Confronting Your Friends

ThatOtherGuy's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,337

I'm not sure if many or any of you will resonate with this but for the longest time I've had serious frustrations with friends and family not empathizing with me. I find this kind of ironic because both groups love to confide in their most vulnerable secrets with me because I'm good with validating people's feelings. However, whenever I try to be honest and vent my own problems, they either don't seem to understand or turn off into a "oh that sucks" apathetic attitude. I can understand that they may not fully get my situations but I just feel a lack of effort in general to validate that I'm having a hard time with something.

My theory is that because my friends rely on me as a stabilizing force, they don't view my problems as distressing because they think I can always figure it out on my own and it's weird to see me truly vulnerable. Still, I think it's important for even strong people to have a safe place to be weak so they can confront underlying problems and be balanced.

Has anyone dealt with this? I can imagine a person in PE venting to their banker friends about the job and them not giving a shit at all because "you're in a good place." I'm thinking of confronting a couple of them but not sure how to approach it. Any advice?

Comments (20)

May 22, 2018

Sounds like they aren't really your friends, I which case confronting would do jackshit.

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May 22, 2018
vik2000:

Sounds like they aren't really your friends, I which case confronting would do jackshit.

Yeah seriously. Find friends who actually care about you.

May 22, 2018

No offense, but it sounds like your problem lies in you seeking some form of external validation from others. "Confronting" your "friends" about them "not giving a shit" (which, if it's truly the case that they really don't give a shit about you, they're clearly not your friends anyways) regarding your personal issues will likely damage your relationships with them.

Two points: (1) Every person is dealing with their own shit, and your alleged suffering might be completely unbeknownst to them; therefore, "confronting" them will likely serve little purpose other than to unexpectedly throw them on their back foot, defensively, wondering what the hell is wrong with you. (2) Secondly, as I said before, if the people you're calling friends literally tell you that they "don't give a shit" when you talk about personal obstacles, then "confronting" them won't make a lick of difference.

I'd recommend talking to a psychologist, and I'm not trying to be degrading at all. Sometimes you need a professional's opinion to help with things that others might not understand or even be aware of.

Good luck.

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Jul 5, 2019
Tom Bwady:

I'd recommend talking to a psychologist, and I'm not trying to be degrading at all. Sometimes you need a professional's opinion to help with things that others might not understand or even be aware of.

This is actually really good advice. If you feel like something in your knee is wrong and painful- you go see a doc about it. Likewise, if you feel like something with your emotions isn't right- go see a professional about it.

May 22, 2018

I can't relate to this exact issue - my friends and I don't lean on each other for emotional support, but they're decent human beings and would happily offer their perspective/advice if I asked. But I know this is often a central feature in female relationships and it can ruin friendships if one person feels she's constantly giving emotional support and not receiving in return. Sounds like that's where you are.

You're not likely to get anywhere if you confront them out of the blue. You'll just put them on the defensive and strain the relationship without accomplishing anything. Next time you want to vent, just do it and give your friend the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they surprise you and listen well. If not, it's as simple as "Hey, I'm coming to you with something that's bothering me and I feel like you're blowing me off. What gives?" Listen with an open mind. Don't accuse them of "always" ignoring you or "never" listening - just calmly explain that sometimes you need to vent and you'd appreciate a friendly ear. Then watch what they do and decide if the relationship's worth your time.

