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Topic : Ending Toxic Friendships

Number of Replies: 486
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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:20:14 am
Author : dataimport
It can be hard to extricate yourself from a friendship gone bad. Share your stories and strategies for handling this sticky situation.

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January 1, 2006, 3:30 am CST

Ending Toxic Friendships

Quote From: jenoc99

This "friend" sounds more like an enemy! 

I think since you are worried if you make an official statement that the friendshipi is over that he will do 'something', that you and your fiance just need to put more and more space between yourselves and this man. When he calls, don't answer, and don't return his messages, either... give him the quiet brush off. This way no new hurts can be caused. When/if you do see this person in passing, you can smile and say "hi" and casually ask him how he is doing, but always keep the topic on HIM. Ask him about his life, whats new, etc.. don't allow him any personal power by giving him information about yourself or your fiance, this will only bring him back into the friendship, or give him a false sence of friendship. 

It sounds like this man is very manipulative, so its best to do this slowly. He 'seemed' so sweet because thats part of his act. A real friend doesn't give you "tests" and then tell you what a failure you are!! A real friend would totally understand that you have places to go and things to do, especially since HE isn't working, you are the one who has stuff to do. He sounds like a class-A jerk. Don't waste any more of your life on this "friend", its not worth it. Life goes on.  

Thank you very much for writing to me, the 'quiet brush off' is working like a charm I must say. But it was actually him who started brushing me off. He has done that before: decided that it's best not to see me anymore because of his romantic feelings towards me, and then he stops talking to me or become just hostile. This time, after his trip to NY, when he returned he didn't speak to me and I realised how very much better I felt when he didn't contact me. 

However, now he has started contacting me again, but I'm doing like you said - I'm giving polite, short answeres to his messages and avoid giving him any information about myself. He can write to me all he wants, but I'm holding him to his own decicion this time, he's not getting back in! 

  

Again, thank you very much! 

 
January 3, 2006, 11:03 pm CST

We keep getting it wrong.

I'm starting to think that we wore never tough how to get along right as children and toxic grown-ups is what you get now. Girls bullying girls. Boys fighting boys. What is the matter with us? How can our eyes be open to see we are not as nice people as we believe ourselfs to be?
 
January 5, 2006, 3:48 pm CST

Help me do this right

I am a married woman, and had an affair with another married woman.  She told her husband about us....everything.  She said she wanted to be with me, then changed her mind.  Her husband did extensive "surveillance" to see where she was going, when she was seeing me....and going so far as taping our conversations.  She has since told me that she has decided to be with him...but remain friends with me.  However, we don't have a healthy friend relationship.  She will not see me, she does call me weekly, tells me her heart belongs to me, but is vague with me now about everyday affairs.  Some days, she says she will call me and does not, and is vague about why she didn't call.  I have asked her to consider that it is hurting her husband to keep me, and hurting me to see her slip away, and us not even be able to see each other.  I feel that we cannot have a healthy friendship, even though she wants to remain "friends".    

My question is....should I end things?  I am hurting deeply.  I am still in love with her, but I feel like I am growing bitter towards her as I feel her keep me at arm's length, but still try to hang on to me for the good things I say and do for her.  What should I do?  

 
January 7, 2006, 10:25 am CST

toxic teenage girls

 I'm sixteen years old and find myself surrounded by groups of girls who are nothing but pseudo-friends to one another. they're faker than plastic to each others face and turn around and talk badly about the same person they were just so sweet to. I find it extremely hard to form friendships with girls because everytime in the last year that i have tried to welcome a new girl or continue friendships with other girls i've gotten stabbed in the back for it. i continue to be loyal and kind and get treated like crap because of it. When a situation arises that should be handled maturely they don't understand this and blow it out of proportion like little drama queens in training.The group of girls that live around me seem to always start rumors and problems with me when i've done nothing to them. I think it's becuase it's easy for people to be mad at me, even though i don't know why that is. Besides not caring about them or their petty drama, i need some support or the know how to form friendships that will last. 

 
January 13, 2006, 7:56 pm CST

Needing to let go....

At this time there are two friends I am considering letting go. 

