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Thread: I need my distance

  1. #21
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    It's not a black and white thing this friendship stuff -so many gray areas and I also, like you, question myself in both senses (was I being too sensitive/was that person being rude, etc) - I think you're being thoughtful about it. I wanted to share that this discussion made me feel a little sensitive in this way -I have a newish friend and we text fairly regularly, see each other in person less than once a month (distance and scheduling etc and I met her husband first a few years ago -she has a chronic illness too which makes scheduling tough!) . She's told me a number of times how her mother and mother in law hate each other and her mother is now visiting. I've met her mother in law a few times and really like her. So she texted me that her mother in law usually comes with them to a pumpkin patch twice a year and mentioned that they were going today with her mother who is visiting. So I asked if her MIL was coming too and the answer was nope, they hate each other.

    So I texted "I'm sorry but I can't help having this image of two grandmothers feuding in a pumpkin patch" (with a wink emoji). And I sent it and worried -uh oh what if she doesn't like my joke, maybe it's too sensitive for her..... (of course) she texted back ha ha and loved it Honestly I wish I'd not worried at all - because if we're going to continue our friendship then that is the kind of joke that if she doesn't get at least should know I meant it as a joke and not to offend -and if that would offend her then I wouldn't be sure we had a sense of humor in common

    This thread reminded me though of how word choice/boundaries - kind of tough sometimes. I hope you have NO drama in ending this. I'd just do the fade thing since she knows I would hope that she oversteps??

  2. #22
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    That lady is out of this world over the top, Kim! It sounds like she was being 'real' with you about the cost of living in that city but there's probably a better way to say those things. Tone goes a long way. Also, none of her beeswax whether you can 'afford' something. I guess she felt cut off or hurt by her friend ending the friendship. I agree with the slow fade. For the minimal involvement she has in your life, this just ain't worth the headache.

    I like the pumpkin patch joke lol
    All they need are broomsticks!! Ok... too much. Good points about word choice and boundaries.

  3. #23
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    You've made a smart choice to distance yourself from someone who browbeats people and makes you feel lousy. While your conditioning prompts guilt, challenge the voice in your head that takes up where she leaves off in judging yourself. Credit yourself instead for recognizing a personality that you don't wish to emulate or be influenced by. Celebrate your ability to make wise and self protective choices in who you're willing to call a friend versus those who are best relegated to acquaintance territory.

    As kids we were forced into socialization within our neighborhoods and classrooms, yet as adults we've never been taught to recognize the point at which we don't require permission to apply mature discretion in selecting our friends carefully. While intellectually we understand that this means surrounding ourselves with positive people who we admire and respect, it's up to us to shed old conditioning that's driven by fears of unknown repercussions for rejecting anyone who is not good friendship material for us.

    This requires a life skill that we must self-teach. For instance, you've observed this:
    Originally Posted by kim42
    We have some friends in common and one of them ended their friendship with this girl, she sent her a text message explaining why, and my friend made a big deal out of it. It was all over her Facebook, she blocked this girl everywhere, so I hope I can avoid such drama. It sounds so high school lol.
    So you've learned that confrontation doesn't buy peace, it buys drama. Choose a better method. Keep this person as a distant acquaintance, be kind whenever your paths cross, but don't engage her beyond the limits you choose. For instance, occasional shopping or movies wouldn't allow this woman much speaking time with you, and you might enjoy her in that context. If not, don't even do that. Give her the slow fade without feeding her ammunition. No complaints will change her, so just change your focus, instead.

  4. #24
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    Thank you, this really makes sense, I never thought about people entering/leaving my life like this.

    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    It's fine to distance yourself from toxic people or simply people you've outgrown. Life evolves and not everyone fits in for your entire lifetime.

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  6. #25
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    I'm going to try this on for size -never thought about it in this way -but maybe if you are active on social media (I have Facebook) then the whole sense of the natural flow of friendships fading, or taking a long break during certain life stages or changes, gets skewed because no matter what unless you unfriend each other you can still see posts and know sometimes the minutae of what's going on so it gives a false sense of still being "in touch" even though the connection is weak or even faded out. Used to be that part of the fading was you didn't call each other on your landlines anymore much less make a plan to see each other.

    My best friend in 5th grade and I reconnected many years later (about 28 years later) via Facebook in 2008. We actually did get very close again and see each other whenever I was in town -a couple of times a year -had long phone calls once a week or so - and then around year 7 she started getting toxic - she always was on the negative/opinionated side but she started being less reliable, very argumentative, had medical issues as well and job-related/financial issues. We had a last straw moment in 2016 when she said something very hurtful about my imminent return to work after 7 years raising my son. So I distanced myself - and she would go MIA for a month or more without checking in which given our closeness I found hurtful/unfair as well.

    So for the last few years I kept our friendship to less personal texting - I slowly started being more personal and was always ready to pull back if I saw she was getting too opinionated/argumentative, etc. I had to a few times a bit. I last texted her beginning of May -twice with what required a response, no response. Yesterday she texted me - almost 5 months later - her excuse was she got really busy at work which was understaffed so she wasn't texting people. She had been "liking" a lot of my comments on Facebook. So we had some pleasant chit chat but I'm glad she said what she did- now I'm in the category of "people I keep in touch with when I feel like texting." And so I will act accordingly -not share much that is personal/would need a response and keep the distance. Just an example of the evolution of a friendship that started in the 1970s.

  7. #26
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    Hi Batya, sorry for your friend saying hurtful stuff.the Facebook thing is so true. I like the idea of not sharing too much personal information. I am friends with this girl on Facebook, I am keeping my distance there, not liking her stuff etc. I'll see how it goes but I do feel a sense of relief that we didn't meet while she was visiting my city. I don' need to block her or unfriend for now, I just need space. She acts as if she had two different personalities, she defends people on Facebook but at the same time she's really judgmental.

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