Advice Column: Response to “Blocked”

Dear Hailey,

I had a falling out with someone I considered a close friend and I have had so much trouble coping with it. Three months ago, I asked my friend for a favor. She declined & then proceeded to tell me that I was not someone she considered a friend. She was upset I had not followed up with her earlier in the year regarding a trip she was planning with me, her roommate, & some other mutual friends. I apologized & took ownership for not following through with her trip plans. I felt terrible knowing that she was mad at me. 

After texting back and forth, she said she had moved past the situation. After that, I made an active effort to meet up with her but she kept saying she was busy or not available. I missed our friendship & have been feeling immense anxiety and guilt over the situation. Last month I sent her a gift (a more meaningful way I thought of reaching out to her) & she never acknowledged receiving it or even cared to say thank you. My birthday was a few weeks ago and neither she nor her roommate (who was also my friend, someone who I went on trips with & who I have never had an issue with before) wished me. 

Today, I noticed her roommate blocked me on all social media. What hurts the most about this all is that these two girls are still close with our other friends. I am the only one they have an issue with & the only one they don’t talk to anymore.

Any advice on being ghosted by a friend? Being ghosted by a dear friend has felt so much more painful than anyone I’ve been involved with romantically. I have felt very anxious & sad lately. I want to know why two people who were formally my friends hate me so much considering the issue was seemingly minuscule and because I have been so apologetic .

Knowing that they are probably talking about me have consumed my thoughts & have made it difficult for me to focus on anything. This is ALL I think about now & I just want to move past this but I don’t know how. Any advice would help. Also, is it worth reaching out to them again and apologize? Thank you!

Sincerely,

Blocked

Dear Blocked,

Let’s review what’s happened. You have apologized. You took ownership of your mistake. You reached out. You mailed a gift. 

Your friend responded by telling you that she didn’t consider you a friend. She ignored you. She poisoned her roommate against you. 

Everyone makes mistakes. Your friend included. It’s not fair for her to expect perfection from you. There isn’t anything left for you to do. You’ve done more than enough to make amends. This issue has turned into something bigger than what actually happened, and has been blown way out of proportion. I don’t personally feel that its worth reaching out again, but only you can decide that for yourself. You have apologized enough.

Because your friend won’t give you the courtesy of a conversation, you need to write a letter to your friend. This letter is for you, and not for anyone else. Pour out your feelings in their entirety. Write it as if you would give it to her, but instead of mailing it throw it away, shred it, or burn it. 

Also, write a letter to yourself from yourself. Forgive yourself for not following up, and express your internal feelings that you have been struggling with. It’s ok to mourn the loss of this friendship. The loss of anything dear to you is worth mourning. The loss of an experience, a possession, a friendship, or anything else that is important to you are all difficult things to lose. 

The last key to moving past this type of struggle is to practice a concept from one of my favorite therapeutic techniques ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). One of the main keys to this technique is confronting what is bothering you. A really easy exercise is to sit down, breathe deeply for the whole exercise, hold your hands firmly to your chest or collar bone, and think about what has happened. There are many guided acceptance meditations available on youtube as well. If you keep pushing it back, it will keep sneaking into your thoughts. 

If this continues to haunt you and consume your life, I would consider traditional counseling as well. 

I wish you luck,

Hailey

Posted in Q&A

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