I'm depressed and need my friends. How do I let them know?
January 11, 2010 5:24 PM   Subscribe

I was fired last week, and I've been feeling very down since then. I need my friends to take spend some extra time with me this week. Although I wrote an email to them and explained what happened and how I needed a night out or two, none of them have responded. How do I let my friends know about my level of depression and how much I need them right now without alarming them or seeming manipulative?

I was just abruptly fired, and my boss said some pretty horrible things about my character that rocked my world. Now I'm left wondering if I'm a terrible person and if the things she said about me are true, and I spent this weekend feeling absolutely miserable because although I wrote an email to ask my friends for their time and their support this weekend, no one responded. I spent my weekend alone watching TV and absolutely loathing myself. Although I'm sure my friends are just busy or don't realize the depths of my depression right now, I'm feeling very unworthy as a person at present and in my heart wonder if the people I call my friends don't like me because I'm truly all the things my boss thinks I am.

I need some extra TLC and don't know how to ask for it. I'm very experienced with my own depression and know that these feelings of despair will go away within a week or two if I have a lot of company and activity. The last time I asked for help from my friends was four years ago, when I was deeply depressed and thinking of hurting myself, and they responded with all of the energy and commitment I could ever want. My depression isn't so severe that I want to harm myself this time, but I need kindness and time with people who love me and will be patient with me all the same. How do I explain how depressed I am to my friends and how much I need them without alarming them? Will sending them individuals emails seem manipulative? Will my friends feel as though they're being forced to spend time with me or that I'm threatening them with my depression? I would certainly feel obligated to spend time with a friend who was severely depressed even if I were very busy, and I don't want my friends to resent me for feeling that obligation. If you were a friend of mine, what sort of email would strike the right chord or the wrong one? Is there any way to do it, or is asking for help such a downer that none of my friends will want to know me anymore? Last time I didn't care because it really seemed like a matter of life or death, but this time I'm ashamed of asking for help.

For the record, I am on antidepressants and in therapy for clinical depression, but I don't think that anything works for situational depression quite like the support of friends.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (37 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
This is one of those times a phone call works better than an email.
posted by GuyZero at 5:28 PM on January 11, 2010 [18 favorites]

Why don't you try calling up a couple of your closest friends and asking them when they are free in the coming week to come over or to go out? I know that I sometimes forget about e-mails after I have read them (even when I mean to respond later). Also, a phone call is much more personal and lets your friends know that you want to see them in particular, not just any person.
posted by tyris33 at 5:29 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sorry to hear about this, losing a job is always shitty.

Some people don't check their email all that much. Also, frankly, some people are better friends than others. I have friends who I consider literally like siblings, and some who are nice people but... not at that level.

Just pick your one best friend and call him or her on the phone and talk it out. Just explain how you feel in straightforward terms, like you did here, and I'm sure your friend will be there for you in whatever capacity you need.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:31 PM on January 11, 2010

Pick up the phone, call a friend and say "I could really use some company this weekend. How about dinner on Saturday?" If the person who answers the phone is unable to have dinner on Saturday, pick up the phone and call someone else. Adjust day/time/activity to suit tastes. Repeat as necessary.

I understand that it's hard because it's risky. I know when I'm in that place I'd rather be alone because I didn't ask than alone because I asked and someone said no, but even I who do that too know it's unhealthy. But really armor yourself up a little emotionally, in case the person you're talking to is busy, and call.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:32 PM on January 11, 2010 [3 favorites]

It sounds like you wrote a single e-mail that you sent to multiple people. This usually isn't a way to get a real response -- if it's a mass e-mail, then no single individual feels like it's pointed at them.

If you need someone, contact them, individually. The phone, like people have said, is a good way to manage this. But also just an e-mail sent to an individual, "Hey, Bob, I would really appreciate it if we could hang out sometime -- soon. Things have been tough, and I could really use some good Bob-time."
posted by Ms. Saint at 5:39 PM on January 11, 2010 [7 favorites]

A lot of times friends are at a loss to know what to do and need to be told; when my friends are depressed I very much want to help but everything I think of to do I worry might depress them for some other reason. For example, if a friend has a break-up, I'll think we should see a movie, but then I think what if there are romances in the movie or something? So I'll think well, we can go out and do this... but there will probably be couples everywhere. Some of the thoughts are really silly but I think a lot of people get that "oh shit, don't make it worse" hypersensitivity when someone is already upset. It might help if you think of a particular activity and invite people.
posted by Nattie at 5:55 PM on January 11, 2010 [4 favorites]

I've received that kind of mass email before. And I've rolled my eyes and ignored it.

