Leaving a friend behind

Published: December 23, 2008 | Last Updated: December 23, 2008 By | 7 Replies Continue Reading


Dear Irene,


I was recently made redundant, had been working in a high powered job and decided to move to a different county to explore what it is i actually want to do, have been volunteering to discover, anyway my closest friend whom i’ve been friends with for over 10 years has hardly been contacting me, any time i’m back home i always make an effort but she hasn’t been asking me how i’m getting on just doesn’t seem interested and it really hurts because i’m on such a journey and want so much to share it with her but she’s always talking about herself and looks bored when i tell her about how i’m doing.


I now think that maybe she was envious that i’m off doing something different because she hates her job so much and spends 4 hours a day travelling to and from. It’s really bothering me at the moment because i am always supportive of anything she does and i know if it was the other way around i’d be on the phone to her all the time wondering what she’s up to. I did confront her and asked her if i had done anything to her and she just disregarded it and started talking about work. any advice on how to handle it would be much appreciated





Dear Anonymous:


A former neighbor on my block told me in confidence that she was going to move at the end of the school year. She asked me to please not tell a soul—get this, she was worried that other moms wouldn’t agree to playdates with her four-year-son when they found out about the family’s upcoming move.


It seemed kind of far-fetched to me at the time but there are people who only want to have friendships of convenience. As long as you are centered in their universe, they will be your friend. But if you move, either geographically or psychologically, they lose interest in the friendship and are unwilling to extend themselves. Perhaps that’s the kind of thinking shared by your friend. She may have written you off because you have left her universe.


Another thought: A journey of self-discovery, like the one upon which you have embarked, is rarely as exciting to the friends you’ve left behind as it is to the individual who is on the journey. Your friend may not be interested in the blow-by-blow of the story, but will probably be very interested in how it ends.


To meet your own needs to communicate and understand your experience, I would recommend that you keep a journal so that you regularly record your experiences and feelings during this exciting time. I would also suggest that you try to fully immerse yourself and make new friends in your new environment. 


Also, don’t write off your friend yet. She may simply be distracted by other things or have some transitory feelings of envy or distance towards you that will abate when you return to her turf. Keep in touch but don’t deluge her with the details.

In any event, congratulations on your new beginning!

My best,


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Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    float above the right side of her updates and click. a choice to “hide” her should come up. click HIDE. DO NOT DEFRIEND. FRENEMIES THRIVE ON DRAMA and may insistantly on confront you about YOUR defriending you without being willing to confront, acknowledge and change her behavior. Or WORSE: she may tell all of your mutual friends and business contacts, including the ones that are on the fence or just appeasing her, that you were the one who ended your friendship and “weren’t even mature enough to do it in person” she will likely paint you as the childish one or nutcase.
    You can also choose to leave her out of your status updates and posts on the privacy page.

  2. Irene says:

    If you can’t ignore her on Facebook, you have no choice but to defriend her.

    However, I think you should spend more time cultivating friends OFF of Facebook—you will probably feel less depressed and not think about your frenemy as much as you do now.


    My best,


  3. Anonymous says:

    I had a falling out with an old friend and decided to cut her completely out of my life…including deleting this person from my instant messaging and blocking her from seeing my facebook page. I miss the friendship every now and then but it’s just better that if I don’t hear about her life.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am so going through this right now. A best friendship of 8 years that was built on founding a company together and having similar creative passions has turned into a frenemy and avoids all contact even though we live in the same neighborhood. Although I feel like I learned some interesting things from her, she has always been obsessed with career and what connections can she get from folks. She doesn’t really open up personally anymore. It is difficult to let go since I’m going through a depression right and have noticed a pattern of becoming excluded from our mutual friends but BF no longer shares the same values or lifestyle so I need to move on.

    Facebook is making it hard by reopening the wound everytime I see her RSVP for a party or update on something clever but my attempts to rengage have failed and I just need to get my life together without her. Should I defriend her?

  5. janr says:

    It used to take me a long time – but I keep remembering the phrase a reason, a season or a lifetime; and although it can be sad when some relationships run their course. Sometimes, you just have to let go…

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have had the same thing, situations change and some friendships are very situational. They seem to be based on the others need rather than genuine care and concern. Sometimes when you do go through a massive change, it reveals things about friends that you would never expect to see…
    It used to take me a long time – but I keep remembering the phrase a reason, a season or a lifetime; and although it can be sad when some relationships run their course. Sometimes, you just have to let go…

  7. Lazygal says:

    This has happened pretty much every time I’ve left a job – there are few people that “come with you” when you go. Partially it’s convenience, partially it’s because the thing that really held you together (as opposed to the things you *think* held you together) is the job itself.

    It’s taken me a long time to accept that when I move, or when they move, the friendship fractures.

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