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PerC's 6w6
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*gulp* This is going to sound crazy, but here goes…

For me friendship is a deep and fulfilling relationship – I prefer having few close friends rather than large numbers of “at bay” acquaintances. It takes time to develop such friendships – an investment in time and effort that helps to build the bonds – it’s only sensible that you know someone better over a year as compared to a month in most circumstances.

Also my mind doesn’t always work sequentially and deals with ideas and concepts, so in order to come out… in order to make sense to someone else I often have to filter comments and process them to add context etc. this at times makes it hard to say how I feel or think in a coherent manner.

However, I’ve noticed that if I tell someone how I feel about them, it usually kills the friendship, and if I mention this curse to someone, the same thing happens. Even if it’s a simple “you’re awesome and I really like spending time with you” it still works: usually it takes between 2 months to a year (around the middle of that is most common) and after that the friendship usually dies. Those are the rules as far as I can tell: I don't know what will happen as a result of this post.

I can think of at least 5 separate instances in which this has happened, over the course of several years. The only person who seems immune to it is my best friend, but I’m afraid of overdoing it with her and telling her.

The logical part of me says it’s unreasonable and that if these people were truly friends they would still be here, but the thing is, it’s always after I’ve told the person how I feel about them. And it strikes with impunity, regardless of gender, age, or how long/well I’ve known them: the only correlation is that I’ve either told them about this curse, or told them how I feel about them. And these are all people I’d still want to be friends with, still people I feel relatively comfortable with, people my gut says I should be friends with, even afterwards, but yet all are gone now and the friendships are dead.

Is this a figment of my imagination in being called a curse or could it be something else? Is there any way to fix it?
 

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wow, I, for once in my life, am speechless.


but here goes.
You are right in your assumption, that if they were truly friends, they wouldn't have left. and, if you feel that you do have a curse, then don't tell them. the reason your best friend is immune, is because, they're your best friend. Obviously they accept you, and if they're your friend, you could talk to them after a friendship ends, right? assuming they've always been there. I know from personal experience, that I tend to latch onto people, because I am afraid of losing them. it tends to weird people out. Is that what you have been doing?
 

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PerC's 6w6
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I used to, but after noticing the pattern early on I stopped and now always maintain a partial disconnect with regards to feelings. They will be there but not said or shown to the person (or any other) in any manner that can cause the person to know...
 

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Is this a figment of my imagination in being called a curse or could it be something else? Is there any way to fix it?
This remind me of inductive reasoning:
Proposition: All swans we have seen are black.
Conclusion: All swans are black.

Proposition: Every time I say I like a person, they leave, like a curse comes into effect.
Conclusion: All the persons I've told that I liked them, are now gone, thus the curse must exist.

Your proposition may be right (since it happened in all 5 instances that you could think of), but your conclusion is far from solid.

Actually, your best friend is your living proof of the curse not existing :D

So, I suppose, in a way I'm saying it's a myth, a figment of your imagination :3

Nonetheless, I can understand that it causes some fear of using such expressions... Which is a very sad thing! I think you should never stop expressing your appreciation for someone...

So... is there are reason for those people to leave you, other than a curse existing? Quite possibly. There are legion of reasons you could conjure: them moving away to a different town, them not liking 'dealing with feelings' and thus avoiding you, them being interested /occupied with their other friendships, etc etc.

I think that though it may sound unlikely, it is still possible that in all of those 5 instances, you were befriending people who don't like 'dealing with feelings' (ESTJ culture that is often mentioned) - in this case, you just were dealt 5 unlucky cards. :(

Never give up though on looking for friends! I've only known my best friend for 14 out of 30 years, and we've had a year or two or so of non-communication (since we went our own ways, not because of conflict), and we're still going strong. Actually going to try out this local sushi/grill restaurant with him in a couple of hours :3
 

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Let me propose something.

You told one person how you felt about them, they ended up leaving. It likely had nothing to do with you telling them how you felt. The next time you told someone how you felt about them, whether you realized it or not, you felt apprehensive, and subconsciously remembered that the last time you told someone how you felt about them, they ended up leaving anyway.

(Question the first: on some level, could you be telling these people how you feel about them because you're already afraid they're on their way out? Maybe there have been signs you haven't wanted to verbalize to yourself? Or maybe yours fears don't have basis in reality, and you're just working yourself up. At any rate, sometimes we tell people things as a genuine expression of feelings, nothing more, and other times we want to believe that about ourselves but are secretly, at least in part, doing things out of fear of abandonment, loss, etc.)

