Would you tell a friend why you were pulling back from friendship....

(26 Posts)
SallyStudioIsMyFriend Fri 14-Feb-14 17:51:56

...if you knew it would be a difficult conversation and would involve information that you knew she would not like and would probably perceive as a personal attack?

Background - we have been friends since our daughters started school together, they are now in year 5. We were good friends, involving going out with husbands. But over the years several things have happened that have made me question if I want to spend time with her..
1. Our parenting style is very different and I don't feel I can stay quiet anymore if asked.
2. She is one of those annoying people who will sometimes chat, and other times walk straight past you and not acknowledge you in any way. This really pisses me off and she knows this.
3. Her daughter is being the same hot and cold character with my daughter - who is not remotely bothered by this. The girls will be going to different secondary schools so will lose contact anyway.
4. She always talks about negative stuff. She is not one of those folks you can have a laugh with. You ALWAYS walk away feeling down, never with a smile on your face.
5. She went through a diff time last year and I was there for her. When I had tough time she never bothered to call once.

So, I have decided after diff time that life is too short to spend time with people that don't add to your life. People do go through diff times and I like to feel that I am there for them BUT if they don't reciprocate then they are not true friends. She is pissed off that I am friendly with someone who she had a falling out with BUT they was not my argument and she is unfair to start blanking me cos of this. I feel used by her over the years as she used mr to help her socialise with other school mums as she is socially awkward.

Would you tell her
1. I am friends with whoever I like and won't stop being friends because of her falling outs. Having such expectations of others will not help you in life and will cost friendships.
2. Where was she when I needed her?
3. She needs to talk/ask about what is going on with other folks rather than dumping on them all the time.

Although I desperately want to tell her a few things about her daughter and how she needs to get tough with her or she will be very badly bullied in secondary school, I know I can't and won't have this conversation.

So, what would you do? She won't take it kindly, and I promise the only reason I am thinking about it is to help her realise the impact she has on others, and why she does not have many friends. Her daughter is becoming the same way. I am happy to walk away and not look back and my daughter will have limited contact so won't impact us too much.

Am I being a bitch or a friend?

I don't think you're being a bitch or a friend. But I do think you think you are right and feel the need to tell her she is wrong. Not everyone has the same values.

You can't and shouldn't try to change her. That's not in your power. What is in your power is to decide whether you want to spend time with her and how you want to act towards her.

If you really want to pull back from the friendship, there seems little point in telling her why unless she asks. Even then I would try and stay away from pointing out her faults as you see them.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Fri 14-Feb-14 18:07:20

I'd tell her if she asks.
no point lying to people.

pussycatdoll Fri 14-Feb-14 18:09:00

I'd just be polite
It's only a year until they're in different schools
No need to tell her your pulling back , just do it

FrankieStien Fri 14-Feb-14 18:12:35

I agree with everyone upthread. Tell her only if she asks.

If I were in your shoes I'd start distancing myself from her. Be "busy" when she wants to make plans.

Tommy Fri 14-Feb-14 18:12:54

I agree with pussycatdoll - there is no need to tell her anything. Just don't be available when she invites you or be too busy to chat in the playground. These things fizzle out quite naturally when you realise you have little in common except that your children happen to be friends

OldBagWantsNewBag Fri 14-Feb-14 18:19:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Back2Two Fri 14-Feb-14 18:55:37

In no way whatsoever would telling her any of those things be for HER benefit.

Being a friend would be keeping quiet, making your own choice and being kind and gentle with her.

SallyStudioIsMyFriend Fri 14-Feb-14 19:33:51

Sorry for delay , popped out to pick up DD.

The consensus is not to say anything then. But would you really not want to know the effect you were having on people and why others pull back from you. I know this has happened with other people in her life. Her life is very lonely, and fixated on her kids and she has no life outside of them. But it is her life and I accept her choice. I was thinking about the old saying if you know different/better you do different/better. I know it bothers her.

