Losing A Friend Made Me A Better Person (with screenshots of the whole fight)
I lost my oldest and best friend.
It ended really badly.
I’m going to tell you all about it (with screenshots).
What happened, why we fell apart and whether I think it’s worth salvaging.
I’ve struggled with female friendships for the longest time.
When I was 15, my closest group of girlfriends decided to shun me because a silly misunderstanding.
It was a hard time in my life. I had just moved out of home so I needed these friendships more than ever.
Watching them exclude me was the first and only time I seriously considered suicide.
I moved on since then and created new friendships (but struggled to rely on my girl-friends emotionally in the same way again).
The whole time I was in school, I only continued my friendship with one friend.
She was great.
Until she wasn’t.
Over the 10 years of this friendship, we travelled together, supported each other and even participated in a threesome on a whim. We knew everything about each other and saw each other every few months.
Admittedly, we were very different people but somehow it worked.
- She had a lot of religious friends who were judgemental of me and my liberal behaviours. She stuck up for me.
- I allowed her space to explore her sexuality and talk about anything in a non-judgemental space.
- She behaved like a young sorority girl so she allowed me to be young and carefree
- I am strong-willed and not willing to deal with people’s silliness so I inspired her to create more boundaries
The dynamic was lovely until one incident when our friendship stopped working.
One day, she organised for me and 4 of her other best girl-friends (whom I barely knew) to go on a long weekend away interstate.
I didn’t know the other girls well but I agreed because
- It’s my best friend’s birthday and she asked and
- She was going overseas for one year for work.
This would be the last hoorah as they say.
So I go spend the whole weekend with her and four of her friends and something was wrong.
My best friend seemed passive-aggressive and annoyed throughout the whole weekend with everyone. I felt bad for her that she spent all that time planning this trip and wasn’t enjoying herself.
I myself was pretty fried that weekend after a particularly long work week.
Regardless, when we got back, I shot her a quick message to ask her if everything was okay with her as she seemed unhappy.
Her response shocked me.
This was her reply:
Sorry for the really delayed reply. I kept meaning to answer & would type, then get distracted.
Yeah, I was annoyed at you during the weekend. All these little things accumulated and probably why I would get irritated at you easily. Sorry about that!
My feelings started badly towards you when you sat at the pub and expected me to pick you up. I had arranged for [name] to pick 3 of you girls up at the station at a certain time, but its like you wanted special treatment. I was already stressed from work & was nearly at [name’s] place when [name] told me you werent with them, so I had to turn back.
During the weekend, I find you to be kind of lazy that you wouldn’t do things unless asked or suggested by others. You kind of sit and watch others, like when we were unpacking groceries. Eg. When preparing to leave, we were nearly constantly moving, putting other ppl’s stuff in the cars & checking whole house while you sat in the same chair for awhile. People had turns making tea/coffee for others, & you are mostly the first to make an order.
Sorry again for the delay! I wasnt trying to avoid replying.
I had night shifts last week so havent been able to get your sisters clothes drycleaned. Please tell her I will get it done by end of this week!
Btw, i made another bday event but didnt invite you & the girls cos its with the other ppl I havent celebrated with. Hope you have a good weekend.
I had no idea her problem was with me.
I never got any indication and was completely unaware the whole time.
This was my reply:
Hey babe, gosh I’m so sorry I had no idea I had done so many things wrongly. I waited at the pub because I specifically didn’t want to bother anyone. Regardless, I appreciate you telling me these things. I’ve never gone away with girls before so I really just wanted to stay out of everyone’s hair. You all have some sort of group dynamic and I just didn’t want to mess with that. Some of your complaints come as a side effect of not wanting to get in anyone’s way. In any case, I’m not a very good caretaker and I don’t usually offer to do things for people but I take direction – I preferred that I was told what to do as opposed to ‘offering’ which doesn’t come naturally to me. I don’t have a lot of close female friends so I’ve never learnt.
Anyhow, I never meant to offend anyone so please give [name] and the others my sincerest apologies for any wrong-doing on my part. It was never meant. Please tell me what’s bothering you in future so I can fix it there and then. That way, you can still have a nice weekend and not have to continue being annoyed while I have no clue why.
Again, I’m really sorry if this affected your weekend away. You deserved to have a great last birthday before you go and I feel awful that I ruined it in some way.
Her response was pretty standard:
Don’t worry I still had a wonderful weekend away. I’ll try to let you know if I have any problems asap and you do the same with me too. Love you!
