Carolyn Hax: Negativity and anger threaten a friendship

shorthax

DEAR CAROLYN: The behavior of a person who I considered to be my closest friend changed — irritable, sarcastic, snippy and mean, mostly to me but also to my partner. This went on for months. When I finally brought it up, this person told me it was my fault. I had become “negative,” it was intolerable and a “vacation” from the friendship was required.

I won’t dispute the negativity accusation. I guess I slipped into that mode and needed to change before it became permanent. But although I was shattered with guilt when accused and accepted total responsibility for the “problem,” I have since been thinking about it. I have an issue with the manner in which this person handled the situation: I am extremely hurt and even angry. I did not inflict my negativity on anyone deliberately; I wasn’t even aware of being negative at the time. I feel that this person chose to be hurtful rather than constructive as a friend would be.

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Since the confrontation, this person has occasionally reached out with email invitations to activities, both one-on-one and group, but I am now very self-conscious and feel that the friendship is over. It would take a lot of effort to rebuild and I’m not sure it’s even possible. Is there any value in trying? I wish I could just shrug it off, but it is still a pretty deep wound.

T.

DEAR T.: It sounds as if you haven’t even talked with your friend about your new insights on the situation. When you haven’t yet exercised the power of your truth, you still have many possible outcomes — and you’re at the very bottom rung of the effort ladder.

She’s still inviting you to things one-on-one, so all you need to do

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

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