so painful watching others make mistakes they can't really afford!

I met "Julia" a little over a year ago.  She had to move (her complex was converting to condos), so she decided to move into my apartment complex at my suggestion. Right around that time she got notification that her position at work my end.  Shortly after she was let go.  I feel bad for her -- she had started a side job to make a little extra money, and now that (plus unemployment) is all she has coming in.  AND YET she signed up for cable!  She found basic cable only had "channels she could get for free" and up-graded!  I helped her move, and she complained how embarrassed she was about all the "junk" she had (mostly books) -- and yet she isn't doing anything about it.  We were never close to begin with, but I have distanced myself because it is awkward for me to be around her.  She will say things like "I would invite you over but my place is a mess -- still in boxes."  If she cared, then do something!  If she doesn't -- then invite me over anyway!  Who cares what I think?

She isn't one of the brash, arrogant Consumer Suckas that  I can get some schadenfreude reading about.  She's quiet, unassuming and has a self-esteem problem.  I don't know how to help without  "lecturing"/telling her what to do/what she's doing wrong.  She hasn't asked me for help.  I don't think unsolicited advice would go over well, anyway.  No one likes that, and I think it would just make her feel bad.  She doesn't really complain about anything except how much "stuff" she has (then why not sell it?  Now is the perfect time to declutter and make a little extra cash!).

I am struggling to begin my Mustache journey -- and I know I will probably not be as Bad Ass as the rest of you -- but it's both gratifying AND  depressing how much further ahead I am of almost everyone I know!

I have a friend like this as well. I think the self-esteem problems cause her to not trust her judgement about getting rid of things. She also seems to have mild depression that makes it almost impossible to even contemplate where to begin to change her life which leads her to feel bad about herself and how she is "such a looser who can't do anything". I think it's all a spiraling mess.
It all seems so obvious as someone on the outside looking in but I think it's just hugely overwhelming for the person.

arebelspy

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Re: It's painful to watch friends make mistakes
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2015, 09:00:07 AM »
Pretend you're her, for about 10 minutes.  Read your first post.  Write yourself a reply, from her point of view.  Then delete it.

It should tell you what to do, and help understand her position a little more.  :)
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