Get The Strongie Startup Guide - my fav inner strength-building worksheets - FREE!

After Firing Friends: Dealing With Regret

 

An opening note: I apologize to those of you who were expecting a video post today.  I came down with a bit of a cold and I didn’t have very much energy to shoot a video this week.  I also don’t think you would have wanted to watch me talking for any length of time the way my nose was running… gross…

On a second note, I almost didn’t publish this because it is a bit of a rant, but I want to be as honest as possible with you guys.  I want to show you both sides of the happiness equation; it’s not always sunshine and rainbows…

I always tell you just how important it is to surround yourself with like-minded, supportive, loving people.  If you read Fire Your Friends, you know just how adamant I am about this idea.

I guess I can say that I’m quite selective with the people I spend my time with because I have so little of it free.

In fact, I’ll just come out and say that I don’t waste my time with people that leave me feeling exhausted, small, or frustrated.  I just don’t.

Many people would look at that and say I’m harsh.  I’ll take that.

I think I am.  I think I have to be.  Because I take control of my happiness now.

I don’t allow people to stay in my life that have proven time and time again that all they bring to the table is negativity.

But it’s not always easy.  Actually, I don’t think it ever has been.

What I don’t often talk about here is the after-math of a friend breakup.

What actually happens after you fire a friend?

A couple years ago, I had a best friend whom I loved dearly, spent most of my time with, and told many of my secrets to.  She was there during one of the worst breakups I’ve ever been through, and we had a lot of fun together.

The other day, I saw her comment on a mutual friend’s status on Facebook, and I felt like someone punched me in the chest.

It was the first time I had seen anything from her since the last time she called and emotionally dumped on me without asking me a single thing about myself.

I realized how much I missed her.

Remember when I wrote Fire Your Friends and talked about thinking about it before you do?

I’m glad I did because I had an overwhelming flood of emotions.

The whole day of and after I saw that comment, I couldn’t concentrate, thinking about her and where she was.

I thought about how open we left it: we just stopped talking.

After counting multiple phone calls consisting of her never asking how I was doing while dropping her latest piece of negative news on me, I stopped calling.

She got the hint.  That was that.

There was no closure.

Seeing her comment brought back every good and bad moment I ever spent with her, and thinking about her.  Every piece of built up resentment.  Every shred of regret I felt for deciding to cut her out.  Every time I thought about her and wondered if she thought about me, too.

Why she never asked me why I wasn’t calling.

Why she stopped calling, too.

Dealing with these feelings is a natural part of the process, I know.  But it doesn’t make it suck any less.

I think to myself right now, if I was reading this post written by someone else, I would say: “Just call her if you miss her so much.”

And then I think of why I don’t.  I think of why I cut her in the first place.

When everything in your relationship is built on making one person feel better, and the other suffering because of it, something is wrong.

I still ache for some closure, yes, but do I want to be friends again?

No.

Because I have worked so hard for what I am grateful for now: friends that support me, a drama-free environment, and a limited amount of emotional dumping from the people in my life.

I have made my happiness and part of that process was trimming the fat.

Sometimes the ones that we love most hurt us more than the rest.

And why should we allow that to happen?

Why should we sit around and hope that they’ll one day notice how much they’re hurting us?

Why would you not, instead, confront this person?  Why would you not flat out say: I’m feeling like I have your back all the time and you don’t have mine?

If I hadn’t said all this to her, I probably would call her.  But I did.

She was the one I had the courage to confront.  And you know what happened?

Nothing.

She said she was sorry, then acted the same from there on out.

And I ended it.

As I write this post now, just thinking about it gets me quite emotional.

I’m so hurt.  I take full responsibility for ending the friendship, but I wish she had tried to change.  I wish she had cared enough to try to keep me.

And I guess that’s what I’m trying to address today.  This feeling of hurt that may never go away.

It may come in pangs for years after you end it.  That wishful thought: why couldn’t they have tried harder?

Maybe she just didn’t care enough.  Maybe she didn’t want to change.

But you can’t control what others do or how they feel.

In the end, all you can do is take responsibility for your own actions.  What you do dictates your life.  How you choose to live and who you allow into your life is up to you.

Whether you want to feel constant pain from someone that drains you, or sporadic pangs of it much much much less often is up to you.

