Pump the Brakes!

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Dear Dharma,

Help! I’m in a strange situation and I’m not even really sure how I got here!

There is this woman who recently joined our mom group.  She seemed like a nice person and we discovered that we had a lot in common and it quickly grew to a friendship.  Next thing I know things are getting super intense super-fast!  Like to the point where I’m kind of uncomfortable with it now and am not sure I actually even want to be her friend.  My view of her has completely changed! The more I get to know her, the more I dislike her. Everything in my being is telling me to cut and run!

I’m usually such a good judge of character so how did I get myself involved with this drama?!  And more importantly, how do I get myself out? It’s not like I can just cut her out, I see her regularly within the group and our kids all play together!

Regards,

In Over My Head!

Dear Over My Head,

It’s weird when this happens, right?  I equate it to falling in love too quickly where you see things through a different lens for a period of time.  Emotions are all over the place, you can’t think properly, everything’s all intense… and then suddenly Real Life lens snaps back into place and you’re like whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?  I slept with you??

So that’s how you got involved in this drama – you BFF’d too quickly, before you had time to process all of the information about this new person, and then you woke up.  It’s okay, it happens. The next time you find yourself in a similar situation, you’ll probably (hopefully!) recognize the signs and handle things differently.  At least you didn’t commit to anything long term, like planning a vacation or moving in together!

The hard part now is how to pump the brakes and pull back gracefully.  I don’t know if I think this can be an instant thing without being entirely blunt… which is bound to make things awkward and uncomfortable for everyone, and probably unnecessary.

Maintaining a friendly and polite stance is a must, but otherwise stop contributing –immediately! Decline any invitations, don’t initiate anything and don’t question anything. Don’t show enthusiasm or interest and don’t share much that’s going on with you.  Just be a very low key version of yourself, and she should start to get the hint.

If, by chance, she should ask what’s wrong, just shrug it off the best you can.  Tell her you’re fine, things are fine and oh my goodness, look at the time.

Because really – what’s the alternative?

Flat out saying, “I’ve just come to realize I don’t actually like you!”?  As much as I would always encourage people to be honest and direct with each other, that just seems hurtful.  And the thing is? She hasn’t done anything wrong.  It’s just an unfortunate turn of events.

So unless she’s just all kinds of horrible, go slow and try to make it seem like a natural growing apart.

Good luck with this one – breaking up is never easy…

Dharma

 

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