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A year ago I befriended a couple of girls upon my arrival to a new city. We got pretty close pretty quickly, probably due to the fact we didn't know anybody else. One of the girls and me had no problem in making new friends-only I thought we would continue being close-she apparently did not-there was a huge fallout that ended with us not speaking to each other and blocking on FB, etc... Due to the fact I accused this girl of ditching us for new friends, I decided not to be like that so I kept the third girl around-even though I felt something was strange about her from the very day we met. As I said-I had no problem with meeting new people and soon I formed strong friendships with a couple of more people but I kept the third girl around. I was having a really difficult time making my peace with losing the other friend (which right now seems ridiculous but back then I guess I was emotional about being so far away from my family) and the third girl was my only bond with the friendship the three of us shared. She talked to me, telling me our friend would eventually come around-I believed it even though my guts were telling me this was not the case. Anyway, the third girl and me got pretty close-we talked about stuff and hung out-even though she was never officially accepted by my new friends. I did try to include her in all my activities but after a few months my friends started asking me to leave her out of our hang outs. The thing with her is: she is awkward, strange, chatty and discusses supernatural things which either creep you out or make you sorry for the person who believes it. I had no real problem with listening to her talking about this-but I couldn't make my friends go through that. Then she started saying some strange things like warning me somebody will try to manipulate me and stating she was lucky I had other friends than those I hung out with the most. I am a bit of a paranoid person but I saw this as her trying to make me think in a certain way. She also started telling me these really freaky stories you could find only in sf movies-trying to tell me they were real. I told her to seek professional help. I still don't think she believes them but wanted to see just how naive I was. During spring holidays I arranged to go on a trip with a couple of friends and I asked them whether I could invite her but they asked me not to. (they are really nice people, it does take a lot to put up with the kind of person the third girl is and they never actually asked me to ditch her or anything) I did tell her I had plans with my friends but also told her I would go somewhere with her when I come back. She seemed okay with it. Obviously she was hurt-but what was I supposed to do? During this trip I fractured my leg. While I was still posting about the trip on FB she asked me to send her some pics and told me to have a good time. Then after my fracture she didn't contact me at all. I actually contacted her to let her know I will have to cancel our trip. I was pretty much stuck in my room for a month or so and she never came to see me. Where I come from-when your friend is injured or really ill you go to see them or offer your help. Was I heart-broken? No. But I was wondering what was going on. She phoned me once to ask for a favor for her roommate and once a month after that asking me whether I was at Uni so we could do lunch. I understand she must have been upset about the trip-but still-was I a bad friend? She went to her home country and I'll probably never see her again, it's been like three months since we last saw each other and i don't have a FB account anymore so I don't know what's going on with her. My friends are relieved and they are mad at her for not coming to see me-I guess in a way I was ditching her but what could I have done? I tried over and over to integrate her and it just didn't work. She did meet a friend thanks to me she is still close with but I can't help feeling bad. Should I contact her or... Thanks.

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Why not just reconsider the parameters of your friendship. Having different kinds of friends that meet different needs is a sign of maturity and liberation from black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking. So she's far away and can maybe be an occasional email buddy. If she comes back, she can be the kind of friend who's great for sharing a movie and a meal with, but not someone you'll need to adopt a social worker role to 'integrate' with anyone else.


I have some friends who I enjoy as a group, others I see solo. It's nothing to feel guilty about, as long as you refrain from speaking unkindly about her with other friends.

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Dear Catfeeder,

Thank you yet again for your reply. This is the deal-I might be immature-in fact I know I am-but I don't keep casual friends. You are either my friend and there is nothing I wouldn't do for you-or you are an acquaintance and I could care less. Friendship to me is not about playing games-it's about being honest and unselfish. I cannot be friends with this girl for two reasons: 1.) I don't think I treated her right when I started spending more time with my other friends and she will always remind me of that. 2.) I don't think she was being a good friend not contacting her friend with a broken leg, undergoing surgery and being away from her family and she will always remind me of that. I just wanted to see whether I should contact her and apologize for my part of the blame. I don't know how to play games and pretend-I am very honest in my reactions.

But thank you again.

PS loving your nickname

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I understand. Regardless of what you choose to do about this person, I hope you'll consider some nuances in the value of people--such as future neighbors or coworkers or those who aren't necessarily "go to the wall for you" material but can still add bits and pieces of love to your life.


Not everyone is able to offer the kind of 'best friend' devotion we could pull off when we were kids. We were blank slates then, and it was easy to like what she liked, or she'd like what you like--and your values and goals and interests could mesh together in one big mind meld. As we grow older our personalities form in more concrete ways. We each suffer private wounds, and we form private limits. Recognizing the limits of another is the highest form of respect, and it allows people to cycle into and out of your life as your paths cross then diverge then surprisingly cross again over a lifetime. It's much gentler on your own soul than a rigid pass/fail system--because your own growth and your own limits are honored in the process.


That's not an observation to necessarily apply to this person who you've already decided is not a friend--but it can spare you from any need for declarations. It's just as valid to phase out a relationship as it is to accept certain limits of a friendship. Your all-or-nothing premise can serve as a screening device for as long as you find it useful. But if you hold expectations of people so high that you find them all failing those, eventually, one by one--that can do something to your head. It doesn't mean you've done anything 'wrong' but rather it can serve as a right of passage to reconsider the unique frailties of human beings. When the heart opens, growth at different rates is appreciated, pain and indignation drop away, guilt becomes a useless emotion, and defense is rendered unnecessary.



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Wow, you sound like my mom. Yep, my mom.(her exact words to me when I told her about the problem) Thank you for being kind even if you don't necessarily agree. Maybe we just use different words for the same things. I have acquaintances I am very nice to but I don't really care about them. If I were never to see them again-it wouldn't be a big deal. I might go for a cup of coffee with them, socialize with them but that's about it. People do tell me they perceive me as quite a sociable person. Back before I broke my leg, I remember a day when I ran into about a half a dozen of these acquaintances and said a very nice hi to all of them, even chatted for a few minutes with some of them-and my friend was with me and she asked me (as a joke) when did I have the time to meet so many people. So I do keep casual acquaintances-but not friends. Do I have high expectations from my friends? I guess you could argue that-but I don't think it was irrational of me to expect my friend would visit me when my leg got broken (which was just the beginning of the end) and me being bothered by the fact I have somebody asking me to do all of these favors for her when she is not ready to reciprocate. All of my friends (me as well) have flaws-and you are right-it is only me who can decide whether I'll put up with them or not. One of my two best friends from back home-we would fight like crazy all the time but we are still close and I love her so very much and she can always count on me cause she was there when I needed her and she was always honest about our friendship.

I should point out I got severely bullied by my so-called friends in the past which made me quite sensitive about certain things. Guess I am behaving like a child now because I had no friends when I was one. Thanks again.

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