Manual for Friend

Hi there,

Below is the short version of what I’d like to ask:
Do I work on my thoughts regarding an old friendship, that seems to not work for me, or do I stand up for myself and let that friend go?

My friend Rachel and I have been friends for nearly 20 years. I was in my 20s when I moved into a house share and she was part of that house share. Immediately I knew that although we would be friends it would be a little bit her way or the highway. We are different characters as she speaks her mind fairly rapidly where I think of myself as someone who is holding back a lot so to not make someone uncomfortable. Over the years I found myself dreading every meet up as I felt I had to walk on eggshells with her and very rarely have I come away from a meet up feeling positive. As I’m writing this I find it astounding that even after so many years and I’m in my 40s now, she still has the power over me and I have not felt comfortable to not see her anymore. The main reason for that is that she keeps on being in touch and I feel obliged to see her as I don’t want to hurt her feelings. She always moans about other friends and without her knowing her moaning often left me feeling like she’d moan about me too if I didn’t show up anymore. The whole scenario is very familiar to me. I used to do this with men I was with too. It would always take me ages to break up, even when I knew it wasn’t right. Again this was in order to not hurt them.

Knowing the model and having done a fair amount of work on my thoughts, I’m now wondering whether it is time to let go of that friendship with Rachel or whether a change of thought would actually turn this into a worthwhile friendship.

C: I see Rachel every few months
T: I find her difficult to handle
F: dread
A: going through my head things she might say and do and getting annoyed by that
R: showing up annoyed even before she says something

When writing out the model I noticed how I judged myself for feeling the way I do. I was thinking come on, seeing her only as little as ‚you‘ do, surely it’s not that bad and you can continue to see her. This is my inner voice judging myself for considering to make a change.

Can you help me to move forward here? Again I’m not sure whether I should work on thoughts or avoid seeing her to avoid feeling the way I do.

Many thanks