• Few or No Friends

Slowly losing all my friends

August 28, 2012 | By | 38 Replies Continue Reading
If you notice a dysfunctional pattern in your friendships, you need to dig deeper and find out why…

QUESTION

Dear Irene,

I have many friends I hang out with, talk to, rely on for help, etc. I’m very social, was president of clubs in college, and played team sports. My initial social interactions are very good; almost everyone likes me initially.

I have had four very close/ best friends. These are ones whom I shared every aspect of my life with—the ones I go to for real advice and truly respect their opinions. Slowly but surely each one has cut me out, all of this occurring at different points during my life.

The first friend moved away. Although I kept calling and e-mailing, she ignored me. I lived with the second friend for four years; we shared everything – our hopes, dreams, etc. I have never felt so connected with anyone before. When these two cut me out, it was the hard to handle. I spent a year and a half trying to get them back, trying to figure out why it happened. I thought it might have been something with our relationship and that I just needed to find someone with whom I’m more compatible.

Now I’m losing friend number three and my sister has just informed me that if I weren’t her sister, she would probably cut me out, too. I’m not really sure what to do but clearly the problem is me. I have now been close to four different but very kind people and all of them prefer to not have me in their lives.

In every situation, it has never been a mean or angry break and all of them have told me that I’m a nice person. It’s just like they became too exhausted to handle me. I’m not really sure what it is but I think I snap at people close to me when I’m tired or frustrated. I also think it could be that I point out their shortcomings (usually when I’m just trying to be helpful because I know they can be better and I love them). I also think when things go wrong with our relationship I’m able to convince them its their fault so there is constant guilt.

Can you think of anything else that could cause this? How can I change or fix it? How do I not lose friend number three or my sister? If it is possible how do I get friends one and two back or have I pushed them too far?

Thanks, Leah

ANSWER

Dear Leah,

You are fortunate to have such an outgoing personality and knack for making new friends. It has to be terribly painful and disappointing, however, to lose one close friend after another—especially when the breakups are one-sided and you have no say in the matter.

Friends may find you exhausting for a variety of reasons: Perhaps, you are too clingy, too talkative, too abrasive, too short-tempered, too critical or too intense. Without knowing you, I can only throw out guesses.

Before you try to resurrect these friendships, you need to focus on fixing whatever makes people, including your sister, want to back away from you. The problems you are having seem to be persistent and are interfering with your ability to sustain satisfying friendships. Speaking to a mental health counselor or therapist may help you achieve greater insight so you can identify and modify whatever aspect of your behavior is off-putting to others.

Recognizing that you play a fundamental role in these breakups is a great start.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene


Several prior posts on The Friendship Blog about losing friends:

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Category: Losing friends

Comments (38)

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  1. Riebuz says:

    Dear Blog-readers,

    For the past few years right after my marriage, I have lost a few friends. Some were very close and some were new friendships, which grew to closer relationships. I also feel like it’s a trend to lose more and more friends. I have recently transformed to being clingy, insecure and unhappy. My wife even realizes this and I can’t imagine it being a positive thing. I was used to people being clingy on to me and now I feel like the tables have turned. I must’ve been a jackass and ego-centric. I was probably abrasive and talked much too much about what I thought was interesting. I am just sorry I messed up with so many people, whom I loved, respected and protected. I missed being loved and popular and I am afraid I will never be that person again unless I take a long journey, which I can’t afford at the moment. My wife is sticking to my side regardless, but I do feel she is not as compassionate as she used to be with me. It is as if my relationships going down has affected her judgment towards me.

    I had a friend, who cut me off without a reason. I asked him to talk and for around 6 months he wouldn’t respond at all to any of my calls or messages. I went there to his house unannounced and found him with many people have a little gathering. This gathering included another good friend, whom swore she didnt meet with him.

    It is maybe simply a time for self-reflection.

  2. lovelife says:

    Hi All,

    Interesting comments here.
    In the past 2 years I have lost 3 close friends. It’s funny because just 2 years ago I met a man who has turned my life and I am very happy.

