To send a letter?

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To send a letter?

Postby Still_in_Chains » Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:12 pm

I was wondering if it’s appropriate to use a letter or an email to address issues with anyone, be it friends or family.

I’m having issues with a friend who I see at least every fortnight but there’s no way I feel able to raise these issues with her. It’s not that I don’t know what to say to her, it’s that even though I might request that I not be interrupted while I speak, I feel she will most certainly interrupt me and I will never get to say what I need to say.

If you heard our conversations at all, you’d notice that she dominates them. I can barely get a word in edgeways. Often, if I have something to say, I have to say it when she’s finished speaking a sentence because if I wait until the end, either I forget what I was going to say or she’s cleverly moved onto a sub-topic so that what I was going to say is not relevant to what she’s just said. What I find though when I’ve waited for her to finish her sentence so I can add something, sometimes, it’s as if she quickly determines that what I’m saying isn’t worth listening to and begins to talk over me. And if I am able to begin a whole new topic, sometimes it’s ok but I know when she’s not interested and wants me to hurry up and finish because I get no encouragement by appropriate vocalisations or questions. Instead I get a series of “Mm hmm, mm hmm, mm hmm,” in very quick succession which is incredibly off putting.

She’s totally uninterested in knowledge that I impart. That doesn’t mean to say I just spout a load of trivia to make myself sound intelligent and that I know a lot of things. What I mean is, for example, she was telling me of this situation and a professional had made it known that a particular service was available. My friend named that service and I knew what it was and said, “Oh yes, we offer that service at the organisation I work at.” She completely ignored what I said and went onto say that she and her husband weren’t consenting to it until they knew exactly what it was, yet here was the perfect opportunity for her to ask me what that service involved. I just felt she didn’t want to know any more about what I said because it came from me, so I just shut up.

There have been other things: when she’s been harping on about certain services not being available. She said she’d even spoke to quite a senior professional who told her so. Yet, when I went to the individual organisations’ websites, I did indeed find out that what my friend said wasn’t available was in fact available. It left me in doubt as to whether she actually had spoken to this senior professional because they should have known this since they oversee all these organisations. Clearly my friend hadn’t looked at these websites because the information is there in black and white. So when she next moaned about this service not being available I suggested she look at the individual organisations’ websites and I explained what I found. Then, the next time we spoke, she again moaned these services weren’t available. It seemed she not only chose to ignore what I’d said, she didn’t even bother to check for herself whether what I’d said was true or not! This was further evident because she tried to tell me the location of one of the organisations. Had she actually checked that particular organisation's website, its address is on the main page and she would have known it wasn’t where she thought it was. It just feels as if she’s decided that what comes out of my mouth isn’t worth listening to.

I was confiding in this with my Mum and later, my boss for a professional perspective because my friend’s grievances involve people in the same profession as us which is why I feel insulted at some of the things my friend has been saying. Both my Mum and my boss said it sounded like my friend wanted people to do the leg-work for her. I sort of agreed with them and said, “Yes, this might be my friend’s way of asking for help by saying this or that isn’t available which can set other people off looking just to see what is actually available but she doesn’t do anything with the knowledge given to her. She ignores it and still maintains that it doesn’t exist.”

So, as you can see, my friend is not the easiest person to talk to face-to-face. I certainly don’t feel confident in addressing issues in person with her as I just don’t feel I’d get to say what I needed to say before I’m interrupted.

I’ve drafted a letter (or email) to her and have been going through it with a fine-tooth comb because I don’t want her to feel attacked even though the letter explains that some of things she’s said has hurt my feelings, I’ve felt insulted and I’ve felt attacked by her.

In this case, would you think a letter/email is appropriate? And if so, would you want me to post it here for you to check what I intend to write just to make sure I don’t write anything that will antagonise or insult because that is not my goal?

Many thanks for your help.
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Re: To send a letter?

