I’m sure everyone has experienced an end to a friendship that upon reflection could have been prevented if you had perhaps been more mature in dealing with the problem at the time. Sure some friendships aren’t meant to last and as you grow older you may simply just realise you can’t maintain a friendship with the person anymore because you’re not the same person anymore.
These cases I can deal with and find easy to accept because more often that not simply growing apart means there aren’t any bad feelings and if anything when you run into the person randomly when out and about you can chat without many issues and still have an interest in them and their lives. However the ones where you have ended a friendship because of an argument or issue that weeks, months or even years later just doesn’t matter anymore are the ones that I think stick with you most. It is down to this that I actually ended up losing my best friend 3 years ago and I know what you’re thinking, 3 years? Surely I have accepted this by now? Truth is I have accepted it and even tried reaching out a year ago to clear the air but I still find myself wondering where our friendship would be now if 3 years ago I hadn’t let all my frustrations out at once.
Now this argument happened because I didn’t tell her how I felt about things until too much time had passed for me to do anything but overreact when I finally spoke my mind. Stemming from her finding a boyfriend and spending the next 2/3 years constantly putting him before any of her friends this resulted in me finally having enough when she decides to have at go at me (and only me) for her not getting invited to a dinner for some of our mutual friends getting a flat. Friends that I must say she hadn’t spoken to for months. I lost it at that point due to it only being me she moaned to and nobody else that was at that dinner, especially when I wasn’t the one to plan it. The problem with this is suddenly everything comes out at once and I definitely ended up saying things that I could have avoided.
Now looking at this story it embarrasses me to relive the reasons behind this argument as at 24 it sounds ridiculous. If this had happened now I would not have taken it so personally and would have no doubt spoke to my friend about my feelings towards her not making an effort with myself and other friends. I believe that would have been a better approach than what I did years ago that I’m sure was done more because I felt I had the backing of other friends and no longer needed this one friend.
The sad thing is I didn’t need her but only I have missed out on the things that could have happened over the past 3 years. Would we have been as close as we were at 16? Would we be having weekly catch ups? Honestly I don’t believe we would have but I believe we could have still maintained a good friendship that involved occasional get togethers and chats when things were really bothering us. Due to me over reacting I didn’t get to get excited with her over the run up to my brother’s wedding (who she knew really well), or tell her I was going to be an auntie or even celebrate with her when we both graduated.
Moral of the story – tell your friends when they annoy you and I mean really annoy you. Tell them when you start to question your friendship because there is a good chance they have no idea you feel this way. We love to believe that we know those we’re closest to inside out and that they therefore know us inside out and should just know when they’ve upset us. We also like to believe that those we care most about would do the same for us as we would for them and the truth is everyone is different and shows they care differently. Ultimately life happens and people often take for granted the things that mean the most to them so help your friends out and tell them how you feel no matter how difficult the conversation. Don’t accuse just let them know your concerns and if they still meet you with unfair accusations and anger then at least you know you tried.