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Cathy
Cathy, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience:  Ms, MS.Ed., thirty years clinical practice
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My important friend who I depend on, I call every other day,

Resolved Question:

My important friend who I depend on, I call every other day, and then email when I don't call. Yesterday she was busy and asked if I could call tomorrow because she didn't have much time to talk. I asked if 9:30 was O.K., and she said it was. There have been a couple more emails than usual recently as there were things going on. I called and there was no answer and had to leave a message. What do you think of this, what should I do? Was is too much


communication, I can't afford to lose this relationship.


Would they have called earlier to say they had to go


out or something? That's what I would expect! What


do you think?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr.G. replied 1 year ago.
I think it is a but excessive to talk everyday. If she is your best friend then give her time to respond and call you. Like you said, there have been some things going on which probably is keeping her busy. If you haven't heard from her by tomorrow then you should call. Otherwise, I wouldn't read to much into it.
Dr.G., Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1467
Experience: Licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota
Dr.G. and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX would you say is more normal?

Should I or we know by now how often to call based

 

on experience? I did not used to think about when to

 

call but had a cousin who I could not get all the info

 

and decisions from/with until there was a little more

 

than usual communication, then they said there was

 

too much or were too many emails, and normally I

 

would just adjust but she did not want to do that, there

 

weren't that many and we have a large family, it was

 

a long time ago too. I didn't do anything that bad but

 

she also had recently retired and was dealing with a

 

lot and her sister had gained too much favoritism from

 

her mother and dad so she didn't inherit but her sister

 

did, so it might have been she didn't trust and did not

 

know how to deal with it or was on the warpath with

 

a certain number of people. I would know if I were

 

really a problem, is it that for some people they may

 

compete and there is always someone that goes, I

 

have seen that happen. She may have wanted to let

 

me make decisions or was unsure of who was doing

 

what in the relationship so did not want to figure it out,

 

I did not have problems with this in the past, how to

 

keep this from happening, do I quickly define everything

 

in the beginning, some people I know treat politics

 

like family politics and other relationships something to

 

play at and win and they do that for a long time and then

 

it's always the same, someone gets treated less well

 

than most of the other people and after a time are

 

unhappy and no one cares because they assume

 

the person doesn't like them for not coming to their

 

defense. It's either them or someone else. I was

 

surprised to learn how common this was among

 

people I knew, realized almost everyone did that and

 

my friends just to a lesser extent, do I have to do it

 

or have it done to me? It does not relate to who is

 

doing better always either, well maybe it does. One

 

person can be a favorite target for a long time too.

 

Can you tell from my reply here if I have to play the

 

role of the target, and thanks for your advice about

 

the call. She suggested today. I have asked her

 

in the past if the frequency was o.k. and it was, we

 

said if busy then we could skip a day or whatever.

 

Any comment for me about it getting down to the

 

frequency of a phone call being difficult in today's

 

world? Is it an indication that someone needs

 

to be picked on, I already defined a "victim" too so

 

maybe there needs to be more than one or do I have to

 

be the one, I depend on her and she said that's fine she

 

is there. I can't afford to have that happen, and

 

what about a person I saw who was

 

an expert at "dumping" people, always having someone

 

extra around and someone not getting enough

 

attention, their whole life must have been that way,

 

right? I used to do a little of that, just not sticking with

 

someone though, not making a big deal out of it,

 

or paying attention to it. Then I got so busy I did not

 

have as much time as I wanted with people. I found

 

I did not solidify relationships with some important

 

popular people because I was busy and then others

 

became more important in their lives...and on purpose

 

sometimes, some of them people would really want to

 

know too. Too many undefined things about my

 

relationships, am I a target of some kind or in that

 

type of position, I'm thinking I have been lucky in the

 

past then without planning relationships enough. Just

 

let me know if this was too much, to ask here. So should

 

I always know how often to call, is asking enough and if

 

asking isn't enough, is that a sign the relationship does not

 

work, your advice helps and I should know better but don't

 

care to be a victim. I don't perceive the person having

 

difficulty with anyone else, they are very polite to others.

 

Am I a "scapegoat" kind of, will I lose? She just emailed

 

after I wrote this, and said sorry I'll have to call later, but

 

if you can, your answer may be helpful.

Expert:  Cathy replied 1 year ago.
Hi and thanks for writing JA, I see that my colleague has opted out. If there any reason that you are writing in a column? Is there something significant to this question that you are writing in a column? Thank you so much for the additional information. I was not sure if I missed something here. Warm regards, Cathy
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No, it shows up that way on its own after I type in the respond

box. I see you will be answering, thanks. The question is O.K.,

then, right? I don't seem to have any choice with the response

to expert, but the original question types O.K., I see it was not

spaced the same but I added to it, that's when the spacing

occurs.

