Do We Hold On To Someone That Won’t Accept Change?

I’m going to take a moment to pay homage to a friendship that recently ended. Cue 2 minute silence here

Now that we’ve done the needful – let me be honest. This ending has been a very sad one, but in hindsight it has been a long time coming. People grow apart, but when there is such a drastic change in the attitudes of friends, you begin to wonder if this really is the person who was such an integral part of your life, and how they could have changed so drastically overnight.

I’m not saying that we all don’t change, but with age, we must have gained a bit of maturity, and a larger understanding of what makes a friendship work. They say that as you grow older, making new and lasting friendships is at best, a little trying, and frankly not everyone has the time to invest fully into one. We’re busy in our own lives, making careers, settling down, trying to achieve our life goals that we hold on to the friends we’ve already made in our younger days and let go of the ones that have not stood the test of time. There are of course instances where we meet like-minded individuals and a friendship does form. It is rare, but not entirely impossible, as we grow older.

What saddens me most is how two people who have been through everything together, find a way to drift apart. There could be a number of factors like – the friend is not as much fun to hang around with, or, they begin to speak behind your back, or they just change their attitude in a way that they treat things flippantly or, they become a Debbie Downer. Eventually, each one is so wrapped up in their own lives, that they stop listening to the other person and make every issue about themselves. Conversation is stilted, or at best forced, and there is nothing worldly enough to engage the other person. We hold on, simply because we’ve been friends for a majority of our lives, not realizing that it is doing us more harm than good.

At some stage, one person has to cut the cord, and say “enough.”. It is extremely difficult, but if the other person is bringing us down, why are we holding on to them? We’ve read countless posts and blogs that tell us to ‘let go’ or ‘cut away the negativity’, yet we either dismiss it, or just carry on with them.

This brings me to why I’m writing this. I do have some amazing people in my life – some who have recently come back after a short ‘break’ – not the Ross-Rachel kind, but we had to take some time apart to find our own and come back to being together. The best part of these breaks? We picked up right where we left off. Something that is significant to me, because I don’t want to start over. But, I’ve had to make some sacrifices which, although have hurt me immensely, were well-needed. I’ve lost a lot of people in my life, and losing another one was terrifying. However, after careful consideration, and weighing out the relationship in its entirety, I didn’t feel that we were progressing. Instead of maturing, we were behaving like kids, fighting all the time, over things that possibly could have just been left as they were. There were some instances that did leave me with a bad taste – considering that the friend was repeatedly falling into an unhealthy pattern, which unfortunately did not break. We can be as supportive as we can, but if the person does not believe in changing aspects of their lives, or, does not wish to break the pattern, how much can we keep shouting out the same advice?

You may call me heartless, but, I have valued my friendships more than my life and I have stood by, accepted and guided the nearest and dearest ones without blinking an eyelid. However, I have come to the realization that if a person refuses to heed to the advice given, especially if I speak from my own experience, and isn’t willing to accept their fault in any of it, then there is absolutely no hope. If they are constantly using a ‘why me?’ attitude, or brushing everything said aside, is there any hope for things to improve? There is a slim chance that in a few months, or even years, they might reflect upon their actions and make a real, conscious effort to take steps towards changing themselves and their attitude, but if they are stubborn and set in their ways, it may adversely affect the relationship, and someone will snap.

I know that it is not a one-way street, I am at fault too. But, I know, from within that there has been a significant change in the way I see the world, and the way I look and people and relationships. I’m brash, emotional, and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m impulsive, reactive and sometimes, I speak before thinking. I have tried my hardest to see what others see as my flaws and make a conscientious effort to change.

In the end, breaking ties is never easy, but if it is necessary because it is toxic, then someone has to do it. It this case, it was me, and although it still pains me, it is a decision I will stand by – till the day there is hope for things to change.

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