T Nation

A T-Man Way To Break Up A Friendship?

Does it exist?
I’m in the middle of ending a friendship with my closest college buddy, been friends 10 yrs now.

I’m doing it the only way I can see how to do it, by not returning his calls after having told him he can’t crash at my place. (He’s currently in town for a week).

The reasons why our friendship needs to end aren’t relevant to my question. But I will say this: considering his personality, I don’t want to tell him the reasons. He has an enormous ego, and cannot tolerate the slightest criticism. He is so self-centered and cemented in his own reality that he almost never can accept another’s point of view.

He’s not perfect, and neither am I, but his negative qualities outweigh his positives, and I’m not going to be associated with him anymore.

Is it wrong for me to simply not return his calls?

Is it wrong for me not to tell him why?

Is it wrong for me not to tell him face-to-face, though that makes the situation 100x more awkward and confrontational?

It would be ridiculous for 2 highly educated men in their 30s to get into a fistfight, but it is a possibility considering our personalities.

All things considered, I don’t want there to be a confrontation, just a gradual realization on his part that I’m not rtetuning his calls, I’m not going to hang out with him even though he’s in town for a week, and that our friendship is over.

Anyway, I’m probably worrying about this too much, except that he’s my only long-time friend I’m still close with.

I don’t agree with your avoiding him entirely. If you and he were such close friends for so long, then you should talk to him, even by telephone, and try to work it out. Why write him off so easily if you both have invested in a ten year close friendship??? You didn’t state the reason, but if the reason is because he did something truly horrible (messed with your girl, stole your credit cards, etc.) then screw him.

Isn’t a ten year close friendship worth the effort of a discussion??? You seem to think he would be dead set against anything you say to him; if he is, then it’s his loss and you know you did your best. But, he may surprise you and be open minded to what you have to say; after all you have been friends for ten years.

You have to be a man and tell him, or he’s just going to keep acting that way. Yeah, your not going to see him anymore, but don’t you want the best for him? I think you should tell him why, and MAYBE he will understand, he wont show it, but inside he will. He wont change any time soon, but he will be more aware of his attitude when meeting new people. Be honest with him, help him become a better person by telling him what his problems are. You don’t have to hold his hand through it, just letting him know will be enough.

This has happend to me before, people have just completely cut me off. It just creates more anger and tension in the future. What if you see him in a store one day? Or perhaps at a movie? It would be VERY akward, and he would probably get extremely angry with you. Causing more problems.

I would tell him.

Not returning his calls is probably not the best way to handle this.

There is a term I like to use for such things;

“Man up”

Not lifting because your tired… “Man up”

taking BS from a girl when they play games… “man up”

Trouble with friends that one has had for ten years?

“Man up”

Instead of breaking it off you may want to talk to him and let him know what bothers you? no?

Use “I feel” statements instead of “you” statements.

You can do a couple of things… You can express to him in the most non-defensive(I feel) way that there are certain things that are bothering you. If there are things you have tolerated before but can no longer accept…

Then let him know what they are and be serious about it and respectful. If they continue out of habit with him… Every time it occurs let him know your upset and remind him. If he refuses to accept the changes, next time he calls then don’t pick up.

It sounds like you could talk to him a bit more and let him know how you feel about certain things.

If you don’t see any reason to continue the friendship then at that point, just do what you are doing and eventually he will stop calling.

If he is not reasonable about it, then you can say you did your best to talk through it and it’s just not going to work…

In my experience, they eventually call back apologizing and are willing to change if they see a benefit to hanging out with you.

So just man up and let him know what behaviors are bothering you and if hes any kind of a friend he will respect that.

-Get Lifted

Man can I relate to this.
What works for me is not tolerating their bad or offensive behavior. Not by speaking to them but by your actions.

For example. I had a friend who always picked up fights when we were together because he knew I would stand up for him. So the next time he got into a fight I just watched as he got his ass kicked. Did it work ? Well he never called me again!

