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Was expecting a thank-you out of line?

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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In advance, thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this. I am really at a loss with the loss of this friendship over what should have been a very simple apology.

We have been friends since high school, I will be 37 this month. She lives in MO and I'm in CT and our lives are very different. She has been extremely miserable the past couple of years, everything about her life is bad if you ask her. I've always been an ear for her, tried to be supportive etc. Six months ago I had finally decided to ask her what was up, she hardly returns my texts, never calls either. Well, she blew up on me, basically saying she was doing the best she could and nothing is ever good enough for anyone. We didn't text for a month, then I texted her and we agreed to put it behind us. Still the communication on her end was lacking and was really just seemed surface friendly.

So we come to the present, I sent her children Christmas cards with a gift card for each and my older son wrote them out. I mailed them a week after Christmas. A week went by and no confirmation she had received them so I texted her and she had not received them. She texted me a few days later that she got the cards. That was it, just "I got them", I thought it was really rude she didn't thank me but I thought maybe she will thank me later. A week and a half later she texts me and I texted her back to let her know I was really upset that she couldn't just text me back with a "thank you"

At this point she accused me of being judgmental and calling her and her children rude. I responded that I had said or implied no such thing and that all she had to do was apologize and we could move on. The last thing she said was "I am not dealing with this today". I sent her a text yesterday asking if she could please explain why she is so upset so we can try to resolve this. No response.

Was expecting a thank you too much here? I'm really at a loss but I think this is telling me that our friendship is no longer and it has probably been this way for a while but I didn't get the memo. It's very sad and painful but I think I need to let her go.
 

VRBeauty

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She let you know the cards had arrived to set your mind at ease, but the thank you's should come from her children, not from her. I could see where she might take your comment as a criticism of her children, particularly since some children tend to take their time about such things. When my niece and nephew were young, their mother always sat them down to send thank you notes right after they received a gift. I suspected that at the time, and I know it now, when the notes take much longer to arrive (and some never do make it here... hmmm).

Expecting a thank you is not out of line. Asking for it is, IMHO.

But clearly, there's a lot more going on here than just a question or etiquette. Just offhand, it sounds like your friend may be dealing with depression of something... and it's possible that the way she's dealing with you really is all about her state of mind, and not about you or your friendship. In any event, this sounds like a valuable friendship, and I hope you two can work - or ride - it out.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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Ah, okay I can see where she could have taken it as judgement but I totally didn't mean it that way. Her kids are 3 and 5 so I wasn't expecting her to send me a thank you card. I thought that when she told me she got them she would just have added a thank you in.

Thanks for reading and responding.
 

House Cat

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Toxic self-centered friend alert...

Why do you keep subjecting yourself to this? You don't have to. Just let her fade. Find something better to do with your time. Go hang out with people who value who you are as a person. You will find that it is truly refreshing to let go of toxicity. You might even grow a little once the poison leaves your system. :))
 

YadaYadaYada

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I think it's because it's hard to let it go without feeling like I did everything I could. I did make a new friend recently who I really enjoy spending time with so that helps.

My husband who is the voice of reason and has given her the benefit of the doubt up until now told me the other day to let her go. It is easier than done though.

Thanks for your reply.
 

ame

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It sounds to me, in all honesty, that she doesn't want to maintain any sort of friendship with you, and for the last however long, has been trying to cut you off, or do a "fade" vs just be a grownup and tell you that as an adult. This was, to me, her chance to "finally end it" by acting as if you're being abusive to her in some way, or judging how she parents. Somehow she feels or is at least acting as if she feels like you are persecuting her. It could be an act, but either way, that's the way she's acting.

Her life might be crap, and it might, frankly, be her own doing, but she doesn't really want to involve you in that, because she doesn't seem to want you in her life. For whatever reason. She might think you living outside of MO means you abandoned her, and that you can't be her friend anymore because you left this hole of a state (as a resident of this dump, it's my right to call a spade a spade) for greener pastures. She might feel your life appears better than hers, and is jealous beyond words. Who really knows.

