I think that losing friends is worse than losing a man. Men are soo replaceable. But your girlfriends? Not so much. I’m fresh out of a situation where a group of friends that I’ve had for over 20 years, I probably will never speak to again. What started off as a minor issue over trying to plan a group vacation deteriorated so badly one would wonder if we were ever friends in the first place. Which leads me to my next questions. Were we? Were we ever really friends?
I would have to say no, I don’t think we were. It wasn’t always that way though. But at what point did things begin to breakdown? It is so easy to point the finger and say so and so did this and so and so did that. I recently posted a meme that said, “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”. You can’t avoid the pain that comes with living life, but you most definitely choose how long you let what hurt you, haunt you. To avoid any suffering from this situation, I have to ask myself what role did I play? What mistakes did I make? how is this my fault? What should I have done different? To avoid suffering, I have to use this as opportunity to grow and become a better person. I have to own my shit.
I believe the breakdown was gradual. And it wasn’t due to group dynamics. It was due to individual dynamics that were projected onto the group. But I can’t speak on anyone’s individual dynamics but my own. One of my fatal character flaws is my mismanagement of anger. I’ve made tremendous strides with controlling my anger, but I’ve still got a ways to go. When I’m angry, I say whatever comes to my mind. I can admit that I spew venom. When I feel attacked, all bets off. One way I’ve addressed that is through writing. For example, if my boyfriend does something that makes me angry, I will write exactly how I’m feeling and what I need to say instead of going off in the heat of the moment. More often than not, it’s only a matter of me getting my feelings out. After I write it down, I’m over it. And 9 times out of 10, I don’t even need to discuss it further with him. I’ve done this with family members as well. It’s worked wonders to preserve relationships that otherwise could have gone up in flames…If only I’d done it with my friends.
Two issues that I need to correct:
1. I said mean things out of anger that wouldn’t have bothered me if I wasn’t angry.
2 . I said them to someone else instead of using my tried and true journal.
But there’s a third thing that I need to correct, Drumroll please….
3. I need to mind my own m****f***ing business!
The only thing I need to be concerned about is me. The only relationship I need to worry about is mines. The only issues that I need to worry about are mine. Give people the space and grace to figure out life as best they see fit and leave it at that. Energy is our most precious commodity and it is best utilized when directed inward.
Now back to the part about if we were ever really friends in the first place. When you’ve been friends with someone for decades, people change. They go through things (good and bad) that can sometimes change the core of who they are. The people you knew and loved 5 years ago may not be the people you want to know and love now. But how do you say that? I have no idea! So what happens? You continue the friendship and you hold on until finally the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, breaks the friendship.
So my advice on dealing with the ultimate breakup:
1. Own your shit. Own up to how you contributed to the loss of the friendship. For me it was my misdirected anger and subsequent words. Then running my mouth (“venting”) to someone else in the midst of that anger, and last not minding my own business.
2. Realize the root issue may be the friendship has simply run its course and instead of trying to hold on, just let it go.
3. Learn from your mistakes and Send everyone off on their way wishing them nothing but the best life has to offer. Never forgetting that these people were once the very best part of your life.
Kathleen, “The Nutritional Truth Teller” is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, and a Certified Vaginal Steam Facilitator. She is the owner of Beauty In A Barbell Nutrition, whose sole mission is to optimize the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the Black community through African Holistic Health. She carries with her the ancestral knowledge and wisdom of the medicine men, women, healers and warriors she lovingly calls her ancestors.