• Henrietta

Friends, to be or not to be ...

A friend has let me down and cancelled a visit to an exhibition at really short notice (I was on my way there). She’s always been a bit “flaky”, so much that I’d mentioned “flaky-ness” lately and she had agreed that she had been, in the past And that she wouldn’t be again. I believed we were very good friends.

When it happened, I didn’t think for a bit. I just got upset that I’d missed the exhibition because I hadn’t gone on my own, that I’d waited to go with her.

Then I thought about it some more. I’ve been let down by this friend a lot; if I had to put a number on it, I’d say 20 or 30 times over the 30 years or so we’ve known each other.

So what am I upset about?

It turns out not to be that I didn’t get to go to the exhibition at all. It turns out that I felt rejected. Seems so obvious, writing it now.

And swiftly following that realization I had two more.

She hasn’t rejected me - I’ve allowed the relationship to develop the way it did by not addressing it, the 20 or 30 other times it’s happened.

And I also feel stupid that I’m here again

Sometimes it’s important to think of yourself, even when it feels alien. Putting other people first is ok, but we are people too. We have feelings and needs.

And if our friends don’t respect us as people, they aren’t friends.

Luckily I have some very good friends who I know I can rely on. Who I know will tell me if they have a problem with me, and who I know I can be honest with. Friends who are as interested in me as I am in them. Some are old friends, some newer. Friendship isn’t about how long you’ve known each other, it’s about the quality of the relationship.

Still hurts though. It’ll pass.

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