    I have come to the conclusion that these friends loved me because I was miserable like they are. The main conversation I had with them was based on finding a good soulmate and be happy for the rest of our lives. Well, I was lucky enough to have found what I was looking for. If a friend of mine is happy, I am happy for him/her …probably they are not the friends I expected.

    Two of these 3 friends, they started to ignore me. When I asked why they said that I disappeared when they needed. I do not agree as I do care much about friends and I was always in touch with them. I was very upset at first, but after I realised that they were not real friends.

    The third friend has been a really shock.I knew her since we were 14. Our parents were close to each other too.
    She started to go funny since she realised that she was not happy with her marriage. She got worse when the father died. I have been always supportive especially in these particular times of her life, but she started to change with me and felt maybe judge by me ( this is my impression). I have always listened to her and I have never made bad comments about how she feels or how she is. I have always respected her views and her as a person.

    She started to being horrible making comments about my family and myself. She started to be negative saying that my family has problems, she also started to make negative joke about my hair ( I have unmanageable curly hair since I was a child) and being negative about my personal stuff that she knows, the one which make me feel insecure. I realised that I may should not tell her things about myself, because she was making jokes about my personal weaknesses.

    I forgive her, but I decided that I do not want to be friends with her anymore. I do not like negative people or people that are not happy and want to see other people unhappy. She could not wait to make comments of other common friends couples saying that they are not happy or the wife is annoying and others stuff… I don’t care and anyway that’s not nice. She was also jealous of my other friendships, but I have never had preferences. I don’t have a special friends. Friends are all special, if they are real friends.

    Now I have one amazing friend from Uni who I love very much, but we live far. I thank God for this. We have been there for each other always and distance does not separate us.

    In the mean time, after these experiences, I do not trust people and I feel scared to make new friendship. If I get on with a colleague or a person I met, I do run away because I do not want to get close. I am scared they can hurt me.

    In the positive note, I can say that it has been hard, but I am learning a lot about myself and how to be first friend of myself.

    No one tells you how hard it’s to become an adult. Someone says: ‘Don’t grow up it’s a trap’!!! It’s true! We have to dealing more with emotions and losses. This is part of life…but now I much more appreciate a simple things like reading a book or do gardening.

  3. Tobias says:

    Hi. Over the last 2 years I lost all my friends and cam distant from my family. All this because I suffer depression and I had nothing in common anymore with my actual friends. Basically if people cannot accept you for who you are when you have to accept them for who they are then they clearly are better not being in your life! If you can go out and have a coffee and feel happy just randomly talking to people like I do then say sod the world I am normal and kind! People see what you want them to see and if family backs off then clearly they have a problem that is sadly there problem and they need to deal with it. You are you, change only for you and not for anyone else! Advice above is mainly blaming you but life changes everyone. Be happy in yourself and just smile 🙂

    • Ben says:

      Having lost “friends” before, during and after my depression (mine lasted 10 long years) I can tell you I know the pain you are feeling and have more peace of mind as a result of learning about who is a true friend and what does that look like? You are completely right in my opinion about trying to be someone different than who you are just to have friends because that just leads to all sorts of frustrations. The more I can be genuine with me and those around me the less likely I am to violate my own ways of valuing myself to bend for acceptance. Both my parents have died and being an adopted child no extended family member even tries to stay in communication with me. It is sad to me but workable. Feelings are neither right or wrong in my humble opinion, they just “are.” Feelings are like the barometer for the soul in my opinion. They confirm good stuff that’s going on inside of me and teach me what I need to change about me to produce more good stuff. Up until last year I had one good friend from college way back in the late 70’s who was really a good friend to me but I found out that unless I continually initiate contact with her she doesn’t with me. It’s ok to do that if one chooses but in my case I found that it was telling about needing validation of worth. This past year has been a year of growth for me in examining all relationships in relation to initiating contact. Right now my insides feel much better because in choosing to challenge old patterns I have exposed a pattern that used to work for me and now it doesn’t. I like me better today than I ever have. I wish the same for you.. 🙂

  4. The Hermit says:

    I had the same problem, generally i am on good terms with people on my normal days. But there are times (short while) where i would feel overwhelmed and would hide in a shell without contact. Recently i stayed in that shell for 3 years and i find my friends not as warm towards me as maybe it felt like i had abandoned the friendship. Still working to regain myself. And then maybe worry about friendship later. After all, you first need to be your own best friend before letting others into your life.

