Friend or control freak?
I had a girlfriend for 2 years. We got along great, shared secrets about each others' lives, personal stuff not for the neighborhood to know about. Our families have interacted - BBQ's at each house, parties to early dawn, kids get along well, out to lunches with "the girls", etc. When she and I and another girlfriend went out for breakfast one day a few months ago, the friend I'm talking about, opened a magazine and started browsing through it. The two of them started commenting about the stories in the magazine, so I went and got a magazine also. It felt really weird that she would read a magazine rather than talk. Also, at my son's birthday party, halfway through she said they were leaving, and didn't even join us for cake or eats afterward. She said she had to rent videos. The rest of us kids had a blast finishing bowling. She yells at her husband and tells him to shut up all the time, acts disrespectful to him in front of me and others. She interrupts me when I'm trying to have a conversation. Her behavior makes me feel uncomfortable.
When we were exchanging e-mails, she asked me just the other day if there was something wrong, that I seemed to want to be involved and do things with her and our other friend, and then I withdraw. So, I finally told her the things I've written here, a couple of other things. I told of the time when my son and I got back from Disneyland last October and I was showing her and our other friend the pictures and telling our story of our trip, she told the story herself (see she's from S. California and has been to D-land lots). So, it has been frustrating, but I feel honesty is the best policy and I didn't call her any names or make up any stories of what she does to make me feel so uncomfortable. Just the facts. She has not contacted me to tell me her side of the story or explain herself, apologize or anything.
She just sent me a funny story with pictures on it, until at the end you can see an asshole. Do you think that was a hint? Ha ha ha. All in all, I think I lost a buddy. I've talked with someone totally out of this friendship loop, someone I've known for 9 years, someone I just explained the facts to, and I talked to my Mom. Both said to drop the friendship if it makes me feel icky inside. So, boo hoo.
Should I call this "friend" and get her to explain herself to me so that there might be reconciliation? Or should I let bygones be bygones and go on with my happy life?
Friendship can at times be as strong as steel and as fragile as paper. Friendships typically formed from a basis of common interests, aspirations and thoughts. However, there are different purposes for friendships. Some we cherish for the rest our lives and other are intermittent relationships from which we grow and face challenges.
Since it is obvious that you feel deep and compassionate friendship for this woman, the mere fact that you wrote about her, indicated you cared for her and at some point felt good about the relationship. If this is the case you must communicate with her your feelings. If you find yourself too emotional to speak with her, write her a letter. A letter may very well explain it all, with the passion you feel. By honestly expressing your feelings and establishing boundaries in your relationship, you will be acknowledging your personal needs and fostering a relationship built on mutual respect.
Do not leave out any detail, although you may be redundant (as you stated you had tried to address your concerns before). Let her know what hurts you and how. Tell her you would like dialogue. Your approach should be one that is pro-active and not reactive. Meaning, project your message in a positive framework. There is no need for you to express yourself aggressively to make your point understood. Use statements that identify your feelings and ask her to make the same statements concerning her feelings. Reading your post, there are items that are not clear. Is there possibly some other issues at hand here. Something like: jealousy or envy in her interactions with you.
Oftentimes people misdirect their frustrations toward the people we most care about. Lack of self esteem can make a person susceptible to fear resulting in lashing out rather than embracing change and learning.
When closing your letter, let her know that you value her friendship, but it is her call now, to go on to the next step. Allow her time to contemplate your letter and respond to it as she feels appropriate. You cannot make demands on a response and she may very well not have one. Or at least not the response you anticipated. If she does not respond, then she has made a choice to do so, based on her perception. Find comfort that you have openly and honestly expressed yourself and despite the possibility of a friend loss; you have stood up for your needs in your personal relationships. This will long outlast this particular experience and will be a foundation from which you can draw upon life long.
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