Woe Is Me! “I Want To Cut Ties With My Friend, But She Needs Me. What Should I Do?”


Apr 30, 2023


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Woe Is Me! is a series in which The Swaddle team indulges your pity party with advice you’ll probably ignore.

“I have a friend and I am now starting to hate her. She is going through issues with another person, and every time she becomes low, I have to do something. If I give her space, she thinks I’m ignoring her. If other mutual friends like me, she feels jealous and starts distancing herself, expecting me to go behind her. Every time I spend time with my boyfriend, she becomes aloof and doesn’t talk to me properly until I sit down with her and explain myself. I am emotionally drained, and I am always thinking of how my actions will trigger her somehow. I don’t understand whether I should cut ties, or continue supporting her. If I stop talking to her, would I be leaving her when she needs me?”

— Walking on eggshells

HK: Friendships are always difficult to navigate, but it is essential to not look at your actions within the sphere of friendship as a compromise, or as an obligation. I think feelings of hatred are intertwined with feelings of love, because both require an exertion of effort that would not exist if you did not care about the person involved. Have you tried addressing these issues with her? If not, I suggest that’s the best way to start a conversation, rather than giving up on the friendship. 

I understand the space you are coming from, having been there multiple times before. But most times, her behaviour of jealousy and conflict might stem from personal problems, and not because of you, in particular. This has taken a toll on you, and walking on eggshells is no way to preserve a relationship, but cutting ties is not a resort you should jump to either. Rather, evaluate the friend’s place in your life, talk it through, and address your concerns — before jumping the gun. 

I think we shouldn’t have to deal with bad friends because life is too short to spend it with people who do not treat you well. But, if you think the friendship is salvageable — give it a shot!

QG: How is this behavior okay beyond the seventh grade? This is a lot to have to deal with, and honestly, it’s so childish. I’d say have one conversation pointing out the absurdity in her behavior. If it doesn’t work, take a page from this book and cut her off — at least temporarily so she knows she’s really ticked you off. Who knows? Might just help her out to have someone say it as it is, and walk out on her. Either way, you don’t deserve to have to deal with all this nautanki; no one does. So, cut yourself some slack and prioritize yourself instead of worrying about someone else. 

AB: Oof, this is definitely a tough situation. Not to overuse the word, but this definitely counts as a toxic friendship. But is it even a friendship, because it doesn’t seem like she provides support when you need it? You would not be a bad person or a friend to cut ties, even momentarily; you are not her therapist, therefore, the onus is not on you to be the guardian of her emotional health. Honestly, some forced distance might do her some good. I’m no psychiatrist but if I were to guess, I’d say you’re dealing with some pretty serious narcissist tendencies. Let me make this clear: she is using you as a free therapist, and the fact that you feel guilty about leaving her is something she is very aware of. You need to prioritise yourself. Let her know how you feel — that this doesn’t feel like a proper friendship; that you’re not her therapist; that you have every right to relationships apart from her, and stop the conversation from your end. If you truly like her, you can always leave the avenue for future interaction open, but only if it resembles a true friendship from her end and less of a free therapy session. Good luck!

AS: I would suggest beginning with a candid conversation where you explain the toll this friendship is taking on you. While this might be a product of other issues your friend is currently experiencing, it’s not fair if she’s taking it out on you in this way. You can explain to her that while you would like to continue supporting her, it is also placing you in an incredibly difficult situation as you’re being forced to tiptoe around your friend to make sure you don’t trigger her in any way. You also need to look out for yourself. Let her know you’re there if she needs you, but make your boundaries clear.


Written By The Swaddle Team


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