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Trying to slowly let friendship fade because it isn't good for me but friend is now confronting me and wants to "talk about our friendship"


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So I've been friends with this person for a few years (been room mates for just over a year) and during the time we've been room mates I really started noticing that the way they held space for me was not helpful. They always really wanted to hear about the stuff I'm going through and would almost try to pull info out of me, but then when I would be open and vulnerable either it would become all about their emotions about the situation or it just kinda fell flat. I also noticed that often I would end up feeling more anxious after talking to them about things than grounded. So, naturally I just stopped opening up to them...and that's after at least two occasions of saying "hey this isn't what I need" or telling them how their response was affecting me, and even asking for what i need in our living situation and getting no response.

So, now, my partner and I are about to tell their partner and them that we are moving in together next month...so I won't be living with them anymore. They obviously know that I am distancing myself from them and over the past few weeks i've noticed them trying to get me to do more things with them...even scheduling a time to hang out with someone that I met and they apparently just decided that this person is now their friend too...and then asking if I wanted to join them. Most of the time I just say I'm not available.

Other weird things that have happened include assuming that they would be the main person in my wedding party if i got married without me ever suggesting that...buying the exact same piece of clothing or plant or whatever i just bought within a few weeks of me buying it...and constantly assuming that friends that I make in my life are now also their friends. The thing that really made me start withdrawing was that when I broke up with an ex last year, I was crying on the couch talking with them and suddenly it all becomes about how much they didn't like my ex and knew that they were bad news...while i was sitting their heartbroken and still in love. Like yes I'm glad the breakup happened because it wasn't super healthy, but that's not what I needed in that moment.

Anyway...yesterday i get this text from them saying "I think it would be good if we have a conversation about our friendship, I've been feeling a fair bit of anxiety about it"...and this is right before my partner and i are about to talk about the move...so first off I get suuuper anxious upon seeing this text because I know that if we have this conversation I am just going to have to be honest and say I don't feel comfortable opening up to them and I know that they are going to feel very upset about that. 

Basically...I'm at the point of constantly second guessing myself and feeling guilty but then remembering that my reasons for withdrawing were to protect myself and give myself what I needed and that it's ok to do that...but I still feel wildly anxious because that text triggered my fawn response. Which I am desperately resisting.

Anyway. Basically just wanted to get this out there...and maybe someone has some reassurance or advice. Thanks for reading.

 

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22 hours ago, Spiderplantmom said:

So I've been friends with this person for a few years (been room mates for just over a year) and during the time we've been room mates I really started noticing that the way they held space for me was not helpful. They always really wanted to hear about the stuff I'm going through and would almost try to pull info out of me, but then when I would be open and vulnerable either it would become all about their emotions about the situation or it just kinda fell flat. I also noticed that often I would end up feeling more anxious after talking to them about things than grounded. So, naturally I just stopped opening up to them...and that's after at least two occasions of saying "hey this isn't what I need" or telling them how their response was affecting me, and even asking for what i need in our living situation and getting no response.

So, now, my partner and I are about to tell their partner and them that we are moving in together next month...so I won't be living with them anymore. They obviously know that I am distancing myself from them and over the past few weeks i've noticed them trying to get me to do more things with them...even scheduling a time to hang out with someone that I met and they apparently just decided that this person is now their friend too...and then asking if I wanted to join them. Most of the time I just say I'm not available.

Other weird things that have happened include assuming that they would be the main person in my wedding party if i got married without me ever suggesting that...buying the exact same piece of clothing or plant or whatever i just bought within a few weeks of me buying it...and constantly assuming that friends that I make in my life are now also their friends. The thing that really made me start withdrawing was that when I broke up with an ex last year, I was crying on the couch talking with them and suddenly it all becomes about how much they didn't like my ex and knew that they were bad news...while i was sitting their heartbroken and still in love. Like yes I'm glad the breakup happened because it wasn't super healthy, but that's not what I needed in that moment.

