Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

How do you 'let go ' of a friend?

(18 Posts)
IReallyHateMarmite Fri 12-Dec-14 14:55:58

Love some advice on those of you who have managed to find a way to 'leave' a long friendship.
A very old friend of mine has really disappointed me over the years with lack of effort and I've seen her increasingly as self-centred.I have tried to distance myself by not phoning as often, not returning her calls quickly until one day she challenged me with a kind of 'WTF is going on between us?'
We had 'words'- mainly me saying I was disappointed with her lack of effort. Since then we have sort-of made up but she gives me advice, forcefully, which I don't ask for (and I don't trust her judgement as her own life is one long drama)..and I feel we have nothing in common any more -so where to go from here?

VitalStollenFix Fri 12-Dec-14 14:59:38

how do I let go of a friend? When I stop seeing them as a friend.

It is very easy to remove from your life someone you don't like!

You need to reclassify her in your mind. As long as you still call her friend, you'll struggle.

Is she a friend to you? Does she treat you as a friend would? Does she enrich your life? etc etc

Once you go through it and realise they aren't a friend, the emotional tie disappears.

It does for me, anyway.

IReallyHateMarmite Fri 12-Dec-14 15:04:37

Thank you but that doesn't actually help me to deal with the fact that SHE still thinks of me as HER friend!
I've made it clear why I no longer feel the same about her - I now need practical advice how to reduce contact to barely anything without her asking again and a row ensuing.

Fudgeface123 Fri 12-Dec-14 15:19:03

Just change your number if you want to cut her off, you've told her how it is, what's the problem?

Meerka Fri 12-Dec-14 15:19:49

it depends how stubborn she is. You may actually be in for a row, sadly.

I'd be inclined to suggest stop contacting her and if she asks why, say that you and she have different lives and have grown apart. Im afraid that she might get unpleasant though, in which case it's a good idea to plan what to say. Neutral and non-emotional is probably the best way "I'm sorry you feel like that"

IReallyHateMarmite Fri 12-Dec-14 15:29:42

Change my number?? I have a landline as my main point of contact, so that's not practical. Changing the family landline at home is not an option. she has my address, work number and email. If I did that she'd turn up on the doorstep!
I don't want to cut her off altogether, just downgrade it to an acquaintance type friendship.

Meerka Fri 12-Dec-14 15:38:01

if she's pushy as all heck, you may have to cut her out. You can't force her to be reasonable!

VitalStollenFix Fri 12-Dec-14 16:12:44

sorry, obviously I was not clear at all. You asked how to 'let go' of a friend and asked 'where to go from here' - and I was just saying you change how you see them. While you think of them as friend, it's hard because there's a tie that comes with the idea of 'friend'. I was saying that you change your perception of the relationship in order to change the situation. I was saying that you have to stop seeing them as a friend and remove them from your life. I didn't realise though that you were asking for actual specific things to say to them, so sorry about that.

In terms of practical, well, once you have decided that they are not your friend, then you just don't contact them. They aren't your friend.

But what you want is for them to not be your friend but - am I right in thinking you want no conflict or fallout in achieving that? If so, then I really think that what you want is unrealistic. If you want someone who has been a friend to not be a friend but just an acquaintance, how realistic is that do you think? It may be what you want - who seeks out conflict after all? but you've got bugger all chance of it working out that way.

imo, in order to get what you say you want - her not being an overbearing presence in your life - you are going to need to be willing to have it out and say what is making you unhappy but not in a thrash it out and make up way like before but in a this is it way - that you don't want to be friends but would appreciate civility when your paths happen to cross.

She's likely to be pissed off as hell and probably not willing to go along with that though.

If you're looking for a way to remove from your friendship circle someone who pisses you off but do it in a way that means they aren't angry with you and still remain nice if you happen across them, then I think that's probably not possible.

MonstrousRatbag Fri 12-Dec-14 16:21:09

Next time she forcefully gives you advice, forcefully tell her where to shove it. That should do it!

That sounds glib but honestly, do you tell her, in the moment, how you feel about what she does, or do you say very little? If the latter, she may well think everything is fine.

