Author Topic: How do I end some long friendships?  (Read 2138 times)

Nick_Miller

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How do I end some long friendships?
« on: July 02, 2018, 01:12:07 PM »
I feel so awkward asking this, especially as a guy. And I hate being this off topic, but these boards have more rational, thoughtful people than any other boar I frequent, so here goes....

I have known a group of 3 other guys since high school/college days. We get together maybe once a month. Wives know each other but don't socialize with out us. We all live within 15 minutes of each other, so it doesn't take a lot of effort to keep the group going.

BUT...

For the last year or two, I've felt more and more uncomfortable with them. They are very culturally insensitive (and that's probably putting it nicely). They complain about African Americans, Mexican Americans, women, especially "feminists," gay folks, and especially transgender folks. It didn't use to be as bad, but it's become more and more frequent. Sometimes I point out my disagreement. Sometimes I just ignore it and move on to other topics. But either way, it doesn't stop.

Two of them are VERY unhappy in their marriages. I think they are getting more bitter towards other folks because of their unhappiness, basically turning their frustrations outward. But I'm not sure. I'm not a counselor. Whenever I mention something positive about my wife or my relationship with my wife, I get hit with complaints and ragging.

If I were to meet these guys now, I almost certainly wouldn't want to start friendships. But that's not the case. We have 25 years of history together, and we've helped each other out in meaningful ways many times. I feel like the tank of "accrued goodwill" is running low though, at least on my end.

So assuming I choose to end the friendships, how does one do that? It seems cold and passive aggressive to just start ignoring them. But it also seems dramatic to sit them down and saying, "Hey guys, this isn't working for me anymore."

So how do you go about breaking relationships like this?

I don't want to be passive aggressive, and I don't want to be dramatic. I just want to socialize with people who are generally happy, optimistic, and welcoming of  folks who might look or love differently than they do.

I have maybe another 3 friends who I'd like to see more often. They are much more "my speed" but all live much farther out, and it would be difficult to see them as much. Plus they all have kids and are pulled in a million directions as it is.

Any thoughts?

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 01:18:56 PM »
I have some similar old friends. I mostly fine polite ways to decline their invitations. I still hangout with them once in a while, but it is mostly a short event like lunch. I always decline anything more substantial like dinner dates or a road trip. Eventually they will stop inviting you to hangout and you just move on with your life with the friends you have more respect for.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2018, 01:23:25 PM »
Depends on how utterly you want to sever contact, I think. For friends like this, I've often opted for the slow drawing back. Basically, pick the *least* annoying venue for them. People like this, that often means an activity. So say you have a bowling night, or beers and bullshit night. Well, start skipping beers and bullshit and only going to bowling. Less time for their racism, and you have an excuse to walk away any time they start up.

This is basically how I handle my incredibly racist/sexist/crass family. I pick the times they're least likely to be awful (lake days, work parties), or times I can easily escape, and avoid captive audience times like dinners.

Kris

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2018, 01:38:57 PM »
Quite honestly, given what you say, I think you could end the friendships by being more direct about calling them on their unacceptable racist and sexist remarks. Being firm but honest and not backing down will probably lead them to not want to socialize with you. You keep your integrity, and you get the friendships ended ó unless, which is unlikely but possible, they actually take what you say to heart, and change their ways. In which case, Iím guessing youíd want to hang out with them once again.

Win-win,

Dabnasty

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2018, 02:02:38 PM »
Seconding Kris, if you don't want to be passive-aggressive, and you don't want to be dramatic, simply be direct.

"Do you want to <activity>?"
"No, it really bothers me the way you disrespect other humans just because they are different from you. I don't enjoy that, so I'm not going to join you."

This is much easier said than done. A statement like that is hard to say out of context and setting up the context would likely make it dramatic. Although if we're talking to the real Nick Miller, I bet he could pull it off.

Not saying it's not worth a try, but I understand not wanting to be dramatic. Personally, I don't think I would frame it as "it bothers me" but rather just say "you guys are being dicks about this stuff". If they laugh it off, proceed to turn down the invites. If they ask why, then you can put it out there and maybe it won't catch them off guard and they'll take it more seriously. Not to say it will change them but it would probably be good for them that they know why you disappeared.

