Post # 1
Just sent this letter to a close friend of mine. We had a conversation the other day that really pissed me off. Basically I’ve been completing my master’s program and have pretty much been off the face of the earth since February. I understand she misses me, but I feel like she was being manipulative and acting like the victim in our last conversation.
I rewrote this letter like 5 times trying to explain myself without being a jerk.
Be honest, do I sound like a d***? (rhymes with click)
Since our last discussion, I have had a lot of trouble trying to reason my feelings about the general tone and topic we discussed. It has been several days, and yet, I am still quite angry. Instead of calling you and risking catching you in the wrong moment or not making myself as clear as I should be, I decided writing a letter would be the best route.
I realize I have been mia in various spurts since the beginning of the year. One month, I’m available to hang out- the other I decline everything. I realize this is confusing, and I love being asked to go out and have a hard time saying no because I enjoy going out with you. I also realize this is hard, especially considering you have dealt with several problems during this period. However, I have a hard time reconciling that I have not been there for you in a genuine period of need. You know how to get a hold of me in such situations. I feel like I have been there for you, and while it may have not been to the extent I have provided in earlier times- I feel that I am certainly not ignoring your pain or needs. I am a friend, I am here for you. But, on that note, I do not have the time, energy or really mental capacity to deal with the daily issues that I would otherwise be more than willing to help you vent. By keeping myself isolated I am protecting myself from having to deal with any more stress than I already have. By being isolated, I also have to deal less with the constant knowledge that other than spending the very little time with Glenn or my family that I get, my life pretty much sucks on a daily basis right now.
During our conversation I felt that you spent the majority of the time giving me a guilt trip for not being available more often these past couple of months. I was also pretty pissed that you spent several minutes telling me how much you understood what I am going through and even though it hurts you, you haven’t said anything because you understand. That in itself is doing exactly what you are saying you’re not doing. And frankly, I feel like it’s real shit that you would even go there. I could go on, but I am still angry and I really don’t want to say anything more.
Post # 3
I don’t think you sound like a *click* but I can tell that you are still pretty emotionally charged up with your friend. Sometimes it’s necessary to get things off your chest though. Do you feel better having tried to clear the air with her?
Also – is she just giving you grief for not being able to hang out with her as often as she’d like?
Post # 4
It sounds like you are telling her off because she misses you. I think it could have been a little more sympathetic.
I thought this was mean: “I am a friend, I am here for you. But, on that note, I do not have the time, energy or really mental capacity to deal with the daily issues that I would otherwise be more than willing to help you vent.” It is like you are saying, “I’ll be your friend, but only in an emergency. Otherwise, eff off.”
Post # 5
Thanks inexplicablecomfort Most of the time I get angry about something, I take a day or two to mull it over in my head. 99% of the time I realize that its not worth being angry over, or it was just a misunderstanding or whatever. This time though, even 5 days and I’ll still upset. She hasn’t responded yet and probably won’t until after work.
Since I went away every single time I talk to her she mentions that she wants to hang out, even when we were hanging out, more often because she rarely gets to see me anymore. And I explain that right now I really don’t have the time and I will be more available when I’m done (by June.) But she just presses it more, or says something along the lines of “well, anything. i just really miss spending time with you. *sign* honestly it kind of hurts my feelings.” and I’m like “honestly I’m going to beat your face soon.” (joking but not really)
I have friends that peace out for months at a time. I’ll check in every couple of weeks and make sure they’re okay, but I realize they just need space. I don’t understand how she can not do the same for me. Moreover, making me feel bad when I’m already stressed to the max.
Post # 6
wow- major verbal dump. Sorry.
Post # 7
@Lt.Columbo: Totally agree. If I received this email I would consider my frienship with that person on hold, possibly indefinitely. Friendship shouldn’t come with conditions.
Post # 8
I think the letter could have been shorter and a little less pedantic.
Something more like, “I’m so sorry that I haven’t been able to spend much time with you recently and I wish you wouldn’t make me feel so guilty about it. I really love hanging out with you and can’t wait for school to end and my regular life to resume. Believe me, I hate not having a social life during school and I hate not knowing what’s going on in your life”
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2012 - Franklin Plaza
@PinkMagnolia: <— What she said.
OP, my very best friend (and MOH) is super busy with her with first year of residency. I miss her SO much, especially during this period in my life. I will admit that I sometimes say things similar to what your friend said, but it’s only because I value her friendship and genuinely miss her company and not because I am trying to make her feel guilty. If she sent me an email similar to the one you sent I would assume the friendship is over….
Post # 11
Has this been sent or is this the first draft. You still sound pissed off and that’s not a good idea if your wanting to keep the friendship. Wait a week then read it again and I think you’ll make some changes. If it’s sent well it will probably put a strain on the relationship. The letter isn’t very friend like 🙂
Post # 12
As someone in the throes of finishing my dissertation, I’ll say two things. 1) I completely understand that you’re not as available to your friends as you might otherwise be, and that it sounds like your friend is being a little clingy. 2) I don’t think now is a good time to deal with this. You’re extremely stressed out and under a lot of pressure with deadlines. That can make you react more strongly to things like this than you might otherwise. This seems like it might be one of those times.
Can I ask what the “problems” are that she’s dealt with, that you allude to in the letter?
Post # 13
You guys are all right. I had a feeling I was being very harsh. And yet I feel like I’ve told her this the past four months and nothing has come of it. Out of all her long term friends, I am generally the one who is the softest with her. But I’m pretty fed up. And yet, I don’t want to be cruel
How can I better explain my feelings when we talk later?
Post # 14
@PinkMagnolia: What she said.
You’re angry at your friend for making you feel bad. And she made you feel bad because you made her feel bad by not being there for her when she went through a rough time. So she already felt bad and felt like you didn’t care and now you’re yelling at her and explaining why you are too busy for her problems….meanwhile going on about what’s happening in your life. Honestly, it doesn’t sound like you really even like this girl. Maybe you’d like to take a few steps back in your relationship?
I will say that if I were her and I got that letter I’d be heartbroken . . . especially after reaching out. I’d be so sad to finally see a long email from my bff after months of very little response, only to find that she took the time to write a letter basically telling me off. Because, if you had time to write that, and then post it here, you probably had time to just talk to her in the first place. You don’t have to be anything to anyone if you don’t want to be. But if you value this person, you might need to carve time out for her. I’ve been there with the being busy. I’ve worked a full time job and a 20 hour unpaid internship and still managed to spend time with those who matter. It can be hard to balance but basically, if something/someone is important to you, you’ll make it work. If they’re not, why bother spending time on it at all?
Post # 15
@missfrillycoat: Two questions:
What is your goal for this conversation?
What are the problems she’s had that you alluded to above?
Post # 16
artichokey I am confused? She had a rough incident a couple weeks back. I was there for her, I would not have not been there for her. What I was saying was that I feel like she is giving me a guilt trip for not doing the weekly (daily) chat up that she enjoys. And yes, I was being harsh, but I would not have left her alone when she needed me. I want this to be clear…