When I was younger, I used to hold onto friendships for longer than I should have. (This also applies to romantic relationships but that’s a whole other blog post.) In my 20s, I felt like I should be grateful to even have people wanting to be my friend due to some serious self esteem issues.
I held onto a few relationships even when some of these friends turned into acquaintances and then ultimately into drags where I felt like I was being anchored down. I felt some weird sense of loyalty even though I felt like their therapist or mother figure, not their friend. What happened was I grew to resent them, but I didn’t have the emotional capacity to talk to them, plus an overwhelming fear of confrontation. I just stopped talking to them.
There are several people in my life who I am no longer friends with, and it has made my life absolute better and I do not regret it whatsoever. What I regret is hanging around for as long as I did when I realized that the person made me feel like I’m suffocating. I felt guilty at first. “Oh, so and so is going through a hard time. Be there for them.” But when something serious comes up for me, that person is trying to one-up my hardship or illness, like it’s some sick contest.
Nope – I’m out. Never ever will I be friends with anyone who wants to “compete” with me for who has it worse health wise. How sick and self centered do you have to be to hear someone’s cancer diagnosis, who you supposedly call your friend, and then try to turn the conversation around about your possible illness? Believe me, I don’t want to be someone who gets sick a lot and has lost count how many surgeries I have had. I’d love to not have [redacted] and not have to worry about a lifetime of illness and surgeries.
Friendships should be about quality, not quantity.
Hell, I have been on the other side of this and I know this. There are people who I was friends with who have suddenly or slowly stopped being part of my life. You know what I don’t do? I certainly don’t keep calling or texting people who have shown little to no interest in my life, and why should I? The people who I want to be in my life and who are in my life are fantastic.
The sudden friend breakup I had with my Twin (from another mother and father) broke my heart and still hurts to this day. What I won’t do is follow his or his wife’s blog or social media accounts and keep getting reminded of a friendship I no longer have. Friend breakups hurt but you have to move on, and accept it.
If I am not in your life, please know that it is deliberate. Please leave me alone and let it go. If I haven’t talked to you in years, there is a reason – I don’t want you in my life. I don’t owe anyone my friendship.