I choose the latter.  And though I hurt sometimes, I stick to it because I know I’d rather hurt thinking about past woes than allow them to occur over and over again in the present.

After careful memory-sorting, I realize that what I miss about her were the times we had in our friendship before it went bad.  I’m falling victim to the Nostalgia card.

In Fire Your Friends, I warn you not to only look at the good times you shared, as those may be outweighed by the bad.  In this case, they most definitely were, even though I tried to ignore it for quite some time.

I only have one action step for you today, guys:

When you start to regret, remember why you chose your path.

If it was for your happiness, let it go.

Ride out the short bout of pain and remember all you have to be grateful for.

You make your life, and it’s not going to all be sunshine and rainbows.

…But hell if I’m going to sit back and turn on the thunder storms every single day, knowing I have the power to turn it off.

Take responsibility and live your life.

That’s how you’re going to be happy.

*****

If you liked this post, please read the original Fire Your Friends: Dropping The Negative People In Your Life.

Come check me out on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!


All pictures by D Sharon Pruitt at Pink Sherbet Photography (1st adapted by me)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone

14 responses to “After Firing Friends: Dealing With Regret”

  1. Christine says:

    First off, I hope you feel better soon!
    Second, love this post! I know, I always say that, but it’s so important to acknowlege that with every decision that involves emotion that we make, there will be an emotional aftermath. Maybe not right away, but it will come, sometimes sneaking up on us and “punching us in the chest.” Our strength comes when we face those decisions and do one of two things. Either by recognizing that we did the right thing and having the conviction to stand by our decision no matter the pain, or recognizing that we didn’t make the right decision and having the courage to change that decision.
    I am, as always in awe of your strength and wisdom. Thank you for sharing!

    • Amy says:

      You’re right, Christine. Great way to word it, and I’ve actually done both. I’ve contacted a friend before and told her that I was sorry for cutting her out of my life so suddenly, that I’d been too hasty with that decision. It’s never been the same, but we are still friends and I am grateful that she had the heart to listen to my apology.

      The thing about making that decision is that you sometimes can’t change it back.

      The key word in the title of this post is “Dealing.” I’ve been through horrible times and refused to deal with the emotion, drinking it away or getting involved in other relationships to distract me from the pain. When you don’t deal with the emotions as they come, they will build, and eventually come out anyway, but in an explosion of unexpected pent-up energy. I know I don’t want that!

      By facing those decisions, as you say, and dealing with them, we take responsibility for what we feel, allow it to run its course, then move on with our lives.

      I’m feeling much better today, thanks! I think Hunger Games and the Mad Men premier cured me yesterday! ;)

  2. Sue Mitchell says:

    Amy, I am in the exact same situation right now. I could have written this post. I have no wisdom you haven’t already said here, but I just want you to know that I’m right there with you, feeling the same feelings and asking the same questions.

    In my case, there was closure — we agreed to end the relationship after an argument that could have been resolved but wasn’t because, from my perspective, she didn’t care enough to try. Instead of trying to work it out, she attacked and insulted me. Like you, I have zero time for that in my life.

    There is also the awkwardness of continuing to have mutual friends. I don’t know yet how it will play out when we inevitably see each other again.

    Thanks for this post. It helps me to know my feelings are normal!

    • Amy says:

      Sue, I’m so glad this post made you feel less alone in these feelings. They are completely normal.

      You give a lot of love and energy to a friendship, and when it isn’t reciprocated, it friggin hurts.

      We can sit here and blame, or wish, or hypothesize…

      … or we can move on and remember that what we did brought us more happiness and less drama.

      Though it’s painful, think of how much more painful it would be to bring that energy back into your life again. You are stronger for having made that choice.

      Sending you an e-hug. You did the right thing.

  3. Michelle Marcus says:

    I am in the exact same spot right so this post hit home big time. I finally had to tell a friend “no more” since she started to ask too much of me. I was emotionally spent.

    Ever since then, I have been shut out of her life. I have even apologized but I am still paying the consequences of saying “no”. I find it very painful, especially when mutual friends talk about her. It’s hard for me not to feel like a horrible person.

    I feel a huge regret…may have been for the best…but it’s still really painful.

    • Amy says:

      I understand your feelings of regret, Michelle, but it sounds like you finally stood up for yourself and she couldn’t take the threat to her ego.

