It’s commonplace to hear about long-lasting friendships and about the beauty of friendships in general.
That’s wonderful…but where’s the conversations about those friendship failures?
I’ve had quite a few of those in my life. Honestly, I’ve had more of these failures than I’d admit publicly.
The first question I’m asked when I mention the many failed friendships I’ve had is – What’s wrong with you?
Trust me, I’ve asked myself that many times. I’ve concluded that I’m certainly not everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to being a friend; however, I’m also a very good friend.
My lack of expressiveness sometimes causes problems in my friendships. Also my love of solitude and quiet time doesn’t bode well with many individuals. Not to mention, how the chronic illnesses which take residence in my body can sometimes make it difficult to spend time with friends.
I remember the time I changed the plans to hang out with a friend at the last minute due to my unpredictable chronic illness flare. Notice I said I changed the plans, not canceled outright!
That was the last time me and this individual hung out. I thought we were on our way to becoming lifelong friends…our relationship didn’t make to two years.
There was another lovely individual that I bonded with nearly instantly. We were fast friends! Well during the second year of our relationship we had a disagreement about lifestyle choices. After that fateful conversation we never said as much as hello to one another again.
This particular situation was difficult because during our brief friendship we’d made plans to be in each other’s lives for major events like marriage, children, career milestones. Oh we were so optimistic, yet we chose to terminate communication with each other after just one conversation that highlighted a disagreement about lifestyle.
Then there was also this individual who I called my best friend and felt like they were a sibling to me…our friendship lasted for years. Honestly, it was on and off so when I really consider the times we were actively friends I must say it lasted only about four years.
This particular friend and I had a disagreement about my choices and the relationship ended, never to be mended. The reason I say it will never be mended is because I have no real idea why it ended. We grew apart rapidly and I continued to be friends with our mutual friends. Much to the dismay of this individual
I often hear individuals say that people enter into your life for a season. That may be true, but even with that understand friendship failures are difficult.
I can often be overly optimistic when it comes to friends. I’ve also been known as someone who is too forgiving and always there for individuals even if they are no longer my friends
For example one of my former friends called me early one morning – around 3am – I was asleep. The ringing of my phone woke me up, so I answered. Short of a few significant others who worked early mornings or late night, no one called me at 3am unless it was emergent.
I was shocked when I saw my former friend’s name on the telephone screen; but I answered. This individual was having a hard time and needed a friend. They even told me during that conversation – that although they no longer talked to me they knew that I would be there whenever they needed me.
It was a long call but the crisis was averted before the conversation ended. I didn’t end the conversation expecting the flat lined relationship to suddenly gain life. I’m very thankful that I didn’t hold a grudge and I was able to be the friend I desired others to be for me.
I have many wonderful friends and I’ve learned how to be a better friend. No lessons were quite as impactful as my friendship failures.