She might be depressed, and that there's more going on there, or it could be an act to see how long you'd tolerate her nonsense before "abandoning her" so she could pull some big stunt and tell you off. (I've had that one happen! It was quite a production.) I think you were absolutely not wrong for expecting a thank you, but she was sure as hell not going to give you one, nor were her kids, and you bringing it up was just highlighting that fact, and you called her out for both her and her children being rude and obnoxious. She did not appreciate being called out. So she took you addressing anything you say to her, about this or anything else, as her opportunity to sever any last remaining thread of friendship with you, which like I said, she probably was trying to do for a long time.

In my mind, I look at this as an inexpensive way of finding out who this person really is and a small price to pay for learning who your friends really are, and that you have no need to put forth further effort. You probably knew her well at one point, but she's changed, and she doesn't wish to maintain any sort of relationship with you anymore.
 

kenny

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StephanieLynn|1454431238|3985652 said:
It's very sad and painful but I think I need to let her go.
Let her go.
 

YadaYadaYada

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I appreciate everything you said here. She actually lived in CT and moved to MO years ago. I stayed mainly because I would never have the guts to do a big move like that lol! Much of what you said I have thought about and honestly in my heart I believe to be true. It seemed to really go downhill after I had my second child, I had a stroke during the pregnancy but we both survived (me with less vision) thankfully. So my perspective on life is very different now, I consider that I was spared as well as my son and I am thankful everyday. Perhaps I was too cheery for her! Sorry but not sorry for that.
 

kenny

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Ending friendship, especially long ones, is not straightforward.
I think that people vary thing comes up here ... for both parties.
Some 'take the hint' and let go more easily than others.
Some are more into 'loyalty' than others.
Some feel longevity itself is precious, no matter how poor or weak the relationship ... others (myself included) judge the value of a friendship or an SO based on how things are today.

Only you know whether it's time to press that ejection seat button.
If it's time don't be afraid to press that button and feel no guilt or shame from our society, which loves to wag it's finger.
 

december-fire

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StephanieLynn|1454431238|3985652 said:
...We have been friends since high school, I will be 37 this month. She lives in MO and I'm in CT and our lives are very different. She has been extremely miserable the past couple of years, everything about her life is bad if you ask her. I've always been an ear for her, tried to be supportive etc. Six months ago I had finally decided to ask her what was up, she hardly returns my texts, never calls either. Well, she blew up on me, basically saying she was doing the best she could and nothing is ever good enough for anyone. We didn't text for a month, then I texted her and we agreed to put it behind us. Still the communication on her end was lacking and was really just seemed surface friendly...
I bolded the parts of your post that jumped out at me.

My reaction was that this person is very stressed and feels overwhelmed.

You said her children are 3 and 5, so a couple of years ago she experienced a significant change in her life. Once her second child started to walk, she had two children who could head off in different directions and each required constant supervision to ensure their safety.

I don't know if she works, has a nanny, a helpful or critical husband, etc., but life with young children is rarely carefree and stress free.

The questions I would consider are:
- does she seem different compared to before?
- is it possible she is stressed and overwhelmed?
- if her behaviour has been consistent throughout your friendship, is it a relationship you want to continue?

Asking for a 'Thank you' is something that I don't do.
Acknowledging and showing appreciation for a gift is respectful, courteous, something I do and raised my children to do.
But we're all human and life can be quite demanding at times.
No one is perfect and we don't meet everyone else's expectations of us all the time.

Ironically, I recently gave gifts to someone and haven't received a thank you. I find it quite odd because the woman has always mailed me lovely, handwritten thank you notes in the past. However, the gifts were for her newborn third child and the two other children. With three young children and everything else going on in life, I'm going to cut her some slack and understand if I don't get a Thank You. I gave the gifts to celebrate the occasion, not so I could pass judgement if there was no Thank You.
 

december-fire

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StephanieLynn|1454433699|3985682 said:
I appreciate everything you said here. She actually lived in CT and moved to MO years ago. I stayed mainly because I would never have the guts to do a big move like that lol! Much of what you said I have thought about and honestly in my heart I believe to be true. It seemed to really go downhill after I had my second child, I had a stroke during the pregnancy but we both survived (me with less vision) thankfully. So my perspective on life is very different now, I consider that I was spared as well as my son and I am thankful everyday. Perhaps I was too cheery for her! Sorry but not sorry for that.

Just read this!