I too had a childhood friend who would call me up to go out and have a few beers. He’d usually end up starting shit it with a few guy and I’d end up backing his ass up in the fight.

One night I went out with him he started shit with 4 guys, knowing it was just the 2 of us. When things started getting real hot and he’d already called them out, he desided to use the pisser as well as the back door, leaving me with 4 pisssed off guys looking to kick someones ass.

After that night when he’d call I would just say no thanks. He doenst call anymnore. When the old group gets together a few times a year I see him. I hear he’s still up to his old tricks but with a few different buddies.

It’s a hard thing breaking off a friendship.

If your old freind is “in town” and wanted to see you, he deserves an explanation why you dont want to.

[quote]Chewman wrote:
I too had a childhood friend who would call me up to go out and have a few beers. He’d usually end up starting shit it with a few guy and I’d end up backing his ass up in the fight.

One night I went out with him he started shit with 4 guys, knowing it was just the 2 of us. When things started getting real hot and he’d already called them out, he desided to use the pisser as well as the back door, leaving me with 4 pisssed off guys looking to kick someones ass.

After that night when he’d call I would just say no thanks. He doenst call anymnore. When the old group gets together a few times a year I see him. I hear he’s still up to his old tricks but with a few different buddies.

It’s a hard thing breaking off a friendship.

If your old freind is “in town” and wanted to see you, he deserves an explanation why you dont want to.[/quote]

I would kick your freinds ass all over town for that one.

[quote]Sonny S wrote:
It would be ridiculous for 2 highly educated men in their 30s to get into a fistfight, but it is a possibility considering our personalities.[/quote]

What, exactly, would be ridiculous about it? I’ll tell you what I find ridiculous: that a “highly educated man in his 30s” is asking others about what is “wrong” on a message board. You’ve got some problems that go beyond your tiff with the former pal.

Break up with him in a diner like Jerry did on Seinfeld. Just don’t cave like Jerry did when he starts crying.

[quote]Al Shades wrote:
Sonny S wrote:
It would be ridiculous for 2 highly educated men in their 30s to get into a fistfight, but it is a possibility considering our personalities.

What, exactly, would be ridiculous about it? I’ll tell you what I find ridiculous: that a “highly educated man in his 30s” is asking others about what is “wrong” on a message board. You’ve got some problems that go beyond your tiff with the former pal.
[/quote]

Al, everyone has problems. Except you of course.

If you’ve been friends for 10 years, there should be no problem telling him how you feel and why you not going to be hanging out with him anymore.

I’ve had friends for a lot less, but all my friends now I will tell it like it is, even if it might hurt their feelings. Life is too short to beat around the bush and sometimes people will not even get your subtle clues. If after an explanation you friend still doesn’t get it, then you were breaking the relationship anyways and what does it matter. But maybe it will be a wake-up call for your friend if he values your friendship and he might start to get a clue. Good luck.

laquino1

I’ve had it happen to me.

It’s childish and immature to end a friendship of multiple years without a real explanation. It’s one thing if you’ve been telling him for a long time that certain things piss you off, and he’s continued to do them. It’s another if you just up and decide one day that gee, this guy isn’t worth my talking to him ever again. That’s low.

wow are you 2 gay?

Thanks for the opinions, I appreciate them all.

Al Shades, sometimes the best advice one can receive (on certain topics) is on a message board, because people will tell you what they really think. Also, every close friendship I’ve had and which has now ended, has always fizzled out. We both came to understand that the friendship wasn’t there anymore. So, even though I’m 31, I’ve never actually had to “end” a friendship, it just happened. So I’m in uncharted waters so to speak.

So far all the advice I’ve received is to tell him some white lies about why I’m busy and can’t hang out, and hope he eventually gets the point.

I know it can’t hurt to get t-peeps’advice, because there are some decent, intelligent people on this board that may have something to contribute.