  5. Ben says:

    We all condition others on how to treat us. What does an ideal friendship look like? What are we doing wrong to not get that friendship we want? I know for me I have been way too extroverted which is not “wrong” but if you are extroverted with expectations then you’re “leading with your chin.” I have made a conscious change since the beginning of the year to engage in friendships where there is reciprocity. It’s a painful process but it has yielded some interesting results. It makes you aware of how some (or many) people only respond when you initiate contact. In my case volunteering has helped fill a “personal enrichment” goal. I get positive feelings from helping that helps fill a void. There has been a lot of pain this year. I don’t want to kiss anyone’s butt to be a friend to them. I have better self-esteem because I really believe I am worth it. Another realization for me is that I am not an “alpha” male. Just not wired that way. The mold was cast a long time ago. It’s a process to make peace with who we are and know who we are. As the previous poster eludes to, “every pancake has two sides.” Blaming is not productive. Also taking blame is equally not productive. Everybody does pretty much what makes sense to them (me included.) “Happiness is an inside job” is a truism I subscribe to. Also, “if you don’t know sorrow, how can you know joy?”

  6. Davras says:

    All of your relationships failed because of BOTH you and your ex-friend(s) because those are the people who were involved in that/those relationship(s). Take responsibility for your part, people. Stop being passive aggressive and cutting people off without telling the other person why you don’t really feel like being their friend anymore. Nothing will change in every relationship you have if your solution is to walk away rather than talk about the issues and work towards a solution that works for EVERYONE involved, not just you.

    • Ben says:

      There is nothing passive/aggressive about taking care of one’s self. I am responsible for my own happiness and if I decide to make a change in how I react to the world that is my right. The true friends I have in this world have not stopped communicating with me nor I with them. I actually have way more peace and serenity today in taking steps to take responsibility for my own happiness… 🙂

  7. Hannah McNabb says:

    In the past year, I’ve seemed to have lost every single friend I’d made since I was 11. I have only three or four more and 2 treat me like garbage. I don’t know whats wrong with me, I’m kind, caring, and considerate. (I’m not trying to be self-involved but I know it wasn’t my fault) I dont know why everyone pulls away from me

  8. Sasha says:

    This person sounds exactly like the friend of four years that i cut off from my life. I think you just answered how to fix your problem. In the beginning of our friendship, we were ok. But when we got closer, things started to change. She would, like you, point out my shortcomings without realising it hurt my feelings a lot. The worst one was when i just had a breakup and so I wasnt completely myself and i got into a depression phase.. It came to a point where i just wanted to isolate myself. She told me i was childish for doing that. I just let it pass but i always remembered it. I felt i was wrongly judged by her as she was the one who was always acting childish and using me to console her when she had quarrels with her bf. But anyway, a year later we were still friends and ended up doing group work together. At first it was all ok, but things got worse when she made me do most of the work at last minute by myself as she said she has a part time job and i didnt have a job. After this i felt betrayed, and things went downhill from then. I started to ignore her until she asked me whats wrong then i told her the whole thing. My problem was that i wasnt upfront with her. But she was just a toxic person who didnt know why she was wrong. After i told her everything, her text didnt even sound apologetic, but sounded like i was to blame. I never replied from then. Now i dont really have any close friends but it doesnt bother me. The right friend will come along and i will be way pickier this time.

    • Ben says:

      Really identify with how you framed that….

