The friendships that never were.

I don’t understand why people push good friends away. 

Nobody needs bad friends – that’s a no-brainer.  I’ve had my share of backstabbers, gossips, control freaks and users that I’ve eventually woken up to and had to move on.  It hurts to know that another person doesn’t value you the way you value them, but it hurts more to stay in a friendship like that and let them keep doing it. That just reinforces and affirms their bad behaviour.  It’s asking for more. 
That’s never a good thing.

In the past six weeks, I’ve experienced something different than that. Two people, both of whom have been my friends for quite some time, have chosen to walk away from our friendship.  

Both have stunned me for a number of reasons. I’ve been a good, loyal and encouraging friend when their chips were down. I’ve sat up late listening and talking when they had problems. I’ve invested time, love and energy into our friendships. And both freely admit that it’s nothing I’ve done… they have simply chosen to move on, not spend time with me, and not maintain our friendship.

Since then, I have seen them try to manipulate people and situations for their own benefit, to control others and have them at their bidding, and deceive other mutual friends in one way or another. “Divide and conquer” seems to be the order of the day. They have certainly left a deliberate trail of emotional and social destruction in their wake.

What kind of person does that?

I recognise that they both fall into the “user” category.  I wish I had recognised them for what they are sooner. I wish I could protect the people that they are now attacking instead of me. 

The strange thing is that I am still grieving for those friendships. I miss them.  It hurts to know that neither of those people valued me as a friend the way that I valued them.  It hurts to know that they do not care that I am no longer in their lives.

In one way, I hope karma, or poetic justice, or divine retribution, or whatever you want to call it, bites them hard. It would be good to know they learned their lesson from someone else doing the same thing to them, but it’s hard to imagine that anyone could be better than they are at using and abusing friendships.

In another way, thinking like that makes me sad. I can’t maintain it.  I’d prefer to walk away with my integrity and character intact, understanding that some people only come into our lives for a season and then we both move on.  I’d like to wish them well. I hope they both eventually find happiness, security, love… whatever it is they are looking for.  

My choice is to walk away from people like that and invest my time, energy and love in my real friends.  I am so blessed to have a select few in my life that I can trust to share my life and my love.  Those people will always have the best of all I have to give them. 

Anyone else will just have to be willing to meet me halfway and be willing to accept my caution until I am sure of who and what they are. I’ve learned that much.

 

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