Btw - I am happy to take advice and realise that I should not say a word.

Having been dumped by friends who would never say why, I would always want to know. It can leave you picking over what went wrong for years if things are left unsaid.

Corygal Fri 14-Feb-14 19:42:36

No, no, please say nothing. She'll pull a drama if you even try to tell her the truth. She's a drain, just slip away and don't go back.

drnoitall Fri 14-Feb-14 19:46:12

Same as cakes. A friend of 6 years dumped me for no apparent reason, I asked a few times what I had done, she said nothing but still ignores me. Honestly I would prefer to know, to help me avoid making the same mistakes again.
Go gently though and only if she asks. I would march over and say anything, keep your distance and if she cares she will ask you. Then I would say. Fgs don't say anything about her dd, that's out if line and opinion anyway rather than fact.

drnoitall Fri 14-Feb-14 19:47:03

* sorry would NOT march over *

SallyStudioIsMyFriend Fri 14-Feb-14 20:03:06

I have read so many threads on here where people want to know why people pull back from friendships. That was why I posted.

But I do accept that speaking about her DD is out of order. I can see what's coming for her though as she is so possessive over friends and then makes it obvious when she is upset over something. She also finds it very difficult making friends and only ever has one friend at a time. The poor girl has never had a birthday party as she did not have enough friends sad. It was always one friend for a sleepover. Secondary school will be hard for her and if mum can't teach her different ways of socialising I see a very sad time ahead.

I think the key is if she asks.

BTW your "But would you really not want to know the effect you were having on people and why others pull back" still suggests you don't entertain the idea that you are not right and she is not wrong. If you do have to have the conversation, it will go much better and she is far more likely to take it on board if you don't throw blame around.

SallyStudioIsMyFriend Fri 14-Feb-14 20:07:09

I don't think she is ready to hear it. I will walk away and try and be gentle if she asks, but I know she won't ask sad

Cross posted with your last.

I know from my own experience that it's often easy to see other peoples' parenting mistakes.

You're talking about this woman changing her nature in order to model appropriate relationships to her daughter. While I agree that would be ideal, that's a big thing to expect to be able to influence.

We all have our faults.

Sally I think you're probably right. If she doesn't ask she probably isn't ready to hear it and if she isn't then you will only make yourself unhappy trying.

SallyStudioIsMyFriend Fri 14-Feb-14 20:15:02

Forty- I don't think I am right and she is wrong.

I just think she is unaware of how people view her, other mums at school find her cold and unapproachable. If they do talk she ends up starting a conversation about the sad life she and her kids have, her ill husband and other sad stuff. Only a conversation you would have with family or close friends, not what you want to hear when you are on a night out.

I have invited her to nights out in the past, hence my comments about feelings used, but other friends cringe a little when she turns up and you know you won't be having a laugh. I don't invite her any more.

I do feel sorry for her but I have to walk away. Bit of a shit year last year and want to focus on fun positive stuff when I can in 2014. Not good so far 4 funerals already sad

SallyStudioIsMyFriend Fri 14-Feb-14 20:15:40

Forty -cross posted with you know smile

FWIW, sometimes I don't talk on the school run either. Sometimes my friends don't. I LOVE that my friends don't get hung up over this; there's no pressure. We all know it's not personal.

I don't think these are big enough issues to have it out with her. I agree with others, only if she asks. I bet she doesn't.

Mintyy Fri 14-Feb-14 20:15:47

If you start distancing herself and she asks and really wants to know what's wrong, just choose one of the things that bother you, not all of them at once (you seem to have a long list of complaints about her). I might say very gently that you find the way she always talks negatively about everything and everyone slightly depressing.

Dinnaeknowshitfromclay Fri 14-Feb-14 20:20:46

Say nothing. You will end up looking the villain of the piece and for what?

I feel really sorry for her sad

Has it occurred to you that she already knows her faults but changing your personality is easier said than done?

OldBagWantsNewBag Sat 15-Feb-14 01:43:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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