When you have a friend, it’s very easy for you to get attached to them and vice versa. Sometimes, the bonds are so strong that it’s hard for your friend to let go, even though you’ve done everything short of overtly telling them that—chick, it’s over.
Ignoring won’t work with most, because when you ignore someone, they try harder and harder to get your attention. Being polite won’t affect the more obtuse ones because courtesy doesn’t faze them. Fading away probably failed because she still wouldn’t want to let go—and probably doesn’t even know the friendship is over. A blow-up might not have worked because she probably rationalised you as overly emotional and then decided to ‘forgive’ you, ignoring whatever the issue was and trying to send you on a guilt trip instead.
I’m always an advocate of the direct approach. Tell her that you need to take a step back from the friendship. Tell her that it’s not working out with you anymore. Tell her it’s over—you don’t want to see her/talk to her/have anything to do with her ever again. Having a direct face to face conversation is hard to do, especially when it’s someone that you’ve been friends with for a long time, but it’s the proper thing to do.
Before you do this however, you have to make sure that you are ready to sever the bonds totally. If you are still unsure about it, or think you might change your mind, then be sure to let this be known.
I was dumped by a friend once a few years ago. It was rough, especially since I didn’t think our friendship was toxic, but apparently she thought it was to her. I didn’t realise until after we stopped talking how inequitable the friendship was. Two years later, she calls me back to apologise and try to renew our friendship. However, the trust had already been broken and there was no way that I could go back and be friends with her. Not even casual friends, I had considered it an end of a chapter and moved on.
So if you are 100% sure that you are totally done with her, then yes, by all means, tell her. Be firm but polite, stating your reasons in a non-accusatory manner. She’s going to be hurt, pissed off and really mad at you, but that anger will help her to leave you alone. Perhaps even having this talk with her will shake her up and make her realise how much she has been taking your friendship for granted. Who knows….it might actually be a turning point for her.
Either way….what have you got to lose by telling her outright?
This was contributed by Vixen of The Bad Girls Guide (no longer available online).
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