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Other friendships Best friends, ex-friends, or any other friends

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Old May 20th, 2008, 08:16 AM
1dilwhosreal 1dilwhosreal is offline
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Confronting the fact that you'd be a bad friend.

I had a friend when I was in grade school that I lost touch with over the years. I bumped into her about 10 years ago, and she was soooo happy to meet up with me. I talked to her a few times on the phone, but I realized that we had nothing in common.

Basically, she was whining that she had 2 children with the man she lived on/off with and she wanted another child with him. He said no more children unless they got married. She didn't think she wanted to marry him because she didn't think she loved him enough, but she knew for sure she wanted him to be her baby's daddy.

I just didn't want another needy friend, kwim? Being so judgmental means I'd be a bad friend for her. I can't just accept her the way she is on a daily basis.

The problem is that I bump into her mother quite frequently and she's been pushing this friendship. She just gave me her DD's number and asked me to call her.

How do you tell someone that you would be a bad friend to them?
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Old May 20th, 2008, 01:40 PM
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Re: Confronting the fact that you'd be a bad friend.

That's a tough one...

I have however found that these "friendships" tend to evaporate on their own - even if I or my DH generate some contact.

Why? Because the friend realizes that we have less in common than they thought - they remember the fun times of our youth, but are looking through the distorted glasses time.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 02:30 PM
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Re: Confronting the fact that you'd be a bad friend.

I, too, find that these friendships tend evaporate with time. People change and priorities change. I also think your friend needs a class on how to take a hint.

Well, one sure fire way to end it is to be honest when she starts to whine. If all she does is whine to you, you are entitled to your opinion. And yes, I have done this before. I had a friend, to whom I had known since high school, that did nothing but whine about how all her boyfriends left her and treated her like dirt. Well, quit dating married men. And I told her as much. Soon enough, she got tired of my opinion and quit coming around, which was a relief.

I really don't think you are judgemental, you just choose to surround yourself with positive people. That is what you have to do to survive. IMHO, getting in to the friendship under false pretenses (of which would make you both miserable eventually) is far worse than dodging the friendship all together.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 03:55 PM
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Re: Confronting the fact that you'd be a bad friend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1dilwhosreal View Post
How do you tell someone that you would be a bad friend to them?
You don't. Truth be told 1dil, you'd probably be the exact kind of friend she needs... the kind who will give her a whomp with a clue by four. But who wants to sign up for that?

I saw a really good line in Carolyn Hax's advice column today: "Sometimes two perfectly good people just aren't meant to get along." I really liked that.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 06:28 AM
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Re: Confronting the fact that you'd be a bad friend.

Hmmm, 1dil. Just another perspective, but I'm interested by the fact that her mother is pushing the friendship. Maybe b/c she thinks you might talk some sense to her daughter! (Not that this is your responsibility of course!)

Sometimes I think avoidance really is the best tactic. If you don't have enough in common with this woman to foresee a friendship (one that is rewarding for both parties), and it really doesn't sound like you do, it's only going to make matters more complicated to get into something and try to extract yourself later. If you get cornered by her, I would be polite (I know you would never be anything else!) but always make an excuse. Sooner or later she will get the message. Unfortunately it takes some longer than others to get it...

I think we've all been fobbed off by someone at some point in our lives, and unfortunately it's just her turn. TBH, if I was going to be fobbed off by someone, I'd probably rather live with being a bit confused about what happened, than the brutal reality that the other person really didn't like some aspect of my character. Of all the ways you could handle it, IMHO avoidance, although it never really feels quite like the 'right' thing to do, is probably less hurtful than outright telling her you just don't have anything in common and/or telling her why...
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Old May 21st, 2008, 07:57 AM
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Re: Confronting the fact that you'd be a bad friend.

I was also wondering about the motive's of your former friend's mother. But if she is wanting you to talk sense to her daughter, that is something that could become all consuming.

You were able to extract yourself from her the last time, but if you contact her again it could become a nightmare. I'm speaking from the perspective that she is an extremely needy and negative person who continually makes poor choices. She needs to speak to a therapist.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 09:32 AM
1dilwhosreal 1dilwhosreal is offline
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Re: Confronting the fact that you'd be a bad friend.

It was easy to extract myself from her last time because I lived 25 miles away. Now I live 3, and am in walking distance to her workplace.

I don't think I'll be calling her. I'll just try to avoid the mother as much as possible.

I doubt therapy would help, either. It's a lifestyle thing. There, but for the grace of God, go I. KWIM?
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Old May 21st, 2008, 09:44 AM
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Re: Confronting the fact that you'd be a bad friend.

Yeah, i get you.
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