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I Want To Break Up With My Friend

Dear Sugar
I'd like to know how I can end a friendship. For years I've been annoyed by a friend of mine and I am growing tired of the crap that she throws my way. We met in high school but it just seems like now we barely have anything in common anymore.

She is always trying to change me to make me more like her. She suggests that I buy the same clothes, makeup and accessories that she does and she also never ceases to take a jab at my boyfriend when she sees an opening.

I've just spent $1,200 on her wedding this past summer (I was a bridesmaid) and I never even received a thank you. It seems like this has also been the pattern for all of the many favors I've done for her over the last ten years.

She just bought a house and she wants me to come out for a visit. We're in completely different places in our lives right now and I honestly don't feel like making the trip. Do you think that I should tell her up front that I don't want to be friends anymore, or should I just stop answering her calls? Moving On Madeline

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Dear Moving On Madeline
This is tough because long time friends are rare. Are you sure you are ready to say sayonara? Do you think there is any chance that this could all be resolved by taking some time apart from her? Or are you so vehemently disgusted by her that you've passed a point of no return with the friendship?

My advice is to meet with her face to face. Out of respect for all of the years you've known each other, you owe her that much. So suck up the hour and a half at Starbucks and speak to her openly and honestly about your feelings (since it may very well be the last time).

Explain to her that you think you are growing out of the dynamic of your friendship - and that you resent the way she is trying to change you so that you are more like her. Tell her that you like yourself just fine!

If she wants you to give her examples of her behavior, then mention how; you don't like the way she disses your man, how hurt you felt that she never said thank you during her wedding time, and how you feel an obligatory pressure to visit her even though you're not really enjoying your time together the same way you used to.

Be mature about this and don't get nasty. In fact, it would be ideal if you could avoid getting into the nitty gritty altogether. Try and get the message across that you can't be as close to her as you once were - that you have grown up and grown apart. It happens. But don't rip her to shreds for being a crappy friend; just speak from your heart. She won't be able to argue with that.

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