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Letting Go of a Friendship...Advice

Posted by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 11:55 AM
  • 9 Replies

I've been friends with a mom for 8 years now.  I knew early on that I didn't have a lot in common with her (except that our children are the same ages...7 & 10).  She can be quite pushy, and I'm not very assertive--especially when it comes to saying "No."

Recently, we volunteered to be on the same board at our school.  We see each other a lot more than usual.  We have different opinions about the issues on our board.  I've tried speaking up for my point; however, she comes back much stronger with hers.  I usually just let her have her way because I can't stand confrontation.

My struggle now is that I feel I need to put space between us, but I don't know how??  She continues to ask me to do things with her outside of school activities, yet I never feel good about myself after our visits.  I'm turning 40 this year, and I think I'm beginning to feel less tolerant of others' pushy attitudes.  I'm struggling between being "nice" and being true to my feelings/opinions.  I'm strong minded, yet I don't express it.  How do I  "keep the peace" with this friend, yet not be a total b#%ch.  We will have a lot of contact in the next couple of years, and I really don't want to resent her or cause tension in my life.  Any advice would be SO helpful right now.  Thanks!!

by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 11:55 AM
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Replies (1-9):
jalex
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 12:01 PM

It's much easier to dump friends than to make them...  Just stay busy.  After you decline the first 5 things politely, is she has half a brain, she'll stop asking ;)

COCat
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Well you could either confront her about her pushy behavior and see what happens.  Or you could just quietly fade away from her socially and hope she takes the hint.

good luck!

Jamesmommie
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 3:02 PM

 

Quoting COCat:

Well you could either confront her about her pushy behavior and see what happens.  Or you could just quietly fade away from her socially and hope she takes the hint.

good luck!

Yes, either one of these options.  I know that you said that you didn't like confrontation.  The ironic thing I've found about all the pushy, difficult, opinionated people i know is this--when you confront them about their behavior, they totally back down.  As the saying goes, "their bark is much worse than their bite."  A lot of people who are pushy, judgmental, etc. are really using that behavior as a wall to block what they're really feeling inside which is extreme insecurity.  It's sad b/c they want so much to be accepted, liked, and valued, but they push so many good people away b/c most people would rather just walk away than try to work so hard at such a difficult relationship.  Right now, I'm not allowing myself to engage in friendships with people like that, but i have several family members like that and i do let them know each and every time they say or do something that upsets me or that i think was out of line.

I sound like a broken record (b/c this is the 3rd time recently that I've mentioned this in a thread), but i just ended a friendship with a woman like this.  I ended the friendship b/c the friend was not here for me during my urgent time of need, but her personality was the bossy, pushy, opinionated, judgmental, "My way is better than your way" attitude.  Throughout the friendship, i had to confront her on some things she'd said or done that didn't sit well with me.  She apologized every time.  With this last incident though, i just told her that the friendship was no longer working out and that we're too different to maintain a close friendship. Many people advised me to be "busy" and unavailable for her, but I live in a small town and I could quite possibly see the lady a lot and every time I would be casually nice to her in public, I know she'd start calling me again so I just cut it off totally.

Which ever path you decide to take, I hope it works out for you.  I do totally understand if you choose to just be busy and unable to ever have get togethers with her b/c you did mention that you'll have to see plenty of this lady for the next couple of years, but it also could work out if you talk to her about your feelings.  She may just apologize and try to work better with you.  I bet deep down inside she really doesn't want to lose your friendship.

KTMOM
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 3:53 PM

I had to do this.  Honestly,  I was just "busy" a lot and I stopped returning her calls and texts.  She has gotten the clue.  I run into her every now and then and we are pleasant,  but I think she realizes I am just done with her.  Her attitude and jealousy and rudeness were just too much to handle and I feel so much better now that she is not in my life anymore.

Jamesmommie
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 4:33 PM


Quoting KTMOM:

I had to do this.  Honestly,  I was just "busy" a lot and I stopped returning her calls and texts.  She has gotten the clue.  I run into her every now and then and we are pleasant,  but I think she realizes I am just done with her.  Her attitude and jealousy and rudeness were just too much to handle and I feel so much better now that she is not in my life anymore.

I feel the same, exact way about the friend that I just cut loose.  Getting rid of a toxic friend is not really a loss at all.

snowflower299
by on Apr. 2, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Thank you for all of the advice!  I think I'll continue to make myself "unavailable" and see what happens.  I need to practice getting good at saying no, so perhaps this is why this mom is in my life:  to give me that much needed practice ;)  Thanks, Ladies.

ConnorsMom06
by on Apr. 2, 2010 at 12:52 PM

I guess I will take the unpopular opinion here.  I know you don't like confrontation, but you have to let this person know.  Perhaps she doesn't even know what she's doing.  I think everyone deserves that, not just 'disappear' or 'not respond' and hope she gets the point.  If you don't want the friendship anymore, that's fine, everyone is entitled to that, but let her know.  Would you like to be treated like that? 



singlemomof2nok
by on Apr. 2, 2010 at 10:56 PM

 You need to put the word "NO" in your vocabulary.  If you don't you will end up just like you suggested and be resentful of her.  It doesn't hurt anyone to say no to them, especially when they are not who you would like to hang out with.

Munchkin09
by on Apr. 3, 2010 at 9:33 AM

I would just slowly "wean" her out.  Be "busy" when she asks to make plans....  Dont worry about hurting her feelings.

You know, this could be about her pushyness but it could also be about you building strength...

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