I have a longtime "friend" who seems to think that we are closer than we really are. I've tried to distance myself from them, but this person literally makes everything about them, and I can't break free. I'm not afraid of a confrontation—I don't really deem it necessary, but I'm pretty sure they do. How do I rid myself of this parasitical relationship?
Parasitical relationships require extermination. Cut them loose—unless it is me and then, sorry, you are stuck with me until one or both of us die. All kidding aside, I have to ask: Why, if you are so tortured, you don't see a confrontation as necessary? Rip off the bandage and end the friendship. You have tried distancing yourself (obviously not far enough), but that hasn't worked. You have no choice but to clearly define your boundaries or break up with them. Sorry, there is no easy way to do this. I starred in a short film once where my character invited all of her friends to dinner, laid out an amazing spread, and then with wine glass in hand, toasted all her friends and told them she never wanted to see any of them again. Sometimes one has to make it painfully clear. Hints are for scavenger hunts, not ending relationships. Good luck.