End of a “Friendship”

I had a falling out with someone the other day. Over Twitter. Someone I’ve known for a few years via the internet. They are geographically local and we got to chatting on a website, though we never met in person.

Nor we will ever be, after this week, and I don’t much care.

Truth be told, I liked them to a certain degree. She’s smart, a bit funny. But it was clear that she was one of the most self-absorbed, insensitive people I knew. I’ve known a  lot of those type of people over the years, and sadly many of them have pretended to be friends of mine.

I unfollowed her on Twitter right afterward, when it became clear that as usual, my feelings on the matter were not relevant to her. She defriended me on Facebook the next day, and with one final “up yours” kind of message to her, that was the end of  that. (No, i didn’t have to. Yes, I did it anyway, and I don’t especially regret it. I was only saying to her the exact same thing she had said to me.)

For a short while I was annoyed with myself after the argument. I asked myself if ever I would be able to avoid this sort of ugliness with people. It has been a common occurrence in my life to run into such small people that offer just enough to appear civilized for a time, only to reveal their true colors. But once I calmed down, I realized I have gotten better overall at avoiding/detecting such people.

This sort of thing really doesn’t happen as often as it used to, probably because I don’t let myself invest in people as much as I once did. The sad reality is too many people have treated me like shit over the years, and I finally by default began to adjust by assuming most people are not as fond of me as they appear until actions prove otherwise. Cynical, but necessary.

As a result, despite my disappointment over this recent event, I’m pretty close to over it already. I’m sure I’ll spit and snipe about it once or twice over the next two weeks as I marvel at the pettiness and duplicity of people as a whole, but it won’t alter my trajectory like it once would have.

It had been clear for a while that she only ever really engaged me when she needed something, or when she was whining and bitching about some general point I was making about a topic that didn’t concern them. She even had to publically take away “cool points” from me because I mentioned I was watching a baseball game. I mean, what’s it to you, right? You dress up like zombies for fun, and you don’t see me pointing out the obvious pathetic loserhood of that past time.

She never really offered me any help, and never made mention of anything I said or did with which she agreed. Never a compliment of any kind from her. I’m too old for that sort of thing.

Yet even with all that, absent of a specific attack, I didn’t feel right just dropping her out of my circle, though I knew there was little substance there. I guess in a way it was good she finally pissed me off enough to tell her how it was. (I often say the best way to piss off someone small minded is to behave towards them in the exact same manner they behave towards you, and that’s exactly what I did. Predictably she didn’t like it, and accused me of PMSing…the ultimate in intelligent rebuttal.)

It remains a mystery to me how often people really do express almost no concern for the feelings of other people. I take that back, it surprises me how often I personally cross paths with such with such narcissists. It seems to happen with a consistency beyond statistical probability. Whatever the reason, I don’t and won’t miss her.

Last week all she could mention to me was getting to the 8 pages of her vampire novel she’d sent me…saying she felt “forgotten” because I didn’t get to them as quickly as I had hoped. I had the nerve to be preoccupied by helping my mother in the wake of her surgery last week. Something this…individual didn’t express the slightest interest in.

I’m also satisfied I finally got to take the first step towards severing a connection, as opposed to someone else going first. (Because when people ignore me, they almost never give me a reason for it.)

Why do I write this? I don’t know, really. Perhaps just to express something other than anger over this all too familiar scenario. To express in words the fact that while I am annoyed and let down a bit, I’m at last able to handle at least some of this kind of crap in a more deliberate, calm way. I’m sure someone will make me angry with their attitude and egotism. But it’s nice to see I have enough discernment these days to not feel affronted when I lose the “friendship” of mental children like this.

Still a bit like biting into a sour grape though. But I can spit those out easily enough.

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6 Comments

  1. ken willie

    Ty … When you respond to someone in this manner, you have just indicated she has power to ruin your day. If you continue to “shut the door” on people with defects of character you will eventually find yourself all alone. None will be perfect… Ever! Think about it, you may be able to use this character in a novel someday. Don’t worry. 50 years from now this event will be meaningless.

    • Thanks, and valid point. But she didn’t ruin my day. Just caused some annoyance, and some disappointment.

  2. I thought this was interesting. I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a second:
    What about your reaction to her? Was it valid? Were you too harsh? Did you step back for a second and think about what the situation was and whether it was worth severing ties over?

    I’m highly selective of the people I invest my time into. Someone who doesn’t make me feel happy after my encounters with them will very quickly find themselves cast out of my close circle of friends. That being said, I am very forgiving as well, and I do realize that you have to pick your battles. If they insult someone or something close to me, I’m a force to be reckoned with. If we can’t agree that the best ice cream flavour is mint or vanilla, then I don’t really think it’s cause for excommunication.

    Did you pick your battle?

  3. I believe I did pick my battle, Mehnaz, in the sense that it was all fairly one sided. I admit that I should have just severed things sooner than I did, since indeed, they never made me feel good about anything. It was at best a neutral feeling, and at worst, being made to feel used. Even then, had their been at any point the slightest indication that they regretted hurting my feelings, I could probably have mustered forgiveness, though the relationship would still have been different. But when one’s response to my being offended is “change your tampon”, I’m fairly certain she was not at all concerned about having offended me. (And she did go first with making all of this personal…I was merely conceptual.)

    When the person is worth it, and ready to listen to how I am feeling, I do “fight” for friendships. But in this case, it seems clear to me they didn’t feel I had any value as a person outside of providing them with some sort of information or service.

    In the end, the mistake was mine to invest as much time and thought as I did, i suppose. But I guess they didn’t offend me with their lack of involvement and appreciation of me until this incident. With that, and the lack of coming to the table, I washed my hands of them, and don’t, based on anything I’ve ever been led to believe, regret it much.

  4. I really try not to be that person who only shows up as a friend when I need a favor from someone….or in this case, someone to read pages for me. :/ People and their writing produce a weird form of narcissism. Them and their writing becomes the most important thing in the world, to the point where they become unprofessional and downright rude when meeting any setbacks or criticism. Even when it’s obviously not the other person’s fault. But ask yourself: do you want the kind of person this lady seemed to be as a critique partner? She seems…immature. “Change your tampon” seems like something you’d say to a random troll in the mire of the YouTube comment section. Not to a friend whom you’ve asked to read pages for you.

    I had a similar thing happen to me. A girl around my age blogs and things, and after she lashed out at me several times over innocent things — questions that she took as personal criticism; a humorous post that she read as completely serious and critical — both on my blog and on her own, I unfollowed her blog and twitter. She was generally caustic and insensitive anyway, and I don’t believe it was on purpose. I believe it was genuinely emotional immaturity. I was rather disappointed, having done a couple of group blogfests with her and such, but I wasn’t sad to sever the connection. Also, with me, an acquaintance with someone who completely lacks a sense of humor was never destined to last.

  5. Excellent point about a sense of humor, Laura, even apart from all other things. I too would find a friendship with someone who lacked one to be very difficult.

    As for the tendency for a writer to become destructively egocentric, that is true in general as well as specifically. She only ever agreed to review my pages once, herself, and even then never finished with them, as far as I can remember. I try to make an extra effort as a writer to provide as good, as constructive and as fair a service to other writers as I would like to receive from them. (The local writers salon I have been going to for the last year or so had enhanced my abilities to do so.)

    As for your experience…yes…sounds quite similar…and I would think that you are better off without them as much as I am better off without my person in question.

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