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May 22, 2018

What kind a problems you got bro? Maybe you just got bitch ass little girl problems

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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May 22, 2018
ThatOtherGuy:

I'm not sure if many or any of you will resonate with this but for the longest time I've had serious frustrations with friends and family not empathizing with me.

https://media.giphy.com/media/GODSCQebffJzW/giphy.gif

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Most Helpful
May 22, 2018

possibilities:

  1. you complain too much
  2. your problems aren't serious
  3. you have shitty friends

solutions:

  1. shut up
  2. shut up
  3. get new friends

hope this helps, tx

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May 23, 2018

Wish I could give a SB for helpful and funny. Complaining doesn't solve problems, consistently outperforming your peers and/or getting a better job solves problems

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May 22, 2018

thanks. I view complaining like sitting in a rocking chair. it passes the time, it's something to do, and it might even feel good, but does it get you anywhere? NO.

the world is not fair, people (aside from your spouse, hopefully) don't give a shit about your problems unless you're asking for help. you want to vent? hit a heavy bag, take some LSD, go on vacation, but if you feel the need to vent, I stand by my initial advice. if your problems are serious, you should seek to solve them, in which case you ask your friends and family for help. if you want to just mention your problems and get empathy, I have no advice for you, because that's an utter waste of time.

I've taken an active role in getting people that complain out of my life. some of my family members do it (including a parent), I ignore them when they complain, or just give a "uh huh" and move on. I realize everyone needs a release every now and again, but if you're not trying to solve any of your problems, why the fuck are you complaining about them?

here's an idea, use this decision tree anytime something bothers you:

problem presents itself...

question: can you do something about it?

if "yes," then DO IT

if "no," then fuggedaboudit

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May 23, 2018

I'll tell you a secret: people only care about what you can do for them, and right now it sounds like your family and friends value you for your superior doormat abilities.

The next time someone wants you to "validate their feelings," change the subject. End the conversation. They'll get the hint. And if they don't, stop speaking to them. You don't have to put up with anyone else's shit.

If you're looking for a "a safe place to be weak so you can confront underlying problems and be balanced," hire a professional.

May 23, 2018

Are you an a different economic plane than your friends family? Based on the fact that you are a certified user in VC i'm going to assume you make a decent amount of money. Your friends & family may confide in you because they see you as someone who is very successful and perhaps have the answers they are looking for, or at least the experience & expertise to give them solid advice. On the other side of the coin, they may not view your problems as serious or important as their own because at the end of the day you have a great job, big house, nice car etc.

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May 23, 2018

Don't tell people your troubles.

80% won't care, and the other 20 will be happy it happened to you.

I think- therefore I fuck

Jul 4, 2019

Most people do not have "real friends." Yes like the Kanye song. I am totally not ashamed to say that I have 2 friends that I talk to everyday, otherwise thats predominately it. I have cut a lot of people off because you need to.

May 22, 2018
MRBIGBUCKS95:

Most people do not have "real friends." Yes like the Kanye song. I am totally not ashamed to say that I have 2 friends that I talk to everyday, otherwise thats predominately it. I have cut a lot of people off because you need to.

How do you even find these old threads and why lol

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jul 4, 2019

Are you attracted to me or something? Maybe this is why your stalking my profile. I got girls doing that enough on my IG. Seeking beef on a anon forum seems desperate. I dont think you are very successful.

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Jul 5, 2019

Given that I saw this thread revive, I guess I'll provide an update. To provide some clarity, a personal struggle I had was balancing my career on Wall Street/VC with being a professional dancer on the side.

I abandoned a couple old friends and confronted some really close ones + some members of my family. The frank answer from the people I confronted was that they literally could not understand how it was possible I was doing both, let alone managing the career + having friends. I get it and I guess that's why I had trouble coping to begin with... I just don't have people to turn to for guidance on how to manage myself efficiently. My mom admitted to me that my life was far more confusing than she could understand.

I'm in much better shape now. I took a serious effort to scour the country for likeminded people and I've been able to find a support group that gets it (lawyers who are musicians, consultants who are active in the fashion scene, etc.) If I had one piece of insight to gain from this year-long endeavor (and it may run contrary to advice from the comments here), it's this: Don't. Fucking. Settle. Scour the fucking earth if you need to find your people. It'll put you in a vulnerable place but I can't stress enough how important it is to have people you can be emotionally honest with because being honest with yourself about your fears and worries is the very starting point for growth.

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Jul 9, 2019
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