      I don’t know the details, but I wouldn’t want to be around a person that takes takes takes and refuses to give back. It’s a waste of your time and it will drain you.

      The fact that she cut you out of her life may seem harsh, but yes, probably for the best… for YOU.

      It does hurt. Are there any other trusted friends who you could speak to about it? Even if it’s just to get some moral support, not even necessarily advice, it could help a ton. Reminding yourself that you have much more encouraging friends in your life can help mend those raw wounds.

      If you had never stuck up for yourself in the first place, you’d be more exhausted now from all her draining, wishing you had. You showed your strength and she couldn’t handle it. Stay true to who you are and don’t doubt it! A true friend would have honestly listened to you rather than turning it around on you, like she’s teaching you a lesson.

      Consider yourself taught: she’s not worth your time.

      Remember that you are worthy of just as much happiness as the next person. This experience has made way for more good in your life. The pain will subside and the good will come as long as you stay true to who you are.

      To your strength,

      Amy

  4. Maria L. says:

    I read this just in time! I’m feeling like that right now :( It really hurts, and I had no closure either. I called, texted, even on facebook! and she didn’t reply one single time! I really miss her, but I’m better off. She took advantage of me, and I was really handy when she needed, but after that, it was… “ok, see you when I see you”, and that’s not ok to me. But it really hurts, and I’m starting to cry right now so I will end this comment. Thank you for your words.

    • Amy says:

      I know how you feel, Maria, and thank you for sharing. The initial pain is the worst, and that will lessen soon.

      A worse pain would have been biting your tongue for the rest of your life, smothering your feelings with concern for hers. Now you’re free! You’ll feel the benefits soon.

      To lessen the pain more in the present, I suggest going out and trying to fill that void with something positive now. For example, go for a run, do a yoga class, hang out with a friend that does treat you as you should be treated… Do something to take your mind off of it that will enrich your life at the same time! That really helped me as I started making drastic changes.

      If you have any more questions, send me a line!

  5. oh i’ve had friends like that! grrrrr
    thanks for sharing your experience
    Noch Noch

  6. meenah says:

    Hello.
    Thank You for this article. It felt really good to have someone relate to me. I had a friend I met at work. She claimed to “have no friends”. So I started to invite her to all my friends gatherings and she even dated and eventually got married to one if my friends. She would call me her “bestie” however, she would ditch me for any guy that came our way, when I ha surgery she never called or visited and when I had a bad break up with my ex she declared “that it was none of my business if she became friends with him”. I say became because she had only met him once before when we were still dating. I really like this girl. I thought we would be at each others weddings. Finally when I confronted her, she said “that she was sorry I felt that way”. So I cut her off. very angry. however, a lot of those friends hang out with her rather than me now and that hurts even more. I don’t regret my decision, however, it hurts when everyone else prefers her company than mine. There are some close friends who agree with me but they aren’t my social extroverted friends. Do extroverts have low standards for friends? I’m still hurt and confused although your article did help a lot! Thank You.

  7. sbtx says:

