“I have a friend who is not really a friend at all. We attend graduate school together. What started out as being in the same study group and saying “hello” in the hallway has turned into a toxic relationship that I can’t endure.
“Emily” always has a million problems, which she deems much worse than what anyone else is going through. For instance, when I told her my childhood pet was very sick and needed to be put to sleep, she told me to “quit throwing myself a pity party” because she had “real” problems.
I have tried just listening politely to her problems, then started distancing myself from her, but this only led to her becoming needier.
She regularly asks for updates on where I am, what I’m doing, what I’m eating, etc., and passes judgment on all aspects of my life.
I have gently informed her I am an adult and do not appreciate this unsolicited advice or being burdened with her problems, but nothing seems to work. I do not know what else to do.
The school is small, and we still have a few years left together, so I don’t want to blow her off completely and risk seeming unprofessional, but I also can’t tolerate her anymore. Do you have suggestions for “breaking up” with her as gracefully as possible? — Fed Up with “Frenemy””
Dear Fed Up:
Do what I did to a few girls I briefly dated: just slowly cut off communication with them so that they get the hint. Yes, I know, I’m an asshole for doing that and I’ve since learned that’s now how a relationship should end. But this girl sounds like she needs this exact treatment. Wean her off of you because “that girl is poison.”