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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Friendship, on the rocks, with ice.

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Author Topic: Friendship, on the rocks, with ice.
jazzberry
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Member # 59137

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Hello there, Scarleteens.

Since my last post/s here, I've been going through some personal growth, which is great! I'm learning what works for me and what doesn't in terms of relationship contents/values, and have built up a social circle that I feel good about...which makes the following situation the scratch in my improving record. (You know the record-scratch sound effect? That's how it feels.) I'm on edge about things with one friend (let's call them X), and wonder if they're trying to cut me out completely.

X and I were friends for a while, and things progressively became very flirtatious. I have no complaints on that; I found myself very attracted to X and was relieved to find there was mutual physical attraction. The friendship was going well, we'd talked about becoming FWB, and made plans to finally 'hook up' (i.e., have sex). In the midst of some flirty banter last week where we were anticipating said tryst, I turned the conversation unduly serious, also insulting X in the process. Things have been frosty since--we haven't talked.

I sent an apology a couple days ago, admitting that what I said was out of line, that I'd hurt X and felt awful about it, and that I'd hate to lose contact with X, adding that it took a week of being afraid to say this because I didn't want to hurt/anger X further. (It did take over a week to stop panicking and send a 'sorry'...I wasn't sure how opening contact would go.) I don't expect to hear from X for several days since sending the apology, though I still worry. I don't want to be the one 'pushing' to reconcile, which is 1) lousy, 2) manipulative. (The ex that brought me to first post on here manipulated me in a similar fashion, and I'm aware of the signs this time.)

I also found out a mutual friend (let's call them Y) has also been having trouble with X, in that Y's been feeling undervalued by X and things are now 'blowing up'. It's a platonic twist on my situation, but I can't help sensing a pattern, especially since both events happened simultaneously...

I'm not sure what else to do to go about in fixing things up with a friend, much less getting things back to the near-pinnacle they were at.

Thoughts? Opinions? Advice?

I'd appreciate it all.

Posts: 63 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Redskies
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Hi Jazzberry [Smile]

So glad that you've been having personal growth and relationship-building, and that you sound happy about the results and process.

As it's been just a couple of days since you sent the apology message, I think the key right now is time. Leave X some more time to respond before you start too much worrying or wondering what's going on. Maybe X needs some more time to process what happened and your apology and figure out how they feel and what they want to say or do; maybe they're earnestly busy with something demanding or important. You've sent an apology and a wish to remain friends, so you're right that the best and most respectful thing to do is give X a bit of space to work their own stuff out - whether that has anything to do with you or not.

I'm not sure how much you can tell from Y's experiences with X. It sounds like a pretty different situation happened, so it may just be a coincidence. Even if it's not a coincidence, if something's going on with X, there are so many things that something could be, including personal or life stresses or issues that have nothing to do with the value X has for specific friendships or friendships in general.

When there's any kind of difficulty in a relationship, thinking of "getting things back" tends not to be the most helpful frame. "Where now?" is likely to be more productive and healthier. For sure, you can look back at the things you liked best or that worked best and use that to think about what you want now and in the future, or for guidance about how you might communicate with someone. Actually, "where now?" applies all the time, not just after difficulties: people and relationships are never statues, but changing and flowing things. Sometimes it's easier to deal with difficulties, worry and change if we think of it as part of a whole, ever-changing picture.

Is X someone who you'd consider a close friend, someone where you think the two of you would generally be able to share the less shiny, more imperfect parts of yourselves, and - provided that doesn't involve deal-breakers for either - have that be something which makes the relationship deeper and more secure and comfy?

--------------------
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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zeitvogel
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My thoughts are in the form of questions [Smile]

How would you like to continue with X? If sex is now off the table, would you still want to spend time with them?

Was the insulting thing you said something you actually think, or just something that came out wrong? If it's the former, have you changed your mind on it now?

Will you see X in social gatherings etc even if they don't specifically contact you?

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jazzberry
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Redskies and zeitvogel, thanks/kiitos for the kind words and questions.

Redskies, I agree with you on your points--that 'twill take time to get a response, much less to figure things out about "where are we now?" (Kudos for making me think of a David Bowie song.) In the meantime, I'll focus on myself and my own life, and will leave Y's situation out of this, as bringing others in would complicate things for me.

X and I aren't particularly close, but we had been getting closer. I was hoping to move towards a closer friendship, regardless of whether sex returns to the table. We move in some interconnected circles, so there is a small chance of running into one another, and I hope we can both be mature and deal with it in a friendly manner.

zeitvogel, what I said to X was something that came out wrong, and though a grain of truth was there, it could have been worded in a completely different way to avoid this whole fiasco.

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Heather
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(It's good to see you, jazzberry! [Smile] )

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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jazzberry
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Hello all...Things took a turn for the worse and potentially bizarre.

I misjudged leaving my friendship with Y out of the situation between X and me, as the three are now linked in a bad way.

To begin, I know X has some maturity and communication issues, so post-apology, I figured I'd give X at least a month or two to let things blow over before trying again to be friendly.

