Tough Decisions in Friendships

Lately, I’ve been feeling lost and really unsure of myself. Something I hate feeling is helpless.

That’s exactly what I felt in two classes for my major. On top of stressing out and worrying about my future, I had a lot going one with the one relationship in my life I thought was solid. I should know by now that no relationship in life is ever really “solid.” Things can flip so quickly. I had been thinking about my friendship with my best friend for a while and often saw how one-sided things were.

He has his flaws, and I have mine. But we accepted them and ignored them like any friend would. I think all the little things built up regardless of that. We didn’t talk much about our flaws but it was whatever, right? Wrong. It was important. Maybe then I wouldn’t feel so relieved that I don’t have to continue putting the effort and time into the friendship. We’re both very independent of each other so it made no sense that I felt smothered by him.

I have a lot of issues. Plenty that I’m working on. That was one of the huge differences between us. I saw my flaws and wanted to fix them. He saw his flaws and accept them. Which is absolutely his decision. But because he didn’t want to fix them, it forced me to just accept them as well. It was out of obligation? I’m not really sure. He’s been my best friend since high school and we had good times and bad times like any relationship. But I was getting really tired.

Always bending my wants and needs to satisfy his. I told myself that I hadn’t been a good friend to him because we hadn’t talked in a few days. I’m fairly introverted but outgoing when I need/want to be. Everyone in my life knows this about me, my best friend more so than anyone. I felt like I was a bad friend for not wanting to talk or be near anyone. But still, I would hang out and answer his calls because I felt like I had to, not because I wanted to. We have a long history, and this is an even longer story but it’s not really to share right now when I’m still so upset. I just wanted to give a glimpse as to how our friendship was. I’m sure he sacrificed a lot for me too, I’m not sure where or how. I’m not even interested in knowing anymore. Long story short, I needed to feel supported and loved, instead I received anger and inflexibility.

The tough decision lies in letting the friendship end. It hurts and makes me sad. But I’m relieved at the time same. Perhaps, I’m a shitty person for saying, that I’m relieved. I am though. I’m so incredibly tired of offering my best to someone who demanded more and not in the supportive, you can do this kind of way. The way that leaves you… drained.

My friends know that sometimes I need to be left alone. Nine times out of ten, I don’t have to give a reason until I’m good and ready to. I don’t need to explain anything to anyone if I don’t want to and I’ve always known that with the people in my life. Except for one. My “best friend” knew me. He knew how I could get and how I just needed to isolate myself sometimes. He just didn’t always respect it. He’d give me shit about not being a good friend for ignoring him or whatever the case may be. Me, being the person I am, would always feel bad and think he was right. I’m being selfish and not considerate of those around me.

I read something recently that discussed social exhaustion. It was a short explanation about people who are more exhausting to be other than others. Most of the time, the people that are socially exhausting don’t experience social exhaustion. Which is great. For them. I didn’t know social exhaustion was a thing. But it’s definitely a better phrase than constantly saying “I’m tired.” I swear it’s my go-to phrase because how else do I explain that I’m just not feeling up to socializing because it’s mentally and sometimes emotionally draining? Most people don’t understand that and it’s hard to try to explain further without wanting to just give up.

Ending the relationship I had with my “best friend” was tough for me. I hold my friends dearly because they’ve always been more like family to me. I also have a small circle so it’s hard for me to lose friendships. Still, I don’t think it was the wrong decision. I’ve felt a lot lighter.

What I’m getting it is that sometimes it’s good to reevaluate the relationships in your life. Really think about them and see if they’re more stressful than they’re worth. I know it’s hard to weigh against your friend but sometimes you have to. For your sake, you have to make the tough decision in continuing a relationship that drains you or to walk away. It doesn’t mean you don’t care or love them. It means that you respect yourself more than continuing to put your time and effort into a relationship where the other person isn’t. You better more than that.

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