  

Friend A : Was calling me 2x per week and at times when I was "helping" her with her issues she would get several calls on the other line and would ask me to hold. No problem, so she would return and I would say "So who was that" She would reply, " That was so and so, I called five people before I called you and now they are all calling me back, I was in a panic and I needed to talk to someone." So I was available to talk through her latest crises. She has a therapist but she has not been available so I have been stand in therapist. We've discussed low-self esteem, assertiveness, and victim issues. We have even discussed another situation with a friend of mine who was not quick on answering my phone calls or emails. Known her for 3 years. She called me last week of the year and wanted to do something with me. (she usually invites herself) And wanted to come with my husband and I and another friend to dinner on NYE. She calls 1 hour before we are to leave and says she is too tired to come and has paperwork and shopping to do the next day so she can't come. She then asked me if I wanted to "schedule" something with her now for next week to do something with her. Yeh right Like I am going to want to do something with her after that. I said I didn't know what my "schedule" was and that I would have to think about it. She then said she could come over and hang out before we left. I said that would not be necessary and we wouldn't have enough time for that. she then pathetically said, Sorreee -  

Two weeks later I go to a mutual friends house and she tells me Friend A has invited her to her own bible study at her house. Now she had told me about this but never officially invited me. I have since sent her an email but have not had a response in four days. I think she is not responding because she knows how I don't like people not responding to me by email. The more I think about this she is trying to hurt me for some reason. I'm not sure if she feels so inferior to me that she has to try and get back at me because she does not feel equal to me. People who feel inferior think everyone must possible have something against them.. Victim mentality. I really do not want to assume what her problem is, but I don't have much to go on. She usually calls me 2x per week and now I haven't heard from her in two weeks. Perhaps her therapist is back in town........ 

  

Friend B - of five years- sporadic friendship- maybe talk once a month. The Seller phenomenon. 

Recently was invited to her house for six different vendors who were selling a variety of things. Her whole house was set up like a flea market. Has not invited me to do things with her lately but has no problem trying to get me in on a network marketing scheme. 4 emails were exchanged on this topic which I find destroys a friendship because you never know if they are being nice to you because they want to or if they are looking for a time when they can sell you something. 

Looking to get out of this one- girl has no morals or values and I feel like I am paying for her 500,000 house buy contributing to the sales force. Very disappointing - thought she was different. 

  

so I figure I gotta let these go to discover much more meaningful relationships. Anyone have friends like A/B? I think I am making the right choices here, it justs hurt to let them go but I think in the long run I am preventing worse situations......................Penelope 

 
January 16, 2006, 11:06 am CST

Ending Toxic Friendships

Quote From: rachelgree

I am a married woman, and had an affair with another married woman.  She told her husband about us....everything.  She said she wanted to be with me, then changed her mind.  Her husband did extensive "surveillance" to see where she was going, when she was seeing me....and going so far as taping our conversations.  She has since told me that she has decided to be with him...but remain friends with me.  However, we don't have a healthy friend relationship.  She will not see me, she does call me weekly, tells me her heart belongs to me, but is vague with me now about everyday affairs.  Some days, she says she will call me and does not, and is vague about why she didn't call.  I have asked her to consider that it is hurting her husband to keep me, and hurting me to see her slip away, and us not even be able to see each other.  I feel that we cannot have a healthy friendship, even though she wants to remain "friends".    

My question is....should I end things?  I am hurting deeply.  I am still in love with her, but I feel like I am growing bitter towards her as I feel her keep me at arm's length, but still try to hang on to me for the good things I say and do for her.  What should I do?  

I would recommend reading Dr Phil's books --FAMILY and SELF matters. You will find yourself and learn that some things are just unacceptable and damaging to you as a person and to others. That is, if you can accept the acts you describe here while trying to rationalize that you are in love is totally totally selfish. .   

 
January 19, 2006, 10:04 pm CST

problem with someone who just will NOT take the hint

So I've been having this CONSTANT problem with someone who just will NOT take the hint that I dont want this person in my life. I've tried to be friends and that didnt work. I've tried numerous times to take the high road and be civil, doesnt work. This person ALWAYS has comments about how i live my life, and what I do with my vehicle. Last time i checked, its MY decisions, and I didnt ask for theirs. Now, i have not spoken to them for long amounts of time, and told this person I DO NOT WANT THEM IN MY LIFE. but... they keep coming back with little comments belittling me. But then i get these sappy emails from him as if its supposed to mean something. I've said some very harsh things trying to get the point across about how i feel, and about how i do not care nor wish to hear what thwy have to say about me, NOR my vehicle, but it doesnt work.

What do i do? I'm so aggrivated everytime this person talks to me, and I try to not have contact and it doesnt work. Theres always something. and always one of those little comments. Never fails. I was worried about this person and tried to be there for him, and help him thru rough times, but I hate the person he is. Now, My boyfriend has had it with this, and He's seen the things i say to him, and doesnt understand why hes still around. He's like a bad case of herpes... no matter what ya do, you just cant get rid of it.

