Post # 1
How do you go about ‘breaking up’ with a friend? Do you let the friendship fade? Or do you confront the friend and say you need some space.
There’s a friend I have that I really don’t care to spend time with anymore. She keeps emailing me and asking to hang out.
The wussy part of me wants to use my new marriage as an excuse and just let the friendship fizzle… but, I don’t think it’s going to be that easy.
And, the problem with seeing this friend every once in a while is it’s never like that – it’s feast or famine… there’s no such thing as being a casual friend with her.
I think I need to be more direct, but I’m not sure exactly how to go about it.
Post # 3
I’ve done it a few ways, both by letting it fade and by beign upfront and telling them I need a break/can’t be their friend. Probably just depends on whether it was for a bad reason or not.
Post # 4
I usually only end a friendship through confrontation if there was some bad business going down between the two of us, like boundaries being crossed, malicious actions, etc etc.
If it’s more of a case of ‘falling out of like’ with someone’s personality/perspectives, then I usually try and quietly distance myself from them in an attempt to make it a slow, gradual transition in which I/they won’t be missed.
Post # 5
It depends on the person or the reason.
There was one girl I was friends with, and eventually it came to the point that I realized I didn’t really like hanging out with her (she was very much the center-of-attention, thoughtless, white liar kind of person). I tried to just kind of let things fade, but she ended up making a HUGE deal about it and created tons of rifts between me and other people.
Is she the kind of girl who will let it go, or pursue you even more if you distance yourself? If you address her directly will she speak badly about you to mutual friends?
Post # 6
I’ve tried to let it fade, and she emails me on a weekly basis asking when we can hang out.
The reason I don’t care to invest in the friendship anymore is because I feel like she’s sucking the life out of me, when we do spend time with each other, and I also don’t respect some of the things she did around the wedding events (taking credit for certain things that was not her sole effort on a couple different occasions is what pretty much put me over the edge. She also has done some things to kind of intertwine herself in my life that just sits with me the wrong way and make me feel uncomfortable… which is why I’d like to put more distance between us.
I guess I could just respond to her and say I’m taking hiatus from making plans for awhile … what do you think??
Post # 7
For the “clingy” type of friend, I just let it fade. It really does after awhile because they get annoyed by you always making excuses. BUT it is stressful to always have to come up with the excuses. I always feel guilty.
I did “break up” with one friend. She had only been my friend for a year or two and was totally crazy. I emailed her and said that I didn’t want to talk to her anymore and then did not reply to any of her follow-up emails. It was hard, but it was the right decision. (Of course, she just friend requested me on Facebook, 6 years later!) Still letting that one linger without answering…
I am not good at conflict, which is why I feel that email is the easiest way to have difficult conversations, so you can say what you mean. If you were close to her ever or for a longer time, maybe you should allow it to be more of a conversation (by email) and then make a specific cutting off point.
Good luck…it’s hard!
Post # 8
I’m also not good with conflict, so I’m a “let it fade” kind of girl. You just have to be patient and repetitive.
Respond to her emails on YOUR time, not hers. So if she’s emailing you 5x week, you respond ONLY on Sunday or weekly, then drop her emails and respond to her maybe in 2-3 weeks–to all of them collectively–and just say so sorry, can’t make it. And keep doing it–just keep declining. Finally, when something happens on your end, like a birthday, that she’s not invited to, she’ll probably take the hint.
Post # 9
This might make me a horrible person, but I once told someone I didn’t have the emotional energy to invest in them. She had a hard time of it–she was cutting herself and her father was sick, but it was an absolutely one-sided relationship. Plus, she repeatedly put me down and called me fat, which screwed with my self esteem for years (it was high school).
If I could go back now and be a mature adult about it, I honestly would do the same thing. Sometimes people just don’t fit well as friends after awhile. The girl now has several good friends, as do I. We talk occasionally, and I don’t think there’s any lingering animosity. Just be honest with her.
Post # 10
I’m jumping on the ‘let it fade’ wagon since nothing really big happened to cause a huge falling out. You don’t have to ignore her, but take a few days to respond and come up with excuses that she can’t argue with like you are really busy or super tired. Just make sure if you are on FB to not brag about your nights out, etc. so you arent’ rubbing it in her face. I personally NEVER post on FB where I’m going or what I did that weekend. I don’t like anyone having that kind of info unless they were with me or contacted me specifically to see how I’ve been.
Post # 11
I vote to confront her. It’s like a band-aid, you have to rip it off really fast or else it’s going to continue to hurt for a long time.
I had a best friend from college who I had to break up with. I was really happy with my life, and she was having a lot of problems with relationships, her family, and her career. Every time something good happened to me, she would try to tear me down or make me feel like I was either bragging or rubbing it in. She would argue with me over everything (even 100% opinion things with no right or wrong answer). One day at lunch, I told her that I didn’t have the energy to keep fighting with her, and I paid the bill and walked out. That was it. No blow-up, no crying, just an end.
I still see her because we share common friends. It’s always pleasant, but I am SO glad that I don’t have to justify my actions to her anymore and I can focus my energy on more positive things!
Post # 12
I just let it fade, i’ve had this problem with 2 girls who just wanted to call me constantly and I just found I didnt have anything to say to them or any desire to talk about anything for hours on the phone.. I just wouldnt call them back or meet up anymore. One of them I actually didnt like anymore because I introduced her to her now hubby n then she kept telling him lies about me but she kept messaging me wondering why i wasnt calling her as much, i just told her that i’d like to have more time for myself lol.
Post # 13
ugh. I have a friend like this too. Your example of feast or famine is perfect. Whenever I do hang out with her I always try to make it short, like just dinner, or just drinks or just coffee. But it always has to be this all night thing. Like if we have dinner plans, well then I have to go out drinking with her. Or if we get a drink, hey lets do dinner first, or if we just get coffee, hey let’s go shopping now. And if I can’t come up with an excuse quickly enough as to why I can’t do those things she tries (successfully!) to make me feel guilty by saying things like “but I thought WE were going to hang out tonight” And when I respond with “well we did..” she comes back with something like “aww I thought we were going to party like we used to” or “that wasn’t really hanging out that was just dinner.” I feel so suffocated by her, and she just doesn’t get the hint. I’ve tried just not talking to her but it never works. And I’m afraid if I said “look I think we’ve grown apart etc” she would react very badly. I feel like I’m being held hostage by her sometimes.
Post # 14
Another let it fade type here! She was too clingy for me to enjoy hanging out. She NEVER had her own opinion about anything! It was constantly me asking “What do you want to do/eat/see at the movies” and her constant “I don’t know whatever you want to do/eat/see” It would have been nice to know HER interests & opinions not just doing what I want to do and she’s just along for the ride…
I agree with JennyW, responding rarely. Or, you could always block her email address, harsh but it gets the job done!
Post # 15
I agree with others that it depends on the relationship. I had a friend in college who was ridiculously blunt, to the point where after college I just realized that she was constantly making me feel awful about myself. Because she’s so blunt, I thought she would appreciate my honesty, so I just told her flat out that I couldn’t be friends with someone who made me feel bad all the time. It was a good way with her. With others, when it wasn’t about egregious behavior, I’ve stepped away and let the friendship fizzle on its own.
Post # 16
I say be honest with her because I was once the friend who was “broken up” with. My friend was always too busy to talk when I called and she never returned my calls. I finally got the message and left her alone. It was all a very long time ago but sometimes every now and then I still wonder about it.