Day 219 Question 219:
How do you know when to end a friendship/relationship?
I am the type of person that will hold on with dear life to my relationships. Even through the hardest of times I will hold onto friendships and relationships because I hate the thought of losing people in my life. Since gaining some wisdom in my adult years, I have learned that it is inevitable that people are going to come in and out of your life at a rapid pace. There will be times when more people exit your life than you could imagine and those are the times that feel the hardest because it bruises you. It makes you feel at fault….doubting yourself and wondering what you did wrong or what you could have done differently. There are times in my past that the loss of friendships or relationships were undoubtedly my fault. At the age of 33 I have learned that the only thing I can do is take ownership, mend any open wounds and move forward.
I have always been the type to believe that relationships (of any form) should just be completely natural and I even (maybe being a little naïve) thought that work was unnecessary if it was a real relationship. I am learning that work is necessary in all things if we want to learn and in relationships it is a continual learning process. Last night I watched the Oprah and Rihanna interview and of course, they discussed the incident in which Rihanna was beat up by Chris Brown. In the interview Rihanna told Oprah that she forgave Chris Brown and she did still love him. Of course, the majority of people watching probably gasped in absolute shock. The way she explained herself though, I found to be beautiful. Chris Brown (even though I find him to be a total douche) is someone she knew on a very personal level….on a level that most people did not know him. After the incident occurred, she felt angry and betrayed and deeply hurt but her immediate thought was that she wanted him to get help. She didn’t want to harm him or live with a hatred inside herself toward him. She knew there was a deep rooted issue within him that needed to be dug out and she knew he needed help. She didn’t open herself up to him right away but after a good bit of time, she slowly began a friendship with him again. I struggled watching this because I was unsure of where my feelings were lying. It is easy as an outsider to hate this person for his actions but like I said, I am an outsider. We don’t know the ins and outs of every person’s relationships so judgment should be minimal. People are going to give us hell for our decisions no matter what….but it is the decision of each one of us individually on whether or not to continue or cut off a relationship/friendship.
So, what is the last straw? I am not the type of person to just speak immediately with hatred or curse someone to the death. People are destined to make mistakes (even big ones). Everything is dependent on how people handle those mistakes. For me, I am willing to forgive but I admit to having a hard time forgetting and if someone repeats the same mistakes over and over again then that is the time I know I need to walk away. I want to help people if I can but I can’t help people that don’t want to help themselves. I believe this is why I lost people in my life in the past….I was doing nothing to help myself and people grew sick of it. Right now I am at a point in my life where I see how fast life passes us by and how time marches on at an insane pace so I have decided to negate those people in my life that serve no beneficial purpose. I know that may sound selfish but I find it important to surround myself with people that will help me learn and grow and people that I genuinely enjoy being around. This benefits me and hopefully I am able to benefit them in the same way. I see no point in maintaining relationships anymore with people that continually complain about bitch about their circumstances when they are fully capable of changing them. I know so many girls that whine and complain about how they aren’t good enough or no guys like them or their job is just so awful….well I can only give my advice so many times before I must decide to walk away from the negativity. I have changed my life so drastically that I have learned that surround myself with chronic complainers and non-doers is just not an option anymore. Life is full of opportunities and if others cannot see it then that if for them to deal with…not me. Don’t get me wrong, people will have struggles and I will be there for my friends and family when they hit low points in their lives….the people I speak of are the ones that are continually living in the low points….the people that can never see the silver lining (or just outright refuse to).
Romantic relationships I struggle a little bit more with. I have not had a long-term relationship in over 5 years and the last one I was in was just plain ugly. I stayed in a verbally abusive relationship for way longer than I ever should have and by the time all was said and done, I was broken and completely lost in life. This relationship has been (thus far) the biggest and most important learning experience of my life. I have come to learn though that in the quest to protect myself from this kind of abuse and harm ever again, I have shut myself off from pretty much all men. I admit (and I am not proud of this) that I tend to believe all men are going to disappoint and hurt me…even before I give them a chance….even before I know them. This is an area I need to fix in my life. Taking chances is one of the best adventures in life…even if it does mean getting hurt from time to time. Falling down does not necessarily have to be the worst thing in life….because the getting back up stronger than you were before makes it so well worth it. This is the hardest battle I fight at this point in my life. This is my place of imbalance. It is something I am aware of but have a hard time changing. I hold onto certain things that I know I need to let go of because the past is the past and now is now. I assume the worst before anything even happens and I think this radiates off me and causes relationship failures. I believe you get what you put out there and in this department I tend to be a cynic. I am progressing though and awareness is the first step…baby steps if you will.
I believe friendships and relationships are worth fighting for because we have so much to learn from each other. I do not believe in walking away after one argument or one mishap but there comes a time in life when you know what is good for you and what is not. Life moves so fast and it truly is not worth holding onto things that do not make you feel your absolute best. We can help people in life but we should not have to try to change people so they will fit us. It is ok that there are people out there that we do not want to befriend or those we need to let go of. Letting go does not need to be done out of hatred….just out of self-bettering.
true !!! i agree with your opinion !!
An excellent topic, IMO, and, after forty years of relationships, I don’t think it can be said better than your last paragraph. Thanks, Diane!
Reblogged this on A FRESH START.
Anyone who has ever been truly admitted into my Friendship Clubhouse has never needed to be thrown out! Learning to separate friendly acquaintances from true friends in one’s heart is the key.
I wanted to tell you that I was talking to a friend the other day about my blog and I mentioned you and told him how you were like my online grandma 🙂 I don’t have any grandparents alive so I appreciate your words so very much 🙂
Wow, Bravo! Most beautiful post I have read today! As one who went from a circle of hundreds to a support system of three, I can relate to SO MUCH of your account here. Good friendships are vital, as is intimacy, to our wholeness but as you said they aren’t without work and they can’t be taken for granted. Keep on going.
When it’s giving you more grief than happiness.
I send my love, support and friendship in appreciation and congratulations on the contribution that you make, Your writing, courage and most magnificent Post Today, amidst many! Linda
Diane, I really needed to read this today. This issue has been on my mind for some time. It was brought to the forefront when I was writing wedding invitations. My life as an expat means that I meet people frequently that I get along with, some better than others. The friends I have made over the years have become closer to me, in some respects, than my friends at home in the UK. When I was writing my invites, I decided that if I hadnt spoken to or had some contact with over the past few years then chances were the people who were once friends had drifted. This meant quite a few of my old friends, who I haven’t spoken to in YEARS, haven’t met my daughter or really know my now husband, didn’t get an invite. It was such a tough decision to make…there wasn’t one event that ended the relationship, it just ended. A few deleted me from facebook, which made me sad, but I know it was the right thing to do, I was able to spend my wedding day with the amazing people in my life now.
Then, there’s my best friend, we love each other dearly but our lives are so different now, it seems all we do is disagree. We are drifting apart and I can feel it. We’ve been friends for 16 years, been through so much together, but right now I’m struggling to figure out if thats the only reason we hold on to our friendship. I don’t know where we go from here. We’re both happy in our own lives so living without each other, I know we would be fine. She’s not bad for me in any way, she doesn’t moan about life, etc….we just don’t need each other anymore. My husband thinks I should just let things happen, if its meant to be, it’ll be, etc.
Sorry, thats a bit of a long one…
Thanks for letting me vent on this issue again….