21st Century Friendships

Creating, Building, and Maintaining Friendships in an Ultra-Connected Time

How to (not) Gracefully End A Friendship

on April 24, 2014

I feel like I have a lot of strengths when it comes to friendship. I’m an awesome listener, very open minded, I’ve been told I make people feel very comfortable.

Probably one of the biggest weaknesses I have is dealing with friendship drama. And, honestly, most of the drama I have usually come from not drawing clear boundaries with people, and feeling walked on for months.

Once again I recently felt the need to end a friendship. It made me realize that I don’t really know how to do with that without causing more drama.

It seems these days unfriending someone on Facebook is a very clear declaration of, “we are not friends.” I don’t know if, before the rise of social media, there was really any clear way to break off a friendships with someone without have a really uncomfortable conversation. That unfriend option now allows you to eliminate someone from your circle, without having to even send a text.

But, here’s where that goes wrong.

So without two days of removing someone I receive a text. I was found out, and they did not let me go quietly into that good night. It was apparent that I was going to have to response and explain myself.

First I start composing a text back when I realized it was way too long. So, I started a Facebook message, which then I realized might seem a little rude since I unfriended her. So, I went to good old e-mail. I wrote this e-mail with the good intentions of having a couple brief but polite paragraphs basically explaining that not everyone was meant to be friends with everyone. I was perfectly happy being acquaintance-zoned and I hoped she had a good day. A friendly version of, “it’s not you, it’s me.”

But then I kept finding things I thought needed explanation. By the time I was done, it was 2,000 words of someone hurtful speech about all the things that had bothered me over the last months.

What was meant to be a graceful attempt at letting a friendship go turned into a really uncomfortable experience, not just for the two involved but the many parties connected to each other.

Is there really a graceful way to end a friendship?

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3 responses to “How to (not) Gracefully End A Friendship

  1. I can’t think of a graceful way to exit a friendship of any kind. In this digital age, even moving far away won’t end the friendship in a way that it did prior to the internet.

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