We shared pleasantries and left it at that. I was bewildered that all this was going on.
I genuinely thought this best friend would just tell me if anything was wrong and it would have literally be a 30 second conversation to discuss her and everyone’s needs.
I would never have agreed to go on the getaway otherwise.
I didn’t get the memo that I was supposed to be everyone’s mind reader. Maybe there’s standard protocol in close living situations that I had never been told about. I have never been in these situations.
Regardless, it left a bad taste in my mouth.
I thought that with time, this incident would go away and everything would be back to normal with our friendship.
But something had changed for me.
She had a farewell party a month later. I bought her a gift to support her but I just couldn’t share a deep moment with her about leaving.
I invited one of my friends to come with me so I wouldn’t have to be alone and when I hugged her goodbye, I simply said, ‘You’ll be fine. You’ll have a great time’. And left.
It was sad but real to me.
About a year later, she contacted me after she got back to Sydney and had already been there for a couple of weeks. I agreed to meet her but I wasn’t an idiot. I could see she felt similar to what I felt.
We were not close anymore but we were going to meet because well, how does one say no.
We kind of skirted around ‘schedule conflicts’ until I realised I needed to just be straight up with her.
This is what I wrote when I couldn’t sleep one night:
Hey babe, we’ve been friends for a very long time and I feel like I owe it to us to be completely honest.
Ever since the last year’s weekend with the girls, I have felt like perhaps you and I have become very different people. I feel like in that weekend, you had expectations from me that you didn’t voice which we have already talked about so that’s fine.
What I find really hurtful however and can’t seem to reconcile is the fact that I feel it’s likely you talked about me (i.e. bitched) to the other girls whilst I went about the weekend genuinely having no idea your passive aggressiveness had anything to do with me.
And to find out about it the way I did was frankly hurtful and made me [feel] like I was in high school. I genuinely thought we had a better friendship than that.
I have spent most of my adult life choosing friends who know what I’m about. I am and always will be selfish, however I am always considerate and open to do whatever is asked/expected of me.
To be in a situation where I’m around your friends trying to fit in the best I could, trying to stay out of everyone’s way and to realise that everyone else most likely knew something I didn’t and to realise furthermore that the cause of that is someone I consider a best friend who couldn’t be honest, upfront and treat me with respect, well I felt stupid – so much so that I had to reassess the friendship.
I know you’re not stupid.
I know you can feel that I couldn’t really be there for you in your farewell and haven’t made any effort to connect whilst you were gone.
This is probably also the reason you didn’t contact me until right before you were leaving.
I know there is a huge disconnect between us. This is me being as honest as I possibly can with you as again, I feel like our friendship deserves that.
I’m not in the right place to try to reconnect right now. I know it’s silly to be hurt by this and everything I’m saying is merely my perception of the events that happened.
It’s also likely that this is a major pain point for me which is probably a major reason why I don’t have many girlfriends. I just hope you’re having a great time over in the [country] and getting everything you wanted out of the experience. I will be travelling to the [country] next year and we can try catching up then. I wish you all the best. x
Her response was very telling to me:
Sorry for the delay in replying to you.
I only had a few days left in [country] after you sent your previous message so I used it to spend time with my family and friends.
Once I got back, I was busy with my new contract that I forgot to reply.
I don’t recall if I did talk about being annoyed at you to the other girls during that weekend. But I vividly recollect the intervention we were doing on [friend] who was having problems of a more serious nature.
To be honest, I don’t think it’s a problem even if I had discussed about you to them.
They are my friends and I don’t see why it would be wrong.
Plus, it’s not like my friends mistreated you in anyway.
Talking about one person to another does not stop in high school, it happens throughout life.
Discussing about people is one form of release and a way of obtaining a new perspective.
I doubt you haven’t talked about me too. People constantly change over the years as they are shaped by their experiences and so, they inevitably become altered people.
I have always known we are different from each other from the very beginning, but didn’t see it as anything unfavourable.
Our differences have made several people question our friendship over the years, but I defended it.
One of my friendships was even briefly soured as they heavily questioned it. I did say that I would try to let you know asap if I had problems with you.
But I guess you don’t respect our friendship enough to try to reconnect over a small event, even though it’s been more than a year. You would rather wait for at least 2 years to pass, and potentially in a different country.
As you didn’t bother to catch up, you are not informed of my current plans for next year to know where I will be. I am disappointed that you can easily discard our friendship over something so small, and it wasn’t even an accumulation of events.
