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How do you politely end a friendship?


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So I recently moved to a new area.. during the pandemic it hasn’t been easy to make friends so I went online to meet people. I met this girl and we had similar interests so we met in person. We hung out like once a week for some time. Over time I started realizing that is she not the type of person I want to be friends with. When I make plans, she always cancels last minute or leaves early. When she makes plans she always goes out of her way to make sure things happen. She’s also the type to be like “hey look at me. Look at everything I have. Look at my amazing relationship.” She’s super self-centered. 
 

So my question is: how do I kindly end the friendship? We also have a mutual friend so I will probably have to run into her at some point. 

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A)  Do the slow fade.  You're very busy right now.  Less and less contact etc. 

B)  The only other way is to be upfront and tell her straight it's just not working for you.

How long have you actually been "friends"?  You say recently.  How recent?

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2 minutes ago, Capricorn3 said:

A)  Do the slow fade.  You're very busy right now.  Less and less contact etc. 

B)  The only other way is to be upfront and tell her straight it's just not working for you.

How long have you actually been "friends"?  You say recently.  How recent?

About 6 months. She’s been texting me a lot to make up for all the stuff she has canceled. I haven’t been replying. 

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I don't think there is any way to politely end things.  it's either something happens (like an argument) or you just stop. Sometimes life takes us in different directions... like old high school friends.  It's not that you're not friends. 

But if you don't like her and don't think she is your kind of people, just keep blowing her off.  you don't have to be rude.  Decline invitations (don't say I'll let you know and then not let her know.) let time pass when (she contacts) you before responding.

Don't worry about the mutual friend. never mention it to her...

letting things fade is a passive approach. it's about what you don't do. not what you do. 

It's ok to distance yourself.

Edited by Lambert
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Yeah the best way is the "slow fade". Just stop contacting her, stop inviting her to anything. If she contacts you then either don't reply or reply briefly. If she asks to meet up just say you're busy. Hopefully she will start getting the message. If she cancelled on you at the last minute often then really she can't be surprised that you don't want to be friends anymore.

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5 minutes ago, Lambert said:

I don't think there is any way to politely end things.  it's either something happens (like an argument) or you just stop. Sometimes life takes us in different directions... like old high school friends.  It's not that you're not friends. 

But if you don't like her and don't think she is your kind of people, just keep blowing her off.  you don't have to be rude.  Decline invitations (don't say I'll let you know and then not let her know.) let time pass when (she contacts) you before responding.

Don't worry about the mutual friend. never mention it to her...

letting things fade is a passive approach. it's about what you don't do. not what you do. 

It's ok to distance yourself.

You’re right about no mentioning it to the mutual friend. I totally was about to do that haha 

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4 minutes ago, ForeverLearning said:

You’re right about no mentioning it to the mutual friend. I totally was about to do that haha 

Right and if she brings it up, don't go there. An "I don't know" with a shrug is a good thing.  Especially, with new friends. You never know who likes to stir the pot ... In time you'll see who is a friend, who remained an acquaintance and who is to be avoided. 

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7 minutes ago, Lambert said:

Right and if she brings it up, don't go there. An "I don't know" with a shrug is a good thing.  Especially, with new friends. You never know who likes to stir the pot ... In time you'll see who is a friend, who remained an acquaintance and who is to be avoided. 

Great point. I’m learning this with age. 

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2 minutes ago, ForeverLearning said:

Great point. I’m learning this with age. 

We all are... I remember thinking, this kind of stuff doesn't happen as you get older. but it does. Some people never mature, evolve, grow... its amazing.  Some people never face their own BS. It's sad really. 

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You can drift apart and do a gradual, slow fade if you didn't cross paths with her due to your mutual friend. 

Decline politely and make yourself unavailable to her.  I wouldn't simply ignore her since you'll see her due to your mutual friend and that can feel awkward. 

If she's relentless and won't take your passive behavior as a hint, then I'd be honest with her.  Tell her that you will respect her as an acquaintance and that's it; no more no less.  No need to explain further.  Keep it short and sweet. 

When you see her due to your mutual friend, be kind, respectful, act natural and remain well mannered with a safe distance.  There is a way for you to have class and grace.  You can enforce healthy boundaries by being in control in a good way. 

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If someone wants to end a friendship with me, I'd appreciate a brief, gracious final statement as opposed to being rejected, dumped, ignored and ghosted.  (Or, worse being blocked and deleted.)  I've had some people simply drop me off the face of this earth with their extremely passive aggressive behavior which hurt me and I thought they were very cruel as they simply discarded me like yesterday's trash. 