    I just came across your website. I cannot express to you how much I needed to read your article. 5 years ago I met my so called best friend at work and we instantly clicked , I ended up going through a very bad divorce and she was not there for me, in fact she just stopped talking to me. After I had moved to a new apartment and got my life settled she reached out to me through facebook, thinking that since she had not been married before maybe she didn’t understand how to be there for me so I agreed to meet her for dinner…big mistake. So after we became friends again everything was like it was before. She was really obsessive with me almost like a stalker. She dyed her hair blonde like me, always copied all my clothes and was really jealous of me overall, but I just thought of it as her looking up to me as a big sister type thing. Anyways she had been dating this loser guy that treated her like crap(he broke up with her and guess who was there for her) and I had encouraged her to get on match.com, she signed up and I also downloaded the app on my phone so I can help her look for dates. The guy that I picked out for her and started communicating with him as her, is her boyfriend still to this day. So moving forward, I promise this has point, she noticed that she had a wart in her private area. Of course I did not know what it was like to experience that but I was definitely there to be her support. I went to all of her Dr appointments and and was there to listen to her and shoulder to cry on as she was dealing with this genital warts issue. Now I know what you’re thinking, that’s a lot of information but it gets better! So literally 3 months after I had done all of this stuff for her, been there for her, wasting my time searching for boyfriends for her, I woke up one morning and I could not talk. Long story short, I was admitted to the hospital and found out I had multiple sclerosis. She only came to see me one time in the hospital and maybe texted me twice when I got out the hospital. I was placed on short term disability through our work because I had to re learn how to do write, type, and do physical therapy…. And guess what my best friend was not there for me. Not only was I going through such a devastating time in my life, I cannot understand the betrayal of her, often times asking why would she do this to me. I’ve been nothing but a great friend to her, even letting her copy my life without saying a word. For goodness sakes, I picked out her boyfriend that she is still with! I did not respond to her last text and never tried to talk to me. I knew if she did not try texting me one more time that she did not care what I was going through because the attention was not on her. she had the nerve to block me on Facebook the very next day, which is so immature in my opinion. She even drove by my apartment every single day on her way going home from work and she couldn’t even stop by to see how I was doing. This was 3 years ago and I have been so hurt by this person that I cannot get over it until I read your article. I think she is a narcissist, but I often times wonder if she feels regret for doing what she did to me. Every now and then I will get those weird fake facebook profiles (it even says she is from my town in hopes i would accept her) that want to be my friend and I know its her so I just declined the request because if she has to hide behind a fake person and doesn’t have the balls to apologize to me, why should I let you see what I’m doing. I have left this up to God to handle and I truly am so glad that I am no longer friends with her but it’s the aftermath of having to deal with someone treating you so cruel that’s hard to deal with sometimes. Thank you so much for writing this article because I feel like 3 years of pain that I was going through just got lifted off my shoulder!! I also would like to add that looking back, perhaps God wanted me to experience being there for her through her genital warts to either get a laugh out of it down the road or be prepared to realize that if someone is not there for you twice then obviously they’re not your friend at all. Thank you so much for your article it has definitely made my day and I have a different outlook on life now!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I read this blog and I couldn’t believe how similar my situation was. I actually went through exactly the same experience only it was my friend who cut me out. I was very hurt and I did nothing when she stopped talking to me. I let it go because I felt it was the only option and I respected my friend’s decision and space not knowing what the future holds. Have I thought of contacting her? Of course! Do I care about her? Yes. I’m not upset with her for feeling the way she does, however I’m very upset that she couldn’t simply talk to me and I would have learned from that. She simply cut me out and I can tell you sitting in my shoes, I don’t feel that I can reach out because I don’t feel welcome to. I think that communication and giving closure is the respectful way to handle these types of situations. Perhaps she didn’t think I deserved just that. I would have appreciated her telling me that she is going to cut me out because she feels x, y, and z. So while I appreciate your blog and your focus on moving forward, I think that reaching out to your friend would show courage and she would appreciate that more than you even know. If I were you, that’s what I would do and I wouldn’t sugar coat anything. I would be direct and clear that your goal isn’t to respark anything but simply to shed light on the situation because you were in a different place back then and you realize that you both deserve closure and wish her the very best. That’s my advice anyway because for the person who was shut out, it feels impossible to approach the person who cut them out.

  9. amber says:

