It's not personal but leave me alone!
August 8, 2017 8:40 PM   Subscribe

How do you say to someone that you love that you don't really want to hang out with them the way you used to? And how do you deal with it when they just keep texting you??

I have a friend who I used to hang out with all the time. Coming over for coffee every day, going shopping together, eating meals together. I really enjoy their friendship except sometimes I end up feeling like I'm a control freak or guilty if I do not want to see them every day.

I am going through some stuff right now with my health, stress with family and trying to untackle big issues like shame, abuse, my place in the world. All that fun middle age stuff. I just feel worn out. I'm making good progress on myself by being alone and giving myself space from society to find out who the real me is and what's been shaped by crap (abuse, misogyny, etc). It feels like I can breathe for the first time in a long while. I'm reading tons of crappy novels, watching documentaries, cooking healthy food. Not feeling depressed or isolated.

I've told my friend 3x now that I'm just in the space where I need large chunks of time alone. That it wasn't personal. I've explained it as just feel drained, needing to sort some things out. I've told her point blank that she can't expect to come over every day that she has off. We used to hang out all the time before she got her job and now that she's quit she kind of expects to go back to that. I've gone as far as telling her that her asking every day to come over is starting to make me feel that she doesn't respect my choices. That made her not ask for about 6 days.

And then when I do want to hang out with her (because she and I have fuN! and I enjoy her company!) she immediately goes back to texting me every morning. And It is starting to make me irrationally angry. Like every day at 8 am I know I will get either one or all of four texts saying

"What are you doing"
"Do you want company today?"
"Are you Ok?"

She's says she is absolutely fine with me saying no but I'm starting to resent having to say it every single day. And when I try to ignore the texts my polite female conditioned Canadian self feels guilty and like I'm being rude.

How do I either re-phrase it in a better way that makes sense without coming across as a controlling freak or how do I learn to let go of the feeling that I'm so rude by just letting my phone go off and not answer. Now she says my not answering makes her nervous because that is unlike me and she's been a friend through multiple depressive episodes.

I've told her it's been two years since I've attempted suicide, I have emergency numbers, a mental health nurse, a therapist I'd listen to if she thought I was in danger. I've told her that I'm happy now for the first time in my life. I feel like a new person. I've reassured her it isn't personal. Absolutely nothing to do with her. That I'm an introvert and the abnormality was actually me seeing her every day for months.

I don't want to ruin the friendship but I don't know how to explain that all the interaction I get walking my dog, and shopping is all I can handle right now. And I don't feel comfortable telling her that I'm going through this deep stuff.

Is it just me and I am controlling? Or is it ok to just take some time to yourself especially with the world situation as it is? And if she can't change her behaviour how do I react to it in a way that is compassionate but firm?

*I'm a really boring person and don't understand why you would want to see me every day :)
posted by kanata to Human Relations (34 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Make a standing date for however often it is that you'd like to see her, say every Thursday and tell her that that is your day to spend together. Then when she texts you for a catch up on Monday, remind her that you have other plans but you'll see her on Thursday. It sounds like she's just used to catching up with you when she has free time but you have to be consistent and get her used to a new routine. It's like dog training, if you break it once when she keeps hassling you and catch up with her, she'll learn that you'll give in. So the secret is, keep to your scheduled time, and that's it. Then she will learn not to bother continually asking when the answer is always the same.
posted by Jubey at 8:57 PM on August 8, 2017 [13 favorites]

Oh my god this person would be so very dead to me after the third day of texts after I'd told them I need time to myself. This is not you, you are normal and have needs that are fine and ought to be respected. Which they are not being, right now.

If you do want to hang out sometimes, why don't you talk to her, make plans a week or so in advance, and say "I'm glad we have a hangout scheduled, and I won't be around the other days next week. See you then!"

And then, if she texts you? You are within your rights to ignore her for twelve hours and then text with "Oh, sorry, didn't check my phone this morning. See you Thursday!" and ignore everything else.

You can also just have the flat-out "Look, I told you I need time to myself, that means I'll let you know when I have time to hang. Please let me make the first move" conversation, which is what I'd do, but if she's going to freak out, that'll make her freak out. (I... can't be friends with people who freak out when I set boundaries, but I am a hard-core introvert who spends literally 98% of her emotional energy on her day job right now (...hi guys!) and have zero time for babysitting people around being ok with the fact that I have needs.)
posted by restless_nomad at 9:38 PM on August 8, 2017 [16 favorites]

Is it just me and I am controlling?