If someone were to write: "It's time to say good-bye and I wish you well.  All the best, Signed Name,"  I'd appreciate this type of classy behavior instead of completely ignoring me with nary an explanation which I find to be very rude and unkind IMHO.  There is a way to treat people with kindness and respect even if it's time to go your separate ways. 

Should our paths cross in the future, it will not feel awkward because we both parted ways on peaceful, very respectful and considerate terms. 

 

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6 hours ago, ForeverLearning said:

how do I kindly end the friendship? 

Just fade out. It's the best approach. There's no need for an explanation, it's not a breakup.

Be busy all the time. Make plans with friends, family, volunteering, school, work, clubs, groups, etc.

Actually be that busy in addition to saying you are busy. If someone irritates you, that's just how they are, so phasing them out is the best approach.

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Even though I won't be friends with a person, I still think it's classy to be nice to them so it won't feel awkward should your paths cross due to the mutual friend whom you share with your soon to be ex-friend.

If this friend were someone whom you'd never see again, then drifting apart and fading away is fine as I'd done the same.  However, if you'll see this person due to your mutual friend and if you want to avoid awkward feelings for yourself and the friend whom you wish to part ways with, it's better to have cleared the air with her.  There will be a mutual understanding as you two continue to share same social circles. 

I still think social graces are important as opposed to deliberately snubbing someone rudely especially since there's no such thing as fading away completely given that you two share a mutual friend together and cross paths socially. 

 

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If you've only known her for 6 months, I don't think you have to politely end the friendship.  If you sent her a good-bye text or email saying "this isn't working, time to go our separate ways" I think that would be more awkward if in the future you run into her with the mutual friend.  Even if you've known someone a longer time, the "this friendship is over" confrontation closes the door to a future, friendly and less stressful situation if you see her again.  Then again, you can never predict or control how someone else will behave or react.  You can only control yourself. 

Doing the slow fade, "Sorry, I can't, I'm busy, please make other plans", then not answering texts or calls, et cetera is in my opinion more kind than a flat-out goodbye, rejection text or email.  Then if you do run into her, it will seem more normal/organic, less stressful.  If she asks you what happened, well, "life happened", you were busy, you had this or that going on.  You don't have to be specific.  If she presses, you could just be friendly, calm and vague, shrug it off, possibly apologize but not profusely, say "It's personal, I'm sorry" or something to end the conversation.

If she does ask you point blank, "is there a particular reason why you don't want to hang out with me anymore?" then you have a choice if you want to be more honest.  If she said or did something truly insulting or egregious, then yes, you should tell her it was offensive or unkind.  But if it was her annoying personality that doesn't click with you, telling her this won't help.  It sounds like she is the type who will not "get" any feedback about her behavior, she could become defensive and it could backfire.  This has happened to me.  So I've learned with certain personality types, confrontation is not the way to go.  

Breaking up is hard to do, whether a brand new friendship or a longer relationship.  There's no easy way around it.  Good luck!

Edited by rapunzel
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3 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

Even though I won't be friends with a person, I still think it's classy to be nice to them so it won't feel awkward should your paths cross due to the mutual friend whom you share with your soon to be ex-friend.

If this friend were someone whom you'd never see again, then drifting apart and fading away is fine as I'd done the same.  However, if you'll see this person due to your mutual friend and if you want to avoid awkward feelings for yourself and the friend whom you wish to part ways with, it's better to have cleared the air with her.  There will be a mutual understanding as you two continue to share same social circles. 

I still think social graces are important as opposed to deliberately snubbing someone rudely especially since there's no such thing as fading away completely given that you two share a mutual friend together and cross paths socially. 

 

I still plan to be nice to her if I see her. But is just ignoring her messages rude? 

Edited by ForeverLearning
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1 hour ago, rapunzel said:

If you've only known her for 6 months, I don't think you have to politely end the friendship.  If you sent her a good-bye text or email saying "this isn't working, time to go our separate ways" I think that would be more awkward if in the future you run into her with the mutual friend.  Even if you've known someone a longer time, the "this friendship is over" confrontation closes the door to a future, friendly and less stressful situation if you see her again.  Then again, you can never predict or control how someone else will behave or react.  You can only control yourself. 

