Before we end a friendship, we ought to ask ourselves if we’ve done everything we can to save it. Are we abandoning the relationship out of anger or an argument. Have we made an effort to reconcile our differences. Can we see their point of view? Do we feel seen or dismissed. Have we changed, and outgrown the friendship? Does the friendship meet our needs? Do you take the position—I’m always the one who calls?
These are good questions to ask when we are struggling over the merits of a friendship. If we feel hurt by a friend or we’ve hurt them, it takes courage to look at our part. Initiating a time in which to get together with our friend is a step towards understanding what went wrong, or what caused the argument. At the meeting we have to be willing to listen to their point of view. Likewise our friend has to listen to us.
Arguments and hurt feelings can happen with both old and new friends. Sometimes a meeting doesn’t alter the hurt feelings. If that’s the case, it’s good to take some space from each other. There are no rules about how much time we need. Our friend may have a different timeframe from us. At some point the two of us may find we are able to laugh about the old argument. We’ve let go of our own egos, gained perspective as to our part in the interlude, and as a result strengthened the friendship. We chose not to give up on each other because we love and value each other.
There can come a time in which we outgrow a friendship. We’ve gotten clean and sober and don’t want to be around the negativity that once framed our friendship. Hanging out just to complain about our bad bosses and bad luck doesn’t work anymore. Negativity is putting a damper on the joys and promises of sobriety, and we can’t have that. The next time we get together with our friend we decide to bring up the negativity we feel. They don’t get it and feel offended. In recovery we learn about control. There’s no controlling anyone. Sadly our friend leaves in a huff. While we think about them and consider calling, we know in our hearts that the friendship no longer serves us. It hurts to lose a friend even if it’s for the best.
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