Ending a Friendship isn't always easy
When to end a Friendship
You might be contemplating ending a friendship but aren’t sure if you should or even how to. Is this friendship causing you to lose sleep? Do you feel that you are giving more than receiving? Has the friendship become more of a one sided thing, with you making the calls or visits? Do you find that after a visit your world doesn’t seem a happier place?
These are just some of the questions that you should ask yourself before ending the friendship. Another thing that may be causing you distress in your friendship is a lack of commonality. At first the idea of a friendship was great, you both seemed to like one another, chuckled at each others jokes and such. Soon you found out that your ideals were totally different.
Some just end
Perhaps you have friends for years and one or both of you have changed and neither of you can make the proper adjustment. Maybe one has grown, leaving the other far behind, whether it be emotionally, educationally, spiritually or financially.
Friendships often just drift apart in the natural course of life. Every now and then coming back together after years apart only to find there is nothing left in common between the two of you. Possibly one or the other wondering what you saw in the other. A promise of “We’ll have to have lunch soon” is spoken and neither believes it will happen.
What do you do when there is that one person who is a ‘clinger’ and refuses to accept your unspoken dismissal? There was a Movie a few years ago that was rather comedic in its portrayal called ‘The Cable Guy’, it ended badly for the Cable Guy (sorry for the spoiler if you haven‘t seen it). It is a serious problem that some suffer from.
Do you know a Clinger?
More than likely you are a kind person, one who never wants to hurt the feelings of anyone, so you suffer in silence. Your ‘friend’ walks all over you in their misguided attempt at friendship. You just don’t have the heart to tell them “It’s been a good run but it’s over.”
How do you know that they are a ‘clinger’? When no matter how much you try to avoid them they still want to be around you. They won’t take the hint that you no longer wish their company. If you have caller ID on your phone and don’t answer when they call, so they show up at your door. You feel the need to come up with an excuse like being in the shower, the basement or just didn’t hear the phone.
As the friendship wears on you may find your privacy has been totally lost, possibly disregarded entirely. Sitting in the living room having cuddly time with your spouse you may find your friend peeking in the windows. When caught giving that little wave acting as though they just popped up.
You may also find that they have found a way to move closer to you, going so far as to move next door. It will begin to seem as though they don’t just want to be part of your life, they want to be in it thru every aspect.
As you start to draw away from the odd feeling that you get when they are around, they will undoubtedly try to draw closer to you. They can feel your distance. When this happens they may start to get angry with you, not understanding. Now is the time when things will get very strange.
Is your 'stuff' missing?
The beginning of stealing items of yours may happen. You know this is what they have done with your items because in happier times they shared their love of collecting things. You may have thought that was strange when it was brought up, but now that items are missing you begin to wonder. You will have been told of some of the strange things they do with their collections, such as pay for storage then get a rocking chair to set in while visiting their ‘stuff’.
You will find that items you may have held dear have suddenly disappeared. An Elmo doll your Mother bought you that was setting on your bed, will suddenly be gone. Dishes that were left to you from the death of your Grandmother will vanish. After a time they will be brave in their thievery, sneaking into your while you are in another room to steal something right off of the counter.
You may find more and more of your items become missing, even things such as food from your refrigerator. The thought behind it may be something as simple as you owe them. They may borrow items repeatedly, and some of your items you may have to ask for. Beware when you do, they will get angry.
Don't insult the Clinger!
If it is a ’couple’ such as a husband and wife, you may become ’double teamed’ one borrowing from you while the other accusing you of borrowing all the time. This is done to cause confusion.
When you try to explain to your friend that the two of you truly do not having anything in common and you really just want to dissolve the friendship, this will not set right. Maybe they have different way of dealing with their children that you don’t approve of, or they personally do things you don’t like. Whatever the reason you no longer want the friendship. You will think that should be the end of it, friendship is over. It will be, but may not be to your liking.
