Sure, we can be nice to everybody1 but we can’t be best friends with everybody. At the very least we can’t force being best friends with anyone. Being best friends with someone is something that needs to happen organically2 and it has to happen simultaneously for both parties otherwise it’s just creepy for one.
When you meet someone for the first time and you have an instant crush3 on someone and the crush is mutual, it is easy to talk4 with each other constantly with gusto. As time passes, you both meet new people and the same crush-like feelings arise and sometimes the feelings for prior crushes can fade away into a more subdued fondness or they can persist5. It can be based on something the other person has done, or something you have done or something neither of you had any control over whatsoever.
Whatever the reason for the change, it’s inevitable – we’re human, we have emotions6 and they affect our lives7. Now, if we were talking about romantic feelings it would be easier8 to say, “I’m sorry I don’t think that we’re going to work out” but for some reason the same can’t be used for friendship. We expect everyone to be our friend.
I noticed this even when I was living in Dubai; someone would want to be my friend but for some reason or another, the pull wasn’t as strong for me. Sometimes it was because I already had friends who would take up my time and so getting back to that person was always put on the back burner. And that’s it isn’t it? When the desire isn’t there to get back to someone – is that really something you can control9? Having said that, I try my best to get back to everybody – because it’s just disrespectful not to10 but sometimes… ugh11.
There is this person12 who I have known since I was some age I can’t even fathom anymore. We used to have daily, marathon conversations on the phone despite having spent all day together with our group of friends at school. The turning point for me will sound trivial, and it even sounds trivial to me now but the fact of the matter is she lost my trust with this behaviour and it has never been the same for me since.
It was about a boy. A shady boy who basically asked each of us out13 one after the other. Sure, at the time I had a problem with the fact that she said yes at all but I got over that. What still irks me is that she didn’t talk to me about it. I was still contemplating my answer to him when he asked her out, and without talking to me she said yes. Turns out he broke her heart14.
After all these years of knowing her15 I still don’t really know why she has such a problem with having a heartfelt conversation. I don’t know if it’s a fear of confrontation16 or I don’t know. I say I don’t know because the other option in my head is that she’s not that bright17 but maybe despite not wanting to be her friend, I still don’t want to think of her that way. It’s not really that important to me anyway as to why she won’t just ask me if anything is wrong.
I have been ignoring her emails, facebook messages and texts to me for a year now. I would say I have solidly ignored them except that every now and then I reply with ‘Sorry, I’m working’ when she invites me out somewhere18. And yet she continues to send me messages, pretending like nothing is wrong ; fassuming19 that I simply didn’t get the message because heaven forbid she did something wrong and I might be mad at her.
Except that now, I’m no longer mad. I just don’ t want to hang out. I don’t want to be her friend. I don’t hate her or her husband but I also don’t want to hang out for the sake of the number of years we’ve known each other. I have a hundred other friends who I have known for that long but they don’t try to perpetuate a ‘friendship’ just because of the length of time we have known of each other’s existence.
I don’t think they read this blog or I wouldn’t even be writing here. I realise that there is a chance and I’m taking that risk and if they do read this then this is a very passive aggressive move20 but at this point, it’s just the move I want to make.
How do you say, “Thanks but no thanks?” to friendship?
- well, I like being nice to everybody[↩]
- for lack of a better word; I seem to be using this word a lot lately and it doesn’t quite sit well but I can’t think of an alternative right now[↩]
- this is not limited to romantic crushes[↩]
- or tweet, as the case may be[↩]
- or grow stronger[↩]
- sorry to those who think you’re immune[↩]
- some more than others[↩]
- bear with me here[↩]
- Sure, the actual *action* you can control, but you can’t control the desire and desire is a powerful thing yo[↩]
- like when someone continually tries to make jokes with you that contain sexual innuendo even though you’ve asked them repeatedly to stop[↩]
- she used to be a friend[↩]
- through a mutual friend, we’re talking Dubai in the 90’s here[↩]
- feel bad for her, I did but it doesn’t help me trust her[↩]
- Like double digit years[↩]
- highly likely[↩]
- at least when it comes to people?[↩]
- I wasn’t lying either, I had to work some Saturdays during my last job[↩]
- fake assuming, because again I really don’t think she’s that dumb[↩]
- but apparently, this is how I roll – I try not to, it’s a work in progress[↩]