    I can completely relate to this article & it helps so much knowing that many of you are experiencing the same similar situations. Im in that funky place remembering the good trying to minimize the bad- u know the hurt, frustration, anger, resentment, being used & used repeatedly, the empty promises frm a-z, being a loyal, amazing, kind thoughtful friend always the one doing & giving expecting nothing in return but friendship, not to mention the empty insincere apologies to shut me up temporarily or never keeping her word or agreements discussed & made prior to putting my butt on the line for her hoping just once shed follow thru-but never did, all the constant negative complaining, gossiping, watching her triangulate arguments w others for her self-serving purposes, the passive-aggresive nastiness that followed any sincere attempt to talk & be honest about my hurt feelings or disagreements to communicate & share my feelings about the given issue or situation were all met w a defensive nasty dig, denial she did what she just did or l knew she did, being insulted & attacted for just bringing up a topic she didnt want to listen to she just wanted to sweep it under the rug & pretend it didnt happen or try to brush me off w an empty apology. She was drainging, l felt awful and more pissed off that l thought she could change by being around amazing positive people & experiancing good people w good morals & values that l introduced her to or places l took her to too experiance new fun exciting things even if l was always the one paying for our outings, diners, activities, & so on & so on. Paying didnt bother me at first knowing she didnt have the funds to do the things l invited her to but when she did have the money to pitch in for her part then made excuse after excuse l began feeling resentful especially when l didnt have money to pay for her shed never offer NOT ONCE IN APROX A TEN YR FRIENDSHIP to contribute a few dollars just for gas money-mind u she has a vehicle that has sat for three yrs only if she quit wasting money at the casino or other nonsense she could put her vehicle on the road ($160.00)(which she had many opportunities to do but wasted them). Thats here nor there its just one of the many things lve become frustrated w her about the ridiculious excuses why the important things you and l deem priorites & come first before being irrisponsible & negligent w her finances. Its so easy for her to put her hand out to ask others for her basic needs, play victim to all the circumstances she created in life then turn around having a pity party for her situation guilting our friends, my family members, & me to a point we felt sympathy for her & helped her or paid for her ALWAYS AT OUR EXPENSE! She never accepts responsibility for her choices, actions, & behavior- she blames everyone & everything for her problems. If you say no you can lend or spare something she needs you are awful & a bad guy-she gets very nasty towards them/me. Zero self-awareness or accountability has she ever shown. It finally got to a point when l became aware of these patterns w her that l distanced myself frm her or the time l spent w her. Now all this wasnt as obvious until l started paying attention to the patterns & seeing her actions never matched her words & looking at my own flaws & shortcomings & worked hard to change & did-thats when l really began to see her for who she was-l still loved & cared for her dearly but could only be around her in very small doses and when l could afford to take her out knowing shed never appreciate or reciprocate mutually. Our friendship was ONESIDED & ALWAYS AT MY EXPENSE! I had enough being used, feeling drained, & resentful. The last straw came when l gave her a ride to the bus station to help her escape an abusive relationship w a man that was a monster. Well she took him back w in a few hours blamed it all on me-she screwed over our good friends before she left not only using & taking advantage of these dear friends but saying & doing god awful things to hurt them-which she lied & turned to place all the blame on me so when she came back she could contine to use them but they & l know better & decided enough is enough! I could have just ignored & avoided her but that would be to easy and l was hurt by so much for so long then dismissed or avoided when l was honest & open w her in the past l decided to tell her l am no longer alowing you to take advantage of our friendship & hurt my feelings so l told her how l feel and was specific about things & how she has done are hurtful to me that l cant ever talk about them openly because you dont acknowledge anyone elses feelings. I was thoughtful and factual l didnt name call insult or point fingers to shame her-l was very considerate & direct offering positive solutions instead of blaming her because l was at fault for allowing it in the first place not addressing issues when l should have l wanted to let her know how l felt that lm hurt so we could talk and work on these things but l guess that was wishful thinking on my part. She turned it around attacted me visciously & ruthlessly attempting to hurt & insult me but could never be specific or point to one time l wasnt a good friend or let her down not one! Then she called me a liar and accused me of things shes done & said that never happend or that she did(she is the person that the second shes mad she tells yr secrets or crosses the line to hurt you-luckly l learned that long ago so nothing she could say was insulting or any secret that would hurt me but she one the other hand has told me many that shes worried l tell others & thats why she reacted so vindictivly accusing me of things shes done & said to protect herself-lm not that person & told her yr secrets are safe lm not discussing you w people l have no control over how they see you and what they say thats between you & them) of course its come back to me by friends yet they are all to framiliar w her & knew l never did or said the things she tried to blame me for. So after our conversation where l was direct & honest & she turned it around insulted me lied blamed & denied all accounability for anything we havent spoke since-its been months. I have a clear conscious l feel ok that l spoke the truth & stood up for myself that l deserve to be treated right esp by a friend l feel l deserve much better l know l do. Her daughter is having a baby any day ld love to be supportive and encouraging but dont want to be sucked back in. I do miss the good parts of our friendship but not how negative & exhausting & not to mention expensive. I wish l had closure in the sense we could have talked openly but it will never happen so lm going to take my 7 dogs for a walk and enjoy my afternoon being happy the nostalgia will pass and l will keep working on surrounding myself w good positive people! Thank you for letting me vent & realize why our friendship wasnt healthy or reciprocal in any shape or form. I apologize for my spelling errors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *