Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cutting ties with friends?

Hello Bailey Dailies Reader! I'm Kate and I blog over at the "florkens" with my husband Adam. Yes, Adam actually blogs with me. For proof, see herehere, and even one of our vlogs here!
I could have take this opportunity to implore you to check out our blog, check all the fun links, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Bloglovin’ – but don’t worry, I won’t do that. Instead, I wanted to take a chance to talk about something that I think many of face as we age… cutting ties with friends that no long “suit” us.

Eekk! You’re thinking – geesh! This girl is harsh! But hear me out – as we grow older, most of us grow up a bit. I’m not saying that I’m not still irresponsible at times or that I no longer enjoy rocking out to B. Spears in the car (I am and I do!) but sadly, I believe it is a cold hard fact that we can grow apart from our friends.

I’ve found myself dealing with this situation recently and it’s hard. Really hard. In real life, it isn’t always as easy as drawing Jane + Jill = BFF all over your folders! You have to deal with bills, relationships, life choices, and yes, even personal viewpoints over what a “friend” should be.

The definition of “friendship” varies between people. If you think having a “friend” means having someone that you can bitch to about your life 24/7 without ever having to return the favor, but your “friend” disagrees – well that is a relationship heading for a disaster. On the other hand, if you and your friend share similar values in friendship, chances are, you’ll have a shot at actually being BFF.

Sadly, we don’t all have those same definitions. As recently as this past summer, I really had to look at the people I was surrounding myself with and make some tough choices about our “friendships.” If I found that they were more emotionally draining than rewarding (and had been that way for quite a while) I started to consider “phasing-out” that friend. Does that sound harsh? I hope not. But maybe it does…

For example, I had a friend who always had some insane drama in her life. She seriously called often to tell me she was in the hospital, or that a family member was, or that she had just been robbed at gun point, or that she had just used CPR to save her elderly neighbor, or that a friend’s ex-husband just beat her with a pipe (not making this up.) As always, I would be very concerned and drive to the hospital, or scene of the robbery or assault but would always be told that “she had handled” the problem and would see me later. After 3 years and just as many resuscitated neighbors, I began to understand that my friend had a problem with compulsive lying. I tried my best to get her help. Really, I did. I explored every channel available to me to no avail. So after a while, I just had to kind of…well, let go. It was hard. But I know I feel better without dealing with that kind of self-created drama and I hope that without someone to listen to it all, she doesn’t feel as much of a need to create it.

I’ve also been the friend that was “let go.” Right after Adam and I moved in together, my very best friend started to ignore me. It went on for weeks until I woke up one day to find that she had blocked me on Facebook. I decided to just let it go, confident that what needed to happen, would happen. About four months later, she contacted me and wanted to go to dinner. She told me point blank that she couldn’t be friends with someone who was “so happy” in a relationship at that time because she was going through a rough patch with the men in her dating life. She said we could be friends again so long as I never spoke about Adam and never made her be around him. I politely declined because to me, to be a friend is to rejoice in the ups of others as well as hold their hand in the downs.

I guess what I’m saying is this – sometimes we have to make tough decisions in order to move forward with our own lives in the way that is most beneficial to our own health and sanity. It’s never easy or pretty, but it is sometimes completely necessary.

What’s your definition of friendship? Have you ever had to “cut one loose” so to speak?

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  1. I kind of feel like I am stalking you by following you to your guest posting on another blog... Anyways, I love this post, I too have had to 'cut one loose' because of how potent relationship it had become and completely 100% one sided.
    Everything was about her, if I wasn't hanging out with her it was horrible! We had so many damn arguments it was terrible.

    ♥ But you are totally right, we grow up and sometimes grow apart, it's life. Amazing post!

  2. I am still in touch with 2 of my high schools friends. Back in my teens and twenties we were BFF's but honestly, we now have NOTHING in common! We've been friends for over 30 years. We met when we were 12 years old and we are now 43 years old! That is a long time.... and I do not have the heart to tell them how I really feel about them!

  3. I can totally relate to this post! I lost my best friend of 13 years a few years ago when I was engaged. She couldn't be happy for me, even though I had always been there for her. The sad thing is, she was causing so many problems that I was ignoring because she was my "friend", yet she texted me and told me she didn't want to be my friend anymore. Crazy how the problem sort of fixed itself, even though it makes me sad to this very day.

  4. I can relate - I seem to lose friends when they get married. I can't blame them, though - their lives have changed and they want friends who can understand marriage.

  5. I have definitely let friends go. There are times when you know it's worth it to say something and times when you know nothing you say will make any difference. My friends and I tease each other mercilessly. However, I had a friend in the past who had a way of doing it in a way that didn't feel like teasing... it felt like bullying. I don't have respect for people who need to put others down in order to feel better about themselves, and friendship requires respect in my book.


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