Pretend and patronizing listeners

Did you ever have this happen to you? You are on the phone with someone who you can tell is not giving you their attention. You can hear them opening and closing tabs on their computer while you are pouring your heart out. Then they make a response proving they were not listening.

I would just like those who do this to their friends- that the friend they are disrespecting likely knows you do this. But they are too polite and hurt to tell you. If you are not actively listening to a person on the telephone.... It does show no matter how clever you think you are covering up. I had my partner and one friend I really believed in do this to me. And it really really hurts when people pretend to be friend and brush you off when you need someone to care.

5 Replies

  • Hello Lacey

    That is how I find people now.

    I am unable to talk to workmen or the phone, sometimes I also have problems when walking into shops and now my wife answers all the phone calls and do any negotiations that need to be undertaken. Now I suppose I feel people are pulling the wool over my eyes so i now just let the whole problems I suffer go over the to of my head.

    Mind one thing I seem to be good at is brainstorming where I am not actually making decisions, just pushing ideas, so now I do that for the NHS I suppose all they will do if I suggest something strange they will just Lol and think I am joking. Although as mentioned earlier I hate making decisions, so work out that for me.

    One thing we do, and I do not find unpleasant is going around Historic Houses and National Trust, I can work out the age of things and periods of history, again I do not have to converse.

    With me I am always looking for the bad, never the good and that makes me very insular.


  • Hi yes I hate this too but I don't blame other people as they cannot always be supportive to your feelings as and when you need it. Don't forget others have their own problems too. I have found the best way is to do it in person and don't forget to listen to your friend as well when they pour out their woes because sure as the sun is shining they have their own. When I have done this we end up supporting each other, putting the world to rights, and laughing our socks off. This feels wonderful. It often isn't necessary to talk about your depression - often just being with a friend is enough to make you feel a bit better. Knowing someone cares....

    Sometime a friend just needs your full attention and this always puts me in mind of a night out I had many years ago and came back er...rather the worse for wear. My oldest friend rang at midnight saying her father had just dropped dead in front of her. I tried to give her all the support I could while knowing because I was drunk it was probably not sufficient. I told her years later how I felt and she said don't be daft I was there for her and that was what counted.

    I hope this helps. Bev xx

  • Hi Bev, thank-you for your reply. My friend who let me down - that does not know she did let me down- called me specifically because of my major depressive episode that had me almost fired at work. Her job is actually to protect people from discrimination in the workplace but in a different region than me. I've decided it is the thought that counts. But she called me because she wanted to talk about my case. Sharing my feelings to her felt like someone ordered the steak and lobster and top wine- only to decide they don't want it arrives to the table- and I still pay the bill- and we both go home hungry and in seperate directions. For me to open up to someone is very difficult.

    My partner I have actually seen put down the telephone receiver while his friends are talking to him. The telephone will be on the table with his friend still talking while he flips threw televisionchannels or a newspaper. And the telephone is not on speaker phone or anything. And i know for a fact he has down that to me.

    Guess it is a pet peeve of mine. But i think if you are on the phone speaking with someone you should be an active listener and share in on the conversation. Otherwise I think both people's time is being disrespected. Of course if someone is drunk or on heavy cold medications it is different than someone making a conscious decision to not listen. My poor mother years ago would call me drunk and pass out on the floor, knock things off tables. It was scary when the phone went dead and waiting and waiting for her to ring back. I guess everyone is doing the best they can.

    It is good you were there for your friend at such a difficult time in her life. My young cousin just died donating his kidney to his father- and that night my mother stayed up all night talking to my cousins mom and I know for certain my mother would of had more than a few drinks. That is true friendship and love to be chosen to spend the time after someone's dad passed away front of them. You can tell even from your posts you must be a very good friend.

  • Not sure about that Lacey but thank you anyway. I didn't fully realise the situation you were describing but maybe she was trying to think of practical ways to help you rather than listening to how you feel so much?

    True friends won't treat you that way.

    I am so sorry about your cousin and how awful especially for his parents. Bev x

  • Thank-you Bev. When I got the phone call from my mother I knew it was bad news about the operation. I figured the dad died as he was the one so sick to need the kidney. I said to my mother that my cousin must be very devastated he donated his kidney and it could not save his dad. And my mother said my young cousin was the one who died. My stomach felt like dropped to the bottom of an elevator upon hearing the news. My cousin was married with 3 young children. . The father's body accepted the kidney of his deceased son but his dad flat out refused all pain medication because of what he felt loosing his son. My cousin quietly volunteered to help homeless people which no one knew about until his death. Honestly if I could sign my life in exchange for his I would seriously consider it as he was a husband and father with such a geninue heart. And no on depends on me. I have another cousin who shot himself and he was a lovely person also. I remember the last time we spoke and the look he had in his eyes. As I also suffer from depression I know why my cousin must of thought this was his only way to peace. But I also know my cousin was tragically wrong because the world was a better place with him in it. Honestly I think loosing a family member to suicide helped me see that no matter how lost we become in our illness - suicide is never the right option. My last conversation with my cousin was before I went on an overseas holiday. He said he wished he could do something like that. And I said he could! I would love to had him along with me. But he sadly shook his head back and forth and turned away. Depression kills people. And reaching out and talking to the right people can bring relief and hope from depression. So I have seen both sides. I am not close to my family now but I can remember a time when things were a bit different. I also had an aunt suffering from schizophrenia. When she was found dead they thought at first she commuted suicide but it was found out she actually choked on food. And there was evidence saying she tried to do the Hemlich ? Manoeuvre on herself. the family felt very guilty they thought at first tried to commit suicide. I was very young at the time and remember her being mocked for having schizophrenia by my family. My aunt would give my father very expensive and sentimental gifts- and every one of her gifts were laughed at and mocked with some comment about her schizophrenia. She liked greeting cards with long poems and sent them often to my father. I remember thinking I wish all the sentiment in those cards were true and reciprocated. I really don't like most of my family and have no contact with anyone other than my own mother every week on the phone. I have seen how cruel and insincere they are. And my own battles with anorexica from a young age were seen as my way to embarrass the family. We are a family layered in mental illness yet those you suffer it themselves seem to be the ones being even harder on the ones they used to say they loved.

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