“I’m too busy” is just a polite way to stop being friends with someone
This topic contains 37 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by jacqueline 4 months ago.
October 13, 2011 at 10:38 pm #26196
hello, i recently had to go through this with a friend where we both became “too busy” but the problem with this friend is that she still needs favors and a lot of help because she recently got divorced and is finding out how to be a single mom. i feel sorry for the children and have tried to stay open to helping her out. it’s just that….wow when we see each other, we hardly acknowledge each other anymore so its pretty clear this friendship is over but when she needs help she calls and i feel i have to help her! because i feel sorry for her. We didn’t really dump each other, what happened was we became friends through our children’s school and then her older daughter (who had become good friends with my older daughter) must have decided she didn’t like my daughter knowing everything about her family because it was an ugly messy divorce so the older daughter dumped my daughter!!! my daughter was really hurt by it all and in the middle of it, my friend was still asking for favors left and right. so now this is the pattern we have and i need to know how to talk to her about it. Like, what do I say? I feel for the younger daughter too who seems to have been blindsided by all the family drama. But I also feel it hurts my own daughter to have me help them and it makes me mad that I can’t even bring up her older daughter’s nasty behavior to my child. Help! I need some advice and I don’t know who to ask….
October 14, 2011 at 2:41 am #26197
Everything you’ve said here sounds exactly like the version you should tell your friend. Your friend can receive help for single mothers through your state’s county office. There are plenty of public resources she could turn to for help instead of using you – her former friend – as her crisis connection which is totally unfair to you. Your poor daughter. I think that your friend’s drama with her ex-husband and their divorce should be addressed by a family therapist for the children’s sake. And she should get into a divorced women’s support group immediately. Have you recommended those resources to her yet? If not, you could recommend those resources as a transition into talking about your friendship with each other and your need to pull back to take care of yourself and your own family. Maybe you could wean your former friend off you by connecting her to public resources like I mentioned. I’m not married but have quite a few friends with children who are divorced single moms and that’s exactly the steps they took. I think the divorced single mom’s group will be the best source of emotional support for your former friend.
October 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm #26209
Thank you Wonder Why for the very helpful suggestions. I’m going to look for these resources/support groups and have them handy for when we talk. Thanks so much and I just want to mention how grateful I am to find this forum–so helpful and supportive! thank you….
October 15, 2011 at 5:38 am #26230
I’ve used the “I’m too busy” excuse before because I just didn’t want to tell the person that I’m just not interested in hanging out. This has been said to me before, too, by someone I thought was a good friend. She kept saying this so often that I felt that she was downgrading the friendship. She would still invite me to come hang out, but only in a group setting where we still never talked. I felt like just a body. So, I would start saying that I was “too busy” to hang out because I just wasn’t having fun anymore without my friend really communicating with me. So yeah, I’m one of those women that was just too afraid to actually tell the truth about my feelings because I didn’t want to hurt anyone. But, eventually I did tell her the truth months later, but being “too honest” led to the end of the friendship, which is what I think is the worst thing that could happen. It seems like there is no winning.
October 15, 2011 at 6:32 am #26233
Hi Goofysora, you shouldn’t be afraid to be honest with your friends. “I’m too busy” is such a terrible excuse because it’s so transparent. Whenever someone says that to me, I hear “I’ve downgraded you” from priority to option in my life.” NO one is too busy to stay in touch with someone they care about. Your friend downgraded you and that’s unfortunate the way she did it. It was good you were honest with her. If that led to the end of the friendship that’s actually a good, healthy outcome. Why would you want to hang on to a friendship that makes you unhappy? If she was truly interested in reciprocating your friendship she wouldn’t have treated you so badly. She should have communicated with you more. I don’t think of friendships as “winning” but more as fortunate when they work out. Lots of friendships end for all sorts of reasons. The challenge I’m finding out, is how we react to them. When my two friends ended their friendship with me via email recently, I was more disappointed in myself for not confronting them sooner, when I noticed them distancing themselves from me. I was actually relieved when they broke off their friendship because it meant that know I have the opportunity to fill those two voids with healthier connections. So that’s how I look at it.