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letting friends go

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Old 08-15-2009, 07:02 PM   #1
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When is it time to let friends go? I reconnected with a friend from high school a few years ago. She is not the person I remember (i.e., fun, kooky, accepting). Since meeting up with her again, we've gotten together a couple of times a year--generally around the holidays and to go to a movie and dinner. I've been disturbed by some of her comments, which when taken one way could seem pretty bigoted (e.g., she once made a comment about her boss that could either have been her blowing off steam at her boss or evidence of prejudice; I really couldn't tell).

Her comments about my life can sometimes be judgmental, although she might mean them to be supportive. For example, the last time we got together, I was telling her about my plans for a career change; she interrupted me to tell me that I was going to the wrong people for advice. When I was finished, she sat up straight and crossed her arms and made the pronouncement that, well, it seemed like I had a good plan in place, but that changing careers is scary (something I had never mentioned, by the way; I'm far more excited than scared about switching careers). It was weird.

Now she has a Facebook update that says that she got a catcall when she was out riding her bike and of course it was from some fat slob. I just cringed when I read it.

My gut tells me that she's an intolerant, closeminded person who I shouldn't spend time with, but my head tells me that (1) she is the only person from high school that I have any contact with at all and (2) *I* tend to be intolerant of people who don't share my social/political views. (I've been trying to work on that, but it's hard.)

Has anybody out there been in this situation? When do you decide to say when with old friends?
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:21 PM   #2
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Ya, same boat, here. Had a friend I knew for 23 years. 23 YEARS!!! Were really close up until a few years ago when she got promoted at her job. She became completely insufferable, because for years she'd railed against management, and the day she was promoted to management she was SO pro-management and management is always right and so on...we didn't work at the same place either, so I thought this was a bit hypocritical.

She lived in a different town, too, but we'd see each over every few months. That stopped when she got promoted (I wasn't management so it wasn't "appropriate" for her to be my friend. In her humble opinion.) Then she moved and didn't leave a forwarding address! Didn't hear from her for 3 years. THEN she called me out of the blue. Apparently she'd met a temporary manager from the US, quit her job and followed him to the States. Got married ("your invitation must have been lost in the mail! Along with all the Christmas cards!"), invited me south for a visit.
Turned out to be a visit from **** -- NOW she hates Canada, won't give up her citizenship though cause she might want Medicare some day. Makes racist remarks. Was completely RUDE during my entire visit. And everything I THOUGHT I knew about her had changed 100%. And then I got it -- she is simply a mirror, reflecting those around her at any given time. She reflected the views of her new peers even though for years she reflected to ME that she didn't believe them. She reflected the views of her new DH even though for years EVERYTHING she claimed to believe were the complete opposite of what she says now...kind of creepy, ya know? I mean, WHO the heck IS she? But I'll bet she doesn't even know that herself...

Ya know, I don't NEED that in my life. I came home, sent her a thank you email for letting me stay, and left it at that. I won't be seeing her any times soon. Sometimes people change -- you gotta be true to yourself and let the past rest in the past. Who you both are today may not be compatible, so why force the issue??? The only question you need to ask yourself is this:

If I just met this person today and based ONLY on today's interactions, would I want to be friends?

If the answer is NO, then let the friendship die its natural death.

Kira

ps. I don't have any contact with my high school friends. And if people don't share my social/political views and want to talk about it all the time, then they're just looking for an argument, and who wants to hang out with THAT???

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Old 08-15-2009, 07:45 PM   #3
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I can relate. Who cares if she's the only person from high school that you're in contact with? I don't talk to anyone from high school. My dad has one friend from school, and only because they were elementary school friends, and my mom certainly doesn't have any friends from back then. I did have a friend who was very close from high school that I was friends with up until November. Basically, she stopped talking to me because I am socially liberal. Stupid, huh? Ever since she started dating this Marine, and now she's engaged to him, the only thing she cares about is the Marine Corps, and became super political and super conservative. Not really an issue, except she just talked nonstop about politics. After awhile, it gets annoying. Anyways, she kept posting stupid political things on Myspace, so I messaged her asking for clarification, and she just went on this tirade against Obama (this was after he was elected). So i just countered, saying why I voted for him, etc. And then she deleted me from her Myspace a month later, and never has spoken to me. I sent her a Christmas card, but no response.

So I don't need someone like that. I don't care that much about politics, and her incessant talking about the Marines just got annoying (and for the record, my fiance is ex Army National Guard). And she was always such a Debbie Downer, complaining about how overweight and prediabetic she is, yet unwilling to diet and exercise. So screw her. you don't need someone negative in your life.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:02 PM   #4
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Normally I try to distance myself from a friend, rather than completely dropping them. But you don't need people in your life like that. I find staying in touch is OK because maybe they will mature.

Lately I've been dealing with a friend who is obsessed with spending money (she does not have). I'm sick of being the voice of common sense if it is not going to be heard.

It is so much more rewarding to be friends with emotionally healthy people who care about you! So I would say don't completely drop your friend, but focus on the friends in your life who make you happy!
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:11 PM   #5
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Hey, my friend is 53 (a bit older than me)...if she hasn't matured by NOW...

And I don't know how to be friends without being in contact with them, so how can you not drop a friend but not contact a friend...I say drop them, but you don't owe anyone an explanation nor a confrontation...just let this die naturally...

Kira
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:16 PM   #6
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I ended a 20+ relationship after a few years of really trying to remain friends, her being upset about our relationship and trying everything I could. In the end I realized that if she was only half into it, then it would never work so she is no longer my friend.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:33 PM   #7
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I don't have regular contact with anyone from high school. I still live in the same town and lots of others do, too, so I see a few of them at the grocery store, etc. We are friendly, but we aren't friends. We don't talk on the phone, email each other, hang out, etc. I honestly don't feel like I have anything in common with them except we went to the same classes many years ago.

