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You Asked: Should I Let Our Friendship Fade?

Dear Sugar,

In high school I had a best friend who I was really close with. In the beginning of college, I started getting interested in vegetarianism and yoga. She didn't understand at first, but then became a devout follower. Over the past few years I have eased up on my tight restrictions. I feel that I have found a good balance between living purely and enjoying the world humans have created.

My friend, however, has stayed at the radical end of things. I feel like she looks down on everything that doesn't fit her vision of acceptable. That is, until she goes through it herself. Last year she thought that I was a nonindependent woman for doing most of the household chores (because my boyfriend worked more and paid most of the bills). Now she is in the same situation and is fine with it. I saw her last week and told her about my boyfriend's great new job and all she had to say was "Doesn't it bother you that one of his clients is Nike since they use sweatshops?"

We have a long and precious history together, but I am starting to feel like I can't tell her anything without having judgment thrown against me. I feel like if I tried to explain my feelings to her, she wouldn't even understand since she is so far on that side of the fence. I feel like she is on such a high horse and is just following the crowd instead of making choices for herself. Should I try to keep the connection alive and risk judgment of my choices or should I let the old friendship fade?

—Less than Perfect but Perfectly Happy Harriet

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Less than Perfect but Perfectly Happy Harriet,

It sounds like your friend is extremely opinionated. It's great that she holds onto her beliefs, but doesn't she see that they are getting in the way of your friendship? I know you're nervous to talk to her, but you've got to tell her how you feel if you want this friendship to last. Explain that you respect her views and you would appreciate that she respects yours as well. Tell her that you feel like she is always making you feel bad about your decisions and that you don't feel like she's being a very supportive friend. You never know, she may not even realize that's she's acting like such a judgmental friend.

The thing is, when you're in your early 20s, you go through a lot of changes trying to figure out who you're going to be. It may turn out that your differences are way too vast to make this relationship work. Losing a friend is never easy, especially when you have a tight history together, so you should at least give it one last shot before you let it fade completely out. Good luck.