This is where Y comes in--they chose me as (a very reluctant) confidant for their personal drama, as Y also was getting on X's nerves. (Y is relatively controlling with relationships, and most people who know Y keep their distance. I found this out more recently.) Y appeared to want "more" from the friendship than X did, and sent an "ultimatum" to X around the same time as I had sent X my apology. Y kept pushing X for "respect" that seemed more like kid-glove-handling, and soon cut friendship ties with X.

As soon as Y cut ties with X, X deactivated their Facebook account. (I checked; they didn't block me.) Even if I wasn't planning to message X soon, I now have NO way of getting in touch with X for who-knows-how-long, as that was our main medium of contact. The bonus issue is that Y and I were publicly seen as close friends, and I wonder if X will keep away from me in the future because of guilt-by-association.

My concern for now is with some of the phrases Y said to me in conversations about X. "Don't talk to anyone about this; I'll know if you do" was my first red flag moment. The second was after Y ended things with X: "Not everybody wants to be my friend." It sounded like a loaded statement in that they pushed someone towards ending the friendship, and the "don't tell" admonition seemed less like confidence and more like emotional blackmail. I never told Y of my situation with X, and I'm glad I didn't, but I feel very uncomfortable being friends with Y now, and am starting to give them distance as well. Manipulative language makes me uneasy.

Ideally, I still hope to resolve things with X (if they ever return to Facebook; I have no other contacting means for them).

I'm really frustrated at how things have turned out...

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Sam W
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Hi Jazzberry,

Sorry to hear things have continued to be frustrating.

As far as X is concerned, I think time, like Redskies mentioned, is a really relevant factor. X made need an as yet to be determined amount of it to sort out whether or not they want to reconnect with you (especially if they had the incidents with both you and Y fall close together). This could take quite a while, and it's always helpful to keep in mind that when friends reconnect after a rift, the level and nature of that friendship might be very different from what it was before, and decide whether or not you'd be open to a different version of that friendship.

As for Y, I think it's good that you are honoring your own boundaries around language that feels manipulative and decreasing contact with them.

Going forward, is there something in particular you feel would be the most helpful for us here at Scarleteen to do for you?

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jazzberry
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Sam, thanks for the response and feedback; I really appreciate that.
I'm not sure what I want at the moment--in specifics beyond the respect you offer here.

I need to finish up on some loose ends with Y, and I may end up working with them in the future, so I can't exactly confront them. It hurts, but I need to find a way to handle slowly slipping away from them.

As for X, there is *nothing* I can do, and I am trying to minimize the current feelings of hurt. It reminds me of a bad break-up, and it's very trying in that I don't want to lose my self-control or my sanity--if I let myself feel all the negative feelings, I'll start thinking negatively about myself as well, and it'll evolve into a loop of mental self-torture.

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Sam W
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Hi Jazzberry,

I think those both sound like good plans. I think, for the X situation, it's ok to let yourself have some feelings of loss and to process those as you see best, as it can really sting to feel that we've lost the connection to someone that we once had.

If you haven't had a look, we have this article that has some self care advice, and you might find some of them helpful in the event that your brain starts going into negativity loop mode:
Self-Care a La Carte

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jazzberry
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I am dealing with things as they pop up. X is apparently back online, but I'm giving X time and space. Maybe in a couple months, we can try things again, but for now it's a bizarre relief in spite of the space. To Y I have given space, and will continue to do so, even though we work in similar circles and I want to stay on 'good' terms with them. So the saga continues...
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Redskies
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Sorry to hear things happened how they did. I don't want to assume anything, but it sounded as if you were thinking you should've known more about the whole situation or figured it out better. I'm pretty sure you would've said extra stuff in your original post if you'd known, so I guess you didn't. None of us can act on what we don't know. It's just sad and unfortunate, and, as you said, frustrating, that things sometimes unfold in an unhelpful order, and we wish we'd known some stuff earlier. None of us are mind-readers, so it's ok that you didn't know more about Y or the situation between X and Y. Sometimes hard in hindsight, but not something that could reasonably have been different.

I think your plan for Y is probably the most practical, and agree that from what you describe something sounds off.

--------------------
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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jazzberry
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Hello again. I wanted to post an update on how things have turned out. I have gradually started messaging with X again, and it seems like things have not changed between us as friends, which is fine so far. I'm treading a tad more carefully just in case, but so far it's going okay.

I worked with Y at an event a couple days ago, and when chatting during a break, I still kept silent on most of my stuff, while letting Y be on their filibuster, which gradually came around to their story with X. Y has a post-friendship theory that X is a fairly angry person, i.e., dissatisfied with their life, and X was taking out their anger on Y in an emotionally abusive sense. Y insists that if X shows up at any events where Y is working, Y would have X thrown out.
I'm still keeping my distance with Y, because as an abuse survivor, I'm not sure how to process this information, especially from Y as the source. I generally had an okay-ish time of calling out X on any boundaries that were being pushed, and X would stop pushing, and like Y, all of our contact with X was mainly through messaging online.

So things are going, but as no clairvoyant, I have no idea where.

I'm not looking for answers or advice at the moment on either issue, but if y'all have any questions or comments, by all means please share. I appreciate your input.

Posts: 63 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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