Giving an old friend another try

sudiepavOctober 24, 2007

I'm intrigued by some of the recent posts dealing with friends who have mistreated you or slighted you and forgiveness. I have a (used to be) good friend who has hurt my feelings several times. She has made fun of something I thought was serious and even gave me short shrift when I ran into her the week after my mother died. I had started to tell her about it and she interrupted me mid-sentence to tell me about someone else's mom who died, but it was much more unexpected than was my mom's death. Both times, drinking was involved, and I suspect that she was a glass or two over her limit. My husband has always found her boisterous and has never cared for her. Anyhow, yesterday we got an invitation to a brunch at her house. I take it that it's to be a small gathering, and I'm inclined to accept, due to the fact that we were good friends for a long time. I'm also mindful of the fact that brunch is not usually a big drinking occasion. My husband says it's up to me. What would you do?

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You should doubt. A friend of mine that I have known for about 25 went through a rough time a few years back. Every time I would call her she would say let me call you right back.....and she never would. Well after a few times of that I thought I'm done I guess she was not as good of a friend as I thought. A few years went by and I kept thinking of her and I thought I will give her a call and see what happens. I called and she said I have to tell you I am so sorry for all those times you called and I did not call you back. There was so much going on here, you have no idea. We talked for about an hour and it was like we picked up were we left off some years back. We also made plans to go out to lunch and we were able to talk more and on a more personal level. Since that time there has been a 25 yr anniversary party, her daughters wedding, a murder mystery dinner and a few other parties that we have gotten together. I am so glad I made that call, I truely missed her and I wished I had called sooner.

I dont think at a brunch there will be that much drinking and it wont be only the two of you wich will ease some of the pressure. Let her know that you have missed her friendship and see what happens. Good Luck...


    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 10:37AM
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Of course go! She's a good friend, even if currently out of favor. What would you gain by not going? Sending the message that you are peeved by past slights? Is that a good way to convey that? Do you think she hurt you intentionally? Do you think she cut you off when youw ere telling her about your mother's death because she wanted to hurt you? of course not! She was just thoughtless.
So, unless you want to be equally thoughtless go to the brunch.
However if you don't go, you cannot be considered thoughtless because your not attending is a clear wish to hurt her.,
You should go.
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 12:08PM
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By all means go. Enjoy the food and the company but be on your guard. If it is as you say and your friend had had one to many previously, nothing will stop her from possibly having one to many mimosas. Hopefully she will be the gracious hostess and be kind to all her guests. Also kudos to your husband for going even though he does not care for your friend. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 12:10PM
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I would go. As I wrote on one of those other strings about a friend of mine who is a real screwball and has behaved horribly, it all seems so meaningless now that she has breast cancer. I would feel really awful if I had spurned an overture from her.

It isn't easy to forgive someone, and sometimes it may not even be possible if our feelings are just too hurt. But I have never heard of anyone regretting forgiveness, and we all know many people who deeply regret refusing to forgive.

Your friend has been a little rude, insensitive, and inappropriate at times. But not cruel or harmful. And I am sure that she has other traits you do like. As some very wise person here observed, if we didn't overlook bad behaviors in our friends, we soon would have none.

Go to the brunch. Forgive her if you can. You can never make a new old friend.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 2:17PM
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I have another view on this; you don't have to go unless you really want to rekindle with her and miss her dearly. I have a few friends/relatives I've distanced myself from over time; encounters with them always made me feel bad afterwards, time and time again, year after year, for various reasons.

Call me weird, but I'm relieved by some relationships I've let go; I trusted my gut feelings and I was right. By doing this, I've been able to spend more quality time with people I love dearly and that I feel respected by them.

I would go to the brunch only if you really feel drawn to her and miss her.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 9:16AM
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lindac go to the brunch because you don't want to hurt her feelings...and because you are a good person. If you want to distance yourself from her....just don't return the invitation.
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 10:46AM
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People change over time. I've changed over time. Sometimes former friends needed to be cycled out. Happens with everyone. You don't owe friendship -- friendships are earned and chosen. You do owe courtesy. What you think best....for yourself and the life you have now? Does she have a place in it? Do you need/want to find out?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 6:03PM
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We've decided to go. It's in a couple weeks, and I'll let you know if this was a wise move or not. I could have easily declined, saying I had other plans (the invitation came by e-mail) as I have done before, but in addition to the thoughtless things she's done, she's also done some very nice things in the past. I'm not sure I still really want a friendship with her, but I'll report back.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 11:31AM
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FWIW....I do have a couple of "shelf" friends. These are people who -- to me, one-on-one -- are good, honest, loyal, interesting people. However, each has a number of personality traits that are extremely offensive in "normal" company. They have very strong personalities and thrive on disputation. I enjoy such engagements occasionally, but these people are like this all the time and in any situation regardless of company. Accordingly, I enjoy my personal time with them -- one-on-one -- but do not mix them with other company because something bad always happens when I do. Don't mean to sound stuffy, but it's just a fact of life. I keep them "on the shelf" and only share time with them in situations where risk of irritation to others is minimal. Maybe your "friend" will have a place like that in your life.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 11:48AM
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lol ... my strange friend with breast cancer, according to our mutual friend, has a whole list of tasks to be done, several with my name assigned. Yet she has not communicated with me since the three of us took a trip together in July! Nor has she returned my calls today. Well, that's how she is. I'm glad she has me on her team; I was afraid she might be too embarrassed.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 5:20PM
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I see you accepted the invitation - I would have too. This way you can see if you truly want to rekindle a friendly relationship, or not. If all does not go well at the brunch, at least you know you gave it a shot. If you have a good time and enjoy each other's company as much as you did in the past, then you can decide if you want to continue keeping in touch on your own terms.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 2:52PM
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Just to report back...We went to my friend's brunch last Sunday. Thanks for the encouragement to go. It turned out to be a lovely time. My friend was much more reserved than usual, still fun but not so overbearing. We were treated nicely and the other couple whom we are acquainted with, were enjoyable, too. We also got a much better impression of her significant other, than we had the only other time we'd met him. I'm not ready to jump in and be bosom buddies as we once were, (once bitten twice shy) but I am happy to resume the friendship and I won't feel awkward when I meet her(as I have in the past several months) at a book group that we both joined. Many thanks for the encouragement; I'm glad I went.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 11:27AM
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Good on ya! Nice to think the door may open to mo/betta.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 3:59PM
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I am glad the experience turned out very nicely for you. I have observed over time that there are certain people with whom we have been close friends at one time that have required unusual effort to retain that friendship. That is to say that it is required to endure certain unpleasant traits and opinions to maintain the friendship. In some cases I have decided that it is not worth the aggravation. I remember one couple who chided us for not calling them to go out to dinner. I asked them if their telephone was not working.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 8:04AM
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