No. Your friend's behavior is just really fucking annoying. Whether or not it's motivated by concern about your wellbeing doesn't change that; might even be making it worse (personally I loathe being pressed for an account of "how I am" when I'm going through periods of struggling not to feel shitty).

zero time for babysitting people around being ok with the fact that I have needs

is a completely sound fundamental basis for all interpersonal policy, and being a little sharp in response to endless needling is perfectly appropriate.

"What are you doing"
"Do you want company today?"
"Are you Ok?"

"Seriously, Jen. You know I love you like a sister but feeling obligated to check in with you every. single. morning! has really started to wear me down. You're the first person I'd call when I'm looking for company, you know that, but as I've repeatedly said already I find myself needing quite a lot of time alone right now. I appreciate your concern for my wellbeing but I'm not at all depressed so you needn't fear that I'm about to do anything self-destructive. Main problem at the moment is stress from needing to pretend I'm not hearing the phone every time it rings. How about we just let me be the one in charge of making contact for a while and see how that goes? Thanks."
posted by flabdablet at 10:12 PM on August 8, 2017 [9 favorites]

Oh, I have this friend. He has little else going on in his life so he wants to hang out with me every single day. I almost have a Pavlovian reaction to the *ding* tone. I think "I'm busy right now... but I'll see you Thursday" is the only thing that's had any measure of success. He can't very well convince me that I'm not busy.
posted by AFABulous at 10:14 PM on August 8, 2017

Are you her only friend? You might suggest she volunteer or fill up her time in some other way (if she is not looking for work). My friend did not like this at all but it cut back on the messages.
posted by AFABulous at 10:17 PM on August 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

I really think having a regularly scheduled time that you hang out together will be a big help. She's anxious about when she's going to see you next. Get it on the calendar, which will alleviate her anxiety over not knowing.
posted by bluedaisy at 10:30 PM on August 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

Protect your time. You're healing and doing really important things for yourself. Protect that space no matter what. Commenters above have some great script ideas and I think an internal visit is a good approach, though weekly seems exhausting given her needs. She's showing co-dependent behavior and now that you're extracting yourself from the dependency, she's feeling it. You're not being controlling or abusive in any way by extracting yourself and working on finding your own own security and happiness. Enforce the boundaries without feeling guilty. Choosing to be healthy and happy is always the right choice.
posted by quince at 10:39 PM on August 8, 2017 [10 favorites]

Thanks. I have such limited experience standing up for myself and trying to do that. I took some of your words and sent her this text in response to her 5th! text today. Does it come across as rude or unfeeling:

"Fine. I consider you family and if I wanted to hang out with people you would be the first but I've told you before that I just want some space. I'm doing good and you don't have to worry but when you text me the same thing day after day to hang out it gets exhausting and I then feel guilty having to either ignore your texts or constantly tell you nope. I'd appreciate if you could not do that because it's putting our friendship at risk and I don't want to start resenting you. I feel like you are expecting to me entertain you every day and I'm sorry but you need to find someone else or something to do if you feel lonely every single day"
posted by kanata at 10:42 PM on August 8, 2017 [10 favorites]

No, it comes across as somewhat exasperated for good and sufficient reason. Well played.
posted by flabdablet at 10:44 PM on August 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

Thanks. I'm trying to not let myself react out of anger but it's hard so I'm glad it didn't come across that way.
posted by kanata at 10:49 PM on August 8, 2017

I have such limited experience standing up for myself and trying to do that

Next time you have to do something like this, I recommend leaving out the part where you express your opinion about what your friend's needs might be and the followup suggestions for how she might go about meeting those - firstly because that's a distraction from the central message you're really trying to get through, which is about what you need, and secondly because the instinctive leap to solve somebody else's problems without having been invited to do so is the very same thing that's led your friend to overstep your boundaries in the first place.

Instead, finish with a clear and actionable suggestion about how you would like things to work for you from then on.

