Letting Go of Unhealthy Friendships

I'm 26, newly married, and I try to avoid confrontation at all costs.

Over the years, I have had a negative and rocky friendship with a girl that started in middle school. We were in a group of four girls- we often referred to ourselves as the "core-four." (super cheesy, I know)
Basically, she has betrayed me many different times in my life and finally, I reached my breaking point when I wasn't asked to be a part of her wedding and the other two girls from our little group were. I realized that this is a person that really makes me feel bad about myself and I no longer want her in my life. I was kinda hoping that she would disappear from my thoughts all together, but that hasn't happened.

This is difficult as she is still very much a part of my other very good friends' lives. In fact, one of the girls will be getting married soon as she is worried that it will be awkward between us- I have convinced her that it won't (I lied and I'm very worried about this inevitable encounter, but being the passive aggressive person that I am, I would like to stick this in a drawer and forget about it until it's fixed.)

It's been about two years since we've talked and I need closure. I'm struggling and looking for guidance in learning how to let go.

Please help.

Comments for Letting Go of Unhealthy Friendships

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Oct 25, 2009
by: Anonymous

Thank you for posting and commenting, almost exactly my 'problem'. So, girl, you are not alone in it. it is kind of liberating to know that. Thanks to Catherine too, for the insightful advises. I have a few other questions though, to change a bit the perspective, please help..

1. These other 3 people keep on seeing each other and that feels like tense.. even the mere fact of being commented from time to time feels awkward.

2. I usually do not think about it, but my best friend of them keeps on informing me. I try to see her alone, it was ok, but until recently, when we had such a bad encounter of us all, due to my best friends' insisting. Finally and privately I told her straight that I would like this torment and these 'happy' encounters to cease. The result is now we are not in touch from a couple of months...this is a 25 yrs of friendship. The other two are newer.

3. And now to come to the most important part -
I have avoided the odd one out for almost two years. Everyone thinks she is strange, egocentric, depressed. Anyway she manages somehow to get through. The point is as if I have almost forgotten about it and I just needed contact. What was my astonishment to hear not only depressin selfish tirades followed by real surprise why I am not joining in and moreover followed by real accusations of unexisting things..I was furious. I had forgotten and I thought she has changed. I read all about negative people and everything but still cannot come at peace. I also know that she treats everyone and everything the same. Why this time was so bad..Please bear in mind that in the previous brief encounters I stayed detached and gave almost no info back. But this time I gave a bit of info though, but not much. Is this a mistake, I hope not. Maybe naively I wanted to prove she is just selfish. Finally, I have other friends that are great to be with.. PLEASE HELP

Sep 28, 2009
my sore spot
by: Anonymous

i had a friend where i ruined the friendship then i ran off and left town for 2 yrs. We still kept in touch but then we moved back to the same area as my friend now her and i are miles and miles further than we've ever been. lost confused don't know what to do. i call to try to make plans just pushes her further. should i stay away. her words say love, the actions don't.

Dec 19, 2008
continued from previous posting
by: Catherine, www.Life-With-Confidence.com

[continued from previous posting]

Forgive her for betraying you. It told you a lot about the person she really is. You discovered you couldn't trust her. Then, let it go. As long as you hold on to it, she has power over you and you keep re-living the hurt. Take the lessons learned from the situation and let the charged emotions go. Not always easy at first I know, but you'll finally be free of her if you can forgive her. The forgiveness is for you, not her. It doesn't make what she did right. It's forgiving yourself and her so you can move on. I have some articles on forgiveness I can point you in if you need help with this.

Anyway, hope this helps. Just let me know if you want to keep working through this some more.


Dec 19, 2008
setting personal boundaries
by: Catherine, www.Life-With-Confidence.com


Few questions for you first.

1. Does she treat your other friends the same way she does you? I'm guessing no or they probably wouldn't be friends with her still.

2. If you're being treated differently, do you know why? Is she holding a grudge against you for something, was she jealous of you, does she do it because she can get away with it with you (you not liking confrontation), or because of the betrayal incident?

3. Do your other friends see how she treats you or does she do it when no one else sees?

How you answer these questions will give a better idea of what you're dealing with.

I don't like confrontation either so I hear what you're saying but as sensitive people, it's almost critical that we learn how to maintain our personal boundaries. If you don't, then people like your friend know that and take advantage of the situation. It's going to be important for you in your marriage as well that you're comfortable maintaining your personal boundaries.

Maintaining your boundaries isn't about being confrontational, it's more just letting people know there's a line there. So, for example, say you see your friend and she says something mean like, "I see you've gained 20 pounds since I last saw you." You could answer very calmly, something like, "It's good to see you, [insert friends name her]. Let's keep our focus on making [friend who's getting married]'s wedding day perfect." That way you've told her that you're not willing to accept her nasty comments and also that her nasty comments don't affect you anymore. It's when you tense up or look angry or get flustered that she's knows she still has power over you and that you're not going to stand up for yourself.

By answering in a calm voice and sort of just dismissing the comment as not really meaning anything, you've maintained your space.

The good thing about not having seen her for 2 years is that you'll be able to give her the impression that you've changed. That you're more confident and that you're not willing to let people cross your personal boundaries anymore.

Is it comments you're worried about or something else? If it's comments, then tell yourself that her comments don't mean anything. You know they're just meant to hurt you. They're not true. You know where the comments are coming from and know that they're not important. You have more important things to focus on (your other friends).

She's not going to betray you again because you're not letting her into your life. You're just spending a few hours with her.

[to be continued in next posting]

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