    • Anna says:

      So in your opinion do you think it is better to run away from these kind of people , or face them and not be yourself ? Because I think you should back away from people like that but then again some people say face your problems?? I think I should move on and eventually the right friend will come along …

  9. Anna says:

    Hi! I myself have been having some trouble lately
    also…I’m pretty young and where I go to school people are so , selfish and to me it seems like most kids are grown to think that nothing matters but themselves and looking good and getting attention. It really bothers me because I do not see how it is necessary, why can’t people be loved and understood by ONE person who would beat the little pieces of everyone towards you, when they truly don’t care about you. Sometimes I get really depressed because I don’t have that one person that need so badly .. Just a best friend that is with me through anything. A person I can open up to and I don’t open up to people easily maybe that’s why people don’t like me? Maybe I’m exaggerating . I don’t really know . But what I do know is that people are so conceited and selfish .
    That is all I see now . Maybe it’s just where I live and that is why I want to move and see how people in different states act because I hate where I live now …. Maybe I to dependent . I think I need to let loose , but I don’t know how! And I guess I’ve given up on people …

    • Ben says:

      This problem can exist anywhere at anytime in life. It seems to me its a two-fold problem. One part is examining self, (Is there anything I am doing to not attract the right people?) The other part is examining the friends I wish to have, (Are they potentially good matches?) I can tell you from personal experience that at my stage of life I had no idea that certain really good friends (or so I thought) would show themselves to not be really good friends. I definitely know your pain. The person who starts this column gives really solid advice about reflecting on how we tick and what makes others tick. I had to examine myself at my stage of life and determine that I like who I am regardless of friends or anything else. That makes sense to me but then again I am not a youngin. If there are activities where you are that’s a good place to meet people of like minds. I was involved in High School Band and Choral groups and some minor sporting activities and I never experienced the type of problem you are having that young. Life threw up some curve balls for me so now I find myself in an entirely different existence than I thought I would. Much of it is not fun but it has its moments. The good thing for me is I have many experiences to draw from and I know that the bad days don’t last forever and each day is a new chance to have good days. I hope you find some true friends and they say if you can count your true friends on one hand you’re doing pretty good. Carpe Diem!!!

  10. Be Nice says:

    Going through this same thing and trying to be objective and honest with myself I have come to this conclusion…

    As soon as I open my mouth looking for validation or explanation from someone else I open myself up to other people’s judgment and interpretation of my own personal circumstances. I agree thoroughly with the principle of examining to see if there is anything I have done. What I am finding is as my self-esteem grows, my ability of putting up with “nonsense” decreases.

    It’s sad to look back over my life and see how low self-esteem has driven decisions and compromises throughout my life.

    I know I am a good friend because people have told me that over and over but now is a season of not extending myself to the point of compromising who I am to have people in my life who are draining emotionally.

    I grew up with very self-confident parents (I was adopted) and from a young age I compensated for feelings of inadequacy by negative self-talk. I truly like who I am and what I have come through. I am a survivor of many things and disappointments.

    Life is a not a dress rehearsal, I believe in “Carpe Diem” very much. I guess this is “my cross to bear.” It is always helpful to know I am not the only one who suffers. There are many things to suffer with (physical, emotional, spiritual) so I guess this is mine.

    As an acquaintance says, “Enjoy the journey, one day at a time.”

    • Nancy says:

      I really like this answer and surprisingly, these are the exact conclusions that I came up with this morning: losing friends, feeling like I don’t fit in, having to always make the gesture of friendship, make the plans and having most people respond and apparently have a great time, yet they rarely take the trouble to reconnect with me, questioning my own worthiness, etc. – that it is my cross to bear. If I consider all the physical, mental and emotional issues and problems that can occur in life, all things considered, it isn’t that bad. I concluded that I had to learn to live alone, be alone, trust myself, accept myself and find a reason to get up in the morning that I can control, not depend on others to invite me or want me in their lives as the sole reason to live my life. Does this make sense to anyone? I am embarrassed to admit that I am 62 years old.

      • Ben says:

        Your post deserves a standing ovation!!! Well said!!

