Social Question

Shippy's avatar

How do you dissolve friendships that do nothing but irk you?

Asked by Shippy (9870points) May 13th, 2012

I am trying to work out why I have so many “aggressive friends”. For years I guess I was considered very assertive and aggressive. I also had a job that demanded this. However, I am experiencing life changing mind sets due to partly depression and also introspection into myself and what I do or do not want in my life.

I have bipolar and a couple of friends that I did keep in touch with refuse to acknowledge this or register it. I slowly want to move away from them, I am tired of being told “Life is a mindset” keep a positive attitude, have you been out today? If not why not? Yes this could be caring. But “Now you are better? You are OK?” and “just change your life!” is really starting to aggravate me.

This kind of care I do not appreciate and is not helpful to me at all. Because it is also done with such aggression. The question is, then how do I remove or dissolve these long term friendships that actually unsettle me more than anything? In an unobtrusive way. Or not react to their constant badgering and seemingly full access to my life and what I am, or am not doing? (since they are on my blackberry messenger for example). The problem too is I feel how I react emotionally to their comments. Did anyone else have a similar experience they’d care to share?

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17 Answers

jerv's avatar


marinelife's avatar

Just remove them from your life. Take them off your Blackberry Messenger list. Stop calling them. Stop returning their calls.

If one of them looks you up and asks why, just tell them what you have told us here. That you were finding their kind of caring too intrusive. That you have changed. Then say that you wish them luck with their lives.

jca's avatar

I vote for the diplomatic approach. I would take them off IM and tell them you’re no longer doing that. I would just become busier and busier (at least in appearance) and unavailble for chatting, meet ups, etc. I would use excuses like “I have so much going on, maybe in June.” Then keep putting them off until hopefully they fade away. I think it’s a good thing not to make enemies of people, which is why I favor the diplomatic approach.

Shippy's avatar

Thanks I am going to do that, and I feel bloody relieved.

jca's avatar

Do which?

Earthgirl's avatar

It’s very possible that they mean well but don’t realize how off-putting and intrusive their questions and comments are to you. Being that they are long standing friends I would give them the benefit of the doubt first. I would explain to them that their obsessive pestering is rubbing youi the wrong way. Tell them that you appreciate their concern and their support but that the way they are expressing it is rubbing you the wrong way. Then give it a little time. If they persist in misunderstanding and annoying you then I would take the route that jca advises. Just start avoiding them. It sounds like you need more alone time in general to think and come to terms with things. Not a bad idea, just don’t isolate yourself. Good luck with everything.

gailcalled's avatar

If you have the energy, and you may not, and want to work on one or two friendships, you can remind people that you don’t want unwanted advice.

If you do, tell them you will ask.

You do not need permission to dissolve a friendship. You can try to be diplomatic but it won’t be easy.

You are thinking clearly; good luck.

Coloma's avatar

I think the honest approach is always best. If you have repeatedly told them how you feel and they continue to ignore your feelings than I would simply say, ” ya know, this relationship is no longer working for me, I wish you well, take care, goodbye.”

I’ve let go of two friends in the 18 months, both had refused to admit their mistakes and apologize for some crappy behaviors. I was ready to let them go, but I believe in having the integrity to speak up instead of playing games with others. I am much more assertive and don’t want to waste energy on avoiding people and having to make up excuses. An honest, clean break is always the best IMO.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Neizvestnaya's avatar

Firstly, decide if these are truly your friends or acquaintances instead. If they irk you, are meddlesome and don’t add positivity to your life then they probably aren’t friends. There’s nothing wrong with cutting ties to people you aren’t friends with. You don’t have to make a fuss or explain yourself either, just stop the contact, response to their contact, whatever.

Ron_C's avatar

I was friends with a guy that would get my surgical clamps out of my workshop and use them for a roach clip every time he visited.

I warned him about that numerous times and finally locked my shop door whenever he arrived. I encouraged him to transfer to another position and signed his transfer papers (we were in the military). He has never called or written since that time and I don’t miss him.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
ucme's avatar

Bath full of sulphuric acid?

Shippy's avatar

@jca I was going for a mix of yours and @marinelife unfortunately I lost my temper with people today. It had been building up. So I feel like I failed.

Only138's avatar

@ucme LMAO. Good answer. :)

ucme's avatar

@Only138 It really is the only course of action available.

SpatzieLover's avatar

If I can call them and tell them, I will. I have found with toxic people and their manipulatives ways that a phone call or an honest chat causes more twists than I care for.

An emailing detailing why I will no longer answer their calls or emails generally works quite well for me. I keep any follow up to a minimum and keep all responses objective.

@Shippy How can you fail at cutting ties? Did the person not understand that you were cutting ties? or?

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