Add me to the list of people who stumbled upon your blog with relief. It’s really good for me to hear that this is not an entirely uncommon problem, and some of the posts on this blog have been very helpful to me.
I’m definitely one of those people who seem to be prone to friendship problems. I have this pattern of going through a friend every two years. It’s weird and embarrassing (my family has even pointed out to me that I can’t seem to hold on to friends.) I’m working really hard on honest self-evaluation to identify the pattern, but I haven’t found one overarching tendency, just a couple of smaller ones. I’m considered going to see a therapist to work out these problems.
Friends have dumped me because I was relying on them for too much support when I was depressed (I can’t blame anyone for that.) But I’ve also been rejected for reasons unknown (A good friend rarely invited me out and when she came to my city to visit, she visited our mutual friend and told her not to invite me.) I’ve also dumped some toxic friends. One friend had many mental problems I couldn’t handle (she knew I suffered from depression by weaseling it out of another friend, even though I very rarely talk or complain about it.)
Right now I’ve been avoiding my "good" friend of two years and trying to figure out if it’s worth just cutting the cord. I’m sad that I keep doing this, but all the bad signs are there, I feel anxiety when I know I have to see her, and relief when I don’t. I’ve tried to look at her positive attributes, but she has said so many mean things that I feel sick when I have to see her. One problem might be cultural. She’s a different race than me and always makes fun of blonde girls (I’m blonde.) She also makes lots of mean comments about how she is annoyed by short girls, even though she also calls me short. The worst thing though, sadly, involved a guy. I told her once that I had met someone that I liked, and she didn’t seem that interested, supportive, or excited. But she’s rarely supportive of good things that happen to me in general.
I don’t want to go through life not having any friends that knew me when I was young, but I also don’t think this is a friendship worth saving. And I’m not sure if there is a way I can tell her this. Thanks for listening.
First, I want to tell you how much I appreciated your candor in sharing your friendship problems. Your honest self-appraisal is the first step in resolving them.
One suggestion: Pay attention to the quality of your relationships rather than how long they last. It sounds like your "good" friend is downright mean to you. Saying cutting things and not being supportive doesn’t have to do with race and culture; it’s a personality issue. She doesn’t sound like a good friend and if you don’t enjoy being with her, I hope you’ll move on to greener pastures. You deserve relationships that are supportive and reciprocal.
I don’t know if you are still depressed or whether your depression has been effectively treated, but clinical depression can impair friendships. It makes you see the world in a negative light and it’s also very difficult for another person, even a friend or spouse, to be around someone who is very depressed.
It sounds like you are very eager to have some healthy friendships; that is a laudable goal. Since you recognize a pattern of friendship problems that you can’t explain, I think it’s a great idea to speak to a professional to gain more insight into what is going on.
Thanks for sharing your story; let us know how it goes.