If there is anything I am better at than stealing friends, it’s losing friends. I’m very insecure about myself and I think it causes tension among the people I surround myself with. Okay, so maybe that isn’t the heart of it. I think the real issue is that I slowly phase myself out because I have this whole internal monologue going constantly about how annoying they must find me and how they would be better off without me. Talk about depressing, am I right? Who would want to be friends with that?!
I don’t remember most of my friends prior to middle school but I blame that mostly on how young I was. No one remembers their childhood right? But regardless, I can still recount many times I have lost a friend. I mean, they’re still around somewhere but we just don’t talk now. I’m probably even still friends with some of them on Facebook.
When it comes to friendships I think it’s very hard to have a lot of them. If you know me in person I’m sure you would understand. I am an introvert when I’m my truest self. I prefer small groups of meaningful friendships rather than a multitude of surface level acquaintances because as I mentioned in my previous post, you need to invest a lot of time into “stealing” friends. Obviously I don’t actually think that’s the reason for it but it’s a fun joke. I know you didn’t come here for a detailed description of my personality so I will jump into it.
In high school I had a best friend. Shocking, I know. She and I had plans that were going to keep us together forever. Go to college together, live together, even date our middle school crushes who also happened to be best friends. It was fool proof. That was until it wasn’t. During our four years of high school we had a very bumpy relationship. I wasn’t the best I could be and she wasn’t as understanding as I maybe needed.
When it came time to go to college we had settled on two different colleges which ended up changing the course of our friendship completely. Up until that point I spent almost every Monday night at her house after cheer practice during the school year. When we went off to school we didn’t have time to catch up. We lead fairly different lives by that point and drifted apart. I went home every weekend to work and she had an actual social life which I could never imagine having. Of course she ended up having new friends and what we had was put on the back burner.
I remember she used to tell me she loved how we could go so long without talking and then pick up again like no time had passed. I didn’t feel the same. I remember I would always be the one to reach out first. Call first, text first, make plans first. I felt like I wasn’t important which probably was no fault of hers. (Hey, if you’re reading this, sorry.) I began to stop initiating conversations and suddenly it had been months since we talked last. I think we tried a few more times to make it work but I think it was doomed. Sometimes you can’t be best friends with someone forever, no matter how fool proof your plans are. Life just happens.
I would say this makes me a professional at losing friends. I feel like I am qualified enough to create a list of how to do it. Keep reading if you’re interested.
How to lose a friend in 7 easy steps
- Make plans – this way you can easily track your progress. Plan to go to college together. Plan to open a business together. Plan to have a yearly tradition of going to the 4th of July rodeo. Whatever you fancy.
- Invest time – You’ll notice that this overlaps with my previous list. Time is important because it means you care enough about the plan to sacrifice your “me” time. Research the top party colleges. Location scout for the perfect building. Go to her house and get ready together for a once a year event so you can take a thousand ‘TBT’ pictures to last you through the year.
- Stop – This one is probably not either of your faults. But just don’t follow through with your plans. It’s easy to forget as the months go by. People change, dreams change. Maybe you no longer live in close proximity. Whatever happened, you just stop.
- Have a mental illness – This might be a bit taboo but it makes the next steps easier.
- Reflect – Go over everything you’ve ever done wrong in your friendship up until this point. Every promise you broke. Every time you let them down. Every time you weren’t awake at midnight to talk. Every time you weren’t able to hang out because of work. Obsess over it. Make sure that you blame yourself for all of it.
- Don’t Initiate – convince yourself that this person will be better off without you in their life and stop initiating conversations. By this point you’ve recognized that you’re the one who texts first almost everyday and they are surely trying to subtly tell you they aren’t interested anymore. (This step also works well with potential love interests)
- Move away (or quit your job) – I find this one to be helpful because I don’t know how to be friends with someone who doesn’t live close to me. If you move away then it’s easier to forget why you aren’t friends. This is a coping mechanism so you don’t have to be reminded of what there once was.
And there you have it. Seven more steps to friendship. I’m on a freaking roll. I’ve been thinking of writing a self help book. Maybe I would call it something like ‘7 simple rules for all relationships.’ It’s a working title. I’ll polish it up when I start to edit.