General Etiquette > general

Ending a friendship when friend is ill

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. . . Trouble is, sheís always ill.  I think she has some legitimate health issues and sometimes feels very bad, but she goes on about it endlessly. 

This woman latched onto me when I gave her a ride home from a class.  Sometimes she calls six times a day, and if I donít pick up, she leaves a long message. She once called at 6:30 a.m. on a day I work. 

The "friendship" is 100% about her and is completely based on pity on my part.  Iíve known her about 18 months, and while I know every detail of every health problem sheís ever had, she doesnít even know I have cancer.  Iím expected to make noises of interest and sympathy during her monologues, but if I try to say anything else, she bulldozes over me, so Iíve given up.

There are other things about this woman that make me want to scream.  She is completely self-centered and very manipulative. 

I want to withdraw from the friendship, but it seems rude and horrible to do this to someone who is ill.  I feel guilty if I donít answer a call every day, but I simply cannot stand to listen to her any more.

What is the etiquette for bailing on a chronically ill supposed friend?  It feels like an awful thing to do

Outdoor Girl:
I wouldn't worry about it at all!  You need to look after you.  And this woman is not supporting you at all.  In fact, she's sapping your energy.  Drop her like a hot potato and don't look back.

And if you need any help in that direction, read the blog post this week about Valerie.

This is where I would be Teflon. Maybe you can say, "I'm sorry--you seem really upset, But I can't be a source of support for you."

But I'd just go with not picking up her calls (use any technology, like call blocking, call-forwarding-to-voice-mail).

If you have any reason to keep the drama down, then do the "call back 6 days later and only have 60 seconds to find out what you called about last week" thing.

But if you don't really see her any where else or have that many *true* "common ties," then I vote for simply dropping off the face of the earth.

She is not your friend. She is simply using you. Drop her. Don't answer calls, emails, whatever other method she uses to monologue to you. She's not even communicating with you, she is just dumping all her "stuff" on you because you are willing to listen.

Tell her that you have to concetrate on your chemotherapy right now and you'll get back to her when it's over....?

She tells you everything and never listens at all?  Time to pull away for a while (save two planetary diameters and one Martian year) - then see if you miss having her in your life at all.  If the answer is no, don't get back in touch....


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