“Falling out of friendship” with someone, or eventually losing touch with a person who was previously a good friend, feels like getting stabbed with a million little needle pricks of gloom and unrest. But it’s a bittersweet part of life that’s necessary in everyone’s individual development.
I guess I’ve come to learn that fact the hard way, just as many, many people have.
Just recently, I’ve fallen out of three solid friendships in the span of only a few months. One friend was someone I got close to within the span of a year, another friend I’ve known for almost six years and the last friend I’ve known since elementary school.
It’s really weird seeing myself move on from three very different friends with whom I’ve had very different experiences.
Sometimes I second-guess myself. I wonder, “What if I said this differently? What if I reacted differently to what this person said? What if I just tried to forget my grievances? What if I did all that: Would we still be friends?”
Something I’ve known for a long time but never really digested was the reality that it’s much easier to suffer through and continue down an unhealthy, unhappy path than to stick up for yourself and walk away.
Maybe the reason it’s so hard to stand up for myself to others, most especially to people I care about, is because I’m afraid I might lose them.
But, thanks to my education and expanding wisdom (which comes from both age and experience), I’m realizing that integrity is fundamentally important. This is also true when it comes to analyzing the validity of friendships if you feel you’ve been wronged.
When it comes to deciding whether to continue that unhappy/unhealthy path, I have to ask myself: “Is it worth it? Is it worth my integrity?”
No, it’s not. It’s not worth it.
I’m slowly but surely recognizing that it’s OK to walk away from someone who has wronged you.
It’s also OK and important to say your piece, if you have the courage and wherewithal to do so.
Sometimes that alone is the final nail in the coffin of a friendship — saying your piece and standing up for yourself.
Even still in defense of my integrity, I find myself doubting if I made all the right decisions to lead me where I am now.
But while I do feel some sadness for not having those three good friends anymore, I can’t deny this refreshing feeling of relief.
Does that relief completely flush out that sadness? Absolutely not, and it probably won’t for a while.
But I find relief in knowing that I stood up for myself and had the strength to walk away.
The more I think about it, the more I remember other old friends that gradually drifted away.
What I recall are the good memories. I don’t think about how we fell out of friendship.
Even though I know we won’t ever connect the way we used to, I can still hold onto those happy moments and reflect in contentment.
Even though it’s hard right now, I know the same will happen with the last three people who have fallen out of friendship with me.
When you lose a friend, it’s often shocking, morose and lonesome.
But it happens to everyone as people evolve into the best versions of themselves.
The key things to remember if you’re feeling upset over falling out of friendship is: You aren’t alone, you are valid and you will grow from the pain.
Oh, and don’t be afraid to hold onto those good memories. You earned them.
Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]