If any of you watch Being Erica (love that show by the way!), you will know what I mean when I talk about breaking up with friends. The heroine of the show Erica, broke up with her long-time friend Jenny because she just kept flaking out on her.
It wasn’t that Jenny was a bad person, she just kept well.. dragging Erica down. You can read the synopsis here if you want.
That’s how I felt about a certain college friendship, although for different reasons than from the show.
(Is it sad I can relate to a TV show, and see the same situations in my own life?)
WHO IS THIS FRIEND?
I talked once about her. Briefly. I named her “G” in this post: “G if I were a rich girl” (don’t judge, it’s an old, OLD post).
A lot of the comments kind of hit home, and one that was particularly interesting for me was when someone told me maybe I wasn’t being a good friend to her.
I was writing her off without giving her a chance or the benefit of the doubt.
I was being too quick to judge. And perhaps they were right.
I felt bad, and I’ve been thinking about “G” on and off for the past while, wondering if I was just overreacting and being a bad friend.
So I decided to try again, a fresh start with her, to see if it was a friendship worth keeping.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
REASON #1: SPEAKING FRENCH
We were catching up recently on the phone and I mentioned being proud of finally being able to converse in French without getting caught a lot for words, and all she could say was: Oh but you speak with a French-CANADIAN accent, right?
I can tell you for the record that I don’t, because BF (who is from France) tells me my accent is more standard English than French-Canadian (stands to reason because I’m not French-Canadian and English is my first language).
But since I was in Montreal learning French, she automatically assumed I’d have a French-Canadian accent.
And in her tone, she meant it as a derogatory remark.
Not only that, she said it in a way like I would never be good enough to really speak in French and have other people who speak French understand me, which instantly made me doubt my own speaking abilities.
I was instantly ashamed and shy. I didn’t want to speak a word again, just from one remark like that.
Then I thought back to my experience in France and even in Quebec, and quite frankly, every uni-lingual Francophone I’ve talked to has been thrilled that I could speak their language so they wouldn’t have to struggle through English for me.
And maybe they were politely lying to my face, but they told me I spoke pretty well for someone who didn’t grow up really speaking the language.
REASON #2: SHE WHINES A LOT ABOUT NOTHING
Look, I am not the kind of person who pushes you away if you have a real problem.
I am willing to listen, help, offer advice and lend a shoulder to cry on, take you out to coffee or hug you if you need it.
But she was really pushing my buttons, almost like she was searching for something to whine about.
She was complaining about having to sell the family’s million dollar home in the city.
Or talking about how she didn’t want to actually work, but to stay as a perma-student and not do anything but live off her parent’s money.
Then she complained about not being able to jet set to Europe as often as she’d like.
Or how she felt like she had so much to handle all on her own, like helping plan her brother’s wedding overseas in some castle in France.
I mean, really. Not to belittle those problems, but what kind of problems are these? Rich ones. Rich ones I cannot relate to.
REASON #3: WE DON’T HAVE SIMILAR INTERESTS ANY MORE
We used to. But I don’t know what happened. Maybe getting out of debt changed me, or for any other reason, but we aren’t the same any more.
For instance, I mentioned I was traveling around Asia. She tells me to go to Thailand.
I said: Wow cool, yeah. I’d love to tour the country!
Then she pauses on the phone and says: Noooooo….. I meant go to Thailand and go to a 5-star spa and get those cheap massages and spa packages. Forget about the country, it’s beautiful but only if you’re in a spa or on the beach relaxing.
What could I say to that?
Why would I go halfway across the world just to go to a spa and chill out on a beach? I could do that here. I’m more interested in the locals, the sights, the food, the scenery, and going everywhere, not paying a fortune to hang out and getting pampered.
REASON #4: SHE SCOLDED ME FOR BEING A “BAD FRIEND”
I take the blame on this one.
But who in the world tells a friend she’s a bad friend because she travels and has a job working in different cities all the time?
Why am I the one who has to call her? Email her? Handle the communication?
She actually lectured me on keeping my friendships intact. At that point I really wanted to tell her: I don’t keep in touch with you because I don’t want to. I basically keep in touch only with people I like talking to and who don’t lecture me, whine, or put me down.
But you know, that would have been rude.
I’m over it.
There are more reasons, but those are the major ones. We just aren’t the same people any more, and we’ve each changed since our college years.
So how would you break off the relationship?
I’m at a standstill now, and frankly, I don’t want to make it work.
Do I tell her we’re done being friends and why? Or do I just let the friendship die from neglect?