Back to the scenario of the second friend - you've just told them how you feel about them, and you're feeling a little bit of that abandonment coming back to haunt you from Friend #1. Friend #2 doesn't notice, but says, "Aw shucks, that's great!" and things move on as usual. For the friend. However, in your head, you're already nervous about them leaving you, and your actions start to reflect that, eventually pushing Friend #2 away.

(Question the second: Could this be a self-fulfilling prophecy? Your own apprehension causing you to act in a way that makes friendship more difficult? Example: I had a very close (best) friend that I really liked, really enjoyed spending time with, and had known for three or four years, but he started getting very insecure about our friendship. That was fine with me, I thought, I'd just reassure him when he needed it, make sure I acted consistently, never give him reason to doubt how much I loved hanging out with him. However, nothing I did or said seemed to help. It got to the point where we couldn't do anything without spending at least twice as much time talking about our friendship, and eventually I burned out and ended the friendship. It was immensely stressful.)

I want to point out, too, that it is possible that these people are "leaving" for other reasons than you telling them how you feel. Especially if it's not an immediate thing. If there were five friends of yours who stopped talking to you the day after you told them, that'd be one thing, but as that's not the case I'm inclined to think it was something else, maybe something that wasn't anyone's fault, just that you both changed, or their life was going in a different direction, etc. Were your friends sort of on a path of changing themselves, or moving in a different direction in life? I have plenty of people I really enjoyed spending time with, and still like a lot, it's just that I'm in a transitional period (yay early 20's) and trying to figure out who I am, and as I do that, I'm constantly finding new people who will help me get there. So while I wouldn't consider the people from the past not *friends,* I don't hang out with them or call them up anymore, because I already feel like we've moved apart, we're now in different places in our lives, etc. Could that be part of it for these friends?

Friendship is a nuanced, subtle thing sometimes. We don't always truly know why we like someone, or why we want to spend time with them. If what I said up there is true about these friends just moving in a different direction, perhaps they sensed that you were trying to hang onto them instead of letting them go? Or maybe they still think of you fondly, they just have no reason to tell you that.

Anyway, these are all just possibilities.
 

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*gulp* This is going to sound crazy, but here goes…

For me friendship is a deep and fulfilling relationship – I prefer having few close friends rather than large numbers of “at bay” acquaintances. It takes time to develop such friendships – an investment in time and effort that helps to build the bonds – it’s only sensible that you know someone better over a year as compared to a month in most circumstances.

Also my mind doesn’t always work sequentially and deals with ideas and concepts, so in order to come out… in order to make sense to someone else I often have to filter comments and process them to add context etc. this at times makes it hard to say how I feel or think in a coherent manner.

However, I’ve noticed that if I tell someone how I feel about them, it usually kills the friendship, and if I mention this curse to someone, the same thing happens. Even if it’s a simple “you’re awesome and I really like spending time with you” it still works: usually it takes between 2 months to a year (around the middle of that is most common) and after that the friendship usually dies. Those are the rules as far as I can tell: I don't know what will happen as a result of this post.

I can think of at least 5 separate instances in which this has happened, over the course of several years. The only person who seems immune to it is my best friend, but I’m afraid of overdoing it with her and telling her.

The logical part of me says it’s unreasonable and that if these people were truly friends they would still be here, but the thing is, it’s always after I’ve told the person how I feel about them. And it strikes with impunity, regardless of gender, age, or how long/well I’ve known them: the only correlation is that I’ve either told them about this curse, or told them how I feel about them. And these are all people I’d still want to be friends with, still people I feel relatively comfortable with, people my gut says I should be friends with, even afterwards, but yet all are gone now and the friendships are dead.

Is this a figment of my imagination in being called a curse or could it be something else? Is there any way to fix it?
This just freaks me out! I experience the EXACT same thing!!!!! Although, I tend to limit my contact with people in that way - only one deep, close friend (an ISTJ) and he is heart of my heart!

But the same sort of thing happens with me and jobs! Crappy jobs last and last. But as soon as I admit I enjoy a job, it dies soon after...
 

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PerC's 6w6
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
First off, thank you for the help – it’s much appreciated.

A good deed never goes unpunished....
I'm not sure what you mean...

This remind me of inductive reasoning:
Proposition: All swans we have seen are black.
Conclusion: All swans are black.

Proposition: Every time I say I like a person, they leave, like a curse comes into effect.
Conclusion: All the persons I've told that I liked them, are now gone, thus the curse must exist.

Your proposition may be right (since it happened in all 5 instances that you could think of), but your conclusion is far from solid.

