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In thinking this ? !

(18 Posts)
Charley1988 Thu 24-Oct-19 02:56:52

There's lots of posts on here about boundaries and friendships. It seems a lot of adults struggle with friendships if this board is anything to go buy and I'm no exception. Friendship threads are the main reason I go on mumsnet as I find you can pick up some good tips on life in general through reading the threads and I find that ending friendships is MUCH harder in its way than ending romantic relationships . The latter must come to a definite end iyswim but the former - it's really hard to end a friendship no matter how respectful you are to the other person.

My question is - AIBU to find that when keeping someone at arms length be it acquaintance/colleague etc - OR ending a friendship etc by phasing out or whatever - no matter how tactfully and respectfully you do it some people will still 'take offence' because realistically they know what's happening ....

Charley1988 Thu 24-Oct-19 02:58:38

An example is e.g. a colleague asks you a personal question and you don't want to let them in on your real personal life so you give them a vague answer iyswim

Charley1988 Thu 24-Oct-19 03:00:00

.. and (continuation) you give them a vague answer which doesn't tell them much do they look disappointed iyswim ..

I, like many on here have s problem with boundaries.....

BitOfFun Thu 24-Oct-19 03:04:16

I think you need this.

Charley1988 Thu 24-Oct-19 03:19:04

BitofFun thanks for the link funny you say that cos yesterday in work I gave much less of a f* - without having to be rude - and felt much better and more relaxed

Aquamarine1029 Thu 24-Oct-19 03:28:05

Why would you give a single fuck if a colleague is "disappointed" with the answer you give them? This is when the responsibility falls upon you to form boundaries and enforce them. How the other person feels about it isn't your problem.

Charley1988 Thu 24-Oct-19 03:39:36

I know Aquamarine - but I have given a fuck before and it led to me being bullied. My passiveness does seem daft to people in the abstract I know.
But in answer to your question why would I give a fuck about a colleague 's disappointment here's my response:
1. Some people can catch you off guard with personal questions- I've had this before when someone starts with a neutral conversation and then throw a VERY personal question into the middle of the conversation - you are left totally stunned as how to respond .. so your response - this has happened to me- ends up being self destructive

2. PEOPLE PLEASING ! You've only got to read the plethora of threads on here to know how people can put themselves at a disadvantage through being people pleasers. This is a lot due to upbringing- for example I can remember being told off by my mum because she thought I was keeping her at arms length - she was a narcissist- so from that kind of thing people generalise and feel they can't keep anyone at arms length cos it's 'rude' iyswim - this kind of thing basically maketh a people pleaser - e.g. parents not respecting boundaries etc and I get that it's not my responsibility how other people feel - other people have to learn to cope with my stand offishness etc

Monty27 Thu 24-Oct-19 03:39:42

OP you live and you learn. You don't share personal stuff that's no business of some people and is for close friends ears only.
You're learning though smile

Charley1988 Thu 24-Oct-19 03:41:38

I know Montyits hard if you're programmed to be a people pleaser!!!

MyOtherProfile Thu 24-Oct-19 03:47:57

I'm trying to get my head around this. It all sounds quite black and white and my experience of friendships is much more grey. I've never consciously thought that I must end a friendship but I have just let some friendships drift when I don't make much time to see the person. I wouldn't be that deliberate about it, just leave it to float and prioritise other friendships. That way if the other person suggests coffee I would still go if I had time but just leave long gaps between coffee times.

As for work colleagues, I would generally make conversation and if they asked personal questions I would answer them as far as I was comfortable to do so and then ask them something back that takes the conversation onto a lighter level. That way you're making conversation and being friendly without the focus on whatever personal thing you don't want to go into detail of.

To be honest though, it kind of feels like you do want to keep people at arms length. Do you have friendships with people you actual do chat to and feel comfortable with, and aren't looking to end?

Charley1988 Thu 24-Oct-19 03:55:02

MyOtherProfile yes I've got good friendships with people I genuinely like but others - I've nothing in common with and want to end the friendship

Monty27 Thu 24-Oct-19 03:58:22

It's not about preferences of people it's about trust and friendship

Monty27 Thu 24-Oct-19 03:59:23

And I have no clue what people pleasing has to do with it OP. confused

Charley1988 Thu 24-Oct-19 04:00:09

Yes Montybut preferences of people ARE linked to trust and friendship surely?

Charley1988 Thu 24-Oct-19 04:02:55

Monty you've not got to look at the multitude of threads here to see people pleaser ket bad friendships linger

Charley1988 Thu 24-Oct-19 04:03:11


MyOtherProfile Thu 24-Oct-19 04:30:09

These friendships that you have nothing in common with and want to end, how often do you see them or have contact with them? Just let this become less and less. It doesn't have to be a dramatic ending.

Charley1988 Thu 24-Oct-19 04:40:07

It's more historical for me than current in terms of friendships to be honest but I think issues such as boundaries are always relevant

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