Last year, I became very close with a friend at college. We hadn’t known each other for very long but we developed a close bond very quickly given that we would spend pretty much every class together and hang out afterwards. We experienced a lot together, opening up to each other when we were at our lows and always offering a helping hand towards one another whilst having a laugh at the same time. Though things went ugly quickly as well and after becoming intolerant with my best friend’s actions, I cut ties on social media or as many others call it, “ghosting”.
In case anyone needs a definition, “ghosting” refers to when you unfollow or even block a former friend on all social media accounts, erasing any form of communication. This method is often criticised as it is deemed a cowardice approach to saying to someone that you no longer want to be friends but sometimes, there is no other option and you might not want to endure yet another argument.
The main thing that caused me to block out my friend was effort. More often than not, I would be the one constantly texting and making plans, only to either be ignored or stood up. It’s ok on the off chance but when it is recurring, that’s when a problem seeps in. When someone is putting their all into a friendship yet the other doesn’t reciprocate, it’s draining, disappointing and you end up thinking “Why am I even bothering ?”. You sometimes question yourself whether you are in the wrong which just makes you unnecessarily anxious. Friends like this indirectly don’t make you feel good. But you don’t have to put up with it.
After distancing myself from my friend for a few weeks, we chatted over coffee and I explained how I was feeling about how we were which led him to apologise and encouraged that we start afresh. Sounds good on paper but I had doubts as to whether anything would actually revert back to how we normally were. And my doubts came true. I would try to make further amends but there wasn’t much use; the friendship was too far gone and when I didn’t hear from him for a month, I decided to call it a day and hit the unfollow button on everything. My attempts of communicating my feelings didn’t really sink in and I couldn’t continue to latch on to something that is now non-existent.
Friends can be tricky. They can either make you feel utterly elated or just completely drained. At least from my experience. I don’t have many close friends, only a select few and that’s all anyone really needs; people who make time for you, who return the favour and who don’t make you feel like you’re pulling teeth during a conversation. The latter was something that I, along with others in a similar situation, was unfortunately caught up in. But people change along with their values and interests, although that doesn’t mean to say that you need to tolerate their actions. Don’t allow yourself to be dragged down and exhausted just by trying to be a friend.
Now, I feel much freer and although I may be spending more time on my own, there’s nothing wrong with your own company. There are some occasions where I think about my friend and feel some element of guilt about cutting off contact, but I know it was the right decision because, in all honesty, he doesn’t care enough to notice what I’ve done.