I'm so glad you and your son are OK. A stroke at any time is terrible, but for it to happen while pregnant must have been terrifying.
 

lambskin

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House Cat|1454432400|3985667 said:
Toxic self-centered friend alert...

Why do you keep subjecting yourself to this? You don't have to. Just let her fade. Find something better to do with your time. Go hang out with people who value who you are as a person. You will find that it is truly refreshing to let go of toxicity. You might even grow a little once the poison leaves your system. :))
Totally agree. It can only get worse.
 

Jambalaya

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I am really sorry this is happening to you, Stephanie. I've been in a similar boat and it was horrible.

When I read your second paragraph, I immediately wondered if she was suffering from depression, as VRBeauty noted. But then, like ame said, it could be any number of things such as jealousy.

Here's the thing: You'll probably never know. I do think that doing everything by text isn't ideal as there's room for misunderstanding, and talking is probably better. However, when someone just "goes funny" on you like this - especially longterm funny - oftentimes you'll never get to the bottom of it.

I think saying only "I got them" sounds very rude. I can't imagine not adding a simple "Thanks!" to that message, since I was sending a text anyway. So I totally understand where you're coming from. Is there something in her background that could excuse a lack of manners as basic as saying "thanks"? Was her home life fractured and she did not grow up with adults who cared enough to instill those things? Is she tremendously busy with full-time work and multiple children? I'm not making excuses for her behavior but just trying to understand her, because this friendship is obviously important to you, and it would be a pity to lose it if the answer is that she's going through a hard time.

On the other hand, she could just be toxic and self-centered, as House Cat says!

Since you go way back with her, why not try one last-ditch attempt? Here's an idea: Write her a letter telling her how much she has meant to you over the years, how much you like her and value her friendship. Tell her the things you like about her and describe some of your favorite memories of times you spent with her. Mention that you would be very sad to lose her as a friend. Say that you are worried that there is something going on with her and you hate to be at odds with her. Tell her that you will phone at an appointed time and that if she is under untold stresses that you don't know about, you will either provide a listening ear or if she doesn't want that, it will be nice to chat anyway.

Then, it will be interesting to see how she responds, and that will be your answer. If it doesn't work, at least you will have left things on a positive note and had a chance to say goodbye and express what the friendship meant to you.

I have to be honest, I don't think she wants to be friends with you and I don't think the above will work, and I don't think you will get to the bottom of it. But I still think it's worth a try, if only for your own peace of mind moving forward.

I am sorry for what you are going through. The needless end of a very long friendship is excruciating when you are not the one ending it. I had a very similar thing and it was so, so painful. I did tell her everything she had meant to me, and that she was one of the best friends I had ever had, and much more. I kept a necklace she had given me and a very funny poem she wrote me when I turned thirty. I'm not quite there yet myself, but I think that when a friendship is obviously dead, if a person can accept the end of it and say goodbye with love, there hopefully comes a time when you can look back and take pleasure in the memories of the time you had. After all, it is very special to have a high school friend still at age 37. Many people don't have such a long friendship and that is something valuable to look back on.

Good luck xxx
 

Jambalaya

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kenny|1454434660|3985689 said:
Ending friendship, especially long ones, is not straightforward.
I think that people vary thing comes up here ... for both parties.
Some 'take the hint' and let go more easily than others.
Some are more into 'loyalty' than others.
Some feel longevity itself is precious, no matter how poor or weak the relationship ... others (myself included) judge the value of a friendship or an SO based on how things are today.

Only you know whether it's time to press that ejection seat button.
If it's time don't be afraid to press that button and feel no guilt or shame from our society, which loves to wag it's finger.
Great post. Agree with all.

Oh yeah, man, that longevity button has been huge for me in the past. But letting go when needed really can bring a fresh breeze into your life.

Girls can form very intense friendships in childhood and high school, which are often maintained as women. When they eventually come apart it can be so painful. :((
 

telephone89

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You should never EXPECT something from someone else. That is not their problem, and will only leave YOU disappointed. I did see a few things in your post that bothered me:

A week and a half later she texts me and I texted her back to let her know I was really upset that she couldn't just text me back with a "thank you"

I responded that ... all she had to do was apologize and we could move on.


So she texts you, and you start going off on her that she didn't say thank you? That's not very kind or generous.

