“I tried to end a friendship with a neighbor, but she won’t let me.”

This advice column isn’t about caregiving, yet the advice given for how to respond to pushback from family and friends upset about someone ending a problematic relationship is spot-on:

You offered Anne a way to peacefully co-exist, and she turned you down flat in favor of this. This isn’t really a fight with her anymore, it’s a fight with all the self-appointed peacemakers. If you want to do something about them, here’s some stuff you can try.

When your husband suggests that you fix this, is he volunteering to step into the role of Anne Whisperer and Yelling Bud himself? Next time he brings it up, try suggesting that you give Anne his number and see how he responds. “I’m going to text her right now with your number and tell her how much you miss your talks. Problem solved!”

If he’s not in love with this idea, but he expects *you* to hang out with Anne, then he gets to shut up about this for the rest of time.

And what about these neighbors who are so deeply concerned about neighborhood harmony? Are they inviting Anne over for tea, sympathy, and yelling for the sake of peace on the block? Maybe next time one of them corrals you about it, try saying, “Anne and I just weren’t compatible as friends, but she’s so lucky to have you in her corner!” Especially if it’s another person who has lived on the block long before you, don’t be afraid to get in there and twist that knife. “It’s so funny, when I first moved here, Anne said she didn’t have any friends in the neighborhood. I knew that couldn’t be right, and here you are, the #1 Anne-fan all along! It was best that she and I part ways, but I’m so happy you have each other to lean on.”

Read more on Captain Awkward.

Written by External Article
Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection. Have a great story about caregiving? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

The Partner Who Dies First, Wins

The Partner Who Dies First, Wins

Herb is my best friend, 83, a humor writer who’s had slow-moving Parkinsons for ten years. When I had breast, then ovarian, cancer over thirty years...

‘I Want My Fucking Pearls Back!’

‘I Want My Fucking Pearls Back!’

That bracelet and the days surrounding his giving it to me were the one bright beam of joy in an otherwise very dark time. My mother’s longterm...

Popular categories

After Caregiving
Finding Meaning
Finding Support

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts


Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.