Friendships When They Sour

I’m revisiting this topic because I feel it necessary to bestow my worldly wisdom on the massive bloggers out there. I also feel the urgent need to be heard because it is a subject that seems to be a shared, if not common, experience…and I also think that I am the center of the universe and everyone should heed my advice. As a matter of fact, they should cling to it with insistent severity, as if it were their life’s blood.

Lemme tell you why I am so focused on this particular subject: The BFF I’ve written about before made the vain attempt to re-establish her friendship with me recently. I found it disconcerting to say the least, and the cynic in me couldn’t help but also believe that it was also due to the ever approaching holiday season. (Whether or not that’s true is beside the point). Just follow along here with me, people.

So she sends me an email. A mite impersonal–to be sure–but I gave her the benefit of the doubt until I got to the content of the email. The email was titled something like, “Apology” or “Apologies” which was an excellent beginning. It went downhill from there, though. Real fast. On roller-skates. In restrospect, the title should have been more penitent. Something like: “I’m-now-begging-for-forgiveness-and-it-took-this-long-for-me-to-write-because-I-maimed-myself-as-punishment” or “I-wrote-this-email-because-I-am-vermin-and-didn’t-want-to-besmear-you-with-the-sound-of-my-voice” or “How-could-someone-so-low-speak-to-someone-so-high”? Or something like that. But alas, I didn’t get my wish. I got an ‘I-miss-you’ with a laundry list reiterating why I sucked as a friend in the first place. Basically, she nullified her apology.

When they’re good: “I’m really, really, really sorry. I was a butt-hole. Let me bow to your greatness and kiss your feet for being graced by your presence. Please, please, please take me back as your friend…please oh please!!”

When they’re bad: “But I still want it to be clear I felt you crossed the line in criticizing Mr. X and, subsequently, our relationship. In all the years I have known you, and the boyfriends I had known you with, I was very careful never to say anything disparaging about any of them, and only to offer advise to what woes you imparted to me, To call me drunk and tell me Mr. X was not good enough for me, and that it should be me and Mr. Y, well, it left a bad taste in my mouth, and still does, like a metallic blood taste.”

Yes, she’s back (or at least in her mind) and already off to a great new start don’t ya think? She has apologized via email–which is my first pet peeve. Be woman enough to confront me or at the very least drop a written note (preferably in ‘metallic’ blood) begging for my forgiveness after what she’s put me through. It’s the least she could do. But what do I get? I get an email riddled with finger-pointing which isn’t even close to being kind. Note my level of anger here. Let’s just say we have a longer history worthy of something more than a couple of impersonal emails.

So let’s get this straight. Some apologies are noteworthy, heartfelt. Others are just plain scathing and vindictive. Hers was the latter. So I decided to forewarn the bloggi-verse: When is a friendship over??

First we must evaluate several scenarios (from a female standpoint):

  1. One BFF (a.k.a. Best Friend Forever) says something, the other takes it the wrong way.
  2. One BFF says something about the other which is intentionally hurtful and vindictive.
  3. One BFF feels betrayed by the other (Especially concerning boyfriends or ex’s).
  4. One BFF feels the other cheated them out of money and/or goods. Also: See #3
  5. One BFF is jealous and goes all “single-white-female” on the other.

Did I miss any? I dunno. Tell me if I did. All I know is that it is never easy to let go of the friendship or opt to stay when there’s so much bitterness and anger hanging in the air. I’ve already said that sometimes it’s best to move on, but some blog readers felt that this decision wasn’t always right. So here is an appendage to that original idea I had.

When Is It Right to Stay Friends?

Good question. No one can answer this for you. You have to do some desperate soul-searching here, kids. So she destroyed your reputation and slept with your boyfriend? For some people that’s enough to delete every trace email and obliterate the friend’s address from their “Buddy List”. But for others, it is just a test of their friendship. I guess some people are just bigger than that. Good for those people who can look beyond these failing friendships and stick true-blue until the end of time! I am not so trusting. But hey, different strokes for different folks, right? Someone else had told me that a great friend should stick to the three E’s: Enrichment, Encouragement, and Enlightenment. I wish things were so simple. I read an email once that said something to the effect of: ‘I’ll be there to hold your hair when you get sick praying to the porcelain gods.’ I always thought, Ewww. I still think Ewww. I don’t want to be anywhere near my sick friends. I’d rather just call her later when she’s feeling better. No matter.

You and your friends should set the boundaries early. Both of you should try to stick to them. Most will fail. My main thing is that friends should love each other. There should be no ulterior motive. Just hang out, feel groovy every now and then, and then leave it there. Too clingy never works, too bossy never works, too demanding never works. Just keep it cool and straight and don’t let issues fester. That’s it and that’s all.

I hope you learned something. If you didn’t , then next time pay attention and bring your #2 pencil and take notes…you slouch!


About Lisa Perez

Lisa M. Perez is a published poet, editor, copywriter, public speaker and artist. The co-creator of the first ever ArtSpace in Jersey City, member of IUOMA (International Union of Mail Artists), and administrator for an online Mail Art group, Lisa supports the arts and advocates for creativity. Her successful, Art Journal and "Notes from my Brain" series are ongoing projects that evolve with the artist. In addition to being an active blogger since 2005, Lisa scripts and edits copy for various online articles and videos. In September 2017, she was a guest-speaker and virtually chaired a YOGA Recovery meeting. In her spare time, Lisa studies, reads, and creates while maintaining a day job in a STEM field and being a full-time fur-mommy to her shih-tzu, Cher.
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3 Responses to Friendships When They Sour

  1. JulieWinters says:

    The other day I came across a note that had been laying in my pocket ever since my friends had been fired about three months ago…I mention because it’s poinient. It goes as follows: It has been three years since I first walked through the doors of Patient Finance. I was taught alot of things about finance from everyone in the staff, but their was one group that stood out. They were two ladies who didn’t only treat me as a co-worker, but made me feel welcomed into their lives. The hand of friendship was extended to me after hours. We would celebrate birthdays, holidays, have lunch, share laughter and eventually tears together. Better friends there could never be, but the day came when my friends had to walk out of the doors of Patient Finance. This was a dark day because I knew although we would keep in contact for awhile, sooner than later we would drift apart. The dynamic in my life is no longer the same. Though the casim is great in my heart, I’m greatful they were put in my path at all. And, for that I rejoice. People are there when we need them, and drift when we don’t, but there is always going to be one person you can count on…and that’s me:) You were my first friend, and you’ll be the last:) Lovin’ you, girie;P
    -Brownie Palisades

  2. nprosario says:

    Ok so I can so see how much you are hurting over this bust up. Does your ex-bff read your blog? If she does then I’m sure she knows what’s up. I’m glad that you have found a venue to vent. Even though we just met, I sincerely hope that one day you will call me a friend. God bless!

  3. MeMa13 says:

    OMG! I just read Julie’s response and I am kvelting! I hope you understand that I love you too and will always be your bff till the end. I guess I sometimes forget how important it is to have family fill in the void of the shortcomings of friends past.
    I love you immensely…

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