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Deciding on whether to break off a friendship

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  • #384768
    ella_1986
    Participant

    Hi,

     

    I am looking for advice as I’ve got a situation that is stressing me out a little and i’m not sure about the best way to approach it.

    I (female), have formed a very close group of friends  with my fiancé, as we met them all at work 8 years ago and got very close to them and still keep in touch.  They are all guys – and from being the only girl in that group, I encouraged all of the guys to bring their girlfriends along and I have formed an even closer relationship with the girlfriends in our group.  There’s 4 in total, and I’m extremely close to 2 of them in particular.

    One of the couples in the group have started to show a lot of their true colours and i’ve realised (and many in the group have also realised), that we just don’t click.  Let’s call them Sally and James.  They are both extremely negative, James puts my fiancé down a lot of the time, they are very opinionated and just not my kind of people.  All of the girls in the group have given up on Sally, but I have hung in as I felt she never did anything to offend me.

     

    The issue I have now, is that I’ve always been happy to be pleasant with Sally, and civil. But I don’t want to get close to her.  We are just very different people – she hasn’t ever worked, she does say she has mental health problems, and her partner James has told me basically that if i’m not her friend she has no one.  I have been told that she emotionally black mails her partner into staying with her, and i know that their relationship is very toxic as neither of them work, they smoke a lot and when we’ve been away on trips with them they’ve been extremely lazy – expecting others to clean up after them, they are quite entitled people.

    My issue is, I have noticed that since the girls in the group have taken a step back from Sally, Sally has tried to hold onto our “friendship” even more and it feels too much for me.  We never really used to talk that much but now, she texts me a lot – and when i don’t reply she sends me text after text.  And the texts she does send me are extremely long and it’s just not how I would go about having a friendship.  When we are together i  person, she doesn’t speak to be due to confidence issues.

    Last night, I messaged Sally and James to give them advice on the group situation, as it has came to light that the group just don’t want them around and as a result, Sally and James have been getting upset, and still trying to force themselves onto people.  I tried to give advice and say that by actually doing what they are doing, it is making the group more tense.  James made a lot of claims that we are bullies – this is such a strong statement to make and I know that it isn’t true – if it was then they wouldn’t desire to be in the friendship group at all.  But the fact is, that this group is their only hope for a social life because they don’t have any other friendships.  He told me that it’s mean on Sally because I don’t understand – because I’m a bubbly person and “everyone loves me”, I’m lucky to not have any of the issues that Sally has with her confidence etc.  I just disagree with all of this.  I haven’t been handed all of my friendships, and people don’t just love me because i’m lucky.  I work hard at my friendships.  I drive miles to see friends, and I’m always there to lend an ear for anyone – that’s why i’m the last one in the group still hanging on to Sally.

    My issue is, I don’t feel like i get anything from Sally as a friend.  I know she has apologised for negative, but I can’t ever see her changing because unless she changed her lifestyle it just won’t happen (getting a job, or volunteering, meeting new people, working on her social skills), but she has refused any of these ideas we’ve given her.  I feel like i’m almost being black mailed into a friendship due to her mental health issues, but when i look at our “friendship”, there isn’t one. Just a barrage of whatsapp messages that have become more intense since she lost her place in the group.

    Min a sentimental person, I have a lot of friendships because I value friendship a lot and i’m a very loyal person.  But i just feel like Sally is desperately hanging on to me and It’s getting too much, I just don’t know how to approach it.  I did try to explain it in the past but was told by James “If you don’t like Sally, the fairest thing to do would be to tell her”.  I just don’t understand why it has to be so cut and dry like that.  Just because we don’t click as people doesn’t mean i don’t like her – but I feel like he is pushing me into a corner, and so is she.  It feels like unless i tell her i don’t like you- stop messaging me, that she has no self awareness to actually get the hint to step away.

    I have considered deleting my whatsapp because of all of this, because i know that if i didn’t have whatsapp, i would have absolutely no relationship with her.  It’s purely a virtual relationship that is causing me a lot of stress. Not to mention – As the group have decided they don’t like them, I am annoying them by still inviting them to places, so it is also affecting my relationship with my close friends.

     

    Any advice on this would be amazing. And sorry for such a long message.

    #384816
    anita
    Participant

    Dear ella_1986:

    I read your post: you read like an intelligent, sensible, kind and socially aware and skilled person. My advice: end all personal communication with  Sally. If all it takes to accomplish this is to delete Whatsapp- do so. If it takes telling Sally that you do not want any personal communication with her- then do that.

    You should not be blackmailed into any personal relationship, and particularly not into a twisted/ low quality one. You are a quality person deserving of quality friendships, based  on the personal freedom: to be or not to be in a friendship.

    anita

    #384831
    thatssoelsie
    Participant

    Hi ella_1986,

    I think you should cut ties to anything that is stressing you out or mentally draining you. If you see no future in this “friendship” an share nothing in common now or in the future it is not worth dragging it on and potentially getting worse & harder to cut off down the road.

    Ive been in situations where its hard to cut off a person, but when I did have to, it was a weight off my shoulder.  No need for drama and toxic relationships. Surround yourself with people who have good energy, and keep those around you that make you happy, and a better person 🙂

    Good luck!

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