      • Andy says:

        Hi Nancy, I’m on the same page. I’m 65. Lost a son. Another son has withdrawn from the family, with his partner and son. My daughters are in touch. I got a divorce after 7 years seperation and was made redundant at 63. Its been up and down but learning to live with oneself is paramount. Also I find safety in numbers . . belonging to social groups e.g. badminton, music clubs are a great help. Lovers have come and gone. I have a girlfriend but it’s important, we both think, to maintain contacts with larger activity groups. Its a balancing act and sometimes life can be sad and lonely. I have three friends of over 10 years that seem to have cut me out. I think something I said upset them but they are not willing to give an explanation . . . I guess they are struggling with something . . . I will not stalk them but I miss them as I loved them all in different ways for who they are . . . . maybe they’ll find me again one day? This is when it’s important to just keep going and be healthy. Thanks for your post. Andy

  11. Lana says:

    I’m not sure what you’re situation is exactly, but I’ve lost many friends over the years. As painful as it can be, I think it is part of growing older; we grow apart.
    Although, then I see people who have been friends since they were 5 and still are tight and I wonder why I don’t have that.
    I just lost a very good friend of mine who I thought I was going to be friends with forever. She got involved with drugs and began lying compulsively and it just became too much. I couldn’t continue to ignore her behavior just so that we could be friends. But it still sucks to lose her…or more the person she used to be.
    That has actually been a problem with a lot of my friends: drugs. However, the ones who are left (very few of them), seem to be a bit more stable. I’m trying to put myself out there and find people who are into things I enjoy, like the outdoors.
    Sometimes you just have to say “good bye”, even if the memories make it hard. If people have become different in bad ways, the memories aren’t enough.

  12. Not Tall Enough says:

    I have moved several times over my life and most didn’t really stay in touch with my friends. There were a few that i tried to stay in contact with, but eventually when living thousands of miles apart you begin to realize that you have nothing to do with this other persons life, and it almost a waste of their time and yours to interact. I’m not saying i hate any of these people, just perhaps it is better to move on..

    Critical friends often are projecting their own negativity on to you to make them selves feel better. This is not always the case, but if you find them pointing out negative things about you regularly chances are its about them and not you. That being said I have been told things by friends confidentially that are critical about myself and it has helped me identify personal shortcomings.

    There can be lots of reasons people stop interacting with their old friends. I have had people leave my life because they got married and didn’t have time for as many friendships. It probably makes them feel bad to interact with people they didn’t have time for. I don’t blame them or me for this.. It is what it is…

    • Inspired says:

      I am a caring person,but I realize that I have been that friend who critiques all the time, but with good intent, at least that is what I think in my mind; but I guess, it is not something that it is all too healthy. And yes, I believe that that at times some of those critics are things that I personally identified with, so I think I got into a deep habit of critiquing all the time, because maybe it would help me indirectly or something. All I know, is that I love helping people, but I need to understand when my help is needed,when I need to just listen, or if my advice is needed-I should still have a limit as to what or how I say things. Right now, I know that I need to be that person/friend, that I would like to attract in order to receive this type of friendship in return, if this makes any since… Some people say ‘a friend should accept you for who you are’; but, could I accept them entirely for who they are?? Now, this is something I actually want, which is accepting a person for who they are, but WHY DOES THIS SEEM HARD???!

      • Kay says:

        I had a friend who accepted who I was and I accepted who she was. We would argue and hug when we said goodnight. Sometimes we would offer insight to each other that was life changing and other times we never agreed. We could always depend on each other even when we were married with children in different states. She passed away last year and I feel as though I’m in a whole current galaxy in how to make friends. I started a friendship with a neighbor and became rather close to what I believed is a true friendship but then when I spoke up about her son (who stayed with me every weekend and sometimes weeks) and his fights at school and church; might be from his need to fit in and change himself to make friends to a tough kid when he really is a very sweet kid with us. She became very angry and felt as if I was negative to her son for she doesn’t think there is anything wrong in changing oneself to fit in. I then was asked to filter my words in our relationship. I was very sad but when you have had crayon brand crayons you don’t like having to use rose art crayons. I told her if I filter for acquaintances then how does that make her different? I want more from a friendship than just talking about designer shoes. (She loved them; I buy from payless) MY point is if I listen to you and allow you to have your opinion it doesn’t mean I can’t state my opposite opinion and we could not be friends because we disagree. It’s because we disagree and still love each other that makes us best friends. I sit here reading this blog because I felt sad over not having that “best” friend and I have gained a wisdom from many comments on this board that it’s better to have no friendship than to have a fake one.

