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to think it's cowardly to end a friendship by ignoring someone

(21 Posts)
sunnysundaysinthesun Sun 07-Feb-16 19:57:28

Friend became upset with me a year ago because she thought I'd done something I hadn't. This led to a decline in our friendship but we still met occasionally for coffee and when we did meet she was nice enough to me. 3 months ago she moved across the country so we no longer see each other face to face. Since then she has been quite cool with me and only sporadically answering my messages, which I put down to the busyness of moving etc. But the last 2 messages I've sent her, just checking in to see if she was doing ok, have been read and not replied to. Normally my advice to myself would be to give her the benefit of the doubt, she probably just forgot to reply etc etc. But actually i get the feeling I've been dumped as a friend. Fair enough but why force someone to take the hint that you no longer want to contact them. Why can't people just be honest and say that the friendship is over?

Adeleslostbeehive Sun 07-Feb-16 19:58:59

I've ended a friendship by ignoring. I know my ex friend and I wouldn't have been able to talk
To her about it, so there was no point. Some people you can't really talk to

CaptainCrunch Sun 07-Feb-16 20:03:16

In realistic, practical terms how do you think this would actually work? Can you imagine being either the giver or receiver of a message or face to face encounter where someone says "look I don't like you anymore, stay out of my life and never contact me again". I can't.

WinterBabyof89 Sun 07-Feb-16 20:06:08

I've also ended a friendship by ignoring them..

But it was a one sided friendship for a while, no effort on her part to visit me, a promise to visit me after a bereavement came to nothing.

I didn't feel the need to argue/ debate it - so I wouldn't say cowardly, but path of least resistance maybe.

CottonFrock Sun 07-Feb-16 20:08:33

I imagine that in the circumstances she felt that she didn't need to tell you the friendship was over - she cooled things off and then moved a long way away, replied only intermittently and finally stopped replying to attempts to contact her that she probably wasn't expecting.

I don't think you can say someone is ignoring you if they move away after your friendship founders and then stop contacting you. It seems to me she's made her position quite clear without a confrontation.

Why are you still 'checking in', anyway?

sunnysundaysinthesun Sun 07-Feb-16 20:11:05

captain I know the circumstances are slightly different but that's what usually happens with someone you have been in a romantic relationship with. People manage to cope with that so why would a friend saying 'this just isn't working for me anymore' be more problematic.

MadamDeathstare Sun 07-Feb-16 20:13:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Toffeelatteplease Sun 07-Feb-16 20:15:58

Because if you have a massive bust up the door is closed if you both feel differently over time; or you have to deal with what was said.

Of course sometimes you never feel differently

Soooosie Sun 07-Feb-16 20:16:21

Ignoring is a slightly cowardly way to end things. It takes balls to have an open discussion.

Soooosie Sun 07-Feb-16 20:19:27


bertiebow Sun 07-Feb-16 20:19:28

I have both dumped and been dumped by silence. Yes, it feels a bit harsh, but as others have said - what's the alternative? The friend I dumped just messed me around once too often with her drama and general frenemy behavour, but if I had normally dumped her then being truthful would have involved being a bit mean and critical. I didn't want to be her friend but neither did I particularly want to hurt her feelings...

Why I've been dumped, I don't know. I guess people just have a limited amount of free time and want to concentrate on their closest friends...

lorelei9 Sun 07-Feb-16 20:20:16

It's difficult
I was recently advised to ignore someone till she got the message, reduce contact first etc
She didn't get the message
I ended up sending a very gentle email. I thought doing it in person would be worse because she'd think we were going out or meeting up etc

I should add, this person was not a good friend, a show friend if you like, she'd never lift a finger for me and i found out the hard way. My real friends urged me to drop her at the time but I was extremely unwell so couldn't face it

If it had been different I think we would have had a talk, but I am not interested in "show"cialising any more.

It was a gentle kind email as well. I didn't say "you let me down, now naff off!"

ClashCityRocker Sun 07-Feb-16 20:46:03

Sometimes it's better to just let them think life's moved on and times have changed rather than telling them that actually I think you're a massive twat and the thought of spending more time with you on a voluntary basis makes me want to slap myself in the face with a wet kipper.

In all seriousness, I've had it done to and done it myself. When I've done it at least,mits not been a conscious 'I don't want to be your friend' decision, just that the friendship was low down on my list of priorities.

The reason it's not done like in a relationship is because friendships are not mutually exclusive and relationships are usually

whoreandpeace Sun 07-Feb-16 21:01:06

A friend is doing this to me right now. She lives abroad and we speak every couple of months and email in between. Suddenly that stopped any of that. She is godmother to my DD and when my DD phoned her to tell her her A level results last August (and left a voice mail message) my friend NEVER phoned back to congratulate her, nor send her a card or an email. It was very hurtful as DD hasn't done anything unkind towards my friend. That was when I first noticed something was wrong. Since then there has been virtually no contact. I have emailed a couple of times and had nothing back. Christmas presents were exchanged and she sent me a thank you email. I replied back asking if we could book a time to talk (as we both work) and ..... no reply. I shall call her this week and hope she is in.