From friends who regularly have drama and seem to need to offload regardless of their reception from me or anyone else.

It's a very different thing to getting a phone call or personalised email asking a friend on a playdate. The "whole of address book" email thing means you don't really care who you spend time with, just so long as they entertain you. I have found that kind of email to be offensive and annoying.

Write or phone individually. Don't play too hard on the "I'm so depressed you need to stop me falling in to a hole" kind of interaction. Nobody wants to volunteer for that kind of playdate. Just say you're at a loose end and could do with some company. And when you do find an available friend... don't whinge and complain. You're depressed, you've lost your job... you need to focus on something external or it's going to get a lot worse and you'll alienate your friends.

Be open to other folk and their lives, and spend some quiet alone time reflecting on what made your boss say what they said. Remember your friends are for friendship, your therapist is for therapy.Best of luck possum.
posted by taff at 6:10 PM on January 11, 2010 [13 favorites]

This is not intended to be cruel or dismissive at all. But from the way you wrote this ask me, I feel like you said "depression" every other word, your levels of depression, the depth of your depression. To my mind, your level of depression is a conversation for your therapist and as a friend, it sounds like it would be depressing to hang out with you. Don't treat your friends like antidepressants, and it's not their job to shore you up when bad stuff happens.

So I think you need to change your tactic. Figure out a fun event that would cheer you up in the next week or so, something lighthearted and fun. A movie. Bowling. A nice, fun, silly, cocktail-drenched dinner. And pick up the phone to each person and say, confidently, that you are putting bad behind you, you want to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and find something to celebrate with your best friends. Ask each friend for two or three days each might be available.

People have busy schedules, and it can be hard to get everyone in the same place at the same time. Don't mention your depression 13 times (like you did here, including title and tags). At least make an effort to make it seem like it would be fun to hang out with you. I am truly, truly not saying this in a cruel, critical, hateful way - but just that sometimes in order to not be depressed, you have to pretend not to be depressed.
posted by bunnycup at 6:17 PM on January 11, 2010 [13 favorites]

Not sure how your friendships operate but the people I rely on when I'm feeling like straight-up doo-doo are like siblings to me. So there are no holds barred. If I don't get a response, they not only get another email explaining the severity of the sitch, they will get a call and texts. It sounds like doing more outreach might be in order and also being very specific about what you need. Don't feel shame about being vulnerable or stating what you need no matter how needy it may seem. Dude, they're your friends. An email or communication that states how you're feeling and what you need (some phone calls, a hang out session, a meal together...etc.) would get my attention.

I'm sorry you're feeling this way and that your former boss didn't use enough tact or wasn't professional enough to not unload on you. Good luck.
posted by Hydrofiend at 6:20 PM on January 11, 2010

I say the below as a person who also suffers from chronic depression and social anxiety.

It might be healthy for you to make a distinction between your friends being true friends and wishing you the best, and your friends being willing to get all tangled up in your issues.

Also, depending on what your boss said, and what you said in your email, you might be dealing with some issues right now that your friends would rather not be asked to express an opinion about. They might be very afraid of sitting across from a depressed, drunk, recently-fired you, urgently asking "I'm not really like that, am I? Am I?!"

You definitely should not be dealing with this all alone. On the other hand, you are not helping yourself with this idea that if you get your friends' support, you'll be okay, but if you don't, then you won't. It's not your friends who have to work through your issues and confirm your rightful place in this world; it's you. What you need is a sympathetic ear, and you should find one: a doctor, a therapist, a family member maybe... but your friends are ultimately not responsible for your mental well-being. And honestly, the fact that you think they are is very likely connected to their current lack of response. Notice that you're not asking us for help with working through your issues... you're asking us for help with compelling your friends to help you work through your issues.

Note that I'm really not telling you to be alone. And if one of your friends responds, then that's great. But you are already dealing with some difficult issues; holding your friends responsible for getting you through this is not ultimately going to help you or your relationship with them.
posted by bingo at 6:27 PM on January 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Dude, your boss is an asshole. I've fired over 40 people so far, and I have NEVER EVER done it with such venom. Your situation is making me so damn angry, I can't believe it.

If your boss is the kind of dude who does that, then fuck him. His comments don't matter. If he had the balls or professionalism to give you constructive criticism while you WERE an employee, it would be a totally different case, but apparently he kept his mouth shut, until you weren't part of the company anymore to tell you that.

