Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Musings- When Do You Declare a Friendship Dead?

How do you decide when/if it's time to end a friendship? I've ended two in the last few months, although one of them doesn't seem to be aware of the fact.

Former friend one: totally overreacted to a post made on Facebook, that alluded to something he'd said that I found to be insensitive but did not mention him by name, and proceeded to spew venom and issue veiled threats on my wall as well as attack other friends who tried to point out to him that he was acting like an idiot. I let him rant for a day or two and then quietly deleted the post, and then deleted him from my friend list. I rarely see/speak to this person in real life anymore, though we used to be quite close, so he probably isn't even aware that he is no longer someone I wish to be associated with. I do know that he has told mutual acquaintances that he thought I'd "learned my place" and they just shook their heads at him. Most people who know me, know that I am not a "forgive & forget" person, and there are some things that I refuse to accept from so-called friends. He crossed the line and I'm done with him, whether he knows it or not.

Former friend two: a former co-worker with whom I'd bonded over pop culture and a shared sense of amusement/horror/disbelief at some of the goings on in our office. Like me, she has had a fair amount of nearly unbelievable crap happen to her in her life, only she's had more and worse. The problems in our friendship stemmed from her wallowing in the toxicity of her life and the world and my inability to encourage it. There are so many things wrong here that I could probably write a book on it, but the short version is that I just can't keep dealing with her drama and inability to actually work on her problems, rather than just claim she's going to. She had treated a mutual friend so badly that the friend got fed up and dropped her like a bad habit and then sent me a passive-agressive email 'apologizing' for her behavior and saying WE could still be friends if *I* wanted to. I told her that I needed to think about it and honestly wasn't sure if I did, but I would contact her after a week and decide then. It was one of the most peaceful weeks I'd had- no drama filled angsty emails, no floods of emails with links to every "ain't it awful" story she could find, etc. I realized at that point that our friendship had turned into a toxic energy sink and that it wasn't in the best interest of my emotional health to continue it.

I'm not saying I didn't do my share of angsty emails about things. But I would actually work on my problems, whereas she didn't/wouldn't. If our mutual friend and I sent emails about positive things, 90% of the time she'd respond with a vague "that's nice, but let me tell you about this drama in my life..." type message, which then turned into all of us dwelling on negatives instead of being happy that something was going right. Or she wouldn't respond at all.

However, when I went back to respond to the situation after the week was up, I discovered an 2 emails from her that solved the problem for me. The first was informing me that she was dropping me from her Facebook friends because "it was too painful to see my posts and know she wasn't welcome to respond."  I never said that. I said I didn't want to hear from her at my work email for a week. (I only check FB on weekends and she knew that) I have mentioned in the past that if she adds one more damned petition to my wall, I'd drop her. The second? Was basically an "I don't want to wait for your decision because I already know what it is so I'm going to drop you first" email from her.  Ok by me.

So, I'm "down" 2 sources of stress and aggravation. Excuse me while I go cry quietly to myself...NOT.

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