February 26, 2020 at 4:24 pm #340210
I’m 26 years old. I’ve known my best friend since childhood–she moved next door to me when I was roughly 4 or 5. She has a sister that also became a best friend to me, as well. We’re all very close in age.
Throughout our lives we’ve had many fall outs, many fights, drama, gossiping, etc. It wasn’t until junior or senior year of high school when things simmered down and our relationship became much more closer and secure. We both we’re slowing growing up and maturing. Our friendship has been pretty solid since the end of high school, although we have had some arguments and disagreements. One thing she does in particular that really rubs me the wrong way and hurts me is making me feel guilty for doing certain things.
I just celebrated my 26th birthday with another group of friends that I consider my best friends as well. They orchestrated the plans to go to a winery for my birthday. My childhood best friend became very upset with me because I did not include her in the plans and thought that I would want to have all of my close friends with me on my birthday and that she ALWAYS invites me to things no matter what. I apologized many many times and tried to be patient and understanding with her even though I felt I did nothing wrong. I expressed how it hurts me when I try to be a good friend and I often find myself in situations where I’m “damned if I do and damned if I don’t”. All she could do was keep placing blame on me and completely disregard that I felt hurt in some ways, too.
Do not get me wrong. She is a wonderful friend. She has done a lot for me over the years. She’s very loyal and you can confide in her for anything. But she is notorious for making friends feel guilty when she is hurting. And it seems her pride and anger are sometimes prioritized over friendships. I feel incredibly misunderstood by her often and it frustrates me and causes me a lot of anguish. I find that I’m always having to explain myself, and even then she doesn’t care to understand or listen.
I love her so much and she is like a sister to me but she’s not always the friend that I really need her to be and it hurts. I’m sure there are things that I do that indeed hurt her, and I am not discrediting her feelings. But she seems to never take into consideration mine. I wonder a lot of times if we would be better off going separate ways, despite it being a painful end to a relationship. I’m not sure what to do. We haven’t talked in a few days and honestly I’m too angry to look at anything of hers on social media right now. I need space from her.
Please help. Any advice would be appreciated. xo
February 26, 2020 at 6:26 pm #340224
- This topic was modified 3 months ago by Kelsi.
I just read all of your posts in your previous threads, starting in 2014. You read like a fair, sensible young person in all of them. When you evaluated the two separate guys you shared about, you were not locked into a positive or a negative view of any one of them, you saw the good, the bad and the ugly, so to speak- you saw the bigger picture, and expressed respect to each one of them. I was quite impressed reading, especially knowing how young you were at the time.
As I read your current thread, I trust your description of your childhood friend. I think that it is a good idea that you let her go, end the friendship with her, that is, because she is in the habit of guilt- tripping her friends. It is a harmful habit, better not expose yourself to that habit of hers anymore.
It is unpleasant to have to be cautious, not knowing the next time she gets offended by something you said or didn’t say, something you did or failed to do, being uncomfortable, not knowing the next time she will feel offended and guilt-trip you, making you feel bad.
If we avail ourselves to a person in the habit of guilt tripping, eventually.. we do feel guilty (which is the intent of the person doing the guilt tripping)!
I will be away from the computer for the next 12 hours.
February 28, 2020 at 11:14 am #340468
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by anita.
I am sorry to read that you are struggling with someone whom you are so close with. While you obviously love her and you have been through a lot with each other, she sounds like a very toxic friend. I understand that everyone is different in how they express themselves, etc., but a mutual friendship is where both parties give. She seems to take more than she gives and she seems very inwardly focused (to an unhealthy degree). I am certain she is a decent person, but it sounds like her guilt tripping is just something you cannot condone. And rightfully so.
Unfortunately, she sounds very selfish, as it seems your friendship with her is more about her than you. You have clearly tried to set boundaries and have been very honest and forthcoming with her. The fact that she cannot see this and will not listen to you has to be very frustrating. You should be able to live your life as you want without her making you feel guilty for doing so. As well, even though she is a friend, she is not your spouse – by that, I mean, you are not required to invite her wherever you go and you shouldn’t have to explain your actions. You are not beholden to her.
I don’t feel I am qualified to tell you what you should do, but the fact that she causes you more anguish than joy tells me the friendship isn’t very healthy. I would think clearly on it. Is being friends with her causing you more stress than joy? Is her behavior something you can tolerate and overlook? Is she harming your well-being instead of contributing to it? If you can answer yes to those questions, you might be better off ending the friendship. You have to watch out for yourself and your health because no one else will do it. You deserve to be happy and to live a life with as less stress as possible.