Fuck him...you are NOT your job. I don't know who you are, but based solely on the words you wrote, I'm guessing you are a LOT better than how your boss portrayed to you.

If I were you, I'd be ecstatic that you found out this guy was a jerk before you spent any additional time working for him.

Good luck with your friends. If you aren't at a drinking with your friends, go to a bar and find someone attractive and tell them about how you don't work for a loser boss anymore. That would make you my hero, I don't understand why that wouldn't make you their hero. Heroes get free drinks.

Keep the drinking in check, though, and good luck,
posted by hal_c_on at 6:35 PM on January 11, 2010 [5 favorites]

1. Firing someone should never involve insults or a character assassination. Depending on how big the company is, I almost wonder if it's worth filing a complaint.

2. MoodGYM will make you feel SO MUCH BETTER. Go do that right now, seriously.

3. It sucks your friends haven't stepped up yet, but I think you're smart to attribute it to their being busy more so than disliking you. I would contact people one by one rather than in a group email. Phone, Facebook chat, or regular chat might be a good way to open up the lines of communication, and don't be shy to propose a date yourself. "Hey Michelle, I'm feeling a little lost after losing my job, you free for dinner tomorrow?" is better than "Hey friends, could you all reach out to me right now?"

4. You might actually enjoy seeing the movie "Up In The Air" - George Clooney plays a professional firer, and seeing how humiliated and shaken the people he fires feel (not all are actors, some are just regular people who were recently fired) may make you feel less alone.

5. Everybody's been fired at some point. It's humiliating and shitty but it happens to all of us. You're not alone. I got fired and it was such a horrible low point. But time passed and I'm OK now. You will be too. Go easy on yourself. Take care & good luck!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 6:46 PM on January 11, 2010 [5 favorites]

This sounds like the same group of friends who were there for you four years ago, so I would not take a lack of response personally. My guess is that in the past four years, marriages/committed relationships have been established, children have been born, mortgages and other serious financial obligations have been incurred, and careers have become far more complicated. Basically, life has become more complicated for everyone, and your friends are not as free to be there for you as they were in the past, and while lost in the busy day to day of their own lives, are probably thinking that everyone else is more able to step up and already has done so.

That said, you still need the support of your friends, so I would start with individual emails directly asking for what you need. Something along the lines of, "Dear Friend, As you know, I am going through a tough time since being let go. I know everyone is really busy, but could we please grab dinner (or a drink/lunch/go for a walk/etc) sometime this week? I'm feeling very down and struggling a bit, and really need the company." Calling your friends just to talk is also a good way to connect and ask for some help. I'm sure you will get the support you need as soon as people realize exactly how hard of a time you are having and how much they personally can help.

Lastly, I am sorry your boss was so brutal when she let you go. That is uncalled for, unprofessional, and in my opinion, asking for a karmic ass-kicking which will find her eventually. In the meantime, take care of you. It may take time, but it will get better. I hope things turn around and get better for you soon. Best of luck.
posted by katemcd at 7:00 PM on January 11, 2010

A friend of mine who I rarely speak to outside of in person called me up last week and opened quite simply, "I could really use a friend right now.".

Since we don't live in the same city, we've been talking daily on the phone/internet and I went to see her this last weekend to hang out and distract her a bit from the events of her week. Sometimes you just need to ask explicitly! If your friends are anything like me, they'll take you seriously and step up.
posted by sunshinesky at 7:07 PM on January 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

How do I let my friends know about my level of depression and how much I need them right now without alarming them or seeming manipulative?

Do you have a friend who's a great listener? Call him/her. Explain your situation and ask him/her to listen to you vent for a bit. Ask this friend to check on you and/or let your other friends know you're going through a rough time.

Do you have a friend who makes lists and plans and organizes things? Call him/her. Explain your situation and ask him/her to help you plan a morale-boosting night out; ask this friend to call some other friends to come along.
posted by Meg_Murry at 7:11 PM on January 11, 2010

I also came in here to echo what hal_c_on and pseudostrabismus said about your boss. There was absolutely no reason for that sort of behavior on their behalf and depending on where you live, there is likely to be a way for you to turn them in. From as much as I've read, a good abundance of places require you to have at least one or two bad reviews before getting snipped.