I really don't see the point in having a "friend" who makes you feel bad, doesn't want to try to see eye-to-eye, or is hypercritical. To me a friend is someone with common interests, who is supportive, who will allow YOU to be you and who you can accept as she is. If she doesn't meet that criteria, then I would probaby just let it die. I'm not the type to make a big announcement ("I hereby proclaim that we are no longer friends!"), but I would just stop being available when the normal time to get together rolls around.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:58 PM   #8
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I think it's okay to let friends go.

How you deal with it depends just how toxic you feel the friendship is. I actually had to tell a toxic friend exactly why we would no longer be friends and to not contact me. We'd been friends for a good ten years and it had never been a healthy relationship. I just got tired of setting boundaries with her. She never met a boundary she couldn't jump--lol! She just wore me out. And, I didn't like who I was when I was around her either.

Another friendship, that was fairly new, I just let peter out. The better I got to know her the more I noticed she was just plain out argumentative. I actually asked my husband , after a party at our house, if it was just me or did she seem to argue with just about everyone there. Yep, she did, he said. And he also noticed that she was usually that way with most people. So, it wasn't me. Sweet girl but I just don't want to argue for the sake of arguing so I just wasn't as available and I certainly didn't seek her out. That was easy enough, she's busy and I'm busy so it wasn't like we were always hanging out together.

People aren't perfect and I certainly have my own issues. But, when you're starting to question a relationship sometimes you need to go with your gut instinct and just let a friendship go. If it gets to the point where you have NO friends then take a closer look at yourself and ask 'is it me?' or 'why do I choose the wrong people?'. When you can look at your good friends and say, 'yeah this sometimes bugs me but they are so worth it.' then you're in a good place. I know I have annoying habits but my friends apparently find me worth it. It's a good give and take on both sides, and to me that is healthy. I don't expect perfection and neither do they.

That's more than my two cents, huh? Wishing you all the best in your decision making!
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:10 PM   #9
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Listen to your gut. Even if the worst isn't true, she just isn't doing anything for you.
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:59 AM   #10
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I have a few friends that I've had most of my life... 16 out of 23 years or so. So far, some I've waited out, hoping they'll change. Others, I tolerate - one in particular who has forgotten to mind her tongue about subjects that are important to me - but we always can agree to disagree and recover from an argument. No one's perfect.

Some people become lousy, though. If she's mean to others for no reason, why would she be better to you? We all have better things to do than invest in a relationship that does us harm... LOL, our relationship with eating is bad enough.
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:50 AM   #11
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I a with few friends I would have to say one and its long distance and some what discnected of sorts. we have recently re conected as she is in same situation. {bad spelling] I live on a resort my husband is a boss vip so kinda like the revrevnds wife so...I have to be perfect NOT we have to have the perfect relationship NOT {well everyone thinks so} Imust never raise my voise in my home we live in company housing someone may hear YOU GET THE IDEA so it very hard to make [IMPOSSIBLE } TO MAKE REAL FRIENDS WHERE I LIVEand I have lived there for 17 years! my 1 friend has been my friend for 36 years before we met our husbands, neither of us have much in coman except time, sorry running on bad spelling
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:51 AM   #12
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It's ok to let go of friends, follow your gut. i have 3 close friends. i have no want to lose them but if i had outgrown the friendship, or if their conduct was bad, then i would let them go their own ways. Don't feel guilty, do what you have to do. It's your decision.


i've recently let go of an old bf who i had kept in touch with. i just don't need him in my life, i'm ready to let go. i don't feel the least bit guilty, it's time.
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:36 AM   #13
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Thanks, guys. The consensus seems to be to go with my gut. I'll probably keep her as a "Christmas card" friend and cut back actual contact with her to nothing.

I've always been able to make new friends, so worrying about letting friends go is a recent phenomenon, but as I get older, it is harder and harder to make friends and keep them. But you're right--keeping someone in my life who just brings me down isn't a good idea. Better to clear the way for more positive people in my life!

Meanwhile, I need to figure out how to unfriend someone on Facebook.
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:00 PM   #14
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well, I wouldn't unfriend her from Facebook. I was unfriended on Myspace without a reason why (I explained the situation above) and I was upset that she didn't say anything. You can remove her from your newsfeed though. Defriending her will cause drama, and not on your part, but she's bound to discover it and get upset.

I had another friend defriend me on on facebook over something stupid, she insisted that Barack Obama was an Arab, not really a big deal, but I said that there's no proof, and she got all huffy when I said that her "proof" was BS considering that they were from conservative blogs. It was lame on her part to defriend me over that, but she was just a facebook friend so it's not a huge deal, just immature.
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:20 PM   #15
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i've experienced this a few times. i think it's best to just let it die out- rather then making a big thing about it. then again confrontation gives me the heebie jeebies! lol.
i have had to do this a few times, once with a bi-polar friend who just refused to take her meds. it was so hard to be around her, you never knew what she was going to do, she would do the most outrageous, upsetting, sometimes dangerous things. i had to just stop talking to her all together, this lasted several years. we recently got in touch again over myspace and as long as we don't actually have to be around each other, since she's in a different state, i think it's okay. i definitely don't ever want to see her again though.
another one "got religion" and wanted me to join her and i just wasn't interested. i realized that i was no longer good enough for her, and we both just made the unspoken decision to let it die.
it's hard, especially for me because i don't make friends very easily. but some things just aren't worth the time, effort, heartache.
i recently found out a best friend of mine is completely racist. i'm not sure how to deal with it at all. i was shocked and offput... i definitely don't support her comments and i don't know how or what to say when she makes them.
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