Failing or Ending Friendships
September 16, 2011 11:31 PM Subscribe
Perhaps a particularly female problem - when/should one ever "dump" friendships or just downgrade people to "associate"? How is this done?
Reference to female because of so many articles similar to:
posted by KimikoPi to Human Relations (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have an ever sad dwindling number of friends. As of now only one will be invited to my wedding. I made them all in school (and even then I only liked having 1-2 really close friends). I'm not great at keeping in touch. But I am persnickety and sensitive about whether they respond to my emails, etc. Obviously, there are some friends that mutually just drift apart and it doesn't bother anybody. But sometimes I sense a truly rude snub or brush off that, in that female way, is never brought to the surface. Last week, I found out that an old college friend blocked me from seeing her Facebook wall after I'd written something (not offensive) on it. Instead of calling or messaging me to say, "Hey don't write on my wall" or "I didn't like what you wrote," she just blocked me from seeing it. So I messaged her, unfriended her and basically dumped her. I don't really do lukewarm, superficial, just-cordial friendships.
Another example: One of my truly decent female friends (friend A) and I have a mutual friend. When friend A went through a divorce and miscarriage, she sent out an email to us. We don't live in the same city. But I recently found out our mutual fund didn't even reply to that email or call her to offer support/talk/etc. If that happened to me, I would have dumped her immediately. Are there reasons why a person on the receiving end of total neglect should try to even keep that person as a friend? I mean how do you complain about someone ignoring you or brushing you off after something like that? It sounds so whiny. And being female, most women will just say "Ohhh gosh I'm sorry I meant to call. I'm a horrible person." But then it will just happen again. It didn't happen to me (although this person hasn't exactly been responsive to me either) but I think no matter how busy you are, how many babies you have, if a really good friend from your past tells you "I got divorced and my fetus died" - you do something. You take 5 minutes out of your day to write back or call or jot down a reminder. Friend A is far more forgiving than me, and even paid airfare to attend this person's wedding. Personally I think this kind of behavior clearly says, "You are just a footnote in my past and you and your problems aren't exactly on my radar." Why pretend anything else?
I have a third female friend from college who writes me letters and emails every so often and sometimes takes forever to write back. But she actually had brain surgery twice and had a tough time generally with a divorce. So...I give her a wide berth.
There's a lot of detail I'm leaving out. But I'd just like to hear different stories or opinions on when old friends should be kept (especially if they brush you off or are just plain rude in not responding to attempts to chat). Or when friendships are worth trying to salvage. And if they should not be kept, how should these things be ended or "downgraded"? I think the quiet brush off is much worse than just saying, "Ok it was fun, but now let's both have a nice life. Although if you ever get cancer please tell me because I'll still be sad and want to send you flowers."