Losing a Friend
I had a best friend of almost 6 years. We had our arguments like friends would but we always apologised and moved on. Just recently he had messaged me saying he didn't want to be friends anymore over text message. This absolutely shocked me and I thought it was a joke he was playing. But, he was being serious. We hadn't messaged each other for awhile but I always made sure to check up on him whenever I saw him at school and converse with him - but he always seemed disinterested and less responsive towards me. I knew something was up but I didn't want to annoy him since he already was disinterested.
He had sent me message saying he think we should break our friendship. I asked him why and had told me he was sick of receiving the same treatment over the 6 years we've been friends. He told me he was sick of me being; manipulative, controlling, unsupportive of anything big in his life and the lies I've told. When he had mentioned that to me, I honestly felt like a stab in my heart, I personally felt like I didn't any of those things to him over the 6 years we've been friends and it hurts me to know that he felt/thought of me like that. I wonder if I had always been a bad friend, from my perspective I had nothing but been there for him and supported him through tough times when he confined in me. I can't describe how much it hurts me knowing he said all those words to me. I'm still shocked. He even told me other people felt the same which is shocking because I usually keep to myself and my small circle of friends.
He told me that he was willing to forgive and continue being friends as long as I changed. I told him that if he felt as those I did all those things to him over the 6 years we've known each other that we shouldn't be friends. I was upset at that moment and didn't want to be friends with him anymore - but now I'm conflicted as I MIGHT want to still be friends. I should have cleared my head instead of reacting with my emotion. But I'm still extremely hurt by his comments and don't know if being friends again is a great option for us.
Is it worth giving it another chance and try making amends between us?
Wow what an amazing post - so full of information and thought. It has certainly been an emotional journey for you recently. Your insight about wondering if you should have waited a little while before responding shows you are ready to reconsider and look into if the friendship should continue.
My short answer is "YES" it is worthwhile to think about making an attempt to repair your friendship. There must be some good glue there to hold it together for six years.
However what you might consider is what the friendship has been based on. His feedback to you and then passing that onto others is pretty cruel. Do you think that he has some personal issues that might be driving this behaviour? The role of a good friend is to support and encourage, but also to not hold back when truth is required. So does he really think those criticisms of you are valid, or is he reflecting what he really feels about himself?
It can get kinda deep doesn't it? If I may make a suggestion - think back about what value you have received form the friendship. Has there been good times, laughter, discovery, shared interests etc? Did you normally look forward to seeing each other? If not, maybe it wasn't a friendship at all but a habit? If the answer to the above is YES, then there is some good stuff to work on repairing the friendship.
A feel an actual chat face to face might be worth trying. Try to be very calm - tell him that you value the friendship, like him as a person, and would like to discuss why he feels those things. Remind him about all the good times you have shared over the years! I am not sure at all that you should offer to change as he would then be in a position of control. One sided friendships are hard to grow.
A better approach might be you offering to have a think about what he sees as barriers to your friendship, but to do that you need to first understand more about his comments and concerns.
Accepting criticism can be very empowering.
Go into this with a positive attitude, be prepared to give a little ground and Hey Presto, you guys might hug it out and be happy ever after!
I have always found that when I have a situation with a person, it makes me feel MUCH better to make to first approach at reconciliation as it rarely backfires.
But of course if in your heart you don't want him in your life then it might be best to let it go.
So give it a go and good luck! I am very interested in how it goes - please let me know?
First of all, I want to say that the fact that this situation has hurt you I think shows that you're a good person and really value your friendship with this person, even if there is truth in what your friend is saying.
Being told that you're manipulative, controlling, unsupportive and a liar is very serious, no one should say these things lightly, and this is extremely hard to hear especially from a long term friend. Ultimately it's up to you, but I think it's absolutely worth making amends between you two.
In order to do this, you have to be open to brutal honesty.. in order to show that you care and take this seriously, the only way you can prove this to them is really saying "I care about you a lot, and I want you to be completely honest with me about how you feel, and what I've done to hurt you". You might not necessarily agree with what he says, and that's okay. He might describe situations that you had no intention of causing any harm in, or you just weren't aware of how you were acting/how he felt. I think even if you don't completely agree with it, it's important that you understand that they are hurt by your actions, which is all that truly matters, even if it wasn't intentional.
All of this is completely okay, because the main thing is that you're able to really listen to him without judgement or lashing out, and give an apology for hurting him. Acknowledge that it might take you time to learn and understand that you've been in the wrong, but you're willing to do that for the sake of your friendship.
You may not instantly find anything wrong about the way you've acted, and that can come with time and growth to realise, but you need to be aware of how your actions have made them felt. If after he explains things to you and you still don't think you've been in the wrong, that is completely up to you also.
By the sounds of things, your friend does cherish your friendship because he wants to be friends with you if you change, and that's amazing.
This is extremely hard to go through. No one is perfect in friendships and relationships, it's how we change and learn for the better that is the most important thing, so please don't be too hard on yourself. I'm sure you're an amazing person, and I'm sure your friend knows that otherwise he wouldn't put in the effort to make amends and forgive you.
I hope you're doing well and taking care 🙂