Adult Friendships

I spent 2015 mulling over four†groups of friends (and earlier, for some) .

Three are†individuals, one is a group of four (myself included).

Yesterday, I went out with the group. It was to celebrate Christmas, New Year and one of their birthdays.

People may think I’m ungrateful, because I want to give up on my friendship with people who have not done any harm to me. People who make an effort to celebrate my birthday. And people who offer to help at my wedding.

My struggle

I have been torn, for a few years now. Because I’m not happy with this friendship, or whatever that is left of it.

To me†this friendship, which started from our school days as teenagers, feels really forced.

  • I don’t enjoy their company anymore (not sure if I ever did in recent years)
  • I don’t feel close to them, I don’t confide in them nor they with me or each other when we meet. I’m not sure if they text each other individually about their problems aside from our meet-ups
  • The†three of them are of a different wavelength than I am; I can’t connect with them on a fundamental level. We have no common interests or topics…
  • I’ve tried to look past superficial aspects that we speak a different language, i.e., me vs them
  • During our meet-ups, one of the three will be speaking most of the time, and the topics revolve around her, and honestly, they’re super banal which I really question why she even brings them up
  • The dynamic doesn’t change: one will do a monologue with one of them agreeing with everything she brings up (I really wonder why!), the third girl will be smiling and keeping quiet throughout, and I, will be wondering why I am wasting my time with these people

I think it is pretty clear that†I am very frustrated with the situation. So much so, I’ve avoided them for the whole of 2015. But during my wedding, they passed me items (gifts) which they have kept for me and placed them in a box. This obviously struck my guilty conscience, on my part, that is.

I want to say goodbye to this group. But I could not bring myself to do it right after my wedding, especially given that they helped out. So†I told myself this meet-up would be the last one, where I assess what to do next.

  • They don’t add any value to my life
  • There is no growth in the relationship
  • Continuing this friendship actively seems pointless to me
  • I was tagged on Facebook as one of the birthday girl’s BFF – I don’t feel the same at all

Counter-arguments

I’ve had countless discussions and negotiations with my husband and some other friends on the matter. What†others have said:

  • They’ve been your friends for a long time, so don’t simply give up on them
  • Friends who help you celebrate your birthday are keepers
  • Just have†them around, you won’t know if you need them (their help) in the future
  • If you wish to cut off ties, then just do it, stop fretting over it

My own thoughts:

  • Maybe this group friendship is run on sentimentality, no one thinks it necessary to end it, or they’re afraid to say anything or change anything
  • Can’t they tell I don’t fit in at all?
  • Maybe they can, but they don’t want to tell me to bugger off?
  • Maybe they’re just simple people who enjoy just being around people they’re familiar with, meaningful conversation not required
  • They probably have very different expectations of friendships compared to me

Conclusion

I intended to email the unofficial leader of the pack (the monologue-r) and tell her my thoughts. It is not to cut off ties per se, I just don’t wish to meet them anymore or spend any more time with them.

But after the meet-up, I’m now feeling in limbo.

  • We don’t meet that often, maybe thrice a year, and very little communication in between – so technically it’s a low-maintenance friendship
  • What if they feel I let them down?
  • What if all they want is a familiar face around? (see above point on not needing meaningful conversation)

What comes to mind:

  1. Steve†telling me I’m miserable and causing my own unhappiness
  2. My group therapy mate suggested to tell them I’ve moved on

I am not sure why I’m wavering, why I’m hesitating to write that email which I initially intended.

I suspect it is because that I’m afraid of what others may think of me; I want to manipulate the outcome of my telling them how I feel (I don’t want them to be mad at me or think I’m a bad person!), and also the lack of boundaries that I have with people – > Codependency 101!!!

I have definitely outgrown this friendship ó today’s epiphany.

I guess I’ll bring this up again at group this week. See what the rest say.
I hope they don’t think I’m being a broken record -> there, being Codependent again ūüôĀ

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