Article about Friends Breaking Up with Friends and Advice on How to Do It

Please be sure to read the most important post at this blog:
A Warning About The Friendship Blog – Toxic – Unfriendly Bullied Bullies Trolls


It’s Not Me, It’s You [A page about friendship break ups, from The New York Times]

If you would like to read the whole page, please click on that link.

Comments left by visitors to the page, which appear at the bottom of it, are also illuminating.

I see some of the same bitterness there by women that I saw at Dr. Irene’s “Friendship Blog.” Some women cannot handle or accept that a friend has broken up with them, or that friendship break ups are a part of life, so they become very bitter, angry people.

Here are a few high lights from the page:

    by Alex Williams
    January 28, 2012

    ….Not so in the real world. Even though research shows that it is natural, and perhaps inevitable, for people to prune the weeds from their social groups as they move through adulthood, those who actually attempt to defriend in real life find that it often plays out like a divorce in miniature — a tangle of awkward exchanges, made-up excuses, hurt feelings and lingering ill will.

    ….People start “dropping ‘starter friends’ from the early bachelor days, or early work associates, or early couples with little children like yours,” said Mr. Horchow, who wrote “The Art of Friendship: 70 Simple Rules for Making Meaningful Connections”…

    Psychologists consider it an inevitable life stage, a point where people achieve enough maturity and self-awareness to know who they are and what they want out of their remaining years, and have a degree of clarity about which friends deserve full attention and which are a drain. It is time, in other words, to shed people they collected in their youth, when they were still trying on friends for size.

    The winnowing process even has a clinical name: socioemotional selectivity theory, a term coined by Laura L. Carstensen, a psychology professor who is the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity in California. Dr. Carstensen’s data show that the number of interactions with acquaintances starts to decline after age 17 (presumably after the socially aggressive world of high school) and then picks up again between 30 and 40 before starting to decline sharply from 40 to 50.

    ….This is not, however, an issue that arises only as the temples start to gray. People approaching 30 — many of them dealing with life changes like marriage and a first child — often tend to feel overwhelmed with responsibility, so they lose patience with less meaningful friends, said Dr. Carol Landau, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Brown University’s medical school.

    ….But when the impulse [to end a friendship] is not mutual, it helps to undertake it with careful consideration.

    “The first step before you end a friendship is to consider, very carefully and seriously, if you want to end a particular friendship or if you just want to wind it down,” said Jan Yager, a friendship coach and author of “When Friendship Hurts: How to Deal With Friends Who Betray, Abandon, or Wound You” (Simon & Schuster, 2002). “It will usually be a lot more pleasant to just pull away, and stop sharing as much privileged information.”

    ….TO avoid backbiting and lingering bad feelings, many relationship experts recommend the same sort of direct approach that one would employ in a romantic breakup. To get around nagging questions, an honest letter, or even an e-mail, is the minimum (forget texting; that’s just cruel). A heartfelt face-to-face talk is better, said Erika Holiday, a clinical psychologist in Encino, Calif., who has discussed relationship issues on television shows like “Dr. Phil.”

    “Schedule a time where you can sit down with them,” Dr. Holiday said. “It’s not about putting the other person down, but telling them, ‘You don’t fit into my life, you’re not on same path as me.’ ”

    A trial separation can soften the blow.

    “You might also want to suggest a cooling-off, or a revisiting your friendship in X number of weeks or months,” said Dr. Yager, the friendship coach. “Your former friend will probably put more time and energy into the other friendships that are working and will forget about contacting you in time.”

    Such a direct approach ultimately may be effective, but it still engenders the same pain and awkwardness as an actual breakup, said Erika Johnson, a blogger who lives outside Boston.

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