I like the “man up” philosophy. It doesn’t apply to a wife of 20 yrs (or maybe it has a new dimension!) but I think you have a T-shirt & bumper sticker concession in the making. How about a nutritional suppliment!

-Whipped @ 42

If he’s really a friend then you should be able to tell him. Just be honest and look him right in the face like a man (the not calling thing is a bitch-route) and explain to him how your feel.

NOW before anyone chimes in with soem horseshit on how “explaining your feelings” to one of your bro’s as being gay. I’ll say just shut the fuck up. There’s nothing strange or gay about this. It’s a freindship is a RELATIONSHIP.

You’ve known this guy and been in a freindship with him for ten years. That should have some signifigance, otherwise you’re just a flaky person who’ll hang out with anyone. That doesn’t seem to be the case as you’re concerned enough to ask for some unbiased advice on the subject.

If he wants to swing at you that’s just something you’re going to have to deal with. I’m not saying start a fist fight with him. In fact avoid it at all costs. BUUT, if you’re boy soo gone that he can’t see that you’re hurt by his change in attitude and having to let him know what’s up, fuck em. You’ll have done all you can do.

BTW I had a “friend” do this to me awhile back. I’d taken his back in fights. Spent countless hours trying to help/listen when him and his girl fought. I thought he was my bro and he’d be around for some time. I never really got an explanation but he owed me a little bit of $ (not enough IMO to just cut ties like he did) and he started hanging out more and more with this alcoholic cokehead douchebag (who I DO NOT LIKE).

To be honest, said something like I explained above I’d have been fine. People change, it’s life. However, just cutting me off like that pretty much guarantees that not only will I never have his back again, but he’ll also have to watch his.

I’ve taken action. I sat down and wrote out my objective: my objective was to Communicate to him we won’t be hanging out much anymore, but that I wanted to keep the friendship and we’d hang out once in a while. Communicate, not confront. I wrote an outline of what I wanted to say, and called him.

I let him talk about himself for a good ten minutes, which he loves to do, and then brought up my points, all of which are true to an extent. I’m very busy with work, night classes, dating,working out and part-time work, etc etc but when I had free time, I would call him. I finished with “You can understand that, right?”

You know what he said? Remember I said he has a huge ego, is incredibly self-centered and has a hard time comprehending other people’s reality?

He said that he’s busier than me (!), listed all the reasons why -I interrupted him and said “How do you know you’re busier than me?”- and proceeded to give me almost a warning about people who had “dissed” him in the past but then “came back” to him and gave some ridiculous examples which were patently untrue. He doesn’t understand they were being polite to him - he believes they were apologizing or genuflecting before him.

He said something along the lines of not burning bridges because one day you’ll realize you’re wrapped in your own little world by yourself. WHich is exactly his situation! Every one of his male friends except 1 or 2 has distanced themselves from him, and see him once in a while because he’s not tolerable for more than a brief period of time.

Talk about being trapped in your own world…

What he was doing was trying to cement his superior status to me, and trying to impose his frame of mind and way of thinking on me.

But that’s OK- my objective was to communicate to him that things have changed, not to confront him and tell him he’s an egotisitcal prick who I can’t bear to hang out with anymore.

Let him feel superior, that’s his only way of thinking and dealing with the world. Its no reflection upon me.

I accomplished my objective, now we’ll see if he gets the point. If not, he can’t say I didn’t tell him things were going to change and he should expect it.

Doesn’t sound like a tragic loss to me. Well handled bro.

[quote]nephorm wrote:
I’ve had it happen to me.

It’s childish and immature to end a friendship of multiple years without a real explanation. It’s one thing if you’ve been telling him for a long time that certain things piss you off, and he’s continued to do them. It’s another if you just up and decide one day that gee, this guy isn’t worth my talking to him ever again. That’s low.[/quote]

Yeah. It sounds like something a bitch would do. Sounds pretty fucking gay coming from a guy.

Thanks Jack and thanks for everyone’s opinion