Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

How to not feel like a failure when a friendship ends?

(10 Posts)
happyclappysnappy Sun 06-Mar-16 11:54:26

Just that really: I had a close friend (and work colleague) who used to confide in me, ask me for advice with decisions, hang out in the pub with me and have a laugh etc etc. About a year ago she began slowly distancing herself from me and we are now at the point where she pretends we were never friends and is very off with me whenever i see her.

I get that friendships don't last forever and maybe i just wasn't the kind of friend she wanted but I can't let go of the feeling of failure. Even though she has behaved like a bitch at times towards me, I keep searching for a reason why she stopped wanting to be friends with me, I think partly because it feel so out of my hands. She decided she didn't want to be friends with me anymore, she didn't tell me why (I have asked her) or give me a chance to rectify things, she now has created this new history that we were never friends. I'm guessing my problem is a self-esteem issue and if i had higher self-esteem I wouldn't be taking it so personally. Any advice about how to move on?

DrAmandaBentley Sun 06-Mar-16 12:12:14

Every now and then you will come across someone odd like this. She was never a real friend to you, and that's what you need to remember. You may never know why she began to distance herself, but more often than not it has everything to do with that person and their own peculiarities than anything you did. If you asked her and got no answer, you'll have to accept that as your closure. To be honest she sounds like a complete bitch, and I think for your own emotional well-being you're better off putting it behind you as an "it's not you it's her" incident. It is very likely she has done this to other people too, so try not to blame yourself.

Lovetruelove Sun 06-Mar-16 12:58:12

Normally from life experience when this happens someone else has said something about you - which is frustrating as you can't really find out? Or they have misinterpreted something you have said. Neither a win situation flowers

CheersMedea Sun 06-Mar-16 13:00:17

She was never a real friend to you, and that's what you need to remember.

I really disagree with this and it is a non sequitur. Relationships and people change. It doesn't follow that the original friendship wasn't a true friendship, any more than just because a marriage ends the couple weren't really in love to begin with.

As to the re-writing history part, that may be a form of self-comfort/self-delusion for your former friend.

I keep searching for a reason why she stopped wanting to be friends with me, I think partly because it feel so out of my hands

This is obviously what is niggling at you. I doubt it would help you o know because it may be something that was so trivial to you that you wouldn't change it even if you went back in time or have noticed it.

To give you an example, I know someone (X) who ended a friendship because the friend (Y) had made a throwaway negative comment about both of them (not this as real convo is too identifying = but way of example: as in "the trouble with us is that we are both [overweight]" in the context of a conversation about something unrelated (fitness, supermodels, who cares). X didn't end the friendship overnight but said that after that comment they felt totally differently about Y and couldn't get rid of that shift in their view of Y. Y had gone from being a person seen by X as on X's team, a close friend to something totally different. I could understand it but honestly I thought it was totally trivial. But X couldn't do anything about they felt about Y. X just didn't really like Y any more because of this plate shift in X's attitude to Y.

But even if all of this were properly explained to Y, they would just think WTF? Because to them it was a throwaway comment.

Sometimes friendships change and what you want/like changes. It's not your fault and no failing on your part. If someone loves chocolate icecream but then goes off it, the chocolate ice cream is still the same. There's nothing changed or bad about it. It is the person whose tastes have changed.

TheWoodenSpoonOfMischief Sun 06-Mar-16 13:09:12

You're not a failure because a friendship ended!
Friendships end sometimes and in this situation, it doesn't sound like it's you.
She's rewritten the past? It sounds a bit odd.
Whatever the reason, it's not unusual and you're not the first or the last person that this has happened to.
When I feel down about things, I watch uplifting and motivating stuff on YouTube and make some plans to do things I enjoy with people I enjoy being with.
Widen your circle of friends by seing if there are any groups on meetup.com that you'd enjoy.
Looking forward to a better future always helps me.

happyclappysnappy Sun 06-Mar-16 13:10:51

cheers i love your ice-cream analogy. I hadn't really thought about it like that.

Deletetheheat Sun 06-Mar-16 13:35:57

If you are very upset about this and feel a failure, it is very probably tapping into something powerful and formative in your childhood (sorry to be so Freudian!). Would that make sense? Sorry you're hurting.

LaPharisienne Sun 06-Mar-16 13:50:26

Could it be that she saw your friendship differently to you? Particularly if you are colleagues, she may have felt it was more of an easy-going circumstantial friendship and may have felt uncomfortable when it looked like it was becoming closer than that?

This is presuming you didn't do anything to fuck her off/ betray her confidence/ undermine her at work?

Joysmum Sun 06-Mar-16 14:14:48

Maybe you remind her of a difficult time/situation that she wants to distance herself from?

ZaZathecat Sun 06-Mar-16 14:16:14

Maybe she is a bit of a user and for the duration of the friendship she needed you, then for whatever reason she no longer did/ found what she needed elsewhere.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now