It bothers me greatly that instead of realizing your boss was entirely out-of-line and should never have said what they did, that you're taking them to heart and wallowing in defeat. If what you mentioned about their verbal shitstorm is really true, you need to tell someone besides your therapist and a pill.

For not just your own sake, but that of future employees and your own boss' health.
posted by june made him a gemini at 7:13 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

I hate to say this but Bunnycup is right.
posted by 2oh1 at 7:13 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

But do please be explicit with friends on a one-on-one basis if you need them. If there are one or two in particular that you know you can confide in, let them know that you place such trust in them and could really use them right now.
posted by june made him a gemini at 7:14 PM on January 11, 2010

Ugh. I'm sort of new to AskMefi and don't really know how to follow up an anonymous question, so I'll just admit that I'm the one who posted this.

1. To bunnycup and bingo: You both basically called me self-absorbed and boring, and you don't know anything about me except for this question. I am not stupid enough to be depressed in front of my friends or to be depressing company. I have experience with deep depression (sorry that I repeated that word so many times; it's mostly that I'm not a very good writer and don't have a large vocabulary), and I leave my issues for my therapist, which is why I mentioned that I have one. I would never ask my friends, "Am I really XYZ?" etc., or put them in an awful social situation like that, and nothing in my question suggested that I would. I am asking how to ask my friends for help, not whether or not I myself am a shitty friend, as you implicitly suggested I am, and I'm asking them to spend some time with me, not asking them to solve my problems. I'm glad that relying only on therapists works for you. If you've never had to figure out how to say to someone, "I need a friend right now," you're lucky, but I'm not you.

2. Suggesting that I call my friends is a good idea. My friends are not the phone type, though; they're all e-mail/text people. They're more likely to respond to emails.

3. Thank you to those who suggested I lay off the mass emails. I see how that could be taken the wrong way. At the time, I thought I was taking the burden off of my friends because no one person would feel responsible for taking care of me and would help to keep the tone lighthearted; also I didn't want to write the email about my boss a million times. In hindsight, I shouldn't have written the e-mail in such a jokey way (It was mostly, "Here's what just happened at work; it was a doozy. Can you believe it? Guys, I'm going to need cheering up this week, please help me out and let me know when you'll be drunk!"), and I should have written personalized emails because I'm sure it did look as though I was desperate to be entertained by just anyone.

I appreciate all who answered helpfully and did not imply that I was a bad friend myself. You've helped me a lot.
posted by coffeeflavored at 7:33 PM on January 11, 2010

I wouldn't beanplate the reason for a lack of response, given the fact that it was a mass email. When you don't solicit time/support one on one, frankly everyone will assume someone else will step up to provide quality time.

The more names listed in the addressee field on an email, the less important it feels for me to respond and the more quickly it's forgotten.
posted by availablelight at 7:39 PM on January 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Actually, rereading my question, I can see where bingo and bunnycup got the impression they did. Apologies. I was wrong and too defensive.

But to any future advice givers, please keep in mind that I know enough to pretend to not to be depressed in front of them or to ask them for help with my problems. I am just asking them to spend time with me, and I just want to know how to do it without being too much of a downer while still letting them know that I do honestly need some friend time.
posted by coffeeflavored at 7:40 PM on January 11, 2010

OP, I want to assure you that not for a moment did I consider you either self-absorbed or boring (in fact, I pointed out twice out how very much I didn't intend to sound mean or critical). When you want to improve your own mood and/or get friends out of the woodwork to support you, being upbeat is a great way to do it (and the link I provided gives some insight on the factual basis as to why).

When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer, and more so when she died of it last year, I had to figure out how to say "I need a friend right now," and I have struggled with (diagnosed, clinical) depression for over 10 years. I'm not talking out of my butt here. I've found that most of my friends have hung in there, and I truly believe that is in part because I seek to build positive experiences with the friendships. Being supported by friends does not require a blow-by-blow on your exact level of depression. You are right; I do not know you beyond this question, but the way you spoke here gives me my only possible insight into how you speak and communicate. You asked for insight on speech and communication. I don't want to be an armchair psychiatrist for you, but I do want to give you my insight as to a similar problem that I've dealt with on a pretty tragic level (i.e. needing support in a very, very bad time).

I certainly don't want to harangue you, and I only wanted to post again to try to make it more clear how very little I am calling you dumb. Mentioning the number of times you used the word depression was done not to belittle you, but to give you some feedback (since you asked for it) on what might have happened in why you didn't hear back from your friends. It's MORE than okay with me if you don't want to take my advice, but please don't read into it criticism of you or belittling of your circumstances.

