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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2012
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    Default Friends and boundaries and getting used

    How do you draw the line with people when you start to feel like they are using you? Let me also say that I am pretty much a always a 'yes' person. If someone asks for my help, I give it. It's bitten me in the ass before and gotten me over worked, but mostly I just enjoy helping people when I can. I typically offer to do things when I see that they need to be done, without being asked.

    My friends don't return that attitude. For a small example... we go to shows together... I clean everyone's stall b/c I have time while they ride etc and I am at the stalls. Next time around they pick their horses and leave mine. I loan tack, fly spray, grooming stuff, hell I have even loaned my horses to people for certain things (like PC ratings) with no more than a casual thank you... And it's like ALL THE TIME.

    I talked to my sister, who said I should know what I want to make it feel like is a fair 'give and take' and be willing to ask for help. It's not something specific though... It's just a general feeling that I am getting taken advantage of.

    I'm used to doing everything for myself, so asking for help isn't my thing. Plus, I do so much without ever even being asked... I honestly feel like I shouldn't have to!

    I'm getting depressed about it... feeling like the people I think are my friends aren't really... they just like my big trailer, nice horses and friendly willingness to loan it all out. Worse yet, I feel like the relationships are built on this dynamic and changing myself means the end of what I had felt like were good friendships.

    Any advice?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2011
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    Default

    you are the one doing these things, just stop doing them. It really IS that simple.

    They may or may not be your friend (hard to say) but just like you they might be independent and prefer to not have so much help/sharing? It would make me feel sort of weird if a friend did so much for me-- unequal. It may be done innocently but over-giving can make it weird between friends (I have had this happen).

    One thing I like to say is people don't always want/do what we think they should want/do. Doesn't mean they are bad people--they just don't think the way you do.

    Again, they may be selfish but really, I don't clean others stalls or loan horses, so I wouldn't say they are bad for not.

    If you do something do it with out expecting a return.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Feb. 14, 2012
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    Fern Creek, KY
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    Some people feel entitled. Why, I do not know.

    I had a really good friend who was going through a rough spot $$-wise. We lent them a significant amount of money to help clear their debt. They were expecting a baby and we wanted to help. We never got more than a thank you or an offer to pay it back. DH and I just chalked it up to the stress of their situation.

    Turns out they blew it all on 'toys' and putting themselves in even more debt. I was beyond annoyed and stopped talking to her. The only time she ever talks to me is when she needs money. It's a crappy feeling.

    Just remember that 'no' is a complete sentence. I feel for you, OP.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 12, 2002
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    CA
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    Default

    Plus, I do so much without ever even being asked... I honestly feel like I shouldn't have to!
    No, you don't have to. So just don't do it and don't offer to help. Take a book & read when you'd normally be doing stuff for them. Or watch the horse show. Or play games on your phone. Clean only your own tack, horse & stall. Period.

    It's your stuff - just stop loaning it out. Period. When someone asks to borrow something, tell them you're turning over a new leaf & in order to keep your things nice for you, you'll no longer lend anything. Period. You're not obligated to give any reasons, actually, but they'll press for a reason. You don't have to give one. "No" is a complete sentence.

    Is it your trailer? Do they help pay for gas & kick in for wear & tear & insurance? No? Charge them for hauling, then, if it's legal for you to haul for hire in your state on your regular driver's license. I'll bet they don't help you clean it out after, either, do they?

    If all the extra help from you & all the things they borrow are denied to them, you'll find out how good of friends they are.

    You can only be a doormat for people if you let them. If you're feeling like the relationships you have with them all depend on them using you & yours, they're not really very good friends, then & they are just using you. If it's hard for you to ask for help & this has been going on for a while, it's just going to make you feel even more resentful the longer it goes on.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2012
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SendenHorse View Post

    They may or may not be your friend (hard to say) but just like you they might be independent and prefer to not have so much help/sharing? It would make me feel sort of weird if a friend did so much for me-- unequal. It may be done innocently but over-giving can make it weird between friends (I have had this happen).

    If you do something do it with out expecting a return.
    I could understand this... if they didn't turn around and ASK for more the next time around.

    I have never expected a return. I just figured we were friends, and I would do what I could to be a good friend... but it sort of smacked me in the face when I was asked to borrow a horse, my trailer and a weekend and then found myself cleaning the d*mn rig alone when it was all said and done! Perhaps I'm not being a friend... I'm being a fool!?!

    I am the only one who can say NO. UGH, it's not really in my vocabulary. If I don't want to be walked on, I can't lay on the floor then, right?



  6. #6
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    Sep. 11, 2011
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    well, this is all something that can easily be changed. you are being used, just stop doing these things for them. You need to communicate your wishes (ie- "I take you to the show/rally and then YOU clean the trailer with me when we get back. Deal?") What is obvious to one is a revalation to another. Why should they do work when you will? LOL...

    People take a mile when you give them an inch. You just have to be ok not being "liked" for being "nice".


    3 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
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    Nov. 22, 2012
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    Default

    Thanks guys... you are all right. I'm the only one who can stop it. It just kind of sucks, because I am only trying to be the kind of friend I want to have... and it's not working!



  8. #8
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    Feb. 12, 2002
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    CA
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    Horse, trailer, weekend & they didn't even clean the rig when they were the ones using it?

    Perhaps I'm not being a friend... I'm being a fool!?!
    You said it . . .


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
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    Nov. 22, 2012
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by suze View Post

    You said it . . .



  10. #10
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    Feb. 6, 2007
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    Next time you're at a show, clean your own horses stall and only your horses.
    Next time they ask you to borrow a horse and your trailer, say no or charge them a day lease for the use of the horse and trailer, and tell them that you expect them to clean it out when they are finished.
    As for your tack, grooming supplies and fly spray, lock it up in your tack trunk at shows and in the barn at home.

