• Keeping Friends

From the Friendship Forums – On Learning from Past Mistakes

Published: April 18, 2012 | Last Updated: May 14, 2020 By | 5 Replies Continue Reading

I’ve had years of unsuccessful female relationships. I’m 46 years old now and have no true friends anymore. I’ve really looked at myself and my former friends to learn from past mistakes. My personal opinion is that many, not all, of the mistakes my friends and I made are more typical of women than men. Just my opinion and everyone is an individual.

  • I promise not to betray confidences. Gossip kills friendships.
  • I promise to genuinely accept apologies when given. Often, an apology can seem like an admission of 100% responsibility when, often, both parties were responsible.
    So, when a disagreement takes place where both parties share some
    responsibility, an apology from one person sometimes can make the other
    feel like the victim, thereby causing some anger. I promise to do my best to forgive. What is the point of my holding grudges? Just let it go.
  • I promise not to be so jealous of another’s personal victories that I let it damage our relationship. So she has a new boyfriend or got a great job. It’s my low self-esteem that is threatened by that.
  • I promise not to compete about every.. little…thing: “Well, MY baby was 9 lbs. 5 oz.!” I promise not to compete by omission. Pretending that a personal victory never happened hurts feelings and damages relationships. She lost weight; complement her even if it hurts.
  • I promise to do my best to walk that delicate line between bragging and complaining. I promise to be open and honest about something that’s bothering me rather than expecting her to be a mind-reader.
  • I promise to ask for help with my problems without going on and on and on without let-up. I know I’ve been a drain and so have my friends.
  • I promise to listen more and give my undivided attention. No more texting or checking my cell phone while a friend is talking.
  • I promise to have respect for my future friends. Contempt…not good. I promise to remind myself often of my friend’s good qualities rather than focus on what I don’t like.

This is my first (and very long) post. I’ve come to realize, not only how important friendship is but, what we women often do to sabotage it. I’ll do my best to keep these promises.

This is one in a series of crowdsourced posts, written by guests in The Friendship Forums section of this blog (with minimal “doctoring” by me.) Thanks to reader “Fireflies” for her post on the forums reprinted above.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is so honest and beautiful. It makes me sad to think of how often I’ve let my own personal failings/demons ruin friendships that meant a lot to me.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your honesty, it takes courage

  3. Anonymous says:

    That’s great to have learned from past mistakes. I’ve learned that when I have grown so have my friendships. I can’t say I’m perfect nor can I say my friends are. We make mistakes through life. It’s serves to make even better and stronger relationships to notice what behavior wasn’t helping. It’s important to forgive yourself too! And true friends will stick by each other by being forgiving.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It almost hurt to read this post…just rings so true:-(Thank you for such honest sharing.)

  5. Anonymous says:

    I really think your comments are spot on. I think it is something I try hard to do, but I do need to work on some of these areas.

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