And you're quite right that being angry or upset makes effective communication more difficult.
posted by flabdablet at 11:00 PM on August 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ok I sent her another text saying that I will text her when I want company or she can text me at the end of the month. I'll see how that goes. A problem I had doing that is that in an ideal world I wouldn't feel like I have to make appointments with her because right now the mere idea of scheduling a day a week or even a month to see each other feels exhausting because I don't trust that she won't fall back into wanting to see me all the time. It kind of makes me feel like just a bad friend and also like just cutting off contact forever. But I'll give it to the end of the month and see if it gets through to her that while I love her like a sister I'm tired. By that time also other things in life will be a bit better for me and maybe I won't feel like every single person I encounter is stealing my energy.
posted by kanata at 1:38 AM on August 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

right now the mere idea of scheduling a day a week or even a month to see each other feels exhausting because I don't trust that she won't fall back into wanting to see me all the time.

Whether she does that or not is completely beyond your control, so spending any time at all worrying about it happening is a waste of your time.

One of the things I've had to learn as a parent is the value of the broken-record technique for boundary and expectation setting: if you get only temporary compliance after stating clearly how you need things to be, all you do on the next breach is say exactly the same thing again in exactly the same words, preferably with an even flatter affect than you managed last time you said it.

This technique is actually slightly more effective than spinning endless variations at ever-increasing emotional pitch, and far far far less draining. Knowing that you have it at your disposal is also quite a good counter to the kind of what-if you've just expressed here.
posted by flabdablet at 1:48 AM on August 9, 2017 [6 favorites]

Also, at this point I recommend not continuing to deal with this issue via text, which particularly sucks as a vehicle for communication with emotional importance.

Texts, like any form of store-and-forward electronic messaging, can be generated very quickly and sent while emotions are still running high; the result is that even such emotional content as can be interpreted correctly by the recipient (which much of it generally cannot) is preserved as if in amber from the moment Send was pressed, and is therefore likely to be unhelpfully out of date by the time the message is actually read or (worse) re-read and obsessed over.

If your friend's ongoing texting behavior continues to annoy you after you've tried to deal with it once via text, the best next step is to deal with it face to face next time you meet. This will be somewhat confronting if you're not used to doing that, but it gives you your best chance of getting instant feedback about how your message is going over and finding the exact tone required for most effective delivery.
posted by flabdablet at 1:58 AM on August 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

I feel bad for your friend. It's really hard to be close with someone and then have them pull away for reasons that they don't even want to talk to you about. If you two used to text every day, then it's not weird for her to do that. Telling someone "I need time to myself" is fine, but if you're not making clear that this is a long-term change then it's not surprising that she keeps thinking you needed time to yourself and soon you can go back to your usual closeness.

If you need a big change in the relationship, you need to communicate it directly. You need to get over the conditioning to be polite and indirect, and you need to come out and say it. It sounds like this is a friendship that's had a lot of meaning for both of you in the past, and it's not okay to expect her to read your mind. Tell her explicitly what you need to change. I know you said you don't feel comfortable talking about the depths of the experience, but if I were your friend and saw you write this about me, I would be crushed that you could tell the internet but couldn't tell me.
posted by bile and syntax at 5:21 AM on August 9, 2017 [12 favorites]

Option 1: "If you promise to stop texting me every morning to ask if I am okay, I promise that if I need help or to talk I will let you know. Deal?"

Option 2. "My energy is really low right now and it's hard for me to keep up with texts. What if we check in with text every Thursday?"

To me texting /= an infringement of space, and I wouldn't put it together that wanting space meant not wanting to receive texts.
posted by bunderful at 6:07 AM on August 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

Um yeah I also feel bad for your friend. I think you've been clear but our culture tends to treat dependency as wrong and sensitivity as an imposition, so I'd not heed a lot of the advice about letting your friends tough things out for themselves around your boundaries, their feelings be damned. If things have gotten this way, you're essentially ending the relationship by saying "I only want to be alone." This sounds like a partnered relationship from the amount of time you spend together and the reaction you're going to get is as if someone's SO broke up with them. Totally valid to do, you're allowed to be "single," but recognize that depending on the past terms of your relationship her confusion must be dealt with kindly. Be firm that this is for real, but do face the fact that it's a breakup so be kind and direct about it, and allow your friend the sympathy you would want yourself if say you were depressed and relying on someone for support and they completely ghosted you to focus on themselves. Don't kick anyone for not getting it the first time, you can set any boundary that you want but please don't do it from a self righteous attitude, I really loathe that about breakup advice in general. Basically don't do anything that you wouldn't have wanted the person to do to you when you were feeling low.
posted by benadryl at 6:21 AM on August 9, 2017 [4 favorites]

