Defriending

I’m sure everyone’s image of themselves is very different to the reality.

I like to think I’m laidback. I’m probably annoyingly laissez-faire. I like to think I get on with most people. I’m probably over-eager and a little like a Labrador puppy (friends with everyone but just as likely to puke in your lap as fall asleep on your feet). I like to think that I have my amusing moments. My sarcasm is probably hurtful and overbearing.

And it’s as I reflect on these flaws in my personality that I realise, with sadness, that my defects have caused me to lose more than one friend in the last few months.

The most obvious of these is Sir Charmsalot. A guy who I used to speak to every day without fail.The one person I could count on for company (annoying as it was sometimes). My closest friend here. Disappeared off the face of the earth.

We had a stand-up row about 3 months ago, late one night, after some wine had been consumed. He accused me of being a bad friend. He accused me of not caring. He accused me of being mean. He accused me of a lot of things. He told me that he had wanted to break our friendship off for months but felt guilty and so decided to give me one more chance.

Eventually I gave up. I stopped arguing. I capitulated. I stopped instigating conversations and meetings. Everything was quiet in return. Days turned into weeks into months. Nothing.

I’ve tried to move on with things (work has been helping in this respect) but it still hurts. It hurts to think that there’s something fundamentally wrong with me. Something that someone close to me hates so much, he’d rather give up on a friendship than talk to me about.

And yet I notice that, on a list of “people I need to buy a Christmas present for”, his name isn’t there. I think that hurts me the most.

—–

I texted a girlfriend this afternoon.

“Is everything ok?”

 

“Sure, why?”

…came the reply.

“Ok, no reason. It’s just we haven’t spoken in an age. And I notice I’ve been defriended on facebook! Just wanted to make sure I hadn’t done something to upset you.”

Silence.

Later…

“I didn’t appreciate the way you treated me last time we met. I’m not angry, I just want a little space”.

Silence.

My confusion grows. What happened last time we met? Did I inadvertently say something, do something. I think back. It was raining. I was cold. I’d just left a house party and said we’d meet at the pub for a quick drink. I was hungover to the back teeth. She bought me a drink. It rained some more. We moved under a sheltered group of stairs. We stood, we chatted for a while. I nursed my pint. It got to 12 ish. “Time to go home”, says I. We said a brief goodbye and I walked home. I shuffled down the hill. I collapsed into bed, not even bothering to take off my make up.

As I run through the night in my head I try and figure out what might have gone wrong. Was it because I didn’t stay out as late as I normally do? Was it because some other people joined us for a bit? Was it because I didn’t (couldn’t) finish my drink? Was it because I didn’t buy her a drink back? All these questions seem stupid. We couldn’t fall out over such small things, could we?

—–

And maybe this is the problem. Maybe what I see as a “small problem” isn’t. Maybe when I’m feeling a bit rubbish, my grumpiness is actually meanness. Maybe my sarcasm is actually thinly-veiled bitchiness.

This self-examination doesn’t come easily to me and it certainly isn’t comfortable.

I don’t like making people sad, or angry, or disappointed. I don’t like the feeling that I’ve let someone down. I don’t like the thought that I’ve been mean to someone (although, frankly, there are some people out there who deserve all the scorn I can heap on them) and I certainly don’t like not being able to talk to my friends.

So where do I go from here?

Onward? Upward?

Who knows.

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6 Responses to Defriending

  1. Addy says:

    I’m saying this with fingers crossed, touching wood and holding out a big olive branch, but in the two cases you mention there is one thing in common…… booze. When we have all had a bit too much to drink, our inhibitions go and we say what we really feel, without cushioning it. It might well be the truth, but it’s how we say it that turns it from a well-meaning bit of advice to a hurtful sting. Whatever you said to these two has obviously hurt big time. If you value their friendship, you’ll have to go back to them and eat humble pie, apologise, say, now that some time has passed, it was the booze talking and you didn’t mean it quite in that way, that you miss them like crazy and can you start again. Hope that helps.

    • nuttycow says:

      Hey Addy –

      As far as I can tell, it wasn’t something I had said or done while under the influence (yes, a couple of glasses of wine but that’s not much compared to what happens when we normally go out!) I think as looby says below, the unclear nature of their complaint is what confused me the most!

      Anyway, we’ll see. They both know where I am if they want to get back in touch.

      Hope all’s well with you. x

  2. looby says:

    But if she doesn’t know what she’s supposed to be apologising for how can she frame something to say to them?

    We’ve all done and said things that have gone awry under drink (and when sober too–it’s not just to do with drink) but people need to be more precise in what’s gone wrong. In neither of these instances do we know what precise things happened to piss the other person off.

    • nuttycow says:

      I think that’s the confusing thing about both situations – I had no idea what it was that I had done wrong. I’m all for people telling me the truth and discussing things, but if they won’t tell me what needs to change, I can’t change it.

  3. soup says:

    I don’t know what you said or what you did or whether you were in the wrong to the degree that you deserve to be “defriended” but I do know that friendships break up sure as romantic relationships do.

    They’re no less painful and sometimes they are all the more confusing because we don’t give them the same thought that we do when we step out of the life of a Significant Other in the romantic sense. It seems we can’t pour our hearts out over them in the same way. Society doesn’t pat you on the back and tell you it’ll be alright.

    I had a friend from the age of 12 and we were thick as thieves. One day, aged 20 or 21, I found myself on a flight from Ibiza to Bristol, where my family picked me up after three days of a holiday with her. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what I did. But I do know is that she couldn’t stand me as we stood face to face in a little campsite on the west of the island. I know I got a taxi to the airport and the next standby home.

    We never spoke again. Whatever it was, I don’t think it was *that* bad. I loved her dearly. I’ll never know.

    But I know that it happens. There have been people close to me in my life and they’ve left me and I’ve left them.

    I suppose it’s for you to now ascertain whether they are just angry (for whatever – Looby makes a good point, you don’t even know what!) and they’ll calm down or whether those doors are closed. If it’s a case that you could go back, you might find you don’t want to – I know that despite all the tears I shed over C, I wouldn’t have tried to fix whatever it was because of the way she shut me out. I would say that it’s one thing to be sorry for something you may have done – provided you know what it is – but it’s another to be lorded over.

    And if those friendships are over, know that some things just aren’t build forever. It’s ok for people to come and go in your life, even if they are the ones you expect to stay. It’s not nice, it hurts, but sometimes that is life.

    I hope you’re ok. Feel like I’ve dropped off the planet myself in the past year or so. Trying to get my online life back together.

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