  13. Jay says:

    Everyone is being way to nice on here – it sounds like they cut you off cus you’re a b*tch. Pointing out there ‘shortcomings’ regularly ‘because they can do better and you love them’ is not because you love them, its because you’re rude and it makes your ‘best friends’ feel self concious and unhappy. Thats not great, but forgivable. However, making them feel like everything is their fault is horrible! Why the hell would anyone want to be friends with someone who makes them feel ‘constantly guilty’! When somethings your fault, you admit it! Even if it isn’t, if they are you’re best friends you have to give in to make them feel better some times! Thats what friends are for, and it sounds to me like you’ve been getting the good side of the friendships for too long while they have to listen to your sh*t and have the bad side – there needs to be a balance. Why ask this? You answered your own question.

  14. Anonymous says:

    refelct= reflect

  15. Anonymous says:

    Yep, I agree with you on setting boundaries . I had to cut a friend off that kept lying to me. He even went as far as being involved with criminals and tried to hide it from me. A friend of mine knew and because she was in love with him, she too kept quiet and lied to cover up for him. I feel that when they lied, they put me in danger without me even knowing it. I am talking about serious criminals. When I found out I cut both of them out of my life. If they had been honest, maybe I would have given them another chance. Because than it would me my decision. But when you lie, I cannot trust that you won’t put me in danger again.
    Back to TS, Usually before people cut someone off , they usually give several warnings. I think you are insecure. You want everything to be perfect and therefor step over people’s boundaries. Never ever ever again turn things on people. You will be seen as manipulative and opportunistic. If you are at fault, admit it, apologize and move on. THAT IS A FRIEND. You do NOT convince your friends of anything, their just tired, leave you thinking you are correct, wash their hands of you and go on with their lives. Take some time to refelct. Write your friends a letter and explain that this was never your intention, but don’t wait too long. Good luck!

  16. Anonymous says:

    LOL. Well, I spoke too soon! Just saw this friend for lunch today. She was completely distracted by fringe on my bag being uneven; one of the strands was longer. She took a very long time to look, point it out, tell me it was too long. She gave it her undivided attention and I had to cut her off and say,”Oh, my fringe is just fine.” The waiter was wanting us to pay up. She was very cross looking when I wouldn’t “fix” the fringe and when I steered her away from obsessing over it. I wanted to finish our conversation about a writer we both like and had been talking about. I don’t know if her parents were perfectionists, but she has spoken harshly about her mother as being very stern. So, I did not achieve what I thought I had in terms of changing my friend trying to fix me. Oh, well…..

  17. Anonymous says:

    I disagree that “anytime” people consider cutting someone off it’s because something is “off” with their relationship patterns. People cut people off for legitimate reasons. It happens all the time. You cannot generalize and say that ANYTIME someone cuts someone off, it’s because he or she has relationship problems. Sometimes cutting people off is a way of setting a boundary that must be set. Sad, but true.

    • Lauren says:

      Yes, people cut off other people for legitimate reasons. For example, the other person sometimes just cannot take any more of the egocentric person always criticizing them, snapping at them just because they are “tired”, etc. etc. Sometimes the other person’s patience just wears out, and they have to think of their own peace, self-esteem and tranquility. It’s extra work to deal with critical people, and it can be quite depressing too, so sometimes the other person just has to get away. The offensive “friend” is baffled and is often wearing blinders and cannot see the effects of her hurtful behavior. It’s often as simple as that.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I used this language because I was alarmed that her own sister admitted to having considered cutting her off. That is red flag when people cut you off from relationships. It’s obviously a serious problem that will isolate her, further making it impossible to see herself in a more objective manner. Anytime people consider totally cutting you off should be a sign that something is seriously “off” with your relationship patterns and does merit the help of a mental health professional.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if these “fixers” are children of overly perfectionistic parents. It’s awesome that your friend listened to you, and changed her behaviour after you told her it bothered you – that you are still friends and ok with eachother which demonstrates communication and listening. I also like your description of yourself (and feel better that I’m not alone in looking askew no matter how hard I try to looked polished, my hair is rebellious too:)

