Tuesday, 10 June 2008

One-way-street

Yesterday evening, I had several incoming calls while I was on an important oversea call. I glanced quickly at the caller ID and saw my friend's name but decided to ignore it. I always end up losing both calls if I try to swap calls. It was a long conversation which started while I was driving back to the office.

When I finally hung up, I was famished and weak from all the running around. I checked my phone. There were 4 missed calls. Just when I got into the office and was about to sit down, the phone rang. It was her. I apologised that I couldn't take her call earlier.

I had a million things running through my head. It was almost 5.30pm and I wanted to finish my work before I leave the office. My friend, who was on her way home, was using her drive time to catch up. I was distracted and hungry, and she could sense it.

She asked if I wanted to do something this weekend, like go cycling. I answered weakly, "I don't think so, you guys go ahead." Then she asked if I was alright.

I assured her everything is fine and then we hung up. I have always enjoyed a good chat with her and felt bad that I wasn't my scintillating self yesterday. I started to analyse the reason behind the lackluster conversation.

It is always great fun chatting with her but I realise that the conversations always center around her, from start to finish. It is always about her wonderful performance and achievements at work, her kids' perfect scores, her husband's accomplishments, their perfect holiday and so forth.

As a friend, I'm always very happy to congratulate her on their achievements, encourage her or commiserate with her. I usually hang up the phone with a smile but lately I realise that our conversations are becoming a one-way-street.

She calls me whenever she's free but she never answers my call or reads my emails. When we're on the phone, she does most of the talking. It's not that I have nothing to say but it's hard to slot in anything while she's happily talking away. Even if I do, the conversation always veers back to her and about her. Then, just as suddenly as she calls up, she hangs up because she has to answer an important call, leaving me feeling unsatiated.

When I do manage to tell her about my life, she expresses shock saying "You must keep me informed you know, or else even if you've migrated to another country, I won't even know!"

Well, my friend, I know everything about you but you know almost nothing about me.

11 comments:

charlie Hotel said...

Sorry to hear this. And it can be so hard to vocalise your feelings to an old friend too. Hope she'll chance by your blog and read this... but a more proactive approach might be needed.

JYankee said...

yeah that is too bad...cuz perhaps she doesnt realize? it's hard to know the right way to tell her..she might take offense.... "one way street" friends are everywhere...but if she is a good friend...

Charlie Hotel said...

Sometimes we get so absorbed in ourselves we don't realise it. Maybe when you next talk to her you can complain that I've guilty of all those things. Hopefully she's perceptive enough to see herself being guilty of the same.

I volunteer to take the fall :-)

Blur Ting said...

CH - I am writing about this cos I know she doesn't read my blog! You shouldn't be the fall guy but I am not sure about telling her. I may come across as being too sensitive or maybe I am...

Blur Ting said...

JY - She used to give me emotional support years back. Ever since she got promoted at work several years ago, she became very absorbed in her work and had been doing very well. I recognise that there are lots of exciting things happening in her life, especially when her entire company depends on her sales alone to hit the quarterly target but that's all I hear these days. Even her husband has banned her from talking about her humongous sales target when she's at home.

Nick Phillips said...

I know a few people like that who wouldn't let you get a word in edge wise in a conversation. They're so absorbed with talking about themselves that sometimes I wonder why they even need company. Just get a mirror and that will work just fine ...

The World According To Me said...

How sad it is to read a friend seems too wrapped up in her own world to ask about and question yours.
I'd like to think she doesn't realise how she comes across, and if you needed her, she'd be there?
In the mean time, I can imagine how her phone calls must make you feel. If it was me I think I might be inclined to mention 'another friend' who is quite absorbed in her own life and you're quite surprised by how selfish they have become. Hopefully it would make her take a step back and question her behaviour?

shello said...

oooo...i know people like that...whenever we talk i just shut my mind and go "ooh", "aah", "wow", "great"...until they go, "what? i just asked you a question!"...and i go "oh, what was the question again?"

SOUL: said...

looks like we've all been there before , but really-- what can you do-- without someone being hurt or offended? either stay like it is , and build resentment until it all blows up---
or else you have to say how you feel, and just see how it goes-- being honest about it certainly can't be any worse than remaining silent, and being hurt. can it?

i hope it works out.

laterz --

WaterLearner said...

I do know fair share of people who are like that. Being around such people is no fun :-(

Blur Ting said...

Thanks pals for your comments. I really should have a heart-to-heart talk with her sometime about how I feel. I treasure her as a dear friend and don't want anything to come between us.