Post-baby, friend's behavior has been awful. How do I deal?
May 20, 2010 7:25 AM Subscribe
Friend has changed significantly after having a baby. Is this normal? How can I continue to be supportive when she's difficult to be around?
posted by pecanpies to human relations (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A very close friend had a baby in October of last year. Since the birth, she has become increasingly bossy, demanding, and selfish, to the point where it's unpleasant to be around her. Examples of the behavior that's bothering me:
- Demanding that I carry something, bring her something, hold something, do something for her, etc. Never a please or thank you - just the demand.
- Even if it's just the 2 of us spending time together (or the 3 of us, counting baby), she thinks nothing of texting other friends or talking on her cell and ignoring me, sometimes for extended periods of time.
- Talking down to others, criticizing appearance, behavior, choices, etc. Making fun of others. Bringing up embarrassing things that have happened to other people in the past and making them the butt of jokes. Good-natured teasing wouldn't bother me so much, but sometimes she can be genuinely hurtful or cruel.
- If we're out in a group and there's a line, she gets in front of all of us. If we're riding in a car together, she always takes the front seat. If there's only one of something left, she'll take it. (This sounds excruciatingly petty, and perhaps it is - it's just that she consistently acts as though she deserves the "best" of whatever there is, regardless of others. Perhaps it's the inconsiderateness that's bothering me. Or maybe I'm just being petty.)
These are just a few examples of her self-centered behavior. My main concern is that, while she's always exhibited these traits to some degree, they've become increasingly amplified since she's had the baby. Is this "normal" or has anyone else seen this (or gone through it themselves)? Is this just a reaction to stress? She does have a full-time nanny who works 50 hours/week, plus family who typically watch the baby during part of the weekend, but I realize simply having a child, regardless of how much time you actually spend caring for it, can be extremely demanding and stressful.
We've been friends for years and I don't want to lose or damage this friendship if this is just a phase. How can I be supportive even though her behavior is driving me crazy?