• Handling Breakups

Dumped by a friend and co-worker

Published: December 9, 2013 | Last Updated: December 9, 2013 By | 9 Replies Continue Reading
It’s hard to get over being dumped by a friend without warning or explanation


Hi Irene,

I was very good friends with a co-worker for several years and even traveled to Europe with her twice. This past summer, when we traveled together for the second time, she was very passive-aggressive and bitchy toward me as if I had done something to piss her off. When I asked her what was wrong, she said she was just tired from traveling.

Once we got back home, she unfriended me on Facebook, and in real life, and didn’t say anything to me about it ahead of time nor after. She won’t talk to me about it and in addition to the topics addressed here about coping with the sudden loss of a friendship, we share some of the same friends and I see her all the time at work.

She ignores me unless she needs something from me and yuks it up with our mutual friends while ignoring me. I feel like she’s rubbing it in my face that she has dumped me but has remained friends with the others.

I have talked to other friends, my therapist, etc. and I can’t seem to move on. Please help if you can! Thanks.




Hi Paola,

I’m so sorry this has happened to you. It’s very painful to get dumped by a friend, especially when you have to see the person on a daily basis at work or school. Having the same set of friends makes it even more difficult.

It sounds like your co-worker gave up on the friendship by the time you took your second trip. It’s unfortunate that either she wasn’t aware of her feelings or wasn’t able to speak to you about them before you left. The trip must have felt very uncomfortable.

From her behavior, both on Facebook and at the office, your once-friend has made it very clear she has no interest in remaining friends with you. Since she is unwilling to talk about why, you have no choice but to move forward.

Some people make the mistake of thinking that they need closure from the other person to put this behind them. This is unlikely to be the case with someone like your once-friend who has difficulty communicating.

What can you do to feel better?

  • Don’t blame yourself. Not all relationships last forever. Although this may have been the first time you were dumped, this happens more often than you think.
  • Be proud that you didn’t react nastily to your once-friend or badmouth her to other people. She is the one who should be embarrassed.
  • Maintain your collegial relationship with her as a co-worker. You don’t want to do anything to jeopardize your job or to poison the atmosphere at the office.
  • Stay in contact with your mutual friends. Don’t assume that they have taken her side over yours. Be sure to cultivate your friendships outside of the office, too.
  • Don’t second-guess the relationship from its beginning. Since you were close for several years, the relationship was a real friendship until it got derailed.
  • Reframe your thinking: Recognize that whatever transpired has more to do with her than it does with you.

Getting over this will take some time because you are a sincere and caring person and the way she went about this was very hurtful.

Hope this helps a little bit.

Warm regards, Irene

Prior posts on The Friendship Blog that touch on sudden breakups

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Category: Getting over getting dumped, HANDLING BREAKUPS

Comments (9)

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  1. k. says:

    Wow. I really can’t say I have ever been “dumped” in this way. Someone who does seem to have periodic issues w/sev
    l friends told me she was dumping me bc she didn’t like me wearing dbl masks during pandemic at her house — bc that’s so nuts (I haven’t been sick, she was very very sick) I just said “hmmmm” she then started calling again shortly after . .2 thoughts .. why take the high road? I think it would be torture to work w/this backbiting —-. Also, to Joy, you have tried to make up .. but what was your brother supposed to do. . leave sick daughter on her own or in the car or on the street? Ditto for the dogs . .who probably weren’t dogs he just picked up on the street but his own dogs. . and it sounds like missing your reservation was a bigger deal than his poor daughter being sick . .

  2. Denise says:

    I do not understand why once-friendly people have to be directly or indirectly rude and mean to someone instead of finding a calm, honest, brief way to say why they no longer want to be friends. A moment of courteous explanation would simply be kind, helpful and appreciated.

  3. Bronwyn says:

    I really like what Irene has said about closure and frankly, think it’s a word that shouldn’t exist because it’s something we rarely get. We may move on; the pain may lessen. But we can’t force the other person to participate in the autopsy (great phrasing, by the way, Amy).

    I think you may be at a point where continuing to rehash this situation may only be refueling it (and I speak from experience).

    Keep thing s cool at work; no one’s worth risking your livelihood over.

  4. Jill says:

    I know this feeling all to well, whether its from coworkers, friends, or family. I always felt i was only one who ever had this happen! And not knowing exactly what went wrong is the worst!

  5. Alberta says:

    It is so sad that she let you spend money to go on a mutual unsatisfying vacation with her when she obviously knew that the friendship was over – that says something not very good about her character that she would let you travel with her when she knew something was wrong – and that you spent your hard earned money to have a bitchy vacation with her – that is very unfair to you. The best thing you can do if any co-workers ask questions about what happened between you is give neutral ‘beige’ (like my mom says} answers. Don’t go out of your way to do favours for her – do your job well and be helpful, however, keep it all work related. I’ve found that a great way to meet people – and it may sound odd but I’ll put it out there – is to get one of those pick up wands and pick up trash floating around the neighborhood. You end up talking with your neighbors, hotties say hi and it makes the neighborhood improved. Hope you are feeling better now to get over this loss – this person sounds like a PITA anyways so next time you can vacation with someone you can have fun times and memories with 🙂

  6. Amy says:

    I also like Irene’s advice.
    You have two choices, move on or don’t move on. Sometimes we just have to “fake it til we make it.” Your feelings won’t disappear overnight, but you can still present a strong front, particularly at work and around mutual friends.
    For whatever reason, she doesn’t have the communication skills to address the end of your relationship, or she lacks the desire. You can’t change that and she’s made her feelings clear, albeit in a roundabout manner. That’s unfortunate. Don’t try to overanalyze or continue to autopsy the relationship. You’ll never really know and continuing to speculate will keep you stuck.
    Don’t talk about her with friends that you share, save those conversations for your therapist or friends who don’t know her. Just keep being friendly and holding your head high.
    I know moving on isn’t easy, but it’s far less painful than rehashing the pain you’re feeling.
    Good luck.

  7. Carol Graham says:

    This is the first post I opened this morning and I cannot believe how appropriate it is. I only slept 2 hours last night because I was grieving over this very situation – only it is our son who has done this to his whole family. Thank you for sharing your heart and I will glean from the advice that was given as well. Thank you both Irene and Paola

    • joy says:

      So sorry that happened to you. I know that is especially painful when it is a family member. Two years ago, my brother quit talking to me…..will not respond to cards, letters, etc. All over one insignificant argument! I’m 59 years old and have always been kind and caring toward my brother. Every year, he would vacation with us, spend all holidays hear, birthdays , dinners, etc. One holiday, he arrived so late (without a call) we almost missed our reservation. Also, that night, he brought two dirty dogs over to our home and brought his daughter over sick. We were very concerned that my 87 year old mother in law would be sick and told him so. He left in anger and that was it. I guess all we can do is love them. We can’t change what they do. I feel like I have made every effort to repair the relationship, but he is not interested. I don’t understand, but life goes on.

  8. Sheryl says:

    Good, sage advice, Irene, as always! This is a very tough situation. Being dumped is bad enough…without having to see that person every day.

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