  20. Anonymous says:

    I’ve known some “fixers” in my time and they annoy the hell out of me, even though “they mean well.” I attract them because I am one of these people who looks unpressed even when I’ve ironed my clothes; have flyaway hair even though I’ve styled it. My collar is always askew. I do put in efforts, I do look in the mirror before I leave home. I’m just never perfect-o, by a long shot. The “fixers” in life I’ve met always think there is a direct cause and effect for everything, with no deviations, gray areas, no room for personal temperament or failings. If you get lost somewhere, it’s “You looked at a map. So why did you get lost?” If you’re fat, it’s: “Why don’t you cut calories and join a gym?” Everything in their mind has a solution and can be “fixed.” And they are annoyed by seeing people who aren’t “fixed.” I think it’s pefectionism gone mad. And even when they are correct, they still are annoying to be around. I have fumbled in my purse trying to find my keys and have had fixers get so exasperated watching my fumble. “Why don’t you know where your keys are?” As if it had any effect on their lives. I am skeptical that “fixers” can be “fixed” themselves to stop “fixing” because I think “fixers” are just stuck permanently need ing to fix others. But if you are open minded, read this and realize how annoying fixers can be. Oh, I just remembered one fixer who stopped fixing me. She was always adjusting my collar while we would be talking. I finally said, nicely, “That’s okay. I can fix my own collar. Don’t worry about it.” And she never did it again. And I like being around her so much better now that she isn’t always fixing me. (On the other hand, if I ever have spinach between my teeth, I WANT someone to tell me that.”

  21. Anonymous says:

    I think this reply is right on the money. I agree with everything said and the two main points seem to be at the core of the problem. However I don’t think you can go as far as to state that it needs “serious mental health intervention” though! She sounds like she has a critical nature and needs to recognize that this is not endearing to others. She needs to let people ‘off the hook” regarding their faults and not try to fix them. But that is all…

  22. Anonymous says:

    I think you are very brave, and that your future will be full of many satisfying friendships…just the insight that you need to make some changes is huge….I think there are many women in your exact situation that can not accept the role they play in the ending of a relationship. I also think you will reconnect with your lost friends, when you can clearly communicate with them, tell them you are sincerely attempting make some life/communication changes..I feel certain they will give a second chance…Again you are brave, now be courageous, and act on these insights!

  23. Anonymous says:

    I think these phrases are very telling: “I also think it could be that I point out their shortcomings (usually when I’m just trying to be helpful because I know they can be better and I love them). I also think when things go wrong with our relationship I’m able to convince them its their fault so there is constant guilt.

    No one likes to be around someone who points out faults. And the fact that you admit that you do it because they can “be better” is a very telling statement. It shows that you’re not really accepting of the person as-is, warts and all. None of us has the right to ‘fix’ other people. That’s up to them. Unless the person is doing truly self-damaging things, it’s best to gloss over tiny defects for the sake of higher-quality relationships.

    The second issue of concern is that you out-rightly admit that you convince the other party that anything wrong in the relationship is their fault. That is not exactly fair nor accurate. There are going to be problems between two imperfect people and that you admit/are conscious that you purposely convince them that they are at fault is not the sign of emotional maturity. This is something that deserves serious mental health intervention because it is extremely off-putting and will further isolate your. The fact that your sister has admitted that she would have cut you off is a neon-red-sign that you have deeper issues to work out. That doesn’t make you less worthy. Perhaps it should make you more humble and more willing to look at yourself as someone to improve rather than others.

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