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How to Peacefully End Friendship When Thinking about it Gives Me Major Anxiety?

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  • #1095204 Reply

    This is going to be a little wordy so bare with me. I have a friend (we’ll call her Sarah) who I grew slightly close to after we roomed in a dorm together for a couple months before she decided to upgrade to a more expensive dorm. I have another friend (we’ll call him Jayden) who I’ve stuck with for going on 8 years, who is by far the most important person in my life. Sarah latched onto me very early on into our friendship and was very clingy. I’m an emotionally reserved person as it is, and she constantly was pushing my boundaries with the levels of affection I was comfortable with. Even after explaining to her how I felt, she seemed to acknowledge what I said, but later disregarded my discomfort and continued with the similar over-affectionate behavior even though she knew how I felt. If I tried to bring it up again she would act sad and make me feel guilty until I eventually acquiesced. There were other things she did this to later on in our friendship as well. What really came off as a red flag for me was when I noticed she was upset one night. Obviously I was concerned and asked her about it. She said something along the lines of she though Jayden was mad at her and she thought she’d done something wrong. Jayden has high functioning anxiety, and typically when he was around he was essentially dissociated, but he was never short or snippy when someone talked to him, he never seemed angry. All I can assume is that Sarah took his disengagement from socializing as him being mad. I tried to defuse her thoughts but ended up upset myself. Eventually it escalated to Jayden planning to go somewhere else temporarily if he was really upsetting her so much since she was still upset even after he explained that he wasn’t angry with her about everything and that he’s just mentally checked out at the end of the day. After that she was more reserved around him and only really socialized with me. Time passed and Sarah would constantly bring up how she wanted a “person” like how I had Jayden. Someone that would be in her corner no matter what. And she was always upset that I wasn’t as comfortable with her as I obviously was with Jayden, even when I explained numerous times that you only get that comfortable with people over time, and trying to force that comfort and ease that came from years and years of friendship into less than a year just wasn’t possible. At this point I was already trying to figure out a way to remove myself from her without hurting her unnecessarily and making myself feel guilty. And then she got into another fight with Jayden. Now, due to past happenings, none of us react to anger well. I tend to cry, Jayden always tries to soothingly defuse the situation, and Sarah shuts down. Except when she’s angry herself. Due to the way she grew up, she takes any attempt to defuse anger as someone telling her she isn’t allowed to be angry. Sarah had been over playing a game that she was visibly and audibly getting angry at, and wouldn’t stop being loud even after we tried to suggest she maybe stop playing if it was making her that angry, because the both of us were very uncomfortable with how she was acting. She eventually gets angry enough that Jayden tries to get her to calm down, and she goes ballistic. Starts yelling at him about anything and everything and brings up stuff from her past, and won’t let Jayden get a word in. Jayden is being very calm and quiet, and she is red-faced and screaming at him even as he agrees with some of the things she’s saying. She goes on about her trauma and and how she’s allowed to be angry, and completely disregards his. Eventually she leaves, still arguing with him. After this incident, I try to end our friendship, and by the end of it we’re both upset. Now, I readily admit I am a coward and will occasionally go along with things if they pose the least resistance. I was mad at her for the way she treated Jayden, which is partly why I was so upset trying to tell her I didn’t want to be friends with her anymore. I hate any type of confrontation. I mentioned not being able to reconcile between her and Jayden and she took that as some kind of positive and we ended up staying friends, although I tried to keep my distance from her. She would constantly, I mean like hourly, try to contact me after this, even when I lightheartedly asked her to maybe tone it down. Even when I ask seriously she tries to guilt trip me and disregards my feelings on the matter. I know I’ve been less kind than I could have been throughout our year of friendship, and I know my need to avoid confrontation that made me essentially ghost her by avoiding her messages is an asshole thing to do, but the idea of talking to her or answering her messages literally sends me into a panic attack. I don’t want to hurt her any more than I probably already have, but being friends with her is just bad for my already unstable mental health. Please, does anyone have ANY advice?

    #1095252 Reply

    You don’t have to be friends with people you don’t like. Just stop responding to her messages. She knows why. If you feel you MUST respond at some point, just say, “The friend thing isn’t working for me, sorry.”
    That’s it. Then do not respond ever again. If you respond, it just starts the whole cycle up again. Also, no one can “make” you feel guilty. You either take that guilt trip or you don’t. YOU buy the ticket.
    Also, this thing about adding a mental diagnosis to everything — he is “dissociated” and has “high functioning anxiety; she has “past trauma;” you’re “unstable,” etc. I mean, I guess, but I think you really may find some relief for yourself if you don’t pathologize too much? This isn’t a super-delicate trauma-related thing — she acts like a dick. The. End.

    #1095285 Reply

    Oh my god – get rid of people who cross your boundaries. Get rid of people who shit on you. Seriously, who the fuck cares what someone’s trauma is? Are you behaving like a dick – bye!

    Here’s the secret of adulthood: You are responsible for how you behave in this world. Not your trauma. If your mental health issues mean you can’t control your emotions or the words that come out of your mouth, then you get some fucking help. Mental health issues are not an excuse to behave like an asshole.

    Here’s the other secret to adulthood: Life is fucking short, so if people are treating you poorly you do not have to spend time with them. Do not set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm. Tell them it’s over. Block them on everything.

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