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Ending a friendship
How do you end it without hurt or confrontation


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17 replies to this topic

#1 sheamus

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:52 AM

I have this problem where I have befriended a person who I thought was different to who she actually is.


Since getting to know her we have really radically different ideas on certain issues. She is ultra religious, thinks abortion is evil, thinks any kind of scientific quest for knowledge of the universe is useless (I'm an armchair astronomer), hates mining and thinks it rapes and pillages the earth (my partner is is mining). I could go on and on.


Anyway, we are now at a point where we work and study together. I want to distance myself from her, not because she's mean, but because I find her views just really different to me. She is a very principled person and stands by these views very vocally.

How do you distance yourself from someone who is not nasty but whose views just really annoy you. They aren't hurtful views, but they make me stabby. Do you bring it up with them? Do you keep it  to yourself and distance yourself by not returning e mails/ phone calls.


How do you lose a friend with out telling them to get lost?

Edited by Omega_particle, 25 February 2013 - 09:09 AM.


#2 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:54 AM

Is she actively pursuing a friendship with you?  And keen to catch up regularly?

#3 sheamus

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:56 AM

She is, very often in fact.

#4 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:58 AM

Does she realise that you do not hold the same views?  Does she notice the friction?

#5 sheamus

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:00 AM

Yes she knows we are different but I don't go on about it. She's staunchly stubborn, there is no point and she gets sore easily.



#6 Therese

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:02 AM

I'm not very good at confrontation so I would just distance myself from her.

#7 Froger

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:05 AM

I would think it would be diffcult to have friends at all if you expected them to think the same way on everything as you do. Differences of opinion are to be expected.

Also if she is a good study/work partner and helps you with study and work you may just be disadvantaging yourself.

Maybe just avoid the touchy subjects when you are with her? I mean, how often does talk about these subjects come up in eveyday conversation anyway? It can't be that difficult to avoid.

Edited by SarahM72, 25 February 2013 - 09:10 AM.


#8 blackcat20

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:08 AM

QUOTE (Therese @ 25/02/2013, 10:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not very good at confrontation so I would just distance myself from her.


I've done this. Just take longer to answer messages, dont actively get in touch with her or initiate conversation etc...

#9 SaintJoe

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:12 AM

Personally I wouldn't end a friendship over opposing views that didn't really affect our day to day friendship.

However, if you must 'end it' just begin distancing yourself. It's not a partner, you don't have to have an official breakup or anything  wink.gif

#10 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:16 AM

I think it depends on how confrontational you want to be.

If you just don't want to go there, you have the avoidance and excuse strategies and hope that she gets the hint sooner rather than later.

If you can handle a bit of confrontation and want to see if the friendship can survive this, then I would suggest that whenever you find yourself getting stabby, take a deep breath and be honest.  "Sorry, I don't agree but I don't want to argue about this.  I know you have strong beliefs about this, but so do I.  Since I'm not going to change my mind and you aren't going to change your mind, let's drop this topic and move on to something that doesn't cause friction."  

With any luck, she'll follow your lead and move to another topic which doesn't cause a flare up.  If she continues to pursue the topic, just say "I don't want to discuss this further and if you can't let it go, I'll leave and catch up with you some other time."  After a while, you can determine if she is just pursuing the contenious subjects because she enjoys a bit of argy-bargy but can't take a hint (some people are like that).  If that's the case, start refusing to catch up as much as often.  If she also starts to moderate conversation topics, then you might be pleasantly surprised that the friendship will continue, without the friction, because you have both realised what topics to avoid.

I had a friend who used to like "discussing" politics with me.  I got so tired of it because it felt like she was picking an argument/debate each time we got together.  Once I told her, she backed off.  We are still mates, but it's rare that we talk politics unless I initiate it (in which case, it's usually a hugely energetic debate that can last for a good hour or two! Sometimes I think she saves up all her witty lines for our political debates, LOL)

#11 sheamus

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:18 AM

Thanks for your replies original.gif

I see her so often that it's hard to distance myself. With anything outside of normal study and work committments I will make myself unavailable though.

It's not a pleasant disagreement when we have it. It's awkward silence, her saying her bit then she leaves the situation. If I talk I fear I will get angry and just don't want some inflated confrontation.