Actually, your best friend is your living proof of the curse not existing :D

So, I suppose, in a way I'm saying it's a myth, a figment of your imagination :3

Nonetheless, I can understand that it causes some fear of using such expressions... Which is a very sad thing! I think you should never stop expressing your appreciation for someone...

So... is there are reason for those people to leave you, other than a curse existing? Quite possibly. There are legion of reasons you could conjure: them moving away to a different town, them not liking 'dealing with feelings' and thus avoiding you, them being interested /occupied with their other friendships, etc etc.

I think that though it may sound unlikely, it is still possible that in all of those 5 instances, you were befriending people who don't like 'dealing with feelings' (ESTJ culture that is often mentioned) - in this case, you just were dealt 5 unlucky cards. :(

Never give up though on looking for friends! I've only known my best friend for 14 out of 30 years, and we've had a year or two or so of non-communication (since we went our own ways, not because of conflict), and we're still going strong. Actually going to try out this local sushi/grill restaurant with him in a couple of hours :3
The thing is, I don't make the first move when it comes to emotions - I wait - that's been the case since this started. So I've only ever told people I feel comfortable with, and that's after they've told me some of their (serious) issues or problems. So I don't understand how it would be equitable for them to tell me how I feel about them, and then don't allow that to happen from my end. And that's the other thing - the legion of reasons - there's no real... There's no way to tell what it is because there’s no answer that’s been provided. All I can do is just ponder about why things went wrong and what could have been different.

As for my best friend I’ve written that off as a fluke: that or a testament of our friendship. I’m lucky to have her in my life, but I don’t want to take the risk of seeing if I can get it to work on her – we both know we’re important to each other and that’s enough for me.

Let me propose something.

You told one person how you felt about them, they ended up leaving. It likely had nothing to do with you telling them how you felt. The next time you told someone how you felt about them, whether you realized it or not, you felt apprehensive, and subconsciously remembered that the last time you told someone how you felt about them, they ended up leaving anyway.

(Question the first: on some level, could you be telling these people how you feel about them because you're already afraid they're on their way out? Maybe there have been signs you haven't wanted to verbalize to yourself? Or maybe yours fears don't have basis in reality, and you're just working yourself up. At any rate, sometimes we tell people things as a genuine expression of feelings, nothing more, and other times we want to believe that about ourselves but are secretly, at least in part, doing things out of fear of abandonment, loss, etc.)

Back to the scenario of the second friend - you've just told them how you feel about them, and you're feeling a little bit of that abandonment coming back to haunt you from Friend #1. Friend #2 doesn't notice, but says, "Aw shucks, that's great!" and things move on as usual. For the friend. However, in your head, you're already nervous about them leaving you, and your actions start to reflect that, eventually pushing Friend #2 away.

(Question the second: Could this be a self-fulfilling prophecy? Your own apprehension causing you to act in a way that makes friendship more difficult? Example: I had a very close (best) friend that I really liked, really enjoyed spending time with, and had known for three or four years, but he started getting very insecure about our friendship. That was fine with me, I thought, I'd just reassure him when he needed it, make sure I acted consistently, never give him reason to doubt how much I loved hanging out with him. However, nothing I did or said seemed to help. It got to the point where we couldn't do anything without spending at least twice as much time talking about our friendship, and eventually I burned out and ended the friendship. It was immensely stressful.)

I want to point out, too, that it is possible that these people are "leaving" for other reasons than you telling them how you feel. Especially if it's not an immediate thing. If there were five friends of yours who stopped talking to you the day after you told them, that'd be one thing, but as that's not the case I'm inclined to think it was something else, maybe something that wasn't anyone's fault, just that you both changed, or their life was going in a different direction, etc. Were your friends sort of on a path of changing themselves, or moving in a different direction in life? I have plenty of people I really enjoyed spending time with, and still like a lot, it's just that I'm in a transitional period (yay early 20's) and trying to figure out who I am, and as I do that, I'm constantly finding new people who will help me get there. So while I wouldn't consider the people from the past not *friends,* I don't hang out with them or call them up anymore, because I already feel like we've moved apart, we're now in different places in our lives, etc. Could that be part of it for these friends?

Friendship is a nuanced, subtle thing sometimes. We don't always truly know why we like someone, or why we want to spend time with them. If what I said up there is true about these friends just moving in a different direction, perhaps they sensed that you were trying to hang onto them instead of letting them go? Or maybe they still think of you fondly, they just have no reason to tell you that.

