“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.

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