And texting her that she HAS to apologize so you can both move on is a bit low IMO. A thank you is nice, proper and the right thing to do, but you can't expect this from anyone. Like common sense!

This was such a small issue, and you blew it out of the water because a) she didnt say thank you, and b) she wouldn't apologize for a. Whatever she is going through, she was not right to take it out on you, but I really don't know why it upset you so much.

At this point, I'd consider if you WANT her to be in your life. You don't sound like you are great friends, and if your needs/wants (expectations) are not being fulfilled by her, then it might be time to move on. If you still want to be friends, I'd probably just put this behind you. A very small matter of 3 words (thank you, sorry) should not end a friendship, but it might be your proverbial straw.
 

House Cat

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StephanieLynn|1454431238|3985652 said:
In advance, thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this. I am really at a loss with the loss of this friendship over what should have been a very simple apology.

We have been friends since high school, I will be 37 this month. She lives in MO and I'm in CT and our lives are very different. She has been extremely miserable the past couple of years, everything about her life is bad if you ask her. I've always been an ear for her, tried to be supportive etc. Six months ago I had finally decided to ask her what was up, she hardly returns my texts, never calls either. Well, she blew up on me, basically saying she was doing the best she could and nothing is ever good enough for anyone. We didn't text for a month, then I texted her and we agreed to put it behind us. Still the communication on her end was lacking and was really just seemed surface friendly.

So we come to the present, I sent her children Christmas cards with a gift card for each and my older son wrote them out. I mailed them a week after Christmas. A week went by and no confirmation she had received them so I texted her and she had not received them. She texted me a few days later that she got the cards. That was it, just "I got them", I thought it was really rude she didn't thank me but I thought maybe she will thank me later. A week and a half later she texts me and I texted her back to let her know I was really upset that she couldn't just text me back with a "thank you"

At this point she accused me of being judgmental and calling her and her children rude. I responded that I had said or implied no such thing and that all she had to do was apologize and we could move on. The last thing she said was "I am not dealing with this today". I sent her a text yesterday asking if she could please explain why she is so upset so we can try to resolve this. No response.

Was expecting a thank you too much here? I'm really at a loss but I think this is telling me that our friendship is no longer and it has probably been this way for a while but I didn't get the memo. It's very sad and painful but I think I need to let her go.
Please see what I have bolded.

It is this behavior that tells me that she is toxic and self centered.

She had the time to play victim but she didn't have the time to extend a thank you or to apologize?

Normal response to your text: "Oh my goodness, please forgive my absentmindedness! I have got SOOO many things going on right now!! I am sorry! Thank you so much for thinking of us!!!"


Not, "I can't deal with your crap right now! Don't you see that my problems are always so much bigger than your feelings???" (just the jist, of course)

This is a common tactic of the toxic person. Go into victim mode when they have behaved badly and MAKE YOU FEEL BAD for calling them on their behavior.


I stand by what I've said. This friend will never treat you as an equal human being. I have seen this too many times.

Maybe it is ok for you to say that you have done all that you could now. I have heard the "I want to say I've done all I could" line many times, spoken by precious people who have taken far more than their fair share. Big hugs to you because only you know where you are willing to draw the line in the sand.



I am glad that you have found a new friend. I hope this new friend values your giving spirit.
 

momhappy

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On the one hand, I think most people would have texted back a simple - "got the cards, thanks!"
On the other hand, when you expect things from people, sometimes you get let down. You know she's had a rough time, so why set your expectations high enough to want a thank you? Would a thank you have been nice? Absolutely, but not everyone plays by the same rules.
As far as the friendship is concerned, I would have kicked that one to the curb long ago, but admittedly, I have a fairly easy time doing that sort of thing. I would just let some time pass and see how you feel. You could always slowly back away from the friendship if you feel that it's not worth your effort any more.
 

YadaYadaYada

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Okay, I can see that some of what I said can make me look petty and like I was too hard on her. When she texted me I did not just blow up on her, I explained that I was upset and why and she in the next sentence totally lost it on me. What I had actually meant by apologize and move on was relating to her losing it and blowing things out of proportion. I mean this is not a matter of she didn't say thank you and that's it, no friendship for you! No, this has been a long time coming where I reach out and she explodes or I try to help and I'm too cheery. I would never just give up on a relationship that easily.

It's not that I sent the card specifically because I expected ANYTHING in return. No, I sent it because I wanted to give her kids something for Christmas. Thank You is not difficult, but she couldn't be bothered.
 

telephone89

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StephanieLynn|1454437646|3985710 said:
Okay, I can see that some of what I said can make me look petty and like I was too hard on her. When she texted me I did not just blow up on her, I explained that I was upset and why and she in the next sentence totally lost it on me. What I had actually meant by apologize and move on was relating to her losing it and blowing things out of proportion. I mean this is not a matter of she didn't say thank you and that's it, no friendship for you! No, this has been a long time coming where I reach out and she explodes or I try to help and I'm too cheery. I would never just give up on a relationship that easily.

It's not that I sent the card specifically because I expected ANYTHING in return. No, I sent it because I wanted to give her kids something for Christmas. Thank You is not difficult, but she couldn't be bothered.
Then I think you answered your own question. You are venting about something inconsequential (a thank you), but I think you see the underlying issues with the friendship. It might be time to put yourself first and let her go.
 

monarch64

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StephanieLynn|1454437646|3985710 said:
Okay, I can see that some of what I said can make me look petty and like I was too hard on her. When she texted me I did not just blow up on her, I explained that I was upset and why and she in the next sentence totally lost it on me. What I had actually meant by apologize and move on was relating to her losing it and blowing things out of proportion. I mean this is not a matter of she didn't say thank you and that's it, no friendship for you! No, this has been a long time coming where I reach out and she explodes or I try to help and I'm too cheery. I would never just give up on a relationship that easily.

It's not that I sent the card specifically because I expected ANYTHING in return. No, I sent it because I wanted to give her kids something for Christmas. Thank You is not difficult, but she couldn't be bothered.
Uh, maybe you're driving her nuts and she's too nice to ask you to leave her alone? Frankly it sounds kind of exhausting to be your friend. She's tried to get out of the friendship more than once now and all you keep doing is texting her, sending her kids stuff and harassing her when she fails to live up to your personal standards of friendship. :shock:
 

Queenie60

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It may be time to just let go of the friendship. Maybe she's just not into you any longer? I've been dumped by friends many of times. Disagreement with children and other things that can get in the way of friendship loyalty. I would let go for now and move forward. However, keep an open mind - she may decide to contact you again in the future when she has her own life together. Distance can also be a test on a friendship. Out of sight, out of mind sort of thing can happen as well. Move forward with your own life and spend time with those who value your friendship - husband and children will keep you well occupied as well as the little time you have left for those who want to spend time with you as a friend. Wishing you well. :wavey:
 

azstonie

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Did she send your children Christmas gifts? If not, she may feel like the poorer friend, the less gracious friend, etc. Some people dont like friendships that aren't even-Steven, yanno?

If it were me, I'd drop the rope. She wants out. Let her out. If she wants back in at some time in the future, consider carefully.
 

YadaYadaYada

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monarch64|1454438436|3985719 said:
StephanieLynn|1454437646|3985710 said:
Okay, I can see that some of what I said can make me look petty and like I was too hard on her. When she texted me I did not just blow up on her, I explained that I was upset and why and she in the next sentence totally lost it on me. What I had actually meant by apologize and move on was relating to her losing it and blowing things out of proportion. I mean this is not a matter of she didn't say thank you and that's it, no friendship for you! No, this has been a long time coming where I reach out and she explodes or I try to help and I'm too cheery. I would never just give up on a relationship that easily.

It's not that I sent the card specifically because I expected ANYTHING in return. No, I sent it because I wanted to give her kids something for Christmas. Thank You is not difficult, but she couldn't be bothered.
Uh, maybe you're driving her nuts and she's too nice to ask you to leave her alone? Frankly it sounds kind of exhausting to be your friend. She's tried to get out of the friendship more than once now and all you keep doing is texting her, sending her kids stuff and harassing her when she fails to live up to your personal standards of friendship. :shock:

I'm not a stalker and I don't think that sending her kids a card or texting her once a month is harassment. Frankly I think your post is a bit harsh.
 

