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I'm not sure how to proceed with our friendship

Community Member

Ok, I have a friend we have been friends for 10 years and I'd like to think we were close. We've travelled overseas heaps together and we came to recognize when each other needed space. my friend has always been a bit socially awkward and moody and could always be a bit harsh with her words and comments. However, in the last year it has become increasingly more moody, negative and mean. Last year when I my new partner and I decided to meet each others friends my friend was savage sitting down and listing all my faults like gunfire I just got up and left. I have talked to her about this and she has just blamed it on her unhappiness with her job. I suggested maybe it's time for a change? This I know now was not helpful. She has recently be avoiding me (we are currently living 50metres from each other at work) it's short term and I will be leaving soon. I also know I should probably take a hint (but we have been friends for 10yrs) short story long. She recently texted me she is "better off to have no friends, so ppl can't see the true horrible self" I see this as a need for help. I've tried to talk to her but I have been shut down and blown off. Before I leave I plan to leave some beyond blue depression/anxiety brochures and a counselors number in the area.

My questions are: is there anything else I can do or avoid doing? I will be distancing myself from her, not cause I don't love her but her behaviour.

Thank you for any thoughts or advice.

7 Replies 7

Community Member

Hi Lou Lou 28 what a pleasure it is to meet someone who Care's for someone to reach out for help for them. You are so special.

Just a short post introduction hi I am Wayne the evilnut 58 how just is empowered by special people like you I am new here but have lots of life experiences 2 grow children 38/ 36 .

Tell me what think in your heart what u think is the wright thing to do for ( YOU ) ? We are here for you,

Community Member

Hello Wayne. It's nice to meet you. I am also new here. 😃
Thank you for your lovely response. She's one of my oldest friends I'd do anything if I knew it would help. I have had some friends struggle with depression and anxiety and I've learnt heaps through these people because they've been open with their experiences. I know people deal wth things differently. I do feel she has shut me out and will not (or unable to) hear anything i say. I do feel I have to take a physical step back from our friendship because it is affecting me (but I will always be contactable anywhere anytime for her when she needs) which I will explain to her in a letter (because I think communication is crucial in all relationships). I guess this is now more about my guilt for even thinking about selfishly stepping back in a friendship when the other is so obviously hurting.

Again I am not sure exactly what it is am seeking from here.

Dear Loulou

Hello and welcome to Beyond Blue. Glad you have found your way here.

Ah friendships! People are friends for years then suddenly no more and often neither party know why or how it happened. Well this is not the case here. I can see you are distressed at the prospect of losing a friend and also distressed that you could be leaving her when she needs some help and support.

I have been in this situation myself and it is very hard to know what decision to make. I am having something of a similar situation at the moment. A friend who is not coping well but who pushes people away because they try to tell her what to do. There is an element of trying to make decisions for her which only serves to make her more determined to do things her way despite the distressing outcomes.

I am realising how hard it is to let go of someone I want to help. I doubt I will be cutting all contact but I will change the subject when she talks about how badly she is used. I cannot make her see or do anything, and at the end it is her decision to make. I even understand her reasons, probably better than she does, but I can do nothing about it.

I hope you can find some comfort in my comments. The reality is you cannot put yourself in this very difficult position without being hurt. Well at least not for a while. We are responsible for our own actions which can include helping friends, but this is your friend's decision.

Your thought about writing her a letter is good. Try not to list all her bad points, even though it has been her modus operandi. I suggest you simply say you regret losing a friend, someone who you have spent many happy times with. Tell her you will always be around if she needs you.

Please know for certain you are not selfish for stepping back. There is a limit to what you can reasonably do and say and when it starts affecting your own health, mental, physical, emotional, then it is time to leave. Let the matter go, although I suspect you will worry about still. Wait until she asks for help and support. This is all you can do.

I am trying to find words of comfort for you but I have used them up. It is her journey and she will make the decision about which road to travel. You can only watch now which will mean almost biting your tongue to stop saying something.

Love to know how you go and what you wrote.


Community Member

Hi Lou Lou White rose you are the real deal don't ever forget that. You are still willing to help someone even they have stepped away which can be harmful to your health. You didn't know what you were looking for, none of us do you will just know when you hear it. To me and the ever knowledgeable White Rose you already know what to do I think your plan to write the letter to her is great that gives you piece of mind that if needed she can contact you. You have tried the other ways, you are such a great friend everybody needs a friend like you. I don't want to sound harsh but it time for you to move on with your life. 10 Year's is longer than most marriages you have done well. Your a winner in my eyes so hope may help you to move on with your life.

Cheers from evilnut Wayne.

Bye for now am around like my stomach lol.

Hello white rose and Wayne.

thank you again for your advice.

White rose thank you for reminding me about the positive tone of the letter I would have forgotten about that in my emotion. Thank you.

I am relieved (in a sense) that it's not I am not alone in this, for a while there I thought I was just blowing things out of proportion in my head.

Yes, I totally get what you mean with the decision making for them and my friend seeming more deterimined not to listen. Which, i kind of can understand but she is such a smart and intuitive person in every other aspect, which buffles me more (but I get it, this is not my journey it is hers).

i am writing the letter today and leave of for her this evening. In it I will tell her I am removing her from social media as i don't think this is a medium we can properly communicate through but my phone (text or call) will always be on for her. I'll leave the beyond blue resources and the cousellors name and number. I will also tell her I will always be her friend and That she not a horrible person (as she's previously stated) I suspect I won't hear a reply from her as she has gone into radio silence now. But I'll leave an open invitation always for her.

thank you both for you advice I really do appreciate it.

Hello Loulou

That's a great plan you have made. I blinked a bit about the social media but you are quite right, it's not a good communication medium. I have heard so many stories of hurt and misunderstanding because of the use of such a very public channel.

Yep, telling her you will have your phone on always is an invitation to call you. Great idea. Glad you got some of the BB literature and I hope she finds time to read it. What do you think she will do with the counsellor' name?

Telling her you will always be her friend and you most definitely believe she is a good person may stay in her thoughts and surface one day. Just one point, you have said she is not a horrible person and I said she is a good person. Which sounds nicer? People don't always hear the 'not' in conversation, as in you are not horrible. Then it just reinforces the negative. Try to reframe it as a comforting and caring comment (without being gushy).

It exposes our fears when we are rejected in any way with very much the temptation to reply in kind or to be apologetic. Neither is right generally. When you realise others have gone through the same washing machine it does help you to feel better. Your friend sounds so unhappy and I wonder what life has thrown at her in the past. Certainly not much care and confidence it would seem.

Would you like to continue writing in here? You will be very welcome. Have a look round the forum and read what others do and say. You may find you can offer some help to others.


Hello Mary.

yes, social media is quite a complicated medium. I've seen things get blown quite out of proportion because (I'm guessing there's no tone) I just want any of our future communication to be as simple as possible back to basics. If this is what my friend wishes.

I really really hope that she uses any of the resources, I doubt she'll be open to call them in the near future (because she has completely ingnoring me now, we walked past each other at work and she looked right thru me) but I hope she will in the future when she is ready.

Thank you for your help with choice of words, I sometimes forget about word choice. Thank you again. For your advice. I do know she has had some crappy things in her life in the last few years which seem to be adding to the unhappiness which is kinda also why I feel guilty about stepping back because I can kinda understand why she's unhappy but at the same time it's become all consuming.

I really want her to be happy she is such a beautiful wonderful person.

I dont think there is not much more to discuss now because is now all up to my friend.

But if anything happens soon I'll update but I will look around the forums and if I can help anyone like you have helped with me I absolutely will.

thank you so very much I am so very grateful to both you and Wayne.