The idea of setting up a recurring standing date is that it will likely help alleviate her anxiety, which will likely cut down on the amount of anxiety-driven checking-in she's doing.
posted by lazuli at 6:50 AM on August 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

oh god she probably read some article about how sometimes depressed people withdraw from their friends and when this happens you cannot just leave them alone, you have to badger them night and noon to make sure they don't feel abandoned just because they asked to be left alone, and good friends never let this happen and if they do they are responsible for any Thing that subsequently happens. there are about a million of them every month.

the distinctions between worn out, depressed, and lonely sound well beyond her (and even though I am irritated by proxy just from reading this, in fairness, depressed people do say that they're fine, a lot, but don't act fine.) once you've told her you need time alone, she probably hears all further clarification that you are not depressed or suicidal as just so much brave-face denial.

I mean if I were you I would tell her, look, I am not going to keep responding to every call and text, I am telling you now that I'm fine but don't expect to hear from me more than once a week. now you know not to worry.

but then I would be constantly anxious that she was going to call the cops to check on me when I ignored her. still, something like that has to be done. it might ruin the friendship but if she simply will not believe you she is doing her best to ruin it on her own, anyway.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:07 AM on August 9, 2017 [4 favorites]

I mean, your friend might not read "I need time alone" as "I don't want you texting me any more". Which is basically what you're saying here, you don't want her communicating with you at all, you want to be the one to initiate all communication when it's convenient for you. Which is fine if that's your thing I guess but you'll need to be clear about it that you only want her around when you ask for her.
posted by windykites at 8:07 AM on August 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

What I mean to say is it's ridiculously easy for most people to abandon a depresssed friend. It's all fine and well for people to say aw heeeeellll no, this woman is pushing your boundaries, down with her. But you should show your friend some basic respect. If you are doing better now, it is in part due to her support. Nothing drives me crazier than the way that everyone gets trigger happy around punishing "clingy boundary busting friends" when those are often the same people who are willing to show up when others aren't. You can ask for the space you need without blaming someone for being an inconvenience. Not needing someone anymore doesn't mean they don't need you. I'd feel horrible if someone reacted to my requests to hang out by just ghosting me and reacting with increasing hostility about why I didn't just get it. Don't buy into the somewhat gross belief in my opinion that you can change your mind about relationships abruptly and if the other person shows grief or tries to get your attention they are a boundary busting abuser who deserved to be dumped. They'll adjust faster if you're nicer about it.
posted by benadryl at 8:10 AM on August 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

I disagree with the relationship parallel, because if this was a romantic relationship that you broke off, and the other person kept texting you after you said you wanted to be alone, we would call it "stalking" and people would advise you to change your number.
posted by AFABulous at 8:19 AM on August 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

K. I have told her all this person. I've told her in general terms like I'm dealing with some things in therapy and that's why I need to be alone. I don't share more than that because she has told me that
it makes her feel uncomfortable hearing about feelings. Which I've accepted because we have fun together and in the past when I've tried to open up to her about internal stuff I spend more time reassuring her that...well the world is still ok and I'm ok... So am I wrong to not tell her what the details are of why I need time alone? I've told her I don't mind us texting when we don't see her it is just every day within five minutes of waking up she texts.

Sorry for not understanding. Confused about relationships with humans. Prefer dogs.
posted by kanata at 8:41 AM on August 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would just say hey I'm sorry we have to "break up" right now. I need to be on my own. It's not related to how much I care about you and it would be the same with anyone. We can still hang out on X regular date or talk on X day (whatever your routine is and you actually want to do). I care about you a lot and if you're lonely or need a shoulder I'll be there for you, but otherwise we have to take a pause from texting.

Too gushy for some people's taste maybe, but to me it disengages clearly but doesn't put the blame on her - it shows that there is a goal to stay in touch - and it shows it's not like she's cut off as a long term friend just because the volume of the interaction is dialed down, but it's on her to accept the limit. Maybe that works?
posted by benadryl at 8:54 AM on August 9, 2017

I think your message will be received better and more clearly if you couch it with some reassurance. I think your pulling away is filling her with anxiety that you don't want to be her friend anymore (she sounds like an anxious person in general, given her overreaction to any discussion of troubles) and that's what's making her clingy.

