I’ve recently been contacted by a former friend of mine, asking to “put the past in the past” so we can be friends again.
I simply cannot and refuse to do so. I won’t get into details, but the way she behaved throughout our short but close friendship was unacceptable, and I will not submit myself to such treatment again.
However! The father of her child and I have been close friends for years, so it’s not unlikely that I may see her again in social situations.
Thank you for your help,
Dear Not Interested,
How awesome that you have set boundaries and are willing to stick to them. In Dharma’s world, it important enough of a concept that Mr. Dharma even made a little picture to help illustrate the point…
You’ve made my job very easy today by basically answering your own question. The way you respond politely and lay out your expectations is to respond politely and lay out your expectations.
I’m assuming the interaction with your former friend is through email, so simply respond to her with something like, “I appreciate you reaching out, but at this time I think it’s best to leave things as they are. I anticipate we will see each other in social situations along the way, and I have every intention of being civil and courteous towards you. I’m hopeful you will do the same.”
If she pushes back, make the bold section above your mantra to repeat as many times as is necessary. Once she realizes she won’t get any more out of you, she’ll likely back off.
Kudos to you for holding strong. Knowing the things you will accept and not accept in your life – and acting on it! – is an accomplishment that you should feel good about.
Got a question for Dharma? She’s probably got an answer!
To submit a question anonymously, just make up a name and email – it doesn’t have to be real, as long as the fields are populated.
And be sure to follow Dharma everywhere!