How Do You Sever A Friendship?

severed friendship brokenI had an interesting question sent privately this morning. The person (he or she, I don’t know) was wanting to sever a friendship with a person they characterized as “seriously emotionally unstable”.

They sent me a copy of the note they were considering sending this person for critique and while it was an unusual request, I thought it was smart. Saturn in is Virgo, isn’t it? Get an editor! So I gave my opinion but here’s my question:

How do you sever a friendship with someone who reveals themselves to be disturbed in a way that makes you uncomfortable? Does this tendency show up in your chart?

Ask your own open question 

18 thoughts on “How Do You Sever A Friendship?”

  1. Oh, this happened to me recently. It’s happened to me for the past two years, in fact. (Pluto sq. Pluto transit.) My problem is mostly with women and it does show up in my chart with a Moon/Pluto opposition squaring Venus. It reveals itself in codependent friendships with women who undermine me and, obviously, I let them. Or I was letting them do it up until recently.

    The way that I did it is that sometimes I wrote them a note in which I told them truthfully that their behavior was hurting me or that I did not trust them any longer. I then removed myself from their reach. Another method was to talk to them, usually over the phone. Now, I’ve felt guilty about the fact that I’ve never done it in person. It felt wrong somehow until I realized that I have a tendency to let people talk me back into not cutting ties with them, giving them another chance, etc. and then they promptly go back to the same behavior that upset me in the first place. So the reason I did it this way was that it gave me distance to not let myself be manipulated and also it allowed me to keep my cool (oh, bc I can get very angry, too, I’m not angel.) The note has to be firm and detached, not accusatory or self-pitying or namby-pamby. Then, of course, I had to allow myself the time to work through my feelings of loss (bc it was still a loss). As soon as I did this, my resentment against that person evaporated. I knew I did the right thing bc I felt tremendous relief knowing that this person would no longer be in my life.

    I also learned a lot bc, obviously, I believe with certain chart configurations we switch roles; so that some of the behaviors that these women engaged in (controlling, meddling, inappropriate confiding, manipulation through helplessness, etc.) are behaviors that I can fall into myself. Hope that helps.

  2. I had a good friend I went to HS with and we continued being friends after HS. She had very many issues that she dealt with by being extremely promiscuos (sp?). She revealed to me some of her deeper issues and I felt really bad for her. But her actions became too much for me. It’s against everything I stand for when I have to defend and protect you against a livid wife who wants to beat your ass because you’ve been sleeping with her husband for years. I loved her to pieces but her issues were something I didn’t know how to deal with. The last straw was when she preformed a sexual act on her (married) boyfriend while I was in the truck with them. It just made me feel so icky that she totally didn’t take into consideration that I 1)Didn’t agree with her relationship to this guy in the first place 2)why would I want to see this??? (No, I wasn’t looking! lol)
    (*He even tapped my arm to hold his beer while she performed acts on him…the nerve!!*)

    I just realized after that that she doesn’t care who she hurts in the process of coping with her own wounds. I felt there was no other way to handle the situation than to sever all ties (Scorpio ASC?).

  3. I surgically remove them from my life. It depends on the situation: if they’ve harmed me in some way, I call it to their attention with a little sting on my way out the door (Mars in Scorpio, 8th house). If they’ve been pretty benign toward me but utterly batshit in their own lives, I simply don’t return their calls or e-mails.

    This doesn’t happen much anymore, as I’ve developed the ability to sniff out a crazymaker a mile away. Since I became a mom eight years ago, I simply haven’t got time for the nonsense.

  4. So, who did you do it, shell? Did you tell her that you no longer felt comfortable with her friendship or did you just stop taking her calls or…?

  5. Usually I’m pretty good at avoiding the truly disturbed (Moon/Neptune sensitivity) but if necessary, I will take the first opening to break off contact and not look back. Not take phone calls or emails. If confronted I’m pretty direct about saying the relationship is over. Mars/Merc in Scorpio

    BTW, the only person I told to “go away & stay away” – twice! was a Scorpio man. And he STILL insisted on coming by my home 20 yrs later!! I introduced to my Aries, all nice & polite, and that was finally the end . . . 🙂

  6. I’m usually more unstable than my friends, lol, so I don’t really know! 😉
    But to sever a relationship, I’d do it sudden and definitely – is the 8th house a clue to that? Endings and beginnings in a way…I have Uranus there.

  7. Nene–Well, throughout the friendship I let her know how I felt, it wasn’t like I dropped her suddenly without explanation. After that truck incident she called me the next morning, apologized, but I could sense the embarrassment in her voice. It was wierd, it’s like we both knew it wasn’t going to be the same after that, and the phone call felt something like a subliminal goodbye. If I see her around we stop and chat for a few, I don’t avoid her at all costs or anything like that.

    Like Avery, I stay faaaar away from relationships with folks of that sort. I tend to attract mostly positive, got-it-together people now. Thank goodness.