SOOOO.... WHAT DO I DO? and how can i make it clear that I absolutely cannot stand this person, and DONT want them in my life, and make them actually go away for good? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help me....
 
January 20, 2006, 10:46 am CST

Hurt by a friend.

I had a friend that I had known for 20 years, in those 20 years, we were the sister each other never had.  We became friends in college and after we graduated we became roommates.  Her job made it difficult for her to go home for holidays so she spent many with my family, after 5 years she moved out of state.  I visited and we still remained friends.  We created a Christmas tradition where we would talk on Christmas over the phone with a glass of wine and open our gifts.  We would talk about our crazy Italian mothers and share all of our secrets.   She eventually moved back to California, 3 hours away, so we would try and visit each other, 2 times a year, one time I would go her way and the other she would come mine.  I was married and she was single, but that didn't matter.  She finally met her prince charming and married, during that time I was having marital problems and ended up having an affair on my husband.  We divorced and I married the other man.  In the course of this she always listened and we still communicated.  She found out she was pregnant and had a hard time telling me because I could not get pregnant.  I was very excited I couldn't wait to meet her little boy.  Last February she had planned to come visit with her son, and a few weeks prior she emailed me and said she couldn't with an excuse that made no sense, however, because of our closeness I could sense in her voice that she had other issues than the reason she gave.  I explained I was disappointed, and she replied harshly and said that we had grown apart and that she wished me a happy life and that was it.  I tried to ask what was wrong, what I did and no response.  I don't understand because the only thing different is that I don't have a biological child.  I have a good job, nice home, family, husband and 2 step boys and am very happy.  SInce then I have sent birthday cards, christmas cards with a note asking for some sort of closure or reason why - WE were friends for 20 years, and I know there are people she was not as close to that she still sends a card and checks in with every so often, why did she cut off communications completely and how can I deal with this.  My family constantly asks about her, I don't know what to say - I feel extremely hurt and can't understand - why so cold.  What do I do?  Just forget or try and contact her.  I sent a note in my christmas card, with no response, I am afraid to call because I am afraid she will just hang up or not reply.  Help, this is really weighing on my mind 

  

  

  

 
January 20, 2006, 2:57 pm CST

she has closed the door on your friendship

Quote From: doranger

I had a friend that I had known for 20 years, in those 20 years, we were the sister each other never had.  We became friends in college and after we graduated we became roommates.  Her job made it difficult for her to go home for holidays so she spent many with my family, after 5 years she moved out of state.  I visited and we still remained friends.  We created a Christmas tradition where we would talk on Christmas over the phone with a glass of wine and open our gifts.  We would talk about our crazy Italian mothers and share all of our secrets.   She eventually moved back to California, 3 hours away, so we would try and visit each other, 2 times a year, one time I would go her way and the other she would come mine.  I was married and she was single, but that didn't matter.  She finally met her prince charming and married, during that time I was having marital problems and ended up having an affair on my husband.  We divorced and I married the other man.  In the course of this she always listened and we still communicated.  She found out she was pregnant and had a hard time telling me because I could not get pregnant.  I was very excited I couldn't wait to meet her little boy.  Last February she had planned to come visit with her son, and a few weeks prior she emailed me and said she couldn't with an excuse that made no sense, however, because of our closeness I could sense in her voice that she had other issues than the reason she gave.  I explained I was disappointed, and she replied harshly and said that we had grown apart and that she wished me a happy life and that was it.  I tried to ask what was wrong, what I did and no response.  I don't understand because the only thing different is that I don't have a biological child.  I have a good job, nice home, family, husband and 2 step boys and am very happy.  SInce then I have sent birthday cards, christmas cards with a note asking for some sort of closure or reason why - WE were friends for 20 years, and I know there are people she was not as close to that she still sends a card and checks in with every so often, why did she cut off communications completely and how can I deal with this.  My family constantly asks about her, I don't know what to say - I feel extremely hurt and can't understand - why so cold.  What do I do?  Just forget or try and contact her.  I sent a note in my christmas card, with no response, I am afraid to call because I am afraid she will just hang up or not reply.  Help, this is really weighing on my mind 

  

  

  

It sounds to me like she has closed the door on this friendship.  I am sure you have already combed very carefully over any conversations you had with her leading up to the time she cut you off completely, looking for anything you may have said or done to offend her.  And it sounds like you didn't come up with anything. It is possible that she may feel that you two no longer have anything in common.  If that is the case, it was cruel of her to end the friendship without giving you a reason.  Even if you did do or say something that offended her, the right thing to do would be to tell you what it was.  That way you could have explained your side.  It is also possible that she misinterpreted something you did or said. If she would have given you a chance to speak to her about it you could have had the chance to straighten things out.   Regardless of the reason for ending your friendship, especially a LONG term friendship she should have talked to you about it. 

