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Over the last few months I have become closer with a friend from class. She seems to have really latched onto me and considers me a close friend of hers.

I'm an introvert and don't make strong bonds easily; I tend to be selective of the people I consider friends. She's an extrovert and is always chatty and sociable, however, she does not seem to have many "friends" as in people who would consider her to be their friend as well.

We've hung out a couple times the last few months and had a class together where we worked on a couple projects together. During this time, I can see why she doesn't have many friends. She tries too hard. She forces herself into conversations and can have an off-putting personality, although she means well.

Since we seemed to form a bond, something I don't do often, I tried to overlook these personality quirks and get to know her better but over the course of the semester, she took some actions and shared some thoughts that I don't agree with morally or ethically and a particular action (not against me but a comment made to a teacher) has made me pretty upset and angry.

She has been turning to me for support and to vent. In the past I've helped without issue but due to her past actions and her neediness, I wish to no longer be friends and would like to amicably end the friendship.

We are no longer in class and we have both graduated so we will not be seeing each other regularly like we were.

So far, I am working on not responding promptly and happen to be "busy" when she wants to hang out. This is fine but I feel slightly dishonest since I am still kind of pretending to be her friend and am "leading" her on.

How can I amicably end a friendship with a needy friend?

I'd like it to amicable because she's a nice girl so I'd prefer to not be rude.

I am open to being direct about not wanting to continue a friendship so wording on how to approach that would be acceptable. I think she needs to do some self-reflection and understand why she is scared to be alone (she refuses to do anything socially by herself. I have show up with her).

  • Did you go to high school or college together? And how recently did you graduate (and start being "busy" when she wants to hangout)? – scohe001 May 23 '18 at 22:05
  • Have you talked to her about any of the issues that have caused you to want to end the friendship? – apaul May 23 '18 at 22:06
  • @scohe001 Just the final semester of college. We just graduated last week so I've been less communicative over the last two weeks and have told her I'm busy only once thus far. – cheshire May 23 '18 at 22:06
  • @apaul I have not. We aren't even that close (at least from my end). It may sound bad, but I don't really want to try to "work it out" with her. I have the friends I want and need and don't want to put effort into this "friendship". – cheshire May 23 '18 at 22:08
  • @cheshire congraduations! :) you might want to take a look at this related question (if you haven't already) – scohe001 May 23 '18 at 22:15
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Quitting without effort would be to refuse hanging out some more until she gets bored. This is less effort for you and requires no explanation.
Wanting to explain is brave - but I don't know if this can really work amicably. This is a matter of personality.

I think she needs to do some self-reflection

Prepare for the situations that are the reason you want to end this friendship. Your reaction should ask her what's up, why she acts or thinks like she does and show her you are not happy with that situation.

"venting" could be a good thing to reflect because it may be disruptive to other people too, not only you.

I know situations when someone only wants to tell about something he/she doesn't like but becomes angry and appears agressive (without noticing) so I feel uncomfortable to just listen. I then say something like "hey calm down, I am not guilty", "I'm starting to feel guilty now - was it me? No, huh?" which helps to at least get a break and sometimes makes the other person feel they are over the top.

If arguments come like "but I just wanted to say" it's a good moment to respond "I know - but your yelling ist far from just saying...".
(just examples - adapt this to you and her)

she refuses to do anything socially by herself. I have show up with her

I understand if someone doesn't like to do things alone. So this may be no special lack of social skills and shouldn't be part of your explanation. (seen from my view...)
If you explain yourself don't bring up everything that comes to your mind. You want to appear credible so only bring up the most important things.

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So far, I am working on not responding promptly and happen to be "busy" when she wants to hang out. This is fine but I feel slightly dishonest since I am still kind of pretending to be her friend and am "leading" her on.

Continuing with what you're doing at the moment is probably the easiest and best way to end your friendship amicably. Winding down the time you spend with her and how much you talk to her. This gives her time to find other people to hang out with and wont come as a shock to her, lots of people drift apart after graduating.

If you were to confront this directly you would almost certainly be prompted with the question Why? Unless you then plan on lying to her it would be incredibly difficult to come out of this without hurting her feelings. If I was in that situation I would feel lied to and that you were only a friend out of pity which would hurt deeply.

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