Sunday, September 11, 2005

Growing Apart

I learned last night at a friend's birthday party that I have managed to alienate a couple of acquaintances that used to be good friends. I'm having difficulty in deciding what to do.

You see, the friends that I've alienated and I grew apart. I tried to initiate a few things with both of them several years back, but didn't get responses and so assumed they weren't interested. But now they're upset that I didn't attend weddings or funerals or showers.

I've been to more showers than I care to remember, most of them at my job that has 50 other women. And one man. If I can avoid them, I do. When I got the shower and wedding invitations, I wasn't sure if I should feel included or insulted.

These are people that I see maybe, maybe twice a year at a party given by someone else. When I tried in the past to do things with them, most of the time they couldn't be bothered. Now I wonder why I'm expected to do friend things with people that don't treat me as a friend.

The reason I don't know what to do is that I don't like to hurt people's feelings. I honestly had no clue that these women would care about either my presence or my opinion any more. Now a third friend feels caught in the middle and has taken their pain to her heart.

I'm not asking for advice really, just thinking out loud-ish. Do I apologize, do I try to explain, do I tell them that while I used to be friends with them that I didn't thing we were anymore? My sister Jenny is better at not caring what people think than I am. I take most things too seriously and worry way too much about other people.

It's interesting how not doing something can make your life more complicated.


Diva said...

I'm never a good one to give advice anyway, but I do find myself spending my energies on meaningful friendships rather than acquaintances, as I grow older. I think most people do, or at least the people I know.

sxKitten said...

I'm with Diva - although I also worry far too much about what other people think about me, I've also realized that you can only cultivate so many relationships. The rest you have let fend for themselves. It's hard to do, though, especially for those of us with an overdeveloped sense of guilt.

Kate said...

I guess I read the relationship differently than they did, or something.

Mostly I just don't want my third friend to feel in the middle.

sxKitten said...

They may have different expectations, too - some people define friendship pretty broadly (or one-sidedly, where they expect everyone to be there for them without returning the favour).

Maybe if you explain the situation to your third friend, it will ease her position.

Kate said...

Yeah, I tried explaining. I think that she mostly got it, but through a tequila covered haze, which might be why she was so emotional in the first place.

Apathy Bear said...

You understate the case WRT your sister. She's more like a 9th level Master of Not Caring. I, despite being "Apathy Bear," am merely an Adept in the Enervated Art. I am in awe of the pitiless indifference with which your sister regards the concerns of other people.

Oh yeah. I don't have any good advice for you either... But it doesn't really sound like you wanted advice, so that's not a problem.

P.S. I did read that draft last night. It's quite good. You should go ahead with it.