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Ask Amy: Friend favors exclusive group over friendships

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: After over 30 years of friendship, my dear friend is now shunning me.

This full-stop disconnection is unexpected, perplexing and hurtful. I blame the fact that she is a longtime member of an organization within her Christian church, a significant financial contributor, and a supernumerary.

I think she’s ended her nonreligious connections to old friends altogether, to “go to the next level” in the organization.

She retired two months ago, and cut off communication with me.

The group advocates self-denial and encourages supernumeraries to recruit new members amongst receptive friends. Nonreceptive friends are discouraged.

A year ago, my friend began closing herself off from other unaffiliated friends, but we talked daily, and she still initiated frequent contact.

 

I hung in there. We’re old ladies; I was expecting to spend my retirement years relying on this friendship for consolation and companionship.

I think I was a good friend, a loyal confident, and positive counsel. But this group is cult-like in its devotees’ self-isolation and distancing from friends and family.

I’m agnostic, not interested in joining, but wasn’t judgmental.

I think her religious counselors finally told her to curtail our friendship, because I’m not a receptive candidate for recruitment.

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