On friendship (or a broken one in particular)

ImageI think I am a good friend. I mean, I never took one of those online or girly/trashy magazine tests to find out. I never carried out a survey amongst my friends (hmm…). I never flat out asked around, “Hey! So am I a good friend or what?” But I have kept friends for many years, over great and small distances. I keep in touch. I know what’s going on with my friends. I share their happiness when something good happens to them, and I feel their pain or sorrow when life is not treating them so kindly. And I care. Genuinely. When a friend is not doing well, I worry. I think about them. I even seek advice from other friends to figure out the best way to help.

That being said, I still don’t know what to do when a friendship is broken. A broken friendship is not the same as a friendship that has waned. Friendships wane for all sorts of reasons, but usually, there are no hurt feelings, no anger or resentment. You actually keep fond memories and wish them well. Life just has a way of making some people slip in and out of your path.

A broken friendship happens for a bad reason. There is hurt. Some anger. Some sadness. A mix of other emotions.

Of course, arguments are a part of any relationships. We cannot always agree on everything. When a friend sheds a very different light on a situation, it might be hard to swallow on the spot, but if the comments were made in the true spirit of friendship, you will think back on it later on and see some truth to it, even if it might hurt a little to stomach it.

I will admit a big flaw of mine, I am not very good at confronting people. I have trouble putting my emotions into words. With most of my friends, I can do it, but it takes time (on my part) and patience and understanding (on theirs). So when I am faced with a broken frienship (as is the case now, as you probably already guessed) with someone who is very stubborn and not prone to listen to others, I am at a loss as to what I should do. With most of my friends, after a little bit of time, I can find the courage to tell them my feelings were hurt because I know they will take the time to listen before they jump in and explain their point of view. With this particular friend, I cannot seem to find that courage because I’m not sure that person would listen to me.

And so now I am left with the feeling that perhaps this person was never a true friend at all.