Dear Barb – Getting Uninvolved

Dear Barb:

I worked in an office with three other girls for the last five years. Recently I was offered a new position and moved on. I have kept in touch with two of my previous coworkers, but not the third. She has always been a drama queen and dumps all her problems on everyone else. While I worked there, I accommodated her behaviour, but now I really don’t want to continue a relationship with her. She has been emailing and texting me and at first I would respond, but I don’t anymore. I feel kind of bad about ignoring her, but I just don’t want to hear the drama, it just drags me down. Am I a bad person for not wanting to be involved with her anymore? Thanks Katherine.

Hi Katherine:

No, you are not a bad person for not wanting to be involved in the drama. It is your choice who you want to spend time with. Toxic people are exhausting and they do drag us into their drama. If you do not respond to her emails I am sure she eventually gets the hint and stop contacting you. Or you could have a discussion with her, explaining that you are sorry that she has to go through all these stressful issues, but that you want to keep your life on a more upbeat note. Also you could tell her, that you are willing to get together, as long as she doesn’t focus on the negative events. Good luck Katherine.

Dear Barb:

My parents are going through a divorce after 46 years of marriage. I am an only child so they are both dumping on me and wanting me to agree with them. I feel so torn, I really don’t want to hear the details or take sides. I love both my parents and just want to share in their lives. How can I get them to stop putting me in the middle? Help John

Hey Josh:

Sorry about what you are going through. You are going to have to be very firm with your parents. Tell them you do not want to hear what happened in the marriage, that is between them. Explain that you are interested in sharing in their lives and want them both to share in your life, but that you don’t want to rehash what went wrong in the marriage and who was to blame. When they digress and begin the mudslinging, bring the conversation back to the present day. If they continue to bring up the past and bad mouth the other parent you can choose to end the conversation and tell them you will call them or visit at a more opportune time. If you continue to do this I would hope they will come to the realization that if they want to see you they will have to give up the blaming and spitefulness. Thanks for writing John.

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