Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings, and emotions.
– Will Smith
Quit making someone your priority while all you are to them is an option.~ Anonymous
Hello friends and happy Monday! This is kind of a heavy post, but one that I not only think is fitting for motivational Monday, but am FINALLY ready to talk about. It is also one, we as a society need to discuss and put more emphasis in, which is communication, but also the importance of friendship relationships. Yes friends, PLATONIC relationships, they are extremely important, yet society doesn’t put enough emphasis on them. We, especially women, are constantly told to find love, to attach our whole being to a male, and not enough to our female sisterhood that is equally, if not more, important. And when those friendships deteriorate as they sometimes do in life, it can be devastating and just as painful as a romantic break-up.
It has taken me months to process my “break-up” with one of my best friends. Honestly, because I never in a million years thought it would happen. Maybe that was my first mistake. I not only took our relationship for granted, but also misunderstood it. She had been there through some of my worst moments, but being there, and actually BEING there are two very different things. Right or wrong I have a tendency to give my whole being into relationships, whether romantic or platonic. I also have a tendency to guard the term bestie, but she was. Or so I thought. She not only visited me, but stayed in my apartment, dozens upon dozens of times, free of rent. We would go on adventures, and for most of it, I was her therapist (fyi friends are NOT therapists, neither is family) and listened to her constantly bitching about people (including those in our friend circle, which again should have been a sign). My family also welcomed her in, and took her out to dinners and shows, (and no it isn’t, well I did all of this, but looking back it does seem pretty spectacular that she used me and I missed the signs epically) and treated her like she was family. It was a friendship that evolved into us being Gemini Twins. I have a lot of Gemini twins, but she was the OG. Or again, so I thought.
I never realized truly how one sided it was until last year when my life took a turn for the worst and I needed my kula, my friends around me. She was conveniently absent. All last year, I was the one to reach out continuously to her, she didn’t. Not once. Even when she KNEW I was going through some serious ish. Even AFTER I addressed it, and we talked, though to be perfectly frank that talk was filled with excuses and then half assed apologies like they are closing arguments. They aren’t.
Apologies aren’t closing arguments
Let me reiterate that; Apologies are NOT closing arguments. A heartfelt one doesn’t come with excuses, it comes with contrition. You can’t have a relationship with someone who practices avoidance, who can never be wrong, just right. Or someone who then says, well you hurt me like it is tit for tat and then refuses to tell me what I DID, so I can fix it, because I had the gull to address something, not to call them out, but in the hopes of making the relationship better and stronger. Alas, we can’t control how other people react, nor can we control the outcome. Only our own actions and responses.
This whole situation has been one incredibly painful lesson. As someone told me, never apologized for asking for something or for setting boundaries. If they truly want to be in your life, they’ll listen to what you say, not necessarily agree, but they will listen and then want to work so that both of your needs are not just validated, but also met. The caveat is people think you have to agree a hundred percent, you don’t, but you DO have to respect that person’s feelings. And part of a strong relationship is not just listening, BUT hearing the person out.
Unfriended, don’t even exist but my dead sister does
After I addressed it a second time, months later, my “friend” the person I did call my “Gemini Twin, decided very quickly to not just cut me off and unfriend me, but unfriended my family. Which was honestly the biggest punch in the gut, because as I stated above they have always treated her like SHE was family, and this had nothing to do with them and our relationship…as they say about Texas, I say about my family, don’t mess with them. She didn’t want to even discuss it, work it out, or even hear a word I was saying. It was further compounded when she stopped following pages that were owned by my family members, BUT stayed friends with my dead sister’s facebook. Someone she really didn’t know and had even said that to me numerous times. As my best friend said “That is f*ing shameful.” And it was. It is. It is okay to unfriend (which fyi are we in high school?) family, but you stay “friends” to what ride the grief train?
The whole thing honestly blew me away. This person I knew for over a decade had morphed into someone I didn’t recognize. To cut me off so harshly, so quickly, told me all I needed to know about the signs I had been missing and where I truly stood in her eyes. She was ready to be done, and because I had the audacity to address things lacking in our relationship, she used that as the catalyst to end it. She had no desire to hear me out or to respect my feelings. No desire to continue to work on the relationship, when even friendships take work.
Friendship takes work
Part of me does get it. We live in a society that prides itself on being the rebel. On not needing anyone. On walking away if it gets to hard, and we have to feel. Yet in the face of those uncomfortable feelings, loyalty and friendship are thrown by the wayside and communication ceases to exist in what is deemed an “easier” life. I am by no means saying be a doormat, but Life is messy. Relationships are hard. They take work. Yes including friendships. It hurts when friends throw relationships away because it takes to much work and they also don’t want to accept responsibility for their own actions. But it also means that those who are willing to do the work, we need to cherish and hold onto because that is real friendship right there.
I am still coming to terms with how this ended. I am only just now beginning to come to a place where I can accept it. I don’t like it and I have definitely done the postmortem rehash of it, to many times to count. Do I regret addressing it? Ultimately no. Now I have no doubt where we stand. Do I regret I how I might have come across, or more expressive with my words. Most definitely, yes. Do I regret that it ended this way? Yes. But again we can’t control how others respond. Addressing an issue with someone does not mean they are bad. It means there is a problem and you care enough about the relationship to want to improve it and make it better. We are human we screw up from time to time. Actually we screw up ALOT. We all have bad days. And we even inadvertently hurt the people we care about. That is part of being human.
Also part of being human is acknowledging that and apologizing. It doesn’t mean you are bad, it means you are owning up to your part in hurting someone. A simple apology is a powerful thing. Yet so many people let their ego get in the way or are so focused on being right, that they ruin relationships because of that. I wish we could have worked it out. And part of me, the part that is a glutton for punishment because I am a people pleaser and want harmony, and am even friends with all my exes, because that is how I roll, holds out hope that we can work it out. The thing is we WILL see each other again. We are part of a larger group of friends who get together and even have an on going group chat. As much as their was a lot of hurt, it didn’t have to be all or nothing and in fact I did attempt to wish her a happy birthday, but hello crickets. I guess time will tell. But if my greatest crime was being “needy” and wanting clearer communication then so be it.
As my best friend and rock in all of this has said who needs enemies with friends like that? And she is right. Relationships/Friendships ARE a two way street. They may not be fifty/fify all the time, but there has to be some reciprocation. And they only work if there is healthy dialogue and ownership. So even if you think you didn’t do anything wrong or that they are overreacting, their feelings are still hurt, and we have to set our egos aside, and acknowledge that pain, and say a dang f$@&ing I’m sorry from time to time. Likewise, it is alright to advocate for yourself and you SHOULD in ANY relationship. Nothing worthwhile comes without some work, and that includes the relationships in your life. This is your TED talk for the day. If you are struggling with friendships or even any relationship I am sending you all so much love. It sucks a lot, but I will say know your worth You are SO worth it and no one should ever dim your light, nor should you settle for less. I love you friends <3
How do you deal with complicated relationships and unfriending? Do you keep trying? How do yo communicate?