Another way to put this would be, give some hints and gradually walk away. For the record, I have no experience with this, I'm just throwing some stuff out there.

ETA: I just realized Nick Miller is the guy from New Girl. I thought your old avatar was Nick Kroll. Hard to tell when they're so small and I'm bad with names. I stand by my comment based on the dramatic flair of both Nicks.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 02:22:40 PM by Dabnasty »

gentmach

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2018, 02:03:33 PM »
Stop hanging out with them. If they notice, they'll ask why you stopped. You can tell them directly if you think it will do any good. (My experience has been it won't.)

Cutting toxic people out of your life is the best approach. If you have to wear a mask to be with people, eventually that mask is going to be too heavy to carry.

Nick_Miller

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2018, 02:17:33 PM »
I appreciate the responses!

This is a tough issue for me. I have a feeling whatever I do (slowly drift away, confront them, anything in between), they'll say that I'm being too sensitive or something to that effect.

I realize no one is perfect, and no one will view things exactly as I see them, but when you pile enough of the "jerk" stuff up, it becomes a hill, and then a mountain, and it's hard to get past.

And @Dabnasty, the "real" Nick Miller would give them a stern talking to, call them "knuckleheads," and then they would take it to heart, because A) Nick has social capital with Winston and Schmidt, and B) he reserves his serious moments for the right situations.

Frankies Girl

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2018, 02:38:20 PM »
Going forward, every time they're invite you to do something. Tell them you are busy   Don't respond to any "doing what " type shit.

Remove them or block from any friends class on social media and tell them you are reducing your social media use.

Stop answering calls texts or requests in a timely manner. Wait until a few days later or not at all unless asked directly.

And if asked directly say something like:

 "I decided I don't like hearing the racist shit and all the whining and complaining. I don't agree with any of it. If y'all think that makes me sensitive, you all are certainly entitled to think that, but I think it's wrong. Wish you guys the best, but I am taking a break from hanging out."

You honestly don't have to give any explanation and it isn't passive aggressive to pull back from friends you've outgrown especially since you're told them you don't like some of the nasty comments they make and they refuse to change AND called you names for speaking up. THAT should have been your exit signal. After the first time someone called you something for asking them to stop being bastards, should have nodded, stood up and told them you were taking your sensitive ass home and hope they all had a great rest of their lives. ;).


« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 03:52:42 PM by Frankies Girl »

Kris

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2018, 03:08:28 PM »
Seconding Kris, if you don't want to be passive-aggressive, and you don't want to be dramatic, simply be direct.

"Do you want to <activity>?"
"No, it really bothers me the way you disrespect other humans just because they are different from you. I don't enjoy that, so I'm not going to join you."

This is much easier said than done. A statement like that is hard to say out of context and setting up the context would likely make it dramatic. Although if we're talking to the real Nick Miller, I bet he could pull it off.

Not saying it's not worth a try, but I understand not wanting to be dramatic. Personally, I don't think I would frame it as "it bothers me" but rather just say "you guys are being dicks about this stuff". If they laugh it off, proceed to turn down the invites. If they ask why, then you can put it out there and maybe it won't catch them off guard and they'll take it more seriously. Not to say it will change them but it would probably be good for them that they know why you disappeared.

Another way to put this would be, give some hints and gradually walk away. For the record, I have no experience with this, I'm just throwing some stuff out there.

ETA: I just realized Nick Miller is the guy from New Girl. I thought your old avatar was Nick Kroll. Hard to tell when they're so small and I'm bad with names. I stand by my comment based on the dramatic flair of both Nicks.

Yes, it is much easier said than done. But it still infinitely doable. One just has to straighten one's backbone.

jrhampt

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2018, 03:50:53 PM »
I have a similar couple of old friends that host parties with a larger group where the conversation tends to make me wince every time.  Iíve mentioned it a couple of times, had an awkward, tense discussion years ago with the friend I am/was closest to about some comments about African Americans that I didnít appreciate.  We drifted apart.  Left an event early a few summers ago when the adults got drunk and started up with the racist stuff.  Itís not going to stop, because they think itís funny and that youíre too sensitive.  So you can let it die naturally, because friendships take work to keep up after your twenties.  If youíre close enough to any of them that you want to tell them exactly what bothers you and you think you owe them an explanation, go for it.  Just donít expect much.