Join The Conversation
remedios remedios 9 years
The only thing I disagree with is the idea that she'll eventually get the point when she keeps losing friends. That very well might not happen. Even if she discovers that she's without so many friends, she then might wonder why, but no one is there to tell her. I'm not sure that's your responsibility, necessarily. Tell her the glass house she's living in will soon collapse. She surely can't be perfect. There's nothing wrong with wanting to educate others about certain issues, but when you do so in such accusatory tones, it makes others defensive and only interested in telling you how you're a hypocrite. She should focus on being a positive person, leading by example, instead of driving people away from her message by being so judgmental. Ah, but she's not here. So I guess I just say go with your gut. Next time you're with her and she makes some judgmental comment, say what you want and don't hold back. Either she'll take a step back and think, or stand firm and your friendship may be hurt, but that's ok either way.
gladjenta gladjenta 9 years
I think writing her a letter to express how you feel would be a good idea. That way you can read it over as many times as you need to before giving it to her, whereas in a conversation once something is said it can't be erased. It might make you feel more organized and clear-headed about what you want to say and how you want to say it, as well as more prepared.
onesong onesong 9 years
i disagree with pretty much everyone. i just don't think that talking to her will do anything except hasten the relationships ending, and in all likelihood cause it to end badly. a lot of people are very convinced that they "know" things before they have experienced them (i myself have been guilty of that in the past, and my very best friend is ridiculously like that), and the only response possible is to deal with it at the time, and then let it go. if you want, when she finally contradicts herself, you can point it out in a gentle, joking way. basically this is a character trait, and you can't go around criticizing people for who they are. that's not to say, though, that comments like the nike one shouldn't be dealt with immediately with a very pointed "im extremely happy for him and i thought you would be, too." so should the "independent woman" the time with a "i find independence is being able to make my own choices--i hope you can respect the choices i make even if they're not yours at this time" bottom line, it's your fault for letting it get this far, and going to her with a list of greivances from the past few years won't do you any good. if you can't suck it up....don't! but if you want to save the friendship, i say grow a spine and start standing up to her when she gets obnoxious, rather than bottling it all up're entitled to your opinions, too, even if it's as simple as a "whoa, that was an obnoxious comment, girl!"
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
It's so tough to be friends with an unrelenting warrior. I think Dear's advice is great. But, truth be told, I would probably just let this one fade to the occasional MySpace reach out/Christmas card friendship category.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I think you should talk to her but it sounds like your friendship has run its course and you are drifting apart. Hopefully, she doesn't wear adidas, Under Armour, Reebok, because they use a lot of the same factories as Nike. Apparently, she did not read about the 2 factories Nike fired this past year for their labor practices.
Liz4aker Liz4aker 9 years
It sounds like you have been drifting apart for awhile and don't see each other very much, so you are looking to just cut the final string. Friendships don't last forever and a friend who judges you isn't a friend. Even if she outwardly stops judging you, you may feel like internally she is. Just continue to let the friendship fade out and don;t try to save it.
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
I agree with Marci. Friendships don't always stand the test of time. If it fades, it is perfectly natural. Just be sure not to fade out on a sour note.
nessabum nessabum 9 years
She should be happy for you and supportive of you and provide her opinion in a non-invasive way. She's letting her personality get in the way of her judgement. If you two don't get along, there isn't much point because you always have to guard what you say.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
Talk to herand try to ease things out. Most importantly, tell her that you don't like any animosity between the two of you and and that you care deeply about her.
nikkie45 nikkie45 9 years
i agree with everyone else. you should talk to her and try to clear everything up. she should know that she affects people by being so judgmental. be warned however, it might not go to well when you tell her. if that is the case, let it go. a friendship where you cannot be open and honest with the person is not the kind of friendship to keep. good luck with everything.
allien86 allien86 9 years
I agree with Dear. You should try talking to her first and telling her that you are happy with your life and your choices and that while you respect her beliefs you wish she wouldn't judge yours. If this doesn't work then maybe you should let his friendship fall by the wayside as who needs friends who are judgmental and rude.
Marci Marci 9 years
Not all friendships are meant to last forever. We tie up with people who have similar interests or viewpoints, but when those similar interests are no longer there, there isn't much left. There's nothing wrong with a friendship fading. Feel blessed that you had that friend at a time in your life when you got a lot from it, but don't try to force a square peg in a round hole. You've grown apart. It happens.
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
I have a couple of friendships like this that I've let fall by the wayside... let's face it, this girl is annoying and rude. If she doesn't realize it, she will soon as all her friends stop calling her! I cannot stand people who have nothing to say other than a judgmental comment, or something that bolsters how great they feel about themselves. How selfish! If you have the guts, I'd be honest and tell her how judgmental she is, and that you just can't deal with it anymore. You'd be a better friend than she is for doing that. Personally, I think life is too short to deal with this crap, but it really gets under my skin!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I think you should tell her how you are feeling! Provide examples of how she's been judgmental, followed by being hypocritical (great combo, btw). I have friendships from high school where I don't have much in common with the friends anymore, but our shared history is worth maintaining a friendship over. Try working on this and see where it leads you. If it means you need to take time off, do it, but I think if you can salvage this long-term friendship, you should.
lemassabielle lemassabielle 9 years
I think that sometimes friendships just end. It happens with everything in life and it's heartbreaking. Try to tell her how you feel, if that doesn't work tell her you are really uncomfortable talking to her because you feel very judged. Hopefully she will understand but if not It might be time to create a bit of distance.
herjoiedevivre herjoiedevivre 9 years
yaaay! I definitely think communication is the best answer in this. I mean, she's got to be driving other people away with her extremely judgmental ways- this can't bode well for her for the rest of her life. it'd be actually a good thing for her- it might be uncomfortable saying it, but I think you'd be doing her a favor!
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