Anyway...yesterday i get this text from them saying "I think it would be good if we have a conversation about our friendship, I've been feeling a fair bit of anxiety about it"...and this is right before my partner and i are about to talk about the move...so first off I get suuuper anxious upon seeing this text because I know that if we have this conversation I am just going to have to be honest and say I don't feel comfortable opening up to them and I know that they are going to feel very upset about that. 

Basically...I'm at the point of constantly second guessing myself and feeling guilty but then remembering that my reasons for withdrawing were to protect myself and give myself what I needed and that it's ok to do that...but I still feel wildly anxious because that text triggered my fawn response. Which I am desperately resisting.

Anyway. Basically just wanted to get this out there...and maybe someone has some reassurance or advice. Thanks for reading.

Hey,

Welcome to the Ditch the Label community. I'm one of the digital mentors here and I give advice to those who reach out to us.

I completely get why you are feeling anxious about this; it sounds like you've tried to subtly pull away, which is often the best way to navigate a situation like this, and for some people, there is also a need to be direct and have this kind of conversation which can be unpleasant and anxiety-inducing. It sounds like you're pretty sure in your decision and your feelings are completely valid. I'm curious, how did the conversation go? 

 

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9 hours ago, Monsoon said:

Hey,

Welcome to the Ditch the Label community. I'm one of the digital mentors here and I give advice to those who reach out to us.

I completely get why you are feeling anxious about this; it sounds like you've tried to subtly pull away, which is often the best way to navigate a situation like this, and for some people, there is also a need to be direct and have this kind of conversation which can be unpleasant and anxiety-inducing. It sounds like you're pretty sure in your decision and your feelings are completely valid. I'm curious, how did the conversation go?  

Thanks :) 

I ended up buying myself time by staying at my partners place and saying i didn't have time to talk this weekend. I really didn't like the urgency that I felt via the text message. They tried to pin down another day but I said I didn't know what my week would look like so I'm not sure how it's going to go now. My partner and I just had the conversation informing this person and their partner that we are moving away. During the conversation this person basically said nothing...maybe asked a couple questions, their partner said several times that they were happy for us (not my room mate though)...but I could definitely tell that my room mate was quite upset and dysregulated. They just sort of withdrew.

So now the ball is in my court in terms of having the conversation with them or not. I know that they are probably feeling extremely betrayed by me...which makes me very anxious to talk to them about it. Basically, I'm having a reeaaaallly hard time not internalizing their expectations of our relationship and dreading the idea of informing them that their idea of what our relationship is is not accurate and that I actually don't feel the same way as them about it. My partner has suggested that I just say "no thank you" about having the conversation at all...which makes me feel like the bad guy but would provide a huge amount of relief to not have it. I keep gaslighting myself around my actions and intentions and taking their feelings into consideration too much...because I know that they will be highly offended that I didn't confide in them about the move...but that in itself makes me not want to confide in them at all of course.

Basically...I am perfectly ready to let the relationship drift apart...but I will still have to interact with her for the next few weeks while I'm moving out. I really don't want to intentionally hurt her by telling her the truth, or make her think badly of me by not telling her the truth, but it seems like I can't do what's best for me without hurting her. All I really want to do is get out as quickly as possible but I can't shake the feeling that I owe her something more than that or that i'll be seen as the bad guy if I do that (which i know shouldn't bother me but it does lol).

I guess think I'm subconsciously looking for some sort of ethical check mark telling me i'm doing the right thing or that I'm not a bad person or something which is ridiculous...I should be able to do what I need to do without affirmation but here we are lol.

I have no idea what to expect from her next. Kind of holding my breath.

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Hey there,

Thank you for getting back to me. I completely get what you're saying about how you're finding it hard to not internalise their expectations of what your relationship should be, but it sounds like you're in a really strong position to do what is right for you. I'm not sure I can be the one to give you the ethical check mark, but I am wondering, if you had a friend in the same situation as you, what advice would you give them?

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