It is always difficult when a friend chooses to end your friendship by ignoring you. You don’t know what is motivating them, so it becomes easy to blame yourself. Your mind gets flooded by thoughts as you try to figure out what went wrong.
You have thoughts like: Did I do something wrong? Why didn’t they talk to me about it? How dare they leave me in the dark about it!
The type of thought that creates the feeling of inferiority is, “they must think poorly of me to end our friendship like that.” This thought is the one that keeps you stuck in feeling dumped and makes it hard to move on.
What they think isn’t important anymore, because they are no longer your friend. Also, ask yourself what do I think of them? Any anger you feel is a healthy response to the betrayal.
It is also important to realize not everyone is going to like you. Accepting this is important for your peace of mind. It is liberating actually. You begin to realize that for whatever reason, you rub someone the wrong way. You realize that nothing you do or say will change that. You realize that everyone has people who don’t like them. You don’t like everybody either. It is a part of life. Some people don’t like you and that is OK.
Every time you feel inferior about it, remind yourself of these facts—what they think isn’t important anymore, not everyone is going to like you and you are angry about this treatment. Then think about the people in your life—the important people—the ones who really matter—the people who care about you.
At the sametime, acknowledge what was good about the friendship. That is part of the grieving process.
Sometimes it’s not your friend who is behind it. When I was married, my wife didn’t like one of my friends. Because I was finding our marriage difficult and a lot of work, I didn’t want this friend to be the source of more friction. I cut her as a friend. I am ashamed that I did it and wished I stood up to my ex-wife about my friend. After my divorce, I apologized to her and we are friends again.
As in the example I gave about my wife, sometimes we are the ones who are cutting the friendship. At first blush, it seems cowardly, but what is the alternative?
Would you really want someone to sit you down and explain to you why they are ending the friendship? On the one hand, you might learn something about yourself, assuming their perception of you is accurate. On the other hand, the other person is saying negative things about you and no amount of defending yourself will make a difference because they have made up their minds. Unpleasant indeed.
It is normal and natural that you feel insecure and angry. The important things to do are grieve the loss of the friendship and focus on the people who are in your life. Those people in your life are choosing to be in your life because they value your friendship and care about you.
Sometimes you realize that the person who cut your friendship did you a favor.
©2016 Stephen L. Martin
Painting: Marc Chagall–Orpheus