Poundwise

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2018, 05:18:35 AM »
In your exit interview, you can always leave the door open.  Tell them that they've changed, that they've become bitter and mean. When they are ready to soften their hearts and change back, you'll welcome them with open arms. Tell them you'll be waiting for their calls, even if it takes a few years.

I too am about to have that hard conversation with my best friend from childhood.  I am hopeful it will go well, though.

Zamboni

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2018, 06:27:01 AM »
Do they act like this all of the time? Or just when it is a guys-only get together?

I'll guess the latter. In that case, you could still socialize with them sometimes if it is a couples event. Obviously only do that if your other half is open to it . . . don't torture yourself or her.

You might be surprised how infrequently you need to hang out with them to still be considered part of their friend group. If you just keep saying you are too busy, and then go once a year with your wife to something they have with their wives (or even invite them to something that is couples-related), then you'll always be on their friend radar. You don't have to have a dramatic moment or completely ghost them. Especially for the guys who are unhappy in their marriages, you might find they are great friends and reasonable people again someday in the future if they manage to move on and connect with a new partner, for example.

Mezzie

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2018, 06:47:52 AM »
Have you read the book Difficult Conversations? There's a chapter in there about how to hold your ground without being dramatic or passive aggressive.

I'm a zero tolerance kind of person when people say racist, sexist, and other -ist things. Part of it comes from being a teacher -- I am regularly calling out the insensitivity of certain statements, so it comes naturally now, but the main reason is the regret I feel for not speaking up ages ago when a friend said something horrifically homophobic. I passive-aggressively ended the friendship, but he doesn't know why, and I feel I failed as someone who cares about human and civil rights. I was young and not nearly so confident; I have forgiven myself and learned from the experience, but current me keeping my mouth shut in the face of hate would be unacceptable.

craiglepaige

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2018, 06:48:57 AM »
Funny that I'm in the same situation as you Nick. I have two friends who I wouldn't even consider hanging out with if I was to meet them today as oppose to 20+ years ago.

One I pretty much stopped addressing, so no biggie there. We do have a big, 8 people group text message where he will  text stuff, I usually ignore it. Once in a while he'll post something too stupid for me to ignore so I just call him out on it in front of everyone else. Honestly, cutting the friendship has been great. Too much fucking stress.

The other is a borderline alcoholic with no manners and extremely insensitive to anyone who doesn't agree with his bullshit. Luckily for me, we worked together until last week when he moved to a different store. Just yesterday my wife asked if I wanted to invite him and his girlfriend to our son's birthday in August. I told her no.

Just say you can't make it and stop worrying about what they say about you. Fuck 'em.

Nick_Miller

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2018, 08:54:08 AM »
I'm glad I posted this here. I've read everyone's post, and I can't respond to them all, but you all gave me a lot to think about.

Actually, we have a 4th of July get-together set for tomorrow, so I've decided to still go, but to really be super mindful of how the interactions go tomorrow. Wives will be around, but basically it will be "wives in one group of chairs chatting" and "husbands in another group of chairs chatting." My wife and I are the only people who ever really walk back and forth and visit with both groups. Otherwise, it's pretty segregated. I'll see how good/bad it is tomorrow and make a decision from there.

The complicating factor is that the group is like "a package deal." Again, about 25 years of history. We all live close together. We do fantasy football together. We have this text chain that goes back forever, and lights up pretty much daily with random chatter. It would be very hard to "divorce" one of them without divorcing all of them.

The players:

B - single and the most outspoken of the bunch. Very bitter about life after some bad decisions. Spews the most objectionable bile. Frustratingly, can be very pleasant in some situations. We used to have great conversations, but that was 15-20 years ago.

D - married and very unhappy. Two small kids, which I think exacerbates the stress. Has been very bitter and negative lately. I would call him my best friend, and one on one, we have good respectful talks. However, he tends to echo the others' negative vibes when we get together.

M - married and very unhappy. Fairly progressive on some issues, and I agree with him on more than I do with B or D. However, he uses some racial terms I would not use, and tends to encourage the others, especially B, to spew outrageous things, purportedly because he thinks it's funny. And he insults young people all the time, like they are a bunch of losers.