I wish this was an easy thing. I am actually going through the same thing with a friend. I have been setting boundaries and pulling back, testing the waters so-to-speak, but she continues her toxic behavior and our friendship is more about her issues and her needs than a mutual give-take. I know it is harder than just saying it, ending a friendship. I am struggling with it too. Whatever you decide, I wish you the best and hope you don’t suffer too much pain from either ending the friendship or keeping it.
~JenMarch 2, 2020 at 9:34 am #340930
I disagree a bit with the others in this case. I wonder if its really the right move to just drop her. So I wanted to ask: To what extend have you tried to set boundaries? Was it in a situation where you both were calm and relaxed (and not exchanging blaming all around?) Did you tell her everything you wrote here?
Would it be an option to show her this thread?
The reason I am writing this is that we all grow. I guess you can’t change anyone but maybe she didn’t get the message yet and thus won’t have a chance to change (whether you drop her or not). Thats my two cents, of course it is your right to choose and end friendships as you like.March 4, 2020 at 10:22 am #341400
Kelsi, I can relate so much to your post. I am also someone that has multiple “best friends”, many of them are pretty demanding and get jealous when I spend time with other groups of friends. It can be tricky, especially because not all of them get along. Back in my 20’s, I used to try to include everyone for everything, and it made things more stressful because a) it took so much more effort to plan around numerous people’s schedules, b) I got less time with each person because the group was so big, c) I just felt drained trying to please everyone and cater to everyone’s needs, pet peeves, be the peacekeeper, the leader, etc.
I’m now 37 and I can speak from 10 years extra of juggling the multiple, dramatic numerous best friends. First, it feels good to set boundaries, and you don’t need to cater to everyone. You can tell your friend, that you understand she felt left out but these other friends planned this special thing with you and it wasn’t your job to change plans to include more people than that. Maybe they just wanted a more intimate day with you, as it sounds like these are separate groups of friends from different chapters of your life. I’ve learned that it is totally ok. When I get a friend who gets jealous about me doing something with a different group these days, I tell that jealous friend that now I just prefer to have smaller groups, because it lets the conversation get deeper, the time spent is more quality. That’s what I’ve realized, essentially, is it’s quality over quantity. I think expressing it that way helps people understand that you value them and want your time together to be quality. Also being able to have firm boundaries is a great thing for you, especially with friends who are demanding, as this friend sounds to be. See how she takes it. She may not take it well.
I will say I’ve lost a couple of friends along the way who couldn’t respect my boundaries, but it left more space for those that do. I definitely understand you have a history and loyalty to her because you’ve been friends for so long. Perhaps the friendship just changes form, and you don’t stay as close, but stay friends. That’s ok too. Friendships grow and change over the years and as long as there is mutual respect, that is all good.March 15, 2020 at 1:12 pm #343438
Thank you all for taking the time to reach out. Your advice is incredibly appreciated.
I reached out to my childhood best friend last weekend to see if we could talk and figure things out. She ignored me. We’re also in a group chat together on Snapchat with our other 3 good friends and she posted a picture with the 4 of them (I was excluded in the picture), with the caption “Miss all of you” knowing that I would see it.
Now she is intentionally going out of her way to HURT ME. I have made the decision of going separate ways from her. I’m getting too old to deal with the immaturity and passive aggressiveness. If she isn’t willing to at least understand my side and see where I’m coming from, then the friendship doesn’t seem worth it to me anymore. I can’t be friends with someone when things are constantly one-sided and I’m guilted into things I don’t think I’m doing wrong. It just doesn’t feel right and it’s leaving me feeling defeated time and time again. The pain is becoming too much.
I’m hurting but I also feel a weird sense of relief. Perhaps it’s letting me know I made the right decision, after all. I keep having dreams about her almost every night now which I acknowledge is probably part of the grieving process, but I’m ready to move on and focus on more positive things in my life.
Thank you all for listening to my story and taking the time to help me. xoxoMarch 15, 2020 at 1:55 pm #343446
I think that your “weird sense of relief” is an indication that you made the right decision regarding this former childhood friend.
You wrote: “If she isn’t willing to at least understand my side.. then the friendship doesn’t seem worth it to me anymore.
I add, using the same sentence structure: If “she is intentionally going out of her way to HURT ME”, then there is no friendship.
When a person is intentionally trying to hurt another, the hurting person is not friendly- she is hostile, and she is not a friend- she is an enemy (an enemy is a person or group of people who intend to hurt another party, then plans to do so, then execute the plan, all which she did).
And so, best indeed cut off an enemy.
anitaMarch 15, 2020 at 3:55 pm #343450
a story that is truly meaningful, childhood is synonymous with fighting. that is something children do. become a very valuable lesson. I hope you guys stay together and get along.