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How to shake off a friend

She’s so judgmental and condescending! How can I end the friendship? 

Be busy, says our elder. Keep your distance and hope she takes the hint.

 

Dear EWC

I have a friend that I try to hang out with as little as possible, but even the little time that I hang out with her is getting tougher. She’s sweet, is really good at giving advice, and has all sorts of neat qualities in her, but she’s also extremely judgmental, especially with appearances. She gossips, and she can be very condescending at times. We’ve been friends for three to four years now. How can I best end the friendship without hurting feelings?

 

Good-Listener replies

I’m sorry you’re having these unpleasant issues with your friend, or soon-to-be former friend. It’s just not fun. On the other hand, hanging out with people who bring us down and are, as you said, judgmental and condescending, is not enlightening or particularly healthy.

The good news is that you sound like a healthy and kind young lady who is self-aware and doesn’t want to unnecessarily hurt anyone.

So, what to do. I’m going to assume that, if you felt the friendship was worth it, you’d have tried (or have already tried) to have a talk with her. While that works with some people, with others it’s a complete bust. 

Be busy. Don’t cut her off completely, but continue, as you are doing, to make the times you have to interact with her fewer and farther in between. See if you can fill the time with other activities and friends (to which you do not invite her). At some point, she may question you, and if you feel that’s an opening to have “a conversation”, then do. However, if you feel she will only become more negative and start placing it all on you, let it go.

Ironically, I’m going through something similar right now! The friend in question, is, as yours is, someone I’ve known for about four years, a good person but I’m tired of the negativity and constant judgments and general pessimism. I’ve decided to keep my distance and just be busy. I see her at an activity group that meets once a month, when she shows, so I’m friendly, and nice and just leave right after or make sure I’m talking to another member when the meeting is over.

Likely your friend will start gravitating to someone else. I’m not a fan of telling people off because that only breeds bad stuff. But pushing away with the excuse that you’re just involved with so many things (exaggeration or not) allows things to fade.

Let’s hope we can both get the hints across and fade away without any hurt feelings. In any case, good luck!

Article #: 425308

Category: Friendship

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