I befriended her too quickly.

Edited by Omega_particle, 25 February 2013 - 09:20 AM.


#12 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:25 AM

QUOTE (Omega_particle @ 25/02/2013, 09:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for your replies original.gif

I see her so often that it's hard to distance myself. With anything outside of normal study and work committments I will make myself unavailable though.

It's not a pleasant disagreement when we have it. It's awkward silence, her saying her bit then she leaves the situation. If I talk I fear I will get angry and just don't want some inflated confrontation.

I befriended her too quickly.

If you are having awkward silences now, the friendship will probably cool off by itself anyway.

Not saying anything probably isn't helping.  Your friend may not be sure what you are thinking and may be getting frustrated because she has 'put herself out there' (so to speak) but you haven't.  You are probably better off say "I don't agree and I don't think either of us will change our position.  Let's drop this topic." and start a conversation on something which is less controversial.

#13 Funwith3

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:37 AM

I would just do it slowly and gradually so she doesn't ask any questions (this is if you want to avoid confrontation or arguments). For example, start making it longer between seeing her. And then longer still, and then longer again. Every few text messages, ignore them. Don't answer all of her calls. Sure, reply to a few and answer a few, but not all of them. Gradually and slowly I'd hope she gives up. Start being busy when she wants to catch up.

Yep, petty. But easier than coming straight out and saying "I don't want to be your friend anymore".  wink.gif

#14 blackcat20

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:45 AM

QUOTE (Funwith3 @ 25/02/2013, 10:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would just do it slowly and gradually so she doesn't ask any questions (this is if you want to avoid confrontation or arguments). For example, start making it longer between seeing her. And then longer still, and then longer again. Every few text messages, ignore them. Don't answer all of her calls. Sure, reply to a few and answer a few, but not all of them. Gradually and slowly I'd hope she gives up. Start being busy when she wants to catch up.

Yep, petty. But easier than coming straight out and saying "I don't want to be your friend anymore".  wink.gif


I agree. You feel terrible doing it, but if you anything like me, its just easier in the long run. Just gradually back away from the friendship. I had a friend that was messaging almost daily, wanted to catch up every week, and I just got overwhelmed in the end. Plus she capped it off with some opinions that I didnt agree with (and I was pretty blunt about it, which isnt like me). Havent spoken since. I feel bad, but Id had enough.

#15 Anonymous12

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:51 AM

Maybe don't end the friendship but just limit it to the time that you are spending studying and working.

I work with someone that I am good friends with, but there are some things she does and opinions she has that I will never agree with and I don't want people to think that I think like her.

I only see her at work, I am happy to see her at work and I don't discuss things that I know we disagree on - I won't change the way she thinks and she won't change the way I think. We just find the points that we have similar views on.

#16 starfire

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:30 AM

It sounds like the friendship is running its course anyway. Just give yourself time and keep avoiding her outside the study/work committments and she will eventually get the hint. biggrin.gif

#17 epl0822

Posted 25 February 2013 - 12:46 PM

I had a similar situation where I wanted to break off a friendship with somebody. I was seriously considering doing a formal break up speech with her to let her know why, because she was acting in such appalling ways. But I didn't - the main reason being I don't think it would have made any difference to her behaviour anyway. Secondly, we have many mutual friends and we would be forever bumping into each other at social occasions. I didn't want to have unresolved awkwardness in the air every time I saw her. So I just stopped contacting her, made excuses when she wanted to catch up. She got the point and we're no longer in contact.

I know some people are keen on open communication and closures. I don't think they're appropriate in all circumstances. Sometimes it's best to do a passive break up. I can bump into her occasionally and still make small talk. If I told her outright why she was driving me crazy I don't think we could've remained social aquaintances - it would have been way too uncomfortable for both of us.

#18 opethmum

Posted 25 February 2013 - 04:02 PM

Look just be honest with her, enough with the bs of slowly distancing yourself and just be genuine with her. She'll appreciate the honesty and my best friend and I clash all the time on things but we have the maturity to look past it and we have heaps in common and we like having debates now and then.
Anything less on your part says a lot about you than it does her and engaging in b**chy tactics of taking your time to answer messages and whatnot is nothing short of mean spirited.




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