February 15, 2010

At What Point Do You Give Up on a Friendship?

I've had friends for a long time now... that I get absolutely nothing out of.

And I'm aware that friendship is not solely about how the relationship benefits me. Frankly, that's the only reason I've lasted this long - the idea that I'm offering some sort of benefit to these people.

But, their personalities simply don't match mine. I don't enjoy talking with or being with them. So my question for the day is, have you ever intentionally cut ties with a long-term friendship, and how did you do it?

11 comments:

Braden said...

Unfriend.

Eric Olsen said...

lol. 60 pts.

Braden said...

When I put witty one-word remarks on your thought-provoking blog posts does it kill comment potential? I can hold off until other people have had a turn if you find yourself muttering my name through gritted teeth. Just let me know.

Eric Olsen said...

not at all. if anything, i think seeing the "1 comment" note would make people MORE likely to contribute.

Meghan said...

Wow Eric, you know Bob does read your blog ;) Just kidding.

I did cut ties with a long-term friendship and probably not in the most mature way, but it worked for me. It's someone who has done something (to someone else, not to me) that really showed a defect in moral character; I just can't get past it. I simply stopped calling/writing this person, and politely declined any invitations to hang out. It didn't take long for it to end. In this situation, for me to explain to this person why I was backing off on the friendship would have hurt them more, so this is what I chose to do. This is not the type of person I would like to be friends with anymore, but they are still a person and I don't want to hurt their feelings.

Eric Olsen said...

See, that's the thing Meghan. One in particular doesn't give up, and then I have to eventually call back out of guilt. So, is the real lesson just not to be guilty?

Arcane Rest said...

If the person is really different from you then there should not be much difficulty moving on from them. I had a friend for many years but after one night could no longer spend time with him because of the significant distance in personality, on top of, places in life. What this friend wanted to do for fun or really anything, was the opposite of what I wanted to do. The result: he would call and I would decline, and I was okay with that since when we did hang it would not be positive.

LizM said...

The guilt is in your own mind. People are fluid, they change as they age, mature, experience, learn. Yes, there can be regret when a friendship is over; perhaps it is the recognition that a certain chapter of your life is coming to a close. But if you know it is an unhealthy relationship, there should be no guilt in ending it.

Meghan said...

Well, it seems like you have two major options. The first is to tell the person that the friendship just isn't working out. This might be awkward and hurt his/her feelings, but it's technically being the most straightforward. The second option is to not call him/her back. But like you said, this makes you feel guilty, so you will either have to go back to the first option, or get past your guilt, knowing that you are saving this person an uncomfortable discussion about why you no longer want to be his/her friend.

Eric Olsen said...

hmm...i guess i'm waiting for a Michael Scott "win-win" situation that might not exist.

his death perhaps?

Matt J said...

no...it's "win-win-win"