FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

What's the best way to end this "friendship"?

Earth Girl
Community Member

I met this girl in CIT a long time ago and we became friends. For about the first year, I enjoyed the friendship, but after a while, it sort of went down hill. She's actually really nice, but she gets offended extremely easily (over things that aren't even offensive sometimes), she repeats a lot of the things she says several times and I can't be myself around her at all. I just turn into a completely different person and I just found that I didn't enjoy the friendship any more, but I continued being friends with her for 3 more years because I didn't want to hurt her. One day in the third year I realised that I really couldn't take it any more because she was talking about two of her other friends and she kept repeating everything (about how she wasn't going to talk to them any more - which she had said a lot of times before and then started hanging out with them a week later) and some of the things they did weren't even wrong.

A few days afterwards, she called me and asked if she had done something wrong and I said that she hadn't and that I just couldn't be myself around her and she asked if I still wanted to be friends (I had been distancing myself for a while) and I said that she's really lovely, but I didn't think it was working out. She texted me a few days later asking if we were still friends and I tried to tell her nicely that it wasn't working out because I can't be myself and I said "sorry I don't want to hurt you."

I sometimes see her at the shops and she always tells me that she misses catching up with me and asks me if I want to friends again and I have to keep explaining to her that I think she is a really nice person, but I can't be myself around her. I don't know what else to say because she thinks we should still be friends.

I feel really bad because she hasn't hurt me or anything, but the friendship really wasn't working out - I found it exhausting and it felt more like people awkwardly talking to each other superficially instead of a friendship. My sister said it would be okay to tell her that I just wasn't enjoying the friendship, but I don't want to hurt her feelings. I feel like no matter what, her feelings are going to get hurt though and I don't want that to happen yet again.

I also don't know what to tell her when says things such as "Does your Mum know we aren't friends any more?" "I want to be friends again, but I know you don't want to catch up", "We should be friends again." "Come say hi when you see me working in my store."

14 Replies 14

Sophie_M
Moderator
Moderator
Hi Earth Girl,

Thank you for finding it in yourself to post a prety tricky one. I can imagine it is both frustrating, and concerning from a compassionate perspective. 

Often in life when we value others, even if we don't care for the closely, it can feel like a struggle to set boundaries. Especially so when we feel guilt that the other person will be hurt by them.  It is worth remembering that the stronger we get in setting boundaries the more we can learn to use them to keep relationships going instead of ending them - but even when that is necessary you kind still show kindness to yourself . Certainly, a really hard skill to learn, but an important one!

Let me recommend to you the services of our friends over at friendline. You can find them online at www.friendline.org.au or by giving them a shout at 1800 424 287

Of course, you can always reach out to us here at beyond blue on 1300 22 4636.

Thank you for contributing to our community, I am sure many of your peers will be helping out soon!

Regards,

Sophie M

Hi Sophie M, thanks for your help. I finished my CIT course a long time ago and I don't have many friends so it probably sounds strange that I don't want this friendship, but yeah, it just wasn't working. I will definitely try friendline! 🙂

Juliet_84
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi EarthGirl,

You’ve done the right thing, you’ve explained to her that the friendship isn’t working for you and given your reasons why. It seems to be falling on deaf ears but it doesn’t really matter because all you really need to do is just never meet up with her. Ok you run into her at the shops occasionally, she says “we should hang out, I miss you”, you insert whatever excuse you want “you’re busy at the moment with work” etc or even a vague “oh yeah we should” and just never call and never arrange a date. It sounds harsh but you’ve honestly explained yourself so many times at this point that it seems kind of harsh to keep having to hammer it home. Block her number if you feel the need to etc, but I think you just need to be polite when you see her but distant and just keep going with the fade

Hi Juliet,

I don't think she understands why I don't want to be friends any more. When I tell her I can't be myself around her she says "But I thought you were being yourself?" "It's okay, you can be yourself around me" and it's a bit awkward, but yeah, I think the best thing to do is just continue not to meet up with her any more and keep things brief.

Thank you. 🙂

Hello Earth Girl, if this girl is lovely but she turns you into another person, then sometimes you have to be 'cruel to be kind', otherwise she will always question what you say and make uncivilised comments about other people you like.

Best wishes.

Geoff.

In that case, I think you need to elaborate more on the specific reasons why you don’t want to be her friend anymore

Ggrand
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Earth Girl,

Its very sad when a friend, a nice friend wants or needs some companionship and friendship...but the other person does not want theirs anymore..after 3 years of being friends..

You do say that this person is a nice person, I think she values your friendship and you very much.....

I’m wondering if you could maybe have a one on one chat with her and explain very gently to her, how she is making you feel...not yourself around her etc...how she constantly repeats herself is bothering you....maybe allocate a short time once a week/fortnightly/monthly to hang out with her, to keep the friendship alive....I know you don’t want her as your friend anymore...maybe try to be more kind of casual friends...rather then good friends...