It does sound like you are very down on yourself right now and self-doubtful, and I am very sorry for that.
posted by bunnycup at 7:50 PM on January 11, 2010 [8 favorites]

bunnycup, although it's not completely relevant, I want you to know that although I don't post here often, I do know who you are as a poster and how thoughtful you are, which is what made me think, "Wait a minute, it was bunnycup that wrote that, " go back to my original question, and see how poorly I had worded it and that I was being defensive in a situation that didn't merit that reaction. I appreciate your answering me even though I was being bratty up there.
posted by coffeeflavored at 7:56 PM on January 11, 2010

[word-- if anyone has the authority to give that advice to someone going through a tough time without coming off as clueless or critical....it's bunnycup.]
posted by availablelight at 8:02 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sometimes spamfilters will filter out e-mails with a lot of addresses in them, so it may be that some of your friends didn't even get your e-mail.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:14 PM on January 11, 2010

I second bunnycup. I had a similar experience last year, with awful results. I realized I was going about it all wrong, because even though I was asking my friends, I hadn't taken into consideration how much crap they were going through in their lives--which I didn't even know about. Coming off as needy can alienate people.

Make it easy for them to join you, by saying that you're doing such-and-such, and you'd love for them to join you. If no one can come, go out anyways and try to meet new people. Or, you could invite them to join in some sort of bitchfest, and let it be known that you're having a night where everyone can vent, the more the merrier.

There is also loads of psychological research (and now a great book) backing the idea that people should act the way they want to feel. Fight the urge to wallow, and start making yourself feel better.
posted by blazingunicorn at 8:28 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Your request sounds entirely reasonable. I'm sure many of them would love to talk to you and would not find the request a burden. My honest assessment is that the depression is making you worry about this more than you need to. You sound like a considerate person, so I would feel confident that you will find a way to ask that is not be overly burdensome or rude.

I don't think it would be at all out of line to send some individual email requests. How about, "Hi Suzy, What are you up to this weekend? I'm actually really pretty bummed about getting fired, and you always make me laugh. Any chance you have some free time? We could go back to that gallery we liked! But honestly, I don't care what we do." or "Hi Jake, How's the fam? What do you guys have going on this week? Any chance I could drop by for a bit -- maybe help you take the twins to the park and give Debbie a little time to herself? I've been trying to laugh it off, but honestly i'm a little rattled by what my boss said, and I'd love a reason to get out of the house."

You sent the funny public press release, but now you're contacting your close friends with the inside story, that you really could use a friend right now.

Just last week, I got an email request like this:"hey salvia, do you have any time to chat this weekend? I've been obsessing over that Jim thing, and could really use a friend to talk to, and you always seem to really understand." I found that refreshingly direct, not needy. It didn't hurt that it came with a compliment. ("I need the kind of advice / fun / laughs that YOU are so good at giving.") Two weeks before that I got a similarly direct request (though on a more professional topic). To be honest, those requests made me feel like people liked and appreciated me; I was honored they turned to me for help, among all the people they know.

People can always say, "Oh, I really wish I could but my schedule is booked completely full." But definitely ask. They're your friends! They love you and want to take care of you when you need a hand.
posted by salvia at 1:39 AM on January 12, 2010

Mate this has happened to me too (the emailing friends bit). You need to get on the phone and lay it out, dawg. Email ain't the thing for this.

+1 pseudostrabismus, too.
posted by Sutekh at 2:56 AM on January 12, 2010

There have been a lot of good comments here, especially bunnycup's and salvia's. I would like to nth the idea of suggesting a specific plan to individual people. It can be scary for the recipient of your e-mail to think up something themself (IE, they are thinking, did anon really want to hang out with me or just tell me he was fired, or maybe I shouldn't invite him out to X place because it make him feel worse for Y reason). Good luck, and don't be shy about asking your friends to hang out.
posted by fermezporte at 5:38 AM on January 12, 2010

2. Suggesting that I call my friends is a good idea. My friends are not the phone type, though; they're all e-mail/text people. They're more likely to respond to emails.

I am not a phone person at all, but that's why I took it all the more seriously when I received a call- I know no one would call me unless it was really important.
posted by sunshinesky at 5:40 AM on January 12, 2010

I don't know how close you are to your friends, obviously. But in my experience, friends may well be too busy for "I'd like to hang out" but are NEVER too busy for "I'm floundering here and need help." I say this as someone who's been on the asking and receiving end of such requests.

