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confronted over "culling" a friend, how to respond?

(112 Posts)
baublesandbaileys Mon 26-Nov-12 14:03:17

In the past I have been pretty blunt about ending friendships, and regret the burning bridges approach, it would be nice to back away from someone without being so brutal and final about it

anyway that is what I've been trying to do lately, and it's not easy, but generally people get the gentle hint but stay on "hello" terms and it's okay

but I've just been texted by someone I used to be very close to but wanted to back away from. I don't want to cut all contact/burn bridges, that would be sad because we were close in the past but the truth is I don't think we like each other in the present tense and I think that's mutual, yet we still get our kids gifts, get each other expensive gifts at christmas and birthdays and generally behave like we're still the best buds we're quite obviously not!

So what have I been doing?
- Caring a bit less, still chatty but I don't open my soul for it to be criticised and mocked and perhaps some of our recent news has got to her via facebook/other people
- I've done the birthday present thing this time because due to timing (i.e. her just having given me loads for mine) it would have been too blunt to stop all together, but it was cheap and tokeney - however we are stoney broke and it would have been anyway but she doesn't understand "broke" - she's one of those people who don't count their savings when they complain about having no money IYKWIM
- just hoped to fizzle it away a little without being hurtful and never speaking again

now she's texted to say that she's noticed that our friendship has changed and she's sorry if she's not the friend I want her to be.

I don't know how to respond
Old me would either not respond say "yeah well I don't really want you in my life any more" and deleted her number and deleted her off facebook etc and we would never speak again and it would be shitty for mutual friends or if we passed each other on the street
I don't want to do the old me way!
I don't want to "fix" our friendship either - Its not like we fell out over an incident, I don't really like her, there's no big elephant in the room though
Not responding would be quite final too IMO?

I'm new to trying to move away from people in a more gentle way! please help how do I respond in a vague but amicable way?

AThingInYourLife Tue 27-Nov-12 00:23:42

"Friendships aren't like they are portrayed in wimmin's magazines. They are difficult and hard"


outdressedlikethis Mon 26-Nov-12 23:01:19

Monkey and Minty, despite the fact that when put together, you sound like an adorable 50s popstrel duo - you're just being unkind, and you're relishing it.

How does standing up for yourself = objectifying people?

Friendships aren't like they are portrayed in wimmin's magazines. They are difficult and hard, because people are difficult and hard, and also pretty weird. This sort of stuff goes on all the time, it's natural, it's normal, and the only way we'll get anywhere is by admitting it. The unkindness is boring because it doesn't get us anywhere.

Now go and write some three minute pop songs.

baublesandbaileys Mon 26-Nov-12 21:30:43

I don't know what you mean by me objectifying people? what does that mean?

monkeynuts123 Mon 26-Nov-12 21:26:53

well you just sound like you objectify people, but essentially some of your replies here have been rude. Oops I may get culled myself in a minute! I sympathise with having to sometimes end friendships and the complicated feelings that can bring, including regret.

baublesandbaileys Mon 26-Nov-12 20:53:13

how so monkeynuts?

what should I have done differently in your opinion?

baublesandbaileys Mon 26-Nov-12 20:51:32

I have also, as suggested, thought about why I became friends with those 4 women in the first place in an effort to not repeat history, and concluded that for half of them it was more a case of being thrown together than them being typical of "my kind of people", one being just down to being blinded by coolness as a school girl, and the one in the OP has already been described. I've made lots of great friends in between and don't actually think I'm choosing a disproportionate amt of bad apples, but that when I do, I am a bit thick at realising it and give them the benefit of the doubt for too long - not sure what to do about that though!

monkeynuts123 Mon 26-Nov-12 20:50:35

Gosh still not sounding too nice there op.

baublesandbaileys Mon 26-Nov-12 20:44:38

yes mintyy I think I have posted a number of times that I took Selks advice and replied something along those lines (similar to what others have also suggested too)

just not yours

madamemax Mon 26-Nov-12 20:44:38


Mintyy Mon 26-Nov-12 20:41:04

Did you actually take any of the advice given to you on this thread?

baublesandbaileys Mon 26-Nov-12 20:28:36

it seems like its done now anyway, the last text was from me and no reply from her so if she replies again with more of the same then I'll say something like that Panda.

