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to ask how you leave behind a toxic friendship?(6 Posts)
I have a friend who is part of a larger circle of friends and acquaintances. Almost all of them think the sun shines out of her arse when it reality she has pretty much used and abused me for two years. None of them spend more than an hour a month with her but before lockdown I was her main confidant and person she saw the most.
She belittled me, used me, demanded my time and treated me like staff. She slags off and has an issue with nearly everyone but the reason we have previously got along is I have this bizarre tendency to try and help lost souls - this is something I’m working on as it ends up with me being hurt.
I’m in therapy working through many issues to do with self worth and finally after a long time and gaining the tools and confidence to do so, I pulled together the inner resources to tell her if she wanted to continue our friendship she would have to treat me with some respect.
This was amazing for me and did me the world of good. But it clearly upset her and she doesn’t believe it to be true.
We still text 1-2 times a week (down from her texting me 100+ x per day previously) now but lockdown has been good for me in this respect as there has been distance.
I can feel her crawling out of the woodwork now.
And whilst I have the resources from therapy to now hold her at arms length, I haven’t levelled up enough in therapy to back away from her completely.
I fear that she will slate me to friends and acquaintances and so our family side business damage.
I know decent people don’t listen to gossip but I do also know they once you’re tarred with the drama brush, acquaintances rarely develop into friendships.
Can any of you tell me how you leave behind toxic friendships without damaging other friendships or halting burgeoning friendships?
If you definitely want to back away from her there's no need for big rows and dramatics and lots of fallout - just do a gentle fade. Be less available, keep your answers to her contacts short and sweet and don't initiate contact yourself. Leave longer and longer gaps between meetings and with luck she'll get tired of chasing you and then you're free but without anything she can take umbrage over!
As Ada has said just a gradual fade. I have had to do this for a friend from university. Gradually withdraw. I had to dip in again recently as a close family member of hers passed away. I sent flowers. She said thanks I said you are welcome and that was it. No need for drama. People grow apart it's fine.
Thanks. There is no way I want a big row.
The gradual fade is what I’ve tried but she is so insidious and runs lots of groups I’m part of for our local area. Fading her out fades me out from the support I have as a shielded person. I’m also so worried about looking bad.
Could you still see her within the group context but keep it cheerful and brief? It doesn't have to be all or nothing - presumably if it's a group of people she can't get too intense. This is going to take a little while if you want to do it without a row so just minimise your contacts with her as far as you can without losing the support you need.
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