My old friends make me feel like a horrible person

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I used to have this small group of friends that I grew up with through Year 7-9. I felt like we were all soul-mates, we understood each other and could completely be myself around them. They were my only friends when I used to have social anxiety.

When I was in Year 10 I started to feel different from them. I felt really disconnected; like we were insanely growing apart. A lot of things about them started to annoy me and I realised that one of these friends isn’t actually much of a good person (I’ll call her Anna) They never made much of an effort with catching up together, it was always me who organised most things. I started feeling tired of this, so stopped trying to catch up with them regularly. So because I had a lot more alone time I truly began to discover who I was. I realised how different I was to these people and they then felt like strangers.
Since I overcame my social anxiety, I have turned into a confident person. But I still have trouble being my full self around others. So I hung onto the memories of how the friendship used to be and I still hung out with them and hoped eventually things would get back to normal. The more I tried, the worse it got. I felt like whenever I was with them my personality would just shut down and I would turn into a grumpy anti-social person.

Over the holidays I met these new friends who I absolutely love. I feel so much happier around them and more like me. Realising how it’s best to move on from my old friends, I still felt bad abandoning them. So I still tried hanging out with them at lunch, but every time I was with them I instantly turned into a sad person again. Eventually, I stopped hanging out with them altogether.

A month later, one of my friends messaged me asking why I stopped hanging with them. She then told me how she felt about it and how she just wants me to try, but I then told her I felt. I feel released but still uneasy as I feel she didn’t really understand why I acted strange around them and I now fear I look like a horrible person. Especially since my new friends are in a higher social ranking.

I’m still part of a group chat with them, I feel rude if I just leave so I put it on mute and only read things sometimes. Anna something that frustrated me. So I commented about it, but in a joking way. She took it seriously and trying causing a fight while venting about her problems. I tried ending the argument as I wanted to avoid fights, since I was still trying to move on without feeling bad. All my other friends took her side which made me feel upset and further like a bad person.

I haven’t written anything replying to what everyone said because I know things will get ugly and I also don’t know how to reply. I just want to move on from them in good terms but I’m having a lot of trouble letting go of how they are now making me feel. I’ve tried blocking it out, reminding myself how I don’t like them anymore but it doesn’t work. I really just want to leave the chat but I fear that will make me look even worse.

Category: Tags: asked February 15, 2015

3 Answers

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I went through something very similar. Remember: dont be scared to walk away from something that makes you feel bad and hurts you. Friendship is two way and it cant be one sided. I speak from experience. When I was around those "friends", I always felt sad and lonely. It got to a point where I was falling into depression. The very moment when I decided to just stop "hanging out" with them, things got way better. I became happier, people started talking to me even more and I did better in school as well. Honestly, just leave the chat. Its your choice whether you want to stay in it or not, so nobody has the right to judge you for leaving the chat. Sometimes, things just need time to work out. When I stopped "hanging out" with those friends, they ganged up on me and started crying; making it seem like it was my fault. Things went bad but I just let it be, talking to my new friends but not ignoring the old ones either. Eventually, they got over it and now we just talk sometimes and things aren't ugly. Everyone seems happier. I hope things work out for you. Take care!
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I know you feel bad about leaving the group chat, and leaving your friends for good, but in the long run, that's what you should do. It's not fun to stay in a friendship where you feel forced to hang out with them, especially if Anna is making you feel terrible. My advice would be to cut off contact with her. Enjoy your new friends, and try not to feel bad, I guess.

By the way, it's not rude to stop talking to mean people- it's self-preservation.
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just say sorry even if you dont like them anymore. I dont know if its your fault or not since I dont know their side but saying sorry doesnt always mean that theyre right. I guess it just means that you value your relationship with them more than your pride.