Strategies for Accepting Annoying Aspects of Friend
I have had this friend for a long time, we grew up together, but she is still very naive and stubborn in how she thinks so I find myself growing annoyed and agitated with her. It gets to the point where I’ll avoid her because she affects how I feel overall and I hate this because I care about her a lot and want to be close with her. Also I am a couple years older and so more of a sister figure to her but this makes me feel even worse! Hahaha geez. So does anyone have any strategies I could use or a different frame of mind I could put myself in to help accept her for how she is instead of being so frustrated?
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This is sort of a common problem for people like us. (I’m assuming you’re an independent, intellectual, somewhat introverted type) People aren’t as reflective as we are and it makes it difficult to see why they aren’t as malleable and ever-changing as us.
Just try to see her growth as a slow, long process. It helps deal with people who seem to be “lagging behind” in their maturity. Instead of thinking about who she is and her place in the world, she may be more concerned with how others see her and finding happiness that fits the social norms. Just try to be as tolerant as possible, and compartmentalize the topics that cause you to become annoyed at her. She’s clearly still important to you, so just try to adjust to her level rather than ask her to come up to your level, see what I’m saying?
Hope that helped
I’ve burned too many bridges in the past because of my unwillingness to accept friends/partners as they are.
That being said, relationships are like mirrors-they have a great way of mirroring back both our strongest and weakest points. Perhaps your agitation is letting you know that this is an area that you need to work on. I’m not you, so I can’t tell you if that has any truth to it.
I like @littlefoot ‘s response. The funny thing is, and this is nearly impossible for me to accept with my parents, there is absolutely NOthing you can do to change someone…until they want to change.
It’s good you feel compassion for her in that this post was even created but you have to weigh the circumstances. Can you hang with her and not be thinking about her flaws the whole time? Because that is so futile to worry about and it just makes things shitty for you!
My best friend is afraid to even say hello to a girl so in public it’s hard for me to not feel awkward with him. But that feeling is useless so you have to either leave them or let THEM figure it out for themselves and enjoy their company AS IS. Don’t be afraid to do either because everyone is playing his/her own game. No worries.
Hahaha I realized I can’t change her and I have to wait for her to figure it out herself and I enjoy hanging out with her for the most part, it’s just little things she does and says grates on my nerves so I was hoping for a different way to view these little things.
@littlefoot, when you say compartmentalize, I know what you mean in a general sense, but would you be willing to give me an example?
Perhaps the friendship has come to the end of its natural life and you’ve outgrown her? Sounds harsh but friends enter our lives at different stages for different reasons, and can ‘end’ -neither friend being at fault,, for no good reason, just life and the fact change is a constant. , Bear in mind, that friends should enhance our lives not irritate the shit out of us all the time. I’ve a feeling your situation will get worse before it gets better. I reckon it might be a case of ‘put up’ and shut up’ if you want to keep the friendship and perhaps review quality of time and interests you have together. At same time, its always worth reflecting on your own behavior/traits when you’re together. She could be picking up bad vibes and not sure how to respond. I know its a mistake I have made with friends in the past. Don’t lose sight of the fact if the friendship bond is strong enough it will prevail and you may just need to spend a bit of time exploring other interests, and meeting other people. Like all relationships, effort a bit of work and time has to be invested….but only when you know deep in your heart, its worth it.. Good luck :)
@jnd091020, What annoys you in somebody else often is something that reflects a trait of yourself which you would want to change. If you look at this from that perspective, you will become aware of what you want to change within yourself. Furthermore, what you can do is just be aware of the moments when a friend ‘annoys’ you and just observe your feelings, asking yourself where this annoyance is coming from. At the beginning you probably will not be able to be aware at the moment of happening, but later, after the fact, because it is a matter of training. The more you will train to become aware and present of these habit and thought patterns, the easier it will be and the more often you will become aware. Once you are aware of these things, it will be easier to change the things you want to change.
By compartmentalize, I mean more like… hmm. For example, I don’t talk about my love of poetry with my best friend. She doesn’t get it, and it bores her; I can see her eyes glaze over at the mere thought of Wallace Stevens, haha. Or, I don’t talk about fractals with my artsy-fartsy friends.
I imagine those library card catalog boxes–some just don’t need to be opened around some people. When I talk to my sister, I can open the drawer about movies, makeup, boys, whatever, but not the boxes about wars and biology and sex. See what I mean?