Personal Productivity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people wanting to improve their personal productivity. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I had two friends that about 6 months ago, elected to hang out with my ex instead of me. I had calmly addressed the issue in the past and the fact that I was not comfortable with that but they chose to do this anyway.

I've forgiven them since. At the same time, that's not the type of character I'd like to associate myself with.

As I've gotten older, time is a commodity of equal value to money.

We now have mutual friends which forces me to bump into these ex-friends. Despite me listening to a lot of self development material which helped me to decide I'd greet them but not interact with them, I find myself feeling a natural sense of tension and awkwardness.

I now find that I'm having to divide my time up at important events to avoid being around these friends any longer than I want to.

An example would be that a friend had his birthday and I didn't know they were coming. They arrived and I felt awkward and left as I wasn't enjoying myself. In my opinion, it was a waste of time and petrol. I didn't even get to finish my drink.

I feel greatly insulted that despite me not creating the initial issue, I've got to dance around the problem. Tonight I'm going to that friend's girlfriend's party and again, they'll be there meaning the plan that comes to mind is to drop off the gift, stay 30 minutes and leave.

This ex friend upsets me because he'll call me after I leave and leave messages saying it's unfair for me to do that to my friends. I'm not a violent person but this really upsets me and I don't want my instincts to take over to the point that I attack him the next time I see him because that would make a fool out of me, it would be illegal and I don't want to give him the satisfaction of getting to me.

Those mutual friends are ones I don't want to lose but with the self development courses I've taken, my self respecting self is becoming less and less prepared to facilitate these situations of drama.

Time is important to me. My friends are too. I want to be productive in terms of time and emotion and this is a situation that I'm having trouble with.

Can you offer some advice please?

share|improve this question

closed as not a real question by Jeanne Boyarsky Oct 6 '12 at 22:12

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

You have people in your life that you call friends yet you don't want to interact with them? What is your definition of friend here? – JB King Oct 5 '12 at 14:13
THis is much more about interpersonal skills/counseling than time management. – Jeanne Boyarsky Oct 6 '12 at 22:12
That seemed unnecessary Jeanne. The person who commented before you had no trouble whatsoever. I don't understand how I was vague as I took much time to explain my situation. I also referred to how this would lock in with time management, in fact, it has everything to do with how I manage my time; or does social time not factor in whatsoever? I've had people give reasonable requests to why I should amend a question, but you closing this seems lazy. You didn't even attempt to answer as the person before you did, with good effort might I add; and no objection to the structuring of my question. – Warren van Rooyen Oct 6 '12 at 22:14
I agree with @JeanneBoyarsky, this question is not at all about productivity. It appears to me that you are creating all the drama and that you are the only one with the problem. If you think you might attack one for the crime of leaving a phone message, you are in serious need of counseling. Adults learn to get along with people they don't like, co-workers, bosses, ex-spouses, former friends. Children play games like "I'll take my ball and go home if I don't get my way." Stop acting like a child. – HLGEM Oct 8 '12 at 18:23
@WarrenvanRooyen - I don't think the question was vague. I think it is a question that is off topic and more importantly yields opinions/discussion rather than answers. It would fit better in a discussion forum that at Stack Exchange. You are welcome to start a thread in meta discussing whether this is on topic. – Jeanne Boyarsky Oct 8 '12 at 18:31
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You say you forgave them, but it seems it is still bothering you. If you don't want to interact with them any more, go one step further : forget them*. Yes, it is easier said than done, but "Why should you lose time thinking about people you don't like ?" (from one of Dale Carnegie's book, I don't remember the original author)

Moreover, you are giving them control over your emotions. Either they don't care about you as much as you do and it is a shame that you feel that way. Or they are resentful about you, and in this case it may please them to know they bother you. You wouldn't want to please someone you don't like, do you ?

Move on. Don't do it for them, do it for your own well being.

* But don't forget to stay polite in all circumstances, should you just say rapidly hello to them. Once again, do it for you and the image you give to others. You don't want them to see you as grumpy.

share|improve this answer
I appreciate your answer and I'm actively working at forgetting about them. I have even rationalised the situation in their favour by saying, people have the right to be friends with whoever they like and this gives me an opportunity to find new ones I just don't if it's drastic for me to lose our mutual friends and find new friends so as to make best use of my time in the long term. – Warren van Rooyen Oct 5 '12 at 12:25
Why should you lose your mutual friends ? That's why I talked about forgetting and ignoring them, so that you can be ok when seeing mutual friends when they are here. If you stop seeing someone just because you don't like one of their friends, you'll end up staying at home all the time ;) – Jonathan Merlet Oct 5 '12 at 13:52

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.