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Friendship ended with ___, now overwhelming guilt is my best friend
I've got a close friend who has harboured this long time crush on me that I recently discovered bordered on an obsession.
He's been struggling with depression and I was trying really hard not to lead him on while still supporting him, but I think he took it the wrong way. My group of friends decided that we'd pretend I'd gotten a boyfriend so he could get over it. But he took it really badly and ended up saying some disgusting things to another one of our friends about how he 'deserved me' and that he 'didn't think I was the kind of girl to go after anyone else'.
I could have forgiven this in that it was said in the heat of the moment, but it's come to light that he's been saying some really sexist things and generally bullying people on reddit and other places too (he doesn't know we know this). We recommended he get some help, and I think he has, but I don't think I can forgive him enough to be his friend anymore.
He doesn't have any other friends outside our group and he keeps saying some really depressing things. I feel really guilty that while I want him to get happier and find a support network, I don't really want to have to talk to him knowing what sort of person he was while I trusted him, and neither do most of our other friends.
Should we tell him what we know and how we feel about this? I feel really guilty and I don't know what to do, but I'm not even in a good enough headspace myself to be able to deal with him.
You're definitely in a tough and challenging situation. Personally, I believe guilt is nothing more than a prompt to rise to greater consciousness/awareness so try not to let it eat at you too much.
I think I'd be cautious in how you approach him. Without knowing the reasons behind his behaviour, you can't necessarily predict the outcome (after confronting him). Whether he lashes out or goes into a deeper depression is ultimately not your responsibility, yet how you choose to confront him is, especially if you know him to be a highly sensitive sort of guy.
The reasons for his behaviour could be perfectly natural yet highly questionable at the same time:
- It is natural to be attracted to the only person who gives us the attention and understanding we crave. We must take responsibility though in grounding our self in such a state of attraction. It pays to be realistic, considerate and respectful toward the person helping us
- It is natural to be sexist if you were conditioned to be sexist. I'm not excusing his behaviour or attitude, just possibly explaining it. If he has not been led to constructively question his resentment or belittling of a particular gender, he may see nothing significantly wrong with it, even though he knows it's not acceptable in certain situations. He may even harbor resentment of a particular gender due to certain traumas or abuse of some kind - you never know
I believe that when we rise to higher consciousness in regard to addressing a certain challenge, the guilt naturally begins to dissipate a little. We can feel a little more empowered by curiosity and answers.
If you want to get to the bottom of things, it may pay to question this guy, as opposed to taking the action of accusing him. Questioning can allow for greater understanding on both sides. Questioning why you simply can't be friends and that's all or questioning why he resents a particular gender so much may lead you to some interesting realisations.
Thanks for your post and an interesting situation.
The rising has insights and ideas about questioning things.
It is hard when one is so lonely and maybe lacking in people skills that one appears to be needy.
Would you able to be friends with boundaries.?