 

Expert:  Cathy replied 1 year ago.

Oh yes, I see. Thank you for clarifying this for me. I was not certain when I read this if there was some significance to this or if I were reading something into this. You know I do not think it is excessive to talk to good friends daily. I think that sometimes our friends become our Families of Origin as we grow older so I would have to say that if there has been a change (as you describe above) I would want to know what precipitated that change. I think that there are too separate issues to address here: one is that perhaps (and I am not saying this happened in your case, but just suggesting this given what you have reported) might you have overwhelmed her? Now again, I am not saying that this happened but it might have? Perhaps she felt that you were being "needy" (and yes I so hate this word because it implies that somehow as humans we should not need one another). My second observation is this....you say she has a lot on her plate, many responsibilities and my thought here is that your timing was bad. I know this happens to me quite often especially when I have a fully booked client list and one client becomes anxious when I do not respond as quickly as is usual and becomes anxious/panicked that I have abandoned them when actually it is simply that I am so busy I cannot respond in as quick a fashion as I usually do. So here is the thing. First off, I would wait a few days and then call her and just say....You know the last time we spoke I had the feeling that I had overstepped my bounds with you and the fact is that I so value your contact and your input into my day that I may have overwhelmed you? I may have sent you the message that I depend on you for my happiness when actually I am fine but that I so enjoy you. And secondly, you might add.......you know you help me to talk things through about my life and it does seem as if there is a great deal going on with you, is there any way I can return the favor of your friendship? Is there any way I can help you? You see you are not at all a victim but surely you might often feel vulnerable and isolated (and btw we all feel that way from time to time, even those of us who live and work in a crowd) but the thing here is that somehow this relationship has become "distorted" with you coming across as the taker and your friend as the giver and actually it is not and does not have to be this way. My take is that you so enjoy this relationship and her daily talks with you that you have forgotten not only your own value but your own power. I think deep down that you know this as well or you would not be writing here at all. Your question is a very sensitive and complex question because frankly we all need one another. At the very same time we cannot appear "as if" we need one another too much. I know this is one difficult course to navigate but sadly that is the tenor of the times in which we live. So, three things: Call her and ask if you took a misstep and assure her it was not intentional and that actually you are simply delighted and NOT dependent by her presence in your life. Offer her any assistance she might need (including the opportunity to hash out her problems) and that you are one great listener. and finally Feel empowered and not as a victim. Understand that we all get lonely even in a crowd. You are not alone in how you feel, but it is up to you how you choose to handle your situation. I hope I have helped you. I certainly "feel" for your situation and thanks again for clarifying the column format (I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX were being poetic, but then again your situation is poetic). Let me know if I can help further on this and or if you would like to chat in real time and listen any time you need someone to chat with please come here and talk to one of the experts who are live on line. We are here 24/7 and if five minutes with one of us helps.............by all means call on us. Your post was very sensitive and poetic. Let me know if I can help you further and also be sure to drop me a line and let me know how this all unfolds for you. Warmest regards XXXXX XXXXX tough topic Cathy

Cathy, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience: Ms, MS.Ed., thirty years clinical practice
Cathy and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for one wonderful answer, my friend is talking to me and helping. Any

thoughts on how to solidify this relationship so I keep it? How to get live chat

here, and will try to write to let you know of progress, you are a great counselor.Smile

Any other thoughts on how to solidify the relationship so it is kept better.

Expert:  Cathy replied 1 year ago.
Hi, and thanks for the compliments. I think you are doing fine the way you are handling things and just "take it easy" and give her space. You ARE good friends and you are important to one another and all of our relationships go through these ups and downs so know that you are not alone. I think you will keep this relationship all as long as you wish so long as you remember that sometimes other people become overwhelmed with their own lives and that just when you feel "as if" you being shut out that you are probably mistaken and at that just at that moment you must ask your friend........"is there something I can do to help you?". You are on target here and I do no think you need any help other than a reminder that sometimes we all get caught up in our own "stuff" and that our friends who really care about us step back and step up. I think you are going to be just fine and it sounds to me as if you two do have a wonderful relationship.
Please remember that all relationships do have their ups and downs and usually those are temporary...
for all of us.
I think you intuitively are on the right track.
Please do write back and let me know how this goes, but to be sure I am fairly certain it will be just fine.
Warm regards XXXXX XXXXX This was such a sensitive question and I think you handled this so well.
All my best,
Cathy
Cathy, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience: Ms, MS.Ed., thirty years clinical practice
Cathy and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

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