Postby retrochav » Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:42 am

my advice would be to write an email, send it to yourself and read it a day later, or ask a trusted friend to read it. You cant always get the tone that a letter/email was written in, so misunderstanding can happen.

It appears you have little other option if your friend isnt aware of the give and take of conversation. So correspondence is appropriate. Try to raise the issues as tactfully as you can, unless you see no reasons to keep the friendship going.

You might be suprised to find you friend is very insecure, so hoggs conversation to hide her shyness. A well written note will help her see the problem without crushing her.
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Postby Still_in_Chains » Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:11 pm

Thank you retrochav. I really appreciate your reply. I'm trying to get as much feedback as I can on this before I proceed, so I'm asking around.

Would you mind letting me know what you think of this, please? I mention Open Diary which is where the full story is. If you have an OD and feel it would benefit reading it, just let me know and I'll pm you the link. Thank you in anticipation.



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Last edited by Still_in_Chains on Sat Nov 24, 2007 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby HappyGoLucky » Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:21 pm

I think that she keeps on dominating the conversations because she is just shy and afraid that you wouldn't bother about her if she didn't keep on talking.

Your letter seems alright to me - Not too aggressive and polite. I guess it's also up to her about this - whether she chooses to acknowledge it or ignore it.

Hope it all works out between you and your friend.
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Postby Pwif » Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:11 pm

I think your letter is extremely articulately written. If your friend is a true friend, she will take on board your very valid points. She may well initially be knocked sideways, and it may take her a few days to mull over what you have written, and for her to get her thoughts together, so don't expect a quick response.

If she really wants your friendship to work, she will want to sit down with you and clear up these issues. She may well have issues about you that she hasn't aired before. You have to be prepared for this. However, if she either ignores the letter or rants back at you and puts the blame firmly on you, I would consider that the friendship had run its course.

Friendships are precious and should be nurtured. Do not waste time and effort with someone who does not treat you well.
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Postby gatekeeper » Sun Nov 04, 2007 4:10 pm

I think there is no problem in sending a letter/email when you feel you cannot tackle issues with a friend face to face. I wrote a 1500 word letter to a friend of mine, basically poured my heart out to her in it.

Your friend sounds like me, I talk without thinking, constantly ranting away and dominating conversations. My friend misunderstood and felt I just thought myself as superior to others. In fact, I do this to people I feel comfortable with, I don't think while talking to them.

I want my opinions heard because I care for my friends and want to give them my best. I'd kick myself if I held back because the advise doesn't sound too pleasing, causing my friend to make a wrong decision.

Your letter sounds sincere. Would you like to add how you appreciate her friendship which is why you're anxious to resolve this and not let this affect your friendship?
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Postby Still_in_Chains » Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:57 pm

Thank you all for your thoughtful replies. They are very much appreciated.

-W3N-
Hmm, I don’t know about shy. It just doesn’t ‘fit’ her. Yes, she could be afraid. Of what though, I’m not sure. I would bother with her if she stopped talking. Just because a person pauses, I don’t think any less of them.

Pwif
Thank you, I hope she does want to discuss this after reading the letter and you’re right, she may have issues with me she hasn’t aired before. Sometimes I get the feeling she doesn’t really like me at all and I just fill a gap in her life. If that is the case then, yes, the friendship is better to be dissolved, I don’t really want to visit with someone who disrespects me yet expects me to give me their full attention. It doesn’t feel right.

Funny you should say ‘don’t expect a quick response’. I dreamt last night she read the email. I knew she’d read it because I use readnotify and I received the report to say it had been read. Then she visited as normal but never said a word about the email. So I asked what her thoughts were on the email and she asked, “What email?” Wow, profound dream!

Gatekeeper
Thank you for your reassurance. I’m beginning to feel less cowardly about sending a letter/email now. How did your friend take your 1500 word letter? Was the issue resolved?

