• Handling Breakups

Drifting apart from a high school friend

Published: September 14, 2016 | By | Reply Continue Reading
How do you handle drifting apart from a friend you always see at school?

QUESTION

Hi,

This friend, let’s call him Bob, was my best friend from fifth grade. We started drifting apart in the eleventh grade because I took the AP system while he took the IB system.

Right now, entering my final year of high school, we simply cannot talk to each other. Conversations end after two sentences and we have nothing in common anymore. We used to talk non-stop but now, we can’t even hold a conversation for a minute.

Most days, I try to avoid him because every time I’m around him, I get an attitude of disrespect. Mutual respect is so important in a friendship and he doesn’t respect what I do and excel at in life. When we do extra-curricular activities, he insists on me not working with him because he thinks I’ll drag the project down. That hurts my self-esteem so much because he was the person I always turned to when I needed someone to help me. He always takes jabs at me for the things I’m bad in in life.

I’m not a very social person, but I’m extremely intelligent and resourceful. Although I’m very prideful, I don’t usually mind when teachers or other students doubt my abilities. For my former best friend to do so makes my heart ache. Him sitting there on his high horse is not the same person I used to know. I’m thinking that this friendship is not worth saving and I would probably cut all ties with him very soon.

Let me know if you think I should try to salvage this relationship. He was basically my only friend throughout my middle school and high school days. As a senior, I’m more independent and self-reliant. But I don’t know what happened between us. I’m introverted so I’m very good at observing and reading people. He has made new friends but I feel as though they aren’t real friends to him.

By the way, if you have any suggestions on how to cut ties with a friend, that’d be helpful. He and I are officers in three clubs so we have to see each other 3-5 times a week. I try to ignore him but he just does things that hurt my pride and self-esteem.

Signed, Greg

ANSWER

Hi Greg,

From your letter, it sounds like you and Bob have grown in different directions, which is not uncommon during high school. You’ve stated that you have little in common, despite sharing some activities.

You feel that he doesn’t respect you and from you seem like you’ve lost some respect for him and his new friendships. You’re very wise to say that healthy friendships need mutual respect to thrive.

You have options other than simply cutting ties or maintaining a friendship with Bob. Continuing as friendly acquaintances who share some activities but not much else is probably your best bet, as it involves the least amount of drama and stress.

Be friendly. Smile and say hello as you would to other members of the club with whom you don’t socialize. Don’t give him the power to hurt your self-esteem. Neither of you has to be right or wrong if both of you have grown in different directions.

In the mean time, try to seek out other people in your classes who share your interests and whom you respect.

Signed, Amy Feld


*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

Tags: , , ,

Category: HANDLING BREAKUPS

Leave a Reply