I’ve had more serious problems with other people where both parties have gotten over it easier and quicker. I guess Im like the Seema and Anita in your life at the moment. I hope you find peace in your life that you don’t hold hostilities over petty things for so long.
Good luck with everything.
Here’s what I heard:
- She did not think there was anything wrong with talking behind my back to her other friends. (This is a HUGE deal to me probably due to the ill treatment I received by my friends with I was 15).
- Her friends did mistreat me behind my back. I know this from her original comment where she says ‘I remember at [name’s] place when she asked what drinks we wanted, [another friend] & I offered to help her make it. As we walked with her to the kitchen, she said that she wasn’t a waitress. In my world, that is direct disrespect in my world.
- She behaved as though I should be grateful that she defended me to her other ‘friends’ – no doubt overly religious people who I’ve never directly spoken to.
- She exhibited no understanding or attempt to try to understand why this was so important to me. Conversely, she made it sound like my problem was tiny and that I should just ‘get over it’.
Even if I could get over it, I would never trust her to have my back. She could become passive aggressive at any point, talk about me to friends I barely know and she didn’t see anything wrong with that.
I was so incredibly offended by her reply that I didn’t wish to dignify it with a response.
So I didn’t.
It was clear to me that this friendship was over.
I had lost my best friend but she was right about one thing..
Because of the extreme pain I felt losing my girl-friends at 15, I realised I was too harsh on my friendships. I cut people out of my life in a moment and never look back.
I could be cruel if I wanted and I never let people in fully.
I knew I had to learn to be more tolerant of people’s mistakes and work harder to reconcile and understand.
Over time after working on this, I have reconnected with old friendships I left behind. Some of these friendships have now become amazing.
And I’m definitely grateful this experience has taught me this. So I thank her for that.
But I have not lowered my expectations for what I want in my friendships.
I have a handful of friends that mean a great deal to me and I offer them my loyalty and trust in return for theirs.
And that’s all I need.
Can we be friends again after losing each other?
I did make an effort once.
About 1.5 years later, I shared a memory on Facebook with her and said ‘Hope you’re doing well’.
I received no reply.
I guess she decided there’s no room for me.
I get it.
I personally think there’s plenty of scope for us to be civil again.
In order to be best friends however, I think I would need for her to understand why her talking behind my back was so hurtful to me. I would also need to trust that she has my back and that she would tell me if something was wrong.
I don’t have bandwidth to try to mind read what people want. Besides, she behaved like she didn’t know me at all.
In all honesty, I think this incident made us both realise how different we really are.
I don’t see us being close friends again, though I have enough respect for the 10 year relationship to be open minded.
Honestly it makes me sad to think about still.
Who knows, maybe one day I’ll realise how silly this whole thing was. I’m okay with that being a possibility.
What I want from my friendships
After this whole debacle, I started thinking about what I need from a platonic friendship.
1. To have someone who understands me
The best part of a platonic friendship is being understood by someone close to you. To be cared about in a safe way. Where anything and everything can be discussed and support is readily available.
The friendship falls apart when both parties grow in different directions and understanding is difficult
– One is becoming more religious and the other moving away from religion.
– One is going through the hardship of raising a family and the other is enjoying partying and being single
– One is going to college and other is working as a valet
You start having less in common as you grow older.
2. To have someone always on your side
A great friendship is like a marriage. You know that person always has your back – regardless of how stupid you can be sometimes. They foster trust in the relationship and keep validating your role in their life as being super important.
The friendship falls apart when one person doesn’t put the other in the respectful priority position
– I have a party at my house and they’ll ‘see if they can make it’ aka ‘I’ll be there unless there’s a better offer.
– They are also friends with someone you dated as well and don’t immediately take your side.
3. To challenge you to be better without alterior motives
The best friendships grow together. They actively help one another to be more successful and confident. They want you to succeed and they’ll do everything in their power to make it happen. They’re one of your loudest cheerleaders.
The friendship falls apart when you have nothing to gain from the friendship. In fact, sometimes the relationship hurts you
– They don’t tell you the truth about a situation. They don’t point out what they see about you so you can learn to be better.
– They want you to feel insecure (often subconsciously). They compete with you. They make you feel undesirable by laughing at your imperfections. They talk about you to other people. You constantly feel insecure about the relationship.
Having thought about this has made me incredibly grateful for the friendships I do have. And I now understand which friendships I need to keep in my life.
What do you think about me losing my friend?
Am I being unreasonable and unjustly harsh. Do you understand why I took these steps and why I cannot see a friendship in the future?
Leave a comment and let me know!