I'm kind of surprised by the responses here that suggest you should sweeten your wording or downplay your neediness at the moment. There are times in anyone's life when time with friends is a necessity, and being fired (even without the brutal personal commentary) easily fits that category. You do need someone to commiserate with you at the moment, and there's nothing wrong with asking for exactly that.

And yeah, who knows, your needs right now may come at a time that's inconvenient for your friends. That's just life. If they are real friends, they'll make time to help you though this crisis, as you would hopefully do for any of them.

I do agree that phone calls would probably be better than a broadcast email.

I'm sorry for the rough time you're having; good luck getting through it.
posted by torticat at 5:59 AM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

If your friends aren't phone people (and most of mine totally aren't,) do you do any sort of live chatting/texting? It's not the phone, it's the live, one-on-one conversation that's most important, I think.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:21 AM on January 12, 2010

Have you tried calling your parents or siblings? Family is the only group of people who are (socially at least) obligated to care for you in times of need.
posted by Groovytimes at 6:37 AM on January 12, 2010

I've been fired before and I've got tons of sympathy on that front. Oh man.

As for your friends - the last thing that they want is to feel like it's their job to keep you from being depressed. That's a pretty tough situation to be in, as a person, to feel like "Shit. I've got to hang out with anonymous because they lost their job and they're gonna get wicked depressed if I don't." That doesn't sound like any fun does it?

Call people individually and ask to hang out. If they ask "Oh hey, how are you doing?" it's totally cool to mention "I got fired and I'm really pissed about it." That should naturally open the door to conversation. Be understanding that not all of your friends are going to want to talk about this. Don't start off mentioning that you lost your job - they already know, they already got your email. Try to be as positive as possible. Don't put your friends in a situation where they feel like they have to hang out with you because you're fragile or because they feel sorry for you - that's not going to help you or your friends.

bunnycup is dead on that it will very much help you if you frame this less about depression and more about staying in touch. Mentioning "depression" over and over again is going to make your friends feel like they need to be your therapist - which is not an enviable position. I've been on both sides of this - I've been the friend that needs some serious help, and the friend that feels like they're holding someone together. The friends who were the most helpful to me when I needed it were the ones who would just listen when I called, and they're the type of people who I could call to help me move a dead body if I needed to. Don't expect everyone you know to rise to this level. If you don't have anyone you can call to help you move a dead body, use this as an opportunity to strengthen a few close friendships rather than trying to spread yourself across everyone you know.

Above all, keep up the same level of contact once you have a new job. The only thing worse than a fair weather friend is a foul weather friend. I've had those - the ones who call you when they're miserable and need help, and once they're doing better, you never hear from them again. I hate feeling like someone else's emotional medic. I'm happy to be a friend, but putting people back together again is exhausting and I'd really like some happy times to balance it out.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:38 AM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

You email was pretty general, and I if I received it I would have thought - well, I'm working all week, I won't be drunk any time soon, but (other recipient) is always having fun, I'm sure they'll end up going out and having fun.
You need to target people individually with a specific plan or date.
posted by smartypantz at 7:37 AM on January 12, 2010

Having observed some friendship dissolutions this year with similar origins, here's something else to keep in mind: It's possible that there are friends in your circle who have their own issues to deal with, but may not be advertising that fact because they don't want to bring you down any further than you already are. Those people are likely to be much more receptive to (and also benefit from) bunnycup's approach.
posted by gnomeloaf at 8:47 AM on January 12, 2010

coffeeflavored/OP, for what it's worth, your (subsequent) response to bunnycup and re-examination of your post puts you squarely in the box of reasonable, kind, neato people that we like to have around here. So your boss can suck it. :)

What kind of TLC are you looking for? Do you want a loud drunken night? A movie night at home with popcorn? Going out for coffee? Distraction by going to see something (movie, rock show, art, whatever)? Figure that out and ask for something specific. It's hard for people to get random calls for general help, because people want to avoid doing the wrong thing when you're in dire straits. Asking for the specific right thing makes it easier for them to say, "Yes, I can do that."

For my sister, this would probably be an email saying, "Ladies, I've had a shitty week and you are all taking me clubbing so we can dance our faces off! Who's with me?" For me, it would be more like "My god that week just kicked my ass. Who wants to come over Friday night? Nice music, good drinks, and fresh buns from the oven would be the ticket, don't you think?"
posted by heatherann at 7:29 AM on January 13, 2010

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