My mother used to do this to me when I was a child - just ignore me if I had slighted her in some way (ie just be a normal child who wasn't 100% boringly good but she had NPD) and it made me very anxious. But now I find the best way to handle such behaviour is not to think 'what have I done wrong' but to think 'what is going wrong with them?' as the 'silence' thing is their issue and not yours. Doing the silent thing is controlling and cowardly, imo.

My best friend in all the world has, on occasions, pissed me off. Sometimes big time. To deal with that I either a) ignored (was it bad enough to do something about it or not) or b) I raised the matter with her, talking about 'my' feelings rather than 'her' behaviour. Consequently we have never, over 40 years, ever fallen out.

OP, the only advice I can give is to keep behaving as if nothing has changed - keep calling and emailing. Eventually it does become difficult for those doing the 'silent' treatment to keep doing it as they realise they just look like a bitch. Or you have to let go. She isn't close by to you now, so in some ways it is easier. Sounds like she wants to move on and so, painful as it is, you might have to let her. flowers

stitch10yearson Sun 07-Feb-16 21:06:57

your friendship died a year ago when she assumed you had done something and didnt clarify with you. The coffees since then are just window dressing.

WonderingAspie Sun 07-Feb-16 21:22:19

I think YABU. Like others have said, you don't really say "hi, I'm not your friend anymore" like you do when you're at school. You do just phase them out unless you have a huge bust up.

I've had issues with friends and I've kind of let them go. One did 'try and sort it out' (that's what she thought she was doing, she actually just wanted to tell me all the things I'd apparently done wrong) and it didn't work. I'd rather do the phase out thing, it's easier all round. I also don't want to be on the receiving end of being told that someone basically doesn't like me anymore.

TitClash Sun 07-Feb-16 21:26:21

She's taken the cowards way out IMO. If someone thinks you have done something they should talk to you about it.
The fact that she believed you had done that thing without at least giving you the benefit of the doubt either shows you who she really is, or what she really thinks of you.

Most of the time if people have moved on from a friendship they will phase someone out. Or if they are unreasonable you disengage.
But I dont think thats what happened in this case.

OwlCurrency Sun 07-Feb-16 21:33:38

I agree it's cowardly.

maggiethemagpie Sun 07-Feb-16 21:41:08

I am considering doing this to a friend right now. I don't feel like we are friends any more. She's let me down too many times, and I've lost a lot of respect for her due to very poor decisions she's made (possibly not always my business but I can't help it if I think she's been a twat and done things that demonstrate zero self respect).

We used to be really good friends, and could talk about anything. However, the last few times I saw her I have not enjoyed myself. She's been rude and arsey with me, then will frequently ask me 'Am I a horrible person?' which is REALLY grating. And I'm not prepared to say 'Of course not!' anymore.

The last straw is that she's told me she probably won't be coming to my wedding as she can't afford to take a day off work (I live in a different city, wedding is on a sunday) . I think this is just a big excuse, as she can probably feel the relationship has deteriorated and that we're not as close as we were, but what's suprised me is that once I got over the indignation of the rebuff, I realised I didn't actually want her to come anyway.

I'm just going to fade her out now, not overtly ignore her but just not get in touch and I think things'll fizzle. I don't want to have a big bust up as we have mutual friends, and I wouldn't want to shut the door in any case, who knows what the future will hold.

I think it's perfectly commonplace for friendships to fade out like this, and have been on the recieving end. It seems that with relationships, you get the chat and the closure but with friendships usually not.

TPel Sun 07-Feb-16 21:49:44

I had a very flaky friend who would just not show up for planned meet ups. No apology, call etc. Just not show. I put up with her rudeness for a long time and didn't ever say anything. I helped her with lots of things, took her to doctor when she couldn't drive, listened to her relationship problems, was supportive when she started a new business, passed on details of accountant who could help and was a normal caring friend.
We didn't ever have a falling out.

The last time she came to see me, I made lunch for her and her MIL and had a lovely time and lots of laughs. Then nothing - she didn't reply to my messages.

I bumped into her about 4 months later and went to say hello but it was like talking to a stranger. I felt very uncomfortable.

She sent a card for our anniversary a number of months later and I sent a message thanking her, but she didn't reply and I haven't heard from her since.

I was very hurt to begin with as I thought we were good friends but now I don't care. I wish her well and would always be friendly if I saw her, but that is it.

Bailey101 Sun 07-Feb-16 21:53:06

If you've already tried to sort it out, it's not cowardly at all. There's that saying about insanity being when you do the same thing over again and expect a different outcome - sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and say enough's enough.

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