They will feel that you have insulted them, rather than accept the truth or even your feelings. Now they may seek vengeance. At first it won’t be done obviously, it will be subtle things that will make you question your sanity. If you have a landlord rather that own your home, he landlord will begin to receive complaints about you. Something as simple as dog ‘doo’ in your yard. You will question, “Why are they in my yard to begin with?”, it doesn’t matter to your landlord, he will take notice of the complaint.
Signs of torment
Some more subtle things will be the noise level in your home, they may find a way to shatter that, with noise coming from their home. Possibly turning up the bass, to cause a low level of ‘beating’ sound. You may have already discussed in the past your aversion for that type of noise.
The next thing to come will be the tormenting of your children. You will have to be on your toes for this one. It will be done in such a way that you will question just what your children have done to deserve this. Because they can’t ‘beat you up’ they may encourage their kids to do this to yours, which to you will not make a lot of sense, they used to be friends. You may try to stay out of ’kids fights’, kids will be kids and they do fight and argue. If the parents get involved then you will have to step in, this is what they want.
They will try to pick fights with you, as an adult, you know this is not the way adults behave so you avoid it at all costs. You have been informed that one of them has a heart condition (in the past) so you will not ‘duke it out’ in the yard. The fear of a lawsuit will prevent this.
They may find a way to eavesdrop on your phone conversation, I am not technologically savvy, but somehow if your phone has been ’connected’ to you will know by their comments. They will be proud of what they have done to you, and may make hints at conversations that you have had on the phone with others.
You will try to fix things
You may try to become friends with them at this point figuring, “IF you can’t beat them, join them”. This will work for a short time, they will stop tormenting you. But soon, it will begin again this time more pronounced. If you happened to have items stored somewhere within a garage or basement, you will be in for a big surprise when you walk in and find them rifling through your stuff. The excuse will be “I saw your kids playing with such and such an item, they ran in here I was looking for it to return it to you.” When you question your children, nothing of the sort happened.
When all else fails - Move
At this point you may decide it is time to move. Do so with care, if you feel that your phone has been compromised, try not to talk about the move on your phone. You may have to do it in one short trip. If at all possible put everything in storage for a short time. Hire teenagers to help with the heavy lifting. If at all possible do it when they have went away for the weekend.
When you are safely away settled into your new home, you may feel safe enough to breathe a sigh of relief. Then again you may not, and for good reason. At first you may be very aware when driving, looking behind you watching for their vehicle. When 30 days or so have passed you may stop looking behind you. One day when you are least expecting it, you look out your door and they are setting at the end of your driveway, waiting for you to notice. When they are noticed, they may do something childish like flip you off as they drive away cackling. Your peace has been shattered once again.
This time you call the police, your nerves are shot and you may do something you one day would regret. They will tell you to file a PPO (Personal Protection Order) and they will go have a talk with them. With the PPO you may find it is denied, since they never physically laid hands upon you. Apparently to the Judge your emotional state doesn’t matter. If you are lucky this will be the end of it.
How to Avoid being a Clinger
How to avoid being a ‘clinger’? Be a good friend, recognize when someone needs space. If they are avoiding you, recognize it as well. If you make one or two phone calls and they aren’t returned, leave it at that. Don’t bug, they will call you when they want to. Something may be going on in their life that you are not privy to, if they want you to know they will tell you, in due time. Don’t show up unannounced, make that quick phone call first, to see if visitors are welcome.
How to be a good friend
1. Listen to your friend.
2. Be there when needed.
3. Make sure you ‘give’ as well as ‘take’ in the relationship.
4. Don’t call to tell them your problems only to hang up when they start to share.
5. Do not show envy at something they have acquired, be happy for them that they were able to get it.
6. Be truly happy for their achievements.
7. Do not expect more than they can or are willing to give.
8. Respect boundaries.
9. Just because you like to do something, doesn’t mean they do.
10. Don’t try to force your ideas on them.
Finally, Be adult and respect that they have their home and you have yours.