Like, your first text was fine in terms of what you're asking her to do, but I would have added something like this: "it sounds like you're worried - please believe me though that I'm fine, we're fine, and I look forward to hanging out when I've got the mental space, but right now I really just need alone time and that includes texting. I'll get in touch on Friday, ok? And please - NO messages before then. I need the quiet and I'm only keeping my phone on so I don't miss emergencies, but I'm not doing conversation this week. Love ya, talk to you Friday."
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:13 AM on August 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

I don't know what type of phone you have, but on the iPhone you can mute specific people or group conversations. It's *heavenly*. Text messaging is great, but something about that "ding" can feel so intrusive. Why don't you mute her, so at least you won't be auditoraly interrupted.
posted by radioamy at 9:22 AM on August 9, 2017 [5 favorites]

Yeah it's the ding that just...drives me crazy. We've discussed before in person how we take text differently. I see it as a way to leave a message and she'll get to it in whenever she feels like it or we both feel like talking. Quite often I text her and if she has nothing to say she won't respond. And she from the impression she gave me kind of believes it should be like an instant hailing device. I've muted it for now after I said what I said.

I don't know if this is a permanent thing. I've always struggled to not just do what people want me to do without asking and I've noticed that now that I'm changing and putting myself first a lot of my friends are suddenly telling me I'm isolating or acting weird or mean. I just don't have the energy (mentally and physically) to put a lot of emotional work into a relationship right now.

I'm not sure how to say it's not you but it's me changing and if maybe I had some space I'd be more invested in wanting to see her. She's told me I've taught her that being alone is ok but I think now she was just saying that to make the situation feel better. The whole thing makes me feel like I'm this control freak or that she's unhealthily obsessed with me. Like she will come over and ask my help for things that she already knows how to do. Wants me to make phone calls for her, etc. I don't mind doing that when its vital but .. is it asking to much that someone who knows how to use the internet google the phone number of a pharmacy and call it herself? after you've already done it for them twice?

I come from well a torturous family and almost cult like behaviour in abuse and so things like friendships and what rights or needs are ok for me to have are real hard for me to figure out. I'm working on that and so feel like a toddler when it comes to these things. I'm trying to not act like one in response to this.

Anyway, that's the last I'll comment here. Thank you for your help and suggestions at this being human thing as always.
posted by kanata at 10:10 AM on August 9, 2017

I've had several similar relationships, with friends and relationship partners. A pattern I found myself repeatedly carrying out was having an intense amount of frequent, meaningful contact (in person and via phone/email/text), often in the getting-to-know-you stage. After a while, the initial "wow, what a great new person!" feeling cooled for me a little, and/or real-life events required me to be less immediately available to them.

I was always as honest as I could be about this, without being hurtful. Like, I wouldn't say "I no longer feel the need to text you all day" but something more like "Hey, things are fine here, but because of real life stuff, I may be a bit less reachable online. See you Friday though!"

Even my gentlest efforts at reducing the amount of interaction with anybody who was used to very frequent contact, have ALWAYS created hurt feelings on the other side, and sometimes a ruined, irreparable friendship. This is not fair, because I know 100% that I was asking for something reasonable, and took pains to explain myself in kind terms with the focus on "it's not you, it's me." But every time, there was fallout WAY beyond what I expected.

For example, I once had a long-term friendship absolutely dissolve after I said, "Our friendship is very important to me, but I really need it to be ok for us to talk a little less frequently." I *thought* that was pretty gentle and easy to understand, but it resulted in a meltdown, a huge emailed tirade, and her totally cutting off our relationship. I feel terrible about it now, years later, but I don't regret trying to get what I needed, which was less than (literally) 40 emails from her per day.

Your friend's reaction (whatever that turns out to be) does not mean you made a bad call here. You sound like a sensitive person who is likely to feel guilt if you cause someone pain. But it is possible to feel guilt but still stick to your guns about your own reasonable needs.

I think your feelings and actions about this situation are totally understandable and appropriate. You recognized a need in yourself, and took actions and set boundaries to attend to that need. You sound understandably frustrated with your friend, but not cruel by any means. I think this shows excellent adulting skills.

I've always struggled to not just do what people want me to do without asking and I've noticed that now that I'm changing and putting myself first a lot of my friends are suddenly telling me I'm isolating or acting weird or mean.

Some people will just do that. It's super hard to stand firm against that pressure. It may come down to who you want to prioritize - your friends' needs or your own. It's not weird or mean to put yourself first.

