Earlier this year, I shared a personal crisis with a long-time friend of mine over dinner. She showed interest and asked questions. She got teary-eyed as she listened. She assured me that she was there for me at this difficult time. I felt supported and validated. She hugged me tight as we parted ways.
Not a call. Not an email. Not a text.
Nothing. For months.
When we saw each other again for the first time—granted, this was in a group setting—she never once pulled me aside to ask how I was doing. She seemed happy and well.
I try not to make assumptions about other people. I try not to judge, because you never know what’s going on in someone else’s life.
When my husband gets impatient with a slow driver ahead, I tell him to pretend it’s his mom. When he rails against the guy who cut him off on the highway, I suggest that guy may be taking someone to the ER. And I try to adapt that line of thinking to times when I don’t understand the behaviors of people I care about.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever forgotten to check in with someone who was struggling. Or you’ve felt too awkward and avoided making contact. I know I have. We are all human.
I try to extend that grace to others.
The thing is, this friend and I were meeting for dinner because she wanted to clear the air. She’d betrayed my trust by sharing something I’d told her in confidence, and she was eager to make amends. So I accepted her apology and, in a show of good faith, I opened up about my difficulties.
Now here I am again, feeling like crap—angry at her but also angry at myself for letting my guard down. I trusted a good friend and, while I felt supported in the moment, she dropped the ball.
My husband, who is buddies with this woman’s spouse, tells me to reach out to her, to clear the air. He’s invested in our couples’ friendship.
Really? How many chances does someone get to do better?
(And no, I checked and she does not subscribe to my emails so this is not a passive-aggressive way of telling her I’m pissed.)
Other girlfriends, some very new, have done a better job being there for me in my time of need. I am learning to lean into those relationships.
I deserve better. We all do.
YOUR TURN: Let us know in the comments: Has this happened to you? How have you dealt with friendship disappointments or uncaring behaviors?