Life is a funny thing. We have highs and lows. We have moments when we feel on top of the world and moments when we wish we weren’t around, to begin with. The people you spend time with can make or break you, and we fail to realize this most of the time. We’re so used to showing people how much we care about them that we don’t realize when we’re the ones being treated poorly.
I had a friend that I adored. In my eyes, she could do nothing wrong. She was perfect.
What I loved about this friend was that she was confident. She was everything I wanted to be in life, and I think to a degree, I was self-conscious around her. But she was someone I looked up to and admired dearly.
That is until I started hanging out with her more.
Here’s the thing: my friend is a very outgoing, social person. She can make friends anywhere with anyone. I’m the opposite. I’m quiet and keep to myself. And while I can make friends, it can take a while.
This friend didn’t like this about me. She often stated that I was too quiet and needed to open up. Hearing that coming from her hurt me in a way I couldn’t describe.
Here I was, adoring my friend and seeing how amazing she was. And all she saw was me being quiet and not good enough for her.
I never asked her to change for me. So why should I change for her?
Once I noticed this, I realized that my friend wasn’t as great as she made herself out to be. She liked to put on a show for people, and it was usually for people who were talkative and loud like she was.
I was often left out while she spoke to others if I went somewhere with her and her friends. She never wanted to spend time with just me; someone else always needed to be invited. And if we were in a room together, I was often ignored and left by myself.
This friendship became so draining for me.
It got to the point where I would dread it when I knew I would see her, and I would feel relieved when I didn’t see her or have to associate with her. And it broke my heart when I realized this.
Slowly, I found myself detaching from this friend. We didn’t talk as much as we used to, and I found myself pulling back from the relationship. It’s now at a point where we don’t really associate with each other anymore. It’s not that we got into an argument or anything like that. We just stopped reaching out to each other.
I still care about this friend and don’t have any hard feelings toward her, but we just don’t talk anymore.
Recently, this person has been going through a tough time. Life gets complicated for everyone at some point, and that’s the case for her right now. I reached out at first, but not much since then. While there’s a part of me that wants to reach out and say more, there’s a part of me that also doesn’t. I feel terrible for saying this, but I can see she has a support system she needs and has people who care. And right now, I think she’s OK without me. I know it sounds sh*tty to say that, but I think if she wanted to talk to me, and us not being close anymore truly bothered her, she’d reach out to me.
I’m in her corner right now, and I always will be. I’ll probably always hold some type of love for her. But for my mental health, I need to love from afar. So keeping to myself is doing what’s best for me right now.
We all go through hard times and try to be there for others when dealing with them. But it’s OK to take a step back and not get involved. Society has a way of making us feel guilty for not being there for people during difficult times (especially if they were there for us). But sometimes it’s best to save yourself from the headache and keep to yourself. Showing support doesn’t mean you have to be vocal about it. You can love quietly and from afar if that’s what’s best for you. It’s OK to feel guilty as well. But sometimes making the right choice for you can be a difficult choice as well.
Either way, do what you feel is best.
Photo by Shamin Haky on Unsplash