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How do you deal with friends who talk about themselves, and never ask about you?
Sex & Intimacy / 3:40 PM - Monday May 25, 2009

How do you deal with friends who talk about themselves, and never ask about you?

I have two friends that call me and give me a play-by-play account of what they've been doing, but if I say something about what's going on in my life, they're suddenly busy and have to go. They don't listen when I talk, and the conversation snaps back to them like a rubber band the second I pause to take a breath.

One of them has been calling all morning, but I haven't picked up. I ignored the other one's calls, texts, and photos all day yesterday. (I get that her neighbor has a cute new dog, but I don't need to see a picture of it...)

I would entertain any suggestions about how to get "equal time," but right now, I'm really thinking I just want to extract myself from these relationships.

Do you encounter people like this? What's the best way to handle the situation?


- Asked by myowntwofeet, An Alternative Girl, Female, 46-55, Los Angeles, Other Profession

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You should follow your instincts and extricate yourself from the relationships! I've been there and getting out was the best decision I ever made. I've never gotten over the relief I felt when I ended it. If,however, they are people you actually care about, there's absolutely nothing wrong with just stating the facts: "Do you realize that I'm nothing more than a sounding board for you and that you never inquire about anything in my life? Furthermore, when I try to talk about anything going on with me, you totally ignore it?" If the relationship is on the way out anyway, why not try to learn something about the inner workings of a narcissist? Find out how they justify their behavior - even to themselves? I wiah I knew. It could be that one or both of them care enough about you to try to change their ways. If not, at least they will know why they've been set aside. Life is too short to let your valuable time be usurped by people who only want to hear themselves talk. There are tape recorders and shrinks for that!

- Response by gavelhand, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Other Profession

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I do not get along with egotistical people. they are consumed by themselves. after a while, i avoid them.

- Response by flwoodpecker, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 36-45, Other Profession

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They would deny it if you confronted them...just slowly decrease contact with them if you dn't want to hear it.

- Response by nowornever, A Thinker, Female, 66 or older, Financial / Banking

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I had a friend like that. It was really hard to deal with her. If you really care about these people and still want to be friends with them I would say sit them down and try telling them how they make you feel. If you don't care whether or not you are friends with them just ignor them.

- Response by A Trendsetter, Female, 22-25, Home Maker

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This really struck a chord with me. I have the same situation. I know exactly what you're talking about and maybe it's a small comfort knowing that someone else is dealing with a similar situation.

When they call, they talk talk talk and I'm truly interested until they beat a subject to death and then I try to change the subject and somehow, like you said, the conversation snaps back to them like a rubber band.

After listening to their news and their life for an hour, they'll say, "what about YOU, what's going on in YOUR life?"
If I do take the time to mention something, again, they interrupt and turn the spotlight right back on themselves and I don't even get to finish my 'story'. OR, by the time they ask what's new in my life, I'm so dang fed up and emotionally exhausted I just want to end the conversation.

I have found myself avoiding them a whole lot more. I don't take the initiative to call and when they call me, I don't answer and don't return calls until days later, if at all.

I think we come to a point in our lives where some of this becomes such nonsense and BS. It's like WTF, they don't have the time for me, why should I be a sounding board for them?

I don't have any good advice to give you as I find myself in a similar situation. Maybe it feels a little better for you knowing that you're not the only one. I guess the best advice is from gavelhand. Are these people you truly care about and want to continue with or do you think you're taking separate paths now and growing apart.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck, girl!


- Response by raynonme, A Trendsetter, Female, 46-55, Managerial

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People don't change, they evolve. In other words, ya friends aren't going t change, until they evolve. Don't take out the time to confront them, they'll either back off, due to feeling guilty and or they'll temporarily change and pretend to be interested in you. You don't want that do you! I say you back off and let them see a difference in your desire for a friendship. Start focusing and caring about yourself!!!! and wa-la , watch how all of a sudden your friends will. Bump your friends , and focus on yourself, s*** let them sit in a room alone and fluster themselves with listening to their own annoying voices. There's a thing in psychology that we call, reinforcement. When you reinforce their behavior, they want more. Stop reinforcing them and extinguish the behavior all together. When people are usually self centered, i let em be, and then wa-la, they hear about my achievements and successes and they wonder why i didn't tell them, wellbecause you were too busy bumping ya gums!! It just encourages me to succeed more on purpose. I keep my privacy.

P.S. You might want to try analyzing why you attract self centered people into your life. Perhaps it's familiar to you, and you attract it for that reason. Analyze the traits of the most important people in your life, or perhaps give yourself a reality check. Maybe you're overly self absorbed to some extent. Are you a reflection of them and are they a reflection of someone else in their life? something to think about huh

- Response by A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Los Angeles, Student

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