Doing the slow fade, "Sorry, I can't, I'm busy, please make other plans", then not answering texts or calls, et cetera is in my opinion more kind than a flat-out goodbye, rejection text or email.  Then if you do run into her, it will seem more normal/organic, less stressful.  If she asks you what happened, well, "life happened", you were busy, you had this or that going on.  You don't have to be specific.  If she presses, you could just be friendly, calm and vague, shrug it off, possibly apologize but not profusely, say "It's personal, I'm sorry" or something to end the conversation.

If she does ask you point blank, "is there a particular reason why you don't want to hang out with me anymore?" then you have a choice if you want to be more honest.  If she said or did something truly insulting or egregious, then yes, you should tell her it was offensive or unkind.  But if it was her annoying personality that doesn't click with you, telling her this won't help.  It sounds like she is the type who will not "get" any feedback about her behavior, she could become defensive and it could backfire.  This has happened to me.  So I've learned with certain personality types, confrontation is not the way to go.  

Breaking up is hard to do, whether a brand new friendship or a longer relationship.  There's no easy way around it.  Good luck!

I guess she kinda did something disrespectful. We had plans for the weekend that we had scheduled well in advance. I messaged her the day before to confirm everything. Meanwhile she was posting on social media about how she was hanging out with some other friends. She finally messaged me back at midnight about how she had to cancel because she was “too tired” and asked me to reschedule to the following weekend when I had already cleared my schedule that weekend to hang out with her that day. 

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11 minutes ago, ForeverLearning said:

I guess she kinda did something disrespectful. We had plans for the weekend that we had scheduled well in advance. I messaged her the day before to confirm everything. Meanwhile she was posting on social media about how she was hanging out with some other friends. She finally messaged me back at midnight about how she had to cancel because she was “too tired” and asked me to reschedule to the following weekend when I had already cleared my schedule that weekend to hang out with her that day. 

How did you respond to this? 

I guess this changes my original advice.  I would just ghost this girl and if she asked me, I'd say flat out- I didn't appreciate the way you treated me on our such & such plans.  So I pulled away from you.

If she doesn't ask- even better.

Edited by Lambert
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I agree with the slow fade idea.  I've done it a few times.  You cant politely say - hey I dont want to be your friend anymore.  Way too awkward and also hurtful.

Just dont be available when she contacts you.  Be busy, and eventually she will figure it out.

 

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45 minutes ago, Lambert said:

How did you respond to this? 

I guess this changes my original advice.  I would just ghost this girl and if she asked me, I'd say flat out- I didn't appreciate the way you treated me on our such & such plans.  So I pulled away from you.

If she doesn't ask- even better.

I didn’t respond at all haha. But yeah my plan is to ghost her.

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7 minutes ago, ForeverLearning said:

I didn’t respond at all haha. But yeah my plan is to gosh her.

I'd try to stop thinking about it.  Be comfy with yourself.  you will find better local friends. until then enjoy your own time.  focus on yourself. 

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10 minutes ago, Lambert said:

I'd try to stop thinking about it.  Be comfy with yourself.  you will find better local friends. until then enjoy your own time.  focus on yourself. 

Totally agree! Definitely not something I’m hung up on. It only happened yesterday haha. So I’m moving on.

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24 minutes ago, ForeverLearning said:

Totally agree! Definitely not something I’m hung up on. It only happened yesterday haha. So I’m moving on.

oh! haha. yeah you're definitely not hung up! 

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1 hour ago, ForeverLearning said:

I still plan to be nice to her if I see her. But is just ignoring her messages rude? 

Yes it is. Just text back quickly, that you are busy. No need to be rude. 

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I think there's a danger in overexplaining one's self in these scenarios and the other party (who has a history of being self-centered) may not care or it may fall on deaf ears anyway. In early 2020 I met someone who was very gregarious and outgoing and wanted to include me in all her outings. I went along but it became exhausting quickly. She was intelligent, very curious and an overall kind and open person. Due to our circumstances both of us were working through different situations but hers was so much different from mine and she was expecting me to catch up quickly while I couldn't. She needed outward assurances from friends and I tend to be a recluse and look within. 

I just did not have enough (in me) to help her feel good about herself or her life so we stopped spending time together. In her case I was honest that much of my silence was just needing to time to work through a few things on my own because she was genuine and wanted to know what was wrong or if she had done something wrong. 

If you want to ghost her that's up to you. I think the people I tend to meet or spend time with expect a bit more and I don't mind being honest. If it wasn't like that I'd be a bit more quiet and back away slowly. You can decide to make that choice. I never like people wondering that they've done something wrong towards me so that's why I am clear if I need time away if it's warranted.

 

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