Anyway, these are all just possibilities.
I don’t tell anyone this, because I’m afraid that they’re leaving. The only reason I’ve dared to defy it is because of a strong sense of thanks and appreciation for the (then) friend but after a while the friendship dies. I mean, what are the odds that friendships will stop, almost always within the same timeframe? You’re friends with someone for three years, then after you tell them, it takes a year and they’re gone: next person you’re friends with for five, then after 6 months they’re gone: next person you’re friends with for one year, then after, 6 months and they’re gone… What are the odds that they all go through a transition phase or have something else happen afterwards and not before? The only person I can think of that was explicitly transitioning, was person 5: the others may have but never said so I never knew. Same with life changes.

I don’t change after revealing it: the last time (with person 5) I said nothing out of the ordinary, just mentioned the existence of the curse (at their insistence) (and they promised me not to worry). I didn’t message more than normal or reveal anymore dangerous or potentially damaging information. The only thing I did differently was to watch silently and see if anything changed. Sure enough, it still activated as normal. To be fair they were going through a transition period, but that was ~a year ago and they haven’t returned or resumed contact as before. They have with some mutual friends, however.

This curse is buried - it's not something that comes up in conversation, or even is shown to exist - its hidden deep enough that someone won't ask questions about it.

The thing I find hardest is how easily people can move on from it all... like they can just forget what used to exist.

Me, I always remember.
Exactly. It's as though the time spent and the conversations, all of it suddenly doesn't matter. They just disappear without a word, without giving you the decency of at least explaining what went wrong so you can learn from it. I can deal with people disappearing, for whatever reason, but have the decency to say you’re leaving and why…

Is it that people want you to be tolerant and patient when listening to their troubles, but don't want to extend the same hand when the time comes for you to ask for help? And that then leads to the other thing I worry about (and why I'm writing this post). If someone tells you they care about you and they appreciate you, and you say nothing in return, does that not cause them to feel spurned/rejected, even though you place a commensurate measure of value and thankfulness on the friendship but do not express it?

This just freaks me out! I experience the EXACT same thing!!!!! Although, I tend to limit my contact with people in that way - only one deep, close friend (an ISTJ) and he is heart of my heart!

But the same sort of thing happens with me and jobs! Crappy jobs last and last. But as soon as I admit I enjoy a job, it dies soon after...
:(. It's frustrating isn't it???
 

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Okay, so, do you know Phoebe from FRIENDS?

In one episode, Phoebe dreads going to the dentist. She says it's because every time she goes, one of her friends dies. Sounds ridiculous right? (Phoebe's so adorable by the way)

Phoebe's friends just happened to die while she was at the dentist. There's no way she could've caused their death just by getting her teeth checked. Right?

You're doing the same thing. You're making the wrong association, that is, you telling them how you feel about them caused them to leave. I don't think that's what happened, because I'm pretty sure they knew you loved them when they just up and left. I don't think they thought you loathed them or anything. I think they're just terrible friends.

Don't blame yourself just because they suck, and most importantly, don't stop showing appreciation to a good friend just because your previous friends were assholes.

Also, comic relief - just because she's SO FREAKIN' CUTE:


EDIT: Funny how the title of the thread and the video both refer to this as a "curse" :laughing:
 

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I mean, what are the odds that friendships will stop, almost always within the same timeframe?
Actually, the odds are quite high. No matter who you are and what measures you take to counteract it, friendships fade. I know it's not what you want to hear, but sometimes despite everyone's best efforts, it's just what needs to happen for one or both parties. It's extremely common. This isn't just something that happens to you, and I think you're putting a lot of misplaced blame on yourself and on this one event.

You know what I get from this story? You had some good friends, you shared a lot of good times, and one day some of those friends grew apart from you. There's really nothing unusual about that. It might hurt, it might make you feel sad, but in trying to make sense of the painful situation I think you are making assumptions that are leading you astray. Friendship is not a contract - your former friends are not "terrible friends," they likely just felt themselves being pulled in another direction. You're assuming responsibility for this when really, it's about them. I understand wanting to be responsible, in a way, because that means there's something you can figure out, something you can do differently next time to keep it from happening. But there isn't always. Sometimes it's best to just learn how to let people do what they want to do and not take it personally, or let it affect how you see yourself.

What are the odds that they all go through a transition phase or have something else happen afterwards and not before? The only person I can think of that was explicitly transitioning, was person 5: the others may have but never said so I never knew. Same with life changes.
Well, everyone is always changing - it's likely that everyone you know is going through a transitional period of some sort, small or large. Most of the time people don't even realize they are changing. It tends to happen gradually.

