A friend shared a photo with me, saying she was not pleased about a certain friend who cornered every new friend she introduced to her. The friend would then exclude her from activities. I asked whether the friend made plans with the third parties when she was unavailable, but according to her, that was not the case.
I have also seen a number of posts where people mention that friendships these days have no depth. They say loyalty and integrity seem to be missing.
She wanted to know what I thought, and I mentioned that I do not have issues with my friends becoming friends with people I introduce them to. Who knows, they may click on a level that I do not with them. However, if they choose to always exclude me from things and, worse, if either party chooses to run a smear campaign against me, I will question things.
I dealt with this in the university, and I certainly took valuable lessons away from the experience. Here are three things I go by:
Give people the benefit of doubt
Sometimes we are too quick to conclude. It could happen that your friends who met through you become really good friends, but it does not mean that they have anything against you. If they have more in common and get on better, it should not affect or change your relationship with either of them. If it bothers you, check with them before jumping into conclusions.
Know when to move on
Not all friendships will last, unfortunately. Some people come into our lives for a time/season. If you have this at the back of your mind, it may not bother you much if a friend decides that a mutual friend is the reason to move on. Let it go and respect their decision. In reality, you just may no longer have much in common, so the other friend only provided a good excuse for the friend to move on.
Put in the work
All relationships need to be nurtured. There are some friends who are fine with not seeing each other in ages but can easily pick off where they left. For others, regular communication or some form of communication is required to keep them in tune with you. When this does not happen, people grow apart. So it is best to know your friends and what works for them.
Now these may not apply to you, but you might want to check why you are no longer friends with someone, especially if it is linked to a third party that you introduced.
One thing I do not think friendship should be is toxic. Face reality, we all have our issues and one person might not be able to stand your flaws, while it could be nothing to another person. If your relationship with someone seems to drain you and give you cause to lose sleep all the time, that person is probably not meant to remain in your life.
Disagreements are a normal part of human relations. So when people have disagreements and do not resolve them, but decide to no longer be friends, I am usually perplexed. Disagreement is a part of the package so should be treated as such. I’ve also seen people who do not believe that they should have disagreements with friends, which is not realistic.
I always encourage people to let the other person know how he/she feels. Communication cannot be overemphasised. If you feel constantly undermined, put down or disrespected, mention it. People have different orientations, and there is a chance that you may be reading meaning where there is nothing. The other party might not mean any harm and might not realise that he/she is being insensitive.
Meeting with friends should leave one energised, happy, motivated, etc. We connect with people on different levels. One person may be the one who knows how to make you laugh. The next may be your voice of reason. Someone else may be the person you can tell all your secrets to. We need to pay attention not to force people to play roles that they are incapable of playing. Sometimes, we have ideas of how we want people to be friends to us, but that cannot always work. Managing our expectations is quite important.
The fact that you are a certain way does not mean everyone will be like you, or care for you the way you do for others. We cannot point fingers without checking if we might be the problem.
I have been cut off by some friends, same way I have cut some friends off. It is okay and I hold nothing against them. Some mentioned the reason why. With others, we grew apart, stopped communicating, or there was simply nothing to talk about so some friendships died a natural death.
It helps to bear in mind that you may be a problem to somebody without even knowing. If someone decides to no longer be friends with you and the person is nice enough to let you know, respect their choice.
Friendship should not be forced. Instead, it should be about support, validation, affirmation, etc. On some days, all a person needs to hear is a kind word to let them know they are appreciated and doing well in this journey called life, or no words at all – the company would suffice. Be the kind of friend you would like someone else to be to you.