    You're allowing yourself to get treated like this, and you have the full power to make it stop.

    Trust me I was in your situation before. I had a "friend" who boarded at the same barn and felt that she could just go and ride my horse and bring others to ride my horse without asking me and only telling me after the fact. Also she helped herself to the use of my saddle and other supplies. She stopped talking to me not to long after I told her that she needs to ask before she rides my horse or uses my stuff....



  11. #11
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    Sep. 2, 2008
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    Greeley, Colorado
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    I am like you. I will give, give, give to others at the expense of my own well being. After being screwed over time and again I finally had enough. I learned to say NO and boy did it feel good!! Now I know how to pick and choose my generosity. I will still give give give to certain people, but only those kind enough to reciprocate (in their own ways). Those who had learned to take advantage of me have stopped even asking.

    Good luck
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate


    4 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    Jan. 4, 2005
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    Washington State
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    Default

    I agree with the others. Just say NO! But be prepared. Once you start saying you don't have time or you will need some gas money, there are some that will not be happy with you. They might even call you names. Been there done that. I am much, much happier not being a doormat.
    Crayola Posse - Pine Green
    RIP Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)



  13. #13
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    Jun. 14, 2006
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    VA
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    Default

    You've gotten good advice already...just say no and all that.

    But if I may without offending....

    What's in it for you? You're doing this stuff for a reason. Is it insecurity? Is it being able to feel kind of superior to others because you work harder, do more, and give more? Is it liking to be a "victim"?

    There is something (subconsciously) that is working for you here or you wouldn't do it. So while it's easy for "us" or "me" to say "STOP! Just say no!" you may have a hard time because there's a real payoff for you even if it's just being able to be pissed at being taken advantage of.

    I don't mean that in a mean way at all. I have the same tendencies. Go out of my way for others, then be pissy because they didn't do the same for me. Well...i never ASKED for help. And neither did my friends/acquaintainces, but I did stuff anyway. Well...if I'm doing things on my own accord unasked, why would there be a feeling of returning the gesture necessarily?


    I would guess that you have similar relationships with other non horse people as well. No?

    The root of it in my case was a general insecurity and a desire to be liked and needed and relevant.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    9 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
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    12,262

    Default

    People can't take advantage of your generosity unless you let them. Saying no would be best, and just not doing things for them. If you can't do that, then learn to say, "Ok, I will trade you that, if you'll do "X" for me. And be specific... like "I'll trailer you if you'll pay for gas, and sweep out the trailer when we get home..." Include what you want and by when. Or, "I'll pick stalls while you ride today, if you'll pick them this afternoon while I clean tack/ride, etc"



  15. #15
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    Jan. 27, 2002
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    new england,,usa
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    Default

    i used to be just like you. lent my trailer to people and it was returned dirty, etc.
    finally i realized that they weren't going to become different people, they were users and i happened to allow it. until i didn't and they found someone else to use without a second glance. moved barns and got tougher and now only lend things to real friends who offer help and cash when i do. and if a real friend is short of cash or time i still get profusely thanked and extra effort down the road.



  16. #16
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    Jan. 27, 2004
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    Yonder, USA
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    I think you're going find that once you start incorporating "No" into your vocabulary, you have a lot fewer friends. However, they'll be REAL friends who give and take, not a bunch of selfish leeches. Making the change sucks, though.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
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    Nov. 22, 2012
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    8

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    What's in it for you? You're doing this stuff for a reason. Is it insecurity? Is it being able to feel kind of superior to others because you work harder, do more, and give more? Is it liking to be a "victim"?

    The root of it in my case was a general insecurity and a desire to be liked and needed and relevant.
    I don't usually feel pissy or angry about it. I started this post because the most recent episode finally left me feeling pretty sad.

    I have left out some of the really major things I have done... Cleaning stalls and hauling horses is only a small bit of the whole picture here. I feel like if I was honest about everything it would just make me seem like a total and complete dumb @ss, even though the whole time up til now I have enjoyed being able to support and help the people I care about, and I saw no reason not to do what I could. (DH has been cautioning me for a year now that am being taken advantage of...)

    I believe the root of it all is very much the same for me. insecurity and desire to be liked.



  18. #18
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    Jun. 19, 2009
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    143

    Default

    It would be sad to feel like these "friends" may go away if you stop. But that also makes room for meeting new ones who would really care about YOU.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
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    Dec. 4, 2002
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    Alpharetta, GA
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    I think you need to realize that if you "just enjoy doing things for people" that's one thing. It's not about receiving something equal in return. You shouldn't expect for people to read your mind about how you think they should reciprocate. Your reward is having done something nice for someone else. It really does sound as though you knock yourself out doing things for people to ultimately be disappointed in their lack of response. That's not really selfless.

    If you wish and expect to receive something in return for the nice things you do- you need to speak up. "Hey, if I clean your stall would you mind dropping grain for me this afternoon?" You're feeling taken advantage of because you're not getting the return you're expecting. People can't read your mind you know.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
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    Nov. 22, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jsalem View Post
    I think you need to realize that if you "just enjoy doing things for people" that's one thing. It's not about receiving something equal in return. You shouldn't expect for people to read your mind about how you think they should reciprocate. Your reward is having done something nice for someone else. It really does sound as though you knock yourself out doing things for people to ultimately be disappointed in their lack of response. That's not really selfless.
    It's not selfless. Selfless would be writing a large anonymous check to a charity. I'm just trying to be a good friend... which is allegedly a 2 way street right?

    Look, I have been through a lot of sh*t in my life time and I told myself a long time ago the answer was to never be anything like the people who did/said terrible things to me.

    I'm just trying to be a good person and struggling with knowing where the line of good person and friend turns into DOORMAT.



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