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I Sense a Pattern: The Friends I’ve Had to Let Go

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Throughout a number of phases in a woman’s life, girlfriends come and go. We have beefs big and small. Sometimes we make up, sometimes we breakup, and then there are the occasions when you know a friendship has ended for good.

Whether it happens in grade school, or high school, or even when you are “grown,” it still hurts when you come to the realization that you have come to the end of the road with someone you shared a lot with. I think it hurts more when you are grown, because you assume that you both should know better and know how to not hurt people.

Girlfriend breakups are particularly tough, because even if we are madly in love with a boyfriend, we expect that most romantic relationships have an expiration date, but not the bond we share with our girls.

“Friends are the family you choose” and I think we all may tend to hold our close friends to a higher standard than our own families when it comes to giving and expecting their support. We may even extend more patience to them when we feel they are being selfish, because friendship is an at will relationship– either side can choose to terminate at any time. There is something that attracted you to that person as a friend, and that same thing causes you to want to keep their respect and love.

There are some friends you can have a fight with every six months and be the best of buddies after a few days or weeks of a cool down. After one genuine and sometimes teary heart-to-heart, and both parties are back on track.

Some friends you hardly, if ever “fight” with because somehow you’ve become so in tune with each other’s moods and eccentricities, you know when to leave the other person alone, and you both appreciate it greatly.

Then there are other friends, where it seems like whatever has gone down between you can’t be repaired, and to continue the friendship would seem phony. Your encounters are no longer relaxed, but feel awkward and contrived.

Girlfriends breakup for a number of reasons, but the main reason I’ve seen over and over again in my life and in the life of other women I know (and the ones on t.v. and movies) is someone feels shorted and thinks the other person is being selfish.

There’s been a pattern for me when it comes to my terminated friendships.

These types of women were highly intelligent and super driven. They grabbed attention everywhere they went, and produced a certain image of having it all together.

They also thrived on appointing themselves as mother figures to people who they deemed needed their guidance and help. They always had advice and seemed to get validation from fixing other people’s messes. The bigger the mess, the greater the self-esteem.

They always had to be in control of everything. People had to be reminded of how important and smart they were. It wasn’t unusual to hear them mention their accomplishments in various conversations.

I served as their side kick in public and their confidant in private. My low-key, non-confrontational personality served them well, and did wonders for their egos.

I surmise that these types of people gravitate to me, because I exude a certain kind of confidence and come to the table with accolades of my own, but I don’t try to compete with them. I’ve got the credibility to be good enough to be associated with them, but I don’t care to outshine them.

These women will appear to have a lot of friends, but these friends usually “can’t be trusted,” or “they are jealous” and must be kept at a distance.

These types like to confide in me, and then I turn into a receptacle for all of their problems and baggage.

Yet when I have a problem, they minimize it, expect me to get over it immediately and resume focus on everything going on in their world.

These types of people never ask me what’s wrong or if I’m alright. These people find a way to make an issue I have be about them. These people compare their problems to my problem and say because I’m not going through what they are going through, I shouldn’t be as upset or stressed.

These same women have been bossy and sometimes talked to me like a child or made demands that I move when they say move. They keep mental running tabs on what they’ve done for people in case those folks have to be put in check later.

These people want me to be the first in line to drop everything when drama or disaster strikes.

The day that I don’t, to them, I’m the most horrible person ever, and all of the other times I’ve gone out of my way to support them have been permanently erased from their memory.

I’ve always wondered, if these kinds of friends ever saw me. Or saw who I really was. Did they notice that I can be sensitive too? Moody? And that because I don’t want to deal with your problems right now and all of the time, it doesn’t mean I don’t care about you.

I was one of the few people not asking these overachievers for anything. I knew they were good people at the core, and they had traits that I admired.

I guess me not asking them for anything meant to them that I could and would accept everything.

Sadly, the people like this whom I’ve let go in the past don’t change much when I cross paths with them again later on.

They bombard you with tales of what great things they’re doing and how busy they are, and still never ask you how you’re doing. And when the awkward exchange is through, I laugh. I am comforted to know that it was perfectly alright to let that person go.

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4 thoughts on “I Sense a Pattern: The Friends I’ve Had to Let Go

  1. Pingback: Frenemies and ‘Faking the Funk’ « 29tolife

  2. Pingback: Love From A Distance: The Girlfriends Edition « 29tolife

  3. Just read this through the link on your current entry. I so relate. I recently had to “break up” (for good this time) with a friend who was completely unhealthy for me. “These types like to confide in me, and then I turn into a receptacle for all of their problems and baggage.” This struck me, because that’s where the issue was for us. I had become a dumping ground for all her drama, and she was always stirring up drama. Always. She would ask for advice, and then ignore it and make the dumb, irresponsible decision anyway. And then when the consequences of her choices came back to bite her in the ass, she wanted to come to me and bitch and moan and complain and whine and cry and dump on me. I am done being the receptacle.
    Bravo to you for your enlightenment. I wish I had known at 30 that some people just aren’t worth making yourself sick over.

    • It’s tough isn’t it? But eventually you get tired. You just get so tired, and you become more and more resentful, the more that person drones on about their life and their problems and never asks you once about yourself. Totally been where you are in giving advice that was completely ignored.

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