So yeah, it gets toxic when we all get together. I hate to say it, but basically becomes "middle aged straight white guys bitching about everyone and everything that is different, new, etc."

I will report back with how it goes.

PS: I have "divorced" one guy from the group, let's call him J. It happened last year. He had moved away years ago, but was still active on our texting. He has become the most ridiculous Trumper I have ever met. He insults freaking everyone. I flat out said "no more" and left the group. The group created a new text group that didn't include him (but kept the old one too), so basically there are two text groups, one that includes me and one that includes him. But that divorce was easier because he's just not around physically. Also, D followed suit and divorced J as well. He agreed with me that it was too much.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 08:58:42 AM by Nick_Miller »

LifeHappens

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2018, 09:00:11 AM »
Today's Captain Awkward post might be helpful for you.

Noodle

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2018, 10:31:03 AM »
I'm sorry, that's a tough situation.

If you don't want to entirely give up the friendships, one thing you might consider is trying to spend more 1:1 time with your friends. It sounds like they really feed off each other, and if it's just the two of you it would be easier to head off negative stuff with "Not cool, dude" without a big confrontation. It sounds like the norm has been group activities, and that changing it would be hard, but so will all of the other ways of addressing this.

If you do want to try continuing with group activities, maybe look for things to do that are more active and not "sitting around talking?" Say, take all the kids to the pool. It also sounds like a couple of these guys may turn out to be single dads if things keep up, which will probably change the dynamics of your group.

simonsez

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2018, 11:17:22 AM »
PS: I have "divorced" one guy from the group, let's call him J. It happened last year. He had moved away years ago, but was still active on our texting. He has become the most ridiculous Trumper I have ever met. He insults freaking everyone. I flat out said "no more" and left the group. The group created a new text group that didn't include him (but kept the old one too), so basically there are two text groups, one that includes me and one that includes him. But that divorce was easier because he's just not around physically. Also, D followed suit and divorced J as well. He agreed with me that it was too much.
Calm honesty is best policy for me (duck-and-run or being excessively blunt might work for others).  You shouldn't be cringing or dreading hanging out with your friends, that's the opposite of the point.  There has always been an element of convenience when it comes to establishing or keeping friendships but if it's not worth it, it's not worth it.

It sounds like cutting ties with J went well.  I'd approach it before it got to the "No more!" stage with your other friends since they seem to be closer but that's just me.  i.e. Without being too sad/mad/drunk/excited/whatever I'd state that being at different places in life, hanging out isn't what it used to be - you still wish your friends happiness and perhaps you will even stay in touch or see each other, but the frequency needs to be greatly reduced and I'd make it clear that you don't want to hangout just to complain.  Life is way too short for that.  Who knows, maybe if you see each other twice a year it will just be about catching up and saying how good it is to see each other rather than spewing negativity (or an illness or event gives perspective or spousal situation is fixed, etc. and it makes the friendship better? but as you say you're not the professional counselor so you need a reprieve).  Or, nothing changes and you make the break permanent.  YMMV but I like being direct and giving people a chance when it is still potentially salvageable (if it isn't, I'm satisfied that I tried).  I do think people might be ignorant of how negative they really are, at least in real time, they might realize it years later but a good friend dropping the truth could be a catalyst.

Relationships of all kinds require maintenance and upkeep.  It sounds like yours with your friends (and theirs with their spouses definitely but that's separate) are indeed at the "fix it or lose it" stage.  Good luck OP!

Scortius

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2018, 11:28:43 AM »
You don't need to ghost them, these are guys you've known for 25 years. Start calling them out. By staying silent you're giving them passive affirmation of their statements. They may not realize that not everyone feels the same way that they do. I don't know if it's overly sexist or stereotypical, but life-long guy friends should have the ability to be very blunt with minimal offense taken. Honestly, you have nothing to lose: start calling them out more and they'll either listen or they'll choose to drift away themselves.

robartsd

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2018, 01:03:29 PM »
Sounds to me like you could strengthen your individual relationship with D (and possibly M) while still letting the group know that you dislike the negativity. Maybe B will find a new group to spew his negativity to (and complain about the other three being too sensitive of you in texts with J).

