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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » my friend is very forgetful

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Author Topic: my friend is very forgetful
Cloverdance
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I have a friend with a really bad memory. She knows that she has trouble remembering things, and she does take steps to help herself out like writing things down in a planner. Because of the planner, she's actually really good about not standing people up on dates or forgetting birthdays and things like that.

However. She forgets a lot of other things. Sometimes these things aren't that important, like she'll forget that I told her that I already saw The Last Airbender and ask me if I want to go see it with her. But sometimes they're kind of a big deal. Like one day I went shopping with her so she could buy a new dress for an upcoming date. The next day I was over at her house and she asked me if I wanted to see her new dress. Um, I kinda saw it when you bought it yesterday... [Roll Eyes]

I don't think she's doing anything on purpose or trying to be spiteful in any way. But it hurts my feelings when something like the dress incident happens. Like, you forgot I was there, seriously?

Am I being overly sensitive about this? Is there even anything that I can do? It's not like she can help forgetting things, right? And I don't want to make her feel bad if there really isn't anything that she can do.

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The meaning of happiness is whatever you want it to be.

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Obi
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Do you know if there's a reason she's so forgetful? If she's this forgetful you may want to encourage her to have it looked at. For instance, I started out with a notoriously bad memory, but having bipolar disorder has made it worse. Not to mention Lithium which is famous for making memory/cognitive abilities first. It's embarrassing and I often feel frustrated because I'm very smart but don't always appear that way. Basically what I'm saying is it's not likely personal and if you can realize this and help her in whatever way she asks for help she may really appreciate you for it.
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orca
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I agree with Obi that I wouldn't take it personally if it's something she can't help. However, I'm not sure I'd point it out to her or say anything because it could make her feel worse. I have a grandparent with Alzheimer's and I've volunteered at a senior center, and one of the first things you learn in working with older folks with memory problems is that you NEVER point out the errors in memory. It makes the person feel ashamed and self-conscious when it's really not anything they have control over. Granted, your friend is not a senior citizen, but it sounds like she has no control over her memory problems either. It could be due to some illness (heck, even thyroid problems can cause memory problems) or to some kind of trauma (physical or emotional). I've met a couple of people who had a lot of trouble with memory because of bad car accidents. Either way, it sounds like she's already informed you that this is a difficulty for her. I understand that it hurts when she forgets those moments, but I wouldn't advise bringing it up.

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Cloverdance
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Thank you for the feedback, you guys! She doesn't have a disorder or disease or anything, but I didn't even think of making the comparison to Alzheimer's or bipolar. So thank you for giving me something extra to think about! She does have a pretty stressful job though, and I think that stress can cause you to be forgetful. So I'll try to be more understanding in the future.

This is just a sidenote, and something that I think is funny. She goes on a lot of dates with a lot of different guys, and she remembers everything about all of her dates! Like what the guy ordered for dinner and how many times her water got refilled, lol. Maybe NRE gives you a better memory? They should bottle that feeling and sell it! =)

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The meaning of happiness is whatever you want it to be.

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Cian
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Frankly, I sometimes forget what I've done with someone, like the other day I was talking to my sister about a movie I had watched with my girlfriend-- only to realize midway through that I did not see THAT movie with my girlfriend, I watched it with my sister. She probably realized that sooner than I did, but didn't hold it against me that I didn't remember who I saw it with, haha.

Anyhow, I can understand how this can become frustrating, because you might feel they don't value you very much if they don't even remember hanging out with you or things you've told them. (I forget who I've told stuff to already, and usually forget to tell someone while telling someone else three times...)

But it could be she is just that kind of a person who is forgetful, not because they lack respect or don't value you, but just because they are. I would try not to hold it against her, or if you're really hurt, you could try to discuss it constructively-- not accusing her of having a bad memory and deliberately forgetting you etc. Because I doubt that's what she is doing, especially if she's told you she has trouble remembering, and is already taking the steps to improve her memory by keeping lists and a planner.

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Animica
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Like the other posters said, I'd advise to not hold it against her. I for one am quite forgetful. Sometimes I repeat things. Sometimes I forget who went with me to x event, or where I placed some things. To tell you more, this happens to me almost every day: I think "Oh, I have to get this thing" (it could be anything. I stand up, walk towards the place where the thing is at, and when I'm there, I forget why I'm there and what I'm looking for. It's kind of funny. My family, friends and boyfriend know how forgetful I am, but they just accept it as is...especially my boyfriend. He finds it funny. [Razz]

It's just how I am, and how your friend might be. And yeah, I bet she doesn't do it on purpose. And since she already has a planner, it's not like she's not making an effort to deal with her forgetfulness. So like Cian said, you could talk it out with her nicely and hear what she has to say. [Smile]

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Cloverdance
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You're all so very helpful! Thank you! I don't think I'm going to mention it to her because I don't want to make her feel bad. And it's not like I have the world's best memory either! =)

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The meaning of happiness is whatever you want it to be.

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