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Feel like shutting out a friend

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Old 7th February 2019, 9:09 AM   #1
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Feel like shutting out a friend

Sorry for the long post but I feel I need to provide some perspective.

TL;DR: How do you determine if there’s enough reason to stop being friends with someone when you feel they’re being selectively supportive?

Background: I’ve done it in the past. Example: a friend acted cold and not supportive when my mom had an illness and I thought she might die (turns out she recovered and was okay). But the 10 year friendship started to die the day she was not supportive. It dragged one more year until I stopped responding to her messages (I used a new stressful job as an excuse but I guess I knew I felt offended and it was only an excuse to put distance between us). Then I even didn’t respond to a baby shower invite and I knew I was ready to let her go. I’m not proud of it but I also don’t regret it. Basically I ghosted on her. For some reason I do provide closure to ex BF but I don’t feel like doing it to friends when things start to die with them.

Current situation: My now (perhaps best) female friend is sometimes selfish, she might be what people call a “taker” at times. We’ve both been through very difficult times lately mainly professionally and also in dating and me with health issues in the family this past year/s. We mostly supported each other emotionally. But I feel she’s more present when she needs emotional support from me. When sometimes I’m the one who needs it and she’s busy, say, preparing for a job interview or with family, she disappears days on end, sometimes without even pre warning me that she won’t be available for a few days.

As a side reference, despite being usually well off financially, and even when she’s working and making good money, she’s incredibly stingy too... to the point of me feeling embarrassed for her - which I never mentioned but perhaps I should. She will buy designer clothes that costs hundreds/thousands of dollars for herself but will count pennies when sharing a coffee at a cafe. People from her country are mostly well off financially but also known to be on the stingy side.

For professional reasons she relocated back to Europe a few months ago. Despite her perfect resume she could not find a new job and left after a couple of decades here. Very stressful times for both of us. Maybe it wouldn’t make sense to try to keep this friendship so alive being that we’re so far now, but we are still in constant touch calling and texting. But interestingly the same pattern is continuing where she’s selectively absent and mainly when she doesn’t need support. She doesn’t seem to care at times if I might be needing it unless she does need it herself. When she does need support - oh boy, she pressures me to death to talk, even when she knows I’m busy myself. I am slowly stopping counting on her and not initiating contact that much.

I am not sure if I’m over reacting, if it’s in my head. If perhaps it’s okay to selectively disappear when you are friends with someone in your 40s... because... life. Specially when life is complicated as it is now, for both of us. Maybe I’m being too sensitive? Specially because I avoid/refuse to initiate talking about all this with her. With friendships for some reason I’ve always felt like just cutting contact is more appropriate than “discussing the relationship”.

For those of you into Myers Briggs this is called the ENFP door slamming. Lately I’m more and more thinking about distancing myself from her. Which is also tricky as I historically only let 1-3 people be (really) close friends with me. Intellectually she’s the only one now who’s really close to me. I haven’t made the effort to develop other friendships lately. My other local girl friends are more on the acquaintances side, only hang out with them for fun, and people who I consider friends are in other countries and they’re not really my support system anymore. Me and her have probably been friends for about 7-8 years now.

Put some distance or not? So basically she’s one of the few people who are in my support system besides my family right now. Yet I feel like door slamming her. Am I exaggerating my feelings? Am I going to regret if I at least put some emotional distance between us? How do you determine when it’s time to let a friend go?
'We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.' ― AnaÔs Nin

Last edited by edgygirl; 7th February 2019 at 9:45 AM..
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Old 7th February 2019, 10:04 AM   #2
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40's? sorry, but I honestly thought you were younger
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Old 7th February 2019, 10:15 AM   #3
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No reason to overthink this. She lives on a different continent now, correct? That means you guys have a time difference between you, and talking/correspondence or chatting will already be limited due to this alone

This may fizzle out by itself without you having to do anything, and if you are one to slam the door rather than discuss issues, then just be less proactive - and the problem will solve itself, due to the distance.

Generally speaking, I think it’s very hard to find new friends in your 40s. I speak from experience, which is why I cherish the ones I have even more. Most of them I’ve known for decades. The older I got the harder it was to form new friendships, and like you said, most of the “new” ones are just acquaintances.
[I wonder what country that is where people are mostly well off financially but also known to be on the stingy side. �� ]

Last edited by Artdeco; 7th February 2019 at 10:49 AM..
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Old 7th February 2019, 11:31 AM   #4
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Iím bubbly and extroverted. Sorry if you think I sound immature or so.

Originally Posted by darkmoon View Post
40's? sorry, but I honestly thought you were younger
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Old 7th February 2019, 11:37 AM   #5
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Thanks Artdeco. Yes I think it might die a natural death anyway. But it’s still weird as we were so close all these years. So probably no reason to act on it like you say. It’s just that the way she acts has been bothering me so much lately to the point of making me grumpy when she needs me. I feel a little violated if that makes sense. I can send you the country by PM if you’d like - just don’t want to make it too evident publicly, who knows - people I know might come here and make the association... I even told this friend about LS when she was having trouble dating.

As a side note, I do have an easy time initiating new friendships - just made a new friend the other day and we went to an event last week - BUT... I am very picky on who I open up to, whom I feel can be supportive emotionally and intellectually, and I also have limited emotional energy to invest. Hence I do have to be picky.

Last edited by edgygirl; 7th February 2019 at 11:47 AM..
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Old 17th February 2019, 10:27 AM   #6
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Honestly I've always just gone with my gut instinct

It might not be the best way but that's what I've done because I don't think you can ever get past that instinct feeling even if it's wrong. It will always be there
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Old 17th February 2019, 9:12 PM   #7
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I'm of the opinion that you either need to bluntly correct the person right when they are doing something unacceptable:

"Geez, Linda, you're not even listening. I listen to YOU when you are upset. WTF?"

OR just distance yourself. I don't see the logic in waiting until you're ready to quit and then having a big confrontation. It won't teach her anything. If you do it right when someone is being a butt, then they might get the idea.

Also, if they are just talking about themselves and their woes and it's already gotten repetitive, you can and should say, "Ah, can we change the subject. Sounds like you're still just going around in circles with that guy? I was wanting to tell you about ____. "
"I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not better for it." -- Abraham Lincoln
"The greatness of a nation & its moral progress can be judged by the way in its animals are treated." -Gandhi
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