I think it's done now, just hope things are on hello terms when we next bump into each other, but if they're not they're not! I'll still say "hello" anyway

ProcrastinatingPanda Mon 26-Nov-12 20:24:26

Sorry you feel like that, it sounds like we're both in agreement then that we should move on from this friendship.

baublesandbaileys Mon 26-Nov-12 20:22:45

(and they weren't even things I used to do before I backed away that had stopped, like the facebook stuff, I've never been one for facebook diarrhea but I've been shitty with her for not "liking" her every facebook move.. which isn't something I've backed away from because I didn't do that in the past anyway)

baublesandbaileys Mon 26-Nov-12 20:18:06

"reply saying I agree with you in that I think our friendship has changed and we've grown apart, hen just leave it at that"

yeah that's vaguely what I replied to the first text, then the second one came with the list of things I did/didn't do lately

baublesandbaileys Mon 26-Nov-12 20:16:00

anyway she didn't really seem interested in what she might have done, she didn't speculate about that she just launched into all the things I had/hadn't done lately and then stopped replying.

it was all "you" "you" "you" - didn't really have the tone of someone who was in the mood for soul searching and self improvement!

ProcrastinatingPanda Mon 26-Nov-12 20:11:27

"she laughs when things go wrong for me"

Maybe she's jealous of you? Take it as a compliment smile, reply saying I agree with you in that I think our friendship has changed and we've grown apart, hen just leave it at that.

baublesandbaileys Mon 26-Nov-12 20:07:40

how do I know she doesn't like me? I dunno she sneers at everything I say, she says shitty things to me, she laughs when things go wrong for me, she just generally acts like I'm a bad smell, yet she still chooses to spend time with me for some reaon, most likely because we fell into that old "old friend must = good friend" trap, and I'm not doing it any more.

Stropzilla Mon 26-Nov-12 20:07:28

Is being honest a way forward? "I'm sorry but I feel you humiliated me over x, and were rude to my children. If I've been a bit distant, that's why."

If you want to add any more, about her perhaps thinking before she speaks you could, if you wanted to keep seeing her, but tbh being honest like that will probably mean she won't really speak to you again. Or you could try "I've got quite a lot on at the moment, we do need to get together when I have less on my mind". And sort of just keep putting it off although that sounds kind of mean.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 26-Nov-12 20:04:22

Just reply "I think we've just grown apart". I don't think she would have texted you to make you feel awkward,more she's genuinely a bit confused as to why the friendship has changed gear.

ProcrastinatingPanda Mon 26-Nov-12 20:02:13

But you're trying to end the friendship anyway so what have you got to lose, she might surprise you and change. How are you so sure she doesn't like you? Her texting you would suggest to me that she does still like you and wants to hold on to the friendship.

baublesandbaileys Mon 26-Nov-12 20:01:33

thanks flippinada.

I can do confrontion if it's a means to an end, in this case I don't see what it would achieve.

MULLYPEEP Mon 26-Nov-12 20:01:24

I must be morally spineless but I would lie and say ' oh just been busy blah blah speak soon' and then don't. If you don't want awkwardness and aren't invested enough in the positives of the relationship to improve it then don't. I don't think that makes you a bad person, I think that's what most people do with friendships that don't make them feel good.

flippinada Mon 26-Nov-12 19:58:29

Pressed send too soon - should say drained, miserable and resentful.

flippinada Mon 26-Nov-12 19:57:08

I know where you're coming from baubles. I didn't mean to sound critical smile. Completely understand your desire to be non confrontational and let things slide.

In reality I think many people either have or have had a friendship like that (I certainly recognise it and I reckon most people would if they thought about it), which leaves you feeling drained, miserable and

baublesandbaileys Mon 26-Nov-12 19:51:57

"I could I suppose..." was in reply to "Could you just bring up the main ones that really get to you? The other issues might not seem as bad if the bigger stuff was tackled"

x-posted with flippinada

I was assertive with ex friend no3, but a lot of the stuff she came out with was disablist etc and I did pull her up on it at the time but ultimately that is not my kind of person so I broke the play date /coffee morning habit we had since antenatal class (when you don't really notice people's left/right leanings because you're consumed with chatting about weight gain and nappy brands etc, its only later that you really get to know the individual), it was of course obvious that I was pulling away, but we are on chatting terms which I think is important as our kids will go through school together and we will bump into each other at all kinds of local things etc. Its fine, I'm quite happy with how that "cull" went

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