  8. Avatar

    I’ve had a few “friends” like that. One is still in my social circle. I don’t see her much and she’s moved on with her life. She finally married despite her issues with men and they moved some distance away. The one I remember most clearly was one that decided to be my friend despite me not really offering her my friendship. She’d call daily when her boyfriend was at work and too busy for her. I offered support and then boundaries. That was ok with me until she crashed a very intimate birthday party of another friend (ie my other friend’s birthday party, me, her sister and one other girlfriend to a fancy homemade dinner)

    After that I think she realized that she had no boundaries. I told her how upsetting that was and she stopped calling. I have found that setting boundaries with a friend’s behavior that is uncomfortable is often enough to either continue the friendship in a limited manner or that the person will look for a co-dependent elsewhere.

    ie “I am sorry you are still acting out your childhood molestation, but I cannot listen to this anymore as it causes me pain to watch you not get serious help as we’ve discussed before, please don’t tell me about your latest escapade with they guy 30 years older than you” etc. etc.

  9. I have severed a few friendships. One person gave me an ultimatum that was easy: ‘It’s this bullshit option or no friendship’ (bye bye).
    Two others (men: one Sag, one Aquarius; just friends) I wrote letters to telling them exactly what I thought of how they treated me,and bye bye.

    The other, lingering-in-psyche friend was a Scorpio woman who I still work with (awkward). I simply stopped speaking to her. I didn’t explain a thing. Her behaviour was so shitty I figured I couldn’t waste another moment trying to explain to her things like: a good friend wouldn’t cop to calling you a bitch to other people, when the other people say ‘Your friend Kashmiri is such a nice person.’
    Can you say crazy? There’s no point trying to explain to assholes, why they are an asshole. Well, maybe there is. I just don’t want to do it!

  10. Most of the time, in the rare cases when this has happened to me, I just cut them out. Explaining would’ve done me no good, because they wouldn’t get it. They wouldn’t be able to wrap their heads around why their behavior was beyond reprehensible anyway, so why waste the oxygen?

  11. Don’t y’all think that as a society/culture we talk an awful LOT about how to sever and end relationships and not much on how to form and fix them????

    Then so many complain they’re alone.

  12. Busted-personally, I think we as a society spend equal amounts doing both.
    I think the key is to examine our own motivations: hence the focus on how to exit a relationship that doesn’t work.

  13. Well, I AM the emotionally unstable friend so I wouldn’t know really, mostly I am the one being severed. The thing about it is, being that person, I know how horrible it can be to have what some may call cries for help (molestation issues, self-confidence issues, depression, promiscuity, etc.) totally ignored by a friend and then to have that person abandon them. Of course, there is only so much a person can take and it’s important for any friendship that the two parties meet each other halfway. I can see both sides of this, I just feel it’s unkind to simply say “You’re too much, see ya sucker.” to a friend without first attempting to help them or get some help for them.

  14. Charlotte: I know that these traumas are deep and extremely difficult to solve on your own. I’ve been there. I know.

    But here’s the thing: in order to get help, you have to know who to ask, yeah? If the traumas you suffered were of the kind that you enumerate, then you need to seek help that can actually help you instead. This is the most loving thing you can do for yourself bc by going to people who can’t help (and most regular people are piss-poor at mental help, it TAKES a lot of training to heal these traumas), you’re going to the wrong place. This makes people feel overwhelmed and helpless themselves, see? And then they feel that they have to cut you loose. Then that makes YOU feel abandoned, which leads to you engaging in self-destructive behaviors, etc. It’s a vicious cycle, do you see? And I don’t blame you, babe. This is the nature of the trauma you’ve experienced. But the beginning of healing starts with going to the right person or the right place. It’s like me attempting to fly a 747–all the goodwill and intelligence and heroism on my part is still gonna get me and the passengers killed cuz I don’t have the skills OR the experience.

    You have to look at the enormity of the trauma you’ve encountered and you have to understand that asking your friends for help is on par with that example. It’s not that they don’t want to help you. It’s that they really are not equipped. If they were to attempt it, you’d both get in trouble. There are mental health professionals out there who can help you for reduced fees. There are 12 step groups of incest or sexual abuse survivors that ask for $1 donation at every meeting (cheep). At these meetings you will meet people who have gone through what you’ve gone through and who won’t judge you bc they’ve been there and they’ve survived and they can tell you how they did it and, what’s more, they’ll hold your hand. No one can give you as much hope as someone who’s already been through the sorrows you’re now experiencing. They know and they’ll be able to steer you to qualified professionals. There are resources. You already survived the worst. Just think: You’re a 747. Most of your friends can’t even fly a kite. Get thee a qualified, kick-ass pilot. But you have to take that first step yourself, when you’re ready.

  15. Yeah, thank you Charlotte. That’s how I feel too. There’s just so much self-righteousness in that whole discourse of “you’re too much for me — I can’t deal” that’s pervasive in our culture. And I also think there’s a creeping Aquarian Age inability to relate on personal levels. Maybe Piscean Age melding was probelmatic, but…..

  16. This is interesting because I have done this and had it done to me. For me being straight with people has always been easy because I don’t like anything underhand. I just say it how it is but recently I have been advised (well) that sometimes this can be too upfront for people and that you can just gently remove your energy without needing to explain. I see how this is kinder but I find this hard – I like to just deal with a situation.

    I tried to end two friendships about ten years ago – one by phone and one by letter with two long term friends and they just laughed and said ‘sorry but no’ and ten years on I am so glad. They stuck with me and I love them both – my arrogance makes me cringe now.

    Anyway I think sun conjunct mars/pluto and cap moon prefer to be upfront.

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