My friend is resentful now she is no longer ‘needed’

Counselor and Consultant, Koren Norton.
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Dear Koren,

I went through a miscarriage some years ago and my ex was not supportive at all. A coworker was helpful and I was surprised at how much she visited, sent messages and helped me a lot. We got a bit closer because of this situation and I appreciated her. After I started to feel better, we were not as close and she was always mopey and comforting me and I didn’t want sympathy and I kept saying it’s okay. I wanted to move on and just leave the past so I communicated with her less and less. Next thing I know about a month ago I got a long WhatsApp message from her calling me ungrateful and saying how she was the only person there for me and I dash her away. How do I explain to her that she was bringing me down mood wise more than lifting me up?


Dear JT,

Somehow, I think that conversation should have been had with your friend before you distanced yourself. “Thanks for your support when I needed it, but what I need now is to feel more upbeat and our conversations tend to be more on the depressing side.” That way she gets a chance to see if she can adjust before being put into the no-communication zone.

I hear what you are saying and not saying; she was a friend for a season – one who provided what you needed at a particular time, but after a while, your needs and focus changed.

You no longer wanted the sorrys and the comfort and the constant reminder of your pain. You wanted to feel vibrant and positive and just focus on the present and future instead of the past. She was a reminder of the struggle you experienced so it was easier to let her go.

Maybe at the time you were not sure how to verbalise your feelings and maybe you were more in the grief phase than you realise. Healing from grief takes a toll on us and we go through the days, often thinking we are okay but we might not be.

We often try to shed everything related to the pain to help us feel better but what is inside of us, is inside of us… the turmoil, the angst, the emptiness.

I think it would be nice if you apologise to her. Let her know you did not intentionally cast her aside but your goal was just to feel better and move on. Thank her for the time she was there for you.

Maybe she is also dealing with her own stuff. Maybe she has been rejected in the past or felt used by others and could be transferring these feelings to you. People come with all sorts of baggage and while they may be well meaning, the effects of their issues often spill over on us.

Just be grateful for the positive part of the relationship and learn a lesson for moving forward – relationships have a time and a place, some are temporary and how we end them can make a big difference.

Send your questions and comments to [email protected]. Your confidentiality is assured.

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