Nick_Miller

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2018, 09:13:44 AM »
I was included in a group text thing today and I basically said I want to pull them aside today and have a frank talk about some things. I think they know what's coming.

Set to head over to D's house in a few hours so we'll see what happens.

Taran Wanderer

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2018, 11:20:48 AM »
D - married and very unhappy. Two small kids, which I think exacerbates the stress. Has been very bitter and negative lately. I would call him my best friend, and one on one, we have good respectful talks. However, he tends to echo the others' negative vibes when we get together.

Two young kids is stressful.  Maybe you can help D understand that?  The sweet spot (kids between ages 5 and 10) is fast approaching.  Maybe he and his wife just need to get through the gut it out phase and keep remembering what brought them together in the first place so they can recover in the sweet spot.

lifejoy

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2018, 12:05:13 PM »
Stop hanging out with them. If they notice, they'll ask why you stopped. You can tell them directly if you think it will do any good. (My experience has been it won't.)

Cutting toxic people out of your life is the best approach. If you have to wear a mask to be with people, eventually that mask is going to be too heavy to carry.

+1


bridget

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2018, 12:13:52 PM »
Good luck today! Posting to follow. I have ended some friend relationships that were bad for me by the slow ghosting method, but this seems like the direct approach is warranted here.

FIFoFum

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2018, 12:20:38 PM »
I wouldn't talk to them as a group. You have individuals friendships AND this collective group. The group as a whole sounds toxic and unfixable. It'll bring up all the worst of the dynamics too.

What do you want out of this? I would take a 2 pronged approach toward keeping an individual friendship going with D (if that's what you want) and to be done with the ones that aren't, maybe with one direct opportunity to confront the racism/misogyny/homophobia/transphobia.

This is definitely a "write to Captain Awkward" question for scripts on what to say and how to approach things so you can: clearly exit the group, set your own boundaries, decide which (if any) friendships to try to keep and feel like you've given it your best to address the ugly comments.

elliha

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2018, 02:09:38 PM »
My first action would be to withdraw a bit from the group and see who contacts me and if no one really just cut it and let them bitch.

craiglepaige

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2018, 02:27:04 PM »

So yeah, it gets toxic when we all get together. I hate to say it, but basically becomes "middle aged straight white guys bitching about everyone and everything that is different, new, etc."

I'm not white but that does sound like the guy I mentioned above who I completely cut out and will call out when he goes on his bullshit text rampage. That's my only interaction with him.

He's an early 40's overweight white guy who hates pretty much everything.

He hates teenagers who wear skinny jeans. He hates guys that vape because it's "gay". He hates restaurants that don't serve "deep fried everything" because healthy options are "gay" too. Of course he hates gay people.

He also hates black people but loves hip hop music from the 90's, which is insanely fucking stupid.

Anyways, dude's an idiot and cutting out his bullshit has made me a happier person.

The small mindedness of these individuals is rather appalling. I can't even imagine what their home lives are like.

Nick_Miller

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2018, 07:59:01 AM »
Update

Well, we all socialized for about four hours yesterday with our families. I could give the whole thing a score of C+ or B-  Basically, everyone was on "their best behavior," and there was little negativity. (I suspect this was in part due to my having texted them earlier in the morning indicating that I was unhappy with a few things and that I wanted to discuss them, so they were somewhat 'on notice.') Food was great. Everyone was in a good mood, and we had plenty of shade.

I did pull them aside at the end to address the issues in my OP. Basically, their response was along the lines of "We may not be PC but we aren't "ists" either." 

They got a little defensive, and started bringing up some things they had done to show they weren't "ist"s. One had went to dinner with a gay acquaintance (I did not know about this).  Another told me that he had hung out with a black guy recently.  I'm not sure how much these things really move the dial, but I let them talk about them.

I told them that I am fine with them venting about things on occasion (like family issues, etc) because everyone needs a safe spot to do that, but that I would prefer to keep the tone positive and supportive whenever possible.

B, actually the one I agree with the least, was perhaps the most apologetic, and admitted that he is just negative by nature, but loves me and the others, and wants us to be friends into retirement.

