I thought long and hard about what you said to me. To sum it up, I took it to mean that you basically think I suck, and that I’ve been a shitty friend to you. For that I am sorry. I actually didn’t realize you felt this way.
It’s funny because I might have never known how you really felt if I hadn’t told you about this one thing in particular that you did to upset me. I thought it was rude, and it hurt my feelings. That’s how I am in general—if something happens and I don’t really like it, I will just address it directly at the time it occurs and then move on. Your response to me was to kind of eviscerate my character. You described me in ways I had never seen myself and honestly, I was taken aback with how quickly it came to you, like you had been holding it in for a while, letting it fester, and not telling me until I came to you with this one particular problem and then you finally had the chance to tell me how you really felt.
Now, I get it. It’s easy to become defensive. It’s easy to shift blame or feign innocence, especially when you know exactly what you did, and that it was wrong. Instead of owning that, you justify that I deserved this treatment from you.
It’s much easier to put the responsibility back on me than to accept accountability for the fact that your actions, or lack thereof, hurt me. It’s much easier to be mad at me than to face your own guilty conscience. So, instead of looking at the one thing you did that hurt me, you look at all of the things I have ever done that hurt you. You count them up, you tally the score, and you come to the natural and seemingly obvious conclusion that I am a worse friend than you; therefore, I do not get to be upset about this one thing you did based on all of the terrible things I have ever done.
After careful consideration, you are right. I must not be a good friend to you. I thought about defending myself a bit, pointing out to you some of the ways that I haven’t totally sucked with regard to you…but really…if you can’t see them, then they obviously aren’t that awesome. I thought I’d been putting effort into this relationship, but ultimately if you feel I wasn’t, that is your perception and you’re entitled to it.
So where does this leave us? I have to be real here. I don’t really think I can be any better to you than I have, and as that clearly is inadequate for you, maybe you are better off without me in your life right now. And really, I’ve lost some enthusiasm for trying to fix a relationship with someone who thinks so poorly of me. Kind of like how you don’t want to feel bad about that one thing you did that I said I didn’t like, I don’t want to feel bad about all the things I have ever done to you that I didn’t know you were even mad about until five minutes ago. I don’t want to prove you are wrong about me, and I, for real, don’t have the energy to be better.
I’ve been putting a lot of thought into what kind of friend I want to be—and I want to be a good one. It seems I’ve failed you in that and, again, I really am sorry, but at this point, I think if I stop putting so much energy into these relationships that are keeping score, I can be better in the ones that aren’t. I have actually had such an onslaught of this recently that when I counted, I realized there are at least six people I used to talk to on an almost daily that I don’t talk to at all anymore.
This realization also left me wondering…is it me? My remaining friends insist that I’m alright to them. So maybe it’s just a case of one’s man’s garbage is another man’s gold? I’m not for everyone and I understand that.
I will not be so bold as to suggest that I don’t care. I do. I care a lot. So much so that I think it’s reinforcing this depression I’m in. But I need more time to focus on myself, my husband, and the significantly fewer friends I have who are sticking by me through this kinda shitty phase I’m going through.
I think at this point we can both agree that I wasn’t what you needed when you needed it. I hope that the people you have in your life can do better for you, and that I can do better for those in mine. I wish you all the best, and perhaps we can reconnect again one day with different expectations.