Wedding Woes

Just let things fade out.

Dear Prudence,

I’m a 25-year-old woman. After months of therapy and self-reflection, I realize I have been a people-pleaser all my life and have rarely prioritized my own desires in my relationships. I have several friends I don’t actually like that much. I have only been keeping in touch with them out of habit and a sense of obligation. None of them are bad people or have hurt me in any way—I just don’t enjoy their company very much. How can I back off as gently and politely as possible? So far I have avoided initiating conversations, but now one or two of them have suggested meeting up. Would it be better to say, “Sorry, I’m busy right now, I’ll get back to you” (and then not get back to them), or should I formally “break up” with them?

—Dumping My Friends

Re: Just let things fade out.

  • I'm not a big fan of formal friend break-ups. Just let these friendships fade out if you no longer want them.
  • At 25 you're often just figuring out who you are.   Let things fade.   This is often a phase where you see how you are as a grown up vs how you were growing up.   
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Let it fizzle. Friendships are not commitments in the way that romantic relationships are, and don't need a formal ending when they just die for no pressing reason. (I would only "break up" with a friend in the case of specifically hurtful or toxic actions.) If you don't want to meet up, just say you're not interested or don't really have time right now and let things fade naturally. Friendships change so much in your 20's. There's really no reason to tell someone you simply don't enjoy their company unless you just want to be hurtful. 
  • I'm not a big fan of formal friend break-ups. Just let these friendships fade out if you no longer want them.
    This.  If a friendship isn't working for you for some reason and you want to save it, then you tell that person what you're concerned about and try to come to a resolution.  If you don't want to continue the friendship, there's no point in telling a person that you don't want to be their friend.  It may be cathartic in the moment for you, but it's really hurtful to shit on someone and then dump them.  Also, friendship is a two way street and they may have their own take on you that may not be the most flattering or easy to swallow.  
  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited January 9
    One more thing, why wouldn't LW's counselor help them work this out? I'd think any counselor worth their salt would help LW work through how to deal with this conundrum and also, hopefully guide LW to figure out that they need to do a fade out vs. a big production of dumping a person.  Especially if there's nothing these people have actually 'done' to LW, they just realize they don't 'gel' with them.  

    When we moved to our current home, I tried to become better friends with the wife of a couple friend because they live near us.  We went out a few times, shopping, to a movie, etc, and I found that I just wasn't that into her.  So I stopped asking to do stuff with her one on one and only saw her when we got together as couples/families (and they're divorced now, so it's even less of a concern). 
  • If it fades, let it.
    Do not - I repeat DO NOT - just drop them without a reason.
    I have been on the receiving end of being dropped and while I'm done with it {it's been 2yrs} I would still appreciate an answer and at least understand what reasoning was.
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