So overall, we ended with man hugs and a general pledge to do better. I guess I realize I am not ready to end the relationships, mostly because I have very few people I trust 100%, and I trust these guys 100% that they would always be there for me to help in whatever way, no questions asked. I want to give them a chance to tone things down after me having shared my concerns so directly. If it doesn't change, I can always leave the text group. That would probably be my next move. The reason I didn't score the whole day with a higher grade is that I feel that I "kicked the can down the road," so we'll see what the future holds.

Thanks for everyone who chimed in with suggestions and support!
« Last Edit: July 05, 2018, 08:08:59 AM by Nick_Miller »

Kris

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2018, 09:25:15 AM »
Nick:

Thanks for the update! I think your friendsí ďIím not an -ist, I have a black/gay friendĒ is pretty lame, but they certainly arenít the first ones to give that excuse.

It does, however, give you something to use in future: next time one of them says something racist, homophobic, etc., bring up their own defense. Ask them, what do you think your gay/black friend would think about what you just said?

Hopefully, theyíll actually think about it, instrad of just being defensive.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2018, 09:34:03 AM »
Sounds like that went pretty well actually! And it gives you language to fall back on in the future. You can either fall back on the, "you said you wanted to be less negative. This sounds pretty negative to me, so let's change subject and correct course" or, for racist/homophobic type comments: "you're not '-ist', but this sure sounds like a joke an '-ist' would tell. Let's lighten up on that."

It would be cool if you could actually be a force of good in their lives on this, while still having friendships.

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #30 on: July 05, 2018, 09:49:46 AM »
The "I'm not -ist, I have <minority> friend" thing is complete and utter bullshit. Your friends being defensive when confronted is expected and predictable (Look up "White Fragility").

BUT - you've opened a dialogue that hopefully will be fruitful, at least.

I highly recommend a new book by Ijeoma Oluo (So You Want to Talk about Race), btw. I think it'll help you for framing things in your own mind, with a side helping of understanding how to approach friends (and when not to).

Poundwise

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2018, 11:31:23 AM »
Sounds like a good start! 

IMO it was a good tactic to let your friends explain ways in which they are NOT "ist". The more they can identify with the sides of themselves which are tolerant and positive, the more these aspects will strengthen themselves. It's not productive to back them into a corner and to make them harden themselves defensively: "Okay, maybe I AM a racist!  And so what?"

If you focus on the ways that they are good guys and sometimes better than they have to be, or better than the people around them, maybe you can kick off a virtuous cycle.  "I was angry at you for the things you were saying, but it's because I know you're so much better than that.  I saw how you stuck by your gay friend even though your other friends wouldn't.  So when you say all this stuff, it disappoints me because I want to keep believing you're the great guy I've always thought you were"
« Last Edit: July 05, 2018, 12:44:44 PM by Poundwise »

J Boogie

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Re: How do I end some long friendships?
« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2018, 09:18:43 AM »
Here's my take. You won't be ending these friendships. But you will be spending much less time with them, both in person and via group text.

These are guys that don't see the world like you do. You've grown apart. But like you say, they've got your back when push comes to shove.

It's good to have friends that have totally different opinions, even ones that are offensive. But it's not good for that to be your crew like it once was. You no longer identify with this group. You don't feel comfortable associating with these guys as closely as you used to. But you can still have these friendships, and share your thoughts while considering their perspectives.

My older brother is pretty liberal. Bernie supporter who I think ended up voting for Jill Stein. His best friend, the best man in his wedding, voted for Trump and obviously holds very different political views. But they respect one another, don't talk over each other, and have many common interests (literature, sports, religion, food/alcohol) which I suspect might be similar with you. The difference is that there seems to be a group dynamic which runs contrary to your values. I remember being in a similar place - my high school friends used to make non stop crude gay jokes, drink too much, smoke weed etc and I wasn't into any of those things especially the gross humor. I would only hang out with them on my own terms and it worked well. They have since grown out of it (which may or may not happen with your crew - you just might be the catalyst though) and now it's all good.

My opinion is that the key is to shift from being a member of this group to a respected and beloved guest.  You're not a part of the group, so you don't have to chide them for their offensive behavior, but you are free to share your opinion with them and get their thoughts. These talks that might before seem like nagging can now feel like a meeting of the minds.

Good luck!