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A new friend has led a rough life, an ex drug user that still seems to have street ties that come with way too much drama for us.

She put my husband and me in an uncomfortable position last week by yelling and threatening some guy when we stopped at a gas station. We had no idea what was going on and it felt like we were being sucked into drama we didn't ask for. It turned us off completely.

I've also felt uncomfortable with how emotionally attached she has expressed she is to me already. After only knowing her for 2 months, she's professing how much she loves me and is grateful for us to be her friends. She keeps asking for rides and I don't drive. My husband feels uncomfortable saying no but he doesn't want anything to do with her.

We moved to this new town to start a new life and to rid ourselves of people with these kinds of qualities. I feel I'm in an uncomfortable position, since she talks to me on Facebook every day and I feel like I'm hiding from her by not being online.

What is the best way to go about discontinuing our friendship with her?

5

In addition to the existing answer, I'll add the following:

You could approach this by setting boundaries. I've had friends like this before too. You set the boundaries on the relationship by limiting her interaction with you.

You do this by backing off whenever she says/does something you don't like. She starts a topic of conversation on facebook you don't want to talk about? Don't feed any attention seeking. Don't respond to drama, don't gossip, don't agree, don't give her anything. Stick to mundane replies. In the worst case, you were just busy and got distracted and couldn't reply.

She gossips with you on facebook? Don't reply to her messages after that. "Why didn't you reply to my message" "Oh, I didn't want to gossip"

She gets angry at you on facebook? Don't reply after that "Why didn't you reply?" "Oh, you were angry at me"

She wants a ride after shouting at a guy at a gas station? "The shouting yesterday made us uncomfortable. We like our quiet and aren't going to be able to give you a ride again."

Any time she has a bad behaviour you don't like, the goal is to give a direct, negative consequence to her actions. Say why ("We weren't comfortable when you did X") and back off ("so unfortunately we can't do y anymore")

She misbehaves when she comes to dinner? She can't come to dinner anymore. "You did x and we didn't like that, so sorry you can't come".

This way, you are giving her direct feedback on her actions. She can't say you're a "bad friend" because everything you do/say is in a direct response to her actions. Basically, you're setting the rules for what it means to be friends with you and your husband. If she can't follow the rules, then she can't be your friend.

Be completely unphased by her actions. It's not personal. You have rules for friends that everyone must follow, her too. Expect her to behave as a reasonable adult, if she doesn't, then that activity is not happening again.

I don't know if this friend is like this but what I find with some people is that they're friends with you because they get something out of it. They just want to take from you without putting in effort to maintain a mature, adult friendship. They're seeking drama or attention or affirmation or something similar from you. The setting boundaries technique I've described makes you an incredibly boring friend for them and usually they'll get bored of you and find someone else who they can take from.

Normal friendships don't have this problem because they naturally are two directional, where both parties are happy to give and take. The boundaries are naturally there and most friends are happy to work within them.

  • 1
    Thank you, this is what I'm doing now and it is working! – Ladybuggz Feb 3 '18 at 19:23
  • @Ladybuggz I'm glad to hear it! I added a bit at the end. – user6818 Feb 3 '18 at 22:00
4

You've decided that this person is not the sort you want around. It happens. Breaking things off is not as difficult as you think, although it will require you to go through some unpleasant situations.

There are two ways to go about it:

The Direct Approach

Ask to meet her in a public location, such as a cafe. I personally think that this would go easier if it were simply you and her, with your husband possibly waiting in the car nearby to pick you up.

Tell her that you're not comfortable with some of the situations you've endured due to her involvement in your life, and that you'd like the relationship (I would not call it a friendship) to end. Ask her not to call, write, or otherwise bother you. Be polite, but very firm.

For example: Hey, I'm glad you could make it. I've got something difficult to say, so I'm just going to cut to the chase: I'd like to end our relationship. The fact is that being around you has caused both [husband] and myself to be involved in some situations we want no part of. I hope you understand.

Then walk away. You can then unfriend/block her, and cease to reply to any future messages. If you run into her in public, you can simply ignore her, as she will likely ignore you. Such is life.

What I like about this approach is that there's no ambiguity, and, much like ripping off a band-aid, once the initial pain of that interaction passes, you're probably done. However, not everyone is comfortable going through that. Hence ...

The Indirect Approach

Don't contact this person anymore. Don't invite her places, and don't include her in events. When she asks to meet (her place, or for a night out), say you're busy. If she asks for a ride, politely refuse (don't elaborate). Block her on social media such that she never sees you online.

She will either get the message that she's no longer welcomed, or perhaps force a conversation much like the one above.

In time, when she's stopped trying to get in touch with you, you can simply delete her from your contact lists, or block her altogether.

This approach has the advantage of potentially avoiding a difficult conversation (at least in the short term). The down-side, however, is that this is not guaranteed in the long term, and may lead to various embarrassing situations where she's inviting you places, and you're stuck making excuses as to why you can't attend. If you're certain you want nothing more to do with her, I would go with the first approach.

  • +1 I like your answer. I would just also add that the first approach is more difficult of the OP but it helps the other lady more. So if the OP wants to stop the relationship but is still willing to help her, it may be better to take the courage and go for the direct talk. – yo' Jan 31 '18 at 23:25

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