I don’t change after revealing it: the last time (with person 5) I said nothing out of the ordinary, just mentioned the existence of the curse (at their insistence) (and they promised me not to worry). I didn’t message more than normal or reveal anymore dangerous or potentially damaging information.
Well in that case I'd just assume it has nothing to do with you. Really, truly.
 

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Some people are far heavier on emotions than others. And so, some things are better left unsaid.
I had two best friends for years, when I was a teenager. The three of us, best friends, we always hung out. But I never told them I loved them, for example.

If I would have done so, we probably wouldn't be friends anymore at that period, they worked in a different way. We could still talk about heavy subjects and support each other, it was all there, but like I said. Some things are just better left unsaid, with certain people.

As for the time period. I get the feeling from your writing that for each friend there came a period where you burst and spilled them with heavy emotions. If there is just a certain period after which you have these bursts, then yes, it can seem like a curse. It is not, though. You still have your best friend.

What also could play a factor, is how clingy you were to your friends. You can't expect too much from them. Some people just don't have a natural handle on what to expect from a friendship, even if they get along very well. Projecting fear of breaking a friendship on your friends, can do the same. People see or feel what you are projecting, it can rub them the wrong way, or they might get scared.

All I can say is, learn from your past friendships, but don't fear a curse. It seems you have trouble finding out what went wrong, on this forum we can suggest things, but the best solution is to sit down with yourself. Think long, hard and deep. Remember facial expressions and conversations, the last things they said, and how they said them. Think, what actually happened?
 

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to the OP @snowbell : never give up trying to find real close friends.
as I am the proof that you can still befriend with people from all different personality types, even if it's an ESTJ (one of my closest friends is actually an ESTJ) :)
Based from my own experiences, I can confidently say this: Friendship goes far beyond just the personality type.
what helps me the most, for example, is to find people who share similar interests/hobby/passion.
like in my own case, for example, many of my close friends is because we share one similar passion/interest: Music, and particularly, japanese music like in anime, video-games, dorama, j-pop/j-rock, basically the japanese culture. and we often go hang-out every weekend!
back then if you asked me about just one year ago, I would perhaps also not going to believe that this could be happening,
but look at how Life has in store for me now. it's just different! and I truly feel grateful for experiencing such friendships, it has somewhat colored, and even changed my life into a more positive person overall. that shows how important friendship really is/could be to one's life! :)

again, never give up, and keep looking with open eyes and mind!
I'm sure you will eventually find your own real close friends, in a due time :)
 

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As for my best friend I’ve written that off as a fluke: that or a testament of our friendship.

I mean, what are the odds that friendships will stop, almost always within the same timeframe?

Is it that people want you to be tolerant and patient when listening to their troubles, but don't want to extend the same hand when the time comes for you to ask for help?
As others have noted above, not all friendships are the same. Most friendships have a lifespan, a halflife if you will. It's devastating for us, because we put so much time and effort into the ones we have. Friends that stick around are rare gems. Cherish them.

What you said about people wanting you to listen to their problems and not wanting to do the same? Now that is a possible reason for their leaving. If you got to the stage where you were telling people how much you appreciate them, then you were probably also starting to feel comfortable with the notion of going to them with your problems. You may have changed the tables. You went from being their psychologist to their equal, and not everyone wants to change that variable. Not everyone wants to put in as much as they get. And how would they word that to you when they depart? "I'm sorry, but I liked our friendship when I was the one coming to you. Not the other way around...this is too much. I'm so gone!" I'm not saying that was the case with all five of the past friendships, but it is a possibility.

Never give up though on looking for friends! I've only known my best friend for 14 out of 30 years, and we've had a year or two or so of non-communication (since we went our own ways, not because of conflict), and we're still going strong. Actually going to try out this local sushi/grill restaurant with him in a couple of hours :3
I goofed up your whole sentence at the end there and had to reread it several times. At first, I thought you were saying you were going to go try out the curse on your friend to see if he would leave. Then I thought you and your friend were going to the sushi/grill restaurant to try out the curse on the staff there (why not!). I wonder if it's possible to kill a curse with another curse? Expelliarmus!
 

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I goofed up your whole sentence at the end there and had to reread it several times. At first, I thought you were saying you were going to go try out the curse on your friend to see if he would leave. Then I thought you and your friend were going to the sushi/grill restaurant to try out the curse on the staff there (why not!). I wonder if it's possible to kill a curse with another curse? Expelliarmus!
LOL xD

Alas I had to cancel, got called in for work. But I made sure I really have the day off tomorrow, so we'll go try out that restaurant tomorrow, and yes I'll be sure to pick up some wands along the way to practice some curses on their staff, should their food fail to entertain us. xD
 
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