I suck at many things in life, but one of the things I do take pride in is that I’m a good friend. I guess it’s how I was raised. My grandmother always had our home and pool open to everyone. She had a dynamic personality and was loved by many. I miss my Grandmother terribly and alongside with my husband, she’s one of the greatest people who ever lived on this planet.
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not that my grandmother and I didn’t fight. We’re Italian. We fought. And some of those fights were horrific, but I’ll spare you the gory details.
The thing is, my Grandmother and I were always forgiving. Sometimes we’d be talking to each other and she’d interrupt the conversation and say, “Hey, aren’t we supposed to be mad at each other?” Then we’d both laugh and that was how we made up.
If only life with others was that simple.
There are people that are mad at me and I don’t know what I ever did to them. But something must be eating them up about me and it’s sad because like I said, I’m a great friend. Here’s why: There’s not a jealous bone in my body. I love when my friends become successful. I’m very supportive and full of sincere (not ass-kissing) comments. I have a great sense of humor. I love to get together with people. When in a group, I make a point of including everyone in the conversation. I reach out — not just email, but on the telephone. And I’m honest.
Yeah, honesty is a trait many lack. Honesty is very important to me. If you can’t be honest with family and friends, who can you be honest with? If I’m doing something you don’t like — please, point it out to me, in a caring friendly way so I can fix it.
The worst thing a person can do, in my opinion, is hold hatred in. I recently learned that a “friend” was holding in over 30 years of hatred toward me.
But let me back up a bit … a few years ago another friend shared a story that he got into a fight with one of his friends who told him something like he was always a crappy friend and he never liked him. It made no sense that someone would say something like that to someone else. How can you say that to someone you spent time with and hung around with? Because what does that scenario say about my friend’s “friend”? It means that “friend” was a PHONY! Ew, phony is totally in the creepy, ugly category!
Now, the cool thing is, my friend told the person something like, “I’m sorry you feel that way about me. I always had good times with you.” And that’s exactly how I felt about this “friend” of mine. A friend of over 30 years who I just learned was holding in massive hatred in towards me. I was always having a good time during the friendship and I pitied him that he felt such severe animosity toward me. This friend was holding in so much hatred he finally felt it was his duty to rip me apart in a nasty email pointing out what he assumed to be my flaws and things I did wrong when I was a TEENAGER! And we are now both middle-aged!
Then he sends a second nasty email to tell me how much his ex-girlfriend (who he also bad-mouthed several times) hated me — as if that justifies his hatred. It was truly laughable especially since I wasn’t crazy about his ex-girlfriend either, so at least that part of it was semi-fair. But him hating me, after doing so much together over the years: parties, concerts, dinners, family stuff … since we were practically babies. So I was confused. Why would this person be friends with me for 30 years if he hated me so much? Shame on him, right? And all in an email. This loser didn’t even have the balls to call me.
In my confusion, I shared the story with a few people and one person brought up something genius: “He never forgave you.” Okay, makes sense. He never forgave me for things I did when I was a teenager. Now that explains why this “friend” was always less than perfect (yet I was accepting of his many flaws). First off, I was always the one reaching out and sharing, calling, etc. But I chalked it up to the dude made little money and was a job hopper, so he couldn’t afford to make a phone call. I was actually shocked the one time he did reach out. As a former alcoholic, this person wanted to apologize for never going to my grandmother’s funeral. I said it was not a problem. I had many people there who loved me to support me. I understand funerals are not for everyone. So I forgave him, though there was nothing to forgive in that instance. What DID bother me was when I sent him something cool and he failed to acknowledge it. All I did was send an email saying it “didn’t feel too good.” This is when “friend” decided to rip me a new asshole.
My husband said if someone flips out like that, over nothing, they are not wrapped too tight — borderline crazy. He said not to answer his emails anymore, that I might say something to really push this person over the edge. And just days after what happened to Robin Williams, you can’t be too careful. “Stay away from people like that,” he warned, so I wouldn’t get hurt again.
In the past, I’ve forgiven all kinds of kooky people, only to get hurt a second time. And now, as I grow older, I realize it’s very hard to forgive people who don’t forgive you. And by “hard,” I don’t mean hard to forgive them, I mean hard to have an honest friendship. When people SNAP during anger, it shows a lot of things: instability, dishonesty, being unable to communicate and most likely jealousy. An unstable, unhappy person just waits for that moment to POUNCE on another person, especially if that person is happy and successful. I never have these types of incidences with people who are in a good place in life.
A healthy person understands that friends fight. And it’s okay. That is sometimes how you build a stronger friendship. One of the cutest things a friend once said to me was, “That’s how we can love each other, telling each other what we like and don’t like.”
Though I have quite a few friends that I’ve never had a fight with. That’s okay too, as sometimes you get into a groove of how to handle someone and that’s a beautiful thing if you can do it.
The thing is you have to weed out people who don’t get over it. They are trouble. If a person can’t give the gift of forgiveness, best you forget about them. You deserve much better :)