I sometimes wish ending a friendship in real life were as simple as it is on Facebook.
[Are you sure you want to unfriend _______? YES or NO}
[ _______ has been unfriended.]
Wouldn’t that be awesome? Two simple clicks and you’re rid of the person you no longer want to engage you in conversations you don’t want to have. They will no longer be able to send you invitations to events you don’t want to attend (at least not with them). You won’t have to run into them at your friends’ place. It’s just over!
That’d be great!
Normally when I’m ready for a friendship to be over, I simply “Fade to Black.”(FTB) With the FTB, there’s never any drama. There are never any harsh words that you two can’t come back from. There are no hurt feelings (well, maybe there are, but you’re not around to see them). It’s just over and everyone moves on. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work.
Every now and again, the FTB doesn’t work. The person you’re trying to shake, just won’t go away. They seem not to pick up on the non-verbal cues that you are no longer interested in their company. The fact that you no longer respond to their phone calls, texts and emails seems to be lost on them. The fact that you’ve declined all of their invitations to hangout seems meaningless to them. The fact that you (still) won’t accept their Facebook Friend Request somehow goes right over their heads. And the worst part is when they ask “Did I do something?” You want to respond, “Yes, as a matter of fact you did. You ignored my Fade to Black!!”
I’m not sure who said it, but people often credit Oprah with the quote “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” I believe them. And once I’m a believer, if I don’t like what I’ve seen, I remove myself from the situation. Sometimes I FTB because I catch someone in a lie. Not the kind where it’s possible they were mistaken or misspoke. I’m talking the kind of bold, unsolicited lie that makes your skin crawl. Sometimes I FTB because I think the person is a gossip “A dog that will bring a bone will carry a bone.” (My momma) Again, I’m not talking about an innocent sharing of information, but rather sharing with me intimate details of someone else’s life that would devastate the person if they knew I knew. Sometimes I FTB because the person is too clingy. If you know me, you know that I move like a lone wolf. I know lots of people and I have a good deal of people that I call friends. Yet and still, I am very comfortable all by my lonesome. As such, I’m a little unnerved by people who expect me to become their Siamese twin. Not interested!
So, after the FTB fails and I’m forced to address the situation head on, someone ends up with hurt feelings. And I’m always blamed for the hurt feelings. Sure, by the time I realize my FTB has failed, what little patience and tact I possess has been exhausted. This leads to a harsher than necessary explanation of why I no longer wish to be in the company of the offending party. This leads to the offending party being offended. They usually share their hurt with others and, hence, Chrissy is the bad guy. However, had they just left me alone when I attempted to disappear, all of this could have been avoided.
The moral of the story, kids, is that “When someone shows you who they are, believe them!” When I show you that I’m no longer interested in your friendship, believe me!