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Best Way To Politely End A Friendship?

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  • This topic has 6 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 6 months ago by avatarCAL.
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  • #848117 Reply

    So there’s this person that works seasonally at my job, and at first they seemed nice. We even exchanged phone numbers since we seemed to get along very well. However, things started going downhill from there a little later. First, I would noticed how they would overshare and tell me things that I didn’t necessarily need to know about. Especially things they shouldn’t really tell me yet because we’ve just started becoming friends. Second, they’re a bit unfair when it comes to this task we do. We both usually have a pile of papers each to work on, and I would practically zoom through them (I generally work a bit fast) while they would be a bit slower because they’re using their phone. Sometimes they would even give me more paper if I’m running low on my pile. One time they even completed their stack first and instead of asking for paper from my pile like they usually do, they went straight to using their phone, which really ticked me off since I still had a lot of papers to work with. Third, I feel like they’re trying to use me. Like with the papers, they keep asking me for money (in change to be exact). I did make the mistake of giving them some twice, but lied about it the next few times they asked me. Fourth, they’re a bit bossy towards me, saying how I should do things a certain way and not the way I want to. Fifth, I generally just don’t trust them. I gave them my phone once so they could show me something, and they literally went through my settings and turned some stuff on that I couldn’t see (because of the angle). When I asked what they were doing, they said they were doing something related to my contacts, but I didn’t exactly believe them.
    Overall, I’m having major problems with this person. They claim that we’re “besties” and even calls me their “friend wife”, but personally I’m not exactly comfortable with being their friend. Being around them and having them treat me improperly honestly depresses me. And the worst part is that they were talking about getting part time at my job, so there’s a chance that I will be stuck with them for a longer time. They even invited me to their party next month and really wants me to come, which I honestly don’t want to go for specific reasons, but I’m trying to go at least out of politeness.
    With this in mind, I was thinking about ending our so-called friendship. So how I can go about that without sounding like a jerk? I really don’t want to upset them or make them angry, but I honestly don’t think I can handle sticking with them. So is there a proper way I can drop our “friendship”? Or is there, perhaps, a way I can deal with them without my mental heath deteriorating?
    My apologies if I sound like a jerk already. I just don’t know if I can take it anymore…

    #848121 Reply
    avatarMiss MJ

    You don’t have to officially “break up” with your friend. And, in fact, given that you work together, I’d advise against actually saying you don’t want to be friends anymore or anything. I think you can just do a fade on this one. Don’t go to the parties, don’t initiate doing anything, be slow to respond and unavailable when or if they do.

    #848122 Reply

    This person knows they’re not really your bestie. It sounds like they’re definitely using and taking advantage of you for snack money, finishing their work for them, and whatever they did to your phone – yikes! The oversharing and calling you their bestie and probably the party invite was a way to create a false sense of intimacy quickly so they could then get you to do stuff for them. This is probably how they generally operate, and is typical of their interactions.

    Don’t have some kind of “friend breakup” conversation. Just be professionally friendly at work, politely decline or be too busy for outside of work hangouts, and stop finishing their work for them. You need to learn these skills.

    #848124 Reply

    That phone thing is nuts. Really.

    Don’t declare anything. Do this:
    If they ask you to do something: “I’m busy.”
    If they ask you for money “Don’t have it to spare.”
    If they boss you: “I’m good, thanks.”
    If they comment on your changed behavior: “Just super busy these days.”

    Don’t ever hand your phone over again. Don’t do any of the other person’s paperwork. Don’t go to that person’s party.

    This isn’t “lying” or “being mean” or whatever you’re telling yourself. Setting boundaries is a very necessary life skill.

    #848128 Reply

    You can’t politely end a work friendship when you literally work with them. It’ll make your work life really uncomfortable and awkward. Instead, start saying the magic word- No.

    No, I will not do your work.
    No, you cannot have my phone.
    No, I can’t make it to your party.
    No, I don’t have any money to give you.

    You’re worried about seeming like a jerk, but do you think they have the same concern? Clearly not.

    If your boss asks for feedback, tell her/him that this person frequently ask you to finish their work, you don’t like working with them, etc.

    As far as the depression stemming from this, you need to seriously work on using your voice to set boundaries with people. You are passive to the point where you’re more concerned about being a jerk than your own well-being and happiness. If you can- see a therapist. If you can’t afford it- google these things- becoming assertive instead of passive, setting boundaries, etc etc. These are life skills. A lot of people are brought up and conditioned to be passive people pleasers. You’re not alone, but you need to take the reins and learn how to advocate for yourself. There are people who look for polite, well-meaning non offensive people they can take advantage of. You’re a mark.

    #848185 Reply

    You don’t need to officially tell them you’re done with the friendship. But you certainly shouldn’t go to their party “just to be nice” if you don’t want to be friends.

    Don’t hang out with them outside work. Don’t give them money. Don’t do them favors. Assume they won’t help you with your work, so do your work accordingly. Don’t engage in conversations. They may talk to you, but you can just be like, “Mmm hmm.” And let the conversation drop.

    Keep in mind, you didn’t need to list 5 reasons you don’t want to be their friend. You don’t need our permission and you don’t HAVE to be anyone’s friend. I think the attitude that you do need a “good” reason is probably feeding into your habit of being their friend out of politeness.

    #848798 Reply

    You don’t have to officially break up. You just have to say no to things. You don’t have time to hang out. You are busy that night and can’t go to the party. No, you can’t see my phone…I don’t hand my phone to other people. No, I can’t do your work for you, I’m working on this other stuff now. No, I have a new policy that I never lend out money. By the way, you still owe me $X. You don’t pick up when they call. You say you are busy and not available if they ask you to do something with them. Learn to say NO! It’s great.

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