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  • #121969
    Will
    Moderator

    Hi all!

    I wanted to ask around to see what people think about their friendships throughout school and after.

    I recently had a fall out with a friend who I was so close with all through school and now for a while after school. We’ve known each for about 20 years, and recently I decided it was time to end it. I almost treated it like a bad relationship and ended it like a break up.

    I guess I got to a point where I looked at what I was getting out this friendship and realised I was more of a sounding board for her ongoing issues and that she wasn’t really supporting me. I tried really hard to self reflect on maybe I wasn’t providing something better, but also just thought maybe it had done it’s time.

    I just figure as I get older I can better understand what I want from a friend and I wasn’t happy in that kind of relationship anymore. I’ve had acquaintances come and go as we all do but this was quite a dramatic cut off.

    The drama has been we have a large group of friends and I’ve tried to keep everyone out of it throughout this. Do you think I should have sat down with her more and discussed what was going on?… Or do you think I was right to look at a bit of ‘toxic’ friendship and pull the plug? I just felt that no matter what I said it wouldn’t have changed, so I had to walk away.

    I’d love to hear what others think and if they have/had similar issues with friends from school?

    #121975
    Aunt_FloAunt_Flo
    Moderator

    I’ve had both experiences you’ve mentioned with school friends – one I have cut off, and other where we worked it out.

    With the one I cut off completely, it’s similar to what you mentioned – we were sort of talking at each other, rather than to each other. We had been friends for more than 20 years, and I found that as we got older she would only participate in things that interested her. I think we just weren’t that compatible as friends.

    With my other friend, I noticed we were making a few snide comments to one another and basically called her out. We talked about how we were feeling, and the question of whether we had outgrown each other was raised, but we made it through because we still have a lot of similarities. We probably see each other a bit less because we have less mutual friends, but we’re still very much friends.

    I think you’re spot on when you say it’s like a bad romantic relationship. I think ending it like a break up is a good approach – you get to say what you’re feeling, and it also gives the other person a bit of closure to work with.

    I think with friends in particular, a lot of people hang on to friendships that might not benefit them, or even make them happy because they’re either long term friendships and/or as you get older it is a little harder to make those meaningful connections.

    It sounds like you thought about your situation a lot and ultimately did what’s best for you, which I would also do in your situation.

    How have you been after ending it?

    #121976
    Will
    Moderator

    Thanks @aunt_flo! Such a great reply, and definitely can relate to how I’ve been feeling about it all.

    I was saying to another close friend, since the cut off, I’ve actually not thought about making contact and have been a lot happier, it’s almost been a year now. It was just like what you were saying, about talking at each other, and no listening.

    I do assume we will make contact with each other again one day, but for now I feel good about it, and think I made the right decision. It was really nice to hear another similar situation @aunt_flo, I appreciate you sharing your experience as well.

    #121995
    teatea
    Moderator

    I think friendships are just a type of relationship anyway, so having a ‘break-up’ in that sense is just necessary sometimes. People can grow apart, people can change, people can no longer be good for you. I think it’s great that you were able to recognise the warning signs @will! Actually, I think this is something we should discuss as a society more. Toxic friendships. In the same way, you wouldn’t tolerate a toxic partner, you shouldn’t tolerate a toxic friend either.

    Ending it seemed like the best way to go about things in your circumstance. I’ve had times where friendships break up so abruptly, practically ghosting and I’m left wondering what went wrong? Establishing boundaries and letting people know what’s up is so important in getting to a better place I think.

    I hope you continue to feel okay about your friendships @will and continue to be such a sensible human! It’s so great that you’re able to consider other people’s feelings (keeping other people out of the drama) and also recognising what’s best for you – even if that meant ending a really long friendship.

    #122031
    Will
    Moderator

    Thanks for the reply @tea. I’ve also been in a spot in my late 20’s where a really close friend seemed to distance himself after he got into relationship, so I decided not to look too much into it, but sometimes I think about reaching out and asking; “maybe I wasn’t a good friend to you sometimes, and I’m sorry?”

    I still have a really strong friendship group and network, and it’s been very rare for me to ever kind of “cut someone out” but it was a good decision at the end of the day I still think a year on.

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