Pages - Menu

Friday, May 24, 2013

Letting Go Isn't Easy

My closest friendship has been going strong for 25 years now, and a handful of others have been in my life for a good 10-12 years I would say. This doesn’t even include DH who I have known for over 15 years. But even though I don’t have many short term friends around, I have a few and the thought of severing some of those ties after investing so much over the last couple of years isn’t easy – even if I know I am doing it for the right reasons. 

My best friendships have always relied on balance; sharing the responsibilities of a friendship, equal give and take, the ability to communicate freely and uncensored along with continuous support and trust towards one another. After closer examination, my most strained friendships are – surprise, surprise – the complete opposite. In recent years I seem to have attracted a number of people who have needed my help for one reason or another, but once this need was met it wasn’t always clear if I had served my purpose and could now move on or if our arrangement had become more over time. So, some of these circumstances have turned into friendships, but others have turned into very strained situations and I can finally see that now. 

In my last post I mentioned an article in Squidoo. This article had a few questions you could ask yourself about when to end a friendship: Do I feel better after meeting up? Does this friend bring out the best in me? Is this friend a positive influence on my life? When I haven't been in touch, how do I feel? Do we both make an effort? I have asked myself these questions, and many more, about a couple of friendships I have been unsure of in the last few months and sometimes my own answers have surprised me. But, where do I go from here? 

I wouldn’t say that I am afraid to acknowledge conflict; it’s more like I know these people so well that I realize what I have to say will hurt their feelings and that is what I am trying to avoid. I appreciate it when people are blunt with me and just get to the point so that we can go on from there, but not everyone can take that. After years of knowing them it still seems like they need everything to be sugar coated, and I don’t do that very well! But, honestly, how do you even sugar coat something like “you can be a good friend, on the rare occasions that you try, but you’re certainly not the greatest”? 

I guess it’s also worth mentioning that I have recently re-kindled a couple of old friendships and it feels odd, or maybe it feels right, but I feel more connected to those old friends (who I haven’t really seen or known since high school) than I do some of my newer friends. They just seem to “fit” me better and I don’t feel like I am sacrificing my own happiness to be around them; quite the contrary actually! 

I don’t know… letting go isn’t easy, but neither is holding on!