There is an article in the Sunday NYT about how to break up with a friend. As I number them, there are many approaches. I remember when I was in a budding friendship with a young man and we hit a snag, he asked me if I would now give him perfunctory greetings on the bayou much the way I was doing with an old friend. What other answer is there but yes. There is no room to hold grudges, and sometimes there is no way to explain your position, get to the heart of the other’s position, and get both of you to gel. Things just are what they are.
Two days ago, a friend told me that she marvels at how I can sit back and not react sometimes when people say or do things. I said I learned this from my ex-husband. Things that have no clear resolution by airing them, are best left to what I have now coined as AID – Avoid, Ignore and Deflect.
Years ago, my company hired a man in a similar position to me, paid him double and gave him carte blanche, but I smelled a rat. I said in fact to my boss that when it comes to this guy, “That dog don’t hunt.” And hunt he did, peeling off our clients and starting up his own business that mimicked ours. But before he left he told my boss that in fact, it was me, who was the “cancer” in the company.
Not too long ago, out of the blue, he showed up on my Facebook and wanted to friend me, and I said yes, because I don’t censor Facebook.
And about six months later, I was writing about a sensitive topic of which I can’t remember what it was now, and this man wrote something pretty horrid, so I wrote back on my Wall, “I never did like you.” And he thought I was kidding. But I wasn’t. Recently, during the State of the Union address I was tweeting during Obama’s speech, but turned to Facebook during the GOP rebuttal and the Tea Party address. Of Daniels, all I did was quote him – a niagra of debt and other pat phrases he had used and I said he looked like a zombie. Of Mr. 9, 9, 9, I did the same.
It was getting late, but suddenly a message popped up, from my “friend”:
January 24: I just read your two most recent posts. I used to think you were intelligent. That is no longer the case.
Me: You are such a liar – you never thought anything.
January 24: Well, I actually did think you had some useful attributes. But not many.
Me: You are hilarious.
January 24: And you are the perfect example of the type of person who I rather enjoy “unfriending”. Be gone silly woman.
Me: Mmm, bye bye as they say in California
January 24: Bye bye indeed!! And you are right, and I apologize for not being honest. But I never did like you. Not one bit. I feel better to have that off my chest.
Me: You are really hilarious.
As you go through life, you lose friends that mean a great deal to you and you carry that grievance in little pouches inside your heart. You have spats with old friends but come through them, you drop some friends because they turn toxic, you make new friends and are often pleased and sometimes disappointed, but the fact remains, if you blink, and really don’t like someone, all of the time in the world doesn’t assuage this fact.
The good news is that there is an endless supply of people out there who will love you for who you are, support you and nourish you. So sometimes unfriending is just a way of clearing the way to have those people come into your life.