You’ve offered me another perspective about the possible insights of my friend’s character which is interesting. The way your friend misunderstood is exactly how I sense my friend feels. From some of the things she’s said, it’s like her intelligence has been brought into question (which I doubt) and she’s now attacking everyone, her husband, her daughter, her daughter’s school, possibly me due to my job. It doesn’t feel very nice.

Thank you also for your suggested addition, it does help wrap it all up nicely and leaves with the impression that this isn’t a falling out or a cessation to the friendship and it also leave it open for resolution. That’s invaluable.

Thank you all for your replies. They have been reassuring :)
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Postby Bel Bel » Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:43 pm

I think letters are a great way to communicate and I congratulate you on such a well written one balanced with your worries and still managing to give her praise so she doesn't feel horrible about herself
Although if she is a decent friend she will feel mortified and probalby respond very qucikly and full of apology
Otherwise as you have said yourself in repsonse to pwif if it goes the wrong way then dissolv ethe friendship becasue it's not much of one anywa
Please let us know how your letter is received
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Postby Still_in_Chains » Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:38 pm

Hello again, everyone.

I want to thank you all for taking the time to read these posts and submit your replies. Your efforts are appreciated.

I've sent the email-letter this morning. Someone suggested I remove the reference to being paranoid as they felt she might use it to get herself off the hook and make it out like I am being paranoid.

My stomach feels like it's stepped into an elevator shaft. I feel sorry for her husband when she reads it because no doubt she'll have one heck of rant at him first. Time will tell...

Thank you again for all your help.

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Postby Bel Bel » Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:48 pm

Please let us know what response you get
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Postby Moose » Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:12 am

Still_in_Chains wrote:I've not heard from my friend but I don't know if she's opened her email yet. She usually doesn't check emails until early evening and even then it's not every day.

I put ReadNotify on it and it works for the most part but not in 100% of the cases. For instance, I've sent many an email to Mum but not received any receipt from ReadNotify, nor is it listed on my account there as being opened yet I receive a reply from Mum saying thanks for the email so I know it's not 100% reliable.

So, my friend may have opened her email. Last week when she asked about coming round on the Wednesday (14th) and I was spending time with my youngest DS, getting his eye test, going out to eat, playing battleships etc, she mentioned next Thursday evening (tonight) so I'm expecting a text today about this evening. I hope she opens the email before then though. I definitely want her to read it first otherwise it'll feel awkward seeing her, pretending every thing's ok and there's been this email sat in her account since Tuesday! She'd wonder why I hadn't said anything if she were to come tonight.

It doesn't help that I've gone over quota on my text messages. Bad timing, or what!

Oh, this is so difficult!
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Postby Moose » Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:13 am

-W3N- wrote:Yes, it's so hard to be patient, isn't it?

While waiting for her reply, why don't you keep yourself busy? Hopefully she does read it and replies. You don't really need to worry that your letter isn't good or something because I think it is very well-written.

Good luck and tell us her response.
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Postby Moose » Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:14 am

Still_in_Chains wrote:Hi -W3N-

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I'm axious about the wait but what's really bothering me at the moment is if she might not have read the email yet and I'm concerned if, in the meantime, she texts me to come round tonight (I already put her off last week as I had plans).

I'm praying she checks her email first, but if she doesn't and I get that text...

[-o<


Bel Bel wrote:why don't you tell het to check her e mail before she comes over so you can have a chat about the e mail you sent
if she says why just tell her to read it and she'll understand


-W3N- wrote:Yea, I was about to say what Bel Bel said. Tell her to check it if it'll put your mind at ease. It's better to be certain that she's going to read it than continue worrying.
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Postby Moose » Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:16 am

Still_in_Chains wrote:
I’m getting a bit paranoid after seeking advice on the Net, just in case she has a scout around and comes across something I’ve written. So, if you’d like to know the details, you can PM me your email and I’ll tell you more.

Thank you all for your support. It was much appreciated.

By the way, I feel very relived now.

Take care
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