Preface: This post is my opinion and my experiences with the situation in this post. Your situation may seem similar, but may not have the same outcome. Please keep that in mind.
I’ve seen it before. Two best buds argue and then stop talking. Sometimes, it’s necessary to cut (toxic, narcissists, drama-filled, or needy/clingy) folks out of your life. Though painful, doing this will help you mental and emotional health.
Cutting out the bad
When the time comes to remove people from your life, there is no sure-fire way to do it. The first thing I do is calm down and think about the relationship. The good times and the bad.
If it’s a friend over social media, and you two don’t talk a whole lot; the relationship could die on its own. Things are crazy now, and folks are busy.
Now, if you see this person a lot, you’ll have to use a different tactic. Here’s what has worked for me.
Always remember to be respectful and gentle.
First, once I decide to talk to the person, I get the person alone. Doing it in front of others would be embarrassing and make you look like a jerk.
Second, I tell the truth, well, sort of. Since I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings (yeah, I’m a wuss), I say something general. If the person asks why, this is when I tell the truth, respectfully. Such as “I found out that you stole from me”.
Now be prepared. Most people will defend themselves. If this happens, it’s a good idea to let the person have their say.
As a side note: It’s good to have answers to the person’s questions. In the end, it is up to you whether you want to accept their side of things.
What to do if the friendship goes south
All of this should be done in a respectful tone. You do not want the situation to flip, and the person to start thinking about revenge!
Now, if the script does flip, my suggestion is to be prepared. Craziness can come in all forms. Cyberstalking, physical stalking, threatening letters, and leaving little ‘presents’ for you (such as four slashed tires or a dead animal on your front porch).
If it gets to a point where you are seriously fearing for your safety, I suggest contacting the police. My belief is if it’s reported and on file, it will be easier to prove in court if it comes that.
Also, take pictures of all the ‘presents’. Keep all letters and a log of all incidents that happen. This is evidence and this evidence is critical in proving your case. People must believe you before they will help you.
While doing this, research the laws in your area concerning stalking and harassment. According to a Statistics Bureau Report from the United States Department of Justice–Stalking Victimization in the United States–all U.S. states and territories have Anti-Stalking laws. (In the article, look at the box at the bottom left of page 3).
However, the law and definition of anti-stalking are different from place to place. So, check out the law in your area.
If living outside the US, I’m not sure what to do. I don’t have experience with the laws of other countries. I would suggest researching the laws in your area and finding out what steps you can take.
For the future …
The only thing I can suggest is picking friends carefully. Don’t be eager to be liked or to fit in. That makes you look desperate and an easy target for abuse.
Also, before walking into a new situation (like a get-together or a new job), I’ve learned to observe everything first. It’s called ‘getting the lay of the land.’ Reading the people and how everything works before going forward.
I know a guy who is good at this. After arriving at a get-together, he’ll speak to the host/hostess and then scan the room. Taking in everything and everyone.
Then when he’s ready, he will start speaking to people. I’ve seen it where he will talk to some and not others.
It’s okay to let folks come to you, that way you can get an idea of who they are. If no one approaches you, that’s okay too.
It’s fine to be alone for a time. You can better yourself. Learning what you want and what you don’t. Figuring out what you can give and what you won’t take.
Decreasing the size of your circle is not easy or fun. However, sometimes it’s necessary to cut folks out of your life.
Doing it respectfully, and having a backup plan to deal with revenge can go a long way in creating peace. You have a right to a drama-free life.
If you want to share a story about how you removed someone from your life and what happened afterward, please put it in the comment section below. Perhaps it could help others. Also, as always, comments are welcome down in the comment section too.