When you break up with a female friend, is it really necessary to "give advice" about what they should do in the future, or is it better to focus on the problems within the relationship you were personally involved with?
I just got dumped by a friend who went on to say some very hurtful things under the guise of giving advice and saying she still cared about me, even if she didn't want to be friends anymore. It just felt like having salt rubbed into the wound -- she insulted my parents, my family, me, and cast doubt on my other relationships (none of which I'd been having trouble with), all while supposedly trying to help me be a better friend. I know she was just trying to give me a good explanation, but was it really necessary?
I've always tried to focus just on why it wasn't working for me when I end a friendship, not try to give advice on how they should behave with other friends; it just seems like it's enough to leave it implied. I also do a bit of the "It's not you, it's me" approach if I really care about the person but just can't handle them anymore, since I don't believe in putting all the blame on the other person when breaking up even if I feel that way --it just seems too hurtful/unfair. Is this correct, or is it okay to come out and say that it was all the other person's fault?
And when you break up with a friend, do you also unfriend them on Facebook/MySpace? What am I supposed to think if she tells me she has no desire to have me in her life, then doesn't unfriend me on Facebook?
Just as knowing what to say at a time of loss (e.g. a death) is always awkward, there is no commonly accepted protocol for breaking off a female friendship. That said, my thinking is that if an individual decides to unilaterally end a relationship, leaving no room for discussion, she should take responsibility for her decision and do whatever she can to allow the other person to feel unscathed.
Although your friend rationalized her bluntness by saying she was trying to help you become a better friend, her explanation doesn’t quite cut it for me.
- She was insensitive about how you might be feeling. Being dumped without warning leaves any woman reeling, so her approach and timing was off if she really wanted to “help” you become a better friend.
- Disparaging your parents and family should have been off bounds; Her relationship was with you, not them.
- It is arrogant and unfair for her to blame the relationship’s demise entirely on you. She failed to recognize that all relationships are defined by two parties, not one. While your ex-friend may not have been able to sustain her relationship with you, other friends don’t seem to have the same problem with you. Did she even consider that it might be her and not you?
- It sounds like she lashed out at you in anger. I’m not sure why. And because of the way she handled it, it has made it extraordinarily difficult for you to ever consider reconciling your relationship.
Since the ball is entirely in her court, I would consider the friendship over unless she comes back with a very good apology and you want to accept it. And if I were you, I would want to be sure to establish a comfortable distance from the woman who just dumped me. I wouldn’t want to know what she was doing and wouldn’t want her to know about me and my relationships. I understand your pain but I think you just need to move on. Taking control and defriending her might help.