Considering it's the year of the woman, we haven't been short of inspiring suggestions and tips on how to drop toxic friends or be even better ones. But what about those times when we're the ones who have actually been the friend that was toxic and didn't make the cut in our now ex-friend's "new year, new me" stance?
Yes, I've been that friend. While it's been a while since it's happened to me, I've been there. And sometimes there's this status quo that we're bad people because we didn't get the hint or didn't realize we were still growing. But in essence, while having a friend pull away from us is hurtful, there's certainly a lesson in it.
1. Do Some Self-Reflecting.
Whether she told you outright why she didn't want to be friends anymore, or you received a certain vibe that made it clear, that awkward first phase of no longer being friends is the perfect time to do a little self-reflecting. As hard as it is to admit, you could very well be the one who dropped the ball in the friendship. Whether it was not being supportive, or just not being there when she needed you the most, it's vital to look at things from her point of view. Sometimes we don't realize how we're treating other people, especially if we're going through things ourselves. We could be looking for someone to be there and support us, and not miss their multiple signals of them needing the same. That's the thing about being a friend, sometimes we have to be one even in those moments when we need it the most. I know that I've fallen short of this multiple times.
While those first moments of this lost friendship were me racking my brain about why she was "acting funny," sometimes it's better to just let it go. While we might wonder why she didn't just say something instead of cutting you off altogether, she really might have tried. That's where this self-reflecting comes in. Don't get me wrong. It's not about beating yourself up because you didn't answer your phone when she called or thinking of yourself as less than because you just weren't a good friend in some moments, it's really just about reflecting on what signals you missed and how you can become better for the friends that you do still have.
2. Forgive, Let Go, And Let God.
Having a friend ghost us is pretty painful, but you gotta forgive her sis. As tempting as it is to get those Twitter fingers rolling, this isn't the time to write subliminal messages on Facebook and Twitter (do people still do that?) trying to get her attention and share your side of the story. At the end of the day, people come into our lives for a reason, season, or a lifetime. Maybe the season of your friendship was over, and God had to show you that you weren't meant to be friends forever. As much as we want those life-long friendships we see in The Best Man, we have to be okay when that doesn't work out, even if it seemed like we didn't have anything to do with the decision and got the short end of the stick. You don't even have to let her know that you forgive her, unless the conversation comes up. If it doesn't, just make your own resolve within yourself that you're going to move forward.
3. Don’t Think You’re A Bad Person.
It's so easy to think that just because someone dropped us, we're not worthy of being a friend with anyone. You never know, she could have been going through her own thing and for whatever reason, showed her own true self to you. Just because you were the one who didn't do the ghosting doesn't mean that you're a terrible person. Even if it was because you were a bad friend, there's a lesson in it (some that might be best worked out in therapy). I've been known to be loyal to a fault. I've ignored those signs of "when someone shows you who they are believe them." Still, in those same situations, even knowing that the other person wasn't the healthiest friend for me, I never ghosted them. So when they did it to me, while it was hurtful, there was no way it was because I was a bad person. At times, you might be the friend who's dropped because your now ex-friend couldn't handle your success, or your new lifestyle if you've had a major change recently. Either way, you getting dropped doesn't mean that you're a bad person.
4. Let It Make You Better.
Once you get over the shock of losing your friend, and over the realization that it's very possible you were to blame, shake it off. I know, it sounds so minimal and so easy, yet it can make a big impact sis. Seriously. Sometimes we don't understand that losing a close friend is just as (and sometimes even more) painful than going through a breakup. But just like romantic relationships, even when you played a major part, it doesn't mean you're banned from ever having a relationship again. It just means you had to learn about yourself. Even though we might have thought we were beyond that lesson and are too old to be learning it, I completely understand being a late bloomer. At the end of day, you just have to put your life back together, reflect, and become a better person because of it. It's never too late to do that.
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