This whole thing may necessitate you doing some intense work on figuring out what your socializing needs and preferences are. That might be some too-heavy mental stuff for you to get into right now (trust me, I relate). In the short term, actual friends will understand if you need some space.

It is completely ok to say, to any and everybody, as many times as necessary, "I just can't/don't want to _____ right now." You can dress that up with additions of "I am ok, no need to worry" or "I look forward to spending time with you in the future, at (specific/general time or place)." But really, just clearly stating the need is enough.

It is also ok to go silent once you have made a reasonable number of "I am ok" assurances. They are not your keeper and you are not theirs. Someone who has legitimate, kind concerns about your well-being may still tread all over your personal boundaries in a way that actually harms your well-being.

People are so complicated and this stuff is very hard for anybody. Again, I congratulate you on realizing what you need, and taking steps to get there.

I sometimes tell people to feel free to Memail me (and you can!), but in this case I'd like to say please feel free not to contact me in any way, and I won't contact you, and that's ok, I will still be a friendly person out there somewhere who is wishing you well with all of this. :)
posted by jessicapierce at 11:10 AM on August 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Your update changes things a lot.

It's not normal at all to ask a friend to call the pharmacy for you (barring some sort of language barrier, illness etc.) I and a few other people came to this from the perspective of handling a good, supportive friend who's concerned about you and whom you don't want to alienate; but your update paints a different picture - it's starting to sound like this is someone you DO want to friend-dump, and with good reason.
posted by fingersandtoes at 11:46 AM on August 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

Ok last thread sitting (sorry mods). I don't want to friend dump her but more just go from every day friend to I guess.. once in a while friend. Most of my friends aside from her I see once a month (not at all in the summer) or maybe twice. I woke up to a text this morning saying "Hey How are you feeling today?". That's the only response to my text I sent last night. I do not understand what I'm doing wrong or how friendships work I suppose and I have no idea how to respond to that. Humans be hard. I'm going to keep searching for a land of puppos where I only interact with dogs after this :)
posted by kanata at 12:39 PM on August 9, 2017

You're not doing anything wrong. If she deliberately ignores your stated wishes, she's showing significant disrespect. That's reason enough to dump her. I know you don't want to, but she's shown pretty clearly it doesn't matter how often you ask or how clear you are, she's going to keep doing what she's been doing all along. I'd vote for blocking and ignoring.
posted by Amy NM at 12:58 PM on August 9, 2017

Identifying and stating your boundaries clearly, respectfully, and calmly is helpful both because it helps people recalibrate how to interact with you in ways you want and because it can identify those people who simply can't interact with you in ways you want, no matter how skillful you are in stating and enforcing your boundaries.

You're trying to majorly change the unspoken rules of this particular relationship. That's absolutely your right, but it's also absolutely understandable that such a change would make her anxious, and it would be completely understandable for her to decide she's not ok with the new relationship rules. That doesn't mean she gets to impose her rules on you, but she also doesn't have to live by your rules; the relationship may just need to end.

I know people sometimes talk about setting boundaries as if it's a magic wand that makes everything perfect without anyone getting upset, but that's not how it often works in the real world. That doesn't necessarily mean you're doing anything wrong. People just have different needs, and that's ok.
posted by lazuli at 6:54 AM on August 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh ok I'm thread sitting too but sorry I take back my vote, you did your due diligence and ignoring is fine now (in my opinion). I didn't get what the situation was, apologies.
posted by benadryl at 1:20 PM on August 10, 2017

It sounds like your friend has some mental health issues of her own - which is probably why she's asking you to make phone calls for her. As someone who has mental health issues myself, I sometimes trade things like this with other people who have similar problems. This is perfectly normal within a sharing relationship- but is difficult when not. I would never ask one of my friends who didn't need help themselves to do this sort of thing.

It sounds like when you were previously going through a lot, your attachment styles aligned. You needed a lot of support, and she also needed a lot of support, so you didn't even think about the texting-every-day thing, because you also needed that then. Now, in part because you are rediscovering your space, you don't need that anymore - which is great for you, but kind of sucks for the person who is being left behind. It just does. It can be ameliorated, but it does.

Try to do this sensitively, like a breakup where you just want different things. She's not a bad person and you are not a bad person, you just have different styles and wants.

then replace her with a doggo because they are indeed the best
posted by corb at 4:48 AM on August 11, 2017

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