She might be a very insure person and goes way beyond your friendship barriers..idk...set some boundaries like I mentioned above....

Ask yourself....if you never saw or heard from her again...would you miss her...even the slightest little bit?...

I am sorry, about my post...but I do value friendships....very much...I have a couple of close friends..at times they do annoy me...then other times they are wonderful, friendship is both good and bad...give and take, happy and sad...but if she is causing you a lot of stress...I think it’s best to end it ASAP....instead of leading her on and having her thinking that you are still liking her and being friends with her..

It shows in your post, that you care about this girl, because you don’t want to hurt her..

My kindest thoughts with my care lovely Earth Girl..

Grandy..

Earth Girl
Community Member

Hey guys, you'd think that this wouldn't end that badly because sometimes friendships just don't work out, but things are getting pretty bad. I managed to end the friendship and I tried to do so nicely and I genuinely wished her well with her future, but now this girl A and some new friends that she has made are saying really nasty things about me online and they are saying that I was "pretending to be friends with her for several years" even though the reason why I stayed friends with her for so long was because I was scared to end things because she gets furious at people when they stop being friends with her.

 

They also say online other things like "she is going to find the perfect way to destroy you  (me) right before cutting you off" (even though there's no need to "cut me off" because I told her nicely that I didn't want to be friends with her anymore several times).

 

"Guys always go after Earth Girl even though she's always the ugliest in the group. She gets all the most attractive, talented guys. Guys think she's perfect but us girls know better. Guys should give pretty girls a chance!" (Which I think sounds really bitchy and stuck up of them to say that. No one in our group was that good looking anyway although a lot of them would constantly talk about how pretty they were).

 

And they also called me homophobic even though 1. A is actually homophobic which is part of the reason why I didn't want to be friends with her anymore other than just not enjoying the friendship at all anymore and not being able to be myself. She would say things like "I feel a bit uncomfortable with my friend M because she told me she likes woman. She's a lesbian, that's why she dresses kind of like a boy" and she said this in a very judgmental tone. I just said that M seems nice and left it there but I could tell that if I joined in, she would have gotten a lot nastier.

 

And 2. A guy in high school made a rumor that I was a lesbian because I didn't like him or his friends back and so I made fake accounts mirroring the things my bullies were saying about me like "Ewe, a girl at our school is a lesbian and she's obsessed with me" to try to get my bullies to realize how nasty they were being but instead they thought that I was thinking these things about people who are gay and that I was the bully so now everyone is calling ME homophobic.

 

It just seems crazy to me that she wants revenge on me just because I NICELY ended a friendship with her. I don't HAVE to be friends with her, but she felt like I should and now, since she is hurt and must feel rejected or something, she is handling it in the worst way possible. I have two other people who also want to get revenge on me just because I grew out of a friendship with them as well and one of these women and I weren't really even friends, we were just friends on Facebook.

sbella02
Community Champion
Community Champion

Earth Girl,

 

Thank you for reaching out again, and I'm sorry to hear that these toxic friendships have been reignited. I've had a few toxic friendships in my life, and I've got several pieces of advice that have come from these.

 

No matter what they say, remain civil. It sounds like they might be looking for a reaction from you, and the more you give in, the more ammunition you would give them to "destroy" you, to use their words. 

 

You could even go one step further and ignore it. If you're not responding to anything that they're saying, they'll eventually get bored of what they're doing. Bad reactions add fuel to the fire. I had a friend like this, and our friendship ended about a year and a half ago. Despite my efforts to be civil, she continued to talk disrespectfully about me to others, so I learned to just ignore it and not say anything about it. If you forget about it or appear outwardly like you don't care, others around you will learn not to care about what this former friend is saying either, seeing you are seemingly unaffected. 

 

I once saw a video that changed my perspective on rumours and insults. I believe it was a motivational speaker who picked somebody out of the crowd and said something like "your hair is blue" to one of the brunette audience members, who reacted with confusion. The speaker emphasised how this person was aware that their hair wasn't blue, because they'd accepted that having brown hair was their reality. The same is true for any attribute. So long as YOU know that you aren't homophobic or nasty or whatever else they may say about you, your awareness of what attributes you DO have will make their insults and accusations meaningless, because they're not rooted in fact. I hope this makes sense.

 

You may feel like you need to defend yourself against what you're saying, but the reality is that your choice to either be kind or remain indifferent will reveal more truth about you than their words can. 

 

In the meantime, while it may hurt, journaling can be so good for expressing all those repressed feelings and anger towards people who have hurt us. I love journaling. It's super therapeutic. 

 

I hope this helps, or at least gives you a little reassurance. This person and the people they surround themselves with don't sound like very good influences to have in your life, and the sooner you can overcome their hateful words, the better you'll feel.

 

Take care, SB