This week’s question comes from a friend several miles away, who asked me a question about friendship. Specifically, this friend asks, “Dear Denver Omlette, what is your advice on how to drop friends? I have a friend with a stupid name that thinks we’re like BFFs, but really they annoy the piss out of me. Seriously, they annoy me so much I want to spray them with urine. What do I do? Annoyed in A Place
Well Annoyed, I feel your pain. Society has taught us that we must maintain three kinds of relationships in our lives. People we like, people we talk about the weather with, and “frenemies.” As you all know, a frenemy is somebody that you absolutely hate, because they have a stupid name and think we’re like BFF’s. Typically we find ourselves with frenemies because we are too chicken to just tell this person, “I hate you and if I had a time machine but could only use it one time, I would use it to go back to the day we met and foot sweep you.” But have no fear. This type of relationship does not have to last forever. There are 5 distinct steps to dropping friends, which I have listed below. You must follow these steps in order. Like alcoholism, it’s easy to fall of the wagon when trying to ditch friends. It takes diligence, patience and the help of other friends who, while they don’t have a specific problem with this person and kind of like them, they like you enough to hate anybody you hate with a passion.
Step 1: Become vocal with your disagreement to everything this person believes in. This will create a space between you and them, where they will at least have the opportunity to question why you are friends to begin with. Unfortunately, they will not do this, because they are too stupid to realize you hate them.
Step 2: Tell all your real friends about all the awful things this person does. This is part of the long term planning in a friendship dissolution that’s often avoided. If you skip this step, you may find yourself in a post-divorce situation where your friends start taking sides. Not all your friends will take up your side without cause, so this will help nudge them in the right direction. Also, for those that don’t take your side immediately, considering dropping them as friends as well.
Step 3: Now is the time to hide this person on all your social media. This is a tricky step. Do NOT de-friend them. Not yet….maybe not ever. Ultimately, you don’t want this person to know you’re not friends anymore, you just want to never have to hang out with them. You know, like pretty much everyone you’re “friends” with on facebook. So you hide their posts, you stop reading about their lives, you move on with your own life. This is the most liberating step because you are mentally free of this person.
Step 4: By now, your friend has probably been texting or calling you to hang out. Hopefully, you’ve not been avoiding them completely, otherwise the jig will be up. Instead, you always respond to every text or phone call (but only respond with texts), that’s always just a little too late to be able to say yes to their plan. They text you at noon about a 5 PM movie? You text them at 4:45 with “oh hey! Just got this…sorry can’t make it…” The more advanced friend droppers will even be able to pull off the old “I never got your text” ruse, but don’t try it if you can’t commit to it. If you are really suave, they’ll even feel sorry for you for having such a bad phone that they’ll just start expecting no response from you. When you do respond to them, try to do it in as few words as possible. The rule of thumb is don’t use any words that have more than 2 syllables. People know you’re lying if you use big words. For example, it’s not, “Hello, I don’t believe I’ll be able to accompany you to that wonderful sounding event.” Instead it’s, “Hey dawg, can’t make it…peace.”
Step 5: This 4 step dance you’ve been doing thus far may take a long time before you can advance to the last step. Some people are just thick headed (read: nice) and will just continue to be your friend even though you’re basically a jerk at this point. Be patient, and be persistent. Eventually you will wear them out. The last step in the friend dropping process is to remove them from your contacts. That way you don’t have to see their stupid name when you’re scrolling through contacts on your phone. Eventually you’ll forget their number and when you get the off text from them about how you should hang out it’s been a long time, you can just ignore it cos who the eff is that person texting you? That’s the ultimate end of the friendship you’ve been looking for.
Good luck with your endeavor, Annoyed! Oh, and if I’m the friend you’re trying to drop, please ignore everything I’ve just said. Please still be my friend! I can change!!!
Somewhere else in my brain I’ve been thinking about writing a book about child “rearing.” I’m planning on calling it “Bad Parent’s Guide to Raising a Judgmental Kid”. Basically the premise of the book is quit coddling that little brat of yours. The time for real world life lessons starts now. And yes, I can feel the judgment in your eyes burning a hole into my insides.
Maybe I could even make it into a series of books. People would be like “oh yeah have you read the BPG on preparing your kid for the real world? The author says instead of giving your kid a free ride to college by saving money for them, you should go on a cruise and live a life well drunken, so that you don’t grow to resent your kid for wasting your youth. It’s really the best thing you could do for THEM!” That’s a real quote that will be said one day. The books would have sage advice like, don’t tell your kids about child labor laws. Let them look it up for themselves. And anytime they’re bored, drop them off at the library and tell them to look up fun. Spend the rest of the day at the pool drinking pina coladas. Then when you go to pick them up and they whine that they didn’t find any fun there, you could say, “oh really? I found it right away. You clearly didn’t apply yourself. Now hold the wheel while I throw up.”