Ask the Mouthy Housewives: How to Dump a Friend
There are countless ways to dump a boyfriend – but how do you dump a friend that’s dragging you down?
-The Mouthy Housewives
Joining us here at BettyConfidential … The Mouthy Housewives! These lovely models of decorum (Kelcey, Wendi, Marinka, Kristine and Tonya) want our lives to be as fabulous as theirs, thus they’re happy to ignore their families to give us smart, cheeky advice. So pop open a box of rosé, put on your favorite Barry Manilow CD and let the Housewives Swiffer away your troubles … Every week they’ll be answering burning questions from readers.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I want to defriend my friend. And, unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it is on Facebook.
We’ve known each other since college, and over the years, we have less and less in common. Our relationship really took a nose dive when she met her husband – I don’t even want to talk about the insane person she became during the wedding planning. I’ve tried really hard to like him, but his combination of arrogance and incompetence is really difficult to be around.
I actually don’t see her very much, but she makes a huge effort to see me every few weeks. She tries to do really nice and thoughtful things for me, but at the same time, she usually says something rude or inappropriate. In the last year, I have had only two interactions with her that were completely positive and I didn’t walk away feeling annoyed or insulted. Unfortunately, if I try to faze her out, she will make an even larger effort to see me and probably confront me on it – and I have a feeling it would be an awful conversation if I was honest with her. What should I do?
Stuck in a Sucky Friendship
It seems unfair. There are so many ways to break up with a boyfriend. You can tell him, “You’re a great guy.” But I think we’re better as friends.” Or explain to him, “I’m just not ready for a commitment.” Or just slip out the back. Or make a new plan. Or hop on the bus. The point is – there are a lot of ways to leave a lover (I’m guessing about 50). But none for friendship.
When we are young, we think we will live forever. So we have time for massive amounts of friends (and not just on Facebook, but IRL). I’m pretending that Facebook was actually around when I was younger so work with me here. But as we get older, we realize our time is precious and we’re not going to waste it on sub par friendships. So you are right to dump this girl. Because if you want to be annoyed or insulted, you can get that from your very own family, I’m sure.
I agree that it doesn’t really work to blow off an old friend, especially if they are the aggressive in-your-face type. And a face to face conversation could be excruciating for both of you. So how about an email? Yeah, it’s a little cowardly, but social networks have been helping people find cowardly solutions since 1997!
So write something like this. (I’ve put it in mad lib form for your convenience.) “Your friendship has meant a great deal to me over the years and I will always ______ (verb) about you. But I feel like we have been growing apart for some time. Instead of feeling supported by our friendship, I often feel ________ (adjective). Although you have many wonderful qualities like your ______ (noun) and _________ (noun), I think we just need some time apart right now. I hope you can respect my need for space.”
If she sends back a long rambling email or tries to call you (gasp!) or even visit you (double latte gasp!), politely reiterate your desire for a friendship break. Stand strong and then relish the freedom!
The Mouthy Housewives spend our days solving the world’s problems and our nights playing classical piano and reading fine literature. Or maybe just yelling at reality TV shows. Need our help? Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. (All questions are confidential.) And you can find more smart, cheeky advice at The Mouthy Housewives.