One thing that I may be reading into your posting is where you said you explained to her that you were disappointed when she couldn't visit.   Please think back to that conversation.  Did you say it in a matter of fact way, or did you do it in a whiney, needy, trying-to-induce-guilt way.  This is VERY important to be truthful to yourself about.  Have you been acting too needy in that friendship?  If so, that can really sap the energy of the other person, and maybe that was the last straw for her. 

All that having been said, you have made numerous attempts for nearly a year to reach out to her, even to the point of directly asking for closure, which she didn't give to you.  It seems she has closed the door in your face, and it may be time, as hurtful as it may be, to stop chasing after her.  (This too could come across as neediness when done in excess.) I would stop contacting her at this point. Perhaps, in time, she may come to realize that she misses the friendship, but I doubt this will happen as long as you keep writing to her. Or it may not happen at all. If that's the case, then you have to resign yourself to the fact that the friendship is in the past.  

By the way, can any of your friends that also know her shed light on the situation???  

 
January 21, 2006, 12:56 pm CST

Ending Toxic Friendships

Quote From: doranger

I had a friend that I had known for 20 years, in those 20 years, we were the sister each other never had.  We became friends in college and after we graduated we became roommates.  Her job made it difficult for her to go home for holidays so she spent many with my family, after 5 years she moved out of state.  I visited and we still remained friends.  We created a Christmas tradition where we would talk on Christmas over the phone with a glass of wine and open our gifts.  We would talk about our crazy Italian mothers and share all of our secrets.   She eventually moved back to California, 3 hours away, so we would try and visit each other, 2 times a year, one time I would go her way and the other she would come mine.  I was married and she was single, but that didn't matter.  She finally met her prince charming and married, during that time I was having marital problems and ended up having an affair on my husband.  We divorced and I married the other man.  In the course of this she always listened and we still communicated.  She found out she was pregnant and had a hard time telling me because I could not get pregnant.  I was very excited I couldn't wait to meet her little boy.  Last February she had planned to come visit with her son, and a few weeks prior she emailed me and said she couldn't with an excuse that made no sense, however, because of our closeness I could sense in her voice that she had other issues than the reason she gave.  I explained I was disappointed, and she replied harshly and said that we had grown apart and that she wished me a happy life and that was it.  I tried to ask what was wrong, what I did and no response.  I don't understand because the only thing different is that I don't have a biological child.  I have a good job, nice home, family, husband and 2 step boys and am very happy.  SInce then I have sent birthday cards, christmas cards with a note asking for some sort of closure or reason why - WE were friends for 20 years, and I know there are people she was not as close to that she still sends a card and checks in with every so often, why did she cut off communications completely and how can I deal with this.  My family constantly asks about her, I don't know what to say - I feel extremely hurt and can't understand - why so cold.  What do I do?  Just forget or try and contact her.  I sent a note in my christmas card, with no response, I am afraid to call because I am afraid she will just hang up or not reply.  Help, this is really weighing on my mind 

  

  

  

I know this hurts you very deep, but the harsh reality is that your friendship is over.  You don' t say how long ago she told you that she wished you a happy life- how long has it been since you talked to her?  

My advice is this: stop sending the cards, stop sending the notes, when your family asks about her, all you need to do is say you have lost contact with her and then change the subject. Keep saying you've lost contact with her, because there simply is no other way to explain what happened.  

By not allowing you to have any closure on this friendship you have shared for so long, your "friend" is holding powerful emotional control over you... give yourself the permission that you deserve to let this go. You have no control at all over this friendship any longer. With time, the pain of losing this friendship will ease, although you most likely will always remember the good times. The way she broke off your friendship was cowardly and cruel, and I think that even though you didn't know it, you really did grow apart, because how else could you have had a friendship with someone who would be so cruel to you? You can move forward without closure, it just takes more effort. Please know that you did not deserve to be treated this way!! You deserve happy and healthy friendships, something you no longer share with her. Time to move on. I wish you well! 

 
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