I agree you should not contact her, don't take her up on invitations. Then you have a choice-either grasp the nettle and tell her you two are not on the same wavelength any more, and you don't want to spend time together, or wait for her to raise your distance from her and then say it. Or, reassure her everything is fine and continue with the same lack of effort.

The one thing all of these three methods have in common is that you WILL end up falling out with her. Sadly, that can't be avoided.

DazzleU Fri 12-Dec-14 16:38:51

Don't innate contact, keep contact brief, be too busy for long chats, short replies to e-mails be polite but distant - don't given them information about your life so they are not in a position to comment.

Smile politely when given advice and change subject or be dismissive with something oh would it was that easy or well you don't know everything and then change subject.

Get an answer machine or caller ID - and screen calls.

However she already picked up you putting in distance - and sought a confrontation with you - so I image she'd do it again.

At which point you can either deny you know what she is talking about, blame being busy and continue with the distance or be blunt and explain you don't want to be friends - what you can't control is her reaction to that - she might blow up walk away or cut you dead.

Polite but breezily busy and distant is probably your best bet - but may well not work.

Somethingtodo Fri 12-Dec-14 16:54:03

Sounds like you are dealing with someone who has no idea how to conduct a friendship and no respect for your boundaries - ie over bearing, uninvited advice, not initially picking up on you putting a distance between you and then challenging you on it and not respecting your decision or pov.

It will not be possible to keep her at arms length - as she has no normal interpretation or respect for personal boundaries....and has proved when you attempted to do this to make things worse and invade your space inappropriately and aggressively. It will be impossible to have an arms length relationship with someone like this. Some friends are either radiators or drains - she is a drain - cut her loose. Dont respond to calls etc but be ready for the day when you do bump into each other.

Joysmum Fri 12-Dec-14 16:55:02

I don't thinks there's an easy way to get her to see that's not drawn out and doesn't avoid conflict.

Nobody forcibly gives me advice because I'm not the sort of oerson anyone would speak to like that.

To a certain extent, I think people are treated how they accept being treated. That's why I'm a nip it in the bud person so situations don't build.

The advice above about being busy and not sharing info is good to start squeezing her out but I still think the best way is to be upfront so people know where they stand with you.

Mrsgrumble Fri 12-Dec-14 16:56:20

Oh my god, I am in the same boat. Things have got really difficult. The more I pulled away, the more she started texting, notes through the door, waiting outside my house, visiting my parents

It's got to the point of weirdness

HappyYoni Fri 12-Dec-14 16:59:20

I think it's really hard op. It's easy enough if they do something so horrible that you can just cut them off immediately, but I have a couple of friends I've just grown apart from and now find a bit boring and irritating, but even if I dodge calls/visits for months they still keep chasing me for a catch up. It's hard because I genuinely don't want to hurt their feelings, I just want it to fizzle out but they won't let it!

GrannyGoggles Fri 12-Dec-14 17:08:10

If you feel that talking it out with either won't work or you just can't face it then cut all communication.

Don't answer the phone, don't return calls, don't reply to texts. Don't be in her presence.

I got to this point with a toxic 'friend', hated doing it, but knew that anything kinder or more gradual would not work.

Somethingtodo Fri 12-Dec-14 17:27:07

Mrsgrumble - how hideous - just proves she is a loon - my sister did the similar to just need to ride the storm - will take time - and she will eventually go away.

Hatespiders Fri 12-Dec-14 17:31:49

I always feel it's best to be honest (without being nasty, of course) in these situations. Just tell her that you don't feel you want to continue with this friendship and are going to cease contact from now on. Then she knows where she stands. After you've informed her, have nothing more to do with her. If you do reply to any contact, you'll confuse her and encourage her to keep in touch.

I did this a long time ago with a 'friend' whose lifestyle was dishonest, promiscuous and immoral in the extreme. She was so far from someone I could respect that I had to break with her or carry on being hypocritically pleasant. She actually tried to contact me for ages, but I didn't engage and she eventually gave up, thank goodness.

Hedgehogparty Fri 12-Dec-14 18:03:03

I would just say you enjoyed the friendship but feel now that its simply run its course.
Wish her all the best
And cease contact

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now