Monday, July 7, 2008
How do you tell someone you don't want to be friends with them?
In my book unless they've just slept with your boyfriend, stabbed you in the kidney or called your mother a whore the answer is you don't really. You just treat them a bit shittily: avoid them, never return their calls and constantly cancel "catch-ups". Cut to a few months later and you no longer have a friend.
Obviously there is absolutely nothing nice about this. It's shitty. It's cruel. It's also incredibly gutless. But even so it seems, to me at least, somehow gentler than saying outright "I don't really like spending time with you because you're (insert ugly truth as desired)". In my mind, at least, the person involved can believe we just drifted apart, or that I lead an improbably, ridiculously busy life with no time for them. This is also my preferred MO because, of course, I am an absolute pussy who loathes confrontation and would walk a mile in the snow before deliberately provoking a shitfight.
I find myself thinking about these things because I am currently trying to not be friends with someone (obviously not anybody who is reading this blog and mmight I add that I do frequently break appointments and not return calls for reasons entirely unrelated to trying to ditch anybody so, please, don't be offended).
The person in question is a perfectly nice guy. At least he was the one time I met him. Six monhs ago. And when I talked to him on the phone and in emails afterwards. He knows I have a boyfriend so I don't have to take care of things on that front. He is a smidgen socially awkward and a bit of conversation dominator but he is also a nice guy, friendly and smart: there is nothing at all 'wrong' with him. And yet I don't really want to bring him onto the friendship team.
There are a variety of reasons for this, and I won't bother going into them but my problem is that I have tried the methods detailed above to give him the idea and... it's not working. I never initiate contact (though I can't quite bring myself not to be friendly when I talk to him, honest I've tried, guv). I constantly break the 'catch-up' dates I am sporadically cornered into making. I leave his calls unanswered. I am, in short, a complete fucking bitch to him.
But he still calls. And messages. And emails. And I feel AWFUL but I don't know what else to do but continue to be a bitch, even more so. Today, for instance, having non-commitally said I might be up for a drink while under duress I have so far ignored about six calls and three messages. Yes: IGNORED. I haven't even given him the brush off, because I'm way too gutless. And he continues to call because he's too clueless to realise I'm not flaky, just a total cow.
Anyway, the point of all this is not to whine about my gutlessness or share my horrible, crushing guilt but to plead for some kind of advice from the readership. What do I do now? I could continue to be a bitch to this poor guy for the rest of my life. I could catch up with him to ease my guilt and force a friendship for the rest of my life. I could run away and raise goats in the wild, returning to civilisation only to stock up on soy yoghurt and festive scarves. I could suck it up and say "thanks you're perfectly nice but I'd just rather not, if it's all the same to you". But of course I never will. So... suggestions? Is there an option d here or am I just screwed?