Jambalaya

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monarch64|1454438436|3985719 said:
StephanieLynn|1454437646|3985710 said:
Okay, I can see that some of what I said can make me look petty and like I was too hard on her. When she texted me I did not just blow up on her, I explained that I was upset and why and she in the next sentence totally lost it on me. What I had actually meant by apologize and move on was relating to her losing it and blowing things out of proportion. I mean this is not a matter of she didn't say thank you and that's it, no friendship for you! No, this has been a long time coming where I reach out and she explodes or I try to help and I'm too cheery. I would never just give up on a relationship that easily.

It's not that I sent the card specifically because I expected ANYTHING in return. No, I sent it because I wanted to give her kids something for Christmas. Thank You is not difficult, but she couldn't be bothered.
Uh, maybe you're driving her nuts and she's too nice to ask you to leave her alone? Frankly it sounds kind of exhausting to be your friend. She's tried to get out of the friendship more than once now and all you keep doing is texting her, sending her kids stuff and harassing her when she fails to live up to your personal standards of friendship. :shock:
Hi, Monarch :D I just wanted to say that I see your point about "take the hint" but I also feel the OP's friend bears some responsibility to let the OP know where she stands. If you are a concerned friend, like the OP, you might be able to read hints but then reason to yourself "Oh, maybe's she's depressed" or "Oh, maybe she's this way because there's something going on with her" and so you continue to give the person the benefit of the doubt, despite all the sirens of doom ringing! Because you really don't know, unless someone tells you.

Most of the time, the slow fade works to end things with a minimum of hurt feelings - however, in my experience it's more applicable to friendships that are a little more recent than the OP's. When two friends go waaaaaay back, I feel a clearer explanation from the ender to the endee is a good idea, otherwise there is so much pain and misunderstanding. It's a pity that the OP's friend can't just put her out of her misery by being honest, if the only problem is that she doesn't want to be friends.

Never mind Stephanie, we'll be your friends! :wavey:
 

YadaYadaYada

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Thank you for your kind words. Hey who can beat friends with pretty bling!


Never mind Stephanie, we'll be your friends! :wavey:[/quote]
 

ame

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Yea I think this is a case of "she doesn't want you in her life and she's too tactless to handle it appropriately." For whatever reason, she's decided she's done with you, and instead of being a grown up, she's taking advantage of any opportunity you address any weakness and using it to play the victim card, and she will ALWAYS turn anything good around on you, to make you look like the *******.

Don't give her the power over you, over your emotions, and don't indulge this nonsense any longer. You've extended more than enough olive branches in her direction, and she's done nothing more than light them on fire. Move on. Enjoy your life, your kids, your other friends.
 

marymm

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I guess I'm reading your post more like monarch64 - it seems like a lot of texting with a lot of sub-texts going on and a lot of expectations from someone who from your description is not and has not been in a good place. Yes, sometimes it is asking too much to expect a thank you, let alone demanding one. Not all friendships withstand time and distance, and based on your posts it seems fairly clear this friendship has passed its best-by date.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
29,108
marymm|1454449555|3985796 said:
... this friendship has passed its best-by date.
:appl: Well put. =)
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
6,996
I am going to let her go, you know obviously I did not catch on and ended up overstaying my friendship with her. I appreciate all the responses.
 

rainwood

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 29, 2005
Messages
1,489
It's interesting to see all the different takes on this situation.

I don't know most of the backstory, but based on what you wrote, it sounds like your friend is stressed-out, overwhelmed and unhappy. I don't know the reasons why or whether this is new or long-term or because of having small kids or moving away or problems with her husband or money concerns or stress at work or any number of other things. But from what she texted, she feels like she isn't doing anything right and that can be common with mothers who are trying to juggle so many things and feel like they're doing a terrible job on all of them. Telling her you were mad because she didn't thank you just made her feel guilty about one more thing she wasn't doing well. I'm not surprised she got angry. Everybody's human.

If you care about this person and want to remain her friend, you should tell her you know she's going through a lot and you didn't intend to make her feel bad. YOU should apologize for adding to her stress. If this doesn't sound like the right thing to do because of whatever has happened in the past or what you want from this friendship, take this opportunity to let her go. Only you have enough information to know which is the best thing to do.
 
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