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Letting go of a friend

Community Member

Hi all,

I have a friend who I tried to help through a dark time last year. They were struggling to find someone to talk to so I reached out and offered to listen. I wasn’t particularly close with this person before I reached out to listen and I found that they would praise me and almost put me on this pedestal of how great I was or successful I’ve become. I found though that my simple act of offering to listen turned into some micro managing conditions on how I should speak to them or how I should listen to them. This I found debilitating. But I did as they asked, after all it’s not about me right? 
After a few months had past it was clear that this person was relying on me as their crutch. I had to put some boundaries in place as I would wake up to 13 messages and 3 missed calls over night. The boundaries I set where not taken lightly and ultimately the friendship faded. They have tried to ask how things are going and check on every now and then and I reply but as soon as there is some kind of inconvenience or disagreement I get ignored and almost thrown away. 
I want to let go of this friendship to move past these debilitating feelings of guilt or having the desire for someone to like me. I’m torn as to whether I be honest and upfront about my position and tell them I am letting go? Or I let it play out and slowly withdraw and not reply. 

2 Replies 2

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome


Just because you are empathetic and supportive to someone in need doesnt necessarily result in a strong friendship. Also, it doesnt mean you know the person well so you weren't to realise that this person would grab hold of you and not let you go which all those messages means she is unrealistic in her expectations and reliance.


The first thought I had reading your post about the messages was- 


  • you dont have to answer them
  • If you dont answer them she has no idea what you are doing eg you could be somewhere like the doctors/hospital/meetings etc hence she cannot demand why you didnt naswer. The answer you can give is simply "I couldnt answer". It's non of her business why.

Your friend likely falls into a reliant person and this wouldnt be the first person she's met that cannot return her high expectations. The main apparatus you have is your rights. Exercise them by replying when you wish to reply and not before. Short answers to any "where was you" can be met with "that's personal and I was busy... was it urgent". If she said "yes it was" you can answer with "then call an ambulance/your parents/other friends"


I have a thread below that I wrote about using wit, short answer to foil people that are like this or are sarcastic etc. Better at this stage to exercise that method or other methods than to sever a friendship at this stage. Keep us posted.


Wit - the only answer for torment? - Beyond Blue Forums - 71440


Finally, you might have to scan possible friendships before you help out. Eg become friends before you be so supportive. Do this by asking others that know them what they are like.


Fortress of survival - Beyond Blue Forums - 216226

I hope I've helped



I couldn't have said it better myself.

She is a reliant person who I know attaches herself to others instantly and throws them away when they don't give her what she wants. I fell for the transactional friendship, she would praise me and tell me how talented or special I was, in return I would sell my time and attention. How could I have been so blind! 

I am a people pleaser at heart and have often struggled to let this go. I have set my boundaries with her and we barely talk, but for me I guess I never had my chance to be brutally honest with her about how I feel. It often at times consumes me on my bad days and all I want to do is call and tell her what for! But I know this is not worth it. Maybe its all part of the process ..  

I appreciate your posts and reading them I can reflect on my own decisions in the past, very insightful.